I'm in the habit of kicking off my shoes at the door of my apartment. It's mostly a habit leftover from my mother, who, after installing new carpet in my childhood home, required shoe removal before entering. It turns out that there are many benefits to removing one's shoes at the door.
- It's not hard to imagine the many harmful things that attach themselves to the bottom of your shoes. Chemicals, germs, dog poop . . . there's a lot of stuff on the city streets. If you wear your shoes directly into the house, you'll be tracking all that outside gunk into and around your home.
- In addition to tracking in things that may be harmful to your health, there are also things that are harmful to your floors. Little stones and chewing gum can be embedded in the soles of your shoes. Wear them in and you risk scratching your hardwood floors or depositing them in your carpet.
- Shoe removal is a wonderful way of leaving the outside world at your doorstep. Taking off your shoes can help you relax and start to enter home mode.
- Feet are not meant to be cooped up in shoes all the time. Taking your shoes off when you get home will help your feet breathe and stretch. Be kind to your feet and they'll support you for the rest of your life!
I'll admit that I'm flexible on the no-shoe rule when it comes to entertaining. If I'm having one or two close friends over, I'll gently suggest they may want to slide off their kicks and get more comfortable. For larger parties it feels like too much imposition to require everyone to abide by the shoe rule.
What about you? Do you wear your shoes in the house?
Image: Jason Loper