Remember when you were a kid and you would come indoors from playing and your mom would tell you to take your shoes off at the door because she didn’t want you tracking dirt and mud through the house? Well, what your mom probably didn’t know is that there are other more important reasons why you shouldn’t have been wearing your shoes indoors. Keep reading to find out why.
No one wants dirty floors, right? I hope not. So, what’s the best way to prevent yourself and others from tracking dirt and mud through the house? Removing your shoes, of course! Not only will it help keep your floors and carpet free of muddy footprints, it’ll also save time on cleaning. The less dirt there is, the less often you have to break out the broom, vacuum or mop. It’s a win-win situation!
TIP: Invest in a good welcome mat, too.
Did you know that there are possibly over 420,000 bacteria living on the outside and inside of your shoes? That’s what one study from the University of Arizona found. So, just what kind of bacteria is it exactly? According to the study, it’s bugs like Klebsiella pneumonia and Serratia ficaria. According to researchers from the University of Houston, it can also be Clostridium difficile (the bacteria that causes diarrhea) and E. coli. And, when you keep your shoes on upon entering your home, you transfer that bacteria from your shoes to the floor. It’s even worse if your floors are carpeted. That’s because organisms can survive longer in carpet. So, what’s the solution? Well, you can do one of two things: 1) wash your shoes regularly, or 2) invest in an antimicrobial doormat. Wiping your shoes on them can remove up to 90 percent of the debris found on the bottom of your shoes.
Not only do your shoes pick up dirt and germs, they pick up toxins as well. These are the pesticides found in your garden, the fertilizer and weed killer found on your lawn, and the gasoline and antifreeze found on the street you walked across earlier in the day. By tracking these toxins through your home, you allow them to settle in your carpet and be released into the air that you breathe. This can cause anything from minor skin rashes to more serious gastrointestinal ailments.
7. Damaged Floors
Your shoes can wreak havoc on your floors as well as your carpet–especially if you wear stilettos. According to Taste of Home magazine, the nails sticking out from the heels of over-worn stilettos leave an imprint in your hardwood floors every time you take a step. Plus, they create snags on your carpet, too. Not only that, but wearing any shoes in general can stain your carpet. And, that requires additional cleaning and scrubbing. “All of this mechanical action on your flooring means more wear and tear, meaning the sooner you’ll need to replace said floor coverings. Kicking off your shoes means spending less money on your floor and ultimately, less flooring in the landfill,” TreeHugger.com said in an article published on its website.
Removing your shoes when you enter someone else’s home is a sign of respect, especially in many parts of Asia. Whether you’re a full-time resident or simply just passing through, you’re expected to remove your shoes whenever you not only enter someone’s home but even when you enter an establishment such as a store, restaurant or salon. This is so you don’t track dirt from the streets inside the establishments. And, because it’s so commonplace for people to remove their shoes, there’s usually a designated place (a cubby or a pile on the floor near the door) for you to keep them until you’re ready to leave. Some establishments even provide you with indoor slippers so you don’t have to be barefoot.
5. Noise Pollution
If you live in an apartment building, you know that your neighbors can hear every little sound–including you clopping across the floor in your shoes (especially if you wear heels) after coming in from a hard day of work. And, if you have upstairs neighbors, you know how annoying that sound can be, especially when you’re trying to relax. So, instead of just walking in from work and heading straight for the kitchen, bathroom or wherever it is you go, try to be a little more courteous to your neighbors and remove your shoes at the door.
TIP: If you hate going barefoot, keep a pair of socks or slippers by the door to slide into when you get home.
4. Healthy Feet
Author and interior designer Jenny Nakao Hones, told Reader’s Digest that when you take off your shoes, “your feet can breathe and have free range of movement.” “Using your feet and feeling the floor allows you to improve muscle strength and flexibility. You also stimulate pressure points on the soles of your feet. In traditional Chinese medicine, these pressure points are connected to our organs, which means you’re helping your organs function,” Hones added.
And, according to TreeHugger.com, studies show that kids who regularly go without shoes not only have stronger feet with better flexibility, they also have fewer cases of flat feet and fewer podiatric deformities.
3. Damaged Shoes
It’s not just your carpet and floors that suffer from wear and tear when you constantly wear your shoes–your shoes suffer as well. And, even though the wear and tear on shoes worn inside is minimal, it still exists. So, unless you’ve got some medical reason for needing to wear shoes constantly, do your shoes and your wallet a favor and pull them off when you get home. Because if you paid a pretty penny for your shoes, the last thing you want is to wear them out too quickly and have to spend more money on a new pair.
If you or your kids are always misplacing things, keeping your shoes near the front door will help you keep track of them. It can also help you save time when you’re rushing to get ready for school or work. Taste of Home magazine recommends keeping them on a shoe mat or installing a bench with a shoe rack or cubby below it. Neat idea, huh? Plus, the bench will give everyone a place to sit while they take off their shoes.
Who doesn’t love kicking their shoes off after a hard day of work? That’s especially true if you’ve been standing on your feet all day. And, if you’ve got your shoes on, you can’t enjoy that spa-like foot soak you use to relax at the end of the day or that foot massage your significant other loves to give you after you’ve had a long day. So, kick off your shoes, wiggle your toes, and just let your feet be free!
DID YOU KNOW?
Removing your shoes can be emotionally relaxing, too. That’s because taking off your shoes can “signal the transition from the big outside to the relaxing haven of your home,” TreeHugger.com says.
Do you take off your shoes as soon as you get home? Let us know if you do or not, and why you do or don’t. Thanks for reading!