In many other cultures they stress the importance of taking your shoes off at the door. For many, it is a sign of respect. My mom always told me to take my shoes off at the door. She also didn’t want me dragging in dirt into the house. And yes, we there comes another level of wear and tear to your floors when you wear your shoes, but that is not the main issue.  I am sure you heard the same thing growing up from your parents; to always take your shoes off at the door to ensure we don’t drag in sand, dirt, mud or snow, which can get stuck in your shoes very easily, but there is much more hiding under the surface than the things that are seen.

Scientist are now backing up this practice. They have revealed in their findings that we aren’t just picking up germs and dirt on our shoes, but we are picking up bacteria and unwanted matter that you would never want into your home.

1. Bacteria

Researchers have found that 40% were carrying a bacteria called clostridium difficile (C. Diff. for short). It is a very tough bacteria that is hard to kill and hard to fight. It is resistant to many antibiotics (which I don’t recommend you using anyway), but it is a tough bacteria to treat. It attacks the gut lining and can result in many gestational issues. Microbiologist Dr. Gerba found that 96% of E coli that we come in contact with is from public restrooms and animal fecal matter. This is then trapped on our shoes, and research has found that it can be carried for a long time and tracked into your home. I hope this reveals the truth and importance about taking your shoes off at the door.

2. Toxic Waste and Pesticides

Pesticides can be found anywhere and everywhere these days. An EPA study found that simple pesticides like the ones used to treat your lawn can be tracked into your home. Rain can also spread many toxins into your home. Some of this is inevitable, but taking your shoes off can dramatically decrease the amount of these unwanted guests into your home. And if you have little children this is even more important as they are crawling and lying on the floor. The risk of being exposed to these toxins is higher. 

3. Foot Health

Wearing shoes throughout the day is a great way to protect your feet and to support them. We walk in many places where germs, pesticides and toxins are present and wearing shoes keeps them from getting onto our skin and from stepping on dangerous materials. We all know, they get us from point A to point B very safely, but wearing shoes for too long can be detrimental. One reason for taking your shoes off is to practice grounding. Grounding is the practice of walking barefoot in grass and reconnecting to the earth’s natural electrical charge. Grounding has many mental and physical benefits, and if it sounds crazy to you, I challenge you to try it for a week and see how you feel! Also, being barefoot can reduce pain and inflammation, improve your sleep, and relieves stress. 

I hope this encourages you and your family to start a new daily habit of taking your shoes off at the door to keep the house clean, the toxins out, and the stress away.

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