I've only ever known one person who implemented such a rule every day. (Not just for muddy shoes.) Its certainly never been my policy.
And after playing the idea around in my head for awhile, I concluded that it will most likely never be my policy. Here's why shoes will always be welcome and encouraged in my home...
I came up with several reasons why barefoot was a bad idea. And only one good reason to ban shoes. Obviously, clean floors was the only good reason.
And here are 7 reasons why a no-shoe policy is just not awesome for me:
1. We Have Black Floors
Black floors are so gorgeous and sleek. Except when they show every speck of microdust and every shoe print.
That might sound like a good reason to forbid outside shoes. But here is what I have learned about having those sexy black floors:
Not everything shows up!
While dust might show up, there are certain things that are instantly camouflaged the moment they fall to the floor. Obviously, anything black disappears. So do reflective, shiny objects...like screws.
I once lost a black upholstery tack, then found it the hard way. That's reason enough to wear shoes.
You know what shows up on black, glossy floors? Sweaty footprints. No matter how clean those feet are, they leave the same natural print that hands do when applied to glass.
And for me, those little smudgy paths of foggy footprints are a lot grosser looking than some dusty shoe prints.
2. I Don't Like Stepping on Stuff
Maybe I am just a really bad housekeeper, but no matter how often I clean the floor, there is always stuff down there.
Maybe it's crumbs, maybe its a toy, maybe its a spot where I didn't notice some mystery liquid.
I don't care what it is, I don't wanna step in it. (especially if I have to wonder what it is.)
3. Its Not Healthy for My Husband
My husband is diabetic. Not wearing shoes could lead to a foot injury. Whereas a splinter, a cut, or a stubbed toe could be minor for me, it could be bad news for him.
Am I going to risk a possible infection (or worse), just so my floor will seem cleaner longer? No.
4. Stubbed Toes Aren't Always Minor Even For Me
6 weeks ago, my husband woke me up to ask if I knew where the kids had hidden his boots. I didn't put my glasses on, and I didn't see his black (steel-toed) boot before I tripped over it.
I'll spare you the graphic description, but lets just say a toe broke, and a nail was completely driven backwards and through the skin.
That's the third time in my life that I've broken a toe while not wearing shoes. If I was ranking this list in order, broken toes would be the number one argument against bare feet.
5. I Feel Naked Without Shoes
Even without injuries, not wearing shoes makes me uncomfortable. There is a nagging feeling that I am not "ready".
Getting up and putting my shoes on makes me feel put together. As soon as I get up, I put on jeans and shoes...I don't lounge.
The result is that I feel motivated and ready for whatever comes my way. As soon as my feet hit the floor, I am ready to start working.
If I don't put shoes on right away, I feel half-dressed and distracted.
6. I Don't Like Other People's Feet Touching My Stuff
I know a lot of people ask visitors to remove their shoes so they don't track in grime or germs. But I am absolutely not comfortable with that.
I can vouch for the cleanliness of my feet. But how can I be sure what funk our guests might be spreading across the floors, rugs and mats? And when people aren't wearing shoes, they feel free to put their feet on the furniture too.
Because that thought bothers the crap out of me, I would just be cleaning and sanitizing anything touched by someone else's feet after they went home.
Which is probably more work than just sweeping up some muddy shoe prints.
7. It Just Isn't Practical For Me
When I was growing up, we lived on a farm. At any moment, there could be an outdoor emergency that needed our attention. We also went in and out of the house dozens of times per day while doing chores and regular tasks.
It would have been incredibly impractical to take shoes off and put shoes on that often. We lived (and live) in an area infested with three varieties of venomous snakes. We saw plenty. My sister was bitten by one.
Barefoot outside was not an option. Quickie shoes, like flip-flops (which I detest anyhow) were not very smart either.
I still go in and out of the house dozens of times per day. I might take out trash, get a tool from the shop or check the mail. I like to get out of the door as fast as possible while the girls are distracted (otherwise...hysterics).
If we play outside or garden, we come in whenever we want for drinks or snacks or potty breaks. I don't want to spend that much time putting shoes off and on everyone.
Here are two great reasons for not going outside barefoot in my yard:
1.) Pygmy rattlesnakes. ('nuff said.)
2.) Goat head stickers. ( also known as puncture vine for a good reason. They have a horrid thorn ball that can pierce sneakers and leave welts where it punctures your skin. I have millions of these stickers.)
I give some more reasons for keeping shoes on during storm season too, in this tornado prep post.
Please Leave Your Shoes On In My House. I Do.
I'm pretty resolved to the idea of just cleaning floors as often as needed. I don't have the time or motivation to change my shoes every time I go in or out the door.
However, I do believe in having more than one pair of everyday shoes so that really muddy shoes can be left on the porch.
In fact, I love having a few pairs of sneakers I can swap around, and I am always on the hunt for BOGO deals or discounts on shoes.
So please, don't take your shoes off unless they are really muddy or you've stepped in something foul. Don't feel bad about tracking dirt or grass in, I will gladly clean it up.
As for the Kids?
I would like to note that I never require my kids to wear shoes all the time in the house. (Unless we are under a severe weather alert.)
They know about stubbed toes and stuff, so they make their own choices about footwear.
Besides, like all good moms, I use the color of my children's feet as a gauge for when the floors need to be mopped.
Uh...everyone does do that right?