Before kids, my husband and I usually walked through the house with our shoes on. We didn’t really have a good spot to put them since our previous home had the garage door in the kitchen and we never used the front door. It didn’t seem to matter that much anyway. Then, when our son came along, I started to worry about how clean the floor was. When we moved into the house that we live in now, I decided to enforce no shoe rules.
My husband usually forgets and comes walking through the house, but we do have designated shoe drops. When we have guests, we are more flexible and instead have a “no shoes upstairs” rule. So why the no shoe rule at all? Am I just totally neurotic? Well, yeah, maybe about other things. But not wearing shoes in the house is actually a really good idea if you want to keep toxins out of your home.
When you walk around outside the home, you’re walking through parking lots, stores, doctor offices, restaurants, schools, offices, gas stations, public bathrooms, etc. That’s plenty of opportunities to pick up pesticides, poisons, chemicals, bacteria, viruses, fungus, and heavy metals. When you come back home, all of what was picked up on the bottom of your shoe is tracked across your floor. From there, it can all easily be spread onto other surfaces like couches, blankets, and beds.
Kicking your shoes off at the door isn’t just an excellent way to keep toxins out of your home, it has it’s own benefits. Walking barefoot lets your feet air out, preventing that “stinky foot smell”. Plus, walking barefoot helps keep all the muscles in your feet strong and can help to prevent injuries. Having the freedom to move and experience changes on the ground is also very beneficial for small children who are still learning how to control gross motor movements.
Remembering to take your shoes off before entering your home can be as simple as creating a shoe drop point. Shelves, cubbies, a shoe rack, or even just a designated “shoe area” can be a helpful reminder to kick off the shoes. Don’t like to go barefoot? Try a pair of cozy slippers or even some shoes reserved for the house. We also like to keep a few pairs of sandals by the back door for our frequent trips into the yard. For guests, we have tile floor that’s easy to clean up after everyone leaves, so we don’t mind if they come in with shoes. But asking guests to take off their shoes usually isn’t that big of a deal anyway.
So kick off those shoes and enjoy the freedom of happy toes!