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Readers Respond: Wearing Shoes in the House

Responses: 110


I Don't Think So

Take off your shoes before entering my home. I have four children that play on that floor and I do not want what is on the bottoms of shoes to be on my floors and in the hands and mouths of my children. It is much cleaner.
—Guest Mother Of Four

Comfort versus cleanliness

I recommend for people obsessed with keeping their white carpets clean that they invest in quality door mats or lay down plastic runners ... which is nearly as tacky as insisting that all visitors remove their shoes. For comfort (and yes, at times cleanliness, e.g. after working in the yard or on rainy days) I prefer to remain shoeless in my own home, but I never insist that visitors remove their own shoes. Some people are uncomfortable displaying their bare or socked feet, and others have dressed up for a social occasion with fun or special shoes as part of their outfits. If my friends and visitors want to remove their shoes, fine, but their comfort in my home is way more important to me than having pristine carpet and tile. I have only one exception: no stilettos on the hardwood floors. I had a guest once whose older spike heels had worn down to expose the metal beneath the runner tips, and they left little indentations in the wood floor.

It would be wrong ...

I believe all persons should remove their shoes entering a private residence. Firstly, it is my culture and that is the way we have been taught, and secondly, it would be wrong to wear your shoes inside with the grime from other areas taken into another house.
—Guest Mary

Not on My Carpet

I take my shoes off in my house, because it is clean and I don't want someone coming to my house having been outside (probably in a public bathroom or wherever) coming to my house with their shoes on. Taking off your shoes is being polite and respectful in someone's house, it is more clean that way, and it is all about how you were raised as an individual. I know that in the European culture you take off your shoes before enetering a house, also I am a Nigerian and I know that in Nigeria, you take your shoes off before entering one's house and know I do ... imagine when it is snowing outside and someone walks in their house with their shoes on, it would be so messy, they won't clean it ... you will ... and I have carpet. So shoes on my carpet ... HELL NO!
—Guest chiname

I Appreciate the Effort

The one thing I appreciate the most when visitors are popping in is for them to remove the shoes! Do I want they outside dirt tracked in my house? No.
—Guest Michelle Rivers

A Matter of Common Sense

I learned about not wearing shoes from the Asians. It made commom sense to me, that after walking outdoors -- especially in cities, where there is dog poo, urine, and lord knows what else -- to take them off. In addition, I workout and do floor exercises on my living room floor, it's carpeted. This came from the Asians, you should say that. Americans did not come up with this concept.
—Guest osiris munir

Hardwood v Carpet

I ask guests to remove shoes when entering my house because I have capeted floors. (I offer a myriad of hand-knitted footsies or fresh, clean socks to anyone who asks.) When I lived in a house with hardwood floors it didn't matter to me as much. However, when I've gone to friend's houses and noticed the state of their carpets, I've sometimes elected to keep my shoes on. Filthy, stained carpet freaks me out!


I lived in Hawaii for 12 years, and it has become a habit to remove my shoes, and it is more comfortable. Most friends & family have adopted my habit, and without saying anything they remove their shoes at the entrance. I do have a cute little Hawaiian hanging sign that gently asks that they remove their shoes as well. My carpets are off-white, and I can still maintain clean carpets with minimal maintenance.
—Guest Cecilia

Of course!

I'm from Sweden and here there is no doubt! Of course you take off your shoes! The only reason to wear shoes indoors here in Sweden is if you're just visiting for, like five minutes -- standing in the doorway all the time ... At work and in school you wear shoes, but not in someone's home. From age 0-12 you don't even wear shoes at school...
—Guest Bea

Just one thing........

"Do not take off your shoes unless is your own house"
—Guest Victoria

No Shoes in My House

Front door sign: this is a proud American home run Japanese style. Please remove your shoes and slip into a pair of comfortable slippers.

How Rude!

I consider it rude to tell my guests to remove their shoes, like their shoes are too dirty for my perfect house ...how rude! Plus when I go over to someone's house for a gathering or a party, I usually put together my whole outfit, including my boots (ususally have to buy these as my size feet are too small for adult shoes) and I hate to ruin my outfit by having to run around in my ugly socks instead ... like I said, how rude!
—Guest t_aqilla

We Don't Insist, Unless ...

We always remove our shoes at other peoples houses; it just a given for us. As for our place, we appreciate it if people do, but we don't insist unless they are wet or dirty.
—Guest mary vansickle

No Shoes

When I was young, that was the rule at home. My mom had a white carpet. I am now wearing AFO's (due to my MS) that fit under the pad of the shoe. It is impossible for me to take off my shoes without taking off my AFO's. Most people are very understanding.

It's a Well-Known Rule

My mother is Asian and It's always been customary to take off your shoes in their house. Now that I'm in my own house and have kids of my own, I tried the "leave the shoes on way" and realized I don't want people tracking whatever they stepped in outside into my house! Plus I have kids and they should be able to play on the floor with no worries. It's a well known rule that shoes shuld be off -- and I have extra socks available if anyone needs them :)
—Guest DetroitMom

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