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Five Reasons to Leave Your Shoes at the Door

Remove your shoes at the door and step inside with your socks

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who take their shoes off indoors and those who leave them on. Being sock purveyors, we are are naturally shoes off, socks out kind of people — but our reasons go way beyond just showing off our crazy socks.

Did you know some cultures more or less require you to take off your shoes indoors? There are many reasons why the Japanese take off their shoes when coming inside and why Indians leave their shoes outside before entering. Learn about how adhering to a "no shoes in the house" rule not only gives you a chance to show off your funky socks, but can also lead to a healthier, happier home overall.

A sign reads "Please Remove Your Shoes" outside of a door

1. Harmful Bacteria

The University of Arizona released a study revealing that there are more than 421,000 different bacteria on the soles of our shoes, including E. coli from animal feces. Yuck, no thank you! Shoe-free home etiquette can help stop all that nastiness in its tracks and keep it from contaminating your household and making people sick.

Wearing socks indoors to stay healthy and clean

2. Chemical Toxins

The dangers of wearing shoes in the house goes beyond bacteria. A Baylor University study on chemical toxins in pavement has demonstrated that not only is there a strong correlation between coal-tar-sealed pavement and increased cancer risk, but these bad chemicals (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs) can also migrate into our houses and settle on objects as part of household dust. One way it gets in? On our shoes! Since this is a popular method for repairing cracks in the streets and it’s very easy to track the carcinogenic dust into the house, strongly consider taking off your shoes before coming inside to help protect your family, especially babies and toddlers who play and crawl around on the floor.

3. Dirt & Floor Damage

Even before science, the cultures that take off shoes in the house have understood that doing so helps prevent dirt from getting in while protecting the floor from damage done by the soles of our shoes. Scuffs, scrapes, smears, heel bites, and nicks in the floor hardly become a problem when you never wear shoes in the house, and you significantly cut down on cleaning when every member of the household isn’t bringing all the grime of the outdoors in on their shoes.

4. Comfort & Well-Being (i.e. Foot Health)

Removing your shoes when coming into the house is not only good for health and home, but for comfort as well. Most shoes are not 100% ergonomically designed, and even wearing your most comfortable pair of shoes for too long can affect the entire structure of your foot and lower leg. If you have a medical reason for keeping your feet supported at all times, orthotic slippers can be a great choice. Otherwise, give your feet the space and air they need to relax after a long day in shoes. If you like to relax in socks with some extra cushioning underneath, many Darn Tough merino wool socks are padded for comfort and also have natural antimicrobial properties.

5. Show Off Your Socks

Creating a tradition of removing shoes in the home keeps your family, home, and feet healthy, but the icing on the cake is that you get to show off your novelty socks every day! During this quarantine, funny socks like these “Five Funny Sock Styles for Lounging Around the House” are bringing smiles and uplifting spirits during these strange, strange times.

Show off your socks indoors!

Lindsey Frazier


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