What is one of the best ways to maintain your floors? Removing your shoes before entering your house! It’s free, easy, and offers a host of benefits beyond preserving your floors.
10 Benefits of Being a “No Shoes” Household
Along with minimising the amount of debris, bird and dog poop, dust, sand, and dirt that gets dragged in, having a “no shoes in the house” rule offers numerous other benefits — and science agrees.
Here are 10 reasons to have yourself, family members, and guests go shoeless indoors:
1. Preserve Your Floors
Why does taking off your shoes before going in the house make such a positive impact on flooring? Think of all the grooves on the bottoms of your shoes. These areas are perfect for trapping dirt and grime, especially sticky mud after rain. Wiping your shoes off well on a mat helps, but particles still cling to those little grooves.
Wearing your shoes inside, even just once, puts your flooring at risk of scratches from any rocks stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Taking off your shoes every time you enter your house will help preserve your floors and help them last longer, saving you money and hassle in the long run.
2. Reduce Your Cleaning
Preserving flooring is enough to convince us to take off our shoes indoors, but the reasons don’t stop there. The amount of dirt, debris, sand, and stones that get brought in by shoes makes for a nightmare when it comes to keeping your floors and household clean.
Simply practicing the “no-shoes in the house” rule will greatly cut down on the time you spend sweeping and vacuuming.
3. Reduce Toxins
Along with dirt clinging to the bottoms of your shoes, toxins get a free ride as well. Contaminates and toxins of all kinds can be easily picked up by shoes and carried straight into your home.
Do your floors and health a favour and leave them at the door, especially if you have a baby or young children that crawl or play on the floors.
4. Banish Bacteria
Along with toxins, bacteria can hitch a ride on the bottoms of shoes. And these aren’t the friendly kind. We’re talking dangerous bacteria such as the strains that can cause pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis, and other infections. One study even found an average of 421,000 different bacteria on shoes!
5. Limit Chemical Exposure
Is your lawn treated for weeds? Beware. Any herbicides used to treat your lawn can stick to the soles of shoes and get transferred to your floors.
Research proves that one of the best ways to reduce your exposure to indoor chemicals is to enforce a no shoes inside policy.
6. Strengthen Your Legs and Feet
Do you ever walk around without shoes? It may be worth trying if you aren’t already in the habit of doing so. Research in orthopedic medicine has found potential health benefits linked to skipping shoes on a regular basis.
Potential benefits of going barefoot include:
- Improved balance
- Stronger leg muscles
- Stronger feet
- Improved posture
- Natural stimulation of pressure points in your feet
7. Enhance Your Space
Going shoeless at home is common practice in areas throughout the world such as Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. While this practice does have cultural roots, it can certainly be incorporated into any lifestyle to establish a positive ritual in your home to help it feel more sacred and comfortable.
8. Convey Respect
If you are a guest in someone’s home, removing your shoes is a sign of respect. However, some hosts may find it rude if you remove your shoes. When in doubt, it is most polite to ask your host if they have a preference for shoes left on or off.
9. Get Ready to Relax
The simple act of removing your shoes before going inside helps remind you that you are entering a different space. Leave any negativity behind and set yourself up to be comfortable and relaxed in your home.
10. Reduce Noise
Shoes are noisy. Any apartment dwellers with upstairs neighbors will certainly agree with this statement.
Shuffling around the house barefoot or in slippers feels *and* sounds more relaxing than clopping around in noisy shoes. As opposed to hard-soled shoes, the softness of slippers or socks muffles out sounds and makes for a better experience for any neighbours!
How Do I Enforce the No Shoes Inside Rule?
There are a number of simple ways to encourage your friends and family to kick their shoes off at the door. Here are some tips to try:
- Hang a friendly sign by the door as a reminder to remove shoes before entering the household.
- Keep a shoe basket, a boot tray, a shoe rack, or a large mat near the door as an automatic reminder for people to take their shoes off.
- Lead by example and take your shoes off at the door. Most guests will take it as a cue to remove their shoes as well.
- Consider offering slippers so guests can feel more comfortable if they prefer some kind of covering on their feet.
- Let guests know ahead of time (“just so you know, we usually leave our shoes at the door”) if you prefer that they remove their footwear.
Need More Tips for Caring for Your Floors?
One of our favourite aspects of being in the flooring business is sharing our expertise with our customers. Through our blog, our website, and our interactions with our customers, we aim to share our knowledge so you can choose and care for your flooring with confidence.
There’s a reason we’ve been in this business for decades — we love flooring! And our customers! Making sure our customers are supported throughout the buying process and absolutely thrilled with their new flooring is our main goal.
As always, we are here to answer any and all flooring questions you have. Whether you are just starting the research process, have questions on whether or not you should tackle DIY installation, or need help choosing a colour or style of flooring, our team is here to help.