Have you ever been to someone’s home and they have all the shoes by the front door outside of the house?
I have had several friends mostly from eastern and/or Asian families who do this. I always found it interesting personally considering growing up not many of my friends and family kept all the shoes outside. Most people I know take their shoes off at the door but some people choose to wear shoes in their home. Why would you wear shoes in your home? it’s beyond me! it’s more comfortable to be barefoot and it’s better to develop foot and angle strength also.
A recent study out of the University of Houston found that 39 percent of shoe soles sampled were contaminated with the bacteria C. diff (Clostridium difficile), a public health threat that is now resistant to a number of antibiotics. C. diff infections can cause severe diarrhea that may progress to colon inflammation and more serious health issues, especially if it does not respond to antibiotic treatment.
Your shoes come in contact with a variety of dirty surfaces during your day. These may include the floors of public restrooms, restaurants, public transportation, sidewalks, fitness facilities and your workplace. In these spaces, we expect a certain level of cleanliness, but often we have no control over how recently the floor was cleaned before we came in contact with it or whether a dog recently did his business on the grass you walked on.
In your home, you can control the contamination of dirt from these public spaces by removing your shoes at or inside your entryway. Although developing this new habit may take some adjusting to, it will be worth it for your well being.
Our household floors are the depositories for debris from our shoes, as anyone who’s ever vacuumed or mopped knows. But the dirt on our shoes isn’t as concerning as the stuff that we can’t see.
Bacteria on our shoes can live and grow from the nutrients we provide for them as we walk around picking up more debris. We don’t often clean and disinfect our shoes, so the hazards remain there over time and spread as we walk.
Another study from the University of Arizona found nine different species of bacteria on shoes. The same study also found that 90% of the time, these bacteria can transfer to tile floors, and carpeting is even worse for harboring bacteria since it can’t be easily disinfected.