Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
January 31, 2024 ·  2 min read

Why You Should Never Wear Your Shoes Inside the House

Wearing shoes indoors is fairly common, but it turns out you’re trekking more than just dirt onto the carpet. Researchers from the University of Houston said that shoes are full of harmful bacteria that could make you sick. Bacteria can multiply and spread throughout the house, leaving you susceptible to stomach problems like diarrhea.

“It’s amazing how far humans travel during the day,” said Professor Kevin Garey, study co-author. “And all that walking drags in germs and bugs.”

According to his findings that studied 2,500 samples, about one-quarter of shoe soles tested positive for a bug that can cause painful stomach cramps. Last year, the University of Arizona studied bacteria on shoes and discovered that 440,000 units of bacteria attached themselves to the soles within two weeks. In fact, according to the researchers, bacteria thrive better on shoes than toilets.

In the Arizona study, a volunteer walked over clean floors to see whether bacteria would transfer into the home. They found that bacteria did contaminate the floors more than 90 percent of the time, meaning your freshly-mopped tile isn’t so clean if you wear shoes in the home.

“Chemicals used in farming or toxins you throw on your lawn can also make their way in to the home via your shoes.

A study by Baylor University showed people who live near asphalt roads sealed with coal tar had an increased risk of cancer from toxins as they were brought in to the home by their shoes.” If that isn’t reason enough to take go barefoot, Good Housekeeping has a list of eight other reasons why you shouldn’t wear shoes indoors.

8 Other Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wear Shoes Indoors

When it comes to leaving your shoes at the door, there are both practical, aesthetic, and health reasons. Here are some of them!

  1. They could ruin your floors over time
  2. They carry toxins that pollute the air in your home
  3. They track in dirt that ends up everywhere
  4. They hold back your feet from being their strongest
  5. They might wake your downstairs neighbor
  6. They risk becoming your dog’s favorite chew toy
  7. They just add more annoying clutter to your home
  8. They stall relaxation time at the end of the day

“Hard shoes or heels are more abrasive than socks or slippers,” Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, tells the magazine.

Aside from wearing down your carpet, the magazine says shoes could bring toxins into the home, too. Plus walking shoeless makes your feet stronger as your body relies on your arches and muscles when barefoot.

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