We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Yes, You Should Be Taking Your Shoes Off at the Door

A pair of Converse sneakers sit in front of a Home Sweet Home door mat.

In many cultures, taking your shoes off before entering a home is the norm. If someone asks, you should definitely do it. But for those who didn’t grow up removing their shoes at the door, should you be?

As it turns out, if you weren’t listening to other cultures about shoe removal, you should have been.

The cultural reasons for shoe removal vary but many center around cleanliness. For example, in some Asian cultures, meals are eaten seated on the floor, and sleeping is also done closer to the ground. The necessitates a clean environment because yes, your shoes are tracking in gross stuff from the outdoors.

BAMEOS 2-Tier Shoe Rack

Use a compact shoe rack at the front door for storage.

In a 2015 study, researchers found that shoes can track outside microbes into your floor and deposit them onto your floor. While this might not sound so terrible, think of toddlers picking things up off a floor and putting it into their mouths, or consider walking barefoot over a microbe-filled floor and then putting your feet onto your couch. Not so great now, right?

If you’re thinking that your shoes can’t track in stuff that’s that bad, you’re on the wrong track. A University of Arizona study showed that high amounts of bacteria can be found on shoes. In testing shoes that were worn over a three-month period, researchers found bacteria like E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

The next time you’re traipsing through your house with shoes on, you might want to take them off, buy a shoe rack for the front door, and change your house rules.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Editor In Chief of LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on one thing: making your life outside of work even better. Want to know more?