Health Controversy: Do you have a "shoes off" rule at home, or not?

Do you have a no-shoes policy at your house? It's funny how controversial the topic can be. Some people feel very annoyed when asked to remove their shoes in someone's home, others happily slip them off, given that they do the same in their house. Tell me what you think--after reading just what's lurking on the soles of your shoes...

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Now, let me start by telling you that I love shoes. Love them. Leggings without my Uggs and a skirt without heels--not the best look. But I'm happy to remove my shoes at others' homes, because I expect them to do the same when they come to my house. Here's the deal: We tromp all over the place in our shoes (think: public restrooms, city streets, grimy restaurant floors). Why would I want all that on the floors of my home?

Is it rude to decline a handshake to avoid germs?

People in Asian cultures have been removing their shoes for centuries, for reasons of respect and cleanliness. And nowadays, more and more Westerners are adopting the no-shoe rule for their homes, too.

According to a Good Morning America (GMA) investigation, the bottom of our shoes can carry as many as 66 million organisms. And, University of Arizona researchers found that the type of bacteria on your shoes can cause infections in our stomachs, lungs, and eyes. According to the GMA report: "The study also found bacteria live longer on our shoes than in other places. As we walk, we constantly pick up new debris that feeds the growth of more bacteria. ...The researchers tested to see if bacteria on shoes would transfer to the tile floors in a house. More than 90 percent of the time it did. Carpeting harbors bacteria even more."

Experts are quick to note that young children are at most risk for bacterial transfer, since they're often crawling or playing on the floor, but adults are at risk too.(Let's talk about the best ways to kill germs.)


I really didn't need any convincing about taking my shoes off, but this data was certainly interesting! How about you? What's your stance on shoes in the home? Off or on? And do you ever feel a little funny about slipping yours off in other people's homes? (I pack along an extra pair of socks in my bag in case I get caught with bare feet in a no-shoes home with toes that haven't had a pedicure in a while. Sounds silly, but you wouldn't believe how many times I've been grateful for that extra pair of socks!)

P.S. What's your shoes size? And, how germy is your job?

Image via LondonSole.com

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