U.S. company Shoe Care Innovations has launched the world’s first ultraviolet shoe cleaner. The SteriShoe UV Shoe Santizer safely disinfects the inside of shoes by using ultraviolet (UVC) light. It is ideal for people who suffer from athlete's foot (tinea pedis), toenail fungus (onychomycosis), or shoe odor. It has also been recommended for diabetes sufferers and is 100 percent free of chemicals.

Sweat from feet can often cause shoes to become breeding grounds for fungi and bacteria that can then cause infections. The SteriShoe is reportedly an effective chemical-free method for killing unwanted bacteria and fungal spores in your shoes. It may not be a quick clean, but after 45 minutes with the SteriShoe ultraviolet light, 99.9 percent of all microorganisms including fungi and bacteria are killed.

The use of UVC light for sterilization is nothing new, being commonly used in hospitals, public swimming pools and other water treatment systems. Using ultraviolet light is relatively safe, but it is not recommended to come in direct contact with the light. To keep this from happening, the SteriShoe shoe sanitizer includes two key safety features, including a compression sensor that requires the ultraviolet shoe sanitizer to be compressed in a shoe. If the device is removed from the shoe whilst in action, it will shut off automatically.

The device is also designed to only work in a closed, dark environment (such as a cupboard) and a second sensor scans the environment before activating a clean, to ensure the environment is dark enough and thus safe to start. If light is detected, the device will not start. In addition two shoe bags are provided in every box, so a user can cover their open-toed shoes and sandals to provide a dark enough environment.

Diabetes can cause poor blood circulation leading to loss of sensation and thus the potential for untreated blister or ulcers on the foot’s surface. If left untreated, a diabetic foot ulcer can result in an amputation and according to Shoe Care Innovations, in the United States there are approximately 86,000 diabetic related amputations annually. Clean shoes are thus an important measure for all sufferers of diabetes, to keep healthy feet.

Priced at US$129.95, the SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer comes is three sizes (Sml, Med, Lge) and is available for purchase online.