No shoes = less cleaning

Most people don’t enforce a “no shoe policy” in their homes, but I’m getting ready to because I’m tired of cleaning and re-cleaning the floors of my home. Instituting a no shoe policy may be where I am heading especially with my daughter eventually reaching the stage of “total dirt ball.” She will inevitably enter the house with shoes full of dirt and grime and track it throughout the house.

I’ve been to homes where they are militaristic in their no shoe policy and I must admit that it definitely keeps the floors and carpet much more clean. So, if your floors stay clean longer, it is reasonable to assume that you will end up cleaning the floors less often. Which frees you up to do things that you’d rather be doing, like playing outside with your kids in the mud.

123 Comments for “No shoes = less cleaning”

  1. posted by Joakim on

    “Most people” must be americans then, because where I live (Stockholm, Sweden) shoes are made for walking outside and they come off right at the door.

    I thought it was only in the movies that americans did that. Why invest in nice floors and rugs if you’re gonna wear shoes when walking on them anyway?

  2. posted by Jamie on

    Canadians don’t wear shoes in the house. You come in, kick off your shoes, and put them either in the closet or near the door. You might occasionally walk across hardwood or tile with your shoes on to grab something, but NEVER carpet.

    Americans are strange.

  3. posted by DomoDomo on

    Well I’m an American who grew up wearing shoes in the house (I also ate peanut-butter banana sandwiches, oh those crazy americans!). Then I lived in Japan and China for a few years. I’m back in the states now and my fiancee is Chinese. I made the switch, and have gotten so used to taking my shoes off when entering the house, I can’t imagine every going back.

    One thing I would suggest as a shoe placebo is slippers. And not those huge novelty ones that look like bigbird. Comfortable, super easy to put on, open-back ones. Because feet get cold.

  4. posted by twosandalz on

    I continue the ‘no shoes’ policy which I grew up with. Not only will it save cleaning time, but the carpets last longer. I live in the US, and some guests who aren’t used to going barefoot have a difficult time with the idea. A few things I’ve found that help them are: a chair by the door, loaner slippers or socks, a clear visual separation between the entry area and the living area.

  5. posted by Mrs. Micah on

    We almost always put our shoes in the front hallway. Then wore socks around the house or no shoes. I don’t think my mom ever had a policy, but it was convenient. We do the same now.

    As we got older a certain policy did develop. If you tracked in anything visible (leaves, mud), you were the one who got to clean it up.

    My mom wears slippers, like DomoDomo suggests. My Danish aunt and uncle had loafers which they called “house shoes” because apparently you weren’t supposed to be barefoot either. I wore flipflops, which were cheaper. And here I wear socks or go barefoot.

  6. posted by @nna on

    In France, it’s quite common, especialy if you live in an apartment.
    It’s like when I wash my hands when I come home because of all the nasty stuffs you can catch in the subway ; I don’t intend to spread all the dirt from the sidewalk all over my place.

  7. posted by devil on

    Hmmmm…I would never do this. It’s too inconvenient and I expect floors to get dirty and need cleaning. We don’t eat off of them, so they don’t need to be THAT clean at all times.

    But then, we have absolutely no carpet in the house. Carpet is the dirtiest thing you can put in a home.

    No disrespect toward those of you who enforce the “no shoes in the house” rule…I just wouldn’t do it in my home, or visit a home where this was enforced. I’d feel too uncomfortable.

  8. posted by Melissa A. on

    My shoes don’t seem to track a lot of dirt. However, the cat likes to lay in the plants and gets dirt on the carpets.

  9. posted by Faculties on

    Having to take off shoes every time you come in the house seems silly to me. Why should we be inconvenienced for the sake of our houses, rather than our houses for us? And what really gets me is going over to the house of someone who prohibits shoes in the house. There you are, the only one wearing shoes, while everyone acts uneasy because you have broken the unwritten rule and failed to notice you should take your shoes off. You get all dressed up for a dinner party, you put on your heels — and then they all have to come off at the door? And all the fancily dressed guests walk around in little booties? Or have the hosts resenting them all night because they’re messing up the pristine floors by keeping their shoes on? I mean, come on! Houses are for people, not people for houses.

  10. posted by Chief Family Officer on

    As a Japanese American, I have always found it rather odd to wear shoes inside someone’s home. When my husband and I first began living together, he graciously accepted my no-shoes policy without a fight (I simply can’t imagine living any other way). I can tell that guests are sometimes put off when we ask them to remove their shoes, so I do keep some Japanese-style house slippers to offer to guests who are uncomfortable not wearing shoes. At first, the no-shoes policy was extremely discomfitting to my mother-in-law, so for a while I kept a pair of flip-flops that were exclusively for her to wear in our house. I would recommend this if you meet with any resistance while converting your household. I also recommend storing frequently-worn shoes at the front door (the pockets that hang on a closet door are fantastic). Shoes worn infrequently can be stored in a bedroom closet and brought out only when needed.

  11. posted by Zora on

    I used to be a dedicated “N0 SHOES” person. It’s easy in Hawai’i. It’s the norm. Then I got arthritis. My left foot tends to roll inwards, which puts stress on my hip, which resulted in arthritis. I have to wear expensive orthotic sandals to keep my foot from rolling. I wear them in my house too; the foot pronation doesn’t stop because I’m in the house.

    I have two pairs of sandals and I try to keep one for inside, one for outside. But because they’re the same, I forget. It’s also embarrassing when I visit people. I have to explain that if I’m to walk at all, I have to wear my sandals.

  12. posted by Adam on

    Some people are very strict about the no shoes rule and almost are rude about it. I’ve always worn my shoes in the house, who knows when I may need to go outside and I don’t feel like constantly putting my shoes back in to do something quick. Plus when you live in a cold climate place it is just nice to keep your feet warm instead of walking around in socks. However I’ve begun to change into slippers in the winter time or sandals for the warmer months if I don’t plan on leaving the house anytime soon. I just like something to be on my feet.

  13. posted by Colleen on

    It’s funny, I have never thought anything about taking my shoes off when I come in the house. I grew up in Japan and then spent 9 years in Canada so when I came to the states I was amazed and appalled that people kept their shoes on indoors. I couldn’t imagine why you would want to when who knows what you had been stepping in out there… or your guests were stepping in. I know it is fairly common in the states to keep your shoes on but it is an old custom that needs desperately to be rethought. If a person wants to keep their shoes on in their own home I guess that is up to them but I find it extremely rude when a person who knows that we take our shoes off in my home and they don’t (and there are some). As for people who have foot problems, my mom does and she has her indoor shoes and her outdoor shoes. As for cold feet, I have discovered some great wool slippers that I wear as soon as I get home.

  14. posted by Rebecca on

    It is rude to convey the message that one’s belongings are more important than a guest is. So, asking a visitor entrance is like saying they are somehow dirty and shouldn’t be allowed to sully one’s floors. Even if it is true, it’s not hospitable.

    There are a lot of etiquette standards that have nothing to do with how convenient it is to the host. It’s about making one’s guests comfortable–not about how easy it is to keep a clean house.

  15. posted by Lolo on

    What does one do about dinner parties then?

    This is all well and good for when people are casually coming over to your house in their jeans – walking around in socks then is fine and perfectly acceptable to most people.

    But I know I’d feel uncomfortable wearing (and I’d feel uncomfortable asking people to wear) a nice cocktail dress, jewelry, pantyhose, and no shoes.

  16. posted by R on

    If you have a no-shoes rule in general, there’s nothing stopping you from lifting it for an evening if you want to have a dinner party or other fancy-dress occasion. I don’t see the problem. :)

  17. posted by Patricia T on

    My take: if in the United States it’s important to you that people NOT wear shoes in your house and if you plan to entertain people whom you don’t know well, it would be courteous to stipulate that in the invitation so that people can prepare accordingly.

  18. posted by Brandon on

    I think this is a great idea! The construction of my house is not yet complete, but I chose a rather light color for the carpet and want to keep my cleaning work to a minimum. Faculties said that “Having to take off shoes every time you come in the house seems silly to me” – rather, I think that it’s a good artificial boundary. I.e. When I’m at home I feel like I’m at home (comfortable) and I know I don’t have to go anywhere for a while. Putting on shoes then becomes a trigger to mentally prepare you for going out and getting stuff done (work, errands, fun, etc.)

  19. posted by Scooter in Japan on

    A balance is possible, and I had it when I lived in the States. Friends knew I preferred shoes to be removed. When I had dinner parties, I suspended the no shoes rule, and just cleaned the floors as part of the post-festivity clean up: launder linens, wash dishes, wipe surfaces, clean floors. What’s so hard?

  20. posted by Mary on

    Wow. I only found out very recently that most Americans keep their shoes on in the house and are deeply offended if they are expected to take them off. I’m another Canadian who finds that shoes off is very much the norm. It’s rare for people to request that you not bother taking your shoes off. Most of us do it automatically, no matter what the circumstances are, and no offense is taken.

    In university, I once was part of a market research team going door to door in various Toronto neighbourhoods to have people sample beer. For some reason, I often wore a pair of Capezio sandals that took a long time to lace and unlace as I went into and out of houses. The occupants were generally quite patient, though, because — free beer! In fact, a few told me not to bother and let me walk inside shod because — free beer and life is short!

  21. posted by mikey on

    Isn’t there a middle way? While I was raised in the USofA to remove my street shoes on entering the house and have continued the practice throughout my long years, I don’t expect visitors to remove theirs. Unfortunately, some people are so unaware of what’s on their shoes, they do leave a mess. As a result, I often clean house after the guests leave. No big deal for me.

    My reasoning for removing the shoes is that I prefer to go barefoot or in stocking feet (in winter). I know where those street shoes have been and I don’t care to walk in that junk. Having no carpets would be a reasonable solution but, selfishly, I prefer carpets. Effective carpet cleaning solutions are dangerous and bad for the environment so the less I clean them the better.

  22. posted by Ihab on

    I live in the gulf of Arabia, and local people they don’t wear shoes, they wear leather slippers because the weather is hot, they all take off their shoes at the door when they inter their house, even when they receive visitors they are asked to take off their shoes outside the door, I think we have to admit that this old hobbit is finding a lot of supporters today, and I think they are right, just ask your self one question, its healthy to bring all the dirt attached to my shoes into my house, or should I keep it outside?
    3 months ago I shifted to a new house and decided to follow this strategy; every one should take off his shoes near the entrance door before entering my house, even all my family remembers, and its working fine…less cleaning and more cleaned house.

  23. posted by bakelitedoorbell on

    In Japan/Canada/Arabia, what is the custom when going into a place of business, like an office building or a bank? Do you take of shoes then as well or is it only in personal homes.

  24. posted by Mary on

    Shoes stay on in public buildings in Canada. We take off shoes only inside private homes. The large numbers of people going in and out of public building would cause a lot of congestion if everyone has to remove and replace shoes, assuming that everyone would trust others not to steal their shoes. More likely, there would have to be shoe check services, adding to the expense and delay. Public buildings just invest the money in floor cleaning instead.

  25. posted by lisa on

    shoes on/off in one’s own home is a just a personal preference. but at someone else’s house, i think a good guest would follow house rules out of respect for the host. i think the key when visiting someone is to try to handle any surprises gracefully.

    on the flip side, if you are entertaining people in the united states, it would be a nice gesture on the hosts’ part to offer slippers and socks for guests.

    either way, i don’t think anyone would want to visit someone who couldn’t politely ask guests to remove shoes OR want to invite someone who refused to remove shoes after being asked. both situations seem extremely rude no matter where you live!

  26. posted by PJK on

    I have a question for those of you living in the US who don’t mind people wearing shoes in the house.

    Does the “shoes are allowed” rule change at all if the weather outside is wet (rain or snow) or muddy?

    I live in the northern US and while my husband and I generally take our shoes off indoors, sometimes I’ll leave mine on if I’m going out again soon and the weather is dry. When guests come over, I think it’s a nice gesture if they take off their shoes, but I rarely ask them to. If they directly ask, “Would you like me to take my shoes off?” my answer depends on the weather. If the shoes are likely to be dry because it’s nice out, I’ll say, “Whatever you’re more comfortable with.” If it’s wet out, I’ll say, “If you don’t mind, that would be great.” I would say it’s rare for anyone to come in our house with wet shoes and not automatically take them off, which is why I don’t usually have to ask anyone. Also, our only wall-to-wall carpet is in the finished basement, so I’m not as worried about dirt because mopping is easier than cleaning carpets.

  27. posted by Yogesh on

    Where I grew up (India), much like most of the world, it is very much the norm to take shoes off before entering your own or anyone else’s home. You would NEVER EVER see anyone wearing shoes inside a home in India – a lot of people have “house slippers” which are worn inside the house. These habits are ingrained in kids right when they start walking. And wearing shoes in the kitchen (where food is cooked, of course), is something totally unheard of anywhere in India or any Indian home in any country !

  28. posted by Louise on

    Like Zora, I have a medical condition that does not allow me to go barefoot. Ever. I put on my shoes with the orthotics in them to walk the seven steps to the bathroom in the middle of the night. To do otherwise means severe pain. This condition is completely invisible to others. My shoes look normal and I do not walk with a limp, etc.

    When I am asked to remove my shoes, I must refuse. I do not carry special clean “inside” shoes with me and must wear my dirty shoes in your house. While you may be willing to make a special exemption for me, like most people with a handicap, I don’t like that. I don’t want to be your special “it’s okay that you’re dirty because you’re broken” guest.

    Imagine how a person in a wheelchair would feel as your guest, knowing that you hated their dirty wheels on your special carpet.

    I certainly believe that you can do whatever you want in your home. I would ask that you consider this: anytime you ask another person to change something physical about their appearance to adapt to your home, you may be forcing them to reveal a carefully accommodated physical handicap.

    Once I know that a friend requires me to remove my shoes at their home, I refuse all further invitations to visit them. Sad, but reality. I must choose lack of pain over your clean carpet.

  29. posted by STL Mom on

    I don’t have a medical condition, but I do have rather flat feet which get tired and sore when I go barefoot or wear slippers. I find that I have much more energy if I wear supportive shoes around the house. Sometimes I’m in and out of the house a lot, so I wouldn’t want to switch shoes over and over, especially lace-up shoes.
    Also, I have a large dog who can’t take her paws off at the door. Since we have to clean up after her, why not clean up after everyone? But I find that large mats at every door catch a majority of the dirt. When we come in with muddy shoes from soccer or gardening, everyone knows to take them off in the laundry room.

  30. posted by mary 2 on

    I would never ask an adult to take their shoes off. I’m not sure why everyone is getting so much dirt in their homes from shoes. Do people not wipe their feet outside. My house is a home not a mosque. I have slate, tile, hardwood floors and some area rugs in my home. Cleaning is easy. I also have a dog. What do you do if you have a dog or an outside cat? They aren’t allowed in your kitchen and family room? I’ll gladly take my shoes off in someone’s house though.

  31. posted by Marten on

    I don’t believe the shoes off custom (of various world areas) is always about dirt and cleanliness. It’s also about respect. Do you respect your things? Your floors? Your neighbors? Your guests?
    I am an Asian-American living in the US and we do have a no shoes rule for the house, but we don’t think of it as a dirt-limiting factor as much as a comfort factor. We want our guests to be as comfortable in our home as we are and that involves removing shoes. Yes, I understand some people have disabilities.. and I do have two friends in wheelchairs who we have over often. We have no problem with their chairs. (And their shoes tend to stay on since it’s a physical inconvenience.)

    I’m surprised, though, at the number of people posting here who are completely against removing their shoes. In all our time here and with all our friends and visitors, we have only once ever come across someone who refused to remove their shoes and they admitted it was due to a foot odor problem. Luckily it was a summer day and we agreed to sit outside instead. But, honestly, I feel this is more about comfort levels than dirt – it’s the same as if you refused a drink I offered. I don’t trust people who refuse my hospitality, so I wouldn’t invite them over again.

    To the person to stated they never go if invited to a shoes off home, please consider the great insult you are giving to those people who obviously care enough to have you over. You are slapping them in the face and, it seems, do not deserve the invitation you have received.

  32. posted by PJK on

    @ mary 2

    My mom wipes her dog’s feet with a rag towel when he comes in from outside. hehe

    I’ll admit that we do the same when it’s wet out or if the lawn was recently cut. If not, then it’s not just the floors that have to be cleaned, but we’ll find grass and dirt on the bedspread and anything else that the dog jumps on, including our laps.

  33. posted by PJK on

    @ Marten

    “We want our guests to feel as comfortable in our home as we are and that involves removing shoes”.

    I take the first part of that sentence to mean that you want your guests to feel comfortable and “at home” in your house, right? Like when you have a good friend and you want them to feel okay about going into your kitchen and getting themselves a drink without feeling formal and waiting to be asked if you’ve forgotten to offer?

    Well, what if “comfortable” to them is keeping their shoes on? I’m not trying to be antagonistic, but it sounds as though you’re forcing your idea of comfortable onto everyone else. If they’re more comfortable with their shoes on, then you really are not helping them to be “as comfortable in our home as we are”, you’re doing the exact opposite. Following your logic, I’m most comfortable in my house when I take my bra off and put my pajamas on, so all of my guests should do the same???

    If I were the person with the foot odor problem, I’d feel VERY embarrassed about the fact that I had to reveal that problem to you in order to keep my shoes on and I’d probably be uncomfortable visiting your house again. Luckily I don’t usually have that problem and thus don’t object to taking my shoes off, though I can honestly say that I’m rarely asked to take my shoes off in other people’s homes. I only take them off if my shoes are wet or dirty, or if I’m at a close friend’s house and want to kick back and relax. Of course if I was in a house with a “shoes off policy” I would respect it, but I can’t say I know anyone with such a strict policy.

  34. posted by Larry on

    Ugh. Since when did hospitality include instituting “policies” for what people wear in your home? If you’re so concerned about your carpets (and as you said, all that cleaning) then perhaps you shouldn’t have people over. After all, think all the extra dishes and glassware they might dirty….

    Lots of people (from the posts above, for example) are more comfortable with shoes. Other cultures handle this differently, but it’s a shared expectation. Here the general expectation is to remain shod.

    If the point is really “No shoes = less cleaning,” then hospitality is going to be sacrificed on the altar of your rugs. On the other hand, if the point of “uncluttering” is to have more time to enjoy life and to be free from unnecessary encumbrances, perhaps the first thing to be disposed of is an attitude that puts your spotless rugs above the value of hospitality and simply enjoying your friends and family.

    My sister always had this poem on her fridge when she was raising her kids:

    ——
    The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
    for children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

    (by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton)
    ——

  35. posted by Heather on

    Is carpeting more special than a guest’s comfort? I don’t ask my guests to remove their shoes because their comfort is more important than my floors.

    I also don’t like to take my shoes off at the home of people I don’t know very well. I get cold feel and only feel comfortable removing my shoes at the home of closer friends, where it’d also be OK for me to get my own glass of water and put my feet on the coffee table. I feel half-dressed and awkward at a more formal setting.

    But maybe part of it’s because we live in a rural area, many of us have hardwood floors and we go in-and-out all of the time to where buckling and lacing is a hassle.

  36. posted by Frederick Boudreau on

    Everytime I go to the washroom at work and notice the lack of marksmenship of my fellow male coworkers, I remember why I never wear my shoes at home.

    However I do find that wearing socks at a formal party is, well, unformal. The compromise I found is, although for everyday gatherings I always remove my shoes, for formal parties I bring along a clean (and well shined) pair of shoes in a shoe bag and I remove my ‘outdoor’ shoes to put on my ‘formal’ shoes when entering a host’s home.

  37. posted by spark on

    I personally find it rather insulting for you to invite me into your home and then treat me like a pest upon arrival. If my being there as I come is such an inconvenience for you, why did you ask me over?

    You will find two mats, for which to wipe your feet, when you come to my home. I would expect that you will wipe your feet, but I would never ask you to remove your shoes. An outdoor mat to remove debris, and an indoor mat that absorbs water, keeps my floors rather clean.

    Carpet is evil…in my opinion. I can’t think of anything else more difficult to clean. It attracts and holds more debris, dirt, allergens, dust, and just plain old grime than anything else. And it’s damn near impossible to truly clean it.

    No shoes on the furniture is the rule I grew up with and still believe in. But floors are made to walk on and we walk in shoes around here.

    On the kids issue, I do remember my parents requiring the kids to remove their shoes after outdoor play because they often had mud and grass stuck to them, and below a certain age, kids don’t really do a great job “wiping” their feet. But an adult should know how.

    Please don’t treat me like a pest or a child when you invite me to your home.

    And yes, I am much more comfortable in my shoes when I’m in an unfamiliar environment. I’d have to really know you well before I’d be comfortable taking my shoes off and sprawling out on your sofa with the tv remote.

    All that said, if there’s a rule for me to remove my shoes based on a cultural or religious thing you practice, I’d certainly respect that. But if you ask me to remove my shoes solely on the fact that you think I’m too dirty to come into your home, I’m going to be insulted.

  38. posted by Jen / domestika on

    Maybe it depends what climate you’re in, whether shoe-removing is the standard etiquette or not? Here in Atlantic Canada, it is the convention that shoes come off when the feet come in — most people would raise an eyebrow if you tromped into their home with your outdoor shoes on. Part respect, part practicality… For ourselves, we’ve even trained the dogs to wait in the mudroom until they get their paws wiped off — the only way to survive the mud-and-snow seasons without spendng hours with mop in hand!

  39. posted by Jen / domestika on

    p.s. – But I’ve never come right out and asked anyone to remove their shoes: that would just feel a bit rude to me, personally, unless they’re dropping great clumps of barnyard detritus with every step! That said, there’s never ever been any need to ask…

  40. posted by LazyLightnnig on

    I suppose that generally, when I come home, I have armloads of stuff in my hands. I would need to set it down (groceries on the kitchen counter, for example) before taking my shoes off, otherwise how would I get them off? Then there’s the storage thing… Do most women keep shoes in their bedroom closets? or in the hall closet? Mine are in the bedroom closet (and I have a lot of em). Generally I go in there and take them off, and put them away. So, while I don’t walk around the house all night with them on, I don’t find it practical to take them off first thing, either. Unless there is muddy or wet weather outside of course. I suppose it does help that I live a few floors up in my building, so I actually wipe my feet on the ground floor mat, and walk quite a ways on carpeted stairs and hallways before I even get to my door….

  41. posted by scameronde on

    I find this discussion interesting. People coming from countries with a “no shoes in house” policy are thinking that it is rude if someone is wearing shoes inside the house, people from “the other side” are thinking that it is rude to if they have to take their shoes off.

    One question to both sides:
    What is most important where you come from: the guest being comfortable or to respect the customs of the host?

    What if you go abroad? What do you behave like? Do you try to adapt to the habits of the country you are visiting, or do you expect that the people accept you the way you are, because you are a tourist and therefore a guest?

  42. posted by Kate on

    How do you ask people? When you open the door do you say “Welcome to my home, please take your shoes off?”?

    England – yes, children take their shoes off, especially if muddy but – well, in my world – adults don’t have mucky shoes, or if they do they they take them off themselfs… >shrug<

    I don’t like having ‘rules’ in my life when they are not needed.

    Oh – any what would FlyLady say? The unclutter / shoe wearing maniac!? :-)

  43. posted by Nicky on

    Having grown up in a house where shoes were not allowed inside the home, I never wear them in my own house and hope that guests will be repectful enough to take theirs off when they visit.

    I always take off my shoes when I visit other people and consider it to be quite rude not to, as if the person you’re visiting has to ask, this can be embarrassing for both of you.

  44. posted by Anne on

    I have a policy where regular, frequent visitors know shoes generally aren’t worn in my house, and they are expected to follow. However, I won’t ask or obligate infrequent or formal-type visitors to take off their shoes. Sort of like how a frequent visitor might help out with dinner where an infrequent one maybe would not be asked/expected to do so. And of course if I had a frequent visitor that needed their shoes, then he/she would also be welcome to keep shoes on as well. Keeping things clean is great, but it’s not worth being a jerk about it, especially if family members and frequent visitors are 98% of the house foot traffic anyway.

  45. posted by Dee on

    From a clutter point of view: a big pile of shoes in the entryway just doesn’t look good. I don’t care if you have special cubby holes for them or whatever, a whole stack of shoes is not exactly art or something that I want to look at first thing upon entering a new space. I lived in Eastern Europe for several years and the big pile of shoes was always a regular feature in the entryway of people’s homes. I prefer the American way. If you have enough people over, regardless of your storage plan, there will be shoes on the floor in the entryway waiting to trip people.

    From a simplicity point of view: Why would you create two storage spaces (bedroom closet and entryway) for shoes when one will do? Why would you need to create storage space for items (other people’s shoes) that don’t even belong to you?

    From a chi / energy flow point of view: When we arrange our homes, we usually arrange things so that the space appears inviting. My natural inclination is to accept the invitation by moving, uninhibited, into the space. Not stop, bend over and deal with my feet. So, for an American at least, shoe removal feels like a disruption of energy flow.

  46. posted by Dee on

    Also, some people’s feet are just not attractive and I would prefer not to see them.

  47. posted by Cyrano on

    Newsflash, people. Cultures are different. Not always better or worse, just different.

  48. posted by Dee on

    I think everyone here understands that cultures are different. The discussion here is about whether it makes sense to adopt a new cultural practice that is different than one’s given. People are sharing their experiences, hopefully assisting someone in their decision to adopt the practice or not. Whatever that person decides will be fine for them, I’m sure.

  49. posted by ellipsisknits on

    I don’t really see where the big conflict is…

    I grew up in a ‘typical’ American shoes-on house. You wiped your shoes on the doormat, and if they were particularly wet and messy, took them off to dry. Otherwise it wasn’t a problem. My grandmother required you to take off your shoes to save the carpet, and was considered rather persnickety for doing so.

    In college, my husband & I had a large proportion of asian friends/roomates, and got into the habit of removing shoes. We continue to do so out of habit, and since it seemed to work out well (you always know where your shoes are!) but we would never specifically ask a guest to do so. Our college friends do of course, and if someone notices the shoes by the door and asks if we want them to take their shoes off, our response is ‘we think it’s more comfortable, but it doesn’t really matter – whatever you prefer’.

    It ain’t that big of a deal…

    -C

  50. posted by Linda on

    I don’t mind taking my shoes off at other people’s homes, but I never used to care about my own home and would wear my shoes around it.

    Then someone reminded me of the things I walk through out in the city: garbage, green areas sprayed with pesticide and fertilizers, old food, animal droppings, gasoline runoff.

    The last straw was when I walked barefoot in my apartment and stepped on a tiny shard of broken glass that I had tracked in with my sneakers at some point.

    Now my rule is to take off my shoes as soon as I enter the door. I cut slack for other people, but I might implement a “no shoes” policy at some point. Not because I want to keep my belongings clean, but just for health and safety’s sake.

  51. posted by kitties! on

    My bf and I recently started doing the “no shoes” thing due to recent construction in our apartment building. We noticed that we were tracking in shards of glass, metal shavings, strange white powdery substances…all of which my dog was eagerly licking off the carpets.

    My co-worker also recently instituted “no shoe” policies in her home when her dog came down with lead poisoning. They couldn’t figure out what was causing it until they realized that her sons who are contractors were working on demolishing an old house. Their shoes were tracking lead (from old paint) and other toxins into the house.

  52. posted by dancing monkey on

    I can’t believe no one’s mentioned that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie’s Manolos are stolen after a shoeless dinner party!

    Clearly, everyone needs to compromise on both sides of the debate. Guests, remove shoes if there’s no compelling reason why you shouldn’t — ’cause it’s not about you. Hosts, feel free to suggest their removal but be flexible if the request is not honored — ’cause you’re not going to get cooties.

    I grew up in the United States, the child of Asian Indian immigrants (say that five times fast) in a **mostly** no-shoes household. Shoes were banned in most bedrooms, the living room and dining room but allowed (though not encouraged) on the hall carpet and uncarpeted spaces including the kitchen and bathrooms. My parents who even forced contractors and plumbers to put plastic shopping bags over their workboots before entering shoe-free zones.

    As an adult, I try to maintain similar standards in my own house though my apartment has the same problem as my parents’ house — no separate entryway/mudroom. All my rooms branch off a short central hallway near my front door, so I end up walking pretty far into my apartment to reach the cluttered space where I remove my shoes (and forget about a chair). Plus, I end up walking across this hall to reach other rooms, so I’m just tracking the dirt around with my slippers/socks and getting my socks dirty. Most guests follow my lead, but I don’t press.

    I totally commiserate with the folks who have posted about their medical need to wear shoes. I recently attended a party with a friend who uses crutches to get around. The hostess (who always alerts her guests about her no-shoe policy ahead of time, in the invitation) had us wipe down her shoes with antibacterial wipes before letting her enter. I don’t think we wiped off the crutches. :]

  53. posted by malthusan on

    I’ve seen this same debate rage on several sites, and I must say this is the most polite version of it I’ve run across so far. As such, I thought I’d add my two cents.

    I spent a few years in Japan, and I always removed my shoes when I visited someone else’s house. I also removed my shoes in my own home, and guests removed theirs. This was culturally accepted and expected — not even questioned. In fact, I worked in a high school and I had to take my shoes off before going to work.

    Back here in the the States, I don’t care one way or another. Sometimes I wear shoes inside, most times I don’t.

    As a guest, I will do my best to respect the wishes of my host. If that means removing my shoes, I’ll do so. If I’m made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or self-conscious because I have, unknowingly, violated my host’s rules, I will offer my apologies. And then I will never return.

    As a host, however, my primary responsibility is the care and comfort of my guests. I don’t ask them to remove their shoes; I provide ashtrays and a dry and sheltered place for my guests who smoke; I provide alternative dishes/drinks for those guests who have dietary restrictions. If I knew “shoes-off” people were coming over, I would probably make sure to have clean slippers for them. If I thought I’d made a guest feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or self-conscious, for any reason, I would do everything I could to make it up to them.

    Guests and hosts both have responsibilities to one another. In my opinion, the host’s are more numerous and more important. A guest’s duties are few: be polite, have a good time, and know when to go home.

  54. posted by Colin on

    I think it’s fascinating that people are playing the “it’s not typically American” to take shoes off. The majority of our friends do take their shoes off, and the majority of them are Americans. In my wife’s case, it derives from growing up in slush-bound Ann Arbor. I certainly wouldn’t insist that someone take their shoes off when they come to the house, but then if they were the type to get all up in arms about not removing shoes as a matter of principle rather than necessity, they probably wouldn’t have been invited in the first place ; )

  55. posted by Andamom on

    I guess I am late to this comments party. Really this must be one of the most commented on postings here on Unclutterer.

    We have seriously considered mandating all shoes be left at the front door to prevent dirt from being tracked all around… but someone inevitably forgets (that’s usually the teenager’s friends). We have our stroller there too though and sometimes that blocks people from having space for all shoes… We have two small rugs, but in general our wood floors are cleaned very regularly to prevent any dirt that has been brought in from getting in the way of the toddler who is more than happy to spread it around.

    I am happy to comply with anyone’s requests for or against shoes in the house. As a guest, I should respect the people who have invited me.

  56. posted by Serene and Not Herd on

    I was born and raised in the south, and basically went barefoot for the first 5 years of my life.

    I’m all for shoe-free homes under most circumstances. However, I felt I should share this story with those of you that have a mandatory policy in your home.

    I did some part-time work for my apartment complex back a few years ago, and went on a service call to an apartment that had a madatory no-shoes policy.

    However, once shoe-free and inside, I found that the floor was filthy, wet with dog-pee in places, and stuff everywhere, so it was like walking in a smelly, dirty briar patch.

    Once I had assessed the problem, the work required the use of a ladder. My wife calls me Mr. Safety for a reason. You never climb a ladder, or do any work requiring tools barefoot. Closed-toed shoes are a must when working with hammer, nails, or any other pointy objects.

    I had to insist the apartment tenent allow me indoors with my boots on, or I wouldn’t complete the work. The management office backed me up on this, and finally I got the work done.

    A shoe-free home must be a barefoot-safe zone, and exceptions sometimes have to be made for safety’s sake.

    My two cents.

  57. posted by Twitchy on

    Carpet or not, we have a (flexible) no-shoes policy. We’d prefer people to take them off, but some feel VERY uncomfortable doing that. We will, however, in the future start stocking a small supply of cheap house-slippers so as to cater to the scaredy cats.

    The floor in a home is used for more than just standing on – people sit on (we don’t have enough chairs in our little apartment for all our party-guests), or for lying on (when the missus gives me a massage a hard floor is better than a soft bed). Add kids to the equation, and there are NO compelling reasons to continue to wear outdoor shoes indoors.

  58. posted by Jani Rahkola on

    First I must say my opinion about hospitality. If someone invites me into her/his home, I feel honored. My home is the most intimate place in my life, par my mind. So when I visit someone elses home, I do just the way I’m asked.

    I’m from Finland, and here we take off our shoes when we go inside. And our guests do that also. Why?

    Because it is habit in Finland :)

    Also, as said by the Swedish guy, shoes are made for walking – outside! I like to put my feet on the table, lie on the bed and so on, but I don’t like to have dog crap and a pile of sand left behind. You Americans just don’t care?

    There can easily be -30C(thats -22F) during winter, but I have yet to visit a house in which I would have got cold feet. Maybe you should use more insulation there in the USA? Of course slippers are nice for those who get cold feet easily.

    Feet problems are an interesting thing. How is it possible that humans have managed to walk barefoot for thousand of years without problems and now when we use super suportive shoes all kind of problems start appear? And to all stinky feet over there, what do you think is the main reason for you not-so-nice odor? Could it be non-breathable shoes that you wear 24/7? I don’t want to blaim anyone, I have feet problems my self.

    By the way, if using shoes is so comfortable, why don’t you sleep with them? And high heels, are they really so comfortable that you just can’t take them off?

    This shoe policy thing is splitting opinions remarkably. And it seems to have many dimensions.

  59. posted by consumer_q on

    ‘It is rude for the host…’

    Is it rude to have a no firearms policy in my home? Howabout no smoking, which used to be commonplace? Really, my home is a personal and private place. ‘Tis the only place I am allowed to be truly comfortable by having things set up just the way I want them. Please respect my private space and do no be offended by my house ‘rules’.

    Personally, I am fine with shoes in my home (sans wet and mud)*, but I ask before going into any other persons house “shoes or no shoes”, because I am intruding on their personal space, and I wish to tread lightly.

    My dog has learnt to wait for me in the breeze way before going into the main house. She will sit there until I either say “okay” for dry days, or on wet days I will grab a towel and she will raise her first paw to be wiped.

    *This discussion has me thinking of moving to a “no shoes” policy.

  60. posted by Trish on

    I grew up in a home where we were allowed to wear shoes in the house, but we were not allowed to go in certain rooms. I never had a problem with shoes in the home until I had babies and I thought about all the dirt and germs being tracked in. My husband and I began to remove our shoes, but still had difficulty asking guests to do so and would leave it up to the guest. I didn’t mind too much cleaning the floors afterwards, as they had been invited guests. Recently, a few people came over for a party. Some removed their shoes and several did not. Two that did not were women with heels. After they left my husband and I noticed hundreds and hundreds of little dents in our hardwood floors. Evidently on of the heels must have had the plastic covering over the nail worn down. Our floors are ruined and must be sanded down and restained to repair. Our home will have a no shoe policy once we repair the floors. I was willing to sacrafice cleanliness for guests, but I am unwilling to check the soles of friends shoes for nails so I would rather just start a no shoe policy.

  61. posted by Trish on

    I grew up in a home where we were allowed to wear shoes in the house, but we were not allowed to go in certain rooms. I never had a problem with shoes in the home until I had babies and I thought about all the dirt and germs being tracked in. My husband and I began to remove our shoes, but still had difficulty asking guests to do so and would leave it up to the guest. I didn’t mind too much cleaning the floors afterwards, as they had been invited guests. Recently, a few people came over for a party. Some removed their shoes and several did not. Two that did not were women with heels. After they left my husband and I noticed hundreds and hundreds of little dents in our hardwood floors. Evidently on of the heels must have had the plastic covering over the nail worn down. Our floors are ruined and must be sanded down and restained to repair. Our home will have a no shoe policy once we repair the floors. I was willing to sacrifice cleanliness for guests, but I am unwilling to check the soles of friends shoes for nails so I would rather just start a no shoe policy.

  62. posted by Lee2706 on

    I grew up here in America, so it’s quite “American” for me to take off my shoes at home (that’s how I was raised).

    And yeah, I expect my guests to take of their shoes before they come inside. Part of it is a cleanliness thing, sometimes I like to sit on the floor and I’d prefer it not be dirty.

    Some people were concerned they’d feel not completely dressed without shoes. I wouldn’t require such a formal dress code for people to come over.

    As for Carrie getting her Manolos snatched at the party, sucks to be her. Stop spending so much on shoes.

  63. posted by Gretchen on

    In norway we take are shoes off when we enter someones home. At a party, remove your outside shoes and put on your in shoes or dress shoes. It is aslo common to have in shoes or slippers. You just don’t wear your outer wear shoes indoors. It is just respectful.

  64. posted by JB on

    I used to live in an upstairs apartment. Out of courtesy to my downstairs neighbors, I started taking my shoes off at the door. Within a couple weeks, I noticed that my floors stayed much, much cleaner. In addition, going without shoes is comfortable and habit-forming.

    Even though I don’t live upstairs anymore, I’m still in my stocking feet all the time. It would feel weird to have shoes on in the house now. Take off your shoes and relax in your socks or slippers!

  65. posted by PBriscoe.com » Blog Archive » Pet Peeve: Leaving Shoes on in the House on

    […] By wearing shoes in the house, we’re bringing all of these contaminants with us, which is very unsanitary and can lead to illness and allergies. It’s hard to ask people who see nothing wrong with wearing shoes in the house to stop doing it, especially when it has been a lifelong trait. However, my spirits were lifted after reading a couple of other blog posts on this topic.The majority of peoples’ comments were against household shoe-wearing. In fact, Americans (and some Canadians who’ve adopted these values) seem to be quite a minority when it comes to this matter. In many cultures, wearing shoes in the house is disrespectful and very taboo. But, don’t take my word for it, here are some of the comments from the articles I read here and here: […]

  66. posted by rose on

    so you walk about outside in all the nastiness that’s on the streets and sidewalks, and then go home and DON’T take off your shoes and walk all over the floors. then your babies crawl all over the floors playing with their toys that are all over the floors, chewing on the toys and that’s ok with you?
    not to mention it’s so much easier to keep a home clean when you leave your shoes at the door. and what’s wrong with respecting someone’s wishes re; their house rules?
    just saying…

  67. posted by Matthew C on

    Having a no-shoes rule is an excellent thing to do. I dedicated a whole blog to this subject.

  68. posted by AA on

    I want to dispel the myth that ALL Americans are shoe wearing heathens ;)

    Seriously though, I’m your typical American with no specific cultural background and I prefer to take my shoes off when I walk in the door. If I have gotten ready to leave, have put on my shoes and realize I left something in another area of the house, I may or may not take my shoes back off to run get it before heading out. Most of that determination depends on whether taking my shoes back off involves a lot of unlacing, etc.

    As for guests, almost all of my friends and acquaintances simply note that I slip my shoes off and ask whether they should too. My response, “Whatever is more comfortable for you.” Most people choose to remove their shoes, but I do feel that guests in my home should feel comfortable and if that requires shoes, then so be it.

    In other peoples’ homes, I have only been unnerved at taking off my shoes if I can’t remember whether I grabbed a nice pair of socks or a pair that should be heading to the trash :)

  69. posted by Jeremy on

    Our family practice at home is no shoes, with indoor slippers available. We keep a largish wooden shoe rack near the front door (with our mail sorting on top, so it works nicely). Our home is two story, with carpet only on the upper floor and laminate and tile on the ground floor. With a cat, dog and an almost 2 year old, the non-absorbing floors in the common areas have saved a bunch of time. When guests come over, they are welcome to keep shoes or not. I think it is a good compromise to keep the outside shoes absolutely out of the bedrooms while our guests dress as they are comfortable.

  70. posted by Sasha on

    Wow, I did not realize that it’s customary to take your shoes off at the door in some countries. That’s interesting. =) I can understand the reasoning. I think it’s a personal choice. It doesn’t both me either way. =)

  71. posted by King on

    I`m Norwegian and for me it seems totaly wicked useing shoes at home. Come on folks! Do you really want pee from dogs and homeless all over your place. Have you ever thought about how much stuff your shoes get on, during a day.

    Think about the hygienics. Don`t you people have kids crawling all over the floors?

    For a country with your health-insurance policy, I would strongly recommend takeing the shoes off.

  72. posted by monica on

    It’s about where you live, not about cleaning ease.

    If you live in New York city for example, just take a look at the sidewalks…there’s urine, feces, broken glass, food, and all kinds of trash on almost every block. I would never walk barefoot in the city, so in my home I wouldn’t wear shoes and walk barefoot, it would have to be one or the other. Even if you have a doormat, not all the dirt comes off, it’s pretty unhygenic wearing shoes indoors.

    If you live in a more suburban/rural area, then yeah, it’s ‘cleaner’ and I wouldn’t mind natural dirt (grass, mud)…as opposed to city dirt (made by humans) being tracked into my home.

    As far as hosts and guests, I don’t think a guest should feel forced to do anything, but at the same time you are an invited guest in someone else’s home and should respect how the host lives — do whatever you want in your own home. I understand not wanting to remove your shoes due to insecurities and embarassing foot odor (agree with previous poster that foot odor is caused by your feet not having enough ventilation!), but I can’t understand otherwise.

    It shouldn’t have to take a baby crawling around to realize the hygiene aspect, it’s common sense — to respect yourself.

  73. posted by Trixi on

    Curious ~ how did this become a forum about hygiene and varied personal/cultural preferences? A desire to not have to clean so often fits in nicely with an uncluttered approach, but this thread seems to miss the whole issue of unclutteredness.

    No shoes may = less cleaning, but my guess is no shoes = more clutter ~ at the very least by the entranceway(s). And more clutter almost always = more time spent cleaning!

    How about getting back on task here and addressing the clutter-related issues of this topic rather than the hygenic and/or cultural ones?

  74. posted by Sara on

    Wow. So glad I’ve grown up in Canada! I knew that most Americans didn’t take their shoes off, but I’ve never had to ask someone to take their shoes off in my house, it’s just what you do! I wouldn’t want to be tracking dirt and who knows what all over my floor. Personally, I like carpets. They are soft and comfortable to sit on/walk on (unless you are wearing shoes, I suppose!).

    However, if someone did want to wear their shoes, or had a medical reason… I don’t see what’s so difficult about saying “I’d rather not, if that’s alright.” I can’t imagine ending a friendship over shoes!

    So silly.

  75. posted by Dancing Monkey on

    Keep your shoes on in your own home, if you like, but take them off in houses with children … because you can track in enough lead on the soles of your feet to harm them, according to this article.

  76. posted by elrj on

    As an American who grew up in Asia, I find these comments fascinating. I, who prefer to go shoe-less, never quite know which side to fall on. I do a lot of entertaining (1+ parties each week), and consequently, a lot of cleaning too. My own shoes are stacked on a pretty shelf right by the door, which occasionally inspires a guest to remove their shoes without any comment. If I had my way, it would be a shoe free home, but since the American sentiment is (clearly) that removing shoes is rude to the guests, I never ask people to. I understand there are exceptions to every rule, and if a person says a simple “I prefer not to” they are off the hook without a further question. I do get rather tired of vacuuming after EVERY party though.

  77. posted by Matthew C on

    Elrj, I am sure people would not be offended if you politely asked your guests to remove their shoes.

    I think removing shoes may be more common in the USA than here in England.

  78. posted by Helena on

    As a lazy housekeeper who lives in the United States, I developed a no-shoes habit in my house when I had two sons who were constantly tracking in dirt. The grit that sticks in the soles of sneakers is especially damaging to hardwood floors.

    A lot of other parents had the same custom, and all the boys were used to shedding their shoes at the door. I have a photo I took one time of twelve pairs of shoes (and I use the term “pairs” loosely) in our front entryway.

    I still take off my shoes in my house…mostly because I find shoes uncomfortable. I keep a pair of warm slippers under my desk at work for while I’m sitting at my computer. Delicious!

    I prefer it when people take their shoes off when they come into my house, but don’t have a rule about it and don’t ask them to do so. Since I live out in the country, this means I have sometimes have to clean up other people’s tracked-in mud, but it’s no big deal.

    My sons, who are now adults, still take off their shoes in my house and their own. Especially my older son, who now lives in Japan, and has become a fanatic about the no-shoes-indoors thing! Who knew I was inadvertently raising him right : )

  79. posted by Paul on

    I just wanted to second the comment that not everyone in the US wears their shoes in the house. In fact, I think a lot more people are adopting the shoes-custom here in the US.

    I went to Norway and Denmark with an orchestra while I was in high school, and had no idea that Scandinavians didn’t wear shoes in the house. Perhaps it was because it was summertime or our host families didn’t want to seem inhospitable, but no one said anything to us when we wore shoes in their homes. I feel so bad, and I wouldn’t have had any problem kicking off my shoes. It’s nice when a host makes it clear whether they want you to take your shoes off or not so you don’t feel awkward as a guest (plus I think most people don’t mind kicking off their shoes!). Anyway, apologies to the Scandinavians on this board; we Americans don’t mean to be rude, sometimes we just don’t know the customs;!

    I have had a shoe free home since I moved out on my home. While I have no problems making exceptions for people on this issue, I certainly appreciate people who respect this custom. Can anyone seriously say they don’t find it relaxing to take off their shoes after a day of work or running errands for a couple hours?

  80. posted by dancing monkey on

    More support for the germ argument, from The Baltimore Sun:

    “Gerba ran tests to see how efficiently our shoes deposit bacteria on what had been clean floor tiles. Very efficiently, it turns out: 90 percent to 95 percent of the colonies on the shoes found a home on the tiles.

    ‘Every step they took, we sampled after them – 10 to 20 steps,’ he said. ‘We could still find plenty of organisms on every footstep.’

    Once the microbes are in a home, anyone can pick them up – especially young children. While adults may have immunity to some of the pathogens, others will be new, especially to children. And germs are changing all the time.”

  81. posted by Wendy on

    Has anyone considered what is all over a person’s bare feet? No one has mentioned this factor. It makes me a little uneasy thinking of someone taking off their shoes, putting their sweaty feet (with a foot fungus, perhaps?) all over my floors or up on the sofa, and leaving the germs from their feet in my home – bleh. I agree that the streets are not clean, and you would never want lead or glass in your home, so what does the germaphobic do? Wipe your guest’s bare feet with antibacterial wipes upon entering? (as if!) Ask them to wear some communal house shoes that other guests with potentially dirty feet have already worn? (yuck) When my two teenage sons have friends over they all immediately take off their shoes (and I’m glad they feel comfortable enough to do this, in theory) but then my house begins to smell like the locker room at their school, where they walk around with their bare feet in the gym showers, and through other misc. things. Now how clean are my floors when I look down and see their sweaty footprints on the wood floors? I find myself cleaning all the time whether guests wear shoes or not – so we just avoid EVER eating anything off the floor or lying down on the floor if we can help it :)

  82. posted by Samantha on

    Lolj—I was just about to post what Wendy did! I personally do not have a “no shoes” policy in my home, but then, our home habits are customized for my husband, myself, and our cats—plus, there’s always somebody allergic to at least one of our cats it seems, and therefore we are not the home of choice for entertaining purposes. However, when people have come over, I find it dirtier for them to remove their shoes. I kind of cringe when I see bare feet on my floor. In fact, we got rid of the carpets because of how they trapped both stains and smells. It was disgusting. Now it’s all hardwood or linoleum or tile. Even still, I don’t like sweaty, stinky, and potentially fungal feet all over my furniture or floors. Plus, sometimes it really is better for SOME people to keep their shoes ON, if you know what I mean. My brother took his shoes off in my house once and I thought an animal died in the walls. He thought he was being polite entering my new place but I’d much rather he tracked in a little lint from the carpeted entryway in the apartment lobby after that! Also, when people are wearing shoes with socks all day, some socks also trap moisture/smells/germs, so essentially, it’s like they’re wiping down every surface their feet touch with a rag dipped in grossness. Plus, most entryways have doormats where if you just wipe the loose debris off your shoes, you don’t track that much in. Or, people of the household can wear house shoes or slippers or (clean) socks or whatever, but guests can wipe their feet at the door and keep shoes on.

    Or, an even better solution, for people who really don’t like the soles of anyone’s shoes that have been outside then on their floors, might be to get some of those hospital booties that doctors wear and keep them at the door for guests to just slip them on over their shoes or even their socks / bare feet.

  83. posted by Samantha on

    Oops..sorry about the “j” after Lol up there…that was a mistake.

  84. posted by Brandy Gunderson on

    We live in a nice, newer home. I always take my shoes off because that is how I was raised and never thought about it. My husband does not for the same reason. We have two children and recently our daughter who is our second child tested positive for high levels of lead. Not high enough to treat with painful chelation therapy, but high enough to concern the doctor. The plan was to try to determine the source of exposure and eliminate it. We got lead testing kits and tested everything in the house from toys to walls to pipes to floors – then there it was – no where else in the house, but the floors. In the dust. The doctors said it is most likely tracked in on shoes and ingested by the baby who puts everything it finds in her nouth. I guess we live in an area where there is a certain amount in the soil and I never knew that. We had our soil tested and it was indeed present. So, I just wanted to offer another reason t remove shoes besides germs and cleanliness – for health reasons.

  85. posted by jdp on

    I have to admit I was an adult before I realized some people did wear their shoes in their home. Blew my mind, lol. And I’m an American.

  86. posted by Ryan on

    My aunt made children take their shoes off in the house until we were teenagers. I remember all my cousins always having mildewed and moldy shoes from sitting in the garage outside of the climate controled house. She’s the only person I’ve really ever met with such a rule. I thought it was very strange, and until I saw this article, I never realized anyone else in the world did that. In my 25 years, She’s the only person I’ve ever met like that, and it was only a rule for the children. It seems like such a strange concept.

    While it may be good for the floors, it must be awful for your shoe (and socks). Does everyone walk around with holes in their socks? I don’t imagine this is too sanitary either, with all the bacteria that can grow in ones socks and shoes. The thought is frankly somewhat revolting.

    Alsoo, myself and many peolpe I know wear boots. When you wear boots. It could get really tedious taking them on and off. figuring it takes about 5 minutes to put on, lace, tie, untie, unlace, and remove a pair of boots, and that I go in and out of the house 10 or so times a day, that would mean I waste 50 MINUTES EACH DAY putting on and taking off shoes.

    Do you people realize how much time that must take? Sorry for the rant, but I’m totally blown away at all of this.

  87. posted by Ryan on

    Oh, I thought I would add I’m an American (New Orleanian), for clarification purposes.

  88. posted by Amy on

    The problem with a complete no-shoes policy is when you have a party, particularly a dressy party. You’ll either have women having to walk around in their pantyhose, which will get tears/runs from the floor, or they’ll be walking in bare feet, neither of which are terribly “comfortable” in a dressy social situation.

    Also, since more and more people are wearing sandals and other shoes without socks, asking them to take off their shoes means asking them to go barefoot in your house, which may make people uncomfortable.

    When I went to Japan, I made sure I had lots of new, pristine white socks in my suitcase, because I knew I would not be permitted to wear shoes inside homes (and, as it turns out, in temples that tourists visit). I believe that “When in Rome…..” But I would never insist that guests in my home take their shoes off, leaving it instead up to them. We often take our own shoes off at the door, and when guests see them, they say “Oh, should I take my shoes off?” We say “It’s up to you — either way is fine.”

    I also always offer to take my shoes off at others’ homes, unless it’s a dressy event and I’m wearing a dress with heels.

  89. posted by Luke on

    Until a few years ago I lived in Australia, and the no-shoes thing is rather uncommon there. But I have since moved to Europe (Sweden and the Czech Republic) and I simply couldn’t imagine getting by here without a universal no-shoes policy in homes. The thought of people tracking snow and mud into their houses in winter is unthinkable to anyone here, and I heartily concur.

    I now look forward to getting home after work and immediately taking off my shoes each day.

    I never think twice about taking off my shoes in anyone’s home. In fact, when I am back in Australia I find it barely tolerable to keep my feet bound up in shoes when I could be much more comfortable having them off indoors. For me, being obliged to keep my shoes on in homes is the difficult thing for me to deal with.

  90. posted by Amy on

    I think it is VERY rude to ask guests to take off their shoes. It is unhospitable. My only exception would be for the neighborhood playmates of my children.

  91. posted by empty on

    We always take our own shoes off at the door, but would never ask guests to do so. If it’s comfortable for them, they’ll do it whether we ask them to or not. If it’s not comfortable for them, they will be relieved that we don’t ask. Sometimes people notice we’re not wearing shoes and ask what we want; we tell them to do whatever makes them happy. Vacuuming the floors after a party is a good idea no matter what.

    All that said, I do find my in-laws attitude about shoes in the house disgusting. They tromp through mud, never take off their shoes, and on multiple occasions have wandered around our house for quite a while before remembering that oh, they stepped in dog shit or broken glass before they got here, and do we have something they could use to clean off their shoes? For gods sake, we have a toddler! If you have to wear your shoes inside, would it kill you to hose them off in the yard before you come in if they’re covered in dog shit? It’s difficult to resist walking after them with cleaning supplies in hand; my husband often succumbs to that temptation, and they are his own parents. I hate having them over–the shoe issue is just a symptom of their other habits, like leaving trash everywhere–but they’re family. And they are nice people even though they live in squalor.

    Now that I know them, I would never, ever take off my shoes in their house. And people brought up in other cultures might also want to consider what will end up on their bare feet or socks if they try to apply the no-shoes rule in the average American household. When we lived in France our friends resolved the issue by hosting parties primarily outside their houses. No restaurant demands that people remove their shoes indoors, no matter how draconian the city health code.

  92. posted by Megan on

    Atlantic Canadian here- It never occurred to me, growing up, to wear shoes in someone’s home. I don’t remember anybody ever asking guests to remove their shoes- it’s something that people do automatically. Much better, I think.

    Even workmen will often remove their boots at the door, unless you tell them not to. I usually tell them to leave their shoes on, as they’re likely to be in and out a bit, but they’re the only ones. And I do usually have to clean the floors quite a bit after they leave. Everybody else just takes off the shoes without asking.

    The only person I’ve met who insists on a “shoes on” plicy is my MIL. Her floors are dirty. Actually, they’re disgusting! I have to wonder whether the floors are dirty because of her policy, or if she just got tired of cleaning and figured she wouldn’t have to if everybody wore shoes all the time? In any case, her floors give me the heebie-jeebies, and it feels weird to go there and have to wear shoes!

  93. posted by Ryan on

    Do you people who take them off find they the shoes have shorter life spans because of mildew and mold from the outdoor humidity? What about other weathering problems?

    (on a different note, maybe growing up with a dog trained me, but i never enter a house of get into a car without first looking at my shoes. If they do need to be cleaned then i either clean or remove them.)

  94. posted by Amanda on

    I hope to add something here as these comments appear to have been going on for nearly a year. I think a no-shoes policy would create less cleaning but more clutter; in the entryway (crates full of shoes are visual clutter to me) and have two places to store shoes.

    There seems a lack of balance not as many shoe-on households. I grew up in a household that typically kept own shoes on and I continue to in my apartment. I however keep my floors, hard and carpet clean enough to walk around barefoot. I pay attention to where I step my foot and generally avoid poop, glass and construction sites. There are many folks that seem to wonder why one would possibly keep there shoes on inside so I thought I’d share.

    1. “Dressing” I feel like I am fully dressed only when I have completed the ensemble with shoes. I get fully dressed in the morning and generally stay that way till I go to bed. 2. “Vanity” I have some great shoes, that I like to show off to the people in my life and how great they go with the clothes. 3. “Warmth” I live in a cold climate and shoes keep my feet warm. 4. “Safety” I am less likely to slip on stairs in shoes than in stocking feet. My feet are also better protected if something should fall and break (glass, dish, heavy vase, egg).

    Those are my reasons for informative purposes and to balance the comments a little. Comments for no-shoe households; please make sure that if you have policy that your guests know it, your shoes at the door will not prompt me to take mine off, not because I can’t bare to part with them, but because I am not in the habit. Also there have been many comments about germs tracked in from inside, one tracks similar germs in on one’s clothes. Often people wear flipflops to a pool or place that has public showers because of what others have on their barefeet, how does that jive with a no-shoe policy? Not meant as a snarky question just pondering. I don’t really mind shoe or no shoe policies.

  95. posted by Megan on

    “Do you people who take them off find they the shoes have shorter life spans because of mildew and mold from the outdoor humidity? What about other weathering problems?”

    Ryan-
    I think that most (if not all?) of the no-shoe households still store their shoes indoors. At my house we come into the entryway, take off our shoes, and put them in the shoe/coat closet by the door. So if anything, I’d guess that the no-shoe people’s shoes have less wear than the shoes-all-the-time people’s shoes.

  96. posted by jecho99 on

    This is so funny. I grew up in an Asian household and my mother was strict with her no outside shoes on inside/slipper on inside rule. She personally thought it was disgusting when someone wore shoes inside the house. She also thought it was equally unclean with dogs/cats etc. inside. I remember being astounded when I saw Brady bunch and how nobody removed their shoes even after running through the yard and then to jump into bed with their shoes on. This is from a culture where we clean shower or bathe before going to bed and never wear regular outside clothes in bed but I’m sure thats another discussion.
    I’m all for wearing shoes as long as their clean and not tracking in dog crap and dirt.

  97. posted by mhb on

    Growing up (in the US), we wore shoes inside all the time. I remember now being chastised by my mother for running around in the house with white socks on because it got the bottoms of my socks all dirty. Like, black.
    But I thought that was normal at the time.

    The first time I visited my in-laws (who are of Dutch descent and live in often-snowy Michigan) I noticed right away that everyone would take off their shoes in the cloakroom off the garage. In general, hanging around the house, everyone is in socks or slippers. And it’s cozy and relaxed. The rest of my husband’s extended family does the same things, mostly for comfort reasons, and all of them have some sort of nook with a seat where one can remove and put on shoes. I’ve never felt weird or intruded upon by this, and it was only when my husband first visited my parents’ home that I explained to him the need to keep his shoes on, for sock-cleanliness.

    We keep a shoes-off habit in our small apartment, but if a guest leaves shoes on when visiting we don’t point it out. Different strokes for different folks. To me, it’s not about keeping the carpet clean, it’s about being comfortable and at home.

    But I do think our floors stay cleaner for it.

  98. posted by Heidi on

    Wearing shoes in the house is just gross. But, if the carpet/floors are grosser than outdoors, perhaps wearing shoes indoors isn’t a terrible idea.

    And that article someone else posted about how germs/microbes are just as good at getting on smooth surfaces as they are with carpet makes me even more grossed out.

    As for guests, a gentle hint “Hey, if you want to take off your shoes, you can leave them (location here).” However, when throwing get-togethers, I’m just going to have to be sure that the floors are cleaned the next day. I’m horrified about the previous poster who has to have her hardwood repaired thanks to her guest’s shoes!

    As for me in other homes, I take my cues from my host(s), unless its just a short visit.

  99. posted by Amelia on

    Wow, I never thought the topic of shoes in homes would bring about 98 comments…

  100. posted by David on

    For me, it’s not aesthetics, and it’s not about the floors, either. I wear an artificial leg, and there are two really, really good reasons to wear shoes all the time.

    First, the leg is built to expect a certain heel-height. Very much more or less than that (and barefooting would be quite a bit *less*) makes the leg dangerously unstable. I’m not gonna fall on my face for the sake of the floors–mine, or anyone else’s. Sorry. Until someone comes up with a house-slipper with heels like dress shoes, which is where my leg is set, then supplying slippers is not the right answer. I’ve not had too much trouble with no-shoes friends over it. I just tell them, I’d rather not have to hit them with a suit over their dangerous (to me) policy; their homeowners’ insurance would get cranky. Most capitulate instantly.

    Secondly, since I don’t have an ankle, putting shoes on and taking them off is a fairly substantial undertaking. Snap-on sandals are easy enough, if I can find some with the right heel, and sneakers can usually be wrangled on and off without too much drama…but dress shoes? No. Takes a shoe horn and much grunting and groaning to get them on and off the wooden foot. Sometimes requires taking the leg *off*, which requires taking my pants off. This, also, my friends find a discouraging concept, and are willing to give me waivers on their policy.

    That said, I don’t like grubby floors either. So I’m fastidious about wiping my feet, and my own home is hardwood everywhere, with a very busy Roomba tending to it, with me fussing over it every week or two. Everything’s a tradeoff…

  101. posted by JPLemme on

    What a long thread!

    I hate going barefoot. I don’t even like sandals. My favorite footwear is an 8″ lace-up steel-toe boot, which is a pain to take off and put on. And I ESPECIALLY hate to stub my toes, (which you do more often when you’re used to walking around with work boots).

    And then there’s things like frying bacon or cleaning up after you’ve broken a glass. Several people commented on having tracked glass in from outdoors. I would wager that 90% of all the glass in people’s houses comes from things getting dropped inside those same houses.

    And why is walking on my floors with sweaty fungal feet less disgusting than sitting on my chairs naked? I would rather you not do either one of those things in my house.

    That said, anybody who would either demand that shoes be taken off in their house or refuse to take their shoes off in someone’s house (medical reasons excepted, of course) is a twit. A guest should strive to be a good guest and a host should strive to be a good host.

  102. posted by Sian on

    In the UK it’s normal to remove your shoes at home too. I would feel really uncomfortable at home in my shoes-slippers are so much more comfortable. I suppose it’s mroe practical too but for me it’s mainly a comfort thing. Let’s make it clear that “most people” wouldn’t ask guests to remove their shoes in the house either (we’re British, we’re too polite!), however I think most guests would do so without asking, especially if they had dirty shoes on.

  103. posted by Briony on

    I don’t think it is either normal or unusual in the UK to remove your shoes at home. I know that many homes are non-shoe. Mine is not. I don’t like other people’s manky feet all over my carpet and furniture. Some of them smell, some of them are diseased (athlete’s foot, eczema, veruccas etc.), and my particular bugbear is finding chips/flakes of toenail polish or skin on my floors. If you’ve just walked through a load of dog mess or mud then, by all means, remove your shoes, but people who turn up and remove shoes and socks without even asking what my policy is are just annoying. If I go somewhere and the host opens the door without shoes, then I will ask. If they say they don’t mind, then I keep my shoes on. I have been to many homes that are unsuitable (unclean, dangerous) for bare feet. And if a glass breaks how do the shoeless deal with the mess? Get a grip and clean your house! It must be quicker to run a sweeper or hoover around downstairs everyday that tie and untie your shoes every 30 minutes and lecture your guests on shoe etiquette.

  104. posted by Relaxalittle on

    I think it’s important to be aware of the customs in the place that you live. When my family lived in Japan, we understood and expected to remove our shoes when we visited someone. I think it’s a great custom and I’ve adopted it since returning to the US. But at the same time, I understand that most Americans don’t expect to remove their shoes when they visit me and I don’t insist that they do so. When in Rome, and all that. Ironically, I’ve always felt a bit odd getting dressed up for a dinner party at someone’s home, and then being asked to take off my shoes (in Japan, the custom is to provide slippers). The shoes are part of the outfit in those sorts of situations, and it’s awkward to pad around in socks while wearing dressy clothes. Especially for women whose slacks or dresses might not otherwise fit correctly without heels.

  105. posted by ziggee on

    I like to go barefootin when i’m in the house, so the first thing I do when I get home is to take off my shoe’s. My dh walks around the house in his socks and our lil one is getting use to going barefootin.

    Zig

  106. posted by Shaggy on

    We in America are endowed with things in the front of our heads called eyes. With them we watch where we are walking and avoid obstacles such as trees rocks and fecal matter. We’re also wild frontiersman minimalists who chucked the stupid wall to wall carpet years ago. Pure cement with rugs for now. I think the ultimate flooring though, is something with a little give to it like wood or better yet cork. So come on over and kick your shoes off but only if you want to. I value my friends more than my flooring.

  107. posted by Meg on

    My husband and I have always taken our shoes off when entering the house, just because it’s much more comfortable. Growing up, my family never like to wear shoes indoors, again, just for the comfort factor. That, and feet need to breath, or they get stinky.

    Anyway, my husband and I never insisted that guests take theirs off UNTIL our baby started rolling. Then, the thought of our wee little thing rolling all over a carpet that someone had just walked on with their nasty shoes really bothered us. I mean, those shoes have been in airports and nasty public restrooms, and who knows where else? Now that we have a toddler, it is even more important, because the first thing he wants to do is grab a hold of the bottom of someone’s shoes when they have their legs crossed. He would lick them, if someone gave him the chance. Yuck!

    So now we strictly enforce the no shoes policy – and yes, it does cut down on how often I need to wash the floors as well. My father-in-law is the only person who has a problem with it, but that’s just too bad. Our toddler’s health is more important to us than that.

    Oh, and my husband has foot problems too – he wears comfy slippers with arch support in the house. No biggie!

  108. posted by Ben on

    I just spent some time reading through the year-old responses on this, and I don’t understand how some people get so worked up at the concept. Saying “If I were asked to remove my shoes, I would never visit again” is like saying “My personal comfort is more important than being polite to my hosts.” If you like swearing, and were visiting someone who asked you politely not to, would you still swear? If you’re thirsty and the host hasn’t offered anything, do you ask, or do you go start pulling things out of the refrigerator?

    I don’t have an official no-shoes policy, because I don’t feel like enforcing it. However, I have an obviously separate entryway with a chair and a pile of shoes. When I walk inside, I immediately kick off my shoes. I’ve never had a guest see this and not follow my example unless they were only stopping in and not walking past the entryway. It’s a win-win situation, because I don’t have to feel rude asking them, and they do what I want anyway to avoid seeming rude themselves.

  109. posted by Eva on

    I’m rather impressed that folks are making no allowances for differences in climate in this discussion. I live in the northern part of the central US and it is totally impractical to wear shoes inside in the winter (it doesn’t matter _what_ kind of floor you have, heavy road salt will ruin it). I try to be a good hostess, but in the winter I’m going to require my guests (asking politely, of course) not to track snow and salt all over the house.

    Also, for folks who are generalizing like crazy, please stop. “Most Americans” can’t agree on much of anything. We live in a huge country and there is plenty of variation in our culture.

  110. posted by Keilexandra on

    Rebecca: I’m surprised that you cited etiquette as a reason against no-shoes. It’s a terribly American-centric point of view. In most other countries and cultures, taking one’s shoes off at the door is the accepted norm; in fact, in many Asian cultures, NOT taking your shoes off is a breach of etiquette because you’re disrespecting the host/hostess by tracking dirt all over the place.

  111. posted by Edna on

    Does anyone out there know of a short poem that can be placed on the front door requesting guests to remove their shoes? I remember reading one years ago but I am unable to find it anywhere now. Thanks

  112. posted by Brandy Gunderson on

    Edna, I do not know of a poem – sorry, wish I did. I simply cut a short article from our newspaper stating the amount of lead found in the soil in the area where I live, being an industrial area (Michigan), and the realted effects on children having high levels of lead in this city. It is in the soil, so on shoes, regardless of how you look at it. I have never had anyone complain while in my home. My friends respect my wishes. I did on the other hand have an in law complain that she couldn’t smoke in my house because it was too cold to smoke outside. And we had a 3 month old baby. I think people who are offended to respect the homeowners wishes should go elsewhere.

  113. posted by Sidra on

    My parents bought a house with the shoe issue in mind. Our current house is completely tiled in the common areas, and only the bedrooms are carpet. This enables guests to wear their normal shoes during parties. Also, I’ve noticed people don’t walk through my room in this house as often–it’s as if the carpet gives them a mental boundary of ‘do not enter’ even without anyone stating it. So if you’re buying a new home, might be something to think about.

  114. posted by Francesca on

    Based on my own experience and objective observations I do not see at all how taking off shoes indoors cuts back on clutter and cleaning, at all. Quite the contrary. And yes, it’s a cultural thing for Asians, which makes it really pretentious and self-loathing for Westerners to do. Don’t get me started on athletes foot-I’m sure disinfecting after that is a real mess.

    One, your barefeet have oils which turns your carpets into dust magnets. A real estate agent once told me the dirtiest floors come from shoeless homes. Secondly, why do you want to spend more time bleaching holes in the socks you’ve turned into dust mops?

    If you’re exposing your unprotected feet especially to hardwood floors you had better be cleaning more not less! Ever notice how once a glass breaks no matter how much you sweep those little pieces keep coming back. This is one big reason why I no longer go barefoot. And don’t get me started on if you have indoor pets? Nothing is grosser than walking on litter and then tracking it into your bed. (Come to think of it, what else are you tracking into your bed if you’re not putting a removable barrier over your foot while walking around the house? )And yes foot conditions mandate shoes unless you want your guests to be in pain, I have fallen arches-I know. I hope nudists don’t ask their guests to get naked at the door.

    By all means switch into some comfy clean protective indoor slippers at the door, if you have time, but shoeless just defies logic if it’s for cleanliness or simplicity. But alas this seems like the whole Western bad, non western or hippy good mentality.

  115. posted by Francesca on

    I also love how we’re talking about sensitivity to the asian shoeless tradition while we’re bashing on and dissecting the apparently “freakish” American tradition of wearing shoes indoors, hmmmm.

    I noticed this when I traveled. My group had to be respectful of all the traditions and cultures we encountered and conform, heads covered in mosques, toilet paper hoding in Easter Europe etc. Yet in the US Americans have to repect the traditions of foreigners living here while our traditions are dissected and disrespected. When can one feel at home in ones culture if one is American, like the moronic “americentric” comment above reflects.

  116. posted by Eadie on

    Hi everyone,

    I haven’t read all the comments, so apologies if this has already been said.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of right vs wrong, but a matter of culture and personal preference.

    Some cultures take shoes off at the door. Fine. Some cultures wear shoes in the house. Fine. But if you go to someone’s house, it’s nice to what they like. If they like shoes off, then I go shoes off. If they wear shoes, I wear shoes.

    I grew up in a shoes-off-at-the-door home, but my mum was extremely gracious when guests came over. Seeing us shoe-less, guests would start to take their shoes off, and my mum would insist they didn’t have it, and that we only did it for comfort.

    Anyway, it’s become an automatic response for me to have shoes off at the door.

  117. posted by Eadie on

    D’oh that should read “they didn’t have to” not “they didn’t have it”.

  118. posted by Natalie from Western Australia on

    What an interesting series of comments. I live in Australia. I grew up in a normal house in a semi rural area. We put our shoes on to go out but then they stayed on until we felt like taking them off, unless they were really dirty. We were often barefoot but tracked heaps of dirt into the house from our bare feet because we spent a lot of time playing outside (always barefoot). As adults, my younger sister now has a shoes off policy for her and her daughter. They keep their shoes on a rack in the garage or by the doors BUT they always have dust on them and … very common in Australia… spiders! I cant think of anything more revolting than not being able to put my shoes on without first having to check whats inside them! Yes, they could keep them inside but being Australia and being mostly hot, they dont smell nice. Their ‘shoes outside’ preference has nothing to do with keeping the floors clean because their two fluffy cats leave fur everywhere. I am now 40 and have two young boys but have never *ever* heard anyone here suggest we need to take our shoes off inside because of whats on them. That might have a lot to do with the general cleanliness of our streets. If we do track something in, we wipe it up. My boys have only been sick with colds and things going around their schools, not from something they got while playing on the floor. As for parties, we just clean our floors as a matter of routine – generally before AND after visitors. I have light straw coloured carpets in my open plan front lounge and my kids and their friends all know not to walk over the carpet when they come in BUT I have carpet runners there anyway to catch any dirt.
    I only have one set of friends who have a no shoes policy and that is because it is their culture to do so. However, they state to all that it is what they do, but they dont expect us to. I suspect they simply wash their floors when we leave too!
    As for schools everyone wears shoes but the young kids (4 and 5 yr olds) can take them off at playtime (outside!)but have to put them back on to go inside. So, have I freaked anyone out yet???
    I wouldnt mind if anyone did or didnt take their shoes off. The only thing I have ever minded was the person who brought their dog over on a visit, expected to bring her inside (we dont have pets) and let her sit on my new light carpets. Now THAT bothered me.

  119. posted by Gabe on

    Traditions aside…
    Wear shoes for your own safety:
    I wear shoes when I’m away from home visiting others as I don’t like stepping on potentially damaging foreign objects with my bare feet. (childrens toys, cracker crumbs, somebody drops a wineglass or bowl of ice cream, etc)
    At home, I have shoes I wear in the house only…
    Tell me- How many of you cook in the kitchen barefoot or in socks?
    Ever drop a knife or fork? Splash boiling water from the pasta pot as you drain the pasta?
    My biggest peeve in the kitchen or bathroom; stepping into water while wearing socks…
    Girlfriend drips dry after shower – so bathroom floor is spotted with water droplets… I don’t care to use my socks to mop it up… then I have to change socks.

  120. posted by jade on

    Wow, it’s pathetic to read the amount of “WAAH I feel like your no shoes rule is imposing on me somehow” posts.

    It’s more pathetic to read “Oh well the homeowner should be accomidating to me as a guest if i feel like wearing shoes.
    GUESS WHAT? IT’S NOT YOUR HOUSE.
    It is BEYOND rude to expect someone to accomidate your whims in their house. You do not live there, you do not take care of the cleaning or have the same daily habits, so you either follow the rules of the house or you can LEAVE, and you will not be coming back.

    Anyone who actually started to make a scene over something as inconsequential as taking off their shoes (not including orthopedic shoes, which are a different kettle of fish entirely) whould be slapped right across the face for their inability to act like a rational human being and be told point-blank to not come near my home again. Good riddance.

  121. posted by Christine Q on

    Our nanny’s custom has always been to remove her shoes upon entering our home. It got me thinking, and I like the concept. However, the hurdle I have in my mind is, how to minimize the cluttered appearance and trip hazard of the pile shoes at the door? Or is just inside the door simply a place that one must accept clutter?

    Comments, please, from the no-outside-shoes-in-the-house community.

  122. posted by Marie on

    Regarding the “rudeness”: My husband’s friend walked all over our carpets with dog sh*t on his sneakers.

    I’ll tolerate being called rude if that means I don’t have to clean sh*t off my rugs again.

  123. posted by Allison on

    I have a no shoes rule in my house as well. I mostly just like taking my shoes off after a long day! I find that even if I mop once a week and sweep regularly my feet and socks still get dirty! So I created a foot pad that sticks to the bottom of your foot, called Footums. please check them out

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Footums

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