1. Style
Send to a Friend via Email

Readers Respond: Wearing Shoes in the House

Responses: 160


Shoes off if you please

I am all about shoes off. I figure if I clean the house, I make the rules... I am not sure what's offensive about having people take their shoes off... I suppose most of my friends' places are clean enough that I don't think twice about taking my shoes off. I guess I also don't see "shoe wearing" in my house as someone's right, as I read in one of the above comments. So why should they be offended?
—Guest Guest Canadian

Shoes habit in AZ

I live in Phoenix, AZ and here most of the people don't take off their shoes off because, my guess is, no snow. In Canada and N US and any other place that gets snow they take off their shoes because they can't put snow on the carpet and tile because it's their home. I do it to here because i am used to doing it because i used live in Canada and I'm just used to doing it. It also feels more comfortable to walk inside with socks or barefoot because my feet get sweaty with shoes on for long time. It also is to keep the house clean because those shoes, when you walk outside, get dirty and if you bring them in the house you're going to bring dirt in the house.
—Guest Arizona liver

Matter of Preference

I am perfectly fine with wearing shoes in the house unless they're covered in mud, rain or snow. I also think that forcing someone to take their shoes off is extremely rude. Personally I wouldn't make a habit of visiting someone who enforced this rule. Some people have corns, fungus, bad odor, cracked nails, deformed toes, or are just plain self concious about their feet. I do understand the amount of germs shoes carry, but so do toothbrushes, toilet seats, kitchen sinks, cell phones, keyboards, and a number of other things. People get sick from these bacteria through their hands not their feet. You put your hands in your mouth, on your face, in your eyes, and THAT is how you get sick. Bacteria lives everywhere, and our bodies have a natural way of fighting them. This doesn't mean that we will be careless with our bodies, but lets be realistic, if we really start to think bacteria, there a over a dozen other things that carry way more bacteria than our shoes.
—Guest Zee

Shoes off

When I was a kid, I was amazed at the number of ads on US televison for foot care, foot odour, and carpet cleaning. They far outnumbered ads in Canada. When I travelled to the US I found most people wore shoes inside. I think it is a health issue. Allow your feet to breathe and dry out for goodness sake. Slippers are a good idea as long as they are loose and breathable.
—Guest CJA

Shoes preferred at my house

I have lived in many homes over the years, and I used to have the "no shoes" rule, as I thought it would help keep my light colour carpets. What I found is, the areas where people sit (in front of chairs/couches) would darken and could not be cleaned by any means. I talked to an old timer carpet cleaner who told me it was the oil/dead skin from peoples feet that was staining my carpets. So, I put it to the test: shoes preferred at my home now. Don't get me wrong, if your shoes are covered in mud, yes, take them off. But the other 95% of the time, it is much easier to vacuum up a little dirt from a pair of shoes, then to deal with the removal of bodily oils/skin. Trust me, since I switched over, no more spots in front of my furniture. I also want to add, we spend an enormous amount of time in our living room, so my story may not be confirmed by all.
—Guest Red

Stop dividing based on nationality

I think that people should use their judgement when entering a home. If the floors are immaculate, then take your shoes off. If the floors are filthy and look like they will attract as many germs as walking barefoot outdoors keep them on. Following cultural customs out of respect is fine, but this is a personal thing, like an individual human right. To say well this is how my culture or people do it, so this must be the only right way is rude and offensive. Be respectful if you want people to respect you, down to whether they remove their shoes or not in your house. That being said I was raised in America, and it depended on the person or family. I am offended by the assumption that ALL Americans leave their shoes on and are inconsiderate of others is the norm. Please try to remember, that we also have our own customs and do our own thing. It just so happens that we are diverse, and have many customs due to many different peoples living here.
—Guest jenna

If shoes were meant to be worn inside...

then why do we even bother carpeting or tiling our floors? We should just have dirt or plain concrete floors in our homes, right? Perhaps we should just revert back the "caveman" days when women were dragged around by their hair and grunting sounds served as communication. It sickens me to think people are too lazy to take off their shoes when entering ones home. Or worse: believe it's "rude" or "improper" to be asked not to track dirt and grime into ones home.
—Guest Jessica


It is one of my pet peeves that people do not take there shoes off. Do I need to see a shrink or what?
—Guest Germs

It's disrespectful

It is totally disrespectful, when I spend 5-6 hours (maybe more) cleaning house, (which includes mopping my floors) for people to walking in the house with muddy, wet, snowy or just plain dirty shoes! We have children who basically live at floor level at this time in their lives. Not to mention it's just disrepectful to the person who cleans the home!

Where the problem starts

I live in Estonia, Northern Europe and I don't know anyone who keeps their shoes on at home. People who say that feet without dirty shoes are even filthier are just plain stupid. We should look at the fact why some people have fungus or other diseases on their feet. It's because they wear shoes all the time and that is unhealthy. When I'm at work and wear my shoes for 8 hours in the house I actually get very unconfortable and when possible take them off. I don't get how people are comfortable wearing shoes all the time. When I get home, one of the most relaxing things - taking your shoes off after a long day at work. And my feet are healthy and I can't see that feet diseases or fungus is problem amongst people who I know. It's because taking shoes off keeps these problems away. So what's wrong with keeping your feet healthy and comfortable? Take your shoes off!
—Guest chrisssss

Shoes off!

Of course, my rule is: shoes off. In Bosnia and Herzegovina (ex Yugoslav Republic) it is normal!
—Guest Aidda

Take your shoes off

Are people stupid or do they just think they can come inside and walk on my carpet? Even though they are new or clean it's a traditional for the maori cultures.
—Guest shontay morunga

Wish my parents didn't

My husband and I adamantly don't wear shoes in the house. My parents on the other hand...They wear their shoes at home, and I can't seem to get them to take off their shoes at my house either. Drives me up the wall! (and to those who say that wearing shoes indoors in Canada is unheard of - I wish! I am in Canada!)
—Guest Michelle

I keep mine on!

I see no issue in me wearing my sneakers in the house. I have both carpet and wood flooring which, although I have a dog, is kept as clean as possible. I have several pairs of sneakers and boots, ones used for walking the dog, work or for wearing about outside are removed and changed for my house sneakers. My mom used to drive me nuts with her shoes off and slippers on rules but since the age of 15 I've found that unless i'm in my sneakers I feel totally naked and uncomfortable. That said however I am a polite and well mannered guest, I'd ask if you would like for me to remove my sneakers if I were to visit and I'd very happily comply with the rules of my host. Just hope your floor is as clean as you state. No pet hair or half chewed baby rusks to trail back into my shoes. :) After much reading up on the subject of shoes off I have given the idea some serious thought. It is just that 15+ years of sneakers on unless in bed is a hard habit to break.
—Guest Stallion-R

Busy Americans have no time

Taking off shoes, putting them on = time. Plus, if I come in the back door, the next day I can' find my shoes at the front door. Plus, I have probably 10 pairs of footwear. How would people walk around them by the entranceway?
—Guest Busy

Share Your Thoughts

Wearing Shoes in the House

Receive a one-time notification when your response is published.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.