Interior Home Technology

7 Reasons to Be a No-Shoes House

No-shoes households sometimes get a bad rap. But the science behind shoe removal is too compelling to be ignored. So, stop judging yourself for asking guests to remove their shoes, and instead enjoy the freedom of going barefoot indoors—and all the health benefits that go with it.

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You'll Cut Down on Vacuuming

It’s simply common sense that removing your shoes at the door will cut down on the amount of dirt tracked into your home. No matter how well you wipe your shoes on a mat, particles still cling to the grooves and crevasses of your shoes, especially on rubber soles. And when it rains, shoes become an even bigger home hazard, tracking wet, muddy streaks all over your nice clean floors.

Related: You’re Not Using Vacuum Attachments the Right Way

You'll Banish Toxins

More than just dirt clings to your soles; toxins get a free ride indoors too. A Baylor University study showed an increased risk of cancer in people who lived near coal-tar-sealed asphalt pavement. Coal tar particles and other contaminants can easily be picked up by shoes and brought straight into our homes.

You'll Stay Healthier

Bacteria found on shoes include strains that cause infections like meningitis, diarrhea, and even pneumonia, according to a study conducted by Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona. As well, a study in Houston that examined household contamination with Clostridium difficile spores found that almost 40 percent of tested shoes carried the bacteria, which can be resistant to cleaning products and difficult to treat with antibiotics.

You'll Reduce Chemical Exposure

If your house is surrounded by weed-free lawns, watch out. Herbicides used to treat lawns can stick to the soles of your shoes and build up in dust on your floors. Research shows that removing your shoes is one of the best ways to prevent chemical exposure indoors.

You'll Strengthen Your Feet and Legs

How often do you walk around without shoes? Orthopedic medicine has found that there are multiple health benefits to ditching your footwear frequently, including better balance, stronger leg muscles, and improved posture. Make the most of your opportunities to wiggle your toes at home.

You'll Create Sacred Space

In many countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, going no-shoes at home is the norm. While the tradition may have cultural roots, it can be adopted and adapted to fit any lifestyle. As one of its many benefits, the custom establishes a positive ritual that honors your home and creates a sacred space.

You'll Leave Negativity at the Door

Shoes are constraining, so break free! Blogger Toan Lam of Style Your Spirit urges us all to take the no-shoes challenge and embrace the mind-set it fosters of leaving negative stuff at the door. He also suggests posting a friendly sign to remind all who enter to yield their heels and bare their soles—and inner souls as well.