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5 Reasons to Take Off Your Shoes

3. Happy Neighbors. If you live in an apartment building, no shoes makes much happier downstairs neighbors. Especially downstairs neighbors with a really cute little girl who is a light sleeper. (Hi Zoe!)

4. Germs. This one may have more to do with neurosis than actual facts–but living in an urban environment and seeing all the disgusting things that end up on the sidewalk? Yuck. I definitely don’t want to track pesticides and lead paint in, but neither am I interested in tracking in dog waste and other bodily fluids thank you very much.

5. Dirt. I live in a converted 19th century convent that still has boot scrapers by both entrances. (Did 19th-century nuns wear boots?) We have paved roads now so dirt and mud may be less of an issue, but toxins and germs aside, shoes still manage to track in plenty of plain old grime. Why would I want to perform extra cleaning when simply leaving shoes at the door makes such a difference in the cleanliness of my floor?

So that’s my take on removing shoes. I have a bookshelf right inside my door where my kids and I kick off our shoes first thing. I never insist on guests removing their shoes, but I would say that nine out of ten do so automatically when they see our bare feet and the shoe shelf.

Here’s my question for you: Do you remove your shoes inside, or do you prefer shoes on indoors?

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Read more: Allergies, General Health, Home, Household Hints

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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12:18AM PDT on Sep 9, 2013

I am a window cleaner in Phoenix, AZ. I have noticed that most of my window cleaning customers in Phoenix answer the door barefoot or there are shoes left right inside or just outside the door. After lots of etiquette research I have started removing my shoes before entering all of my customer's homes. I have received all positive responses and will continue this practice. Here is my website where I explain my green practices

Tell me what you think. Thank you.

12:22AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

I prefer to remove my shoes when I get home. I usually bring along a pair of slippers with me when going to a friend's house for awhile.

12:08AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013


6:54AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

thank you

5:46AM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

Thanks. I always remove my shoes when I enter the house and ask others to do the same.

3:07AM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

Thanks for the article.

1:08PM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

All very good reasons. I always take my shoes off as soon as I enter the house.

5:34AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012


2:56AM PDT on May 29, 2012

We always take our shoes off at the door and then put on our slippers. Our guests are asked to take off their shoes and we prefer them to also wear slippers . Some have their own pair at our house to wear but most bring their slippers with them.

3:36PM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

Always had to remove my shoes as a kid and have done it ever since.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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