Elephant Steps: Is it OK to make noise with your feet while walking?

Q: What is the etiquette about dragging feet, and making noise, while walking?



A: Naturally one should not scuffle or drag one’s feet or make unnecessary walking noises.  Someone who does this may have orthopedic, muscular or other problems, or simply have very bad habits.  Those in the latter category often are totally unaware that they do this.


  1. Karen

    I often fall into the latter, it was not corrected in childhood and I can barely summon enough interest to fret about it when I do notice it happening. I wonder though if this counts as “bad manners.” It would probably annoy people if it is disruptive to their work environment, though really, if your environment is disrupted by shuffling feet, I don’t think it’s the habit that needs correcting.

  2. Vanna Keiler

    Hi Karen. I have had similar orthopedic feet issues since childhood and strongly recommend getting a referral to a podiatrist who may be able to fit you with slip-in orthotics for your shoes. There are even versions available which fit into a sandal. I used to be self-conscious “rambling” my way down hallways in college until I realized my feet and knees were unsuccessfully trying to carry the weight of bad bone structure and gait. The orthotics gave my joints much needed realignment, my feet and knees relief and I actually went down in body weight (had gained weight due to the pain and fatigue of walking/running). If your feet hurt, the rest of you will too. It’s worth the money to feel no pain. :)

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