In the health conscience Northwest, many of us ask our guests to remove their shoes when entering the house. The last thing most of us want is for people to track in allergens, pesticides, petroleum products, and bacteria of all sorts including C Difficile which can cause gastrointestinal problems. Parents with babies who are crawling have even more reason for concern since the risk of exposure for them is much higher and also can have a greater effect on their health.

However, asking friends and family to remove their shoes before coming into your home can present a problem from a foot health standpoint. Here are some examples.


People with diabetes should never go barefoot in any environment. The risk of stepping on an object and creating a bruise or open cut can go unnoticed and can lead to ulcer formation which can be difficult to heal. Also people with diabetes often have diabetic neuropathy where feeling their feet on the ground can be difficult. Going without shoes can make a fall more likely.

Plantar Fasciitis

Friends and family who have heel pain or plantar fasciitis should also refrain from going barefoot. As a Seattle podiatrist I always tell my patients that have this condition to be sure to wear a supportive sandal to prevent their plantar fascia from getting re-injured.

Fall Prevention in Older Adults

Even if you don't have diabetic neuropathy if you're an older adult and have a fear of falling or have already fallen going barefoot is also contraindicated.

Some solutions to this thorny problem can include:

  • advise guests ahead of time that you have a no shoes policy. That way they can bring their own slippers or other shoes that they only wear inside.
  • providing slippers with some tread to people who come to your home. Be sure to provide clean sock as well. Guests who have toenail fungus could pass this along to others if they're feet aren't covered inside the slippers.
  • provide a clean and safe environment inside your house. If guests opt to go barefoot the last thing you'd want to happen is for them to injure themselves on a tack or other object on the floor.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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