Shoes or no shoes -- for heaven's sake, BE NICE about it!
Two strings currently going on have stirred up some very strong emotions about shoes in the house.
I still believe that there is no "right" answer -- people simply disagree, and there are good points on both sides.
What is alarming is the hostile tone in some of the posts, like this one about the pine floor: "I would have had no compunction about telling her to take the shoes off or march her high heel hooves right out of the house. Relationships can be mended easily, floor can't."
I'm sorry, I can certainly respect someone's having a no-shoe policy, and I will not say that such a person values possessions over people. But to say something that nasty to anyone -- let alone a guest in your home -- that I cannot respect. I also think that besides its being a no-win argument, it isn't right to address the issue by telling your guests that they are WRONG about shoes in the house and that THEY are rude if they don't automatically remove them before entering yours.
Several other posters suggested tactful and kind ways to protect the floor in the case of the guest with the spike heels. I am sure that the same principle can be applied to ASK all your guests to remove their shoes if that is your policy.
How do insults or arguments protect the floor -- let alone the relationship -- better than courtesy?