Etiquette Daily’s “Greatest Hits” are questions that generated a great deal of conversation when they were originally posted. At the Emily Post Institute we have learned that some etiquette questions never go out of style and are bringing back a few of these popular conundrums for your further consideration. Enjoy!
Q: We just recently purchased a new home. It has hardwood entry/kitchen and carpet throughout. Is it rude to ask people to remove their shoes when coming into the house? We have place a chair on the front porch to assist those when removing their shoes. We both find it very comfortable to make the request and have actually received some negative responses from ‘guests’ and some have pushed the issue. We feel very torn with a small discreet ‘sign’ making the request (we still have construction people returning who actually are the most compliant). I want to keep my home clean and protect the flooring as long as possible. I have actually declined on hosting a housewarming party because we don’t want some high heel shoes marring up the flooring. How do we handle this?
A: Well, it is your home, and if you don’t want guests to wear shoes, it is your choice. However, it is most thoughtful to tell invited guests that this is your rule so that they bring slippers or indoor shoes with them. No one likes, at all, being told to take their shoes off if they are unprepared to do so; they may have holes in their socks, or runs in their stockings, or feel they have a foot odor problem; and you might put them in an embarrassing situation. If the visitors are drop-in guests, it is thoughtful to have several pairs of disposable, paper slippers by the door so that when they remove their shoes, and may also be unprepared to do so, you have something for them to slip into.