Since I was a child, one habit my parents practiced in our home – and successfully passed onto me – was removing your shoes before entering anyone’s house. Although a common practice in America growing up, it seems to me to have fallen out of favor, especially among my younger friends and family.
My current apartment is, for me and my boyfriend, a shoe-free zone. The first thing we noticed when moving in was that the previous tenants did not seem to have the same practice.
That’s right. It was summer in Boston and we had a bad case of dirty feet. After insisting… strongly… we agreed to have our carpets steam cleaned, but that only partially fixed the problem. Feet were still dirty. Mopping the kitchen five times and vacuuming every other day for two weeks has the problem 95% resolved.
So what are your thoughts? Ours is an outdoor free shoe house for many reasons. Chemicals, germs, dog poop, general dirt and grime, small shards of broken glass sticking to shoes on the cleanliness side…
and the simple joy of being barefoot and hitting all of the right pressure points when you walk around on the health side, taking your shoes off as you enter your own home or someone else’s home still conveys a sense of respect. You are leaving the outside world quite literally outside.
I say that humans were born without shoes. Our most content method of relaxation is without them as well – something many Asian countries have seemed to master.