Should I Wear Shoes in the House? - Jeffrie C. Leibovitz, DPM

Should I Wear Shoes in the House?

The Great Shoe Debate: Should You Wear Shoes in the House? 

Forget about talking politics or religion.  If you want to start a heated debate among friends, family, and neighbors – bring up the subject of shoes or no shoes in the house.  The Post-Covid landscape has elevated this discussion and for good reason.  This Blog is intended to calm the waters between people who wear shoes and those who do not wear shoes in the house.  We will consider the clean factor and foot biomechanics.

Let’s go Going Barefooting: 

There are several reasons for going barefoot in the house:

  • Cleanliness:  If you have white carpets and furniture then you know how much dirt and grime is brought into your house.  This is not limited just to shoes.  Hands, clothing, hair, and pets are also offenders of this problem.  Look at wall switches, the dryer lint trap, and the headrest of your chairs and loungers.  And that is just dirt. Once you consider germs and viruses your skin will crawl. Even if you are not a germaphobe you may start channeling Adrian Monk (ah, when television shows were good).  Shoes are wearable incubators. A warm moist environment will grow biological weapons. If you have a teenage boy in the family- You know!
  • Freedom:  Taking your shoes off after a long day is almost rewarding.  This pleasure ranks right up there with a long shower after a long run or ride, a biting cold glass of water on a hot day, or an afternoon nap after working in the garden all morning.  (These are a few of my favorite things 🎵🎵🎵). There is no way you could ever argue against this….UNLESS (more on this in a few paragraphs).
    Leibovitz Custom Orthotics

    HERE IT COMES… Hear me out

    There are times when going without shoes in the house is non-negotiable.  With loss of sensation or diminished vascular supply, the risks far outweigh any potential benefit.  People with neuropathy are a magnet to find any hidden sharp pointed objects.  The most common group of high-risk people would be diabetics.  Without the gift of pain, the foot can hide pins, needles, and shards of glass for weeks. A raging wound or infection can develop.  Without reasonable vascular supply, a small defect can progress to an infection. And this is the scenario for the horror stories that lead to hospitalization.  The risk-benefit ratio is extremely lopsided in this case.

    If you feel better without shoes, then you may be wearing the wrong shoes—appropriate size matters. A generalized “ache” may be from overuse. This means your biomechanics are not the greatest. Other specific issues like plantar fasciitis, Posterior Tibialis tendonitis, foot deformities, or insertional Achilles pain are common. It is easy to blame the shoe but you may be dealing with poor foot mechanics. The problems would be worse if you walked as many steps barefoot or in sandals as you do in your shoes. 

    Not all shoes are equal. Fashion and pretty are at the opposing ends of the shoe spectrum.  Slipping on a pair of Hoka or Altra shoes is like walking on a cloud. If you want to pamper someone, get them a pair of fleece slippers. 

    If our immune systems are intact we can survive most daily biological attacks. (Boomers survived eating dirt and playing with mercury.) One explanation for why there are so many sensitivities (peanuts, gluten, dairy, and pets) is the lack of exposure to common bacteria and fungi. So what doesn’t kill us will make us stronger may be accurate. 

    But some old habits are unsettling. Shaking hands before meals, eating birthday cake after someone blows out the candles, wearing the same shoe every day, and brushing your teeth with the same toothbrush should be looked at in a different light.  If you have a pet that goes outside – the game is over for contamination.

    A biomechanical “perfect” foot would do very well without a shoe or even running a marathon naked (no shoes).  Unfortunately, there are very few people that have perfect foot function.  Fortunately, that is great job security for podiatry.  We underestimate the number of steps that happen within your home.  There was a significant spike in foot problems (specifically heel pain) when the COVID shut down. People spent their time without shoes which meant they spent more time in my office.

    Let us Negotiate

    There is no question about how dirty contaminated shoes can be.  And there is no good reason to wear these shoes in the house.  There is also no reason why there cannot be a dedicated shoe for inside the house – a pair that never sees the light of day.  The same support and biomechanics that help you in outdoor shoes should be included for indoor shoes. 

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A Man Wearing Shoes Inside the House

    Get a Good Shoe. What Does That Mean??

    A shoe with a very strong heel counter area will limit mild pronation. This type of shoe will turbocharge an Orthotic. These are commonly used for plantar fasciitis, Posterior Tibialis tendonitis, and other foot deformities. Biomechanical control is needed outside or inside your house. If you wear Orthotics you may want to need a pair for your indoor shoes. (FYI, our Orthotics have an antibacterial and anti-fungal top covering.)


    To sweeten the deal.  A special offer awaits – a 30% discount on an additional pair of orthotics. They must be ordered within six months of the original pair. This cash-pay arrangement emphasizes quality care over insurance involvement. Our approach is holistic, letting the foot function the way it was intended. Comfortable footwear is the long-term health of one’s feet. 

    The appropriate shoes with orthotics provide an excellent alternative. We are offering a bridge between the comfort of being barefoot and the stability that shoes provide. Dr. L’s expertise extends beyond a one-size-fits-all approach. He recognizes the unique needs of each individual.


    Well, guests are on their own. Just have them remove their shoes, wash their hands, change their socks, and wear a trash bag and shower cap. And don’t let them near the birthday cake!

    Schedule an Appointment for Personalized Foot Care

    Are you convinced that your foot health deserves attention? Our office extends a personal invitation to schedule an appointment. Orthotics, specialized indoor shoes or slippers, or a combination of both help you. Our Doc is the person to talk with. Taking a proactive step could be the key to settling the great shoe debate in your household. 

    The appointment offers an opportunity for a personalized assessment. Our experienced team will tailor recommendations to suit your unique needs. The focus is on a healthy relationship between your feet and your choice of footwear. The shoes/no shoes are part of the fun.

    Navigating the Nuances for Happy, Healthy Feet

    The debate on wearing shoes in the house may never end. But understanding the pros and cons can guide you toward a better decision for comfort and foot health. In a world where individuality reigns supreme, the journey to happy, healthy feet is a personal one.

    Don’t hesitate and schedule an appointment today. Take the first step to settle the great shoe debate and ensure your feet’ ongoing well-being. Our practice extends beyond a mere choice of footwear. We want to provide a lifetime of comfortable, pain-free living. Your feet deserve the best. Make the choice that resonates with you and supports your unique biomechanics.