Should You Have People Take Their Shoes Off in Your House?

Do you worry about the idea of people wearing shoes in your house? Maybe you want to keep your floors nice or you are worried people may carry germs in the house on their shoes. This is understandable – especially during the age of coronavirus – and you would hardly be alone if you feel this way. 

As much as you worry about shoes in the house, you might also wonder how guests will respond to this rule. Some people might think you are a little too fussy and others might feel uncomfortable taking their comfortable footwear off at your house. 

This is a problem for many people. They don’t want people wearing shoes in their house, but they don’t want to seem like an unwelcoming host. If this is an issue at your home, the following information can help you decide whether you should allow people to wear shoes in your home.

What’s the risk?For most people who don’t want shoes in their house, it is one of two things: they don’t want people dirtying their floors or they are worried about bacteria and viruses coming in the house on people’s shoes.

When it comes to shoes being dirty, there shouldn’t be that much of a problem when the weather isnice. 

As long as the person hasn’t walked through something that would obviously stick to their shoes, simply having people wipe their feet should be enough.

As it concerns germs, the issue is a little more complex. One study showed that the average shoe is covered with all sorts of bacteria. That said, the study also found bacteria inside shoes as well, so it is also on feet and socks. Beyond bacteria, a person’s shoes could easily carry viruses and other types of germs.

Just on these facts alone, some people might be ready to start scrubbing their floors and washing their shoes. While these might be smart measures to protect against germs, there might not be as much to worry about when you talk about footwear.

The average healthy person is not going to be at risk from bacteria or other microbes that may be on shoes. It may be true that the average piece of footwear is teeming with bacteria, but it is not enough to expose the average person in a way that would be a risk.

Should some people worry?Shoes pose very little risk to the average healthy adult, but that does not mean that there is no risk for everyone. One of the reasons that it isn’t much of a risk for adults is because we don’t spend a lot of time crawling around on the floor. In the absence of that behavior, our exposure is too limited for the risk to be significant.

However, if you have young children, it might be more of a risk. Young kids do crawl on the floor andthey are more likely to be exposed to germs that could be tracked in on shoes.

Another group that may be at risk are those who are immunocompromised. Since the immune system in these individuals is not as good at fighting infections, it does not take as much exposure for them to get sick.

Germs from shoes won’t be much of a problem for most people. In most homes, the best thing you can do to protect against germs is to clean your house the right way. Germs really are everywhere, and shoes are pretty low on the list when it comes to the threat they represent. With that being said, if it still worries you, you should feel comfortable telling guests to leave their shoes at the door.


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Written by Thomas Gouard

Im a military veteran; a full-time college student, and a fitness addict. Fueled by inspiration; God's word; endorphins and laughter!


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