Maybe you kick off your shoes at home because you don't want to track dirt across clean carpets or floors, or maybe it's just a relief to shed them.

But if you regularly take them off because you're worried about harmful bacteria from the outside getting inside and making you sick, relax.

Those concerns are overblown, according to experts, who added that more pressing health risks are often overlooked.

What's on your soles?

Charles P. Gerba, a professor and microbiologist at the University of Arizona, studied how many and which kinds of bacteria linger on the bottom of shoes.

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Contaminated shoes are unlikely to make you sick

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Consider what the dog drags in

Dirt can be healthy. Really.

When should you take off your shoes?