Whether you’ve just got back from a long walk, a jog around the park, or a leisurely stop at the grocery store, one of the first things you likely do is unbuckle and kick off your outdoor shoes. If not, this piece will discuss why it might be time to reconsider wearing outdoor shoes inside your home. 

1. Keep Your Floors Clean

The most obvious reason is cleanliness. Our shoes are the prime carriers of dust, dirt, and grime from outside. Not only does this mean more frequent cleaning, but it can also damage your floor coverings over time.

2. Limit Exposure to Allergens

If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, wearing outdoor shoes inside can exacerbate symptoms. Shoes can track pollen and other outdoor allergens that could be problematic for pollen-sensitive individuals.

3. Lower Risk of Bacterial Contamination

Wearing shoes indoors can bring a host of bacteria into your home. A study published in the journal ‘Applied and Environmental Microbiology’ found that over 96% of shoes worn outside the home carry the bacteria Clostridium difficile, a strain that can cause serious infections.

4. Preventing Damage to Your Flooring

Shoes, particularly high heels or tough work boots, can damage certain types of flooring such as hardwood and soft tiles. Walking around the house shoeless can prevent unwelcome scratches or dents.

5. Cultural Respect

In many cultures around the world, removing your shoes upon entering a home is a sign of respect. Adapting this habit not only shows empathy towards other cultures but is also beneficial for the reasons mentioned above.

6. Increased Comfort

Finally, let’s not overlook the simple comfort of walking barefoot or in soft indoor slippers. Your feet can breathe, relax, and also have an opportunity to stay away from the confinement of shoes.

Conclusion

Start making it a habit to leave your outdoor footwear at the door and slip into something more comfortable – and cleaner! It might take a little getting used to, but the health and cleanliness benefits you’ll reap will make it worthwhile to leave your outdoor shoes at the door. If you’re worried about cold feet, keep a pair of comfy indoor-only shoes by the entranceway for easy access. Your home will be cleaner, your floors will thank you, and so will your feet.

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Anthony Emecheta

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