Removing shoes upon entering.

pathfinderaraDecember 30, 2007

I know this topic has been heavily discussed before, but Im wondering how common it is to remove shoes upon entering houses? IÂm also wondering how many request shoes be removed upon entering their house. I like the concept of removing shoes because it definitely separates outside from inside, and also creates a more relaxed atmosphere. IÂm looking forward to see how people feel.

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Well you opened a can of worms!! LOL!
If it's wet and my shoes are wet...I will kick my shoes off at the door....usually. I don't expect others to do that though...but if it's wet, most people do.
In dry weather of course not!
And I wopuld never consider having a party of any sort and asking people to remove their shoes....and if someone asked me to in their house, I wouldn't be returning!
But....what puzzles me is teenagers! I had a housefull over Christmas and as soon as they come in, they take off their shoes....and there is this huge pile of shoes by the door! I sure didn't ask them to.....why do they do that?? Just for copmfortable??
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 30, 2007 at 11:58PM
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I *HATE IT* when I am asked to remove my shoes at someone's door!!! I just went to a holiday "open house" and was asked to remove my shoes. I wasn't happy, considering that the hostess had been to my house twice before and she certainly didn't remove (or suggest to remove) her shoes while there!

One thing that these people don't consider: some of us have medical problems that are aggravated by cold feet. I am one of them, and I was VERY uncomfortable the entire time I was there. I won't go back, and I won't ever invite her to my house again. She obviously cares more about her floors than me, and, BTW, she has completely ordinary floors.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 11:48AM
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Wow! I have a sign in my entrance that reads "Please remove shoes here. Thank you." I hate it when people come right in with their shoes... tracking in sand, snow, etc. Especially if I just cleaned them. It's hard enough for me to keep them clean since I have rheumatoid arthritis. You think they'd understand that! I automatically remove my shoes in other people's homes and bring along "indoor" shoes.

Who likes to clean their floors all the time? You just end up tracking the dirt all over the house!

One thing that these people don't consider: some of us have medical problems that are aggravated by cold feet.

Bring along a pair of slippers or other "indoor" shoes. Most of the people I know do this.

IMO, it's just a matter of respect to remove your shoes when you come into someone's house.

I can't understand my MIL in this matter. She'll come right into my house... up the stairs, down the hallway, into the kitchen.. with her shoes on... tracking mud (wet soil when it's raining) or snow. Then she'll say "Oops! I made a mess on your floor. Sorry!". DH gets pissed off at that too. He always tells me, "Why does she always do that in my house? When you're in hers, she tells you to take yours off!".

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 4:23PM
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I think if as a hostess someone is so concerned with their floor that they need to have guests remove their shoes then they should not entertain.

I hate being asked to remove my shoes. For one if they have hardwood floors and are slick you can fall in your socks.

It's one thing to have kids running thru and you have them take their shoes off. But, asking adults to is ridiculous in my opinion.

It snowed and was muddy at my holiday party. People wiped their feet at the door. Then came in and stood on another rug. I didn't even think about them taking their shoes off.

This is a conversation that goes on and on on here. I personally think it makes guests feel uncomfortable to remove shoes.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 4:56PM
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Party -
My pet peeve - people who insist you take off your shoes, but DON'T bother when they visit YOUR house! Grrr.

I dont' ask people to take off shoes, no way.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:45PM
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I should qualify - At the vacation house, everyone knows better, it's surrounded by sand - even there, I wouldn't ask an adult, but would ask a child to remove shoes.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 5:59PM
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Well I remember a relative's lake home....with lovely polished wood floors, surrounded by sand. She preferred people remove their shoes...but at the lake the well as I, were barefoot most of the any sand came in between my toes!! But I swept twice a day when I was there...just took a minute.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 7:06PM
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The only time I have removed my shoes is when they were covered in mud, or when a friend had just had her floors refinished.

I would never ask anyone to remove their shoes unless they were very muddy.

And I've had the same thing happen with teenagers--they automatically leave their shoes at the door--and I worry about them slipping in socks!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 8:43PM
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I would never, ever, ever ask a guest to remove their shoes in my home. Most people do when the weather is bad, most bring another pair of shoes or slippers however if they don't then, so be it, I can wash a floor or a carpet if I need to. By the way, in 40 years of entertaining people in my own home, I never recall an incident where shoes were an wine ...yes!

Certainly for a party I would never expect shoes to be removed, a "little black dress" and fuzzy slippers or nylon feet is not my idea of "dressed up".

Kids automatically kick off their shoes 'cause that's what they do at home. Meredith and her friends just do it by rote. Have no idea how they figure it all out at the end of an evening of partying! LOL

PS: Wonder when the "footies" will chime in !!!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 3:20PM
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My sister-in-law insists that we remove our shoes. However when she has girlfriends over she doesnot ask the same from them. My whole family always feels offended. Can you imagine dressy outfit and bare feet or sucks? What's funny is that she never removes her shoes in my mom's house.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 6:48PM
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For some reason I dont' like to see men in socks. Yucky. Don't know why.

For the record, bare feet are more destructive than shoes.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 3:23AM
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I never ask folks to remove their shoes -- it simply an option during bad weather. I did know a very nice hostess who kept a basket full of disposable slippers by the front door during parties in case of bad weather. And always invest in a good doormat outside the door AND inside too!

I can HIGHLY recommend Woolite Oxydeep Carpet spray -- it is GREAT! Always use plain white paper towels -- pick up any obvious mess, then spray, and blot carefully. After the party vaccum well ......

And I have four cats .....

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 7:47PM
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Someone posted that bare feet are more destructive than shoes. Can someone explain that, I don't see how? Shoes track in mud, snow, dirt, sand, lead (yes, lead), pollen and miscellaneous other pollutants. What harm can bare feet do to floors unless the feet in question are really filthy (then wear socks!). And I still don't think it could be as destructive as sand on wood floors.

We live in Maine, home to snow and gravel driveways. We NEVER wear shoes in our own house and remove our shoes at most friends houses. Our frequent guests (close family, close friends) always remove their shoes at our house, some bring slippers.

We had a big party at our house yesterday that included many people who have never been to our new house. I didn't want to ask people to remove their shoes, DH did. I put a good scrubbing rug outside the door and another large rug inside, hoping people would take the hint to wipe their feet really, really well. I ended up being a very snowy day. The first people to arrive were DH's mother (who put on house shoes) and DH's sister and nephew who removed their shoes. I guess everyone else saw the shoes and followed suit. One aunt asked for thicker socks and one neighbor kept his boots on. I was glad it worked out that way - that people did it without us asking.

I know some people don't understand what happens when you wear shoes in the house here. Many people have gravel or pebble driveways. And paved ones get salted and sanded during the winter. If I even step into the kitchen with shoes on (or DH does) I can see a footprint of sand. And it gets caught in the shoe treads and ruins the floors. We know someone whose house is only 5 years old and they have bare wood (no poly) on their floor in some places from the grit their kids track in.

We have a tiled mudroom and then wood floors everywhere else. There is a white and green check rug in the kitchen and a Karastan in the foyer.

If you want people to remove their shoes and don't want to ask then just leave a neat row of shoes at the door. It may work.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 8:26PM
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I live in Iowa....I really can't believe there is a difference in tracked in dirt between Maine and Iowa.
If you don't have hard surfaces leading up to your door, you will likely find a lot of sand and mud on people's shoes, but if you live where you have a hard surface between the gravel and your carpet or flooring, I can't see that there is a real problem.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 12:45AM
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I have asked several professional carpet cleaners and carpet sellers about shoes vs no shoes, and ALL of them have said that for the most part, the dirt you see on carpets comes from things other than shoes.

People who insist that people take off their shoes are also going to be more conservative about food on carpet, will not have pets, won't put newspaper on the carpet, etc...

Oils in your feet (yuck) are more destructive than a typical shoe in the house. Of course, a sock would solve that....

I still don't ask people to take off their shoes, just as I wouldn't tell a guest to take their food back into the kitchen. Unless of course they were under 18.

I live in Washington where the rain is pretty crazy, and most people take off their shoes automatically - unless there's a party. Then, my rule of thumb is to copy the hostess. In my home, I keep my shoes on to let people know they can feel comfortable either way. Most people take them off anyway.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 12:25PM
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A lot of you mention shoes in the house when there is a party. I get that part... it is a party! But the original question was about removing shoes upon entering a house.... no mention of a party.

When you enter someone's house, do you just walk right in or do you take your shoes off? Do you ask or want others to do the same? Whether you're staying for 30 minutes, an hour or two! lol

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 12:38PM
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I don't know of a single soul who takes their shoes off when going into a house - theirs or anyone elses. We have paved driveways and sidewalks, very little snow, not even much rain here lately, and a really temperate climate, so that may be why. I'm in beautiful Mississippi, BTW.

I will say that my husband suffers from a muscle disease and wears braces on his feet and up to the knees. Good sturdy shoes are a must for him. The braces don't show and the shoes, while well chosen, are not orthopedic shoes, so usually no one except good friends and family knows he has a problem. If he were asked to take his shoes off before going into a house, he would simply leave and not come back.

On the other hand, if I went to someone's house and they wanted me to take my shoes off at the door, I wouldn't have a problem with it. BUT - you better bet your bippie that they would do the same before coming into mine. Turnabout is fair play. And no, I don't ask people to take their shoes off at my house. Although, by the time we relax in the living room, most shoes are off and feet kicked up on the table or curled under them for a nice long visit. To me, shoes off and feet kicked up are a complement. That means people can relax at my house.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 2:07PM
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I do a lot of 30 minute visits for church and neighborhood - I always look at the feet of whomever opens the door and follow suit, unless my shoes are wet.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 2:09PM
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Why would you expect people to take their shoes off at your house if you don't? That doesn't make sense to me. I can see you expecting them to remove them if you remove them, but it is pretty silly to expect guests to treat your home with more care than you do.

And who are these people with "oily" feet, ruining rugs? I've seen a lot of bare feet and have yet to see one that was oily.

I also find it hard to believe that "for the most part, the dirt you see on carpets comes from things other than shoes". My father has an unusual house with living areas upstairs and bedrooms downstairs. As a result, there are stairs right as you come in, and people usually go right up as they come in from outside. The rug on the stairs is always trashed long before anywhere else, including under the dining room table. I used to own a townhouse and it was the same way. Carpet upstairs was impeccable, stairs were a mess.

Maybe we notice the dirt more because we have hardwood floors, you can actually SEE the dirt. With carpet, grit and sand falls deep into it.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 2:25PM
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Why would you expect people to take their shoes off at your house if you don't? That doesn't make sense to me. I can see you expecting them to remove them if you remove them, but it is pretty silly to expect guests to treat your home with more care than you do.

I think you may have misunderstood. What I'm saying is, don't expect me to treat your house with kid gloves and then you come in and trash mine. If someone expects me to take my shoes off at their house (as the MIL of the poster above), then they should take theirs off at my house (again, see MIL of poster above). I actually don't expect anyone to take their shoes off at my house, just like I don't expect to take mine off at anyone elses, but if they do, then they should treat my home as well as they treat theirs.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 3:17PM
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I'm sorry, I did misunderstand.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 4:02PM
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"I'm sorry, I did misunderstand."

Not a problem. Upon rereading my post, I wasn't really clear. I think I confused myself!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 5:28PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I understood what you said mandy because I'm the same way. I think it's quite different in the South too.
I'm sorry about your husband. I hope he's ok for a very long time.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 7:05PM
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The answer can't depend on whether it is "better" to have shoes indoors or not -- obviously, there is no agreement on that point. Rather, it seems to me that the best approach to this question is to follow the rules for hospitality generally: think of your guests' comfort, not your possessions or ease in cleaning.

In other words: whatever the relative objective merits of shoes and bare feet are, the convention in the U.S. is to keep shoes on, and that is what people will expect; therefore, unless your friends all agree that shoes don't belong indoors, I don't think that it is hospitable to invite people and then unexpectedly demand that they remove their shoes. Someone may have a hole in his/her sock. I would not like to dress up nicely for a party and then be told to take off my shoes; I am short, so ALL of my nice outfits require heels.

I don't expect people to take their shoes off when they come here, and I don't care, either -- but then, we have very little carpet (just on the stairs and upstairs hall and on 2 bedrooms upstairs). I didn't care when I had a home with carpet, either, though. I was a much happier hostess once I learned not to worry too much about my floors, tablecloths, glassware, etc.

On a snowy, messy day like today was, I take off my own shoes and try to get my family to do so, too. I find that most guests either just take off their shoes upon entering or ask about it when the weather is bad. Today my friend came over and took off her shoes -- I gave her a pair of slippers, because I remembered what I had read above. (I have to admit I was glad she had taken off her shoes -- the cleaners had JUST left.) Like an earlier poster, I also notice that my daughter's teenage friends seem to remove their shoes automatically and leave a small mountain by the door.

I certainly don't mind if people WANT to take off their shoes, though. I, too, consider it a compliment that they feel at home here. I like to go without shoes, too.

If people want to entertain at home, then IMO they should either just figure on cleaning their floors after the party or not invest in pale carpets. Otherwise, just do your entertaining outdoors or at a restaurant.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 10:51PM
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I agree with those that say it's ungracious to impose a no shoes rule on your guests.

During winter, almost everyone is in the habit of removing their snowy shoes (or giving them a very good stomp and wipe) before coming in. If someone doesn't take off their shoes I let it be--maybe they need their orthotics or have another reason that isn't my business.

If you live where the weather is messy and don't want it in the house, you should set up an entry that gives people a place to sit and remove their shoes in comfort, and make sure none of them have to go barefoot!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 1:40AM
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I kick my shoes off at the door out of habit, I dont like wearing shoes inside, just for comfort sake.

I have noticed that all the kids do remove their shoes. One kid leaves his shoes right in front of my front door and if I go to take my dog out after he comes over, I usually trip on his shoes. Gets me every time! You'd think I would learn.

I know of a lady who is from India and I believe it's her custom or a religious thing that they always remove their shoes and they ask others to do the same when entering her home.

Anyone know anything about that? I find it interesting.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 8:55AM
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I also find it fascinating that people of certain religions remove their shoes upon entering homes and their houses of worship, its quite interesting the way it works. I have been to a mosque, and everybody is required to remove their shoes upon entering, there were piles of shoes just outside of the entrance even nice dress shoes. Even at their homes, everybody is required to remove even if they have 50-75 guests, a lot of shoes are by the entrance.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 12:50AM
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I was taught that when your in someone elses home you respect their rules. You do not need to remove your shoes at my house unless it is snowing. I have no problem removing my shoes at anyones house. My grandmather always carries footie slippers in her purse. That is a good idea for those who dont like cold feet.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 9:17AM
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Anyone remember a show, Sex and the City...... Carrie had to remove her very expensive shoes at the door of a house party and when she went to leave later on, someone had stolen her shoes! haha!!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 12:06PM
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Pre-internet, I had no clue that some homes were 'shoeless' spaces. (Well, with the obvious exception of Oriental cultures, of course.) I'm older than dirt, and I have never in my entire life been asked to remove my shoes before entering a home. If a host did so, I'd acquiesce, of course. But the chances that I'd ever accept another invitation are so slim as to be negligible.

Surely this is some weird regional thing? If it works for you and all your neighbors and friends, I guess it's fine. Personally, I would be beyond offended........

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 8:15PM
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Why would you be offended if you were asked to remove your shoes? It isn't a judgement against you. If the person asked only you to remove your shoes and not other guests I could see why you would be offended. But it isn't about you.

We don't wear shoes in the house because we have a gravel driveway and no amount of wiping removes all the grit from shoes. We also like that it helps to keep contaminants out of the home. Lead, allergens, general filth from sidewalks and public restrooms, etc.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 9:54PM
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Why would I be offended? Because I am not a 'contaminent'. I'm a GUEST!!

I didn't click on your link about what shoes track in because I'm not interested. My home is a space where friends and family gather, where good food is served, where conversation is lively, where memories are made. You keep your carpets clean, but I prefer to concentrate on the joy that people bring into my life. Yeah, they're messy sometimes. So??

    Bookmark   January 7, 2008 at 10:10PM
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I lived 15+ years in New Hampshire & it was customary for people to remove their shoes when entering the house for the same reasons sue36 has mentioned. I'm always either barefoot or in socks even if I anticipate visitors. I've also always removed my shoes when entering somebody else's home. For me, it's really pretty simple, either take me shoeless or don't invite me to your home or come to mine. Easy. It's a medical thing & I'm not going to be miserable because somebody has a "no shoe" phobia. Since it seems to be tradition in New England to remove works well for me. Not sure I've ever seen a New England doorway that wasn't piled with shoes! lol

Here in CT, people also remove their shoes. Even repairmen take their shoes off before entering. Some wear little blue paper slippers over their socks & some just wear socks. Oh, delivery men/woman also remove their shoes when deliving stuff like furniture or appliances. Heck, I use Peapod for grocery delivery & they remove their shoes, as well. For what it's worth, this part of New England also has mostly gravel driveways/walkways & dirt/gravel sticks in shoe soles badly.

According to my garden journal, we had over 58" of precipitation from Dec. 1, 2006 through November 30, 2007. It's frequently wet/muddy here. I know it would be impossible for me to keep up with the cleaning if people wore shoes in the house. It just isn't a 'thing' here...nobody has to ask. People just automatically remove their shoes.

For home entertaining, people here are for the most part casual &, yes, they remove their shoes. About the only exception I can think of is a summer BBQ when folks are wearing sandles. People do wear sandles in the house, including me. But now that I'm thinking about it...even at our marina there's always a big pile of shoes outside the clubhouse entrance. So a lot of people here must also remove sandles. Of course, keeping the floors nice is in our best interest since if people track mud/dirt onto the floors...we'll have to pay to clean it up! We own our docks/buildings (dockominium). Thinking further here now...I'd also NEVER board a boat for dinner or even just a quick visit without removing my shoes & leaving them on the dock & would be quite peeved if somebody boarded our boat with their shoes! Now, if you're leaving the dock that's another matter entirely...then people MUST be wearing boat shoes or they stay at the dock.

Real estate Open Houses here also require you to remove your shoes & put on those little blue booties if you don't want to be barefoot. And you can't look at a new boat without removing your shoes...even at the boat shows...always piles of shoes on the docks at the in-the-water shows. Shoes are messy.

Wow, seems like there's lots of "shoe rules" we just do without thinking much about them.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:29AM
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But your shoes (well, actually what they bring into a house)are a contaminant, as are the shoes of everyone else.

I don't have carpets. All tile, hardwood and some rugs. We prefer to not walk in our stocking or bare feet on whatever gets stepped in on sidewalks (dog pee, spit, remnants of trash). If you ever have small children in your house they are exposed to toxins and lead that is tracked in on shoes. Think about it - babies and toddlers touch their hands to a floor and then put their hands in their mouth - ingesting lead.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 11:34AM
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As someone who has lived in New England states most of her live I can assure you removing your shoes at the door is not a tradition, regular occurrence, etc. Even ones with gravel driveways, as we have. I would never be so rude as to make guests feel uncomfortable in my home (My 80 year old mother would tan my hide if she ever heard me do such a thing). Guests wipe their feet on the mats that are provided at the door, both outside the door and inside the door. When it has snowed they are usually wearing snowboots and take them off if they choose and put on their shoes they bring with them. That is just common sense to do. As I've said before, I have a broom, vac, and a mop and I know how to use them. I'm not that lazy that I can't clean up any dirt that family or friends bring in. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 12:45PM
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Amen Nancy Louise!

I live in Canada.....we know from snow and crap.

In the bad weather people wear snow boots and bring shoes. In the good weather some kick off their shoes some don't, most do. I always take a pair of slippers or a pair of dress shoes with me when visiting another's home. I do not go barefoot, or with stocking feet. That would make me feel uncomfortable and a guest should never have to feel uncomfortable.

The point is do you "request" that people remove their shoes.

I do not, would not. Most people that I invite into my correct that.... everyone I invite into my home knows how to manage this issue and I would never, ever, embarrass anyone with such a banal (maybe banal without the b" request.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 1:52PM
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I'm sorry but those of you who say that you would be horribly offended if you were asked to remove your shoes and you would never go back to that person's house are, in my opinion, lacking respect for that person and sound a little selfish. It's not a matter of being lazy. It could be because that person has health issues of her own and CANNOT spend the time and energy it takes to clean her floors several times a week. I'm not talking when there's a party. That's another thing... you know that you will have cleaning to do afterwards. But if you have people dropping by every day for coffee and chit chat, you don't want to be washing your floors all the time! Sweeping every day is no problem, but washing them because of the mud or having to take the mop out to clean up all the water that's left behind after they've walked all over the house... why? The dirst is tracked all over the house. It's like vaccuming the rugs and not sweeping the floors. The dirt on the floors is tracked onto the rugs!! Duh!

I also have to say that I am VERY surprised at all your opinions. All my life, 99% of the people I know automatically remove their shoes when entering someone's home out of RESPECT.

I might live in the country, but when I lived in the big city in a condo, visitors automatically removed their shoes. No one was ever asked. It was just a matter of respect!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 3:15PM
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Yes, I agree with you. I don't ask people to take off their shoes...they just do it automatically here. So, when in the saying goes.

And you're correct also in that I can't be mopping my floors several times a week. I'm not lazy. I'm handicapped.

I also agree with chase in that people just know how to handle this issue. In the areas of New England where I've lived (Manchester, NH & Mystic, CT), people take off their shoes. I've never asked anybody to do so...don't have to. There are no shoe police.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 3:26PM
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Your comments concerning removing your shoes on boats was quite interesting, Id be interested in learning more. Have you been to boats for dinner parties where people were dressed nicely and still removed shoes upon getting on? I hope you dont mind me asking, Im just curious.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 4:35PM
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I'd rather clean dirt that is visible than have to guess what and where bacteria is lurking.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2008 at 4:36PM
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I have lived in CT all my life. I have never asked anyone to remove their shoes upon entering my home. In the bad weather most everyone does on their own. I would remove my shoes entering someones house if snow/mud etc without being asked. But I will say we recently went to a party where everyone was asked to remove their shoes and it was a first for almost everyone there. So I guess it must be a regional thing not necessarily New England. I could certainly see some people were offended and some had difficulty getting their shoes back on as there was no place to sit at entrance. I do think if you are asking people to remove shoes then provide a place to sit.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 2:00PM
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Also wondering...
If you do have a lake home, or a shore place or a pool and entertain inside and out in the you provide shoes by the door for wearing inside, so all those outside contaminated feet don't drag any remnants of sea gull poop or beach sand or bits of worm droppings into the house? or do you simply provide a mat by the door for foot wiping?
And these shoes that are so covered with contaminates....especially the ones with the high heels and the nice leather that you might wear to a you then take those filthy things home and put them in your closet with your freshly laundered clothes?
Just wondering....

    Bookmark   January 9, 2008 at 3:54PM
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I really dont care if someone request shoes off but I NEVER ask for that to be done in my home...i would hope that if we were having a snowstorm or rain storm the guest would have common sense to kick'em off. When my landscaper comes (we know each other very well) he will come in for water or the bathroom but he will take off his boots

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 9:04AM
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No one has mentioned it yet but some of the trend one way or the other may be socio-economic. I find that the more expensive the home and the more educated the inhabitants the more likely it is that shoes are not worn in the house. You might call this Blue-Collar vs. White Collar Of course there will be exceptions but I am a keen observer of people and over time I have noticed that the Blue-Collar folks tend to be less likely to wash hands after using a public restroom, more likely to do repugnant things like spit, chew or smoke tobacco and of course more likely to march through a house with their shoes on.

Now before anyone screams at me, I have Blue-Collar people in my family and like I said there are exceptions to my generalization but I find that those with more education tend to be aware of the toxins and contaminants that come into a house on shoes and they are more aware of health issues in general.

For instance they cough or sneeze into their upper sleeve instead of their hand if they can't wash or sanitize their hand, they don't touch door handles, gas pumps, keyboards/mice or phones without a barrier napkin or an ability to clean the hands before they touch something else. They don't touch their hands to their faces without washing them first, they stay home from work when sick so they don't spread their germs etc.

These are all proven to be effective in reducing the spread of colds, germs viruses and bacteria that can make people sick and the shoe's off philosophy is the capstone to that good practice.

I have a general impression of how clean everyone is that I meet and that is based on their various behavior patterns that I observe and shoes off in the house is a good measure. The world is changing and just like smokers, there too will be a day when the shoes on crowd is in the minority everywhere and will be seen as unclean.

Attribute it to whatever you want but as we get more educated and knowledgeable we get healthier, live longer and live better so what humanity did in the past was obviously not working as well as what what do today. The thought leaders today are practicing shoes off in the house, just as they were advocating effective public sewers a few hundred years ago.

I'd love it is they did a TV show where they swabbed the houses of shoes on and off people and compared them for filth. Sort of like the ones where they shine a blacklight all over the hotel room - I don't stay in too many of them for a reason and then I am careful about what I touch and wash frequently. Science aside, the yuck factor of shoes on in the house makes me think even less of people who insist on shoes on because they are content to track filth into their homes - it's their policy. Well, not in my home they don't. Things that get tracked into other homes don't get tracked into mine.

Hopefully times will change and people will develop clean habits but I won't hold my breath.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 1:24AM
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"I find that the more expensive the home and the more educated the inhabitants the more likely it is that shoes are not worn in the house. "

I cannot disagree more with your statements; and over the years, I've observed the opposite to what you state.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 6:29AM
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I agree with Mitch!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 10:45AM
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I agree with Mitch and Linda.

And, furthermore, my feet sweat and get gooey. My cotton socks are always damp, no matter what, all year long. I am mortified whenever I'm asked to remove my shoes. Have you ever seen a pair of bare feet just after they came out of sandals or athletic shoes in the summertime? What about the current fashion fad of being barefoot and barelegged, even in wintertime in the North? Those are some mighty stinky, dirty feet coming out of those shoes. Yuck. Give me the outdoor contaminants any day.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:42AM
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Is it safe to say that no matter what, if you have guests, you run the risk of someone else's 'stuff' getting in your house - be it their foot sweat, their toe jam, dirt, germs, whatever.

So it's either be a hermit, or deal with the 'stuff'.

That said, are you willing to run the risk of looking fussy, as seems to be indicated by these responses, by literally requesting someone remove their shoes? Looks like it's about half and half as far as how many are annoyed by it - so there's your statistic. That's reality, whether you like it or not.

So, you decide, and just know that if you tell your guests your 'rules' as they enter the door, there may be fall out.
At least you can't say you didn't know people wouldn't like it - you read it here.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 1:24PM
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The only time I remove my shoes on request is in the security line at the airport....and in a shoe store.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 2:59PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I also find the more expensive the house...the more gracious the owners- ones who are more concerned about their guests than their floors. This may, of course, be that they have more money to replace the floors, hire maids, whatever...and those with less money need to make them last as long as possible.
It's well known that the aristocracy don't concern themselves with the value of things and I'm sure no one takes off their shoes at the Queen's palace.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 9:26PM
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Interesting about the expense of house vs. shoes on or off. I have not experienced the same. Maybe it is the LEVEL of wealth that matters?

Most of the people we know who have higher end homes for the area have no shoes homes. These people are well off, but not Fortune 400 well off. A friend of mine worth 20-30+ mil has a shoes off policy in all his homes. Another person we know worth more than that doesn't, but their house is a total dump (and they are elderly). So, IMO, the people we know who have "nice" homes have no shoes homes. By "nice", I mean it is new and neat or even small but very nicely kept. Most of the people we know who allow shoes in their homes are either older than 65 or have homes I wouldn't not consider well kept.

I can see if you are worth 20 mil+ you might not care about ruining things because you can replace them. There is a big difference between the Queen (presumably of England?) than the average well off person.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 12:44AM
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"...I wouldn't not consider..."

Opps, double negative. That should have read, "Most of the people we know who allow shoes in their homes are either older than 65 or have homes I wouldn't consider well kept."

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 7:20PM
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Hello everyone....Interesting subject; and Yes, I wouldn't think of going thru someones home without taking off my shoes. It's just something I was brought up respect others property. I carry a pair of great slippers in the car and just slip them on when I come in...Guests I don't mind wearing CLEAN shoes as long as they ask first...had some slobs come over after cleaning a horse barn once...last time they came over...can't imagine someone going to someones home and wearing filthy boots?? What gives??
Mark in Buffalo

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 10:28AM
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I was taught that it is respectful to remove your shoes when entering someones home,so hurray to all these kids with good manners.
To answer the question at hand,I believe if you are having a formal party, guests shouldnt be expected to remove their shoes.
Personally I try to make everyone happy so in my home we have a no shoe zone.The kids and grandkids play, and like to lay on the living room floor to watch TV, so the living room is my no shoe zone.Aside from mud and cow poop I'm pretty reasonable everywhere else in the house.
In response to sleephollow,How can you possably judge a persons manners/cleanliness on the amount of money they make??I was born and raised in a little out in the middle of nowhere village where some folks would consider the residents blue collar rednecks.I guarantee you will find as many "clean" people here as you would the same size community of wealthy people,maybe more,because not so rich folks learn to take good care of what they have since buying new is sometimes not an option.
We are among the blue collar working poor,we also have tissues,soap and running water.I avoid walmart during flu season, I cover my mouth when I cough or sneeze then immediately wash my hands,I have hand sanatizer and baby wipes in my purse,I wipe the handle B4 putting my grandson in a cart etc..etc..AND I teach my kids the same.My 2 yr old grandson washes his hands after a diaper change,this is to get him in the habit of doing so for when he starts potty training,he also takes his shoes off and puts them where they go and asks for a "dipey wipe" when he's done because "yucky stuff" is on the bottoms of shoes. Point being,dont assume someone is dirty because they are not wealthy..grrrrrr
"I have blue collar people in my family" What the heck did all those remarks have to do with a simple question anyway?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 9:57PM
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I have a question for those who require people to remove their shoes before entering your homes. What about those of us that are in wheelchairs or use walkers? Are we not allowed in your homes since I'm sure the wheels would have all kinds of contaminates.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 9:59AM
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I remember in graduate school - all of us adults, mind you - were at a fellow students home, watching a program to assist us with our studies (on TV) and the students mom came home and bellowed "Johnny, you know we ask our guests to take their shoes of at the door" -

It was quite awkward and uncomfortable, all of us adults being chastened so by our hostess -

Perhaps this is why I don't require it now.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 11:36AM
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Adressing some of the comments:

"It's well known that the aristocracy don't concern themselves with the value of things and I'm sure no one takes off their shoes at the Queen's palace."

The queen's palace is not as clean as my home if they keep their shoes on in the palace. Filth is filth whether you live in a double wide or a palace.

Secondly, the aristocracy didn't make their money, they lived off the people. They have never worked an honest day in their lives. They play with other people's money. How can anyone respect that?

"This may, of course, be that they have more money to replace the floors, hire maids, whatever...and those with less money need to make them last as long as possible. "

I didn't make my money and grow my wealth by allowing others to disrespect my belongings and then have to replace the things that they destroyed. That's just wasteful.

Funny how it's mostly women getting their noses all bent out of shape at the thought of having to remove their shoes. Unless they are gay or have a fetish, 99% of guys aren't going to notice your shoes that you spent hours shopping for and coordinating with your outfit. We just don't care. It's not like a nice pair of shoes is going to turn a heifer into a hottie. If you fret about taking your shoes off for fashion reasons then you must not have too many other things going for you. Intelligence, conviviality, and personality will carry you further than your shoes ever could, unless of course you surround yourself with ankle-deep individuals in which case your shoes may keep you popular for another day.

Now for all those who like to say GOTTCHA on the health issues like people in wheelchairs or those who need orthopedic shoes. Check out the link below specifically to address people in wheelchairs who don't want to bring contaminants into their home on the tires. The people who can't go for a few hours without their orthopedic shoes can wear booties over them. Who stands that long anyway? Most people find a place to sit when eating or talking at length.

Bottom line is that people will continue to "invent" reasons on why they have to keep their shoes on but hey can all be debunked. The stinky, sweaty, gooey foot lady could try different footwear, shower more often and use powder. In case your are wondering, I don't invite people with bad hygiene to my house. For entertaining the hoi polloi, I maintain a purpose built conservatory/orangery that I treat as a public space and it is built to look classy but withstand the clod-footed herds should they be in attendance - and yes, lindac and her ilk are welcome with shoes on :) Here I have all my catering facilities, a fireplace, bar, 15 foot front projection theatre screen, sculpture, plants, waterfall, dance floor, 40 ft. serpentine dining table, gazebo, pool and hot tub, all on a lake. My guests are always taken care of and so is my house.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 11:30PM
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Wow!! must live in a palace!....wondering how you deal with having that conservatory on your property. It must be perfectly filthy with all the disgusting stuff brought in by the hoi polloi with their shoes and coverless wheel chairs and all.
Frankly I am really surprised that you would even allow the hoi polloi onto your property.
Does the conservatory have a dirt floor, or is it cement that can be hosed down like a barn?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 11:29AM
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Sleepyhollow is egging us on, going to great lengths to do it. I must say I fell for it! Good job, sleepy! But lay off the gay references and meaningless percentages in your little joke. Not funny at all.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 1:30PM
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I have a number of gay friends and we joke about this all the time. You might have heard about a show called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy - it was a runaway hit and the hosts were gay. Lighten up - if my gay friends can laugh at this so can you... On the numbers, 99% is being generous - unless she is wearing bunny slippers or 15" platform shoes I can't remember any guy commenting on a woman's shoes. As far as me egging people on - how are my comments any more provocative than those who keep saying it is rude to ask your guests to take their shoes off or suggesting that anyone who wears socks has is a gooey foot lady or has a foot infection?

Lindac, the conservatory has natural stone floor and funny should mention it, it is a post and beam barn with an attached glass house by by This is a hybrid solution and it works nicely for entertaining. My house can be a clean room and the conservatory can be something less - but I don't use it like I use my house so it doesn't matter.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 1:51PM
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I give up. It helps to have a sense of humor, Sleepy. You'll have to amuse yourself your own way, without me. Perhaps you're gay?


    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 2:01PM
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How does one ask their upstairs neighbors to remove their shoes in their own home? I'm in a first floor apartment and I go barefoot at home. Therefore, I can't understand why the couple upstairs wear their shoes all the time. The woman is in 3-inch heels! If they didn't have wooden floors, it wouldn't be so bad. But when they walk across the floor, it's as loud as a hammer tapping on the ceiling. I hate conflict and can't bring myself to tell them in person. But my lease isn't over for a year and I'll be in the nut house by then. Any suggestions??

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 7:54PM
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buggybumper- that's a tough one since they are also paying rent. I've owned apartments for many years and this is a common complaint- some were cooperative and others went in the opposite direction. Good luck.

Regarding the original topic- we have a simple compromise at our home- if you are a kid or a member of the immediate family- you take off your shoes period. If you are an adult-you get to decide for youself. I would rather have a loved one visit than a clean floor.

At other homes our kids must remove their shoes even if it is not a house rule and we do to. We often bring slippers to family members homes if we'll be there for a few hours or if the floors are known to be dirty. Yuck!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 10:22PM
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Buggybumper, I think you can't ask that your neighbors go shoeless in their own apartment, but you can ask that they be quieter if the noise really is unreasonable.

In fact, I wouldn't even quite ask that; I would mention gently that perhaps they didn't realize it, but the sound of shoes on the wood floors really carries quite a bit from upstairs. Try to make it sound almost like you are trying to let them know you can hear their business -- i.e., as if you are telling them for THEIR sake, not for your own. The point isn't to trick them, just to make your point without embarrassing them or making them feel defensive.

Then see if they take the hint and either stop wearing shoes, put down some rugs, or just walk more quietly.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 4:06PM
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I go barefoot or in socks at my own home, and usually the same (by my own choice) when I'm visiting my Dad. It is more comfortable for me, and it makes it easily to keep clean. (I never vacuum enough)

At my home, even when I've tidied up, there is usually a pile of shoes near the door. Most people take it as a subtle cue that I prefer a lack of shoes in the house. If they take their shoes off it's ok, if they leave them on it's ok, if they ask I tell them that either way is fine by me and to do what they prefer. The only real exception would be if someone was wearing shoes covered in muck or track shoes with those little spikes on the bottom.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 8:56PM
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I never am without shoes on my feet, except when I am showering or sleeping, so I have no reason to expect that others would take off their shoes. In fact, I would prefer they not do so, and if they make a move to remove them, I generally quickly encourage them to keep them on.

Unless you live in Grand Central Station and have thousands walking through, a few people with shoes on are not going to destroy your home.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 9:16PM
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buggybumper check your lease. Many leases require folks in upstairs apartments with wood (or laminate) floors to cover a certain percentage (usually 80-85%) of the wooden floor surface with a rug. If this is indeed a requirement of your lease, ask your property manager to enforce the lease.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2008 at 1:53PM
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I think it depends where you live. I grew up in the Calif bay area and no one takes their shoes off there. If you asked someone, it would be unusual and so imo somewhat rude. People weren't expecting it and might be embarrassed by dirty socks, holes, ugly toenails, whatever.

Then we moved to Whidbey Island in Washington State and everyone does it here. It's the norm. Probably because of all the rain and mud here. So here, it would be rude to go somewhere and assume you were going to leave your shoes on. So you plan when you go somewhere that you better have nice socks on! If my floors are dirty anyway, I'll tell people just to leave their shoes on if they want. I have baskets of washable slippers by each door so people can wear those if they want.

I see it as a regional thing.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 8:24PM
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For me, it is a matter of
A) Having almost white carpet (was here when we bought it)
B) Respecting people's (including OURS) homes.

Do you know what is where you walk? People spit on the sidewalks, for Heaven's sake. And that's just what you see. Ever walk down a street and get a whiff of urine? Drunks and street people use the outdoors for more than just an ashtray. Car grease and oil. More junk/gunk than you can imagine.

Why all the hostility over this? Reading post after post, I was amazed. As someone said "It's not about you" and certainly NOT a slam to your friends' hygiene, just a fact of living today.

And besides, I try my best to keep my home as a sanctuary and to keep the world's dirt outside.

What's so wrong with that?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:08AM
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Well, I guess it's just a matter of making sure that you communicate your policy in a manner that makes it clear you don't consider your guests themselves to be "the world's dirt."

As is SO often the case, it is HOW you do it that matters.

I don't know what it is about this particular topic and a few others that makes people so insistent about establishing that their view is RIGHT and the other view is WRONG.

There seems to be a pretty even split in opinion on this, or in any event plenty of people on both sides. On top of which, circumstances can change the balance (I would find it odd to be asked to remove my shoes at a formal dinner party, but not at a casual visit to a friend.) So clearly there is no "right" or "wrong" way, just different perspectives and choices, each with some good reasons. (I do kind of wonder if any of the shoes-off people wash their pets' feet every time they come in, though!)

Why isn't it enough just to do what you want with your own home, and let others do what they want, without

1) insulting the cleanliness, hospitality, or values of those who differ?

2) enforcing your own policy in a way that makes your guests uncomfortable or makes them feel you value your possessions more than them?

I am certainly not saying that ALL those who have a shoes-off policy are rude to their guests. But there is a disturbing number of people who seem to think that it's okay to be nasty about it because they are right about the dreadful filth of the world that their piggy visitors bring in. And they wonder why people think they value possessions more than friends? I can't help but get the feeling that these very adamant posters are welcoming the chance to be nasty, as if others' lapses give them a free pass to be rude. That is sad (and ironic, on an Entertaining board).

I remember the first time I went to the home of a friend with a no-shoes rule. They were students with little furniture, so they pretty much lived on their floor (which had pale carpet). She explained it nicely and asked me to remove my shoes, and I was happy to comply.

What would she have gained by, instead of just doing that, going into a diatribe about how no civilized person would wear shoes indoors, how filthy and unsanitary my home must be, and so on? Her polite request got my shoes off just fine.

It is completely reasonable for hosts to ask that shoes be removed -- or to comply with any other rule of their home. But that does NOT relieve the hosts of responsibility for caring about how their guests feel -- and that has nothing to do with who is right about shoes or anything else.

Beyond the obvious not scolding or lecturing guests or criticizing their hygiene, I never really thought about the problems some posters said they had with their feet that would make them feel very uncomfortable being asked to remove their shoes. That is something to consider. I am not saying it means that hosts mustn't have a no-shoes rule; just that they need to take into consideration that some of their guests may have issues like that which they might not care to discuss, and find a considerate and hospitable solution.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 4:37PM
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I guess what I resent most is the implied or expressed feeling that what is good enough for my home isn't good enough for yours, and when you ask me to a party at your home, you ask me remove my flithy shoes, but you are perfectly delighted to come to my home and walk on my flithy floor with the remnants of spit and dog urine and sea gull doo-doo and whatever else and to drink my wine, eat my food and even sit on my furniture and even seem to enjoy it.
But that's fine, because I won't go to your house and sully your floor with my white Cole-Haan slides and if we are going to continue our relationship, I guess it will have to be at my house or a restaurant also with filthy carpets.

Ok...that was partly tongue in cheek because I don't know but one person anymore who has a shoes off policy and I was recently at a small gathering of about 18 people at her house and we all wore shoes.
The other person who asked me to remove my shoes is...was...and I guess still is verys trange. She kept a perfectly filthy house for a lot of years. Grape jelly ground into the carpet, dishes piled high etc etc. Then they moved and she turned into an OCD shoes off person. But her husband was recovering from surgery a few months back so I took over a container of home made chicken soup, and she didn't ask me to remove my shoes, and the house looked like a normal house, not with coverings on the furniture nor filthy dirty.
I had another friend who didn't like people "lounging" on the family room furniture because it rumpled the cushions....and she wondered why her grand children never wanted to come and spend the weekend!
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 11:14AM
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Before I comment, I want to ask the question that led me to this lovely discussion. I am seeking a witty rhyme to encourage visitors to remove their shoes.

That said...

We DO ask people to remove their shoes primarily because we have an infant who crawls and face plants all over the floor. She has also been known to randomly lick whatever looks interesting. As you can imagine, I am constantly vacuuming and mopping and disinfecting.

We like having our floors clean sure, but for us, it's crucial for the health of our little one whom we do not choose to sequester in only one "clean baby area", but instead just keep our shoes at the door and our floors as clean as possible.

This request annoys the older generation (grand parents) but doesn't seem to give our generation or a younger one a second of hesitation. In fact, now that we do have a baby, most guests offer.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 5:51PM
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That's probably because the older generation knows that it's NOT crucial for the health of babies to keep them in a sterile environment. You yourself were probably allowed to crawl on a floor people walked on, and even licked a lot of things that you would consider disgusting now. And guess what? Here you are.
Medical thinking nowadays is that by manically disinfecting everything in sight, we are a) creating superbugs that will be even harder to defeat and b) not allowing children's immune systems to develop, which leads to athsma and falling victim to every germ that comes their way. Think "War of the Worlds".

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Adeia, Do you think the salt sweat, Athlete's Foot and toenail fungi on people's feet (mine included - you will never catch me taking off my shoes ANYWHERE!) are less dangerous than other things to your baby when s/he licks things? What about the common cold? Do you keep your baby isolated?

As Colleenoz says, your baby's grandparents raised you. Please don't ruin their relationship with their grandchild over shoes! Would you not let your baby visit grandma's house because they wear their shoes at home? Will you let people wear their shoes when your baby stops crawling and licking things?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:06AM
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WOW, never imagined anyone being offended by removing shoes. I ALWAYS remove my shoes in my home and when i enter others homes. I was a hospice nurse and even when entering client's homes was respectful of this, although i do admit, i entered some homes that i would never have considered removing my shoes. I do not expect my elders to remove their shoes, it would be too difficult for my father to take off and put his shoes back on. Amazing that someone would be offended that I want to take care of what is mine.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 9:12PM
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Unless people would be tracking in cow manure or sloppy mud, I think it's extremely rude to request people to remove their shoes before entering your home. Even when people voluntarily remove their shoes, we discourage it. We have a labrador retriever with a shoe fetish! (as well as other fetishes). Frankly, I don't want bare footed or stocking footed people walking around my house! Invited guests aren't going to do nearly as much damage to your floors as you and your family are already doing.
Lighten up for heavens sake. Your home should be warm and inviting to guests, and not give the impression that it's too precious for them to walk in.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 10:30PM
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just from my mother hounding me while growing up to remove my shoes i do it out of habit . . . however i absolutely LOVE it when i go to someones house and as i am taking them off someone says "oh don't worry about it!"

as for my house rules . . if your shoes aren't soaked or muddy leave them on, otherwise take them off.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 12:41PM
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I think it's regional. In the tropics you take your shoes off when you go in the house. Many houses have little plaques outside the door asking you to do so, if the huge pile of shoes outside the door isn't already enough of an indicator.

I take my shoes off when I enter someone's home on habit. Now that I live in a different area, I look to see first if my hostess is wearing shoes. If so, I leave mine on. Seems to work just fine for me.

I don't think it's rude to ask someone to take off their shoes at all, esp. if the weather outside is bad.

I've posted a link for a shoes off sign. And, surprisingly there is a blog about the very thing. It's called shoes off at the door please. It's pretty humerous.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:57AM
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My son and his family live in Japan and they have a shoe closet inside the front door plus plenty of slippers in all sizes. You are expected to remove your shoes when coming in at homes in Japan.
Same thing with our friends living in the Hawaiian Islands.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 11:13PM
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I live in New England and I do not ask people to remove their shoes in my home. The comfort of my guests is far more important to me. If my hardwood floors get worn out faster, then I will have them resurfaced someday. I feel uncomfortable going to peoples homes and being asked to remove my shoes. Especially if it is summer and I have no socks on. I also think it is a good point that if you go to someones home and are dressed up for the occasion, taking your shoes off at the door and walking around nicely dressed with bare feet is just strange to me. It would never occur to me to come with a pair of slippers either! I rather not go to that persons home and would perfer to meet in a restaurant where I can wear my shoes.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 8:13AM
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Wow quite a debate. I am Indian and yes in our culture it's just normal to leave your shoes at the door. I am a muslim and a lot of my friends are hindus. In our culture regardless of our religion we sit on the floor, we pray in our home (on the floor) and it's just plain disrespectful to wear shoes.

I did not even know this was such a touchy subject for so many people. I guess we just automatically remove our shoes and no it does not bother anyone to see piles of shoes on the side of the front door and no it does not matter how fancy our clothes are it's just customary to remove shoes.

I normally remove my shoes even when I visit my American friends and they insist I keep them on. That's the only time I will keep them on.

I guess it's all a matter of what you are used to and also your culture. For me shoes are a thing you wear outside (unless they are some fuzzy slippers) I like to be comfortable at home, I buy soft socks to wear indoors that I can toss in the laundry at the end of the day because I feel more comfortable in them than in shoes or slippers.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 3:37PM
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This debate never fails to crack me up.

That said, we wear shoes all day every day. I do NOT like being shoeless--neither does my husband. And quite frankly, we're inside and outside so much during the day that if we required shoes off in the house, you would literally spend HOURS every week just putting on and taking off shoes. No thanks. And what about the dog? He can't remove his feet when he comes in and goes out. Of course, I assume that most of you with the no shoes rule wouldn't have an inside dog. Of course I don't KNOW that for sure, but it would seem likely.

I have 15 years of working in a podiatry practice for a foot/ankle surgeon who specializes in diabetic limb salvage. Because of that, I KNOW that I don't want bare or even stockinged feet running around my floors or on my carpet. Yes, I've seen the worst of the worst as far as foot diseases go--and just ewww... Skeeves me out to think that I could have unknown feet on my carpet.

My floors aren't fragile. I expect to clean them, vacuum, mop, sweep, and just otherwise maintain. When the carpet wears out, I'll replace it. They're just THINGS. When I greet a guest, the last thing I'm looking at is their feet. Most people know to wipe their feet well at the door. That's good enough for me.

As a guest at someone else's house I doubt I would raise a fuss about taking my shoes off if I was unaware of the policy upon arrival, but I wouldn't be happy about it and I KNOW that I would be uncomfortable. If it's a friend who I know has a "shoes off" policy I'd bring my own slippers and be okay. Please don't supply me with "community slippers." I'd probably pass out dead if I had to put them on my feet. No way. Paper booties? It's a house, not an operating room. If you're not performing hysterectomies in the living room, I don't want to wear silly looking paper booties....LOL

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:04AM
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These posts make me laugh too- at myself as much as the posts. I lived in Asia for five years where the custom is to remove shoes (the streets are beyond dirty in some areas and people sweep, mop, clean everyday)

At our house in New England, our family must remove their shoes (we put on our own slippers). When guests come, it depends. In winter most people want shoes removed in their own homes and remove them in ours (we carry slippers when we are visiting other people's homes. BIL bought a house with white carpet and can't afford to replace it if it gets dirty so our kids know that we bring our slippers. It seems a small price to pay to help keep a home clean for someone we love besides we are usually rewarded with a wonderful meal.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 11:00AM
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I think there is a HUGE cultural difference here. I live in Calgary, Alberta, and nobody, and I mean absolutely ****NOBODY**** I know here does, or seems to have even HEARD of (if I've had this discussion with them before)...people leaving their shoes on inside a house. EVERYONE in this city takes off their shoes.

Of course, we're in a different city, country, and Calgary it's almost ALWAYS muddy and snowing, and for Asian households, people often wear slippers on inside of houses.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:50AM
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I'd also like to add, if your shoes smell, why would you want to keep them by your BED?!??

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 4:20PM
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I just have to say I completely disagree with this idea that your if your friend wants you to remove your shoes, he or she cares more about his or her carpet then you. I come from Calgary Alberta Canada, where most people haven't even *** HEARD **** of people leaving shoes *** ON *** in a's about as * RUDE * to us as bringing in a motorcycle and putting it on the host's bed and then stuffing a toilet seat in their fridge. That being said, I'm open minded to the idea that if a friend of mine wants me to KEEP my shoes on, I'll do it because it's their house (or perhaps even their landlord's preferences for shoes / no shoes), and really, that's not your friend caring more about her carpets than YOU, that's your friend caring more about her carpets than your COMFORT. I'm sure she'd let you wear shoes inside if it were a matter of life or death.

And "if they don't want people to wear shoes, they shouldn't be entertaining." Seriously WHAT? Because they are of a different CULTURE? How discrminatory, not to mention tactless and closed-minded! Ever heard of theme parties? Pajama parties? Crazy hat parties? Dress codes are a PART of being a host. You anticipate a certain dress code and decorate / feed accordingly.

Why is everyone so uptight? *I* have my standards of conduct in MY house, I expect my friends to follow it, and I expect MYSELF to follow my FRIENDS' preferences, whether I LIKE THEM OR NOT, without "cutting them out of my life" because I'm "offended" by their DIFFERENT CULTURE.

I think that in even GOING to anybody's house, it is our ** RESPOSIBILITY ** as good GUESTS to adhere to dress codes. Some people even want people to remove their shoes when entering their car! Some cultural restaurants insist on it like some Japanese restaurants. Some people ARE from different cultures or upbringings, and I think people should be allowed to ask for a no shoe, no hat, no scarf, no smoking, no profanity policy.

Really, I don't have anything against people bringing shoes into their homes...I just have something against people not RESPECTING that when people have their own places a good guest will respect wishes, or bring their own indoor shoes (that won't scratch or cause marks).

Because everyone has a right to their own idea of home. Remember, some people, like myself, aren't even AWARE (I was just made aware last year) that aside from TV, people EVER keep their shoes on in a home! It's not that it's unheard of in an "evil"'s just that I look at leaving shoes on as EXCESSIVELY *ODD* because NOBODY does that here! It's like someone walking around with a tutu, or taking a pet zebra into the home! I come from a country (Canada) where it's always muddy and always winter, and in my lease with my landlord it's stipulated that if shoes are worn in the house and it's evident in the carpet, I forfeit my entire damage deposit. I think it's important to be open minded, and if you dont' feel comfortable removing your shoes, you can always communicate that and ask if she'd mind if you'd keep them on, or at least switch to indoor shoes, slippers, or something else. But not inviting her to your house because she has different standards of etiquette is as ignorant as sexism, racism, and homophobia. I'll follow your rules in your house if you follow mine. Sorry to say, but just saying.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 4:28PM
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wow, I was in Calgary for a wedding last october, and we DID wear our shoes in the homes we visited, it was dry outside, it certainly is not always muddy and snowing and winter, for 12 months of the year, not in Calgary and not in Montreal.

I live in Quebec and we do have summer, we wear our shoes indoor from june to november, except on rainy days.

I'm just saying. I agree with the respect issue and house rules that a person may have; but don't go spreading rumors or stating facts like you did, it's just not true.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 1:06PM
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Wow it should almost be second nature to remove shoes and sandals before entering both your own home as well as someone elses home. Footwear can attract all sorts of crap from outside and who in their right mind would want it inside their homes? Personally I don't care if im offending anyone when I tell them to remove their shoes at the door, so far it has not happened yet. The only time it would be allowed was a medical condition was present and the wearer must have on some sort of footwear.

I grew up following this rule. Here in Hawaii it is customary to remove your shoes upon entry to someones home. My Aunt was the real teacher of this rule. All of her children and regular visitors including me would have to not only remove their shoes or sandals at the door but also remove socks if they were just the least bit dirty and wash our feet. Bad enough we had to do that but if we wore sandals then we would have to enter her house from the back into the laundry room and wash our barefeet there, since it is so hot in Hawaii she thought that our feet would sweat a lot in the sandals and she did not want us walking on her carpets or wood floors without washing our feet first. To sum it all up we would have to have dry clean barefeet or clean socks to enter her house.

Now I would'nt go that far but I would simply ask the visitor to remove their shoes, too bad if they don't like it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 6:31PM
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Well...I wouldn't be visiting your house....
Where I live and where I grew was considered rude to take your shoes OFF in someone else's home. It was a sign of familiarity....
I was the original barefoot girl....and heard all too often..."Linda! Put your shoes on!"
Lots of years have passed, a few ankle and foot injuries and I am no longer comfortable standing barefoot......and I don't carry slippers....because shoes without support don't work either.
So if you want me to remove my shoes...I won't be coming to your party.
But you are welcome in my house....I have a vacuum and a mop.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 8:39PM
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I'm not "spreading rumors." I'm just saying that in living in Calgary for 25 years, I've worn my shoes into ONE household, and anyone I've DISCUSSED *THIS* with is absolutely shocked people EVER wear shoes. This is my experience and I'm sharing it.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 3:31PM
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I'm not even going to go into all the back problems not to mention odors that shoes, especially high heels cause. I'm here to defend the idea that if you're entering into someone's house, you should respect THEM as a good GUEST, whether that's removing your hat, not swearing in front of their children, not bringing religious symbols in or removing your footwear. If someone has a preference in their own home, any person with any sense of tact would either oblige, or simply not enter. Just assuming that every person in the world is SUPPOSED to follow YOUR culture's idea of leaving shoes on, like I said, is incredibly ignorant. Because your culture isn't the only one around, and if you wear shoes in my house, you're payin' my damage deposit buddy because my lease says NO SHOES. If your house is a SHOES place, and joe's house is a NO SHOES place, then people entering your house SHOULD WEAR SHOES and people entering Joe's house SHOULD NOT. It's about respecting other people's preferences, be it due to race, gender, social status, sexual orientation or carpet preference.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Another thing is that it's fairly clear from all of these responses, that some people find it incredibly odd to wear shoes indoors, and some find it incredibly odd NOT to. What does this mean? It means that there are different preferences. Are all of you SO closed-minded that you can't grin and bear it for the sake of tact and open-mindedness and respect towards someone else's preferences and culture?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 3:39PM
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This is just out of curiosity. When you come from the type of background where you keep your shoes on even when you're inside your own home, how do you deal? Do you sleep with them on? Do you take them off at the foot, or the head of the bed? When you go for a bath or a shower, do you put them back on immediately? When you're waiting for your feet to dry enough to put your socks on comfortable, do you stay still and not walk around, or do you walk around on a mat barefoot until you can comfortable put your shoes on? And when you have blisters from your shoes, do you remove them in the house, or do you keep your shoes on until you go to bed, or dive to your bed and stay there for the rest of the day? Do you have to replace your shoes more often? What about foot odor and foot sweat? During intimate moments with a partner, does the removal of shoes spoil the mood? Do you ever switch from heels to something more comfortable when you enter the house? Do you mop every single day and vacuum the entire house every single day? Is painting your toes a just-for-the-bathroom thing? Also, do you remove your shoes when you're going to the toilet? Do you track mud around if your shoes have dirt and you splash water on them from your shower? Do you have several pairs of shoes, and if you do, where do you keep them so that you can go pick a pair for a party? When you have pajama parties, what shoes do you wear for those? Do you ever get pedicures? What about you replace them a few times a day if your feet are getting sweaty? Do you ever trip on carpet because you're wearing runners? Are you less likely to slip? When you're sneaking up on somebody to scare them or surprise them (I don't know...Valentines day or something?) do you remove your shoes so there is no clickety clackety? Does mopping seem hopeless in a household full of muddy-shoes teenagers?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 3:53PM
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mistercristofer - are you getting a little carried away? I mean, 5 posts within 22 minutes on the same subject? I think you're taking this way too seriously - especially given your post at 15:53.

For me, my guests can do what they want - take shoes off, leave shoes on.

I can't believe that I'm actually contributing to this never-ending debate that keeps cropping up.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 4:18PM
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mistercristofer - get a grip, man.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 4:26PM
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You know suzieque, you're right. I guess I'm just mad that people seem to be SO angry that some people in the world take off their shoes.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 4:26PM
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"Do you sleep with them on? Do you take them off at the foot, or the head of the bed?

you're overthinking this whole issue.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 6:45AM
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I think I'll put this one to bed....with it's shoes on....

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 9:54AM
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I think it would be healthier if you took its shoes off Linda... let the whole thing *air* out a bit ;)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 1:52PM
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As a delivery man I REFUSE to take my shoes off because there is a high chance of injury. I feel its unsafe if a dresser or nightstand crushes my foot and most customers are understanding.-mistercristofer

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 10:15PM
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Why not a happy compromise? If you are of the "shoes off" mindset, don't require people to take shoes off in your house, especially guests. In fact, maybe wear shoes when you have guests so they are comfortable keeping theirs on if they so choose. When they leave, you can always mop/vacuum/whatever. As a general rule, you and your family can then revert to your normal shoes off policy after the guests are gone.

Thing is - often people are uncomfortable with the shoes off policy for a variety of reasons. They shouldn't have to explain why they should be exempt from your rules. Just let people be welcome; a little extra wear and tear on your floors shouldn't keep people from feeling comfortable in your home. What's more important - *people* or immaculate floors?

(Just for the record, I am upper middle class, country - gravel driveway - very educated. So that kind of skews some of the demographic stereotypes that were tossed around early in this thread.)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 3:06PM
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i think asking someone to remove their shoes is a bit childish. and its very uncomfortable doing so especially if you're not extremely close to the person in the house. don't really know them too well- and you're walking around barefoot in their house. eh, i don't like it. like i just said- i can understand you saying that to KIDS, because kids can be messy including dirty shoes. we all know that. but adults should be able to wear shoes in the house at a party. come on now

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 3:08PM
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So, this is most certainly a tough one. Here's how we handle it.

A) Family and close friends remove their shoes; yes there is a pile of shoes by the door, shoe drawers too; one of our close friends prefers not to remove his shoes (I've never asked him about it)
B) New acquaintances are not asked to remove shoes, but I've found that once folks have been over a number of times they are comfortable and remove the shoes or not (I'm mostly never going to ask unless my DH is in the middle of the kitchen with his shoes on)
C) When we have BIG parties most people don't remove shoes beside 200 plus shoes would be a BIG pile
D) A friend has marble flooring throughout her home and on my first visit to her home she had booties for us to put over our shoes (that really freaked me out!) . . . now that I have been over many times she has slippers for me
E) I treat no shoes in the house partly as a bit less dirt, grim, and cooties for me to clean up; shoes are needed in the outside world but we can all shed that protection inside and relax; when I visit my close friends' places I remove my shoes
F) This seems to be a touchy subject but I prefer to handle much like I handle other things; my preferences end where other people's preferences begin. I swear but I don't swear in front of children or friends who prefer I use fewer special words.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 11:51AM
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I can't believe this oldy-and-moldy thread/topic is still going on. But since it is, I'll play. I want people to be comfortable. I tell them - feel free to take off your shoes if you'd be more comfortable. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

And when I go into someone's home, I often ask "Would you like me to take off my shoes"? I've never had anyone say yes.

Worried about germs? Please. We've antibiotic'ed and hand-sterilized ourselves to death. IMO, of course ...

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 6:24PM
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Sorry, suzieque. I brought it back - but I'm a newcomer to this forum, so maybe I'm excused? :-) It isn't an old topic to those of us that are new here...and it's a topic that my dh and I have discussed as we are in the process of reflooring our house with shoe friendly flooring - shoe friendly being one of the reasons for new flooring.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 7:27PM
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You're right, gladys. And welcome to the forums! In fact, the topic is being discussed over at the Kitchen Table forum and also fairly recently on the Home Decorating Forum.

Congratulations on your new floor! Always nice to revamp.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 3:29PM
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I've said this many times before, I think it's rude to ask!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 3:12PM
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with friends in my age it's actually normal to remove the shoes. but in my parents house noone is asked to remove his shoes. i don't know what is better, though.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 4:55AM
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I was always brought up being told its rude to dirty other peoples floors.Maine here snow and mud..I take my shoes off at home and at anyone elses house. They do the same at mine or they can stay home. Doesn't bother me at all if they choose to not come to my home because I want shoes off....I'm not going to drag out the rug shampooer every time someone walks up my carpeted stairs and living room no way.... I don't see what the big deal is about slipping off your shoes!!!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 11:47AM
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I guess you don't use door mats to wipe off the bottom of your shoes/boots during bad weather. Hmmmm, I live in Maine also. I know I have some at all my doors and so do all my friends. lol We don't have a problem with constantly have to drag out the shampooer. They wipe their feet, or take of their boots and put on their shoes. The big deal as you call it is making my guests feel comfortable in my home. I would never be so rude as to ask them to take off their shoes. I care more about their comfort then I do about "things". It is as simple as that. People before things. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   March 16, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Well, gardenandcats, I have mobility issues and taking my shoes off is rather difficult for me. It is hard enough getting them on in the first place and to take them off and put them on again because my host doesn't trust me to wipe my feet before walking in is a big imposition. I would prefer my guests leave their shoes on as well.
Like nancylouise, I think people are more important than things. I can clean my things but I can't fix a broken friendship that broke because I obsessed over my "stuff".

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 1:19PM
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A friends his a beach house that they let my family use.
It is the 2 story, first floor is a tool room & concrete parking lot. The 2nd floor has a covered porch, we took our shoes off on the porch. First the house as all hard wood floors. Second we always leave a place we stay at cleaner then we find it, No shoe, no sand, easy answer.
I do not ask people to take they shoe off at my door, but I wear nice socks & do as the host ask when I visit their home.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:37PM
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We live in a California town that is more than 50% Asian. It is definitely a cultural thing here. I would automatically offer to take off my shoes in an Asian household. I would also automatically take off my shoes if they were dirty, as they sometimes are, given that I tramp in the woods or work in my garden many days. Scraping at a doormat helps, but it does not always do the job.

I would be taken aback if I showed up for a party in a nice dress and heels and was asked to take my pretty party shoes off. I would do it, but I would probably not be best pleased.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 12:36PM
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I agree with Rosefolly. Nice cocktail dress, makeup done, hair in evening updo...and stocking feet? It's like leaving off your earrings and lipstick. I would be pissed.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 7:36AM
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I don't personally do this for my home, but I do go along with others at their homes, though I think it is a bit imposing because the feet and what is on or not on them falls within the personal domain of the individual. I don't particularly like the idea of folks sitting around in their stocking feet. I and my family do it, but why would I find the idea of visitors doing that appealing? I do get that it could help to keep flooring nice and clean for longer, but wear and tear on flooring is kinda supposed to happen! If you have flooring that is that precious, maybe you shouldn't have it!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:31AM
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