Whether you're at the office, at the gym, taking a hike, in the bathroom, or even scaling Mount Everest, you're most likely wearing something on your feet. Other than in the winter, however, most of us don't really think too often about the distinction between indoor and outdoor shoes. Most of the year, we come back home and keep wearing our shoes for some time.
In some cultures, with the Japanese being the most prominent, wearing shoes inside the house is heavily frowned upon. Now, there is mounting scientific evidence that this practice of removing shoes may have far greater benefits than simply appeasing a Japanese host.
Unfortunately, researchers at the University of Arizona found a shocking truth. There are, on average, nearly 421,000 different bacteria present on the bottoms of 96% of shoes. Basically, your shoes are a petri dish you walk on. Among these bacteria are Klebsiella pneumonia (which causes urinary tract infections), Serratia ficaria (which causes respiratory infection), and a whole lot of E. coli.
Toxins: The Other Home Threat
Other studies have found that other toxins like lawn chemicals, coal tar from asphalt roads, gasoline, and other chemicals found in rainwater can all be tracked into your home via your shoes as well. Though the risk of illness from these is comparatively small, it can potentially build up over time with prolonged exposure.
Thankfully, machine washing your shoes with detergent on a semi-regular basis should help drastically reduce bacteria. Cleaning your home floors and carpets is also recommended (especially steam cleaning). If that sounds like a bit of a hassle, the simplest solution is to ditch your shoes at the door when you come home and get yourself some nice slippers.
Don't forget to SHARE this health tip with your friends and family.