Ideas + Advice


Wearing Shoes in the House: Pros, Cons & Tips

When it comes to wearing shoes inside, every homeowner has their own opinion. While some couldn't care less about wearing shoes indoors, others expect household members and visitors to leave their footwear at the front door. And, in some cultures, it's tradition to remove your shoes before stepping inside.
So, should you wear your shoes inside or go barefoot? And what about when guests are involved? Do you ask them to take off their shoes or simply let them do what they please? Before you make a decision, check out these pros and cons.

Pros of Wearing Shoes Inside

Here are some advantages of keeping your shoes on indoors.

It's Convenient

Taking your shoes off may not seem like a big deal, but it can be a hassle — especially if you're hosting a social gathering. Not only do you have to clear a space for the shoes in your home, but you also have to go through the trouble of reminding guests to remove the shoes. Plus, there's a chance that one guest might accidentally wear another person's footwear when they leave. It's more convenient to just let people keep their shoes on.

It Clears Up Hallway Space

Most people who take their shoes off leave them near the front of the door. Before you know it, you're left with a cluster of shoes clogging up your entryway. Along with taking up limited space, this unsightly mess can be time-consuming to clean (especially if you have multiple household members).

You Don't Have to Worry About Offending People

Asking someone to take off their shoes before they step inside your home can come across as offensive. Your guests might assume you think their shoes are dirty, or that you don't trust them to clean their footwear. Not to mention, some people may feel uncomfortable removing their shoes. If someone refuses, it can cause awkward tension.

Shoes Offer Enhanced Support

Socks and slippers may be comfortable, but they can harm your foot health, especially when you're walking on hard surfaces like wooden floors. Sturdy, well-fitted shoes, on the other hand, offer the stability your feet need to thrive. In addition to providing arch support, they absorb shock, which is helpful for those with sensitive bones and joints.

Cons of Wearing Shoes Inside

Here are some disadvantages of wearing shoes indoors.

It Can Be Unsanitary

From bacteria and microbes to mud and dirt, there's no shortage of unsanitary substances that cement themselves to your shoes. If you don't take your shoes off before walking inside, you risk spreading dirt and germs throughout the home. This does more than just create a mess you have to clean — having harmful pathogens in your home increases the risk of experiencing allergies and sickness.

It May Be Harmful to Kids and Pets

The dirt and germs that come with your shoes may not be a huge deal for adults, but they can be extra harmful to children and small pets. While adults walk around the home, small children crawl, which means their hands and faces are exposed to substances on the ground. Young kids may also try to eat dirt and mud, which can cause illness. Similarly, pets might lick substances off the floor.

Some Shoes May Hurt Your Feet

While many comfortable shoes are designed to offer support, some may inadvertently hurt your feet. Over time, shoes lose their shape and stability, leading to bad arch support that can cause problems like soreness, shin splints and plantar fasciitis. The more often you wear old shoes, the more at-risk you are of developing these issues.

Should You Wear Shoes Inside? Decor Tips for Both Scenarios

Ultimately, there's no right answer when it comes to wearing shoes inside the house. While leaving your sneakers and sandals at the entrance may be more sanitary, it can be awkward to demand people remove their footwear every time you invite guests over. So, what should you do?

Whether you choose to leave your shoes on or off, it's important to decorate accordingly. If you keep your shoes on, the right accessories can help ensure your home remains sanitary. On the flip side, if you expect guests to take their shoes off, some tasteful decor can alleviate any awkward tension this request may cause. Here are some helpful decor tips that are "shoe" to impress.

Hang Up a Sign

When visiting a new friend's home, it's normal to wonder whether you should take your shoes off before going inside. Chances are, guests have had this same debate when entering your house. Why not make things clear by hanging up a sign? You can leave a quirky sign by the front door that lets people know they're welcome to leave their shoes on — or, you can post a sign that says you're a "shoe-free household." This way, you don't have to bother with a conversation about the topic.

Use an Antimicrobial Mat

If you're worried about guests bringing dirt in, place an antimicrobial mat by the front door. Designed to keep homes clean, these accessories go a step beyond your standard welcome mat by neutralizing the bacteria that sticks to the bottom of shoes. They come in different colors and sizes, allowing you to choose one that matches your interior design.

Set Up a Shoe Rack

Keep your entryway prim and proper with a shoe rack. This furniture item, which keeps your footwear organized, is helpful for all households. For those who take their shoes off before entering the home, a rack offers a convenient place to leave sneakers, sandals and boots. Not to mention, it helps keep the hallway neat. For those who leave their shoes on, a rack provides a place to view your favorite footwear, letting you quickly choose what you want to wear. If you're not a fan of racks, you can use a basket, a box or similar storage item — the possibilities are endless!

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.