Why Do People Wear Shoes in the House: Reasons Explained

Last updated on August 30th, 2022 at 10:49 pm

If you are a European or American, it is pretty common for you to wear shoes even inside your house. So, you won’t find it unusual at all. However, while wearing shoes inside the home is usual for Americans and Europeans mostly, Asians will find it utterly surprising. However, Asians strictly maintain the rule of no shoes inside the home. 

Thus, many people actually ask us, “Why do people wear shoes in the house?” 

In America, Europe, and United Kingdom, wearing shoes inside the home is largely a part of their cultural practice. But, there’s a catch; they won’t wear the outdoor shoes inside the home. It is also because American and European people live in cleaner cities, and they are more likely to catch germs than Asians. Finally, older people will wear shoes indoors to protect their feet from bad impacts and infections and stay healthy. 

But, should you wear outdoor shoes inside the home? Probably, the answer is no. 

So, here we will discuss the reasons of people wear shoes indoors and also, is health safe or not in this write-up. If you look for a healthy lifestyle, this discussion would be a great help for you. 

Why Do People Wear Shoes in the House

Why Do People Wear Shoes in the House

There are multiple reasons why white people wear shoes inside their homes. Firstly, it has become a part of their culture and tradition. Also, many wear shoes indoors for protection from different elements and cold. 

Cultural and traditional aspects:

As human beings, none can avoid their social culture. It means if you are in Europe and America, you will follow the cultural rules of these locations. And in most parts of Europe and America, people have developed the culture of wearing shoes indoors. 

Although it is unknown when and how white people in the western world started wearing shoes indoors, the culture is estimated to be at least a few centuries old. Some say that the practice started in medieval Europe during the great plague. At that time, people would wear shoes separately indoors to avoid any possible germs. 

It gradually became a cultural part of their lives, continuing until now.  However, it’s not a good practice to bring your outdoor shoes directly indoors. You should use a separate pair of shoes or sandals for indoor use. 

Also, if you have wooden floors, choose shoes with a softer outsole to avoid scratches on the floor. It is vital as wooden floors get scratched pretty soon. 

Protection from slips and cold:

Older people will wear shoes or sandals indoors to protect themselves from slips and accidental falls. It is important because older people are prone to slips and falls, and the possibility increases with barefoot. 

In fact, a study in the Science Daily named “Going barefoot in the home may contribute to elderly falls” found that 52% of older people fall on the slippery floor barefoot and even with slippers. When they wore shoes with socks, the percentage of falls on slippery floor lowered drastically to 20% or even lower than it. 

These statistics show that older white people will wear shoes mainly for safety purposes inside their homes. It will protect them from falling and walking confidently. Also, wearing comfortable walking shoes will give their feet a nice cozy and cushioned feel. 

house shoe wearing to protect from slip and cold

Also, pediatrics suggests that wearing anti-slip shoes indoors will help people walk freely and stop falling accidentally. So, people have made it a norm in their indoor space. 

Next up, people will wear shoes in wintery locations to protect their feet from cold. Yes, even after using room heaters, the floor of your home remains cold largely. Thus, many people will prefer wearing shoes indoors to protect their feet from the cold coming from the floor. 

Prevents infection:

Let’s admit the fact that when we are outdoor, we walk carefully and try to avoid anything that might infect us, including viruses and bacteria. But in indoor locations, we will often walk carefree, making us vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. 

Although our home remains clean for the most part, Americans and Europeans believe that it helps them maintain hygiene to wear shoes indoors. Also, when asked to white people, “Why do white people wear shoes in the house?” the answer will be the same. 

Also, many people wear shoes indoors to protect their feet from insects such as ants, spiders, and termites. It helps them walk confidently and stay free from any possible hazards. Also, people will wear shoes indoors to get rid of dust and debris. 

Moreover, when you wear shoes indoors, it will help you maintain cleanliness. And it is known that western people are addicted to cleanliness. So, it is natural for them to wear shoes indoors. However, it is still not a good practice since wearing shoes indoors will dramatically reduce the lifespan of your wooden floor and carpets.  

For cushioning and comfort:

If your home has a hard floor, it will create serious consequences due to impact. In fact, pediatrics suggest people wear cushioned shoes while walking on a hard surface to prevent impacts. Thus, you will find people with hard tiled floors in their homes wearing shoes regularly in their indoor space. It saves them from impacts and pain. 

Safeguarding of abnormal arch:

They’re people who have a slightly abnormal arch in their feet. People with a natural arch will absorb shocks and impacts quite successfully. So, their foot remains safe. But, a problem arises when people have the abnormal arch design. 

There’re two types of arch conditions when you would need improved support. Consequently, people will wear shoes to protect their somewhat distinctive arch. 

  1. Collapsed or damaged arch 
  2. People with a high arch 

When you have a high arch, the ball of your foot will be prone to hard impacts with the floor. It will subsequently damage your feet. Therefore, people with a high arch will always wear shoes even indoors of their homes for better protection. 

On the contrary, people with a flat arch will come in complete touch with the room’s floor. So, it becomes even more essential for them to wear shoes to stop contact with the floor and reduce the impact while walking. Henceforth, they too will wear shoes indoors for cushioning and protection of their arch. 

Diabetic people:

Diabetic people face problems with blood circulation, and they need huge time to stop blood flow due to any cuts. Thus, even a minor cut in their feet might lead to hospitalization and serious consequences. So, naturally, diabetic people won’t walk barefoot and risk cuts. 

Thereby, they will almost always wear shoes, even inside their home. Not only does it saves them from accidents but also, it could be a lifesaver.

Why Do Americans Wear Shoes in the House

We have discussed the reasons for western people wear shoes in their houses. But, is there any particular reason for Americans wearing shoes inside the home? As far as our research goes, Americans wear shoes indoors for the same reasons described in the above section. 

The practice of wearing shoes indoors is deeply rooted in American culture. Nowadays, it has become a norm for Americans to wear shoes in the house. Some Americans will even bring their outdoor shoes inside the home. 

Nonetheless, we discourage this practice, as outdoor shoes carry germs and bacteria, which are hazardous. It is even more critical during this pandemic when you would want to eliminate the slightest risk of any germs attack. 

Girl wearing a pair of red sneakers at home

Is It Common To Wear Shoes In The House?

Whether or not wearing shoes is common inside your house will depend on the locality. If you live in any European country or America, it is usually common to wear shoes indoors. But the same isn’t true for Asian countries. 

Asian people will generally leave their shoes outside and walk barefoot inside the home. It is a common culture in almost every Asian country, including China, Japan, Korea, India, Bangladesh, etc. Since many Asians still eat on the floor, they like to keep the indoor floor as neat and clean as possible. As a result, they will not wear shoes in their indoor space. 

Moreover, many Asians can’t afford to buy a pair of secondary shoes or sandals exclusively for indoor use. So, they leave their outdoor shoes in the gate and walk barefoot inside the home. 

Which countries wear shoes indoors?

Mostly, people in Europe and America will shoe indoors. The list includes:

  1. Great Britain 
  2. America 
  3. Germany 
  4. France
  5. Spain 
  6. Portugal 
  7. Norway 

However, people generally leave their shoes outdoors in Slavic countries, including Eastern Europe. It is a general practice in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, etc. 

Final Words 

We have discussed the common reasons people wear shoes in the house. Usually, people wear shoes indoors to protect their feet, mainly due to cultural reasons. Also, diabetic people wear shoes indoors to safeguard their feet from cuts. It is a common practice in most European countries except the Slavic region. Also, Americans too wear shoes indoors. But, if you go to Asian countries, the scenario is entirely different, where people will mostly leave their shoes outdoor. 

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