Why Remove Your Shoes? – Penny Lynch

What fascinates me about the no-shoes conversation is that the UK seem to be one of only a handful of countries where culturally it’s expected for people to leave their shoes ON when entering your home! Many countries have a strict “no shoes in the house” policy.

You might think that it’s because they’re worried about you bringing dog dirt into the house, but faeces is just the tip of the iceberg!

The soles of your shoes harbour more nastiness than you might think. There’s the obvious stuff — your garden variety dirt, grass, leaves, grime, debris, and liquids from various unknown sources. But then there are the remnants from the floor of your office, car, grocery store, coffee shop, or public toilets you wander into before you come back home.

This nastiness includes pesticides, heavy metal, mould, bacteria, motor oil, plus a variety of other chemicals and viruses.

Just think about that when you next drop some food on the floor and you think it’s OK to use the “5 second rule”!

Although shoes aren’t the primary source of exposure to these substances, they do build up in the dust inside our homes, which we then encounter when we walk around and touch things. Babies, small children and pets are disproportionately exposed members of the household because they spend more time on the floor. Children stick their hands in their mouths, and pets, primarily cats, groom, thereby ingesting these chemicals.

Taking off your shoes is a free and easy way to reduce what toxins you unintentionally bring into your home and I’m a big fan of starting with things that are free.

What also helps, to catch those first couple of steps of dirt, is a good doormat. Either a coir one, for the bigger debris and can be used outside the door, or a microfibre one, that soaks up moisture and can be washed in the washing machine, or both! Either way, they will help reduce the amount of dirt you bring in.

And for all those saying that they must have arch support for their feet, a good fitting pair of slippers, that are worn only in the house, are a must.

So are you a shoes on or shoes off kind of person?

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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