Is Taking Your Shoes Off in the House a Fad?

by Dick Stoner 04/21/2019

In many cultures, wearing the same shoes in the home that are worn out of doors is frowned upon. Of course, in some places where you both sit and sleep on pillows or mats on the floor, removing shoes seems logical and even mannerly. But in our fast-paced get in and out the door lifestyle is there a good reason to ask family members and guests to remove their shoes?

What science says

It seems that removing shoes upon entering the home is a hygienic practice. University of Houston researchers discovered that the shoes of about forty percent of those tested carried the Clostridium difficile bacterium spores. These spores live on dry surfaces for long periods and are challenging to treat with antibiotics. So, you could traipse around with potentially harmful spores on your shoes for days. 

Another study by the University of Arizona showed that an average pair of shoes contained nine different strains of bacterium including the dangerous E. coli that causes intestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. Additionally, Klebsiella pneumoniae, which can cause pneumonia and severe lung damage showed up on many shoes. Infections from this bacterium cause death in 50 percent of the general population and a much higher percentage in those suffering from alcoholism.

In addition to the bacterium, shoes tested contained other nasty stuff like bird and animal feces, dead insects, vehicle oil and myriad other gunk that has the potential to cause illness or allergic reactions in many people, especially immune-compromised young children and the elderly.

What to do instead

Set up a shoe station in your home. If you have a mudroom, this is the perfect place. Provide each family member with a place to store their shoes on a rack or in a basket and keep handy a pair of slippers to put on. Keep a shoe rack and guest slippers in various sizes near the front door or in the coat closet so that you can furnish them to visitors to your home.

Some advantages of removing shoes at the door are less cleaning outdoor debris from the carpets and floors, fewer fears of your toddler picking up and placing in their mouth something dragged in from outdoors on someone’s shoe.If you live in a multi-story building, your downstairs neighbors will rejoice at how quiet your slippers are on the floor above their heads.

If you’re showing your home for sale, let your agent know to request that guests remove their shoes and where to find temporary slippers while they view your home.

About the Author
Author

Dick Stoner

Reist Corporation was incorporated in 1994 to renovate and restore commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Working from a 200+ year old farm in Washington County, MD , we have restored barns, warehouses, and even WWII Army buildings in Central MD. We maintain expertise in zoning and land use issues, and we stay abreast of market conditions and changing market statistics. We welcome the opportunity to work with buyers and tenants who wish to take advantage of current market conditions to lock in long term deals at favorable rates. Those able to sign 5 - 10 year leases in commercial transactions right now, are able to obtain the best rates in over 10 years, and those able to purchase are able to get pre-2005 prices on many types of buildings and land. On residential transactions, we continue to help buyers of bank-owned and short sale properties. We welcome the opportunity to work with you on your challenges, and we pay generous referral fees to agents from other areas who wish to utilize our services on Maryland property transactions

Certifications

Since 2002, I have worked on some of the largest real estate database systems in America. I have introduced online marketplace products to areas that were using residential MLS products for commercial real estate information, and I have worked on the expansion of some of America's largest real estate data systems in some of the largest MSA's in the country. Research is key to many commercial real estate valuation projects, and our firms' knowledge about how these systems work can help you reach the best information about other transactions in your area. We are active in Land Preservation programs and environmental offsets which can sometimes bring additional revenue that is crucial to making a transaction work. Nutrient offset credits in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed have become a new component in the valuation of active farmland and for many rural properties which involve environmental features like streams, woodlands, pastureland, etc. We've partnered with the experts at Blueline Conservation Incentives, LLC in Northern Virginia on nutrient offset and land preservation programs and together we are part of a team with expertise in all of the Middle Atlantic States as they strive to meet WIP - Watershed Improvement Plans in order to meet the 2017 and 2025 water quality goals that were set by the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Plan. 

Awards

2009 -MD Historical Trust -Award for Project Excellence in the Restoration of Frieda's Cottage at Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, MD