DENVER (CBS4) – Aside from the snow and winter debris you may unintentionally drag into your home, there are a multitude of reasons to kick off your shoes at the door.

Many cultures make a point to remove shoes when entering a home, a practice less common in the United States. However, you may reconsider your habits after learning what you’re bringing inside.

Walking around a variety of dirty surfaces all day, shoes pick up nasty bacteria that then enter the home when you do. A study from the University of Arizona found over 420,000 units of bacteria on the outside of a shoe, including fecal scum like E. coli, infection- and pneumonia-causing Kebsiella pneumonia, and respiratory infection causing Serratia ficaria.

In addition to unhealthy bacteria, toxins can be tracked inside on your shoes. An EPA study found that herbicide 2,4-D could be easily imported indoors up to a week after its application on lawns. These ‘track-in’ chemicals may have higher levels of exposure than the residues found on generic (non-organic) fruits and vegetables.

Simple but true: dirt comes inside with your shoes. More dirt means more cleaning, which means more cleaning products and chemicals that could have been avoided in the first place if shoes were removed at the door.

Similarly, the wear and tear of dirt and grime on hard floors adds up, as well as on carpets. Again this means more cleaning and scrubbing, diminishing the lifespan and appearance of your flooring and fast-forwarding to the day you have to replace it. Taking off shoes at the door can save your floors a lot of wear and tear, and ultimately save the landfill from more trash.

If you live in an apartment or some form of stacked dwelling, you can appreciate this: taking your shoes off at home decreases the thumping clump that your downstairs neighbors hear. You can subtract one unpleasant encounter from your life this way.

Contrary to your grandmother’s belief, going shoeless is a good thing. Unless there is a health reason to wear them, your feet are much happier free from the binding constraints of shoes. Not to mention the symbolic sigh of relief when sneakers, heels, or work boots come off after a long day.

There will always be someone averse to naked feet, but the opportunity to go barefoot in your own home is too good to pass up!

CBS4 social media and website producer Heather Sadusky writes about trending topics on social media and across the Internet on her What’s Trending Blog. Share a story idea with Heather by clicking here.


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