Wearing shoes indoors is fairly common, but it turns out you’re trekking more than just dirt onto the carpet. Researchers from the University of Houston said that shoes are full of harmful bacteria that could make you sick, reports the Daily Mail. As the paper explains, bacteria can multiply and spread throughout the house, leaving you susceptible to stomach problems like diarrhea.
Professor Kevin Garey, study co-author, said to the publication, “It's amazing how far humans travel during the day, and all that walking drags in germs and bugs.”
According to his findings that studied 2,500 samples, about one-quarter of shoe soles tested positive for a bug that can cause painful stomach cramps. Last year, the University of Arizona studied bacteria on shoes and discovered that 440,000 units of bacteria attached themselves to the soles within two weeks. In fact, according to the researchers, bacteria thrive better on shoes than toilets.
In the Arizona study, a volunteer walked over clean floors to see whether bacteria would transfer into the home. They found that bacteria did contaminate the floors more than 90 percent of the time, meaning your freshly-mopped tile isn’t so clean if you wear shoes in the home.
If that isn’t reason enough to take go barefoot, Good Housekeeping has a list of eight other reasons why you shouldn’t wear shoes indoors.
"Hard shoes or heels are more abrasive than socks or slippers," Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, tells the magazine.
Aside from wearing down your carpet, the magazine says shoes could bring toxins into the home, too. Plus walking shoeless makes your feet stronger as your body relies on your arches and muscles when barefoot.