4 Comments

  1. WB

    Hardwood floors are not delicate. Put down a rug in the entry way, and unless you have tap dancers coming through, they will be fine. Any surface scratches will come out with regular cleaning or a buffing. Hardwood floors are designed to last a lifetime, with or without shoes.

    There’s no point in having people over to your home if they are going to feel uncomfortable.

  2. Theresa

    I hate when Im invited to these selfish ‘my house is so valuable I’d rather you be uncomfortable than have one little mar on or floor’ kind of party. My latest is the no stilletoes rule with the haunting host inspecting our toes at the door. Parties spell gaffs, spills etc. If you’re not ready for that don’t have one.

  3. Cheryl

    While I understand that having guests remove their shoes is a touchy subject, I admit that I have sustained substantial damage to my brand new hardwoods from ladies wearing shoes that are not properly maintained and the nails in their heals literally punching holes in the floor. What’s a hostess to do???? We love to entertain and are fine with occasional spills and mishaps, but damage to the floor is not acceptable to us. Help….

    • Country Girl

      Cheryl I understand your dilemma. I also don’t mind the small inconveniences that come with hosting guests, but as a home owner who takes pride in maintaining a nice and comfortable home, I don’t want to have lasting gouges in my flooring due to a guest’s particular footwear. That said… this is really a nip it in the bud situation. There really isn’t a polite way to ask just one guest to remove his/her shoes or don a pair of slippers without completely embarrassing them. (I’ll add the gentlemen because a rock stuck in a boot or shoe can also have the same damaging effect.)

      If you choose to allow shoes, then unfortunately damage is a risk you have chosen to take. Perhaps you can attempt prevention by laying some rugs or mats down where guests will be walking. If you choose to avoid the potential damage all together, then you will need to implement a no-shoes policy for all so that one or two guests do not end up feeling singled out.

      To like to sum up the trends of opinions I am seeing on this site:

      1) Many seem to be in agreement that if you are hosting a cocktail party where guests are expected to dress up, then you should be prepared to accommodate their footwear. Besides the (controversial) fashion aspect, most likely won’t expect to be asked to remove their shoes and ladies may be wearing sheer stocking which can lead to chilly feet.

      2) If you live in a region with snow/rain/precipitation, it is neither polite nor safe to track this into a host’s home. Guests should either thoroughly dry their shoes if permitted or be prepared to remove them if not. Host should provide plenty of mats and towels for drying off, or offer slippers or the like.

      3) There are valid reasons for a guest not to want to remove their shoes including medical conditions. There are also valid reasons for a host not to want guests to wear shoes into their homes including costly and preventable damage to home. There are potential safety issues for each including traction and dragging in water creating slippery surface for all.

      No matter which side of this debate you fall into, I see the most important rule being for guests and hosts be respectful of each other. Guests can do this by being prepared to comply with a request to remove their shoes, wearing or bringing proper socks/slippers, and making sure their footwear is not a type that will in fact damage their host’s floor if they are permitted to wear them. Hosts can do this by preparing an area for guests to dry their shoes, informing guests ahead of time if they will be expected to remove their shoes if it may not be expected, providing warm and skid-proof slippers, and being understanding of those who may have a particular need to keep their shoes on. All hosts should want their guests to be comfortable and all guests should want to respect and limit abuse of the hospitality and home of their host.

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