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Should You Wear Shoes Inside the House?

As strange as it sounds, the question of whether or not you should wear shoes while at home is a hotly debated topic. If you regularly wear shoes at home, you may feel strange when someone insists you remove them. If you grew up taking your shoes off at the door, you may cringe as you walk across a friend’s floor with your dirty shoes!

What are the benefits and downsides to wearing shoes indoors? Here are some facts you should consider, as well as what shoes might be doing to your home’s flooring.

The Benefits of Shoes

Ask anyone who enjoys wearing shoes at home, and you’ll likely get a single answer: it’s comfortable. No one likes having cold feet, after all.

Beyond personal preference, however, the main reason to wear shoes inside your home is protection. This comes in two forms. The first is physical protection from simple things like stubbing your toes or falling. In a study published in Footwear Sci, over 50% of participants that reported falling during the 27-month trial were wearing socks or nothing on their feet at the time.

The second is protection from bacteria and other contaminants that collect on carpet and hardwood surfaces. Some of these include E. coli and staph.

The Benefits of Bare Feet (or Socks)

Overall, the benefits of removing your shoes at the door depend greatly on the cleanliness of your home. And, incidentally, the less you wear shoes indoors, the less you have to clean. Without the different forms of bacteria and fungus that can be easily tracked in with shoes, you can worry less about yourself and your kids getting sick from illnesses attached to your floors.

That being said, the chances of becoming ill from anything on your shoes will most likely come from touching your shoes and not so much from touching your carpet.

A social and cultural benefit of creating a shoe-removal habit is the importance of cleanliness in other regions of the world. In Japan, for example, many households eschew tables, chairs, and even beds for sitting on the floor or floor mats. Wearing shoes inside a typical Japanese household is considered a faux pas, much like stomping your shoes on the furniture.

What Effects Do Shoes Have on Flooring?

The obvious choice for protecting the flooring in your home is to keep heavy-soled shoes out. This is especially true for high-traffic areas that would otherwise receive additional dirt and staining. Carpeting, particularly carpeting with lighter materials, will wear down much faster under the pressure of tennis shoes and boots.

While the risk of slipping on hardwood floors is higher without shoes, there is a much lower risk of scratching and harming the surface when wearing socks or slippers.

Final Words: Health Above All

Essentially, there is no right answer to if you should wear shoes inside your home. What you decide depends on your preferences and the flooring materials in your house. No matter what you choose, you’ll want to keep your floors clean to protect your health.

If your carpeting or solid flooring has seen better days, choose the professionals at GS Flooring for classy flooring styles and affordable installation and repairs. Give us a call when it’s time to make a change and let us know whether you prefer wearing socks or shoes inside your home!