Casual v. Formal
- Generally I prefer to move around with my shoes off, and my friends always take theirs off when they come into our house because they plan to curl up on a couch. However, all of these are casual occasions. I've never, even when I know the normal policy is shoes-off, been asked to remove shoes at any event at which I would be expected to wear heels - that is, to dress up. And I have to say that would be a little strange - I have to wear stockings and a skirt, but no shoes? I guess my question would be how to handle something like a dinner party or open house where guests show respect for you by dressing for an event appropriately, including footwear (which is definitely a U.S. custom). Again, I guess I feel like it's situational - casually, of course there's no issue. But when we're expected to be dressed more formally, it seems that the host should expect that we would dress that way from head to toe and respect that action, just as we would avoid wearing muddy shoes.
- —Guest Jane
About the Smell
- Also, some of you said you prefer that everyone keep their shoes on because you don't want people exposing their smelly feet. Some people do have have naturally smelly feet, but most people's smelly sweaty feet are caused be being trapped in shoes all day. If you took them off more, your feet and shoes will be able to dry out, reducing fungus that thrives on moisture. Think of it this way: imagine you wore snug heavy leather or canvas gloves on your hands from morning until night, every day, day after day, the same sets of gloves, never washing them, leaving them coated in whatever you had touched that day, and only washing your bare hands once a day. Your hands would be sweaty and smelly and your gloves would be filthy and stinky, too. This is what happens to your feet if you wear shoes all the time. And it's why some people don't want your shoes in their houses. They don't wear their shoes indoors, so their feet are dry and usually odor-free. Ask to borrow socks if you need to.
- —Guest Andrea
Respect From Both Sides, Please
- We're a shoes-off family. If you think your feet will hurt if you go shoeless, consider how long your shoes are going to be off and how much standing you are going to be doing. If you're just dropping in for less than an hour, are your feet really going to hurt if you take your shoes off? If you're going to be sitting down for most of your visit, are you actually going to be in pain? I understand that some of you think it's rude ask someone to remove their shoes, but by refusing, you are being equally rude (if not more). If you have been invited into someone's home, you should show them respect by following their reasonable rules. You wouldn't light up a cigarette in someone's living room if you knew they didn't like smoking inside, would you? On the other hand, people who ask others to remove their shoes inside and are met with hesitation should offer a pair of clean socks or clean slippers.
- —Guest Andrea
- All my young life, while watching cartoons, I never understood why the characters wore shoes all the time in their house. I thought it was just because in cartoons they always wear the same thing. Then I watched real TV and people really do do that. So I'm guessing it's an American thing. But why would people do that?! When I use the steps to put on my shoes I get screamed at because dirt gets on the wooden floor so why on earth would someone allow people to put crap, dirt, mud, salt, ant corpses and gum residue all over there carpets?!
- —Guest Brianne
I Don't Want Your Dirty Shoes All over M
- I am just disgusted that some people keep their shoes on in their houses. I am American and where I come from, it is just common curtesy and sensible that the shoes come off in the house. The bacteria on my feet are not nearly as dirty as my shoes. I take my shoes off in very single house I go to and everyone takes their shoes off in my house. Maybe its just the area I live in, but when coming into my house, one thing, TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!
- —Guest Elle
Shoes Off, Slippers On
- Our rule is simple: shoes off at the door, slippers on. We have very expensive and light floors, we change into our slippers for comfort as well as keeping our floors unmarked. What's wrongs with our guests doing the same?
- —Guest marco
It's just rude
- We do not wear shoes in our home and I can't believe how many people know this and just ignore our rule! It infuriates me and as soon as they leave I mop the floors. People think I am the rude one for asking them to take them off, they are rude for wearing their shoes in public restrooms and then wearing them on my clean floors that my children play on!
- —Guest Danielle
Canadians always remove their shoes
- It seems that this is a north-south issues. In artic nations (like Canada) it is expected that you will remove your outdoor shoes when you go to someone's house. Some people will bring indoor shoes with them as part of their outfit. You are obviously not going to wear snow and salt covered boots and shoes in someones home! In any case, because of this the culture is to remove your shoes year round. I do remember as a kid my grandparents telling me to keep my shoes on but they grew up in the USA. I always thought they were nuts! Must be hard for Americans in the northern states if the culture is to keep them on.
- —Guest Jeff Canada
Keep Shoes On
- I keep shoes on, because they keep my feet warm, and I don't want to smell dirty feet (which is caused by bacteria, which your socks have too). The only time I will not wear shoes is when they get dirty from rain or snow. Then I take them off. But no, I think it is gross to have dirty, sweaty, smelly feet on my carpet.
- —Guest Bob
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?
- 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