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When to Have a Shoes-Off Policy In Another's House or Your Home

Updated on December 26, 2010


When I was a child, we were never allowed to wear shoes in the house. As an adult, I asked my mom why no shoes and she said it was because it was healthier for the family and better for the carpet. Now days, so many people allow pets in their homes, the shoes off policy seems to be a second choice rule. However, if you believe shoes off in the house is a good rule, here are several ways you can convince your guests and stubborn children that shoes at the door is the way to go.


The bottoms of your shoes are gross! Just by walking, shoes pick up small particles of grit that cause wear and tear to carpets. They also pick up traces of vehicle leaks like oil and gasoline. Industrial pollution from the street, pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals from the park, traces of animal feces from just about anywhere can stick to your shoes and be brought into the house. Have you ever noticed how much chewing gum, candy and spit there is on the sidewalk? How many bugs, caterpillars and spiders do you think you have squashed on the bottom of your shoes?

Taking your shoes off inside helps carpets last longer. They easily collect dirt and dust and become breeding grounds for dust mites and fleas. Indoor allergens have been shown to be a direct cause in the development of asthma and allergies. It is difficult enough to keep a carpet clean without adding shoe dirt to the mix.


Taking your shoes off inside is better for the floor as shoes leave scratches: shoes can leave marks on wood, PVC and marble floors. They can scratch laminate flooring, especially if they are high heels. High heels can also dig into linoleum floors and make small holes. Boots and high heeled shoes can cause scuff marks and rips to carpets and linoleum tiles.

Babies crawl and children play on the floor; do you want them to be exposed to the dirt from people's shoes? Accidentally stepping on the baby would be less harmful than letting them crawl and play on a floor covered with shoe dirt. Babies also pick up shoes to play with; is that a good idea? If your toddler is learning to walk, carpets cushion those hard falls (and those temper tantrum body slams).

It is healthier for your feet to take your shoes off during the day. Your feet sweat less and smell better when you don’t wear shoes all day. If you wear high-heeled shoes, your feet and calf muscles will need the break. Walking around barefoot also strengthens the muscles in the feet. Small children with growing feet should wear shoes only to the minimum, allowing their feet to grow to their natural shape, not one defined by a shoe that is too small, too tight, too pointed or too big. Studies have also shown that babies learn to walk better when they can feel what they are walking on. Babies don’t need shoes anyway, unless they are going outside and the temperature requires the protection of a shoe.


Taking your shoes off inside is a benefit to the human psyche: it immediately creates a less formal atmosphere and creates a greater sense of relaxation. Psychologically, removing our shoes helps us to gain a different perspective as we keep our everyday troubles outside the home, with our shoes. Besides, removing your shoes is more comfortable and starts the relaxation process in your mind and body. By removing our shoes, our body immediately knows we are in a more relaxed environment.


How often have you heard the saying, “Take off your shoes and stay awhile.”? Your guests will feel like part of the family when you invite them to remove their shoes. Asian, Scandinavian or East European visitors, who were raised to removed their shoes before entering a home, will feel more at home in your home. Many people in the Midwest are first invited to take off their shoes and then asked if they are hungry. This is a warm and welcome way to greet someone in your home.


So take off your shoes and relax! Your mind and body will thank you for it.


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      rlwieneke 6 years ago

      I have to counter your belief the carpets are clean if everyone takes their shoes off. What about the people that live at houses that allow shoes and their carpets are dirty. If they walk on their dirty carpets in their socks and then remove their shoes at your place and walk on your carpet with their contaminated socks your carpet is now dirty.

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      viki 8 years ago

      I can relate to article. I also grew up in a shoes off house.Its now second nature for me to take my shoes at at the door. We have a shoes off rule as does almost everyone we know.We all wear slippers.

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      Cynthia 8 years ago

      Bare floors are best enjoyed by stocking feet. Shoes belong outside.

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      Aileen 8 years ago

      I hate wearing shoes! Now I have a reason to take them off!