It completely depends on region and culture. Most American leave their shoes on because the road are relatively neat and clean and their shoes are not getting dirty when they are in outside of the house. But again it varies from house to house.
The matter, taking shoes off before entering home has different opinions. Some prefer going barefoot in the house, while in some houses, they like wearing shoes. Here are some facts and reasons why Americans do so:
Why do Americans wear shoes indoors?
The USA is in the part of the world where the roads are very cleaner than some other countries. As the country has mainly a service-based economy, their roads have less dirt and mud on them. This helps the people to keep their shoes neat and that’s why they can wear shoes in the house without worrying about the dirtiness.
Less dust production:
Compared to other countries, the USA doesn’t produce excessive road dust. They have a good road management system. Moreover, the country has a low density of people in some areas, which means less dust production. This is why New York has more dust outside than some other cities. If you aren’t a New Yorker, presumably you’re more likely to wear shoes at home.
We’ve seen in various TV shows and movies that Americans have different flooring than ours. They’re basically shiny hardwoods and marbles which are easy to clean. So even if you’re wearing dirty shoes, not to worry, the floors are just one swipe of vacuuming away from being clean.
Tradition and culture:
In most states of the USA, people prefer wearing shoes inside the same way they do it outside. But due to the mix of various cultures in America, it’s getting confusing day by day. If you’re a guest simply ask the host if they would mind if you aren’t wearing shoes. This is because some people wouldn’t like the smell of your feet in the room.
As a fellow American, if you have work as well as some errands to run in a day, it’s better not to take off and put on shoes again and again. If it’s a busy day, most of the Americans keep their shoes on until they’re finally home and done for the day. It saves a lot of time and energy.
Heavy Household Chores:
If you have a busy day at home for all the heavy household chores on the holidays, it’s safer to wear a pair of shoes that will help you do your tasks better. Indoor gym, dishes, cleaning the whole house, laundry, cooking- these are some activities, where you need to use your feet more than you think. So wearing shoes indoors reduces the chance of getting hurt.
Why Asians take off shoes in their house?
The first thing Asians do before entering the house is, take off their shoes. Here’s why:
Almost every Asian house has a small space near the door, where they leave their outdoor shoes and switch to slippers before stepping into the home. This symbolizes the fact that they’re entering into a private space.
In several Asian cultures, feet are considered the dirtiest part of the body as they’re close to the ground. Plus, the feet are distant from the spirit as well, as per their belief. Hence, they like to take off their dirty footwear before entering the house, temples, etc.
Asians are very hygiene concerned. This is because Asian countries are warmer than European or Western countries and bacteria tend to grow more in that environment. So wearing bacteria-filled shoes inside is an absolute NO. Also, as per their lifestyle, Asians prefer to eat, sleep, and sit on the floor which is why the floor needs to be clean all the time.
Asians are best at maintaining good, healthy habits. As per their culture and tradition, going barefoot on a smooth surface is beneficial for your health. Going barefoot allows the pressure to spread out evenly so there is no pressure point or pain.
What happens if you never take off your shoes?
Never taking your shoes off is not good for your health. It is possibly the worst thing you can do to your feet. Just like our other parts of the body, feet need to breathe too. Wearing shoes for too long doesn’t let the skin breathe and causes more bacteria, fungus to grow. You can get smelly feet or even severe fungal infections because of wearing shoes all the time. Plus, you’re getting the benefits of better running/walking motion, reduced pain, and soreness, and improved balance for staying barefoot sometimes. Therefore, don’t even think about wearing shoes all the time.
By now we all know America is a mixed pot of culture. Because of various cultures and traditions, in some houses, Americans now take their shoes off before entering. For those who wear shoes in the house, I’ve mentioned why. Whether you’re American or non-American, make sure you’re respecting the tradition and then you can decide for yourself if you want to wear shoes at home or not.