7 Reasons To Think Japanese And Remove Your Shoes At The Door (#1 – OMG!)

pigeon-toed teen in sneakers

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Many Americans find the Japanese custom of removing their shoes before they enter the house charming – as long as they don’t have to do it!


There are many reasons why people don’t want to take off their shoes at the door. They might be afraid of someone seeing those holey socks, knee-high stockings with runs in the toes, or less-than-perfectly-manicured toenails. Perhaps removing your shoes at the front door just seems entirely too personal.

We aren’t knocking shoes here. Shoes are really wonderful. There must be some appeal to footwear, since humans have been wearing some type of shoe for more than 40,000 years! Shoes serve a really valuable purpose because, the truth is, we don’t live on a carpeted planet. Shoes keep our feet warm, they protect our toes, and let’s face it, shoes are also downright cute.

Whatever the reason, you should squelch your inhibitions and begin this practice as soon as possible. The University of Houston conducted a study which found that 40 percent of shoes were carrying ugly bacteria, such as clostridium difficile, which is a spore that does not go away easily.

There are plenty of other reasons to take up this healthy practice. Keep reading and find out why you should be thinking more like the Japanese and ditching your shoes at the door.


1. Unbelievable Amounts of Bacteria

Let’s just go right for the YUCK. Your shoes pick up all kinds of bacteria when you are outside, which you then quickly spread inside your home. The University of Arizona spent some time collecting the microbes and germs from a variety of shoes. Scientists found more than 421,000 types of bacteria on the bottom of shoes, including pneumonia, E. coli, meningitis, and diarrheal diseases, as well as Serratia ficaria, which causes infections in wounds and the respiratory tract. If you think that germs just aren’t that big a deal as long as you don’t touch them, consider that your shoes are also picking up (and then dropping off inside your home) bird poop, dog poop, urine from various species (including humans), and saliva from who only knows. These reasons alone should concern you enough to leave your shoes at the door but, if you need even more convincing, keep reading.

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