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Readers Respond: Wearing Shoes in the House

Responses: 110


While some people insists that guests remove their shoes upon entering their house, others prefer that visitors leave their shoes on -- but what's really interesting to me is the reasons behind these decisions.

What are your feelings on wearing shoes in the house? If you have a house shoe rule, I'd love to hear what it is, and why you have it.

Depends on circumstances

I prefer not to wear them but I do like my indoor slippers or sandals to wear. If we have a party or guests they can wear their shoes but I clean afterwards.
—Guest Chris

No shoes in my house

I don't like shoes or sandals in my house. I think it's gross when you work outside all day and use public restrooms, or are walking, running, all the stuff you step on and bring it in your house at the end of the day and sleep with it? I ask neighbors and friends to take off their shoes, but most of the time they don't care what I say, so each time they leave I have to do the deep clean. Even if they were only in my house for 2 minutes. If they use my bathroom I close that bathroom door until they leave, then I deep clean the whole bathroom too, even the light switch. I don't like to bring shoes in other people's house either, unless they have a dirty house. But even if they bring their shoes inside their house I still take mine off and when I get home I wash my feet outside before I come in my house. I take my shoes off hoping they see that and do the same at my house, but so far no luck. Anyway do what you do at your home, but respect others when you go to their home.
—Guest Me

Shoes Off!

In Australia we have our cold days as well as our hot days. Normally when it's cooler my family tend to wear slippers inside the house and keep our outside shoes outside. In summer we walk barefoot around the house.
—Guest Isabel

No shoes in a house

I don't like wearing shoes in a house. You go to public bathroom and come home and bring all the germs into your house? You basically bring all the dirty stuff into your home. I can't live in a house like that. Dirty...
—Guest J

It's automatic for us

Me, and most of the lads I know, always take our sneakers off when we go to each others houses. I think it's because we are all made to take them off at home. Our parents have the rule to keep their floors clean. Most lads wear socks in the house, one friend wears slippers and I just go barefoot. Wearing sneakers in the house feels odd to all of us.
—Guest Emo Boy


First off, think about WHAT you step in outside. You could have stepped in dog doo, moldy stuff, dirt, and who knows what else!By taking off your shoes before stepping in a house, you prevent alot of bad germs from spreading. Yes, people may have foot fungus or something like that, but you are not asking people to take their socks off as well! It doesn't matter if the house in question isn't clean: don't add more of a mess!
—Guest Min

My house, my fam health, my rules!

My house my rules! It started as a culture thing for generations before mine. However I see it as primarily a health reason ESP. for my toddler who is laying all over the floors, sticking his hands all over his face and mouth. I want to prevent all types of dirt, scum, feces, and diseases that come with the stuff found under shoes ending up inside my house, on my floors! Have a problem, here wear these disposable booties!
—Guest Elle

My house; my rules

I continue to be amazed that Americans somehow think it's rude to be asked to take off their shoes in SOMEONE ELSE'S house. I get that you may/may not like taking yours off, may/may not care what people do in your home, but guess what? This is my house! It is incredibly inconsiderate and arrogant to go 'I know this is your house and your personal request (due to culture/cleanliness/etc) is to have me remove my shoes when visiting, but..nah, I'm gonna do what I want.' WHAT?! Do you make the same presumption of 'I like having my dog around; I dont care that it's your house and you're allergic, how dare you ask me not to bring my dog?!' Of course not! You get to make the rules in your house, and you get to follow the rules when in someone else's house. This is kindergarten 101 people. Don't like taking off your shoes? Ask to meet elsewhere.
—Guest Rebeka

Shoes off in Canada

There is absolutely no shoes inside the house here in Canada. I used to live in the US. I have been to a lot of houses and most people bring their shoes inside the house. Once I was at a party and everybody had their shoes on. I felt bad for the owner of the house:-( She probably did a lot of floor washing after the party, but yeah, it was a mess.
—Guest lily

Haha, fungus (sigh)....

I think it is hilarious how gross people think feet are. Seriously how many people do you think have communicable diseases on their feet? Hypochondriac much? Honestly that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Relax and take off your shoes ;)
—Guest Guest Canadian

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

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