Almost all Cut-Pile (Plush or Saxony) Rugs or Carpets will show vacuum tracks and footprints. It is the inherent nature of this type of rug. This style of rug has fiber bundles that almost stand straight up, and you essentially walk on the tops of the twisted bundles. Cut-Pile rugs in solid colors will tend to show more than a multi-color, but they all will show to some extent. I am always mindful of this when I consult with a client, and I will generally ask them if tracks and footprints bother them. If it does, I will show them another style of rug or carpet.
Texture styles are a little better as each fiber bundle has a kink in the pile that makes it less likely to show, but even this style will still show some marks, mostly in solid colors. If you absolutely hate vacuum marks, choose a different style of Rug. Available in solid and some multi-colors.
Cut-Berber, or Frise a modern (and shorter) cousin to Shag, is great choice due to the fact that the fiber bundles lay over to the side. As you walk on the sides of the fiber bundles instead of the tops of the bundles, these will hardly show vacuum and traffic marks at all. If they begin to flatten in traffic areas, a regular vacuuming will spring the fibers back to life. This style of rug is available in solid and multi-colors.
High-low (Sculptured or cut-and-loop) style rug or carpet was the most popular style from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. The construction of these rugs leaves trails or patterns of looped carpet throughout the cut-pile. This style of rug (or carpet) usually comes in multi-colors. Although this style of carpet does not usually show vacuum trails and foot prints, it is no longer in vogue. Therefor the choices are quite narrow for this style. Over the past few years, most of my clients that choose this style, will choose it for a rental property.
Berber is a looped style rug or carpet. Since the construction of this style of rug is all loops in continuous lines, there is very little chance that it will show vacuum marks and footprints. Looped style rugs and carpets are generally favored in high-traffic areas and no matter what fiber they are made from, they will generally clean very easy. The only fallibility of continuous loops is their tendency to run (like panty-hose) if a loop gets snagged and a pet or the vacuum pulls on it. If your Berber rug gets a snag, be sure to trim it even to the pile or apply some latex adhesive and glue the loop back into place. If you buy a rug with low and tight loops, you will have less trouble with snags.
Although cut-pile rugs and carpets will show vacuum tracks and footprints, they reflect light in such a manner as to give the flooring a very luxurious effect. You can recognize a true plush by the frosted sheen across the tops of the fibers. This luxurious look comes at the cost of footprints and vacuum trails. Most affordable area rugs are machine-made, cut-pile or Plush style. You can decrease the appearance of vacuum trails and footprints by choosing a patterned or multi-color rug. Most high-end rugs are hand-made. Hand-woven rugs will show less trails than hand-knotted rugs. Since the average person usually buys a machine-made rug, I will leave off the virtues of hand-made rugs for another occasion.
Choosing your rug by Style rather than just color and pattern can assure that you will minimize the appearance of vacuum trails and footprints. However, this minor inconvenience is a small price to pay for the luxury and beauty of a true Saxony area rug.