Why You Should Be Wearing Shoes in Your Home

June 4, 2020 • • foot carefoot wearproper foot wear

It’s not always advantageous to take off your shoes in the house — in fact, there are some potential health advantages to wearing supportive footwear indoors.  If you’ve been spending lots of time indoors recently, you’re not alone. Social distancing during the novel coronavirus crisis has placed many of us at home indefinitely, with little reason to go outside except for the occasional exercise routine or grocery store visit. When you’re at home, it’s easy to go barefoot for long periods of time. But you may not be aware that there are plenty of health advantages to leaving your shoes on from time to time. 

Wearing shoes indoors isn’t (usually) unsanitary

There are a variety of reasons why we take our shoes off indoors. A major factor is the common belief that shoes bring in outdoor germs, which can make our living spaces unhealthy.  However, recent studies have shown that wearing shoes indoors isn’t actually as unsanitary as it might seem. In fact, wearing shoes indoors offers potential benefits to our immune systems and to our overall foot health.  Certainly, if someone in your household is immunocompromised, it’s a reasonable precaution to take your shoes off inside. However, in most cases, outdoor germs from your shoes are unlikely to pose a threat to your immune system. That’s because your shoes don’t make contact with your eating surfaces, your mouth, or your saliva in ways that could transmit viruses or bacteria.   It’s true that shoes bring in a small amount of outside bacteria from the streets and sidewalks into your home. But even this bacteria is usually harmless. In fact, a small amount of exposure to germs from outdoors can be helpful. Limited exposure to bacteria can help to strengthen your immune system against the microorganisms that might be living in your environment. 

Wearing footwear indoors can improve foot health

For many patients, especially older patients, spending the day without shoes can actually worsen your foot health. That’s because swelling, pressure, and arch deterioration can worsen without support from enclosed footwear. If you are spending days at a time with no footwear at all, you should understand that your arches are receiving additional stress and pressure. This can worsen any existing foot conditions that you might have. If you are particularly uncomfortable wearing shoes all the time or if your culture strongly discourages wearing shoes indoors a good compromise might be to wear house slippers that you can wear indoors. House slippers can help to release some of the pressure on your arches, and to allow your foot muscles to relax. 

Taking a closer look at foot health

The human foot is very sensitive to pressure and aging. That’s why it’s so common to experience foot problems as we grow older and lose arch support. Taking off your shoes indoors might seem like a good way to keep germs out of the house, but wearing footwear indoors is not a major risk factor for illnesses and going long periods of time without shoes can actually worsen pre-existing foot conditions.  If you are experiencing foot pain, don’t wait for your symptoms to get worse. Even if you are self-isolating for health reasons, we have you covered at Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group. If you have questions about your footwear, or your overall foot health, schedule a virtual consultation today. 

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