Did you know that it’s customary in certain cultures to take your shoes off when entering a home? It’s a common practice in many countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries, Turkey, Japan, and Korea. In fact, if you enter a home with your shoes on in these countries, you may make a bit of a faux pas!
This tradition of removing shoes is also common when entering a place of worship in the Middle East and India, with worshipers taking off their shoes before they enter, as a sign of respect.
Perhaps you’re considering starting the tradition in your home. The benefits of leaving your shoes at the door are many – let’s look at the top reasons why shoes don’t pass the threshold in many houses.
Mud and dirt
Tracking mud, dirt, and dust into a home can mean that you’ll end up spending more time cleaning and vacuuming floors – especially carpets where mud can stick and be difficult to remove.
In Japan, taking your shoes off at the entrance (genkan) is a practical thing to do, since the floors are usually covered in tatami mats which are used to sit or sleep on. Removing your shoes means that you avoid bringing dirt or dust onto a surface that you sit or sleep on. Although hard flooring is very common nowadays, the tradition of removing shoes remains.
Scientific research supports the claim that invisible disease-carrying bacteria or germs can be carried on footwear into the home. In current times, the trend of removing shoes is gaining in popularity in an effort to minimize the spread of Covid-19. Imagine walking through a public place such as a restroom and then transporting pathogens into your house.
Bacteria can live longer on footwear than other clothing because of the tread or grooves that you’ll notice on the sole of the shoe. These bacteria can be responsible for infections. Ecoli is found anywhere there are animals and wildlife, such as parks.
Pesticides and herbicides
It’s important to remember that pesticides and herbicides can be tracked from golf courses, parks, and grassed areas, and these chemicals can cause eye and skin irritations, or even cancer.
Damage to floors
Here in Florida, we’re lucky to be living close to the ocean. No matter how much you shake off your shoes, beach walks and trips to the coast usually mean tracking sand into the house. Apart from being a hassle to clean up, sand is highly abrasive and can scratch and mark flooring. Leaving beach shoes at the door is a good idea to protect the life of your floors.
Shoe free zone
If you’re thinking of starting a policy at home of leaving the shoes at the door, you can leave a shoe rack at the door and a sign politely asking visitors to remove their shoes. Leave your slippers inside the door to keep the floors clean and keep yourself comfortable.
Bear in mind that going without shoes in a home can mean more accidents, such as slipping on stairs if wearing socks, and banging toes off hard objects like coffee tables. We also recommend care when entering the bedrooms of Lego enthusiasts when barefoot– ouch!
Get in touch to talk to professionals who are passionate about flooring, and know just what to recommend.