It makes sense to take them off, BUT...
- No shoes in the house makes total sense to me, although where I grew up people usually wore shoes indoors. However, I have a few questions about logistics: 1) What about elderly or disabled people who will have trouble getting them on or off? Do you make exceptions for them? 2) What do you do when you have to make multiple trips outside to bring in firewood, groceries, etc.? Do you stop to take off or put on shoes each time? 3) What about summertime, when kids are playing outside barefoot? My kids love to go barefoot and seldom wear shoes outside in the summer. Plus they are in and out 1000 times per day. Do you make them wash their feet each time? We are mostly shoes-off here, though I don't freak out if people want to keep theirs on. I am more comfortable not wearing shoes but like I said, I grew up in an area where shoes are kept on so I see both sides of the debate.
- —Guest Sally
Inform your guests in advance
- Before anyone comes over to my home, I'll let them know that it's a shoes off custom at my place. So they'll know not to wear panty hoses [for ladies]. When I have a party at my home, I'll also let them know in advance that they will have to leave their shoes at the door. If they need any special requirements like indoor slippers, I'll have it arranged. But absolutely NO foot wear on my tatami. I was worried that some people might get offended at first, but my guest always end up washing their feet and heading over to the tatami room to lie down.
- —Guest kitty
No shoes or slippers on my tatami!
- I specially installed a foot wash area near the front door to cater to guests who worry about their foot odor. And some socks to keep their feet warm in the cold months. So far, no one has used the socks yet. And my house guests have informed me that they enjoy coming over. Had a party at my place once, and my guests happily kick off their shoes at the door and proceed on to wash their feet. Basically it all boils down to respect. I respect my guests so I do my best to cater to them. In return, I expect them to respect my home. If you don't like it, then don't come over. By the way, it's a good idea to fill up a squirt gun with soap and place it at the foot wash area. It's fun!!
- —Guest Kitty
- Shoe removal was the norm at my mom's (U.S.) house. It's now my custom too. I do almost understand the lack of shoe removal of those who never use their floor as furniture (sitting, lying down etc.), have no kids, and who have dark carpet, tile or laminate. But I've seen every bodily fluid expelled in a parking lot, well, except brain fluid. And car fluids. And don't tell me you think public restroom floors are clean. The mopping just spreads the muck out a little thinner. Go wipe your shoes with a white cloth and spray cleaner and see what you get. I do have a cat, and I have thought about the "walking through their poop" thing. The litter box gets cleaned regularly. I always see him cleaning himself, paws included, even between his little toes. Yes, yes I know, cat saliva. But if you licked your feet before you walked on my carpet I wouldn't care. I prefer that over the bottom of your shoes.
- In Greece you won't generally be expected to take your shoes off when visiting a house. Especially in more formal occasions (a dinner party for example) it would seem extremely out-of-place to ask your guests to do so.
- —Guest Popus
- I feel naked without shoes on. What ever happened to the host being hospitable?
- —Guest j
Shoes off is always the best policy
- I believe in shoes off. It is always the best policy. It is a common courtesy to take them off in someone's house, a sign that you respect their home. If you're worried about the smell or if some one has no socks on, then offer them a fresh pair. It's not that hard to bend over and take your shoes off people. Let's be respectful. The only exceptions are if you: a) hate and don't respect the homeowner, or b) are having a party and people are going in and out a lot.
- —Guest Diana
- It's weird to me that it's a debated matter whether people leave their shoes on or off in the house. For me and everyone I have ever known and visited, shoes are always taken off at the door. There was never any question about it, you came in the house, you took off your shoes and if you wore slippers around the house it was to keep your feet warm. The only reason I ever thought maybe it was a cultural thing was because on all the television I've seen everyone always has their shoes on, unless they're in their bed or something. I don't really care and I don't think it matters much either way.
- —Guest Sandra
Dirt really, really people?
- There is no right or wrong answer. If you have a no shoe policy, that's fine. If you wear shoes inside, also fine. From a microbiological point of view, let's be honest, it's not any more sanitary not to wear shoes inside your home. I rather see shoes than your dirty, ugly, fungal, and bacterial infested feet. Not to mention what nasty communicable disease you got carrying with you. Do me a favor sometime, culture what's under the average person's foot and you "no shoe" people will throw up. I just hope you don't ask your guest to take their pants off because they sat on a park bench or road the subway to your house. Perhaps you do. Just a word of advice, if you ever visit the President or say the Queen of England, don't be an idiot and take your shoes off.
- —Guest SWOLBADANAC
- Since I was really young, I have never worn shoes in the house. In Indonesia, where both of my parents were born, no one really wore shoes in their homes, and that even included the households with tile floors. I never really had friends at that age aside from an Indonesian family that my parents knew. They did the same, so for the first 7 years of my life, I thought everyone took off their shoes, upon entering any house. When we were planning to move homes, my parents brought us to some model homes. At the door, I was about to remove my shoes, until I saw everyone enter with their shoes on. I thought it was rather strange, never actually having seen people keep their shoes on inside. I always had the idea that shoes were filthy on the soles and were never meant to be used inside... ever. At all parties and events, it was always at another Indonesian household. There would be tons of shoes at the front door and around the front door inside the house. Reading this article makes me chuckle a little, but it's interesting of how diverse we all are.
- —Guest IndoGirl
Shoes Off or Stay Home
- In an effort to reduce germs and keep the home clean, I would think keeping your shoes off is a no brainer. I keep slippers handy for my guests. As far as people with foot problems, they should have an extra pair of shoes which they wear only inside and bring along when they visit others. For those who claim they keep their shoes on because of odor, very simple, wash your feet several times a day and use products that eliminate odor. If your feet stink, they also stink with your shoes on. Do something about it, don't ruin other people's floors because you have foot problems.
Isn't it obvious?!!!
- I just can't understand why people would wear shoes inside?!!! Don't you leave your coat / umbrella at the entrance or do you walk with it around the house? Our house is a shoeless zone and for good! I don't wanna know where you've been trampling around, just keep it out!
- —Guest Sam
Shoes off - baby in house!
- Our hosue is a shoes-off zone, especially now that my baby rubs her face on the carpet. How nerve-wracking is it knowing there is arsenic in our soil and my child can be exposed to it right in her own home? And if I have been wearing open-toed shoes outside, I wash my feet once I get inside. I have always practiced shoe removal at the door - it just seems natural. On the aesthetic side of things, my house looks a lot cleaner than those of my pals.
- —Guest carol in dallas, tx
- I grew up and still live in northern Michigan and my house was a shoes off home. Whenever I went to a friend's house after school it was always shoes off. Now when I go to a new friend's house I always ask shoes off or on and they usually just laugh and say "off, but its up too you if you want to wear them." I like shoes off becuase in the winter it will track in snow, mud, and salt. Even now that I am in college I take my shoes off when entering my dorm room and put slippers on. Most fellow students walk around the hall with just slippers or socks. It makes it seem more homey.
- —Guest Shoes off
Shoes on or off?
- Ok here is my take: yes I understand the culture ... that is fabulous and I'd respect that any day. But how about people who have problems with feet? I cannot walk without PROPER footwear. I do understand the theory about the dog poo etc. Well why not have a shoe washer by the door? Providing booties for people is not always a viable thing for people with foot problems. As for carpet ... have you ever been around when replacing carpet? Oh my gosh... ewwww. So unless you can steam clean it and maintain it perfectly. I do not believe in making my guests tow my line. That is why they make steam cleaners, disposable floor cleaning sheets etc. Personally cleanliness as well as allergies is exactly why we have no carpet except a runner or so; they are too dirty and you cannot keep them clean. I do respect my friends who ask for no shoes, but I wash a pair and bring them along.
- —Guest Candy