The Gross Reasons You Shouldn’t Wear Shoes Inside the House

There are two types of people in this world—those who wear shoes inside their homes, and those who do not.

Those in the former camp claim that it is more hospitable for dwellers and guests alike to keep their shoes in place. There is no stress about stinky or cold feet—you’re welcome just as you are. However, the anti-shoe movement has something more powerful on their its—scientific research.

A study out of the University of Arizona showed that the bottoms of our shoes harbor nearly half a million bacteria. In shoes tested, there were nine different strains present—including that harbinger of intestinal doom E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae (urinary tract infections) and Serratia ficaria (respiratory infections).

These bacteria can survive on shoes for weeks—along with hitchhiking viruses and parasites! Gross.

Person Walking With Muddy Footprint On Carpet

Of course, you can also make the argument that germs are everywhere. We are surrounded by them on all sides. Will keeping your treads strictly to the streets make much of a difference in your home?

The truth is, probably not. Our homes are germy places (which, remember, can be a good thing). But if the ick factor of having microscopic amounts of urine, motor oil, vomit, grime and dog poop on the bottoms of your shoes really grosses you out, then you’re probably going to want to keep street shoes out of your house. That’s what slippers and house shoes were invented for anyway, right?

Woman running in spring forest. Helathy lifestyle

But it’s not just germs that are a problem. Toxins are a big issue, too. For one, pesticides and herbicides residue can easily infiltrate our homes through our shoes. When you walk on (or near) treated lawns, your shoes will pick up that chemical residue. These unhealthy chemicals are notorious endocrine disruptors and throw hormones way out of whack.

Other street compounds can present issues, too. For instance, asphalt roads sealed with coal tar expose walkers to a higher amount of carcinogenic toxins—not to mention all the gasoline leakage from cars that gets washed to the side of the road. Do you really want to be walking over those surfaces and then tracking them into your home where pets and children could come face to face with them? Probably not.

The point is, it’s important to be conscious of what’s on your shoes. Harmful or not, they’re packed with bacteria and toxins from the outside world. No matter what your policy is, it’s good to be aware of what you’re bringing in to your home.

What are your thoughts? Do you allow people to wear shoes inside your home? Share your footwear practices with the community in the comments section down below!    

Related on Care2: 


Leopold M
Leopold M13 days ago


Leopold M
Leopold M13 days ago


Thomas M
Thomas M21 days ago


Michael F
Michael F22 days ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill22 days ago


heather g
heather g23 days ago

Thank you - An excellent reminder.

Caitlin L
Caitlin L23 days ago

thank you for posting

Sue H
Sue H24 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

Frances G
Past Member 26 days ago

thanks for sharing

Roxana S
Roxana Saez26 days ago