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Readers Respond: Wearing Shoes in the House

Responses: 110


No shoes, but what if ...

I grew up in Bulgaria, but ten years now I live in Greece, my father is Bulgarian, my mum is Greek ... In Bulgaria you cannot even think about passing your friend's door with your shoes on ... and yes, it's a rule. If you don't take off your shoes, it means that you have no manners and don't respect your friend and his/her home. Here in Greece the things are totally different -- almost nobody takes their shoes off. It's an insult if you ask them to do so. When I first came, I didn't know it and I asked visitors to take their shoes off, most of them didn't do anything, and some didn't come at my home ever again. Yes, I have a rule in my home, and they must show some respect I think. Especially now when we have a little baby! Wearing shoes at home is so unhealthy, why some people don't understand it?

John Wayne

Back in the 1970's, CBC used to cut inserts into old Westerns, including a closeup of John Wayne entering a saloon and taking off his cowboy boots before wandering up to the bar, with another close up inserted of a Tim Horton's coffee cup and various doilies and flowers. Most Canadians never noticed. It was only when one dollar DVD's at Wal-Mart were introduced about four years ago with the original Westerns that Canadians noticed the lack of footwear removal and started to wonder.

Wear my shoes

My husband grew up in a house with no shoes on; I grew up with just the opposite. In our own home, I *try* to wear my indoor sandals out of respect for him, but if I wear my tennis shoes, he doesn't freak out about it. I do remove my shoes when coming into the house where there is inclement weather. I want to respect people's clean homes, but I wish they would think about their guests' comfort a little as well. If you don't want me wearing shoes in your house, then please let me know beforehand so I can bring my indoor sandals. I like something between my feet and the floor and like having a little support under my feet. The ironic thing is that of all these people I know who don't want shoes on their floors--they all have cats. Who walk barefoot through their own excrement. And their owners don't seem to mind that. Hmmm...
—Guest Anne

Take Them Off

I live with my partner and when his family come over they never take off their shoes, and I do not like to tell people that they need to remove their shoes, they should already know it's what you do when entering someone's home. I don't know when it became ok to wear your shoes in your home. Carpet or no carpet, take your damn shoes off. PLEASE! : )
—Guest rebecca


I am also Canadian and it's actually disturbing to think that Americans are actually offended when someone asks them to remove their shoes in a private residence. Nobody would dare enter a home without removing their shoes in Canada - it shows you have manners, you respect the people you are visiting, you don't want to track outside grime into their home. The home is a sanctuary and when you walk through that door you leave the outside world behind you. Also, all of you who wear shoes in your own home, unless they are a special orthopedic pair for your foot issues, and you only wear them indoors, I would say you're nuts...it feels nice to remove your shoes after a long day at work. And for those of you who think that outdoor shoes are cleaner than people's feet...you are sadly mistaken (you prefer to walk in your barefeet on outside allergens than on residue from somebody's recently cleansed foot?). I'm just as blown away as that other Canadian.
—Guest Amanda

Shoes Worn in the Home

I feel that shoes worn outdoors bring in dirt and dust that embed in the floor and carpet.
—Guest Judy Schubel

Hello, Germs?

With little ones in the house, do you really want them crawling around on what you walked through during the day in your shoes? Eeeww...
—Guest LittleMe

No Shoes Area

I'm an Indonesian, and here it's just a norm that people should take their shoes off when entering one's house. It's healthier and cleaner that way.
—Guest Yashmine

Shoes ON

We put shoes on to go swimming or take showers but we should remove them when we enter a house? I see I'm in the minority, but I do not want your shoes taken off at my house. Shoes at the door make more junk on the floor to trip over and without shoes to protect your feet, you could be injured. I value your visit, so I won't fret that I might need to clean my carpet sooner if you keep your shoes on. My feet actually hurt without proper support and I'm sure I am not the only one with this problem. Some say it's common sense, yet I feel it has become common nonsense.

Shoes off please.

Absolutely no shoes in our house. It's a new house with beige carpets. We all change into good quality slippers in the hall after taking off our shoes at the door. Friends either know to bring slippers with them, or are content to go barefoot or in socks. That's the norm where we live. Workmen either remove their boots or they don't get in.
—Guest andrew

My House, My Rules

If I'm gracious enough to let you into my home, the shoes will come off. It's a sign of respect for a clean house and it's owner.
—Guest Michael

Blown Away

As a Canadian I honestly thought that in the television shows people just left shoes on just because it would mess with the flow of the program with having people take them off. Having the last person say that they keep their shoes on all day long and not take them off, wear them all over their house sounds kinda gross to me. I have never left my shoes on, even at parties, and no one that I have ever met has. In retrospect I take my shoes off and my house certainly doesn't smell like feet. Or like the dog crap and everything else you would track in if you did wear your shoes.
—Guest big-t

Respect World-Wide

Get with it people!! I am shocked at how many Americans don't get it. Taking your shoes off when entering anyone's home is a sign of respect around the world!! It is like coming to the table for dinner with dirty hands. Please people take some proud in yourselves.
—Guest Buck

Removal of Shoes

I am very uncomfortable in bare or stocking feet. I feel naked ... Also some have foot problems that require they wear shoes for proper support. I never ask anyone to take off their shoes.
—Guest Hal


I love when my guests remove their shoes upon entering my home; it shows respect for the (supposed) cleanliness of my home and their comfort in feeling like they're at home too. Tracking dirt and grime from the street into my home is not pleasant or welcome. I offer slippers to anyone who would like them, but most of my friends bring a pair with them when coming to visit. I will remove my shoes when entering someone's home or ask if I may leave my shoes on.
—Guest Annie

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