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Shoes Off or Shoes on When You Walk Through the Door?

From the minute you lock your knotty Alder craftsman exterior doors on your way to work until you return home with groceries, kids, and briefcase in tow you’re probably wearing shoes. Depending on the work you do those shoes might be heels, boots, loafers, or athletic shoes, but no matter the kind of shoe it is, you’re expected to keep them on your feet when you’re out and about.

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But what about when you walk through your own front door? Some cultures consider it bad manners to keep your shoes on in the house, and some consider it impolite to take them off. So, what’s the scoop on shoes off or on, what are the benefits to shoes off or on?

51150808 - shoes left outside the front door

Shoes On-Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Your feet stay protected from injury. Ever stubbed your toe?
  • Your feet stay warm. This is even more important during the winter months.
  • Your feet stay cleaner. When was the last time you swept that floor?!
  • Your guests may feel more comfortable.

Cons:

  • The soles of your shoes carry in bacteria from everywhere you’ve walked during the day. Yuck!
  • Small debris can be deposited from your shoes to the floor, increasing the dirt in your home.
  • You may be tracking in allergens into your home on your shoes. This is a real problem for those with asthma or eczema.
  • Shoes are louder, which might only matter if you live in an upstairs apartment, or if you have noisy children.

 

Shoes Off-Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • A cleaner home. You’d be surprised how much dirt comes in on your shoes.
  • A healthier home. Shoe soles are notorious for picking up e. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Serratia ficaria bacteria, all of which can lead to serious illness.
  • Shoes carry small bits of grit and dirt on the sols which can actually damage your hardwood and linoleum floors. They can cause scratches and grooves over time.
  • Toxic materials from car exhaust, pesticide applications, and chemical spills happen in many of the places we walk every day. These toxins come into our home on the bottom of our shoes and end up polluting the inside of our houses.

Cons:

  • Your feet get cold
  • You’re more susceptible to injuring your feet.
  • Some guests just don’t like taking off their shoes.

 

A Middle Ground Solution

So, what’s a homeowner to do when they are concerned about toxins and bacteria but don’t want cold feet? There’s an easy solution: house slippers!

This old-fashioned habit (remember Mr. Rogers?) was once a common place part of our cultural daily routine. It’s time to bring it back. Get yourself a pair of comfy leather loafers, Chewbacca fluffy slippers, or even a pair of indoor flip-flops. You’ll protect your feet from the little sharp things that manage to find their way onto the floor, keep bacteria where it belongs (outside!), and ensure that your toes stay toasty.

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