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Readers Respond: Wearing Shoes in the House

Responses: 165


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. Share Your Thoughts

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 helps to marry an Indian girl

You may be interested in my response (I am English) as it changed during my life and there was also an element of it being a class thing. My family was working class and we grew up poor in a small terrace (rowhouse in the US). I don't remember having carpets as we grew up . So we and everyone we knew kept shoes on. We moved to the countryside when I was older and I was quite surprised to be be asked to remove my shoes when I was invited to some friend's houses. These were invariably those friends who's parents were "posh." It felt weird! But I was a kid, I just did as I was told. Then, much later, I married an Indian girl and for the sake of harmony in the house I had to go completely barefoot! But I got used to it (and a few other Indian customs) and now I can't tolerate anything on my feet in the house. We brought up all our kids the same way. Shoes in the house is just dirty. Why pay hundreds of pounds for a carpet and start to wreck it straight away?

Shoes on the bed!

My housemate won't let the cats in the bedroom, yet he will take a nap on the bed with shoes ON THE SHEETS!
—Guest Sheryl

Shoes on or off

If I enter someone's home and notice that they are wearing shoes (not slippers) inside the home, then I keep my shoes on, and vice versa.
—Guest Batman

Carpet - less important than my friends

I wore appliances throughout grade school to address my flat feet. My feet DO hurt without shoes on. I'm also diabetic, and being barefoot is not recommended due to the possibility for injury or infection. Forgetting all that, I want people to be comfortable in my home. You want to take your shoes off? Take them off. You want to leave your shoes on? Leave them on. I tend to surround myself with the type of people that have enough common sense to remove their shoes in inclement weather, but I have a friend that will start shouting as you come up the walk to remove your shoes. He also requires the use of hand cleanser before getting in his car, that you sit on a towel in his car, and... no boat shoes on his boat. If your stuff is that precious, we can meet at my home, where you are the focus of my interest, not my floor covering. I've never been visited in the hospital by a roll of carpet, but I have had visits by friends. A doormat is a useful thing. I also own a vaccuum.
—Guest Mark H.

No Shoes Home

Canadian here, it is different from place to place. For example, on the East coast where I lived for over a decade and a half it is shoes off or indoor shoes at work and in school. For home, it is always shoes off. In Ontario and on the West Coast, it is shoes off indoors, but schools and work places are generally shoes on or indoor shoes. I have a shoes off office because I prefer it that way.
—Guest James

No Shoes

When I was a kid growing up in Canada, I was taken aback by the number of foot remedy commercials on American TV, everything from foot deoderizers to athlete foot remedies. These were commercials we just did not see as much of in Canada. Besides the dirt, there is a health issue with keeping your sweaty feet in your shoes all day without giving them a chance to breathe.
—Guest CJA

No shoes

I don't wear shoes at home for a few reasons. First of all, it makes your feet smell bad. Also, shoes aren't meant to be worn all day and they get uncomfortable. Lastly, I like going barefoot. Socks also get uncomfortable. Also, all the dirt and crap you step on outside gets in your house. Why would you want that?
—Guest random dude

Usually shoes on

I feel like your shoes should be kept on inside the house unless there is obvious amounts of dirt/mud. the only times I think you should take off your shoes is if you are sleeping there or you are in a carpeted area of the house and you want to keep it clean.
—Guest greg

maybe a generational thing

I live in the UK and I'm a little surprised that some people think many of us keep our shoes on inside the house. After all we live in a notoriously wet country. Why would you want to bring in rain water, mud or worse? Elderly people tend to keep their shoes on, those under 60 tend to take them off. Maybe it is the difficulty in doing that for older people. But I wonder if it comes down to the fact that they grew up in colder houses due to coal fires instead of central heating, and maybe less carpeting. I keep a pair of flip-flops (indoor only) for the laminate floor areas.
—Guest UK guest

No shoe zone

Believer in no shoe zone in the house. Think of all your shoes walk on (spit feces, food on the ground) I have surgical booties at my front door that are disposable as guest leave. I don't use an outside broom in my home. I have an indoor broom for inside the home. If you tell people ahead of time they have the opportunity to bring a pair of socks with them. It is your home, it is your rule!!!!
—Guest Gail

The brits are a shoes off nation!

I absolutely agree. I live in the UK and just about everyone I know removes their shoes at the door
—Guest Shoeless Uk citizen

Help me understand!

I am American. I have tried & will respect others with the no shoe rule. I have no pets & no kids. I have a problem with no shoes cause a lot of people have pets. I don't think animals are as clean as some humans. So why would I want your pets hair & germs on my socks? I smoke do u really think every time I go outside to smoke or do something I want to put on my shoes? And on top of that a home is not inviting to me if there are 20 plus shoes sitting in the doorway. I don't normally sit on the floor but as long as it appears to be clean then why worry. Unless you are a complete freak about the subject. What is the big deal? Most maintenance people will not respect your wish & unless you are on guard 24/7 will it really matter?
—Guest I wear shoes

Britains do take they shoes off!

Quite frankly I am offended at the person who said British people don't take their shoes off - we do! You don't live in Britain, please don't define British people by one person. Please don't make assumptions in future.
—Guest UK Citizen

Shoes Off- Questions Answered!

1. Yes, exceptions are made for elderly/ those with special considerations. 2. Groceries or firewood you'd pile it up at the door, take off shoes and then bring it all in from the inside. 3. In summer, barefoot in your own yard into the house is okay, but you wouldn't stray into the city or down the road barefoot. 4. If you have bunions etc. you're going to be prepared and wear socks always. My question: I don't understand the reasoning behind a shoes on person thinking it's rude to take your shoes off in their home. Because they have to see your feet?
—Guest Bert

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Wearing Shoes in the House

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