Home Stories No Shoes Rule In My House: Here’s Why I Always Ask Visitors...

No Shoes Rule In My House: Here’s Why I Always Ask Visitors To My Home To Remove Their Shoes


Here’s a simple question for you: What do $500 Gucci shoes and $20 trainers have in common? The answer: Both of them have the ability to bring an unsettling amount of bacteria and dirt into my house. That’s the reason why I always ask guests to remove their shoes before they enter my house.

The reason why I’m writing this article is not to convince you to do the same. After all, it is your house and you have the right to do whatever makes you happy.

The thing is that I’ve often been asked why I have a no shoes rule in my house. And trust me, I have some really good reasons for this and once you learn why I ask visitors to my house to take off their shoes, I’m sure you’re going to take the same route soon.

First things first, as someone who is trying hard to maintain cleanliness and hygiene at my home, I’ve declared shoes a chief obstacle which prevents me from keeping my home clean and tidy.

The bottoms of your shoes harbor more filthiness than you might even think. First of all, there is the obvious stuff: dirt, mud, leaves, grass, and all kinds of liquids from different unknown sources. Then there’s the stuff from the floor of your car, your office, or any café, restaurant, grocery store, or public restroom you go to before you show at my door.

Dr. Charles P. Gerba, microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona, found considerable numbers of bacteria both inside and on the bottom of shoes. Some of the bacteria our shoes harbor include  Escherichia coli, which is known to cause intestinal and urinary tract infections and diarrheal disease, and Klebsiella pneumonia, which is known to cause wound and bloodstream infections and pneumonia.

Then, in another study, researchers collected 127 environmental samples from shoe bottoms, bathroom surfaces, house floor dusts, or other household surfaces from 30 houses. The samples showed that Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes diarrhea and colitis, is more commonly found on soles of shoes than toilet seats.

If you still can’t understand to what extent wearing shoes in your house can affect your health, just consider this scenario: If you have little children at home, then you already know that they spend most of their time playing on the floor with their fingers in their mouths. When you walk along that same floor with dirty shoes, then you can guess what huge amounts of filthiness you cause your kids to put into their mouths.

But, I want you to know that I’m aware that some individuals consider the shoes-off request rude. And I do understand that there are cases in which you can’t tell a guest to take off his or her shoes. For example, I would never tell someone using a wheelchair to take off their shoes or someone using a cane to wipe it down or leave it on the porch before they walk into my house.

And to be honest, I make one important exception. When I host a cocktail party, and as you know – shoes are an important part of the outfit at this kind of parties, I do allow guests to walk into the living room with their shoes on. But, don’t doubt that I clean thoroughly the floors throughout the entire house the next day.