1. Winifred Rosenburg

    I suggest that this rule have an exception for people working in your home. I teach private music lessons in my students homes, and a few of the homes I go to have a no shoes policy. I comply, but I find it uncomfortable to maintain a position of authority over my students while not wearing shoes. This is sometimes amplified by the fact that I sometimes wear socks that don’t match my outfit if my shoes completely cover them.

    In a more extreme case, my brother-in-law is a cable repair man. He said that sometimes people will ask him to take his shoes off and then get angry when he tells them he’s required to keep his work boots on. Any person fixing things in your home needs to keep his shoes on for safety reasons, and safety definitely trumps etiquette.

      • Winifred Rosenburg

        That’s all well and good if the company provides them (my brother-in-law’s company does not), but I don’t think the individual worker should have to purchase them himself. If it’s that important to you, and you know the cable guy is coming, you can get some yourself and ask that he puts them on when he gets there.

      • I am a window washer/window cleaner. I will either ware shoe covers or remove my shoes. Most of my customers take their shoes off before entering, so I offer to remove mine. Customers feel more at ease when I remove my shoes before coming into their home. On my website http://www.windowcleaninginphoenix.com I explain that I respect their home and will remove my shoes out of respect and to keep their home clean.

      • Cowbob Bob

        I hope you realize that the shoe covers are in them selves a safety hazard. Hope you have Great home insurance to cover you when someone slips and gets hurt because you Made them put on the slippers

    • I agree with Ashley regarding workes should have booties to wear over thier shoes if they must keep them on. I want them to be safe but was extremely upset when workers ruined my new carpet with wet boots when installing the baseboards – they paid for cleaning of course but it still didn’t restore it completly.
      I have now started having slippers (made by my gram) at the front door for those coming in. I find our floors can be cold and so it’s a guest comfort :)

    • Danielle

      In a jam if people have workers etc. coming into their home they can just have them put plastic grocery bags over their shoes. Everyone has them lying around.

      • Tom

        Are you kidding? Plastic bags over shoes are like ice skates on tile or hardwood floors, and so are paper booties. I occasionally get asked to work in socks, booties, and even plastic bags when I come to install built-in kitchen appliances, and I tell them that I’ll either just wear my shoes, or they can call in some fool who’s willing to risk serious injury and/or damage to their home and new appliances while trying to carry them in and install them, and slip/fall because of the booties.

        Have some respect for the worker!

    • Dreyfus Canine

      A vet told me that you can bring distemper into a home through the soles of your shoes. Shoe soles are covered with whatever they walk through – the least obnoxious substance to mention here is the chemicals used to treat lawns. Think about where the soles of your shoes have walked through?
      If you clean the house, then you certainly can request that people remove their shoes: tell them in advance of their coming, and if this is not possible and someone just shows-up, then have a pair of slipper(s) for their convenience.
      I’ve seen the wrath of dirty shoe soles on carpets and clean floors. Why should I have to deal with this?
      Guests come to see you, not parade around in high heels to show off their outfits. If that is all they want to do, then you have to question the value of their friendship.

      • Lori C

        Dreyfus, Dogs who are not vaccinated are most likely to pick up distemper through direct contact with an infected dog’s saliva, blood or urine. This can happen when your pet uses another dog’s food or water bowl. It can also be passed through the air if an infected dog sneezes or coughs near your dog. One of the few positive aspects of distemper is that the virus cannot live without fresh secretions. It is inactivated in minutes outside the living host’s body.

  2. Jody

    I think this situation falls under the “your house, your rules” scenario. It’s not rude to ask people to remove their shoes if it’s done politely (as you seem to be doing). Drop-in guests need to put up with what they view as inconviences if they’re stopping by without an invitation. I remove my shoes in my home, but more for comfort than keeping the floors clean. I had drop-in guests remove their shoes without my asking them when they saw my pile of shoes near the door.

    I do like the disposable paper slippers idea. Another idea might be to keep some old (laundered) socks nearby. Kudos to your construction people who are compliant with your wishes; that shows they care about the service they’re giving.

    As for the housewarming party, you’re smart to not give one until this situation is sorted out. If you do want to host a housewarming, there might be some inexpensive plastic matting you could put over your floors for the duration of the party.

    • polite punk

      Jody makes a great point here. I always remove my shoes when I come home more for comfort than anything else. Yet, I find my friends often do the same when they come over because they see the shoes by the door. I think making it obvious that this is your request is great. And maybe having a few pairs of extra slippers would be helpful too (especially in the winter as some people are very sensitive to the cold).

      When I was growing up, I was friends with a lot of international children. Many of them had a no shoes in the house rule. Once I knew what to expect when I got to each house, it wasn’t a big deal at all. I think it’s the initial surprise that some people don’t like.

    • Gloria

      Are you kidding? She’s ‘SMART’ for not hosting a housewarming party?? Isn’t it HER new house?? I think it is EXTREMELY sad if someone is more concerned about high heel marks on their floor, as opposed to inviting friends and family over to celebrate their new house! What is this world coming to? No wonder people communicate more on Facebook and Twitter and texting. No one wants to invite people over to get their house dirty!! (Plus, might also be too cheap to treat people to food/drinks.)

      • Myra Ford Jenkins

        Gloria, thank you for saying what I have been thinking. How sad, are we that we are more concerned with our floors versus the comfort of our guest. A floor that is designed to be walked on….

        I was at a Thanksgiving get together hosted by my sister, and her precious floors caused for there to be a mound of shoes (in several piles) in a manner in which I do not treat my shoes (LOL), needless to say, if you cannot afford to repair damage that someone could do…to your carpet, floors maybe you should reconsider this investment.

        Life is way too short, and it is not that serious. But, I had to learn my lesson stressing over scuff marks that wipe right off. Enjoy and let everyone enjoy time together!

        • Tee

          People should just respect someones’s wishes when you visit. If there is a no shoe rule then that’s just what it is. People work hard to get the things that they have and why should they allow others to come in and not comply. If it’s your home and you don’t even wear shoes around then visitors will not, “ENOUGH SAID”

          • Lis

            I agree with Tee’s comments on this matter 100%!!! If you own the house it is your rules as we all work hard to own our own home!!! If you don’t like the rules don’t come. You can always have your own party if you don’t like it! I don’t want any of my pets getting sick from something on someone elses shoes! Boy you all need to try working in the medical field & then ask do I want that in my home?

          • Dieti

            People who are more concerned about their floors that are *gasp* meant to be WALKED on, rather than their friends comfort are not friends I would keep for long. I personally have been told by an orthopedic surgeon to never walk barefoot. I keep a pair of good, comfortable sandals or clogs as house shoes. Even before the arthritis, I always considered people who ask others to remove their shoes before entering their house as totally rude.

      • Sally

        Sorry to disagree, but in many cultures it is common practice to remove ones shoes before entering another’s home. I actually had a friend who re-did her beautiful oak floors only to have her sister- in-law come to a party with high heels that put indentations in the floor through-out the house.

        I guess my Scandinavian heritage kicks in because I’m one of those who asks that you remove your shoes…and I entertain quite a bit!

        • Sage Wood

          I agree with you 100% Sally. Sure Floors ARE meant to be walked on..but not everyone is so careless about it, some people take Pride in the Floor that houses their Family in comfort & security. People ARE more into Facebook friends now because there are no REAL ones out there anymore! If having friends over means making my house filthy..then there’s no admittance here!!! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course, but if one TRULY Respects their own Home as well as others’..one should NOT want negative energies entering the Home via dirty shoes. Do you immediately wash your face & hands upon entering? I know I do..Ok..then why would you leave your shoes on?? My Children, my Animals and I use our floor as our play area, my Animals sleep & eat on my floor & so do I sometimes..etc. WHY would I allow outside dirt to be put upon my immaculate floor?? Just because someone decides to have on mismatched socks or stinky feet DOES NOT mean I allow the same behavior in MY household. How about taking better care of yourself, keep your feet clean at ALL times, put on your clothes properly & you won’t have any worries about “surprises!” People who DON’T do that obviously don’t care much about their own hygiene. That type of behavior doesn’t build character..good character is when you can do the right thing when nobody’s watching. There is feces, urine, people spitting lungie snot all over on the ground & Lord knows what else! If my guests are upset of my choice of cleanliness for my Home, then they are NOT true friends & therefore not welcome inside my Home. I’m not a clean fanatic I am just a normal happy person who keeps a very clean & FUN environment for my Children & my Family. So the choice is..either let everyone go traipsing around everywhere with their dirty shoes bringing in germs of every sort into my Home just to avoid “bad feelings” OR just Respectfully remove their shoes & choose their Moccasins! One shouldn’t even have to be asked to do so..it should come as second Nature.

          • Rosemary McBride

            Sage, I have learnt in life that self praise is no recommendation. I cannot believe that you are so conceited as to think that your home is totally and utterly devoid of germs. You want people to remove their shoes at the expense of a friendship but you have animals? And you eat and sleep off the floor?

          • visitor

            Well, I agree with Sage 100%. I have two young kids who literally live off the floor. And some people will just walk all over my baby’s playmat with their dirty shoes on. I can’t believe how insensitive those people are. They know I don’t wear shoes at home, but still they don’t care.

          • Amara

            I’m with you 100 percent Sage! It’s so rude to wear shoes from the outside inside your house! It should be second nature… I ALWAYS take my shoes off when at anyone’s home and cringe to think when ppl don’t. Sure we have germs in houses it’s just bad Feng Shui to wear shoes you’ve been stepping all over outside in and bring it inside… It’s amazing how much less diet is on your floors when you take off your shoes, and maybe Rosemary just doesn’t care about that but I do and I care about my home and my family…. Ppl it’s plaine rude to wear shoes inside houses

          • S. Kitch

            Okay, I’ve read through many of the comments and read the same comment from “Sage Wood” twice that got my ire up enough to have to go ahead and make my response. I’ll get to that in just a minute.

            As for my opinion on the whole leave them on or take them off, personally in my own home, I take my shoes off at the door. I have a very nice box seat with removable lid to store them in. The kiddo puts her shoes there at the door as well. Why? I don’t want what was outside, inside. You unknowingly step in all kinds of stuff.. like animal urine, maybe someone’s vomit, spit, bird droppings and who knows what else. I just get the willies thinking about that stuff. I do not ask guests to remove their shoes though. I have a vacuum and plenty of antibacterial cleaner that would keep a hospital in better shape if I need to use it and use it I do. Considering the area’s guests usually go in my house, it only takes a very small amount of time to quickly go over where they’ve walked. NO BIG DEAL. If you’ve got muddy shoes on, that’s another story, don’t be a jerk and take your dang shoes off.

            On to my original intent. What got me was the rude and obnoxious comment from “Sage Wood”; “Just because someone decides to have on mismatched socks or stinky feet DOES NOT mean I allow the same behavior in MY household. How about taking better care of yourself, keep your feet clean at ALL times….” Well fantasy land Sage, I’m truly sorry for you that no one should dare to wear mismatched socks, it’s a fad right now, get over it. Secondly, “stinky” feet does not mean anyone’s feet aren’t clean. You’re obviously not intelligent enough to know that, so I’m informing you here. While I don’t suffer from stinky feet, I know plenty of people who do, they’ve also got sweaty feet and there’s nothing they can do to change that either. I would NEVER dream of embarrassing someone by telling them that they can’t enter my home if they have stinky feet knowing they’d shrivel in humiliation if anyone dared suggest they take off their shoes and frankly, I’m embarrassed for all of you who INSIST no one enter unless they comply with your demands UNLESS you can provide them with a pair of HOUSE SHOES that would fit them and regardless of their stinky feet you let them wear them and never ever make a comment about it or resent them for putting their feet in the shoes. Spray them with disinfectant when they leave. By the way, I find there are about 3 different house slipper sizes that fit most people, even if they run large. So what, do it.

            As for workmen. I don’t want them to take off their shoes and IF they have mud or too much debris on their shoes, I WILL make an effort to help them clean them off before they come in the house. I have only had ONE inconsiderate person ever trample something into my house on a mucky day and I did give him the what for at the door when I realized it. He complied to clean off his shoes only because I lit into him. He was otherwise an unkempt mess and probably never would have gave it a FIRST thought to check his shoes before entering someone’s house anyway. I did call the plumbing co. he worked for and informed THEM of his messy look and mucky shoes. That’s a company issue as well. Good day to all.

      • Rosemary McBride

        I am absolutely astounding at reading some of these comments. What, are you all living in the twilight zone? I agree with you totally Gloria. I actually feel quite offended when asked to take off my shoes. I take pride in my shoes and am certainly not leaving my shoes in some cold dark entrance hall. And I have been into some homes that are not clean and do I really want to get MY feet dirty? I would never ask someone to take off their shoes in my house. I wouldn’t dream of being so rude. I have a vacuum cleaner and a mop and a cupboard FULL of chemicals. If that is your attitude to the friends who visit, I don’t imagine you have many. Really guys. Get a life! Or get some help!

        • Kaye

          I’m really surprised by the lack of worldliness in the comments here. In much of the world it is absolutely rude and taboo to wear shoes in the house, ever. I would never wear shoes into someone’s home unless they specifically said I should keep them on (and if it was just a choice I would remove them).

          I’m in Canada, and where I grew up it was an absolute no-no to wear shoes in the house. It is considered very rude – as thought you don’t care that you are making more work for the person you are visiting by tracking dirt through their house.

          I think we need to understand there are different norms – Rosemary if you are offended by being asked to remove your shoes – then you need to get over that especially if you want to interact with different cultures. When you are in someone else’s home you follow their rules – a pile of shoes by the door definitely means take them off. Always ask to be sure.

          I go barefoot year round inside and always have, so if you come over and don’t remove your shoes – it means you’ve given me the gift of needing to wash all the floors again.

          • Elizabeth

            I think you’re very right to bring up cultural differences. In my region of the US, customs differ by household. Some people want you to remove your shoes, some don’t care, and some would rather you didn’t. Around here, it’s best to ask and/or watch for cues from your host. I’m a person who hates going barefoot (my feet get cold easily, and my arches require support), and I also have two animals who unfortunately don’t have shoes to remove as they go in and out. The dirt they bring in is 10x worse than what comes in on a shoe. My floors are also cleaned on a regular schedule, and I have flooring that is not easily damaged. But when I go over to others’ houses, I’m happy to follow their lead and will remember to bring socks in certain cases. Some people have more delicate flooring, babies, or germ-phobias, and I respect that. I’m not in Canada often, but I’m glad to know the custom there for future reference.

          • Sam

            No, taking off shoes is not a Canadian thing. It varies from household to household as much as it does in the States. I lived in a huge house which my mother cleaned daily and she would never have thought of asking anyone to take off their shoes but we had a mudroom for winter boots etc.
            A friend at university insisted it was proper etiquette everywhere except, apparently in my apartment unit entrance where she and her boyfriend would remove their boots on my marble entrance rather than in the hall THEN put them on the inside mat provided.
            I go with asking the host/hostess if you need to take off your shoes then going with their response. However, they should provide at least a place for people with poor balance or shoelaces to sit down to take off and put shoes back on. I also support the suggestion of warning guests in advance if you are particularly concerned about “stuff” being tracked in and/or providing acceptable footware in emergencies. Workers required to wear workboots (and I have encountered some who remove them to go over your carpets/floors, take them with them and put them back on to tackle a job–I call it “above and beyond”) require different rules. Common sense and sensitivity go a long way here.

      • Trenner1

        What is the point of HARDwood floors if they can’t tolerate a high heel walking across them? Our house (built in 1913) has hardwood floors and everyone’s always worn shoes. Yet the floors are fine. Still, if that’s your rule and you want to have a party, definitely mention the NO SHOES policy in the invitation, in a way no one can miss it. I dressed up for a party once, where I wore a dress that absolutely required high heels to look right (I’m short), so when I was ambushed at the door and had to take them off my outfit was ruined. And when you feel unattractive you don’t have fun. Had I known ahead of time, I’d have worn something else. So let people know before they get there.

        • Carolyn McCurry

          What if someone has fungus on their feet and they spread it all over your floor? I can see both sides on this, and I like to keep things nice, too. With all the crazy things going on in the world, to wear or not wear shoes is not what it important to me. I try to use common sense in whether I take them off. Some people have smelly feet and if their shoes are clean I would rather they keep them on. Wet, snowy, or muddy shoes are a different story.

      • Licha

        If it was just a question of dirty floors, then yes, no problem. Dirt can be cleaned. However, high heels, boots ect., can and do cause irrevocable damage to expensive hardwood floors. My question would be, what is this world coming to when a friend or family member comes to visit wearing shoes that could cause permanent and expensive damage to flooring and is too self centered to see the damage caused.I believe this shows no respect to their host.

  3. Breanna

    I find it really annoying when people ask one to take off their shoes. You are supposed to let your guests feel at home and at ease, and a new place friends need to get acclimated to. Nobody wants to have the hassle of taking off their shoes as soon as they enter your home. The fact you aren’t willing to have a party because of people’s shoes is absurd. What is the point of having a nice home if you can’t enjoy parties and friends. You should speak with somebody about having your floors sealed or something. Besides there are chemicals and magic erasers that take out shoe scuff marks. Just don’t let dogs on the floors.

    • Melissa

      I don’t think it’s appropriate to have people’s dirty shoes all through your house and then use more “chemicals” to clean it. That makes for a very unhealthy home.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      I have hardwood floors. I got a cheap sealant on them and have never gotten scuff marks on them. You only have to do it once and you never have to worry about your floors again.

    • Karen

      I find it really annoying to have dirt and worse tracked all over my carpet– which is a pain in the butt to clean. If they want to clean my carpet or pay for it, then they can wear their shoes. Otherwise, I think that guests should comply with a reasonable request from their hosts. They are in THEIR home, after all.

    • Keeghan

      Hey Breanna!

      I know how you feel. No one likes to go through the time of removing and putting back on shoes. To people it would feel like a culture shock having to remove your shoes before coming in. For me being of Polynesian heritage (Mum Samoan and Dad half Maori), I’m quite use to the remove your shoes ritual. In Maori culture I think it has something to do with the Marae being sacred as well as a body, so if your wearing shoes inside the Marae you would be bringing dirt and impurities from outside inside this body.

      I’m not really bothered if the house owner asks me to take my shoes off (or if there is a notice at the front door asking me to remove my shoes), but whenever I go to someones house with my parents (it is mostly my dad that is bothered) and the house owner doesn’t mind me wearing my shoes inside his/her house. I do feel frustrated when dad tells me to remove my shoes. When I’m at my grandparents house and he’s there he tells me to take off my shoes. My grandparents don’t really care if I wear my shoes inside the house. Dad isn’t bothered about people coming over wearing their shoes inside our house.

      Just like the carpet being affected by outside source from shoes e.g. dirt. I do worry about my socks or feet being wet or dirty by the kitchen, toilet, and bathroom floor if something like juice has been spilt or the floor is wet. If the toilet and bathroom floor are both carpet then luckily I’m fine, because carpets dry quicker than those hard floors.

      If it is raining or my shoes are dirty I am fine with taking my shoes off before I come into someones house. I might take my shoes off at a house where I’m allowed to wear shoes in if I think your house looks beautiful inside or depending on my mood. Before I go inside peoples homes I do ask if I can wear my shoes inside or not. I don’t see why it’s rude to ask, but it is good to know for futures sake.

      Just like the remove your shoes ritual. I do have some doubts, scepticism and feelings towards the knife and fork ritual. But then again “culture shock” we shouldn’t be to hard on ourselves. Just relax into the nothingness where your mind is free!

      The good news is I might even let you get away with wearing your shoes inside my house if your shoes are clean on the outside! I do feel the take your shoes off thing is a bit harsh and traditional. But I am more than happy to see you wearing that beautiful sexy stiletto inside my home!

      Hope my post made you feel better!
      Keeghan. xoxo

    • sarah

      what is wrong with not wanting to live in filth? SHE is the one who has to live at her house. i have a two year old who picks up random things off the floor to put them into her mouth when I’m not looking. clearly, i’d prefer my floor not have invisible-to-the-naked-eye spittle, poop particles, and ebola running rampant. and, as much as i love my friends and family, if they have such a lack of respect for my person, my family, and my home (not a house, but a home. that’s my point) that they will track in filth instead of removing their shoes, then they can stay wherever they are. what is so hard about taking your shoes off anyway. i’m not being snarky, but i honestly don’t see why it should be a problem. i strive to live as clean as i can and i’d expect people to know that my home is my home, not the street, and to treat it/me with respect.

      also, some people like to keep the chemicals to a minimum in their homes. wherever i can, i use natural ingredients in my home.

      sure, you can drop your chips and dip and i dont mind cleaning up later. but there is a difference between a mess and flat out filth, which is on the bottom of everyone’s shoe.

  4. AJS

    Of course you are entitled to ask people to remove their shoes before entering your pristine house. In return, they are entitled to feel that you value your precious floors and carpet over their comfort, and that you think they are somehow sullying your palace just by entering it.

    Floors are meant to be walked on. They will wear, and they will have to be cleaned and eventually replaced. Just like everything else. Get over it. Either that, or just build a moat already to keep the rabble out.

    • The D Life

      I could not agree more with AJS.
      I can appreciate the effort everyone makes to renovate a house, and how things cost more and more every year, BUT, I am sorry for being so straightfoward, but I find it tacky, snob and nouveau – riche this habit that some, er, well, nouveau riche people have of asking you to remove your shoes before entering their homes.

      I used to live and work in the UK, and my boss and his wife (new money fresh made yesterday afternoon, but not even loads of it…) would ask you to remove your shoes to avoid their ivory synthetic carpet from getting dirty.

      I must add that this couple would cut the bread roll or bun at the table with a knife, take the knife to their mouth, or even worse, toothpick or “finger pick” remains of food, no matter in front of whom or where while having dinner or lunch.

      After the first time having dinner with no shoes on at their house, where my toes freezed sitting at the table and I really felt “exposed” no matter how lovely and intact my socks were, I avoided by all means to repeat the pleasure.

      When I think of my old friend Maggie, an elderly lady of 94 who is class itself, and her incredibly beautiful huge silk and wool over 150 years old Persian rug which has been in her family for generations, laid most generously and naturally in her drawing room for everyone to admire and tread on, (and it is certainly wearing out), it makes me where from some people are copying this ludicrous and unhospitable idea.

      As said, I respect that your home is your home, the effort you made in fitting new floorings, but come on, ash, oak, cherry, cedar, kilims, dhurries, and aubussons have been there for centuries just for that, to be walked on and make people at home.

      • Alice

        Shoes are worn when you go outside, that’s the whole point of shoes. You don’t put on your dirty boots on when you get up first thing in the morning to brush your teeth and make breakfast in, so why would you assume you get to do that in someone else’s house?

          • Pam

            I picture a bunch of adults at a dinner party, all dressed up, walking around in stocking feet and socks, it makes for an absurd visual.

        • Margaret Irene

          Well, you do not normally entertain guests when you brush your teeth in the morning, do you? You also do not welcome them at the door in your pyjamas or sweatpants. What we do in private is private. We dress up for company.

          • angie

            I am a bit surprised by this debate. I do not understand why it is rude to ask someone to take off their shoes but its not rude to wear shoes in someones home. I enjoy having guests over to my home and work very hard to keep it clean. I keep it clean so people will feel comfortable and not feel they have to wear shoes. I like to take my shoes off and if others are wearing their shoes then it forces me & everyone else to wear them as well, because no matter how well you think you wiped your shoes, they still have dirt on them. I dont quite understand the comment about people standing around in socks is an absurd visual. It sounds like a comfortable gathering to me. when people come in with their shoes on that tells me they dont plan to stay long.
            They should call this blog ” The debate between the Respectful and the Snobs”

        • Beverly

          I agree Alice it isn’t about my wood floors for me it is about my carpets and the dirt you track in with shoes. We have moved a lot with the military and it is funny to see how most people now adays don’t even have to be asked they just do it. I have actually had guests ask and I always say we do prefer it but whatever you are comfortable with and most people take them off. Our shoes near the door usually tell people so we have never had to ask. If I don’t clean up after my own tract in dirt in my own home why should I have to clean up after yours and I have no idea where your feet have been. I also woud never make a guest uncomfortable and my husband hates taking off his boots just for lunch so he wears booties in his own house. When we lived in Alaska everyone took off their shoes there you didn’t even have to ask it was nice ha ha. .

        • Trenner1

          I put on shoes when I first get up in the morning to make breakfast and brush my teeth. Not dirty boots, of course, but nice clean shoes. So do lots of people who live in house with cold floors.

      • Winifred Rosenburg

        My husband and my fathe both put their shoes on first thing in the morning. My father stepped on a nail when he was a kid and has been afraid to not wear shoes ever since. I don’t walk around the house in shoes, but frankly I probably should. It probably would have prevented a lot of injuries.

          • wattamutt

            I dont understand. I never ever walk barefoot. Only at the beach. When i am asked to take off my shoes i will not go in . It makes me very uncomfortable to go barefoot. I dont need athletes foot or toenail fungus or to step on anything. Floors are made to be walked on with shoes. Clean your floors regularly and with a disinfectant and stop forcing guest to take off their shoes just to come in your house. Do you ask your guest to wash their hands before entering? Most of the filth that makes you ill comes into your home via peoples hands… not feet. Get a grip and try to understand how bacteria and viruses are spread.

      • Cheryl

        Tracking in dirt and a few harmless scuff marks are one thing, but my concern is ladies who let the taps come off their heels and then walk around my home literally “POKING” holes in my hardwoods. This is irreversible damage and I would like to find a polite way to address this while still making guests feel welcome and appreciated. I dont think trying to preserve my floors is rude at all.

        • Roberta

          My daughter went to a wedding this past summer at a golf course. All of the ladies wearing heals were given some sort of clear soft plastic heel covers. This was so heels would not sink into the grass. But seems to me these would be a great thing to have on hand at home for guests. I personally hate to see someone get dressed up nice and have to take off their shoes. With some it is a big part of their outfit.

          • Trenner1

            Yes, Roberta. Shoes are a MAJOR part of an outfit, and for those women (like me) who are short, sometimes they’re the main thing, as many dresses look wrong without high heels.

    • Jerry

      AJS: I’m curious where you live. Here in the Midwest, we would never walk into someone’s home with shoes on, particularly in fall or winter months. It would be considered the height of rudeness.

      • AJS

        Jerry, I have lived smack in the middle of the Midwest for 44 years, and in that time I known only one household where people were asked to remove their shoes, and that was after they installed cream-colored carpeting, which is about the stupidest idea I can think of. I repeat, this is what doormats are for. What a message to send to guests, that you think they are too filthy to touch your precious FLOORS. Are they allowed to sit on the furniture, or might they ruin the nap of the fabric? Are they allowed to use the china and glassware, or might they break it? And God only knows what atrocities they might commit in the BATHROOM. And just think of what sort of grime a wheelchair, cane, or walker might drag in. Better take those away too.

        At my house, we value people over objects.

        • Deedee

          AJS – you have expressed my opinion on this matter perfectly. I cherish my family and friends and am so pleased when they come to visit that I could care less about my floors. Floors and carpeting can be cleaned, repaired, replaced…whatever. To walk around barefoot in someone else’s home kind of creeps me out actually. And people with dogs … hopefully none of you folks advocating that your friends take their shoes off allow your dogs in your home? Or at least hopefully you do not own any pets. Some of my friends have cats and dogs and their carpets are none too clean and there is no way I would walk around barefoot inside their homes!

        • Beverly

          You are comaring the bottom of someones shoe to a persons hands touching glassware and sitting on furniture. Would you eat off your shoe or wear it to bed it is kind of gross to put that all over your carpets. If I had all wood flooring I wouldn’ t but my kids sit and play on the carpets and that is gross.

        • cullen kayne

          what the hell is wrong with people that they need to keep their shoes on to feel comfortable? by their PURPOSE they are made to be worn in conditions in which going bare-foot would not be comfortable. outside, at work, during sports events, hiking, etc.

          a home is ideally comfortable enough to not NEED shoes. and regarding the rest of the home use: plates are washed, the toilet is washed, your hands get washed, your clothes (with which you sit on furniture) are washed. are the soles of your shoes washed? didn’t think so. if you think your feet stink, or they’re just fugly, you can wear slippers. no need to bother everyone with pointless extra cleaning, just because “people come before objects”.

      • Kb

        This is the same in Canada.
        It is actually very unusual to leave shoes on during a visit to someone house, and the host or hostess will often say “oh leave them on” if she is fine with it. Rather then the opposite “take those off”.
        I can not imagine going into someones house with my shoes on, and in fact even when viewing houses for sale one removes thier shoes.

        • Elizabeth

          I’m in Michigan, and we recently bought a house. We viewed over 60 houses and we were asked to remove our shoes in maybe one or two. Granted, it was summer and dry, so no snow or rain to drag in.

          • Kaye

            I’m also in Canada, and what Kb describes is exactly what I’ve experienced.

            In an open house they will often specifically ask you to remove your shoes (they are trying to keep everything clean and beautiful and have a lot of foot traffic), but in an average home people usually won’t ask. Instead, as a guest, it’s best to assume you remove – (if you start, and they say no no it’s okay to leave them on – then you know) or, always a good policy – try to see what those who live there have done and ask.

            Basically, it’s the dance of trying to suss out cultural norms.

    • Sage Wood

      If those “friends” feel that they value their carelessness and stinky feet more than having a Homey, fun-filled and comfortable evening with me in my pristine environment..then..by all means..GET OUT!! Besides..how much more comfortable can you get than kicking off your shoes???

  5. Erica

    This isn’t a rude request at all. Why would people assume that they can wear their dirty shoes in someone’s new home? The most important detail for me is making sure there’s a place for your guests to all line up their shoes nicely. Nothing is worst than adding your pretty, new heels to a pile that gets crushed by other big shoes or dirty boots when there’s not enough room in the front entrance.

    • AJS

      You would think that people who own beautiful mansions could afford a mat at the front door. And what sort of mud pits do you people tromp through before you go visiting? I generally walk on the pavement, myself.

      • colleen

        Perhaps most of us haven’t been tromping through the mud but how about traipsing through a public restroom, a gas station, any public place for that matter? Many people feel that there home is a safe haven, a barrier from the very “open” world in which we live. I think it’s up to us to honor the host/hostess in his/her wishes as we step into their home and hopefully behave as a gracious guest.

        • AJS

          Gas station cooties? Really? Anyone who is so afraid of exposure to the outside world had better stay home inside a plastic bubble. This is what our immune systems are for.

          • Beverly

            Well screw me then huh. Some of us have compromised immune systems through no fault of our own. I can honestly say having two autoimmune diseases wasn’t my choice but thanks for being so insensitive.

  6. Nina

    I seem to recall this question coming up on this site before, and that time the discussion suggested that this is a regional issue. Certainly, in the Canadian cities and small towns where I’ve lived, almost everyone removes their shoes as soon as they get inside a private home–theirs or someone else’s–without even being asked. It’s certainly what I prefer, but I’m sure that’s just because I’m used to it. Occasionally, someone (usually someone “from away”) looks sadly at the shoe mat by the door and asks if they can keep their shoes on. I always say yes, even though I don’t love it–if the price of having them in my home is a few shoe prints on the rug, it is usually worth it.

    • Rachel

      I agree that this is definitely a cultural thing. I’m Canadian too, and would never dream of keeping my shoes on when entering someone else’s house (or my own, for that matter). It’s generally assumed here that you will remove your outdoor shoes when entering someone’s home – and people who have problems with their feet that require them to wear shoes typically bring a clean, indoor pair to change into inside. So while from an American perspective it may be considered rude to ask your guests to remove their shoes, from the Canadian perspective, it’s the opposite, and you would likely be considered rude if you kept your shoes on in someone else’s home.

      Etiquette aside – the concept of wearing your outdoor shoes inside, especially if you have carpeting, grosses me out a little. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself germaphobic, and a bit of dirt here and there doesn’t particularly phase me – but your outdoor shoes are likely bringing in a lot more than just dirt.

      • Country Girl

        I think I may have started the thread you are referring to. I do live in America, and in my region it is also custom to remove your shoes before entering a home. I find it very odd/uncomfortable/disrespectful feeling to wear my shoes in someone’s home. There have only been maybe one or two homes I’ve been in where I felt more comfortable with my shoes on, and that was only because they had lots of pets and very filthy floors and I was afraid of soiling my socks.

        I also feel strange when a host says “Oh don’t bother taking your shoes off.” Honestly, it feels like either they are forewarning that they have dirty floors or hinting that they don’t want me there for very long! The exact way I would feel if the host said “Oh don’t bother removing your coat.”

        • Nina

          Country Girl, Yes, I feel the same way–you say it perfectly. But I’m pretty open-minded–if someone would prefer to keep their shoes on at my house, or prefer me to do so at theirs, I don’t mind obliging as long as the request is made nicely. I’m shocked at how angry some of the other commenters are in this thread; I think it’s a pretty small favour to ask of someone, either way.

      • Patricia

        I am glad Rachel brought up the last point. It’s not just about the dirt. In Asian cultures, removing one’s shoes before entering the living space is the norm. When I was a child, I was annoyed about having to remove my shoes at home when all my American friends had the convenience of leaving their shoes on. But as I look back, I realize that removing one’s shoes not only helps the house stay cleaner but it is also more sanitary. Sidewalks are filthy, not only in terms of dirt, but also possibly animal feces, urine, vomit and what have you. I’m sure most people try to avoid stepping on these things, but you really don’t know what happened on it, do you? I curb and pick up after my dog, but although poop was there one second ago, you can’t tell it was there after it has been picked up, can you? Stepping on that area can bring microscopic pieces of feces into the house. When you have a no-shoes rule in place, you can be assured that you can sprawl out on your carpet freely without fear of picking any germs on your clothes, skin and hair. My guess is that most people who wear shoes in the house don’t do this anyway, but those who wear no shoes in the house like knowing that they don’t have to worry about these things when they do–the home should be one’s sanctuary, after all. And besides, someone else’s house is not your property and so the property owner’s rules should be respected whether the reasoning behind it makes apparent sense or not. It is arrogant to assert one’s cultural preference in the home of another since everyone has a right to keep their house the way they like it.

        And in case anyone wants to say that I am contradicting myself with the no shoes rule and dog in the house, I just want to say that we used to have a no shoes rule in the house, but ever since having a dog, we now wear shoes in the house since he is probably tracking in dirt and stuff anyway. I don’t feel that the house is as clean as before and I don’t sprawl out on the floor the way I used to anymore, but having a lovable dog is worth it. If only he would wear shoes…

  7. ATM

    For me it is the dirt that comes in on shoes that makes me like my no shoes rule. I tell guests in advance, give booties to workers and dont think twice about it. My small children roll around on the ground and hands are still in mouths. I use all natural products to clean my house so no harmful chemicals there. Went to a Korea home and took my shoes off happily why should my house be any different just because the reason is different?

  8. Jennifer Richardson

    While not a rude request, some people are medically required to keep their shoes on. Some people have to wear inserts in their shoes so they can walk correctly. Are you expecting them to give you their medical history at the door along with their shoes? I highly doubt you would expect someone with a prostheic to take that off before they come in. While your construction workers are being compliant with your wishes, OSHA and/or L&I will not cover their injury at your house if they were not wearing the proper safety equipment (to include shoes) and that will be a medical bill you will be covering out of your own pocket. Perhaps this issue needs to thought out again, if the flooring is more important to you than someone’s health or safety. You could always lay mats down on the flooring where people have to wear shoes.

    • EF

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
      I am one of those people. Like me, there are many more. My disability is not visible, but it’s there. I can’t walk without my shoes, disposable slippers at your door, or booties won’t do it.
      I can’t tell you how humiliating it is whenever I’m asked to take off my shoes and I have to explain that I can’t because I have a disability. Often people will offer to give me a chair to take them off, no that’s not going to help (more embarrassing explanations to give). Sometimes they’ll think I’m just being a spoiled brat. If they do let me keep them, the other guests will look at me thinking that I’m being rude. It’s really a terrible experience. I feel humiliated, uncomfortable and I end up sitting in a corner so I keep my ‘filth’ in restricted areas.
      I haven’t done it yet, but I’m seriously tempted to post this sign at my door: “You are welcome in my house. You can keep your shoes on, the floor is easy to clean, and I don’t usually sleep or eat on it. However, the couch is not as easy to wash and I like to nap on it. Since I don’t know where you’ve rested your behind lately, please remove your pants before you sit on my couch. Thank you”

  9. The D - Life

    Why would you buy nice shoes if you cannot wear them socially? Just leave them at home and visit your friends in Wellingtons boots carrying your slippers under your arm!

    Why would my feet have to be in contact with anyone’s floor/rug/carpet? Why do I have to tread barefooted on where everyone else, regardless of their foot diseases or cleaning habits (both guests and hosts)?

    Do some neighbourhoods have the houses sunk in mud and that is why some people insist on “your dirty shoes”?

    Why not ask politely “please stand for a second on the floor mat to dry your shoes a bit”? However, that is something that a polite person would do automatically before entering any house or venue with dirty shoes.

    What is next? Providing your guests with a disposable paper overall to avoid them making your sofas dirty?

    Possibly the beauty of this exchange is to see how what is a completely normal and acceptable thing to one person, can put off someone else.

  10. Dixie

    I’ve been on both sides of the fence on this issue having lived in different areas. I grew up in an area where everyone left their shoes on when entering a home (unless they were snow boots). After moving to Hawaii with an area of red dirt, I was told everyone took off their shoes. It was liveable because of the warm weather. Moving back to the states, I resumed the shoe tradition. After having surgery and couldn’t push my vacuum around, I asked guests to remove their shoes. I started noticing how hard it is for children to run back outside and have to stop to put their shoes on…out they went….and back inside with dirty bare feet. Then I noticed even adults who removed sandals appeared to have slightly dirty bare feet. I realized the oils from bare feet are often more dirty than shoes. (I will not ask someone to wash their feet). The straw that broke my back was when an adult guest sat barefooted (no socks) in my living room and while talking, dug her toes into my carpet rubbing them back and forth. Oil on barefeet is worse than the dirt from outside which you can vacuum. Only the sock idea would work for me, but I’ve already noticed some friends are nervous when they enter my home about what is expected. It’s just not worth it any more. Back to shoes, unless it’s snowing, raining or muddy!

  11. Colleen

    Anyone that lives in NYS understands you will be expected to take your shoes off when entering someone else’s home. Otherwise you would be dragging mud or snow in with you most of the year. What confuses me is why people would walk around with smelly feet, holes in their socks, or socks that don’t match your outfit. I think that’s odd.

    • Dee

      Amen! I agree with everything Colleen said. I take the time to care for my house. My home is SPOTLESS. It takes me 1-2 hours to wipe my floors and I do it the old fashion way–on my hands and knees–so for visitors to come and not take their shoes off (something that is so simple to do), the last thing I want to do after they leave, which sometimes is very late into the night, is to go down on my hands and knees and scrub the floors (I’m pooped from entertaining them!). Has anyone ever wiped/cleaned their floors after having a party where people don’t take their shoes off? The cloth is completely BLACK. I find it rude and disgusting when people wear outside shoes in someone’s house. And just like Colleen said, why would people walk around with smelly feet, holes in their socks, or socks that don’t match their outfit? If this is the case, they should ALWAYS carry with them foot spray or extra socks. As for people with disabilities, well….I really don’t know…..perhaps have light conversation on the porch?

  12. Ashleigh

    While I completely understand not wanting people to track mud, dirt, leaves, whatever from out outside, I feel like a doormat should really be sufficient. Who doesn’t wipe their feet when they go into a house?? If your flooring is so precious that nobody can walk on it with shoes, why bother?? Floors are meant to be walked on. If someone were to accidentally spill something on said flooring, it should not be the end of your universe. If I were nicely dressed for a party and had to remove my heels and walk around in my nylons, I’d probably end up leaving after a few extremely uncomfortable minutes.

    • cheryl

      Its not about the mud and dirt. Its about women who do not properly maintain their shoes and then walk around with the nails in their heel literally punching holes in hard wood flooring. That is irreversible damage that can cost thousand’s to repair. I could care about cleaning up messes. I am always amazed how many women let their shoes deteriorate and then wear them to a party.

  13. cp

    I do not think it is appropriate at all to ask guests to remove their shoes when you have invited them over or if you open your door to them if they just stop by. Where there are high-traffice areas, you need to put area rugs or runners in the halls where people will mostly walk. Figure out another way to maintain your floors other than being WEIRD and asking people to remove their shoes. Get over it — nothing lasts forever. Part of owning a home is maintenance and replacing things that are worn or broken.

    • Amber

      If they are warned, it is completely reasonable to ask ask guests to remove shoes.
      And it is the height of rudeness to drop by uninvited unless you are close family, so they should be fine with taking their shoes off.

      • Ruth Peltier

        Ok I have ignored this discussion for a long time but I just have to put my two cents in . I have diabetes. I have been told by my doctor to NEVER go without shoes. I even put on shoes and socks to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If I come to your house and you ask me to remove my shoes. I will turn and walk away with regret. I am quite fond of my feet and want them to remain securely attached to the end of my legs.

        • Winifred Rosenburg

          In all fairness to Amber, she did say that she would let guests know ahead of time of the no-shoes policy, at which point you can explain your doctor’s orders and (I would hope) an exception would be made. This is a perfect example of why it is important for hosts to tell their guests ahead of time to prevent awkward situations while they’re walking in the door.

  14. Elizabeth

    I feel really ambivalent about this issue. I live in an old house with two furry pets and all hard surfaces. My feet hurt and become cold quickly unless I wear shoes, so I wear them at home all the time. I never ask people to take off their shoes unless they are mud bombs. However, some people have all white carpet, brand new delicate wood floors, or are just germophobes, or grew up in cultures where shoes off is the norm – and it’s hard to say no when they want you to remove your shoes. So I do (take off my shoes). But if it’s the summer and I’ve been walking around wearing flipflops all day, I gotta tell you, my feet are no cleaner than my shoes!

    The only hard and fast position I take is: if it’s a party and people are dressing up, do NOT ask them to remove their party shoes. People in cold climates know to wear boots and then change into their party shoes when they get there. There is nothing more unattractive then a man in a suit with just socks on, or a woman in a party dress in stocking feet. Unless you have tatami mats or leather floors, shoes will not ruin your floors!

  15. Safety always trumps etiquette!!! For the service person they must be able to wear shoes. You also need to consider different cultures and parts of the country, they remove their shoes for safety and cleanliness. Since etiquette is based on common sense, if your shoes are wet, full of snow, sand or grit it just makes sense to remove them before proceeding in someones home. When you see shoes lined up in a door way that is your clue that you may need to remove them. Having some extra slippers is a good idea, I like that one.

  16. Dave

    Please people get over it…..homes are meant to be used enjoyed and worn out. Excepting mud covered or severely soiled shoes…..adults wear shoes indoors and out. For most people they are both functional and for fashion. If your precious house is that delicate and/or you are that dirt phobic then don’t have guests. I find this just another step in how self involved and self absorbed people are becoming and they feel that everyone should bend to their unreasonable wims. If invited to someone’s home and met with that type of sign or request I would be immediately leaving never to return.

  17. Jerry

    It amazes me that people get so up in arms w/r/t shoes on or off. Can’t you just follow the rules of the house and enjoy your host’s company? Some of my friends have dogs that sit on the furniture. I think that’s kind of nasty. But I don’t insist that they put the dogs somewhere else if and when I am invited to visit. That would be the absolute height of rudeness.

    What’s next? Is someone going to lambast me because I leave the toilet seat up in my own home?

    • Ashleigh

      I’ve been training my younger brothers since birth to put the seat down only to be met with failure. Now their respective girlfriends can take over. My boyfriend knows that if he leaves the seat up, he’s not going to have to worry about problems like wearing shoes in people’s homes because he’s going to end up missing… haha

  18. Brigitte

    I really do not understand this American need to keep shoes on. Here in Canada, it is the norm to take shoes off going into someones house. The only time we keep them on is if (as we start taking them off) we are told to not bother. Most of the world is like this. It is only polite the keep the filth from the outdoors there and not in the house.

    • Elizabeth

      I can’t speak for all Americans (you can see from the heterogeneous responses that there is actually a lot of regional variation in customs), but I reasonably prefer the warmth and support of shoes. What is it with Canadians, always trying to paint Americans with a broad unflattering brush?

      Btw, doctors now believe that our sanitized lives are responsible for the sharp increase in allergies and autoimmune diseases. Perhaps a little filth would be a good thing.

    • Margaret Irene

      “Most of the world is like this.” Ekhm… no, it is not. I live in Europe and we do not remove our shoes when paying someone a visit. Only very close friends (treated like family members) in very informal situations remove their shoes, and it is for their own comfort. We wouldn’t dream of seating our guests at the dinner table barefoot.

  19. Pam

    I never thought of this as a cultural thing (I live just outside NYC), but apparently it is? I take my shoes off if they are wet, muddy, snowy, etc. If I attended a holiday party at someone’s home, wearing dress boots/shoes and a skirt, I would feel very silly walking around in my tights with no shoes on. However, I think safety definitely trumps etiquette. If the home is completely carpeted, that is one thing. I fell down an entire flight ofuncarpeted stairs last year in someone’s home because I was only in my socks. I hurt my back and was in pain for 4 months. If people are in their dress shoes and have been invited into your home, leave them alone.

  20. Stephanie

    In my opinion it sounds like care more about your floors than friends or family.I get very annoyed when someone asks me to remove my shoes.I might have holes in my socks that day or a scorching case of athletes foot.You want that all over your floor? You only live once.Get over it and bring out the broom!

  21. AJS

    It’s funny, this came up for me just the other day. I was visiting someone’s house as an invited musical performer. Everyone had to take off their shoes at the door. So I had to stand in front of the group for two hours in my thin socks on a cold hardwood floor in the dead of winter. It’s not critical that I wear shoes, but I do have some minor foot issues and I am most comfortable when I have some sort of arch support (and warm feet!). Of course I thought of this discussion. Hospitality FAIL.

  22. Vanna Keiler

    I completely agree with the EPI response to this question. If you have an unusual request for your guests, do them the courtesy of informing them well before they would be getting dressed to visit your home, maybe even well before the planned date, so they can decide if they want to visit you after all.

    Most people are attired from head to toe when they visit someone’s house, and this includes dress shoes. For both genders, the shoes oftentimes completes the ensemble. Unless it is coming from a cultural perspective or the weather will make all footwear dirty entering a home – which are understandable – this goes into the “weird” category for host behavior, in my opinion.

    A solution is relatively simple for homeowners: want to prolong the life and look of your floors? Try purchasing area rugs.

  23. GP

    When visiting someone’s house for the first time I always ask my hostess whether she would like me to remove my shoes. If I am required to remove my shoes and have bare feet I have absolutely no qualms in asking for a pair of socks to keep my feet warm (I have bad circulation) , the next time I visit this house I take a pair of appropriate socks/slippers in my bag. Having said this I don’t like having to remove my shoes, I have chosen which shoes to wear depending on my outfit and I am also small so wear heels a lot to keep me on eye level with other people! A very close friend who recently moved house made me feel very uncomfortable in her new home by demanding that I remove my shoes (before I had the chance to offer) the second I arrived at her door. The manner in which you ask your guests to remove their shoes and the forethought you have put into their comfort (warm socks/slip ons) makes a huge difference to the request, however I also feel that the situation MUST be taken into account, hosting a party/dinner party and requiring adult guests to remove their shoes is patronising and I think rude (people will be wearing their best clothes/shoes and you are insinuating they are not clean enough for your house). I don’t require people to take off normal shoes when visiting my house (any person I know would automatically remove soiled/winter boots anyway).

  24. Margaret Irene

    It really is very simple. You NEVER ask visitors to remove their shoes. You never hand them slippers – disposable or otherwise. It is the hight of rudeness.
    Guests on the other hand are not supposed to ruin the hosts’ floors or carpets. This is where doormats come in. Wipe your feet until your shoes are clean and dry. Use paper towels (brought from home) if need be. Do not wear stiletto heels.
    That’s all there is to it.

    • Kaye

      It depends where you are – in Canada it is the opposite of what’s written here. Always take your shoes off unless told otherwise. To wear them inside is very disrespectful of your host. People may not say anything, but they will think you’re being very rude.

      • Amber

        Yes, exactly what Kaye said. If someone didn’t automatically remove their shoes upon entering my home, it would bother me but I wouldn’t say anything. However, if I was hosting a party I would specifically tell my guests upon arrival to keep their shoes on if they wish. In Canada that’s the only time you should leave your shoes on, if the host has invited you to do so.

  25. Bob Tile

    What about when family comes to visit and one of their young children come across something in a room in your home they shouldn’t have. In fact, they were unsupervised by their parents, probably only a short time, while we were at work. The child pulled out a heavy object from our sons room which doesn’t have a lock on the door, but the door was closed and the child 4 1/2 was told not to go in rooms if doors were closed. Anyway as a four year old he took the heavy object out of the room down the haul and to the entryway where he dragged it across our new travertine flooring and put a twenty foot noticeable scratch. What does etiquette say how to deal with the expense of repair? Our previous experience with our own children…When our child drove their scooter into a garage door we paid out. When our child dented our neighbors car with a lacrosse ball we paid out. When we put a scratch in a relatives wheel of their car we offered to pay and they said do not worry, we then buffed it out. What is the right thing for our families to resolve the issue?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Assuming the parents noticed the scratch and were aware of the cause of the scratch, they should have offered to pay for its repair. They should also apologize for their child going into rooms he wasn’t supposed to.

      • I wholeheartedly agree with Winifred.
        Some people have rooms closed off for safety reasons (renovations, firearms/weaponry, uneven flooring, etc), so for the parents to have allowed the child to ignore your closed doors could have posed a danger to the child.

  26. Denise

    I have spent the last 11 years living in Colorado and it is a very common practice to remove your shoes before entering a home. ESPECIALLY in snow and “mud” season. I always ask my hostess. “Should I remove my shoes?”. And I am always happy to do so…as I would like the same for my home.

    HOWEVER – I was once invited to a “formal attire only” party at a home, and was asked to remove my shoes. So, here I was, on a marble floor in stocking feet and a fancy cocktail dress – feeling a bit cold and put out. I never returned to any parties at this house again.

    When I throw parties, I consider shoes part of the “cost” of entertaining, as I know my female guests have thoughtfully picked out their shoes to match their outfits. But for regular old visits with friends, we all happily remove our shoes.

    In Europe and Asia it is very rude to wear shoes in the house – especially when visiting someone’s home.

    I am surprised by the angry tone in many of these emails…especially for an etiquette website.

    • Beverly

      I live in CO to and yes I agree it seems to be common courtesy here. Also I wouldn’t ask guests to take off their shoes if it were a formal party in my home but when the weather is bad most of them wear different shoes to change into here. I have also been to Russia and remember having to take my shoes off their as well.

  27. Treece

    I agree there are many hostile posts about removing shoes? If you go to someones house and they dont wear shoes why wouldn’t you want to do the same. That is the respectful thing to do. What’s the big deal to do it for a visit? People are complaining about guests with feet problems and I get that, but in my opinion, those guests should already come prepared as they know they have a problem. Not wearing shoes in the house is not unusual. Personally I think shoes are disgusting and never wear them inside. Especially kids shoes gross! To those of you making such a stink about it I have to ask, if you had a rule in your house such as no kids running in the house, or no jumping on the bed, would you allow their little friends to do it when they come over just because they are allowed to do it in theirs? Sorry but I think it’s kind of selfish to think that what you do in your home is the only right way, and you can’t conform when you are a guest. Our house is always busy with kids coming and going and we host amazing parties all the time. Everyone has a blast even with their shoes at the door. Every holiday is here, we have cookouts all summer long and nobody has a problem taking their shoes off. I personally think that formal parties, and parties with more than 40 guests should be held at a restaurant or other venue. It would be strange to have pretty dresses and men in suits walking around shoeless and how would you stack 40 pairs of shoes by the door??

  28. Perle

    This problem of shoe vs shoeless was the subject of an episode of “Sex in the City”, in which Carrie was asked to remove her expensive Manolo Blahnik designer shoes at a home where she attended a baby shower. The message of the episode was that women often take great care to dress for an event and that to be asked to leave part of your expensive outfit at the door to save someone from every paying to clean their carpet seems very cheap and low class. Imagine you are wearing a beautiful silk dress and then are asked to sit there in it in your bare feet like a backwoods hillbilly? This to me is unthinkable.

    Some people however want others to remove shoes not just to keep the carpet from looking dirty but rather to keep germs out of the house. If this is the case, the homeowner should explain to people that they have an inordinate fear of germs and if they must, ask guests in an apologetic way to remove their shoes – but the guest should be warned of this in advance so that they can bring their own slippers and not have to be embarrassed by having to sit in their bare feet.

    Construction workers are different because they are not guests, and they do walk through work areas that have excessive amounts of dirt and possibly grease/oil. Good construction workers will provide their own booties to put over their shoes.

    Bottom line: if you can’t afford to periodically clean your carpet, you can’t afford carpet in the first place. Get linoleum and a mop.

  29. Rhona

    I run a counselling service from home where I have my own office. I do ask all of my client to take off their shoes. The majority of inquiries from new clients come over the phone so I do warn then that I do expect them to take off their shoes. It’s never really been a problem. Many choose to bring slippers with them. Just about everyone I know takes off their shoes in their own homes and we all do here. I honesty don’t see the problem. Surely it is much more comfortable to go round house bare foot or in soft slippers.

    • Elizabeth

      I personally find it very uncomfortable to walk around my house in bare feet or just socks. I have hardwood floors throughout, and I need arch support or my feet start to hurt if I stand alot (which I do when I’m cooking, etc). My husband wears orthodic inserts, which he needs or his feet hurt. I’m not saying that you’re being rude by asking people to remove their shoes, and I think that it is excellent that you give them warning ahead of time. However, if I were told that I had to remove my shoes for my therapist appointment, I would very likely find someone else to see. I just find the removing of shoes too ‘informal’ – something I might do at a friend’s house, but not something I want to do in a more formal setting. That’s just me, though.

    • MK

      Since when is etiquette about comfort? Frankly, I am appalled that one might even consider asking a client to remove their shoes. This whole discussion is pointless. This is not a site that tells you how to be comfortable, but what etiquette requires. Etiqutte requires that you not undress your visitors.

  30. Ann

    Why do Asians get a free pass? Shoeless is part of my culture too and I’m a North American with a European ancestry.

    I’m surprised at how many people feel threatened by the possibility of taking off their shoes. It’s your SHOES, outer clothing like a jacket, not your panties. Insecure much? The host is entertaining you, for free, possibly giving you food and drink, what more do you want from them? I wait on my guests hand and foot but fully expect them to respect my home in turn. Be gracious to your host and not an entitled burden. It’s hard (but rewarding) to keep people entertained and comfortable even besides the shoe problem.

    If you have a foot problem come prepared! Take responsibility for yourself. It’s not others’ responsibility to be prepared for every conceivable medical disorder that comes into their home. I ask people if they have any food allergies or diets (because I like to cook for my guests) and that’s it. What’s next, complaining that their couch has poor back support? Bring your back support pad, no one will bat an eyelid. If someone wanted to wear clean INDOOR shoes (in fact my mother had to do this for her arch support), or booties, or brought something to sit on for their back I wouldn’t be offended. If someone just walked right in with their outdoor shoes I’d be livid – it shows a lack of respect for all the hard work I put into maintaining my home so I can entertain YOU in a tidy clean house. At the very least, ask what is normal in the household.

    If your feet stink maybe look into that? Your shoes probably stink too if it’s that bad. If it’s a bacterial or fungal infection it’s going to be in your shoes as well. Germs love nice warm moist shoes. See a doctor for your health!

    Holes in your socks?! Why are you wearing holey socks? You’re saying the host is too cheap to clean their carpets (carpet cleaning is time consuming, makes the house smell of chemicals, and not cheap) but people don’t want to replace their socks?! If your feet are cold you need warmer socks. Again, take responsibility for yourself!

    The one that makes me laugh the most is the people afraid of ruining the look of their outfits. So vain! What kind of stuck up parties are you going to? No one cares what you look like especially if there’s booze at said party. Take your shoes off, get over yourself, and go have a drink. If someone is going to be so judgmental of your feet they weren’t your friend anyway. If they’re making you uncomfortable and you’re not having fun, go home and don’t come back. They probably weren’t worth being friends with if there’s such bad communication and intolerance between you.

    I’m also surprised at the people accusing the ones who want shoes off in the house of being lazy, and then saying what a hassle it is to take their shoes off. I enforce shoes off in my house and wash my floors weekly. Vacuum twice weekly and always before guests come over. Maintaining the floors is hard work, taking shoes off is easy. Your socks will never get dirty in my home. When people want to keep their shoes on it gives me the impression that they think my house is dirty. When going to another person’s house I’m always sure to wear or bring socks so I don’t end up barefoot which I know makes some people uncomfortable.

    Yes I do care about my floors, I have to look at them when you’re not here, and they cost money. I’d rather have that money to buy drinks for you so you can relax and forget about your self-proclaimed ugly feet that no one was looking at anyway.

    Shoes that have been on public bathroom floors, sidewalks, and who knows where else do not belong in a clean house. Sorry that I don’t want poop on my carpet. I like knowing my house is cleaner than the car park. We wear shoes to keep our feet safe and clean, my house is safe and clean. No nails, puddles, or poop, I promise.

    • Elizabeth

      Ann, you are certainly entitled to your opinion and entitled to run your household a certain way. However, I find that your rant demonstrates a lack of empathy for the points of view of other people. Others have good reasons for preferring to wear shoes, despite your attempts to dismiss them. This is not a debate that can be won – rather, you can see the back-and-forth that exists on this board already as evidence of the extreme diversity of human habits and perspectives. Just because it’s not something that you would do or that you aren’t used to, doesn’t make people who do prefer something different bad, stupid or evil. The world would be a boring place if it were homogenous. Please feel free to express your opinion, but refrain from denigrating other people.

    • Jerry

      Ann: Your post was perfect. Your points are completely valid. Your post is well written and well thought out. And I don’t see you as having denigrated anyone.

      Elizabeth: Only the most insecure or illiterate would characterize Ann’s post as a “rant” or “lack[ing] [in] empathy.” Contrary to your suggestion, Ann has not “dismiss[ed]” anyone’s arguments on the shoe on/shoe off discussion. She has responded to them in a coherent (and rather entertaining) manner. While I won’t speak for her, based on her post, I’m sure Ann understands the opposing arguments. She just understands them as wrong, and she supported her position. Please consider taking some of your own advice with respect to not denigrating others. I, for one, welcome more thoughtful people like her.

      • Elizabeth

        I didn’t say that her points weren’t valid. There’s as valid as anyone else’s. Rather, I think the style of making those points leaves a lot to be desired. According to Ann’s post, I would be vain, insecure, inconsiderate, ungrateful and dirty. My preference to wear shoes indoors does not make me any of those things. And according to you I am insecure and illiterate. I am in fact none of these things. It’s still name-calling, even if there isn’t a specific target in mind.

        • Jerry

          Ann’s post was not a personal attack, Elizabeth. Did you really think the song was about you?

          In responding to the common arguments of the shoe on contingent, Ann displayed some real thought into the practical realities of hosting. That makes her opinion on the subject a lot more valid than many of the other comments posted. Too bad you didn’t like the style — I ate it up.

          • Winifred Rosenburg

            Elizabeth wasn’t suggesting it was a personal attack. She was suggesting it was more hostile than necessary. In Ann’s post she goes into a lengthy attack of those who don’t like taking off their shoes. Last I checked, what someone likes or doesn’t like isn’t really something that can be right or wrong; it’s just a personal preference. In her lengthy comment she includes multiple criticisms of people who don’t come prepared with socks or whatever else is needed. What she doesn’t mention is if she warns her guests of her no shoes policy. How are they supposed to know to bring supplies if she doesn’t warn them. She is entitled to her own house rules but not everyone has to like it. It sounds like she’s having to much fun being critical instead of taking others’ feelings into consideration.

          • Jerry

            The point was, however, that the guest should be prepared to take shoes off as it’s not that an unusual request. Anyone who thought that the (albeit lengthy) post was an attack needs to grow thicker skin and/or develop some better reading skills.

            Winifred: It seems that Elizabeth and you are having too much fun being offended as opposed to absorbing some of the wisdom of Ann’s post. You don’t have to agree with her. But you can take the opportunity to learn something.

          • Elizabeth

            And perhaps you could learn something from our point of view: that is not necessary to villainize the opposing position, and when you do it makes it hard for people to see the actual merits of your argument.

            For the record, I don’t take a strong position on this issue and I did appreciate many of the points Ann made. But the other person doesn’t have to be bad or wrong to make your position valid or right for you.

          • Jerry

            Oh, I agree with you wholeheartedly — villainization is the tool of tyrants. Ann’s post did not cross that line, however. She merely pointed out the flaws in the arguments of the “shoe on” crowd. That’s what adults do when they are trying to make a point — they point out flaws in the other side’s logic.

            Elizabeth: Based on your reaction to Ann’s post, I’m surprised that you haven’t reacted more strongly to other posters (e.g., Margaret Irene or Stephanie or AJS) who were much more assertive in their claim that “shoe on” was the only proper way for a host to entertain than Ann was in her post defending “shoe off.” What bothered you? That Ann offered some very good advice that you shouldn’t wear holey socks when you visit? Or that Ann mentioned that you should see a doctor if you have persistent B.O.?

            If you’re going to attack others for “rant[ing]” and being insensitive to others’ views, please at least be an equal opportunity critic. No one likes a hypocrite.

          • WJS

            This whole debate points out what is wrong with people in general. Having good manners is not being “snobbish” or trying to put others down. I think in terms of etiquette the real trouble is people who feel entitled to do whatever the heck they please – IN OTHER PEOPLE’S HOMES!?! The truth is it does not matter one whit what you do in your home when it comes to somebody else’s space. Respect the rules of the house. Whether it is shoes on or shoes off, it is up to the people who live there and own the place. Honestly, if you are that rude and selfish on one side or the other when you are actually a guest somewhere else, you aren’t worth inviting over. So, to repeat, no matter what side of this debate you find yourself on follow the frigging rules of the house, otherwise you are being a super-jerk. No other way to look at it.

    • Erin

      I completely agree with Elizabeth. This seems like an unnecessarily hostile and adversarial way of addressing the issue. Characterizing people who take the trouble of dressing for a party as being vain, or suggesting that guests should take more responsibility for themselves, as if they can anticipate every possible situation, is very unwelcoming and unkind.

      I personally don’t much like being asked to take my shoes off, but it’s a pretty minor thing to get upset about. Let’s completely set aside the straw man argument of walking into someone’s house with feet covered in mud or snow — nobody does that.

    • cheryl

      Well said !
      My biggest concern is the ladies in the heels who don’t maintain their shoes and then walk around my home literally “punching holes” in my hardwoods. That is just rude on the guests part if you ask me. I’m perfectly fine with a few scuffs, spilled beverages and scratches.

    • EF

      Am I supposed to take off my wheels if I’m on a wheelchair too? I have a disability, I do come prepared… I bring my shoes.

  31. Chocobo

    I personally feel this entire situation is a side-effect of someone’s terrible idea from the recent past that homes should ever have white, grey, or other light-colored carpeting. Who ever thought that would work?

    Personally I agree with some of the above posters that the image of a dinner party where no one is wearing shoes is absurd. Even in the dead of winter and the mushy, muddy autumn, I know to wear my boots outside, take them off, and switch to my heels (and my husband to his Oxfords) when I get to my destination.

  32. Yuan

    Have you seen what high heels can do to the hardwood floors? After several parties where most guests trump around in high heels, the wooden floor is full of dents. It will require several thousand $ to sand and restain wooden floors. So, take off your shoes or turn around and leave please.

  33. sasha

    there are a lot of intelligent and rational sides to this argument… I, for one, have plantar faciatis and need support on my arch in order to avoid foot pain….. for me, it is uncomfortable to be in a flat slipper or barefoot….. I don’t mind removing my outside shoes, but, if I know in advance the house rule, I can bring along my arch supported slippers that I wear around my house.

  34. Lance

    While I do entertain both sides of the debate and can sympathize with people with foot afflictions, the surprise factor, cold feet, worker safety etc. and agree that having work booties, extra indoor slippers or cooshy guest socks is the correct play if you’re are going to enforce the “No shoe rule”. Although, the bottom line for me is ultimately a health concern. An EPA study, reported that people and pets who walk on pesticide-treated lawns can pick up pesticides like the herbicide 2,4-D, for up to a week after application, the study showed. The study found that “track-in” exposures of pesticides may exceed those from the best-known source–pesticide residues on non-organic fruits and vegetables. Another study showed that 98 percent of lead dust found in homes is tracked in from outside as well. We have a child who will be crawling soon and the idea of asphalt slug, pesticides, lead and I’m sure a thousand other toxins being tracked in from God knows where makes me very uncomfortable. There have been studies that have shown that the levels of indoor *air* pollutants can be 25% – 62% higher than the levels of outdoor toxins from house-hold cleaner, off gassing of VOC in the flame retardants in upholstery and even in the carpet itself. Adding to this already sad statistic by tracking in more unwanted toxins because someone has holey or mismatched socks, because it doesn’t work with your outfit or because the guest doesn’t want to take the 15 sec to take them off seems foolish, for a lack of a better word. Dirt really isn’t a problem. If it was just mud or dirt we were tracking in then I might have a different opinion ( Although, I am definitely not discounting the argument of the cost of carpet cleaning. That’s a whole other topic.) Your home is your castle and it would be great if it was a safe and toxin free one.

  35. chenlingna

    As an Asian-American family it was customary for us to remove our shoes before entering our home or anyone else’s home. Some families provide slippers for their guests to wear indoors, and some do not. I have noticed over the years that many “non-Asian” American families do not wear shoes in the home either (we travel frequently to Canada, and we have noticed it is common there as well). It is basically just a way to avoid tracking dirt in to the house. Out of habit, I usually begin to remove my shoes when entering someone’s house, or I will say: “Are shoes ok?” just to be polite. Then the host (of whatever background) will say something like: “Oh, you can leave them on.” or “Thank you, you can leave them by the door”. I am fine either way (and I do have the arch problem too, and my friends know it. Sometimes with close friends, I’ll say: “Can I leave my shoes on? My arches are killing me today.” and even in “shoeless” homes, I have never had someone make me feel bad for wanting to keep them on, especially during a long “standing” party. When I enter my own home, I immediately begin removing my shoes, so when there are others with me, they somewhat take the cue and begin removing their own shoes. If they choose not too, it is obvious they are uncomfortable doing so, and in that case, I never say a word. For gatherings of close friends and family, shoes come off automatically. At a larger more formal party, many people do not remove their shoes, and that is fine on those less frequent occasions. Interestingly, in many countries, notably in Thailand and Japan, there are signs in public places instructing (usually foreigners or “Westerners”) to remove their shoes before entering. I have even been to an establishment where there were separate areas for “local people’s” shoes and “foreigners” shoes. We asked the guide (it was a tourist spot in Thailand) the purpose for the separate areas, and we were told that the “foreign” shoes had to be kept separately because the locals perceived them to be dirtier and smellier (!) and did not want their shoes “co-mingling”. Our group had 2 Asians, 1 South Asian, and one Caucasian American, so we had a good laugh over this one, because the Caucasian male in our group was always told to put his shoes in the “foreign” rack.

    I also had a friend in college (also Asian) who had a placquard on the door of her family home (in the U.S.) that said: “Please Remove Shoes Before Entering Our Home” and that is the first time I had ever seen something like that in America and in a non-commercial or non-tourist establishment. I don’t think I would ever have a sign like that on the door of my home, even though I was raised in a “shoe-less” home.

  36. Willow

    I have to say that there is nothing wrong with asking someone to remove their shoes before entering your house. I had a friend in high school who’s home burnt down and when they finished the new house they requested people take their shoes off. It was partly because the house was new and partly because they had red clay in their yard and it made a terrible mess. After my niece had chemo, anytime people came to visit they had to remove their shoes to help keep germs out of the house. If you think about it shoes are nasty.



    • Elizabeth

      Dear Mike,

      Thank you for posting your thoughts. (I too feel odd when in a social situation without shoes.)
      However, in the future please be sure to turn the caps lock OFF. It is very difficult to read posts in all-caps, it is the visual equivalent of shouting. I assure you, we will understand that you feel strongly about whatever you’re writing about, even without the caps.


      • Mike


        I agree with you but personally, I find the no shoes rule worse when I’m not wearing socks. If I’m wearing shoes and socks, I don’t really mind taking my shoes off and walking around in socks. But in the summer, I often wear flip flops and then end up having to walk barefoot when visiting a ‘no shoes’ house. This has happened to me so many times now hehe…

        People tell me to just bring socks but I find it weird to just walk around town with a pair of socks in my hand…and I don’t ALWAYS know when I’m going to end up at someone’s house; sometimes it’s unexpected…

        anyway, I just find it a bit weird when I have to wander around someone else’s house in my bare feet. I remember in the summer I was invited to my friend’s house for dinner and he had some of his relatives over. I wore flip flops and was told to remove them at the front door. I was the only one walking barefoot (everyone else had socks) and honestly, it was VERY awkward meeting people for the first time in my bare feet. Wouldn’t that bug you too?

          • Mike

            Yea, have you ever been in a situation like the one I just described? Like, being told to remove your shoes and having to go barefoot..? It feels very awkward…

        • JustMe

          Mike, you were already barefoot. You were barefoot with a bit of rubber under them.

          Come on, people. Be smarter about what you complain about.

    • Michelle

      Yes, floors are meant to walk on… with your feet- not your feet with shoes on them.

      Tiled or wood floors are easy to clean, but carpets are not easy or cheap to clean. Some people buy homes with carpet and cannot afford to replace the carpet.
      There are also people who are renting and cannot replace the carpeting.

      It’s all about etiquette. If the people who live in the home remove their shoes, their guests should also.

      I provide my guests with new disposable slippers and socks.

      I don’t understand why anyone would wear socks with holes in them. That is really tacky!

  38. Tammy

    I came to this site because a relative asks us to remove our shoes when we visit. I was interested in what others thought about being asked to remove ones shoes. My husband and I stayed at this relative’s home on one occasion. We have never been asked to stay overnight again, and have, as a result, spent thousands of dollars on motels during holiday functions, weddings, births, birthdays, etc. We were not told ahead of time about the ‘no shoes’ rule when we stayed overnight. Nothing was said about it. We noticed a few shoes sitting next to some steps in the garage but that was it. We did not take our shoes off, nor were we asked to on that first occasion. So, how were we to know? Upon a second visit (not intended for overnight) the relative asked us to remove our shoes. We had driven over 200 miles that day and did not have booties or extra socks to put on. There is no carpet, only hardwood floors and my feet and hands get terribly cold. So cold that it is quite painful. I explained why I didn’t want to remove my shoes. The relative didn’t seem to like it but then there was no offer of socks or anything else. Because I didn’t remove my shoes, neither did my husband. After we left we discussed the ‘no shoe’ policy and actually laughed at this relative’s strange (to us) behavior. We both were aware of other cultures such as Japan and if we were in Japan, we would have carried some booties or slippers with us! But we were going to a relative’s home and that was all. It wasn’t a big party, just a family meal. I do think we have not been asked back to spend the night because we did not remove our shoes upon that second visit. To me, this is quite cowardly on my relative’s part. If she has such a problem with the shoes, then she should just say, “You need to bring brand new slippers with you when you come to my home.” Then it would be ‘okay’, I guess. But for her to have us and NOT tell us anything the first time was just too much. Now I really don’t care if I ever enter this person’s home again. My husband and I have worked hard for what we have and we have decided it is time to stop wasting money just so we can attend some third-cousin’s fifth trip down the wedding aisle. If my relative thinks I am a horrible, dirty person then I guess she has the right. But I also have the right to expect to be told up front about what is expected. I grew up with this person and back then, we all wore shoes in the house, and we were taught it was unseemly to remove our shoes in another person’s home. So I don’t know where she got the idea of ‘no shoes’. She has a housekeeper so it isn’t like she has to scrub the floor herself each time we visit. (we only go there upon being asked by her.) There are no children or grandchildren around to crawl on the floors, only her and her husband.

    I can understand the situation with pesticides getting on your floor and such…I had not thought about that. But because this relative has been so weird about not telling us what to expect, and then not being sensitive to her own guest’s needs, I don’t really feel like going to her home anymore.

    That is one thing that I don’t believe folks think about….how much they are ‘pushing away’ others by their lack of honestly, and then also lack of caring. Some will say I am being terrible for not carrying booties around with me, but I don’t care. I can see many are upset on both sides of this argument. But I guess I have my mind made up. My relative can have her lonely house with no shoes, while I and my husband go on with life and enjoy the company of others. Who needs to feel ‘put down’ each time you go to someone’s home, at their very asking? Not me.

    • billy

      So sorry they made you feel that way. I can attest to this. Not about the shoes with family per say, but family thinking their way is right and everyone else is wrong. The no shoes in the house thing is a tread. Just like sandals, flip flops and barefoot babies. I really think some of this is driven online by foot fetish. People tend to do it because they have friends and relatives that do it. “Oh look at how clean the Hongs house is. When we get new carpet we’ll do it too.” They are just following the heard. This is why shoes off rules tend to be regional.

      My former friends parents were shoes off people. At 16 they were the first to ever tell me to take my shoes off and it ended up being an offensive situation for me as well. At first I thought the dad was joking and shocked to find he was being serious. Its the norm her in the south to wear shoes indoors and he had to know this. He was shocked that I resisted at first. The family was very dysfunctional and antisocial. They had the rule because the dad’s family was that way. In fact many with shoes off rules only do it because their parents did. No way I would be associate with them today. BTW after they got a dog that they kept indoors they did away with the shoe rule. Even they saw the flaws in asking people to remove shoes on carpet that a dog is allowed to be on. Sadly many with pets and vomiting children still expect guest to remove their shoes.

      As for carry slippers or socks. Most people don’t expect shoes to be removed so expecting people to carry them around is being selfish and narrow minded. I would literally go years with never using them.

      Just wanted to let you know that we are the normal ones and they are the odd ones. I couldn’t imagine people on TV removing their shoes at the door. The whole idea to this day is just weird to me.

  39. Dorothy

    The topic of this is now lost which was ‘is it rude to ask…’ I’m going to attempt to bring it back to that. I think you will be surprised by my take on this.
    First off; don’t ever, ever host a party! You are far too worried about your home, and it would be so very awkward for people to please you the rest of the night.
    And, the only thing you are being, by asking, is pretentious.
    I say, it has nothing to do with germs, rudeness, damage, style of flooring, etc. It has everything to do with the owner of the house itself.
    Are you, or your house, better than anyone else? Read this:
    People who live in Orange County in California in one of those mansions would throw a proper conniption should you ask. I mean: how dare you ask people to remove their shoes! Have you seen some of those shoes? Shoes are ‘part’ of their status. Also, they have cement driveways; they don’t track ‘in’ anything to get in there, but that wouldn’t matter. You simply do not ask.
    If you live on a farm, however, there would be a broom outside of the doorway to ‘sweep off’ the shoes/boots. Most farm houses would also have mud rooms as you walked in. These are an area built specifically FOR you to take off your shoes/boots. There is no need to ask. Their driveways are made of dirt (muddy when wet). It is common sense to take off your shoes/boots.
    So…when do you ask? Think about this. Is your home, or are you better than your company. No. You are being too self-important and you are forgetting the reason you have company.
    But, my question is this: when did people become so lazy? My family and friends (together) cleaned up after a party (including floors). None of us were strangers to a vacuum, mop or broom. Cleaning house was daily, not just on the weekend. We had ‘real’ hardwood floors and any marks, etc. would age the wood beautifully. We did have carpet in the living room, but it was vacuumed daily, spot cleaned as needed and shampooed in the spring and fall when deep cleaning was done.
    My mom scoffed at things like taking your shoes off, as did I when I became a mom.
    If it was really about germs, think about this: we rarely got sick and when we did, it was from the regular childhood illness i.e. chicken pox, etc. Mom and Dad are 91 & 92 respectively. If everyday germs kill, they wouldn’t have lived this long. By the way, some germs are actually good for you – they build UP the immune system (look it up). So it is not about germs. If it was about flooring, you would put down a rug or plastic to cover your floor. So it is not about flooring. If it was a respect thing, well, nope, there is nothing respectful about asking people to remove their shoes…unless you live on a farm.

      • Dorothy

        I guess I did ‘rant’. So sorry. I don’t usually go on these things, let alone go on and on. I was in a mood. LOL

        • Jerry

          Oh, ranting doesn’t bother me at all. Feel free to rant without apology. It’s one of the beautiful things about the Internet. (I think you’re wrong on the substance, but so what? This is a divisive issue.)

          It’s the selective criticism of ranting that continues to be highly offensive. Perhaps some of the other commentators were “in a mood,” too? :-)

  40. Ronnie

    Shoes are dirty, just wiping them on the doormat does not remove all the dirt. Go ahead and take a wet white washcloth or paper towel and wash the bottom of them after you’ve been outdoors and you’ll see they’re filthy. This dirt rubs into your floors and your carpets. Not only that but you’re spreading all the chemicals picked up outside (from de-icing to pesticides and fertilizers) and then just running around in the house with them adding to the already toxic stuff in your house. It makes no sense. Asking a person to take off their shoes is no more rude than asking a smoker to smoke outside.

  41. bill

    First. I hate taking my shoes off at parties and won’t go back to their house for another party. I hate walking around in socks socializing,all dressed up. Also some boots are a bitch to take off . We were going to a party on the way to going out to a bar afterwards. I had Carolina logger boots on for the bar. And to untie them is a nightmare. I felt so stupid taking them off. I honestly feel that if you care so much about your floors don’t have parties.

  42. Tim Hohs

    Asking someone to remove their shoes and walk around in their socks, subjecting their feet to cold floors or spills in the kitchen, while the host wears comfortable slippers, would be rude in any culture. A nice selection of slippers, however, placed where the guests were being asked to remove their shoes would, to me, excuse the host from being considered a swine by his guests.

  43. nsb

    I think that walking around indoors when wearing shoes is like allowing young children to eat from the floor. Having to take your shoes off when you get home helps with having a healthier atmosphere as the people around you will not be breathing in any form of dirt or toxins from the carpet. It also helps to keep carpets clean as dirt from outside and around the area can prevent a cleaner home and could spoil the fabric in carpets as the carpets could get damaged.

  44. Brad

    I find it very weird that so many people are defending guests that wear shoes in peoples houses. It is utterly rude and disgusting. You are tromping in with all sorts of literal crap on the bottom of your shoes. I had a guest bring dog crap into my house and spread a nice streak across the light colored carpet. “sorry”. Why should my carpets have to get stained and ruined because some people weren’t raised with common sense regarding hygienics and etiquette. If a person doesn’t remove their shoes automatically and without being asked, they have some serious social problems that really need to be resolved. It really doesn’t take a genius to realize how much germs and dirt are on the bottom of your shoes. I place these people next to those that don’t wash their hands after taking a dump. It is just really disgusting. Get new “friends” if you have to ask them to take off their shoes.

  45. Barry Coleman

    There is a lot of for and against for wearing shoes indoors. I was brought up to take my shoes off in our house and also respect other people’s homes/property. Personally I would feel dirty if shoes were constantly worn in my house. I have seen many homes whereby the owners don’t remove their shoes and just by looking at the carpet you will see that this is filthy with no colour, sometimes stained, whereas people who remove their shoes, their floor covering is bright and clean.

    Would those people who advocate wearing their shoes indoors like to sit in the street on the pathway to watch the television or play with the kids. I think its sheer laziness not to take shoes off before entering the home, like one comment on here which said, he took his shoes off then had to go to the car, so he put his shoes on then had to take them off again.
    It’s about discipline, not about whether a guest is valued or not. Do the guests value the people they are visiting, it works both ways.
    Also, if you have young children that play on the floors in the house, who wants to subject them to excrement that has fallen from the tread of someone’s shoe and the child decides to put it in their mouth.
    I just wish that this filthy mindset be halted and everybody starts respecting people and their property.
    Finally, I am British and live in the United Kingdom and believe it or not there is quite a lot of British people support the shoes off policy.


  46. Joyce H.

    Due to a disability from a car accident which makes walking flat footed extremely difficult, I always apologize to homeowner and explain my predictament. He/she always graciously tells me to please not to worry. I always make my best effort not to wear dirty shoes into their home as well as in my own home. I never ask people to remove shoes in my home. I feel it would be rude to possibly make a guest feel uncomfortable or embarrassed in any way.

  47. Mac

    A side effect of chemotherapy 18 months ago has left me with numb fingertips and toes. The numbness is worsened when my feet are cold (I also have bad circulation) My shoes keep my feet warm and supported. Without them my ability to walk properly is severely affected. Your big toe is your main balance when standing/walking and when it is numb, it doesn’t work peoperly.
    Please don’t ask your guests to take their shoes off!!!
    I don’t want to have to explain all my problems, before I’ve even got in the front door.
    I wouldn’t walk into someones house with ‘dirty’ shoes on.
    I wear my shoes from morning till night.
    Houses with babies have a lot worse remnants in their carpets than my shoe dust, sick, poo, wee, food etc.
    And People with foot/body odour leave a lot more nasties on floors and furnishings than my shoes do.

  48. John Marshall

    Asking someone to take of their shoes is rude. Dirty work boots is one thing. But I am nor removing my dress shoes and look like a bum.

  49. Christine

    So it’s been almost a year since this was posted. I’m curious what the homeowner is doing about the shoe/no-shoe policy? And if they’ve hosted any parties.

    I didn’t buy and improve my house so that I could have ‘nice stuff’ I did it so that I could have a ‘nice life’ and for me having parties where my guests feel comfortable is part of that nice life.

  50. Antonio

    if you must require guests to remove their shoes when you have a party, then it is better you do not throw a party. The bottomline is there are many people who do not want to remove their shoes. Only peasants do that.

    • Kaye

      only peasants, and Canadians, and people in Japan and Northern and Eastern Europe, and some part of the US and people with babies, etc etc, etc (based on the comments in this thread).

  51. Kate

    There is so much entitlement in the way people are talking. Why can’t you just respect the way each person prefers, either to wear or take off shoes. It’s a cultural thing. Each person is raised differently. Why is that wrong? If wearing or not wearing shoes is the reason you don’t want to spend time with a person then you have bigger problems than shoes. I wouldn’t want to spend time with someone who didn’t respect a person’s house rule.

  52. Justice

    This is quite a fascinating topic, and such a clear illustration of how culture determines our opinion on so many matters.

    Personally, I’ve lived in places where it is the height of rudeness to not take off your shoes when entering someone’s home, and I’ve lived in places where it is rude to ask people to take off their shoes.

    The main conclusion should be that this is an entirely context-dependent matter. You should all just learn to do as the Romans do, and follow the local customs wherever you go.

    Also, there is no need to attack and denigrate people just because they live a place with a different “shoe culture” from what you’re used to. Seriously.

  53. Spanky

    What a federal case! What are we, animals? Take off your stinking shoes! I keep a basket of non-skid slipper socks by the door and people enjoy picking out a pair to wear while in my house. Then I just throw them in the washer. I don’t even allow bare feet on my carpet. And it’s not white! I don’t want someone’s stinky smellies on my floor. I recently saw a health expert on TV say that the number one worst thing people do to bring germs into their environment is wearing shoes in the house. Everything you stepped on outside is now mashed onto your carpet. eeewwww!!

    • billy

      Animals don’t wear shoes. :) Traditionally we have tried to separate ourselves from animals and wearing shoes is part of that. Maybe you’re the animal by not wearing shoes.

      I see your logic and the slippers makes more sense and his more hygienic than bare feet, it is also a hassle. If I need to get something from my car I have to remove your slippers, putt my shoes back on, go to the car (walking on the driveway), remove my shoes and put the slippers back on. Sounds a little OCD to me. Just wiping your feet, vacuuming and shampooing the carpet once in awhile is more logical. Trying to keep carpet looking new is like trying to keep your shoes looking new. Might be better just to buy some new ones after some time.

      No matter how you dice it. You’re the odd one with such a routine. Trust me on that. I’m trying to imagine people on my favorite TV show doing that. I just can’t though. I know it’s TV, but in real life most don’t.

  54. Jels

    I can see both ends of the conversation. I wasn’t raised in a home where taking off your shoes was a requirement but my mom cleaned our carpets on a regular basis. Once I purchased my first home, I found myself conflicted because some people do find it quite rude being asked to remove their shoes. I think it all depends on the expectation people have when visiting your home. If they know what you expect BEFORE the visit, they are more likely to be prepared to comply. My friends enjoy the comforts of my home and that involves removing their shoes. I keep extra slippers/socks/etc near the door so they don’t have to worry about walking barefoot. As many people have said, asking someone politely is key. I find it much easier to set the expectation rather than asking and feeling awkward. I greet my guest and usually say something like “You can put your shoes over there. There are socks and slipper whichever you prefer in that basket”.

    Set the expectation and give them options. I’ve never had a complaint.

    • billy

      Just because they never complained doesn’t mean they are not bothered by it. In fact your way might be worst because you are telling not asking. How about offering and it they don’t want to suck it up and just clean after they leave. I think this is part of the problem. This is becoming trendy because people are getting to lazy to clean. Unfortunately you are using more effort being the shoe police for yourself and others.

  55. I understand both sides of this hot topic. Here are my random thoughts (and they are just my opinions):
    1. My husband was asked to remove his shoes in a home with two large, shedding dogs. He said his socks were completely covered in dog hair within minutes. He also observed the dogs scooting around on their itchy bottoms! If you’re going to ask people to remove their shoes, you better have pristine floors! 😀
    2. The natural oils on even very clean feet will cling to carpeting and make the carpet attract more dirt. If I were worried about my carpet, I would prefer some carefully cleaned shoes over barefeet on it.
    3. People who wish to maintain a very clean, toxin-free home by having visitors remove their shoes should tell everyone in advance so that those who have issues with it can plan ahead. If they “forget,” they can then use your shoe covers or socks out of your community stash!
    4. People who wish to make sure their floors are not damaged by certain high heels should tell everyone in advance to please not wear that type of shoe. If they “forget,” see number 3!
    5. Many people have foot disorders or other health reasons that prevent them from going shoeless. If they have advance notice, they can bring along some footwear that they only wear indoors and change into their indoor shoes at the door.
    6. I have some guests who like to go shoeless and who take their shoes off voluntarily when they come over. If they have socks on, I don’t mind. But *please* don’t put your bare feet on my sofa!
    7. Foot and toenail fungus is a far more widespread problem than most people realize, and I don’t put my bare feet on *any* surface, thank you very much! Think about it, say you have a party for a couple dozen people … well, it really doesn’t bear thinking about!

  56. Theresa

    I work in a hospital and have hosted several parties so some coworkers are either coming from work or going to work. I have a basket full of slippers by the door. A lot also from hotel giveaways during my trips that are still in plastic. All of my guest have used the slippers. I sanitize the slippers after the party but the hotel slippers I ask if they want to take it home or I just throw away.

  57. Ron

    I, personally, feel undressed without shoes on. And many people like me have inserts in the shoes for support without which their feel will hurt (never ask a guest to be uncomfortable). Certainly, many women would resent being asked to remove that special pair of shoes they bought just to complete their outfit for the occasion. Homeowners need to get over themselves about their “new flooring”. We once saw the front porch of a new home littered with shoes to protect the hostess’s new white carpeting during her Christmas party; only to find our shoes covered with snow when we left.

  58. Bonnie K Wills

    As a military wife who has traveled all over the world, it was very common in other countries to always remove your shoes before entering someone’s home. This was a sign of respect and not bringing the “dirt” of the world into their home. If it was a warm weather climate where we were stationed the host houses had a chair to sit on if needed to remove the shoes, then a lovely basket or box with various types of slippers to put on if the individual required something for their feet. If it was a country that was predominately cold, then the chair and basket were kept inside. The first country I lived in was Japan and this was a rule, never an exception. I now have friends who have made lovely signs that simply say, This is an American home that observes Japanese rules, please remove your shoes. They feel their homes are sacred places and treat them as such.

  59. On the fence

    It looks like this discussion is a little old so I apologize about the late addition. I am on the fence about the no shoe policy. We just bought a house with dark wood floors that cost over 7,000. While the dark wood looks amazing, it shows every spec of dirt so we decided to take our shoes off before entering. Plus, we dropped a drill while installing cabinets and it left a deep scratch that we paid to have fixed (not cheap) and its never looked quite right. Obviously no one means to wear shoes that can scratch your floors but the fact is that it can happen. Tennis shoes can collect a rock and scrape your entire house without anyone noticing or high heels can scratch the floors if they start to wear. Obviously posters mention that they’re careful to keep shoes repaired and wipe their feet but that doesn’t mean everyone is as cautious. But we decided it felt to uncomfortable to ask our guests to remove their shoes and instead highly imply our wishes. We have a carpet at the entrance with a large ottoman and a basket of guest slippers (if they wish). About 70 percent get the not so subtle hint and about 30 percent surprisingly don’t (or perhaps do and choose to ignore it). The funny thing is how many people walk in, dont take their shoes off and then an hour later ask if they should have removed their shoes. I always tell them to do whatever they’re comftorable with. Or the friends who come late and ignore the shoes the majority of guests removed and let themselves in without considering it. But, don’t get me wrong. Before i lived in this house I could care less about shoes in the house and did sometimes feel put out when going to shoeless houses because i wasnt prepared back then. And yes, i am one of those people who sometimes has holes in my socks, or wear mismatching ones, and think i look silly in stockings with no shoes on and hate my feet getting cold (especially if i wore thin socks). Which is exactly why i don’t ask guests to remove their shoes or put signs up. Its not their fault i installed expensive floors and i value relationships over things. But now that i’m aware of how uncomfortable it can be for some people who are meticulous with their house or have expensive floors i always make sure my socks are appropriate or ill bring slippers. I no longer ask if i should remove my shoes, i just do it, even if the host is wearing shoes. And as a side note, i have friends who have no shoe policies and there are very WRONG ways to enforce it. I think letting people know beforehand is hugely considerate if you are going to ask and for the love, offer a place to sit! I was nine months pregnant and the host had to hold me up and help me push my boots on because she didnt have a chair by the door. That was super uncomfortable! Use some common sense!

  60. l young

    I have friends who request it and at first I thought how does one enforce this. but now everyone automatically complies..no problem…wish I had started it myself.keeps the carpeting cleaner..
    I know people w/very light carpeting request it as well..
    It is one’s home and should be respected…Get used to it.

  61. Malise

    If you have INVITED someone to come to your home, insisting they take off their shoes seems a little uptight to me. It is, after all, a floor and can be cleaned and polished. If a guest notices that you and your husband do not have on shoes, they might offer to take theirs off, as well. That would be a better way to handle this. I suggest you enjoy your guests and worry about that floor later.

  62. Susie

    It’s rude and insensitive to demand that “guest” take their shoes off. I have high class Asian friends who do not wear shoes inside, but they never ask guests to go with Asian customs. Don’t have anyone over if you think your property is that valuable. I’m a “cleanie,” and I would never make such an unreasonable request. The bottom of a purse is one of the germiest things we have. Ask people to leave their purses outside, or incase them in a plastic bag? The dogs walk where people walk with their shoes, so that contradicts that shoes were outside on “who knows what.” Frankly, I believe the dog’s behind would be a problem based on this “logic.” But no, the dogs are fine. My feet get very cold immediately, and I am never barefoot at home for this reason. I also don’t like bunions and hammertoes and don’t want to look at other people’s feet – not very appetizing. Also, I have found the couple who said, “No shoes” to me to be inconsiderate in my home – towels not hung back up, cans or glasses left wherever they sat, etc. I am finding this a new thing coming from the “Me” generation (20s, 30s). Their stuff is better than your stuff, you see.

  63. Janis

    I have a sign on my front door ;
    Thank you for removing your shoes
    I also have a basket full of new socks for my guests to choose from
    so they don’t have to be barefoot this works even my grandkids like to choose the funny socks in different designs we have available

  64. Tara

    I do have beautiful wood floors and do ask guests to remove their shoes when they cometo visit. My 3 children leave their shoes at the door, I will add that wood floors can be slippery with socks as my 12 year old son found out because he is always running inside, He ended up sliding down the stairs and fracturing his wrist, He is not allowed to have anything on his feet inside anymore, but overall I love my floors. Tara

  65. Michelle

    I think it’s up to the home owner. You really don’t know what is on the bottom of people shoes. I the past I have personally stepped in animal poop, gun, and other liquids on the ground. Even though you clean you shoes, the residue and germs are still there. You walk in doors and track the germs into your home. If you lay on the floor, you are now being exposed to God knows what. If the residents want the shoe off, they should be off.

  66. Yes, it’s rude to ask people to remove their shoes. That is not done at Buckingham Palace or The White House. I entertain a lot and I would never ever do that. Not ever.

    People get all dressed up and want to look good. Asking people to remove their shoes is just rude and not at all welcoming.

    When people are invited to my home for parties or for dinner, they probably spent time (especially women) picking out the right shoes for what ever they’re wearing. Making people remove their shoes is tacky, tacky and not welcoming. Don’t do it.

    Floors and carpet can be cleaned don’t make this request.

  67. Lisa

    My my, so many different opinions! Plain and Simple: My roommate and I RENT and are just moving to a new apartment, and are fortunate enough to be getting brand new carpet! We like to sit on the floor, and don’t want to have to worry about sitting in the filth that we all walk in every day on the street, sidewalk, etc……..We have a no shoe rule, and especially with the apartment complex putting in brand new carpet in padding, we plan to keep it that way. We will let our friends and family know ahead of time of our house rule, so that way they can be prepared. :) I think that we need to respect the rules of the person we are visiting, and we don’t have drop in guests, as neither one of us like that. I was raised that you call before you come over, and this being 2013 doesn’t excuse rude behavior.

  68. Lisa

    With that in mind, if one of my guests has a disability, or other condition, and they let me know in private ahead of time, of course I would work with them! I am not out to make anyone feel self conscious who has a legitimate reason! There are exceptions that can be made, and it will give me time to come up with an alternative. I put plastic down when workman come in with boots and ask them to make sure they walk on it.

  69. Mark Adkins

    I think something being overlooked in this discussion is ‘what does one do with the floors in their house?’

    Shoes automatically track in dirt, mud, germs, and more- that is part of their job- to protect our feet from that stuff. When one wears shoes in a house, it is unavoidable that dirt, mud, germs, etc. will be tracked in as well, and that some damage to the floors will occur because of it.

    Now- some people don’t use their floors for anything but to put feet on, so they generally buy easy-care carpets or flooring and don’t care about scuffs, germs, mud, etc. This would include places like the aforementioned White House and Buckingham Palace, as well as retailers etc. in these situations, you leave shoes on.

    Some people like to let their kids play on the floor, or to sit on the floor, or otherwise use the floor as something besides just a surface to walk on. For these people, the floor covering or treatment is selected for comfort or to be pleasant to touch as much as for other considerations. In these situations, you may be asked to remove your shoes.

    Some of this is cultural, some is personal, but the trick would be to recognize when which set of manners applies, then to be polite and respectful- whether you are the host or the guest. In other comments, it has seemed like some people feel that the guests should set policy (it is rude to ask guests to…), others have made it sound like the host is the absolute ruler (as host it is your right to…) The reality is that both sides need to try to make the other happy. After all- guests want to get invited back, and hosts want people to want to come back.

    I HATE taking my shoes off in public, but we are going to redo our hardwood floors soon and my wife is already saying we will do a no-shoes rule, so we will be asking guests to do so- but we will let our own parents keep shoes on, and if we have any workers in the house, we will provide them a place to clean their shoes and/or provide some floor protection where they need to be. Easily-cleaned or replaced throw rugs will give us another level of protection when people need to keep shoes on for whatever reason (cold floor, etc.)

    I am surprised and a little saddened that there is this much discussion and such vehement comments on each side.

  70. kelly ann

    If you have a no-shoes rule that you plan to enforce, you MUST be sensitive to folks who have foot problems. Or let all guests know in advance that you have a no-shoes policy so they can prepare. For example, an older adult in my family has serious toe / toenail issues, and if he has not prepared to go shoeless and has not worn socks (in summertime, he likes topsiders or sneakers without socks) he may be very embarrassed to show his feet in public. DEFINITELY offer a guest who didn’t realize they would be asked to remove shoes some socks, slippers, etc. to avoid this. OR why not have shoecovers so that visitors who may have issues can just slip them on over shoes? This is still going to make you look like some kind of insensitive neat freak, however. If you’re making a flooring choice you can’t maintain with normal use and guest traffic, you should probably choose another type of floor. You will come across as valuing your hardwood floors more than the people who come to your home.

  71. brian

    I am enjoying the division here. Shows there is some gray area in the protocol here. Personally I have diverging preferences. If the gathering is a party, or should in and out use of the patio be expected, I prefer people keep their shoes on. John spills a drink or Jane doesn’t take her shoes off and drags dirt into the house and then everyone who did take their shoes off has dirty or uncomfortably wet socks. In addition some people need the support of their shoes for long periods of standing. I don’t expect bad manners such as shoes on my coffee tables. That said, big parties I expect a big clean up.

    Small get togethers happen more often so take your shoes off. In fact try to make as small a mess in my house as possible. Everybody has to work these days and it’s not great to spend hours wiping up hand prints on glass, footprints on the floors, or whatever unexplainable stuff happens in the bathroom sometimes. A little consideration in this makes it easier to host again.

  72. Eric

    Most of this misses the point…if you commonly remove your shoes in your house, it implies that you walk around in bare feet often. You rely on a clean environment that is limited to indoor dust and toxins. When someone else comes in wearing shoes, it’s a little like washing hands with dirt before eating. Either do or don’t remove shoes, but stick to one or the other and ask your guests to do the same. Some very good courtesy ideas above to help make guests more comfortable but why would you ever want to walk barefoot in your home after someone comes through with work boots? Occasionally you might have someone who needs to climb a ladder or some other safety concern, in which case you might choose to allow it and then clean those specific areas, but the safety thing ends there- a handful of times a year unless you are in home improvement hell. For those of you who dislike the idea of removing shoes-ever seen the floor of a men’s airport/bus station/train station public restroom beneath a urinal? Yep…if you wear your shoes in your house, that the kind of stuff being added to you floor surface. Yummy!

  73. I won’t call it a rule but a general guideline that people remove their shoes when they enter my home. It’s not so much the wear and tear on the carpet but the “germs” and other toxicity from outside. Because I go barefoot or with socks, I do not want the toxicity coming to bed with me. When I am hosting a party or gathering, I don’t make a big deal about it, but yes, the shoes by the door is an indicator. I also understand, as others have said, that there my be reasons such as foot problems that require a person to wear shoes, foot odor, or even the ability or inability to put shoes on and take them off. I also consider hosting parties around the time that I am getting the carpet clean. Ms. J

  74. rose

    I also have no problem asking someone to take off there shoe’s. I have a grown son that will not ask his guest to take off there shoe’s he also think it is rude. When I go over to his house his rug from people walking on it from snow and mud looks so dirty why would anyone let people walk in there house with shoes on to ruin there carpets and floors I just dont understand.

  75. kj

    i started renting a new unit and have brand new LIGHT colored carpet, which i requested because i hated the POOP brown carpet that they put in all the units. It was raining and the pest control guy came and wanted entrance with muddy and wet boots. I understand the need for foot protection when doing heavy work and lifting but PEST CONTROL? He refused to remove his boots even after explaining to him the situation and offering an alternative to his boots while in the unit. I KEEP BRAND NEW SOCKS by the door for guests. I m very clean and want my unit to stay that way. I think you should respect the rules of anyones home. Outside workers should understand that this may be a request and keep an alternative or provide for protecting the flooring if they will be in and out. Why pay to clean or fix something when some appropriately placed tarps or boxes can prevent all of that. Yes home owners or tenants should be respectful in how they ask but likewise workers should be respectful in how they approach. Don’t walk up to someones home with muddy, wet, dirty or greasy boots and expect everyone to just be open to you walking all over their home or get an attitude when they say something about it. You are there for a few hours but that person has to live with your stains for how ever long they have that unit or that flooring.

    • Nonnie Mowse

      I’m curious kj, if I were invited to something at your home, would you make sure I knew ahead of time that I was not permitted to wear shoes?

      I have to wear shoes, medically necessary. If I had to remove them, I would not be able to walk around much, and would have to be waited on. And how far a walk is where I’m being waited on from the bathroom? I understand wanting to keep a dwelling looking nice and clean, but I never see in any of these shoe discussions, what people like myself are supposed to do. I guess I would have to decline the invitation?

  76. Marilyn

    We have a keep your shoes on policy in my home. My husband is an amputee and cannot remove his shoes, once a shoe is on the prosthetic for the day it only gets removed when he takes his leg off to go to bed. We have been in situations where people have asked us to remove our shoes, my husband says he cant and my policy is unless you are from a culture that this is considered the norm i.e. Asian or Scandinavian I will not remove my shoes as I find walking around without shoes uncomfortable and unhygienic. The reactions range from no problem to why are you being a jerk. I am not trying to be rude or obnoxious and my husbands situation is self explanatory. I would like to know if anyone has a polite response I could give and one that would stop my husband from lifting his pant leg after he gets the why not look when he states he cant remove his shoes.

  77. angie

    its kinda rude not to take off your shoes having in mind that the owner of the house has taken so much to time to clean the house to respect that it can be better just to remove your shoes other than bringing all the dirt from outside so that the owner have to clean again what is simple just to remove the shoes than cleaning the whole house again and again considering how many people are coming in and out of the house.

    • Nonnie Mowse

      And Angie, it’s impossible for me walk any distance without shoes. Have you read any of those responses where it’s medically necessary for some people to have to wear shoes?

    • ASTIN

      Track in dirt? Oh come on. Most people go straight from the car to the front door, and most people wear fairly new shoes. So unless you’re consorting with coal miners, or live in the backwoods boonies, I don’t really think you have to worry about people “tracking in dirt”. And if you do consort with coal miners, and live in the boonies…I don’t think you would be the type of person who would really care.

  78. ASTIN

    I won’t enter into a person’s house who tells me to remove my shoes. I’m like…Thanks, but no thanks. I have literally walked away from “parties” leaving friends standing at the door. I think it’s rude and a subconscious power play on their part. It may be their house, but I don’t have to enter it. It’s probably the reason I don’t have a lot Asian friends lol. It may sound snarky, but almost every Asian person I know is like…Uh, can you please remove your shoes? And I’m like…Uh, no! I would never, in a million years ask someone to remove their shoes upon entering my house. People who are that anal about their floors should have dark hardwood floors or polished concrete. There’s also another option. It’s called floor cleaner lol.

  79. Shirley

    Hi There, I have the same dilemma – my in-laws are British and they never take their shoes off in our home whether it has been raining or snowing. It is our first home and it is very old (over 140 years old with original hardwood, which the previous owners kept in impeccable condition!) and I would like to keep it in that condition as well as long as we can. We also have a very expensive persian rug in our living room which they feel they can wear their dirty shoes on and walk a baby stroller across. I have tried many polite hints to get them to take their shoes off at the front door 1) leaving a pile of shoes at the front door, 2) a plastic shoe mat right in front of the door (they just walk over it), 3) a basket full of slippers (different sizes), 4) a sign at the front door to ” please remove your shoes” nothing has worked! I have told them to please take their shoes off as I have just cleaned the floors, to be polite but I get nasty looks. I am at my whits end with these people. I have even begged them to take their shoes off ….some members would just argue with me to get a rise out of me. This is the same family when we were invited to a dinner party at one of their friend’s homes – took their shoes off! They also take their shoes off during open houses (even when there is not a sign)!! I find it very disrespectful that they make such a big deal about taking their shoes off in my home but not in other peoples…I NEED HELP. My husband wants to have them over for Christmas dinner and I really don’t need the stress and headaches. Can anyone suggest anything else?

    • Elizabeth

      Why don’t you have your husband address this with them? He is their son and he should be able to deliver the message in a tone that will be polite and get the message across. When you or he extends the invitation, you or he could say “We would love to have you over for Thanksgiving. Just so you know, we’ve decided to make the house totally shoes-off while indoors. We will have some slippers, but feel free to bring your own pair of indoor-only shoes if you prefer.” Then you have to be willing to enforce those boundaries. Your husband has to be willing to stop dear old mum at the door and politely insist. “Mom, as we said earlier, this is a shoes-off home, so we really must insist that you remove your shoes.” If one of them has a medical issue that requires shoes (orthodics, etc) you should be willing to compromise somehow. In any case – it’s your house, your rules. You just need to have a strong spine and enforce your boundaries. If they try to argue, you can say calmly, “I’m sorry, those are the rules. I’ll understand if you feel you can’t stay.” If your husband is not on board with you about this, I’m afraid it might be hopeless.

    • Michelle

      OMG! My in-laws are the same!
      We have a “Please remove your shoes” sign right by the doorbell ringer, so they won’t miss it.
      We also have all of our shoes by the door.
      They can see that we and our children are not wearing shoes, but they refuse to do it.
      They have ducks and chickens in their backyard. There is poop all over the backyard. My father in law wears the same shoes everywhere he goes, so he wears these shoes to feed the animals. He is stepping on the poop, so the poop is on his shoes and ends up on our flooring whenever he comes over.
      My kids, hubby and I play on the floor together all the time, so we like to keep the carpet clean by not wearing our shoes inside.
      We have shoes designated for inside the house only, which we will wear when it starts to get cold.
      Carpet is not easy or cheap to clean. I wish I could charge my in-laws for the carpet cleaning bill or a carpet cleaner.
      In my opinion, anyone who disregards your wish to remove their shoes in your home is disrespectful!
      My in-laws also use their bare hands to serve themselves food instead of using utensils that are already in the serving dish.
      They are just barbaric!

  80. Colise

    Here’s a fact: According to a report by researchers at the University of Arizona, pedestrian shoes carry at least 66 million organisms, a good chunk of them bacterial. The study also found that not only do bacteria live longer on shoes than in other places, but bacteria on shoes transfers easily to tile floors. I take pride in my home, and welcome guests, and want them to feel very comfortable, and I ask them politely to remove there shoes. It’s everyone’s individual choice what they want in there own home. If someone had a problem taking there shoes off, then they don’t respect me or my home. I entertain all the time summer, and winter. I have a lot of friends, and they don’t seem to have a problem. If Anyone that has a problem taking there shoes off in someone else’s home, that is just disrespectful. If you want to wear your shoes in your own home feel free, I would never judge, but this is my home, and I have the right to make that choice.

    • billy

      I think people like being controlled which explains why the the popular kids in school are often times not very nice. I don’t know you so I won’t say for sure, but people with uptight rules tend to befriend people they can control. Just because your circle of friends in a small community don’t mind doesn’t mean other don’t. You have to respect other peoples feelings. Just because they don’t seem to mind doesn’t mean they that is the case. If someone wears shoes in their own home don’t you think it would be abnormal for them to go shoeless in yours? The people that don’t mind are people that probably like to be shoeless. Not everyone likes to be shoeless.

      Your 66 million organisms argument means nothing. Germs are good for you and makes your immune system stronger. I have been in homes where shoes have been worn my whole life and go years without getting sick. You’re a germaphobe buying into the media parts per million hype.

  81. Russ

    If removing ones’ shoes at the door is such a horrible thing, then don’t go to Japan, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, or a good number of the households in most other countries. It’s not about not wearing out someone’s precious floors, it is about the hygiene level they want to maintain. If you think you have every right to track in powdered dog feces, dirt, bits of dried earthworm from the last storm, and other things into a home where they try to keep the place truly clean, then that to me is thoughtlessness and selfishness.

    I think some people just have a ‘thing’ about their feet and don’t want them seen without shoes. If they’ve got a real foot problem I can understand that, but just insisting that one should be able to wear outdoor shoes indoors and track all that stuff into another’s home is rude.

    In some of those countries I mentioned, the kids attend school all day either in socks or some indoor-only shoes like Crocs. Maybe they grow up without such a complex about going without shoes indoors.

  82. Maria

    We have a no shoes policy except for parties or get togethers. No one wants to get dressed up only to arrive at your house and hang around in a pretty dress with white socks

    • Maria

      I too have a NO shoe policy in our house…..for our family…not OUR guests!! They took the time to: brush their teeth, get dressed and many times matched their shoes to their dresses. But now I will ask them to take them off at the door???
      We don’t ask people to do that at the door of OUR churches, or the white house.

      We don’t put shoes on our DOGS. Its alright for them to step on all the filth and come in the house, but not our guest???

      We’ve come a long way from hospitality to rudeness. Where all have to bow to “OUR” wishes. Things are more important then friends.

      Friends, Floors will come, and floors will go…..but friends are not here for ever….just a thought. You are lucky you have friends that WANT to come to see you. Make them feel WELCOMED :) Peace and love to you :) You know a little dirt does not hurt!!!

      • Elizabeth

        Maria, my thinking is along the same lines. My husband would prefer a shoes-off house, but our dog goes in and out multiple times per day, and the dog and cat hair builds up faster than I can clean it. Socks would just be hair attracters. My feet get cold easily, and we don’t have many carpets. Rubber-soled shoes don’t pick up the hair, nor do they damage the floor (ours is a hearty old wood floor, capable of much abuse.)

  83. Maria

    I respect everyones opinion. HOWEVER. I’m from the camp that you DO all for you GUESTS. They are the most IMPORTANT! NOT YOUR FOORS!!!! Floors are “just” FLOORS !!! They are “friends”!!! Or are they??? How far have we come that we ask “our ” guests to remove their shoes at the door because they will “soil” our floors!!! We even offer them “slippers” that we have offered all of our “other” guest!!!! So “our” floors are more important then our guest! They can “use” soiled slippers “used” before by “who” knows who!!!! Their germs are OK to spread to me…..to my feet????? EXCUSE ME ???? Did you say “you” are my friend??? Not from my view point. If your floors are more important then I. Then you might keep them as your “friend”. I am not Speaking when its raining, or snowing or bad weather! I’m speaking of an ORDINARY day that you come to visit your friend, and you are asked to “remove” your shoes. I don’t want to wear others “slippers”. I took the time to dress to come to your house, now you are going to ask me to take my shoes off and put on someones slippers???? I should have come in my PJS!!!!

  84. JustMe

    After reading the comments all I can say is one thing:

    The people who hate the shoes off policy to the point of actually sounding like they DEMAND people allow them to have their shoes on while in someone else’s home is a good FILTER for the types of people I don’t like to associate with.

    If you can’t roll with the punches or are that culturally closed off and “entitled” to someone else’s home, I don’t want you in mine. So if you decline politely or bashfully, then I will help you out and give you a pair of new flip flops. If you throw an attitude, BUH-BYE! Don’t wantcha here!

    Good article!

    • JustMe

      ps. You can also tell who is the better world traveler and better mannered in other people’s countries based on the opinions above.

      Anyone willing to go along with the shoes off with little complain (maybe some embarrassment) go abroad and the locals have little trouble. The “WHAT? Let me have my shoes! Floors are meant to be walked on! Give me a break!” crowd are the “loud Americans” who visit other countries and make a mess and offend the locals.

      Willing: “Lovely country. I shall learn the local customs.”
      Unwilling: “I paid money to get here! I do what I want!”

      • Winifred Rosenburg

        FYI, this site is focused on American etiquette because Emily Post was the source for American etiquette. Obviously when visiting other countries one should abide by local etiquette, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

  85. shoes off!

    Shoes are for outside! Don’t you want to let your feet breathe sometime during a day? Some people get butthurt about taking off their shoes. But it’s not your home. Don’t like it? Get out. When people tell me I can’t smoke in their home I don’t get into it and ask why. I go outside.

  86. Valerie

    Wow, this has been such an interesting thread to read. Growing up in many different households, I always adapted to whatever preferences my hosts had and didn’t have an issue with that. While I did not grow up with a shoes-off tradition, I had some Asian friends in high school whose parents did and I always remember really appreciating how nice the ritual felt of removing my shoes – it actually made me feel more welcome, because I was being invited into their sanctuary. However, I did not adopt a no-shoes custom until living in a rental where the landlord had just cleaned the carpets. He didn’t ask me or my housemate to take our shoes off, but she suggested it and I thought that sounded nice, especially after having lived in a really filthy city where it was not uncommon for the streets to have been urinated on, etc. I also realized that a lot of the allergies I’d had previously might have been from what I had been tracking in, because after I stopped wearing shoes inside, I could breathe better and felt better. So, I started to adopt that tradition and found it kept the carpets and floors clean a lot longer, which was great, as I don’t like to have to clean constantly. I always told guests in advance, have an attractive copper sign on the front door that says “Thank you for removing your shoes,” I offer slippers and socks, and would never dream of asking for no shoes if someone is uncomfortable with it or has a condition requiring them to wear shoes. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable asking, so I don’t and then I just clean the floors when I get around to it, but I have been surprised when sometimes guests just walk right in without even noticing that I just took off my outdoor shoes. Sometimes I will ask them if they want some slippers, as a polite hint, sometimes I just let it go, but it does feel a little weird that they would be so unconscious. It is not about trying to impose my will on others or valuing my floor over my friends – it’s just a preference based on my personal experience. I know someone who resents being asked to take her shoes off, yet if you use her shower, she asks you to squeegie it afterward to keep the glass from getting hard water spots on it – I have no problem doing that if I use her shower – it takes only a minute to do it – so why am I being unreasonable to ask that she remove her shoes in my house? What is the difference? To me, it’s just about being respectful of each other. My mother comes over a lot and I do have her sit down so that I can wash her walker wheels off – if I don’t, she tracks leaves and dirt all over and I don’t want to have to clean my entire floor and rugs every day. Her place gets very dirty very quickly and I have to clean her floors all the time, but just taking 2 minutes to wipe her wheels off saves me a lot of hassle in my own home. Sure, some people I know have animals and don’t care how dirty their floors get and I wear shoes in their homes and am fine with that. Other people I know have indoor pets and keep their floors very clean and take their shoes off, so I take mine off when I go in their homes. It’s all good people – there really is no wrong or right – it’s just what one prefers or is accustomed to doing. Seems more helpful to be flexible and understanding of each other, rather than trying to fight about it.

  87. David

    I just found this thread after posting on this site for a couple of weeks and I’ve really been enjoying myself. I feel now like I wandered in to a bad neighborhood. I don’t think it’s appropriate to criticize another’s response. Ever.

  88. Dee

    There are some people who have very embarrassing feet. I shutter at the thought of being invited into someone’s house in the spring/summer months because I have awful looking feet. It has changed my life. I don’t go swimming either and get nervous when summer comes. I have to put a lot of thought into what in the world can I wear. I don’t want to bring attention to my feet so I cover them. The one time I did, people looked at my feet. I ruins some aspects of my life. On that note, I went into our neighbors house newly installed floors. My husband walked in front of me the whole time. I have mixed feelings. I can understand someone not wanting dirt and germs on their floor. Do you know how cold it was and hard to walk on this persons new floors. I couldn’t wait to get my soft shoes back on. It is difficult because I hated walking on her cold floors in my awful feet. On the other hand I hate being asked to take my shoes off. A person has to decide if they want their home to be a castle that you worship or a home that welcomes other people and you deal with the cleaning of carpets once in awhile. Most people take them off automatically which is nice. My parents don’t ask anyone nor have they ever to take their shoes off. They bought a carpet shampooer for cleaning carpets and once in awhile dedicate a full day to cleaning floors. They have had many gatherings. Their house is decorated very nice. It’s a choice in what you want to be remembered for I think. I am not talking about muddy feet here. Just a normal day. There are some people in our neighborhood where that’s all they are known for is their clean impeccable museum house that is not homey nor welcoming. Ah! You better not touch my house! It’s my castle and I worship it. Or you are welcome here at my house. There’s really a choice to be made. Unwelcome clean museum castle people remember you for or a dirtier house that is welcoming and cleaned afterwards because you want people to visit. It’s a choice of caring for others. Once you are dead what will people remember you for?

  89. Lainey Rogers

    We are instituting a “No shoe” rule in our home. However, I would like to have a basket of individual fold up slippers, for those that prefer to remove their shoes AND a basket of individually wrapped disposal shoe covers, for those who simply would like to cover their dirty shoes.

    Can you recommend a company for both? Whom shall I order the slippers from AND the disposal booties? My research has not determined if they come INDIVIDUALLY wrapped…. Either slipper or bootie.

    Your assistance is appreciated!

  90. John

    I’m sorry, but whenever people ask me to remove my shoes..I always think they are too lazy (or too poor to hire someone) to clean the floors! Seriously that is basic house keeping! No one with proper etiquette would ask a guest to remove shoes when entering…All those shoes you’ve got cluttered around your front door look like trash!

  91. Actually no matter if someone doesn’t understand afterward its up to
    other visitors that they will help, so here it happens.

  92. Anna

    So you people who are against not taking off your shoes in someone else’s home mean to tell me that it’s okay to prance around my floors with you shoes. Are you going to stay behind and help me mop the floors after all the scuff not to mention what else. Really? I had someone walk into my house with shoes on and left all kinds of nasty debris from outside trotted all over my floors. Not to mention I live in Canada where it snows. I don’t get the fuss.

  93. Namey

    Everyone’s talking about the effect it has on the look/hardiness of the floor, but no one is talking about what I consider to be the main issue: health and hygiene. I think it’s pretty gross to wear surfaces that one tracks all over the place outside through all manner of trace fecal matter and chemicals through one’s home, especially if you have a carpet. I ask people to remove their shoes for that reason – I ask politely, and if they still find it rude, terribly sorry but health is more important than manners.

    • billy

      What health are you talk about? My grandparents wore shoes indoors and lived into their 90s. They were around when lead levels were much higher and there was no EPA to regulate that people were dumping into the environment. I have been in shoes on homes my whole life and I go years and years without getting sick. Did you know polio affected the rich more than the poor because the poor had stronger immune system from living in dirtier conditions? What chemicals are you talking about? I walked from my house to my car (on the driveway) and to your house from on car (on the driveway). Did you just fertilize and its all over the driveway? Do you have an angry neighbor pouring toxic chemicals in your yard? There is no logic in what you are saying and you’re just being a germaphobe. If you want better health get dirty and strengthen your immune system. Studies have shown children are less likely to get cancer and asthma if they are exposed to germs from a young age.

  94. Paula

    The practice of asking people to take their shoes off is one I just can’t stand! I would never prize the perfection of a floor over a party with friends, or over my friends’ comfort. Floors can be replaced (or chosen more wisely).

  95. Leticia

    Read so many comments below from both sides and what it boils down to is RESPECT. Respect the homeowners wishes. I used to be okay with it until I decided I didn’t want to spend so much time or use so many chemicals to clean my floors. You should be grateful that you’re being invited because guests are a dime a dozen. Very few people open their doors, hearts and wallets for others. If you’ve been invited, be thankful and be grateful that you can take off your shoes, relax and enjoy yourself…often for free. It’s a small gesture that shouldn’t be a big deal.

  96. Joe

    What do u do when your delivering items like wardrobes and on entering house home owner says take your shoes off before taking it upstairs

    • Elizabeth

      That depends on your company policy. Many companies will not allow its employees to remove their shoes because of the potential for injury if a heavy piece of furniture should fall on a bare foot. You can carry disposable booties to place over your shoes with you in the truck in case the resident is concerned about dirt.

  97. Mary Paulin

    What on earth is a floor for, anyway? Unless a visitor is wearing cleats (and I might include stileto heels in that category) or has muddy or rained-on shoes, I think it is an insult to ask them to remove their shoes without providing an adequate clean or disposable alternative. This goes for guest houses and B&Bs as well. If you want a floor that remains pristine and untouched, install it on the ceiling.

  98. billy

    What ever happen to people putting their shoes and socks on when they wake up in the morning and taking them off when they are ready to settle in for the night? Growing up I knew several people (including small children) that wore their shoes and socks until bedtime. It was common for parents back then to dress their kids to the shoes when they woke up in the morning. More than once I visited peoples homes after dark and the children were still wearing their shoes they had wore to school and daycare. It was clear they were more comfortable with shoes on. When I was in my 20s most of my friends remained in their shoes after work/going out until they were ready to settle in for the night. Now its sandals, flip flops and bare feet for many. Maybe if people put their shoes on more they would get out and do more instead of staying in the house. Flylady a popular internet organization website advocates dressing to your shoes to be more productive. You know what? It works.

    I have only known a couple of people that demanded that guest removed their shoes and both of them had issues with control, anger and their outlook on life. I wouldn’t have either of them in my low stress life today.

    Even in homes where the family is typically shoeless I have never need asked to remove my shoes and when I offered was told I didn’t have to (even when wet outside). My friend had a no shoe rule for awhile before I started going to visit, but did away with it. He found it too much of a hassle to enforce even for himself. When I first went over there I was surprised to find his carpet not all that clean. He admitted he only had the rule because he was too lazy to vacuum. Many start the rule when they have new carpet, but eventually do away with it because of the hassle. Its only people that were raised with it that feel the rest of the world should do what they do. They will even call you weird and trashing for wearing shoes indoors. Well you know what? You’re the odd one! In reading about this topic most tend to have such rules because of how were raised. I think deep down its just easier for them to blindly follow what they know rather than establish their own lifestyle and question what they think is normal. I laugh when people say things like “I’m Asian so no shoes in the house”.

    As for the logic of removing shoes to keep the floors clean there are many flaws. For starters the dirt and oils from your keep still dirty the floors not to mention the dead skin cells that people and animals shed. So you still need to vacuum/sweep and shampoo/mop. Doing it because you have a baby or for general hygiene is also flawed. In fact it may be worst. The foot is a living organism and can carry all kinds of germs and fungus. If someone walks on your carpet with it, it can get on your floors and be spread to your baby. So that repair guy you make take his boots off might give your baby athletes foot. Not just on the foot, but also their hands and mouth. Plus if you have kids and dogs they probably have peed, vomited and drooled on the carpet. You want me to walk on that and then put my shoes back on when I leave? Oh and having kids remove their shoes in a daycare is even nastier. Do you really want your kid walking where other kids are drooling, sneezing, coughing, vomiting and may also have some nasty fungus? I got a bad case of athletes food at karate years ago. trust me it can happen. Toenail fungus is even harder to get rid of and I’ve seen more than one person in barefoot homes with it.

    So in conclusion wearing your shoes indoors may make you and your kids more productive and more likely to get out and do something. The floors still need to be cleaned anyway and removing shoes to avoid cleaning is just being lazy. Furthermore you are putting yourself and others at risk of getting a foot or toenail fungus by making them walk where others are barefoot. Most importantly life is too short to sweat such little things and you may be keeping people away with such rules. A home is intended to be lived in. The effort to try and keep the floors clean to avoid cleaning can be used to just clean them regularly.

  99. Jen

    I really don’t understand this, must be an American thing, as I am Canadian. When I go to someone’s home, I am respectful and always prepared to take off my shoes. Sometimes I even bring my socks if I don’t want to have cold feet, if not, oh well, better than tracking germs, dirt and poop particles into a home. To be honest I don’t know anyone who wears their shoes in their home and if I did I wouldn’t want to go over there because that is dirty. As for feeling embarrassed, I guess Canadians take care of their feet and odor problems rather than hiding them behind shoes. I like the idea of providing slippers though, that is what most Asian cultures do, it’s a step up in the right direction. They also don’t wear their shoes at work, which we could also learn from as well.

  100. We take our shoes off at the door when we come into the house both here and at any house we visit. It would not occur to me to walk all over someones carpets with outdoor shoes on. If people are too posh to take their shoes off in my home then they wouldn’t be the sort of people I would choose as friends anyway. My house my rules… your house your rules

  101. Yaz

    We have a no footwear policy in our house. But I think, home owners who adapt this policy in their homes should also make the effort to keep their floors clean.
    We are reasonable, if we call in people to do work for our home, we would never ask them to remove their footwear due to health and safety. They are the only exception and for that, I am more than happy to clean up after they are done with their work.

  102. Jumbo

    as a man I have no problem taking my shoes off if someone asks me. But at home I’m always barefoot, even in the yard, if I do go out its flip flops. I work all day in boots so this has kept my feet smell free for years. Most of my friends would rather have me barefoot than have dirty shoes on their floors.

  103. Elizabeth

    I was always taught that you respect your host or hostess. The first time I ever took off my shoes was when I visited someone’s home on a rainy day. I asked which is the polite thing to do in Europe and they said I could and offered me a pair of slippers which I declined because I had socks on. A couple came in after me and were asked to remove their shoes and the husband said Nooooo just like that. He is a rude man who has no training. He was raised in a very rich area and is very spoiled. Raised in a barnyard as they say. From that day on I have had a rule in my house – no shoes in my house and bring your own slippers and I do not care if it is raining or not because we have sandy soil which scratches the hardwood floor. I put roofing paper down near the front door and I put a chair out for them to sit on. Workmen can walk on the roofing paper. I have considered adding a bench. I was raised to respect elders as well as hosts and hostesses and that is my take on all of this.

  104. Krista

    In my home we do not wear shoes inside, all people visiting know this and respect my decision but my in-laws! They live close by and stop in often and never take their shoes off. I am having Thanksgiving dinner this year and unsure on how to deal with them removing their shoes! I have supplied the slippers for their feet near the door but they refuse. I just got my hardwood floors redone and it cost me a few grand that I do not want buggered up. Any ideas how to get them to remove their shoes?

    • Elizabeth

      Your husband should speak directly with his parents to discuss your house rules with them. He should not blame you as the “picky wife” but rather present your preference as a decision that you two made together, and he can ask them what he can do to make it easier to comply. If they feel they need the support a shoe lends, perhaps they would like to keep a pair of shoes at your house that have never been outdoors. They may counter that they find the wood floors very cold on their feet, and would like you to turn up the heat when they’re over. If you can find a place of compromise, everyone will be happier.

      • Krista

        Thank your for your thoughts. To them my house is always cold unless its 80. I do turn the heat up when they are over but 80 is a bit to warm for the rest of us. We tried the slippers but she says oh I will just clean off my shoes real good. But yet when we go to their house our shoes come off! I just don’t get it! Last year she tracked dirt in all over my white floor. She then said oh is that from me? Thanksgiving on was on my hands and knees cleaning my white kitchen floor!

        • Lori C

          I suggest your husband, with you in attendance to present a united front, ask his parents directly why they refuse to take off their shoes when they come to your house. Do they need the support shoes provide? Do they not like the slippers you provide? Ask them to explain why they take off their shoes and require the same of their guests yet refuse to extend the same courtesy when coming into your home.

          I also suggest you and your husband remind his parents to dress warmly and to bring a sweater when visiting. Have lap robes out and help them to get it situated when the sit down to visit. Have on hand sweaters for them to wear. Check into a small space heater to point at them when they visit. That way you don’t have to turn the heat up to 80 for your entire home when it is just them that are cold.

  105. Akiko

    There are NO SHOES in my home period. One of the things about being in the US is the fact that it is made of many different cultures and people need to learn to respect other people’s cultures. It’s a problem in the US, hence all the “Ethnic and Cultural Sensitivity” classes given not only in schools but in many places of employment.

    When I am outside of MY home, I comply with American culture, but when you walk into my home that I paid for and work hard to maintain and upkeep, you’re entering my culture, you’re entering my country, the sovereign nation of Fujishima (lol, I joke a lot..lol) America is outside along with your shoes (actually there is a small area just when you walk in for taking off shoes with a cushioned bench, as well as a guest shoe rack, and soft slippers for each guest.)

    Everyone that knows me, knows this is the way it is, or they’re not coming through my front door. Don’t like it, tough. I live here, you don’t. <—- Me adopting that American "My way or the highway" attitude.. lol! 😉

    But seriously, when you go to someone's house you need to respect the rules of their house. It's called having manners. If guests don't know about my NO SHOES policy, they are informed prior to coming, if they decide not to come because of the way my home is run, they're more than welcome not to come.

    I don't even let my dog wear his shoes in the house.. and my dog trumps all guests.. So, I'm not sure what makes a guest think they can disrespect a "rule" that even my dog follows.. lol.

    Yes, my dog wears shoes, he's a bit odd and doesn't like getting his feet dirty.. lol.

  106. Uvas de Playa

    I think it’s downright rude to ask a guest to take off their shoes simply because you don’t want to dirty your floors. If you’re so concerned with the floors, then you shouldn’t invite anyone over. I make an exception if it’s a custom, such as the Japanese have. I take great care in choosing my shoes to go with my outfits. I am not hardly going to walk around in my stockings or barefooted. Imagine having a formal party and everyone standing around in their socks! I don’t think so. It’s rude, period.

  107. Barb

    I have read so many comments but I would like to impart my own two-cents. If in Asia, yes, all of it, assume you must remove your shoes. Do it at the outside if there does not appear to be an entrance area to remove shoes in. This discussion is a non-issue there because you simply do not wear shoes in a private home. If someone allows it you will be told. There are so many cultural things of all sorts but I find this is quite normal with the Asians I have known and It is what you do. Be prepared to take care of your own issues if you have some but take your shoes off. Nobody cares if your bunny slippers don’t match your satin dress, really.

  108. Jeanne

    I don’t like taking my shoes off when I enter someone’s home. It’s awkward. I’m a little over weight and putting on anything other than a slip on would have me warming up and face getting red. It would not be a good start before we even get to “Hello.” Then if they’re also stingy with the food and I see the dog on the carpet and the cat on the kitchen counter – it’s just waiting to get out of there.

  109. Rebecca

    In a country where it’s the custom to remove shoes, everyone expects to do it and has probably learned since childhood to manage it gracefully. Here that isn’t the case.

    I’d like to respect someone’s choice to ask guests to take off their shoes, but the only message I hear is “My expensive home is more important to me than you are.”

    People have lots of good reasons for not wanting to take off their shoes. Mine is psoriasis, which makes things simple: I won’t take off my shoes. If I wasn’t told before I arrive, I just say no. I soften it as much as I can: “Oh, I’m sorry, I’d rather not. Let’s talk here at the door for a minute.” And then I leave. I try not to be rude, but I also won’t explain and I won’t be made uncomfortable.

    If I’m told ahead, I can decline the invitation or, at my daughter-in-law’s, take my own slippers. But hey, she’s family.

  110. Erin

    I know a woman who gets ticked off if someone comes into her house barefoot! Says it leaves marks she has to clean. She wants shoes off and clean socks on. Life is too short . They never have anyone in there house anyway.

  111. noname

    We have a family member who has a sign on their doors to take off your shoes please. This family member is obsessive about keeping their floors clean. I have no inside shoes, and I have complied every time, taking my shoes off, one time a year I might be invited. I have bad neuropathy in my feet and I can’t go barefoot . I am not buying a pair of shoes for their once a yr. invites. This time they emailed and said to respect their rules no eating outside the kitchen, no shoes, but in naming 2 people that need shoes,,, please wear clean ones. Well I am a diabetic with nerve pain, ( they didn’t know or name me). But my husband emailed them back saying I would need to wear shoes. So I wore my sandals, cause my good tennis shoes were dirty, my sandals were clean on the bottom, I thought, no mud or caked on dirt.. So I get in the door and first thing I am told to take off my shoes,, I was caught off guard, and I told the host , I have neuropathy and I need my shoes. He said we can wash the bottoms. I took off my shoes and my husband went out the door mad. I was so humiliated and insulted, I was going to call my son to come get me. First off ,, I felt I had worn clean shoes, but because I didn’t bring “:inside clean shoe” to wear I couldn’t wear my sandals I thought were clean. Because I walked outside with my sandals I had to wash the bottoms. This is going to affect our relationship with this family,, I have never been invited over for coffee, or have never been invited to a play date there for my child, who is cousins with their child In 10 yrs. ( my child is going to be 11. Instead they invite their child over to play at our house or I ask for a play date. I guess this has just pushed all this over the top. They do not want their precious floors or house to get damaged. It is going to take a long time to get over this, I understand it is rude to come in a house not wiping your feet, when they are muddy ect.,, also I have tried to respect their rule, but they said make sure your shoes are clean ,, they were. Most people with health problems, feet problems, or eldery, have a hard time getting their shoes on and off. Believe me everyday I put my shoes on and they stay on till I go to bed, that’s my routine due to my foot pain and other health problems,, and frankly I find it very offensive that their floors are more important than my pain . I only have one pair of sandals and one pair of tennis shoe I can wear. But they actually wanted my shoes washed, that had no caked on dirt on them. And the kids barefeet were almost black from running outside. I don’t understand, and frankly I’m heartbroken, and rejected for years that this has gone on, and my child is not even welcomed into their home. I hope those of you that have a strict no shoe policy will read this and see how it can make a person feel less valuable than your material things.

    • Elizabeth

      I can understand your frustration. I have animals that go outdoors (and I don’t wash their feet everytime they go in and out!) and I wear my shoes in the house. However, I do have hardwood floors that are well-aged, and I do not have babies or toddlers who may spend a lot of time on the floor.

      While I also get annoyed with “no shoes” policies, I think it is not good to take them personally or to feel humiliated when they are enforced. Since you do not have any indoor-only shoes, and you do need to wear your shoes, I think the option of washing off the bottoms was a good compromise. I don’t think the hosts were saying that your shoes were filthy, but this was simply in line with what you already knew to be their preference. There are people with all kinds of preferences that are different than yours, and since it is their house, they get to define their rules. If you don’t like them, you can always decline the invitation. But I don’t think it is productive to get upset and go to the lengths of feeling heartbroken and rejected(!) when you already knew how they felt about the issue. Why not buy a pair of inexpensive slippers that you can bring with you?

    • Lori C

      Noname: I understand your frustration since people with peripheral neuropathy should wear properly fitted shoes and avoid walking barefoot to prevent injury. I presume socks or slippers would not provide the needed support nor help you with the pain.
      You have several choices.
      You can purchase a pair of properly fitted shoes and keep them at these relative’s house to wear when you visit. Surely your husband would be a able to assist you in changing your shoes if it is difficult for you do to so by yourself. Ask the host to provide a chair for you.
      You can graciously accept the homeowners washing off the bottom of your shoes.
      You can decline the invitations to this relative’s home.
      If you want to spend time with them, meet them in a public place or invite them to your home. Especially if your child enjoys the company of his/her cousin.

  112. KB

    I wish people wouldn’t take such offence to others desire for a clean home. Whether I live in a nice 3500sf home or a trailer I will keep it clean. Everyone has different views of shoes on or off. Hasn’t most people been to a model home and seen the signs to please remove shoes or the booties in a basket? I don’t understand why some people are lashing out saying those who don’t want shoes in the home have no friends. High heels can often put dings in hardwood floors that aren’t repairable. I’m preparing for an upcoming family gathering for a couple of HS graduates and a second grandchild . We have a brand new home so I’m buying carpet runners so great-grandmas wheel chair won’t track in the little rocks from outside like they did last time. I don’t ask friends or relatives over if I can’t manage some issues that may arise or if they continue to abuse my desires for a clean home. I personally feel shoes can be very dirty but so can some habits of people. I will say how upset I am when my adult/teen child doesn’t clean up after himself leaving crumbs and candy wrappers on the floor when he visits. I’ve held my tongue when a stepchild changed a very dirty diaper on my new carpet even after I gave him a blanket to change the baby on. I’ve been upset when the same stepchild picked his nose in front of me flinging it on my carpet (I got up and left to tell hubby to take care of that issue). I feel everyone has the right to live how they want even flinging buggers on your own carpet. It would be nice if we could learn to respect how others prefer to live. I’ve explained to my kids and step-kids that they can live however they want. I may not want to stay in their home when I visit but I will respect how they choose to live and expect the same in my home.

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