Taking Shoes off in the House
Berkeley Parents Network >
Parenting, Families, & the Community >
Taking Shoes off in the House
Friends who do not want to remove their shoes
We always remove shows when come home and I have difficultly when friends do not
want to remove their shoes at my home. Looking for an advice how to make sure they
remove shoes without sounding rude. I have asthma so trying to keep dust out of
house (it really helped), it is one of the reasons for removing shoes. I also had
back surgery in the past, so vacuuming and mopping the floors causes me to have back
pain, and paying for someone else to do it is expensive. If not my back issues I
would let people come in shoes and just would vacuum and mop the floor when they
We recently moved to a new house where the carpet is very light, almost white, so
any dirt is clearly visible. On the housewarming party 2 of my friends refused to
take off shoes when I nicely asked them to, including a very close friend. They know
about my health problems and we all came from the culture (Russian) where removing
shoes coming home is what's expected from everyone. I always removed my shoes when
visited those friends and they all remove shoes in their homes. I don't know what to
do. I don't want to sound rude by insisting for them to remove shoes (asked twice
but they didn't want to), and do not want to stop inviting them and potentially
ruine the friendships because of that. I used to live in small appartment where I
seldom invited people over due to space limits, so shoes issue never came up before.
I feel like telling them next time that I am inviting them over but only with the
condition that the shoes will be taken off. Am I wrong? Is there a better what to do
that? My back still hurts after vacuuming.
Taking off shoes is great for many people. However, some people have orthopedic issues
and are always supposed to wear their shoes. Some people are embarrassed about foot odor
(and as a host you might be upset by it too!). I recommend buying an inexpensive box of
disposable paper booties, like construction professionals or medical personnel wear, to
offer guests who can't or won't remove shoes. This will save your rugs, their feet, and
Honestly, I think you can ask your guests to remove their shoes, but they can say no. I
do understand that this is a normal request in many cultures, but if you don't offer an
alternative like slippers for your guests, that it is very uncomfortable for them. While
I sympathize with your asthma condition (I have it, too), two guests who politely wipe
their shoes on your welcome mat won't do all that much damage.
I dislike people asking me to remove my shoes.
Tell your friends what you mentioned in your post, about your back problems, and go from
there. If they are true friends, they might feel bad, and comply. If they won't take off
their shoes, make a decision whether not removing shoes is a deal breaker for friendship
I always take off my shoes
I recently heard of a great solution to this problem. While I understand both sides of the
issue and enjoy the benefits of a clean home, taking off shoes religiously can be an
enormous hassle. Especially a hassle when there is a need to come in and out unloading
groceries or something. Then there are folks who have old socks and don't want to be
embarrassed by taking off their shoes to display holy socks. Then there are those visitors
who really smell a whole lot better with their shoes on (like uncle Ray)! The solution:
surgical booties. These are the disposable overshoes issued when you have surgery. They
are inexpensive and can be re-useable. Just keep a box near the door and for visitors who
would be best to keep shoes on-just give them a pair to slip over their shoes.
Problem solved and everybody is happy. Also easy to slip on and off when going in and out.
I had a friend who wanted people to remove their shoes in her house. She had a basket at
the front door with a bunch of different slippers and such for people to wear (in case
they would be barefoot or didn't want to walk around in their socks). This might help
your reluctant shoe-taker-offers, since that might be why they don't want to take off
their shoes (maybe their feet are cold or they don't want anyone to see their toes!).
Not everyone likes to bare their feet
We are a Chinese family and in our culture everyone removes shoes upon entering the house.
People come in and automatically remove their shoes. I have had people from different
cultures come to my house and I have never ever had anyone refuse to remove their shoes.
Even workmen and contractors remove their shoes. So I don't think it's your request that's
unusual, it's your friends' refusal to remove their shoes. Are they always so insensitive
and rude? If so, consider not inviting them to your house anymore. Just keep inviting the
nice friends who remove their shoes.
Other things that make the request more simple: Hang a ''No shoes please!'' sign at the
door. And offer slippers. I always put out guest slippers to highlight the point that
shoes are not allowed. Also some guests just don't like cold feet--slippers really help. I
get mine from Daiso. They are made of woven grass(?), so not the fuzzy type, so easier to
keep clean in between guests.
We had similar problems until we posted a cute sign OUTSIDE the front door asking people
to remove shoes.
While they wait for us to answer the door they have to read the sign and many have already
removed their shoes by the time we arrive.
I think it is helps to make the sign lighthearted, sweet, or humorous.
no shoes house
It is very odd to me that these people refused to take their stupid shoes off when asked.
It's not that uncommon, especially, as you mentioned, in Russian culture, and even if it
was who cares? It's your house. You don't even need to explain why you want people's shoes
off your white carpet. if they were simply acquaintances I would probably write them off
as rude a-holes.
But since they are friends I guess I would call them up and just ask politely why they
don't want to take their shoes off. It might be something like they were worried their
feet were smelly or they had holes in their socks. Then you could just laugh together and
say something droll like, ''I guess next time you come over you'll wear your fancy socks!
Ha!'' Another thing I've seen is people offering slippers to guests.
Many families have started shoe free homes for the reason you mention, and I do the same.
For those who are loathe to take off their shoes (ugly feet? smelly socks?) offer them
shoe covers, sold in hardware stores for plumbers and workers who enter the house.
Berkeley Architectural Heritage Society uses them for its annual house tours, so the
beautiful homes do not get the dirt of hundreds of feet of the visitors.
I've had plantar fasciitis several times and I wear orthopedic inserts. It's actually
painful for me to walk around in bare feet. My son has a friend who lives in a house with
a no-shoes rule, so when I go pick him up, I just stand outside the front door and wait
for them to fetch my kid. Sometimes they've engaged me in extended conversation, as I
stand outside and they stand inside. They have never offered to waive their rule. I think
it's rude and unfriendly.
I feel your pain. I have allergies and dust aversion so I usually tell peple ''do you mind
leaving your shoes by the door? We are a no-shoe house. Yeah, I know. Call me crazy''. And
I have never gotten a refusal. However, for service people like the cable man or the
plumber who actually can't remove their shoes for safety reasons, I have a box of
disposable surgical booties (you know, those paper shoes that doctors wear in hospitals
and then dump) that I keep handy so they can put over their shoes. That way they don't
remove them and you don't have their filth in your floors!
Dust averse too
Although I am usually fine with removing my shoes when requested, I do not appreciate the
request when it's a party and I'm dressed up in a nice outfit, including my shoes. I think
that you might consider making an exception when you give a party.
There are also some people out there who get cold feet easily and get 10 minute super
painful toe cramps as a result of that. Those are completely immobilizing and ruin the
evening for a while. While you have a legitimate health reason to ask people to take their
shoes off, please don't forget that other people might have private, valid reasons too not
wanting to take their shoes off. For those please, have different slipper sizes ready or
ask them in advance to bring slippers or indoor shoes with them. I would certainly
appreciate a heads-up about this, and when surprised, I have asked the host for slippers.
I just tell people ''no shoes!'' Before they take another step inside. I do have a friend
who offers people guest slippers to wear inside. That works too.
I hate shoeless households. It takes my kids forever to put on their shoes. Going from
indoors to outdoors becomes a huge production. Plus, there's always that awkward question
of whether you have to go through the whole ritual when you are just stopping in for a
minute or two, or walking directly through to the back yard.
That said, it's very common here and your right to do as you wish in your home and as
needed for your health. Your friends are wrong to disregard your request. If I were you,
I would offer slippers or socks, and a place to sit down. My understanding is that most
shoeless cultures do this as a courtesy to their guests. None of my shoeless friends do
this so they wear their cosy socks or slippers while my feet freeze or my tights get
filthy (shoeless homes don't always have clean floors.)
Perhaps ask them to bring a pair of indoor shoes that they can leave at your house to wear
inside if they don't want to go barefoot. Or, buy them a pair of nice slippers that are
only used indoors and hand them to them as a ''gift'' the next time they come over.
- A fellow shoe remover
Yes, you can give a conditional invitation. (with an explanation on the health side)
But if they are truly friends you'd like to see, then you could offer to meet them
Better yet, you might want to just start with meeting them somewhere else and not get into
the mess that the conditional invitation poses
This is kind of a sore subject for me. I understand wanting to have a shoe free house. I
actually think it's a great idea. It's just not always practical. We used to have kids
take their shoes off when they came in so they didn't have to think about feet on the
furniture. My boys, now grown still take their shoes off when they come home.
A lot of people (me) cannot go barefoot. My feet start to ache after a few minutes. I have
a few ''no shoes house'' friends. When I go there I bring a pair of indoor only shoes.
You can tell your friends in advance to bring their slippers, or you can provide multi
size pairs of slippers for people to wear.
Some people with hip or knee issues might have a difficult time taking their shoes off.
You have a right to have a no shoes house, but try to accommodate people so that they are
comfortable in your home.
I always respect people's requests to remove shoes. However, because I have fungus damaged
toenails, it is very embarrassing for me when I'm not wearing socks and I'm asked to
remove me shoes. This seems like something the no shoes crowd never considers, and while I
try to plan ahead, sometimes I'm caught off guard and have to reveal my nasty feet.
Hey, another Russian here. Interestingly, I never thought that removing shoes in the
house was a cultural thing, but rather a hygienic one. Dragging home and rubbing into
carpets, rugs and floors various traces of dirt, gasoline, and a melange of spilled
drinks, spit, urine, etc. just never appealed to me. So I am with you on this one. That
being said, I don't have any good advice for you, other than getting new friends with
manners, as I can't imagine a situation where a guest over the age of 5 would ignore a
host's request, especially when it's a matter of health. But even disregarding the health
issue, it's just a matter of respect and consideration for another person and their house,
be it a request not to smoke, not to use profanities around kids or to wear tinfoil hats.
I respect your home, please respect mine
I'm surprised to hear that you think the shoes in the house causes dust. I have never found
that to be the case. I'm sure you will get lots of supportive postings saying it is your home
and everyone should follow your rules. While that may be true, I'd like to offer a different
perspective. Personally, I absolutely HATE to remove my shoes when I go to another person's
home. Really, really hate it for a variety of reasons. I have heard the ''dirt'' reason
before, but this has often come from people with dogs and cats and all other sources of grime.
It is a total stretch in my opinion.
However, if you really feel that the shoes of your friends/guests is cause for an issue with
your back or your asthma, then you need to find a neutral, non-judgmental way of letting them
know in advance. It sounds like you are assuming they should remove their shoes because of
their Russian background or knowing about your asthma. That's not fair to them, they may not
realize what you are thinking and feeling. So please just let them know and understand that
yes, they may be put off by it and not want to come over very often. Truth be told, I do avoid
the houses of friends that insist on shoe removal. I'm just not comfortable!
I believe that when people come to my house, I want my guests to be as comfortable as
possible. Some guests have come over and removed their shoes as that is their norm and that is
Unsightly pile of shoes in shoeless house - what to do?
We have a no-shoes-in-the-house policy, which my husband and
I both prefer, and we are teaching our kids to follow suit.
But we hate the pile of shoes and boots that accumulates
near our front door! Even though we have a shoe bench (with
spots for 8 pairs of shoes), we still end up with a pile and
trip over them constantly. My husband has suggested that we
go in and out of our back or side door, as this would be
less unsightly...but this doesn't stop the problem, as we
would still have a pile of shoes by those doors. I've
thought about leaving them outside, but this also looks
pretty ugly and then we have cold shoes (plus, would someone
take them?). Does anyone have a good solution that you have
found for your shoeless house?
A shoeless mess
What door you take your shoes off at depends on your
house--where to sit while taking them off, where is there
room to put them, what door is easiest to reach. We have a
laundry room with a door to the outside, but it's not
convenient for everyone to get to. Our front hallway has a
built-in coat nook and we had a custom built shoe rack made
for it that holds 12 adult pairs but still have the same
problem as you. We keep flip-flops on the porch and by the
garage door so they can go on and off in a hurry. Wet
rainboots usually end up in the bathroom which is near the
front door. Spare pairs of slippers (''guest slippers'') are
in a separate shelf near the front door. My dress shoes and
my husband's are kept in boxes in our bedroom. Except for
our teenage son, none of us has the shoe gene so I don't
understand why we have so many, either. Maybe if you don't
wear shoes in the house, you actually end up with more pairs
because you have more different needs--slippers inside,
regular shoes away from the house, and slip-on shoes for
around the yard.
We are also a shoeless house. I struggled with piles of shoes for a long time
finally found a solution that works for us. We don't have space for a bench or a
foyer to store things. I ended up going to Ikea and purchasing several shoe
(many to choose from and fairly inexpensive). Several went in a closet to store
shoes that aren't worn to often, then one went near the front door (inside the
house. It holds about 12 pairs of shoes) along with a basket. We all take our
shoes off outside then carry them and place them on the rack. Simple as that.
The basket holds rain boots, flip flops and other shoes. The kids trained pretty
quick. Now our shoes are warm and dry in the morning (vs. damp and cold from
We have this same issue in our house. One thing that has
helped: I got two fabric-lined baskets from Michael's and
put them by the door, side by side. This is where we leave
our shoes and it helps keep the area looking much neater.
They are also stackable when I really want to make it look
more compact. When guests come over, they either put their
shoes in the baskets or on the floor nearby. Still neater
than a huge pile of shoes.
There are pieces of furniture designed just for this, so
give that a try if you're looking for something with a bit
more permanence and want to spend a bit more.
We bought a shoe cabinet from one of the home catalog
companies (also the airline on board catalog) for about $65.
They come in white, black, and wood grain and are particle
board construction. They have a door hinged at the bottom
and flip open to reveal 3 shelves to slip shoes into-about
12 pair. At about 18'' high you can stack two units for 24
pairs if need be. Though not the strongest construction they
last for 15 years or more with responsible use (no slamming
open or closed). We have one at the back door and it has
been just great. A cheaper DIY version is a cabinet from
IKEA with a curtain stapled across the front. These things
are common in Japan where shoes are removed at the entry to
no shoe house
At the entrance, we have a shoe rack for less-often-used
shoes. The shoes that my husband and I use most often are
lined up in front of the shoe rack, for easy on/off. The
kids' shoes are thrown in a basket next to the shoe rack.
--a basket makes a pile look acceptable
We have show racks for each member of the family (in the
closets) and a show rack in the entrance. Only the shoes
that are used very frequently go on the front, and once in a
while we tidy up the front shoe rack so it stays manageable.
Works for us!
I bought a few cute baskets for the shoes that are in daily
use - they sit next to the door where we come in, and it
looks a bit better than all the loose shoes spread on the
floor. The ones that are not worn frequently go in the
closets elsewhere in the house.
No Shoes in House - Logistics??
I want to start a 'no outside shoes in house' routine in our home to preserve our
hardwood floors (or slow the damage already done) and to reduce lead exposure to
our 6-month-old. My husband has been reluctant, but is now grudgingly agreeing.
Now I need some advice on logistics ... have never lived in a 'no shoes' home before.
1 - advice on a place to find decent-looking but inexpensive shoe storage for our
entryway? I checked Ikea and they didn't seem to have anything. Low shelving or
open or closed bench would probably work best? Other storage ideas or places to
2 - So, do you keep a pair of 'inside' shoes near the door? I assume something that
easily slips on/off to reduce hassle? Recommendations for inside-the-house shoe-
types? We definitely don't want to use 'slippers'. My husband is a 'shoe' kinda guy.
But I'm guessing something without laces will be a lot easier. And do you keep most
of your 'outdoor' shoes by the entry or just a select few that you wear the most?
3 - Now, most confusing to me, the fact that we have front and back doors. Do we
have a separate pair of 'outside' shoes also for the backyard? It seems like a hassle
to have to go get shoes from the front of the house every time you just want to slip
into the backyard for a few minutes. (or head to the back to pick up your outside
shoes if that's where you last left them) If you have more than one commonly-used
entrance to your home, how do you deal with the shoe-changing issue?
I don't know why this seems so complicated to me, but it does. And I want to try
implementing this in as hassle-free a way as possible to improve the chances that
my husband and I (and our kids in the future) will actually stick to it.
Thanks for all suggestions!
We have always been a no-shoes house. logistics:
small shoe closet in hallway holds everyday shoes; other shoes
are in our individual closets. Cheap sandals/shoes get left
outside front door for general use and different shoes /clogs
etc get left by back door. If needed, we bring back door shoes
to front for use. House slippers get left in front closet or by
back door. THere's a bit more clutter than a shoe wearing house,
but I wouldn't have it any other way.
no shoe house
We recently instituted a no shoes policy in our house. I had all
the same questions you have, which led me to postpone and
postpone. It seemed so many arrangements needed to be made first.
Then one I day I decided just to put a sign up at the door and do
it. It's a lot easier than it seems. We leave our shoes by the
front door and inside the garage door (which fortunately are near
each other). My slippers seem to travel around the house and
sometimes I need to look for them. I am still thinking of
getting a designated storage bin and maybe crocs as inside shoes.
But the important thing is just to start and then your needs
will become clearer.
I grew up in a no-shoe household and when I visit my parents and my brother to
this day, the no-shoe rule holds. I have to say - while I like it to protect carpets -
it's a pain in the patootie. First of all, you will ALWAYS have shoe clutter. I don't care
if you buy shelves, a bench or what. Shoes will pile up by the door and it always
And even though it's your house and you can do what you want, I think it's off-
putting to visitors to impose the no-shoe rule.
As for what to wear inside - yes, you'd really have to do slippers. My parents use
hard rubber soled Merrell type shoes - but that's not going to protect your
I just think it's more hassle than it's worth. In fact, when my parents retired, sold
their house and bought a condo, they did their no-shoe thing in the complex and
kept their shoes outside the door (for two people they had a TON of shoes outside
the door). It was pretty inconsiderate and an eyesore, quite frankly, and they got so
many complaints from one neighbor that they had to move. My mom is indignant to
this day about it, but hey, at least she has a house again and can do her no-shoe
thing to her heart's content.
--Shoeless Joe Jackson would've LOVED my mom
I'd like to speak to a somewhat different aspect of no-shoe policies.
I have friends who do it and require guests to remove their
shoes. They keep several pairs of comfy guest slippers by the
front door, which is fine by me most of the time, but when I
visit for a special event or dinner and have dressed up nicely I
really do not want to take off my nice and carefully chosen shoes
and put on funky slippers! I resent it, and figure that everybody
has to clean up after such events, so what's the big deal with a
little shoe debris now and then?
I have asked them if I may make an exception under those
circumstances and they've somewhat begrudgingly agreed. So I've
gotten what I want, but I sure wish that I didn't have to feel
like I was being a bother, wish they were a bit more
understanding and gracious about it.
I grew up with an Asian mother and we never wore shoes in the
house. I find it disgusting to think about what people are
tracking into their homes and grinding into their carpets on
their shoes. Today my family (including my American husband)
always removes their shoes upon entering the house. To answer
1. We have a bench with cubbies underneath in the front entryway
as shoe storage and also a place to sit and take off/put on
shoes. I believe it was from Ikea. We keep our most often worn
shoes there and the rest in the hall closet.
2. We don't use ''inside'' shoes; we just walk around in socks or
barefoot. If it's cold, we wear slippers or ''slipper socks''
which have rubbery stuff on the bottom to prevent slipping
(important for the kids).
3. We do have one set of ''backyard'' shoes by the back door --
flip flops, rubber rain boots, crocs -- that type of thing. Yes,
sometimes you have to go back and forth to get your shoes but
this generally works for us.
Some other notes -- I never ask guests to remove their shoes.
Most will automatically when they see the pile of shoes by the
front door but if people aren't comfortable doing this, I don't
make a big deal about it. And sometimes I do wear shoes, if we
are having a dinner party or something where I feel like I have
to be wearing a complete ''outfit.''
One last thing -- before we were married, my husband used to
have problems with athletes foot. Since we've been married and
he spends more time shoeless, it's completely gone away,
probably from his feet having more air to breathe.
prefer to be barefoot
I grew up in a no-shoes house where we had a lot of carpeting, so
we just wore socks around the house. Now I live in a house with a
lot of floors (cold!), so I have taken to wearing house shoes,
like my husband's family does.
We wear shoes called slides (rubber sandals with a single wide
band across the foot--Adidas makes the ones we wear:
other sport shoe companies make similar things). These are ugly
as sin, but they are easy to slide into and out of (the top band
doesn't collapse like, say, those of broken-in Birkenstocks do),
they work both with and without socks, and they provide good
insulation to keep the foot warm, without getting them all stinky
Shoes do accumulate at the front door, but we try to keep it just
to the shoes we wear most often. We have a wooden shoe rack at
the front door to help organize the pile. Bed, Bath, and Beyond
has lots of different shoe racks.
My husband wears his house shoes outside for short trips, i.e.,
to the garage or to take out the trash. I prefer to slip into
other shoes, even for short trips outside, because I don't want
to walk around the house in ''dirty'' shoes. I have a pair of
Birkenstocks at the front door and flip-flops at the back door
for this purpose.
My toddler has some house shoes as well, but mostly just wears
socks, because they're too much bother.
My husband and I have a 'no shoes inside' house and it has been working very well.
He is Bulgarian and it is common practice there to not wear shoes in the house. I
have had some experience abroad with this as well and find that you need to few
things to make it work:
1. Inside shoes (slippers or other kinds of shoes that you only wear inside--I like
slippers, but something like crocs that you only wear inside would also work well).
You should also provide extra pairs of slippers/indoor shoes for visitors--you can
buy cheap slippers at Ikea.
2. Shoe storage near the front door--I got a low bench with 8 cubbies for shoes
from Ikea--you mentioned you didn't find anything there, but I bought the bench in
the 'Leksvik' series--they might not have it anymore. You can also search online for
'shoe storage' -- I found several options when I was looking for shoe storage.
3. Though it seems strange to many Americans, it is common for people in
countries where they have 'no shoes inside' policies to have separate 'backyard'
shoes by the back door. For us, they are crocs and plastic indoor/outdoor sandals.
It took some time for me to get used to the 'no shoes inside' policy when I first lived
abroad, but I really like it now. The floors in my house are always very clean --
which is nice. I would expect a fairly long adjustment period, though, for people
who are not used to it.
It's a nice idea, but can be really inconvenient for all.
In our house, I've always had the kids take shoes off so they
could put their feet on the furniture. My kids (12 and 16) still
take their shoes off and prefer barefoot. I tend to wear shoes
in the house but I also wear slippers a lot. I have my muddy
outside shoes by the door on the outside. I have back yard mud
shoes adn front yard/dog walking shoes.
I'm sure there's a way your family can work it out, but how will
you deal with guests?
I used to have friends who build a beautiful house and didn't
want shoes in the house. Everytime we went to visit (they lived
in Woodside) I'd have to remember to bring my slippers or inside
shoes...and if I forgot...I'd freeze cause I get cold feet,or my
feet would hurt cause I've had Plantar Fascaitis and was
supposed to always wear sturdy shoes....It was hard for other
visitors to spend an evening or afternoon barefoot when they
weren't expecting it.
So, I like the idea of no shoes in the house but I'm not sure
it's really practical. As a visitor to a no shoes house it was
kind of irritating. Good luck.
comfy in shoes
I was born and raised in Japan where we do not wear shoes in the
house. My house here is shoe free, and it is not difficult at
all. My husband is now used to taking his shoes off as soon as
he enters the door.
1. Traditionally in Japan, we have a distinct entry area(GENKAN)
where everybody takes their shoes off. Typically, there are
floor elevation changes at the entry in Japan, but it is not
common in US. At our house, we have a door mat outside the door
and a doormat inside the door. We take our shoes off at the
indoor doormat, and we have a little wooden bench/ shoe rack from
Ikea. I think this bench/shoe rack was not intended to use as
bench/shoerack at Ikea showroom. Item name is MOLGER. It does
not hold many shoes.
2. I wear slippers and my husband wares Uggs in the house. We
keep our indoor shoes near the entry. I guess you can wear crogg
or slip-in shoes as indoor shoes. We keep everyday shoes in the
Ikea rack at the entry way. I usually keep non everyday shoes in
shoe boxes in closet. I take those shoes out when I wear them
and put back in the box afterward.
3. We keep separate outdoor shoes at separate doors like croggs
type of shoes that slip in and out.
Shoe free house definitely protects your floor as well as keeping
your house much cleaner. We have a 8.5 months old baby. If we
ware shoes in the house, I would be worrying about her crawling
in our house.
Once you get used to your system, no shoes in house is not that
complicated. I think hardest part of keeping house shoe free is
guests. We usually have to ask our guest to remove their shoes.
By now, most of our friends know that they should take their
shoes off where we have the bench/shoe rack. Most people take
their shoes off when they see the rack full of shoes. Some
people need a constant reminder. We will remind them and if they
need socks, I usually provide a pair of socks or extra pars of
We leave our shoes at the front door. I actually invested in a
really lovely Japanese tansu chest, with sliding doors and
shelves inside. This hides the large shoe collection and keeps
things looking neat. We keep most of our shoes near the front
door, because that's where we take them off.
I don't recommend a bench with storage inside or anything where
the shoes will get jumbled or where the shoes are hard to see
or where things could get piled on the lid. You will just get
frustrated finding a matching pair or having to take shoes out.
Don't be afraid to adapt furniture that wasn't designed for
shoes but make sure you take measurements of your larger shoes
(in inches) with you when you go shopping so you can ensure
that it will work.
Having said that, kids shoes are much easier. For our son, we
have a cubic basket from IKEA with a lid, and he just dumps his
shoes in there when he comes home. Their shoes are smaller and
they tend to have fewer pairs, so it's easy to give them their
own basket or container.
You'll also need a place to sit near the front door when you
are putting your shoes on.
Finally, we use nice leather slippers inside. You could
probably use anything, but I would recommend making it slip on,
And keep a pair of crocs or clogs by the back door for going
out in the yard. Give yourselves sometime to adjust to your new
system.Once you get used to it, it's easy and great for the
I live in a no-shoes house as do most of my friends. We leave
our shoes at the front door and slip on Crocs for indoor wear.
At night we bring our shoes up to our closets so that there
aren't too many by the door.
I would suggest the same for both of your doors. Keep whichever
shoes you'll be wearing that day at the door in a nice basket and
put them away before you go to bed.
We have a shoe-free house. Our reasons aren't cultural. We just
don't like the thought of what crud is outside that gets
tracked into the house: pesticides, dirt, urine, feces (all the
dogs that we see peeing & pooing...and every other little
critter), lugeys, motor oil, fertilizer, etc. You name it. If
it's on the ground, it's on your shoes.
Here's what works for us.
Our front entry way happens to have a coat closet. Inside that
coat closet, we have two shoe racks. We also have a padded
bench with cubby holes in our front entry way. In those cubby
holes are our highest use shoes - a few pairs of sneaks for the
hubby, clogs and whatnot for me. We use the padded bench to sit
on while putting on or taking off our shoes. It just becomes
what we do as soon as we come in. Like taking off our coat and
putting it in the coat closet. Not a big deal, it becomes the
Also parked right there in the front entry are my 'house
shoes', which are $2 flip flops. My hubby prefers to let his
toes run free and is almost always barefoot inside, I like the
little bit of padding that my flip flops provide. If it's a
cold day/evening, we just put on fluffy socks and cruise around
About back door logistics. We have a backyard and an unfinished
basement, the doors to both are right next to each other in one
corner of our kitchen. We have parked right by those doors a
couple of pair of shoes just for that purpose - padding down to
the basement, or going out into the backyard. My husband has an
old pair of slip on sneaks sitting there, and I have a couple
pair of flip flops.
About the rest of our shoes - heels, dress shoes for suits,
fancy winter boots, etc. We keep those in our bedroom clothes
closet, b/c they aren't worn that often. When the season comes
around that my heeled boots are worn more often, they just
become part of the collection by the front door, or inside that
coat closet I mentioned. When I stop wearing them, into the
bedroom closet they go.
I have se veral friends who don't do shoes in the house. One
is Japanese and has slippers. Others make you walk around in
your socks/barefoot. I hate going to their houses - and I'm
not a picky person!
This is the way I see it - hospitality is about making the
guests feel comfortable. I'm not comfortable without my shoes
in your house - if I am, I'll take them off voluntarily, which
does happen sometimes. However, I get really cold without my
Also, for women, there's more problems - if the woman is
wearing stockings, are you goign to buy her a new pair when
they are ruined from one little snag on the floor? The worst
experience I had was when I went to a party - didn't know it
was a shoes off house - and I was wering a really cute black
dress and black knee high boots, but for warmth was wearing
thick wool socks under the boots. Imagine how stupid I looked
when asked to take my shoes off? All of a sudden my cute
outfit went to ridiculous. I don't normally care about how I
look, but that was a little humiliating. And many of the women
who were walking around barefoot or in borrowed slippers that
were way too big felt the same.
Have a shoes off policy for your own family. If you're that
concerned about guests, don't have people over!!
I wear outside shoes in my house, but I highly recommend Crocs
for indoor shoes. They are absolutely wonderful, lightweight,
offer some arch support, comfortable, and can slip on. I have 3
pair! http://www.crocs.com (I have either the beach or the cayman
We have been a no-shoe household since our son was born (2
years) and found it surprisingly easier to stick to than we
anticipated. Once we got into the habit of it, it just became
second nature for us. My husband was reluctant at first,
because he needs arch support and can't walk around in socks or
barefoot like I can so he was accustomed to having his shoes on
indoors. We got him a pair of slide-on indoor shoes (suede with
rubber soles) with arch support and the transition was pretty
easy. I think we got them from Sportsmansguide.com in their
casual shoe section, but I'm sure they are easy to find
anywhere. We also got him a second pair for working around the
house (outdoors) and in the garage, so that he can easily swap
them rather than lacing up his street shoes when he takes out
the garbage for instance.
We keep the shoes we wear most by the door, (in winter, our
rain boots and summer, sandals, etc). Because my son and I are
the most frequent users of the back door, I keep one pair of
his sneakers and my gardening shoes back there. Things don't
always stay put, but for the most part, our system seems to
We never found an ideal storage method, mainly because I wanted
to keep things simple and not start amassing our entire shoe
collection by the front door. I just keep the shoes neatly
lined in the entryway and that seems to work for us.
Also, we found that cleaning the floors got much easier once we
switched to a no-shoe household.
--no-more tracking in the dirt
I recommend clogs as house and garden shoes. Dansko makes very
comfortable clogs that are comfy for women and men, don't at
all look like slippers, and are easy to slip on and off.
Another option is Ugg shoes or boots. We generally have a no
shoes policy, especially upstairs in bedrooms, and wear clogs
around the house and yard. I find the biggest challenge is when
visitors come over since I don't want to make them feel they
need to take off their shoes. A friend once had a sign on her
door that said ''welcome to our shoe-free house'' - I thought
that sent the message in a nice way.
You got lots of good logistical advice about how to manage your
no shoes policy. I just wanted to write in and give support to
the idea (given all the naysayers who also wrote in). It can
take some time to get used to, and I also used to feel slight
irritation when I went to a no shoes household, but now I
wouldn't have it any other way. Someone wrote, ''who cares about
a little shoe debris?'' Well, it's more than a little shoe
debris. Think about what you walk on -- it's a lot more than
dirt -- animal urine and feces, loogies, spit, pesticide run off
from lawns, molds, etc., etc. Tracking that into your house is
really gross, especially if you have a crawling child!
Follow up re no-shoe policy and guests. With regard to several
comments that it is inconsiderate for guests -- we have not
found that at all to be the case. We started our no-shoe policy
when our baby was born, and we simply explained that we were
preparing for a crawling baby and everyone understood and were
more than happy to accommodate. But then we noticed that
enough people are accustomed to it and no one seemed to mind --
we rarely have to tell anyone, they just see the shoes by the
door and understand it's a no shoe house.
On rare occasions when we have a large party with many guests
we make an exception to the policy since our son is no longer
crawling on floor and it's just one evening.
I lived in Canada once, where it was rude to track in mud to
people's homes, and the practice is becoming more and more
common here. It hasn't been a big deal for our guests, and on
cold days, I always offer warm socks or slippers as well.
- no more tracking in the dirt...
One quick addition to the many replies on this topic: we have a
shoe basket for everyone to keep one or two pairs of their most
often-used shoes by the front door. Even in my usually messy
house, the basket works really well because it's so easy to just
throw the shoes in. Dress shoes stay in closets. Guests are
never asked to go shoeless.
Love my slippers
My kids and I don't do shoes in the house, but my husband
does. I do like that it keeps things cleaner, but mostly, we
just find it more comfortable. Most of our friends have shoe
free houses as well. None of us do ''house shoes,'' we all walk
around in our socks or tights when it's cold, bare feet when
Socks and bare feet for me!
You got a lot of good advice already, but I didn't see anyone address this issue
directly. A ''no shoes in the house'' rule does not have to be absolute. We prefer not
to have shoes in our house, but we don't enforce it for guests in the living room,
dining room, and kitchen. Only if guests want to go upstairs to the bedrooms do we
ask them to leave their shoes at the bottom of the stairs. Remember, you are trying
to minimize wear and tear and exposure to dirt, not keep every speck of some toxic
poison out of your house. 90% of the time it is just us in the house, so we are not
too concerned if guests occasionally keep their shoes on. Or if one of us runs back
in the house to get something, we don't take off our shoes.
In our family, I (mom) am the only one who prefers to wear slippers. My husband
and kids just wear socks or go barefoot. We have slippers available for guests, but
even those who take off their shoes never use them (except maybe my mother). I
would not bother with them. We keep our shoes in a storage unit we got from IKEA
it is about 30'' wide and high and about 15'' deep. It also has a door you can put on
it to hide the cluttered look of a lot of shoes. We each keep about 4 or 5 pairs of
shoes in it, but there are still boots and such on the floor. (Although you probably
wouldn't be wearing them in the house anyway.) The benefit of having a cupboard
that high is that we can also use it for keeping a basket for keys & wallets, etc. and
a box for mail. We also have a couple chairs next to it so one can sit to put on
shoes. We also keep a couple pairs of garden shoes by the back door.
So, in short I would recommend a moderate approach: no shoes in the house most
of the time, definitely no shoes in the bedrooms (if you are mainly trying to
minimize dirt where the baby plays on the floor), cut your guests some slack if they
don't want to take off their shoes and try to make them feel comfortable and
welcome regardless. What to wear changes with the weather, but definitely slip-ons
such as clogs, flip flops, crocs, or slippers. Or designated ''house shoes.''
--Good luck & don't be too absolute about it
Aside from cultural reasons, not wearing shoes inside the house
has health and other benefits as well. There are studies showing
that lead and other contaminants are brought inside the house on
shoes and boots. This is why workers in industries that use lead
and other toxic substances are advised to take their shoes off
before they enter their homes. This is especially a concern if
you have carpets, where contaminants can get trapped. If you have
young children (who put everything in their mouths), they will
get a higher dose of these potentially toxic substances. And the
benefits of no shoes extend to wood floors as well: our
contractor told us that not wearing shoes in the house will
prolong the life and beauty of hardwood floors. Having to take
your shoes off at someone's house when you are all dressed up may
take some getting used-to. I've had guests who ignored our
no-shoes rule because their shoes were part of their outfit. If
you know you will be going to a no-shoes house, dress
accordingly. This practice is becoming more common in the Bay
Area. The benefits far outweigh fashion concerns.
no shoes for many reasons
Sorry, I didn't see the original question, but I have to agree
with someone else who said to institute it for your own family,
but not to force visitors to do so. I have toe issues and have
been very embarrassed to be forced to remove my shoes in
someone's home. I think it can be unkind and rude.
I've been in a number of homes with dogs and cats with a no
shoe policy and don't understand the contradiction between dirt
on shoe soles being horrifying to the homeowner, but the dirt
that comes in on dogs' and cats' feet as well as their abundant
fur everywhere being okay.
I've also been in no shoe houses where cats are allowed to use
the litter box and then walk all over the countertops and
tables. And this is okay. And in dirty homes with no shoe
policies where my socks are dirtier when I leave then when I
came in! Doesn't make any sense to me at all. I'd say really
think it through.
Let Visitors Keep Their Shoes On
I am from Canada and I ALWAYS ask people to take their shoes off.
I have been to and had numerous large parties back home where
everyone took their shoes off and left them at the door. In
response to the person who thought it was rude to be asked to
take off her shoes, I can see how cultural differences can lead
people to have very different feelings on the matter, but my
feeling is that when someone enters my home, they are in a sense
entering my country and should be willing to be understanding of
my culture. Would you think it was rude for a Japanese person to
ask you to take your shoes off? Despite the cultural norms of a
society at large, the home is a very personal space and if people
can not respect your feelings about how you behave in your own
home, they don't need to be there. I think this is an especially
good practice when you have carpets. Look at the sidewalk that
you walk on someday and ask yourself if you really want your baby
crawling on that. Notably, I also believe that letting animals
walk on counters and tables is extremely disgusting. As far as
my cat goes, she walks around outside on the grass and has small
paws that don't pick up as much mud as treads would, so I don't
feel like she tracks in as much dirt as shoes do. That being
said, I have found that in the States, because many people are
not prepared to take off their shoes, it is useful to have a few
pairs of cheap slippers for them to wear.
I prefer that my husband and daughter and I take our shoes off
when we come in the house. We live in an urban area, and we all
do a fair amount of walking. As someone who's fond of
sitting/sprawling on the floor, I think it's a good way to keep
unnecessary dirt off the carpets and floors. I also think it
keeps down the expense of shampooing carpets or having them
My husband has never liked doing this--apparently a combination
of his disagreeing with me and also not wanting to be told what
to do in his home--and my teenage daughter is now starting to
rebel. I'm not persnickety about it; I don't yell or comment
when my daughter occasionally runs around with her shoes on. I
have offered a compromise: just keep our shoes off upstairs
where the bedrooms are, but they are still reluctant to do so.
Both my husband and daughter claim that the carpets are
perfectly clean. The upstairs carpeting hasn't been
professionally (or otherwise) cleaned since we moved in 9 years
ago, and we also have one dog and two cats!
Any perspective on this? Does anyone else agree that it makes
sense to take outdoor shoes off while indoors, or am I being
unreasonable? Any advice that might add to everyone's
Ask your family to think about what's really on the sidewalks outside, and whether they want the same stuff on their bedroom carpets, or on floors/carpets where people sit. We have been shoes-off for many years, and then when our children started crawling, it made even more sense. Would buying some nice comfy slippers inspire them to take their shoes off?
You are not crazy. People have been taking off their shoes before entering the house for centuries all over Asia! The vast majority of my friends and family (mostly Asian, but many
not) also do this -- even when guests are over. It is cleaner AND more comfortable. Keep trying!
No shoes in our house
Although it is an annoyance to some, I insist that family members and kid friends take off their shoes when entering my house. Yes, there's lots of junk that you walk on out there, and bringing all that dirt in is unnecessary. Taking your shoes off makes a HUGE difference to the amount of dirt that is on the floors and carpets (the carpets just hide it much
better.) I, too, have to remind my husband occasionally, and maybe he's irritated, but hey, he doesn't clean! I don't insist that visitors do it, but many do offer, even tradespeople, before entering my home, when they see the stack of shoes outside. Other people I know put out a polite sign asking people to take off their shoes. I think your daughter and husband should respect your wishes, because it's not that big a deal and it really makes a difference. BTW, if you are the one who cleans, I think you have an absolute right to insist!
Boy, can I relate to this - it's a pet peeve! I'm from Canada and have British parents. We always took off our shoes at the door of our own home as well as other's homes. When I first moved here I couldn't understand why people kept their shoes on in the house. It seemed like such a dirty habit. Also, I noticed how trashed most people's carpets were and wondered why they even HAD carpets, they collect so much dirt.
I have since come to the conclusion that many people don't notice how trashed their carpets are, or at least don't narrow down the culprit to the filth they track in on the bottom of their shoes.
My husband is American and never took off his shoes in the house until fairly recently. I have always taken off my shoes even when he didn't.
A combination of things seems to have made him more likely to take his shoes of now. They are 1) I bought him some mocassin- type slippers, 2) We had children and I pointed out that if he didn't take his shoes off, then the kids would not take their's off either and they would not be so particular about what was on the bottom (mud, gum, etc). 3) I said I didn't mind him (and the kids) keeping their shoes on if we replaced all our carpet with hardwood which we could all take turns sweeping and washing. The cost of doing this seemed to freak him out.
Seems like the combination of those three things (and consistent repitition) have made him more likely to take his shoes off most days.
My friend installed new carpets and a small, but obvious sign by the front door asking people to please remove their shoes.
Also, I notice that when you take your shoes off in your own home and there are some pairs by the door, others are more likely to do the same.
Keep trying - Let's start a shoes-off revolution. Good luck!
Not a neat freak
I don't have any suggestions for encouraging your family to take their shoes off, but I do have a different perspective.
Personally, I take my shoes off inside because I prefer to be barefoot. I've never really believed the idea that shoes-off keeps the house cleaner because I don't think our shoes get that dirty in an urban setting. It would be different in a rural setting where we're walking in the dirt and mud all the time.
I would say there have been times at other shoes-off places when I wanted to keep my shoes on because I was afraid my feet were smelly. Could that be the case with your family?
Perhaps they prefer to wear shoes and not walk around in socks or barefoot.
Perhaps if you got your carpets professionally cleaned, your family would be more inclined to keep them clean by taking off their shoes.
Just some ideas . . .
Barefoot in the house
We do this at our home. It took a little getting used to but we do this in our culture and persistence paid in my case. I find many of my non-Indian or non-Asian friends who have carpeted homes doing the same. May be you can agree on a place near the stairs where you swap ''outside'' footwear for ''inside'' footwear. Good luck!
likes clean floors
Supposedly 80% of the dirt in a house is tracked in by shoes (at least according to a recent issue of Parenting magazine), so there is some validity to taking your shoes off.
Get shoes that slip on and off easily. Having to tie/untie your shoes every single time you go in and out is a pain.
Keep some slippers or something by the front door so if you need to run out to the car (for example) you can just slip on the slippers quickly.
If you haven't cleaned any carpets, then no one really knows how dirty they are. Get them cleaned and show everyone the dirty residue. That might be enlightening.
Offer a trade-off. For example, if people don't take off their shoes, then they have to vacuum/sweep every week. If they do, then it's just once a month.
The upstairs/downstairs thing is kind of irrelvant since you might want to run upstairs for just a momont, then come back down and to have to take your shoes on/off every time is a pain. Much easier to do at the front door.
I hate walking around without shoes on - it is uncomfortable, even painful, for my feet. I found a pair of soft cloglike slippers - they don't clonk, but they are hard, and they are super comfortable and easy to slip on. I also like flip flops but the flip-flopping noise bugs me. If your daughter and husband don't like the feel of walking around barefoot or in socks, they might like slippers or flip flops. I still haven't figured out what to do at friends' houses - I guess I should start bringing my slippers. (People with hardwood floors often don't want you to keep your shoes on either -- and that REALLY hurts my feet.) By the way, I got my carpets cleaned recently by "Heaven's Best" cleaners. They have a "water only" cleaning method and it is AMAZING. I could not believe how much better the carpets looked and it only cost a little over $200 for four large bedrooms, a hallway and stairs.
I bet you'll get a lot of responses from Asian families! :-) Growing
up, I was taught never to use shoes in the house (we had special house
slippers for indoor use) and everyone who visited my parents respected
that. Needless to say, we are Asian and so were my parents' friends, so
it was an easy ''rule'' to follow. Now that we have a toddler in the
home, my husband and I follow the same rule and have placed a sign next
to the doorbell to remind people. No one has questioned it.
It's much cleaner for your home to keep your outdoor shoes outdoors. It
may take some time to make it into a habit of taking ones's shoes off,
though. but perhaps you can get ''house slippers'' for your daughter and
husband. Maybe they won't feel so naked.
If your family is uncomfortable taking off shoes inside of the house and
if they don't like slippers, why don't you buy ''indoor shoes'' for
them, the shoes used only inside, just like shoes only used out side.
This way they can still keep their ''shoes'' on, but in a sense they act
like indoor slippers.
We take off our shoes just because we are from Japan. We bought a nice,
large wooden storage by our entrance door, and leave our shoes in it as
soon as we come in. Simply having a place to put shoes when entering may
help develop habit to take off shoes.
We take our shoes off at the door and switch to slippers or just our
socks. Mostly we find it more comfortable, but we also think it is
cleaner. (We offer slippers to our guests, but don't insist they take
off their shoes.) I sympathize with your desire to get everyone to do
it. It is too bad that they don't want to. I don't think you will be
able to convince anyone using logic and arguments. I would talk to your
husband about why he doesn't want to do it, and find out if there is any
way he would be willing to do it simply as a favor to you, an easy way
to make you more happy. Then I would make it as easy as possible with a
shoe shelf by the front door and easy slip-on slippers for everyone. If
he agrees to do it, it can become a habit relatively quickly just
something one does without thinking about it.
I almost posted this originally and then didn't - but now seeing the
plethora of responses on the other side of the argument, I have to add
my two cents.
I hate (hate, hate, hate!) being asked to take off my shoes.
Sure, I take my shoes off often enough in my own house, but I do not
like being required to do so. I feel undressed. And I don't like
walking around someone else's house barefoot (sure, your carpets which
have never known shoes are probably cleaner than mine, but it gives me
the willies). I especially don't like being offered slippers at someone
else's house... as if wearing shoes worn by countless others is supposed
to make me feel better about having to take off my own!
I understand your logical reasons for asking people to remove their
shoes, but from my perspective dirt and such is just a fact of life.
Yes, you are going to have to clean your carpets.
But more importantly, I just don't think this is a logical issue. It
comes down to the fact that I don't feel totally comfortable walking
around outside my own home without my shoes on, and I resent the idea
that someone is asking me to take off some of my clothes.
You have had many posts on this but i didn't see one that is great
especially in the winter. We live on a ranch and my husband is a farmer
so shoes off are automatic...but for those who come with hard to take
off boots or the older crowd I have the slippers that you slide your
shoe in and shuffle around the house in. The one i have now is called
''drywalker'' i think there is also one called ''shuffler''. If they
are at the entry way and you point them out...i use them especially in
winter out here when my shoes are muddy and i needed to come in for only
a minute...we also have a cute basket by the front door with all our
easy-to-slip-on-shoes in and people get the idea...
It's not a cleanliness issue, it's a health issue. Wearing shoes indoors
allows people to track lead, pesticides, and other toxins into the
house, where they sit on carpet fibers or become part of the house dust
that you breathe. in addition, it's disgusting.
Tell your family members to think of all the disgusting things they see
on the street -- dog poo, lugeys, etc. That's what you walk over in your
shoes, and that's what you track into your house if you keep them on.
Here's an idea, if all else fails - if anyone in your family insists on
wearing shoes indoors, try having them purchase a pair of ''indoor
shoes'' - shoes that never leave the house. Once they get used to
changing shoes at the door, they may be willing to try slippers.
We are about to move to a new home and are interested in starting
a ''no shoes in the house'' policy. For those of you who practice
this custom in your home, could you please advise about:
(a) how to tactfully ask guests to remove their shoes,
(b) how to sensibly provide things like houseslippers for those
who chill easily or are self-conscious about their feet (what size
do you get? how many pairs? what kind?),
(c) how to avoid shoe clutter at your entryway(s),
(d) how to deal with multiple entries?
We do this in my house and it has been pretty simple. There are
three pairs of ''house shoes'' at the front door. Two in the
garage and two out back (I say house shoes, but they are really
just modified flip flops). We bought ours for a buck a pair in
china town and they are generic enough in size to fit size 5 to
probably size 10.
When we were in Maui last we bought a sign that says ''Please
remove your slippers before entering. Mahalo''. It is ceramic and
quite lovely, complete with gecko. :) It does the trick--most
people when they see you barefooted at the door will get the
message quickly and take their shoes off anyway.
As for shoe clutter...doesn't happen. We carry our shoes to the
bedroom and put them away. Guests shoes are lined up behind the
front door in the foyer.
Hope this helps!
(a) how to tactfully ask guests to remove their shoes:
well, maybe I'm not so tactful, but for folks who are visiting
our home for the home for the first time I say things like,
''Come on in. We're a no shoe house. You can leave your shoes
here. There's a basket of slippers if you'd like... Now we
live in Wisconsin and the winter floors can be chilly. Some of
our friends who know our policy prefer to bring their own
(b) how to sensibly provide things like houseslippers for those
who chill easily or are self-conscious about their feet :
When we were still in Oakland, we went to China town and got
those black cotton slippers: 2 women's pairs and 2 men's (about
the equivalent of women's 7 and 9 and men's 10 and 12)Since then
we've collected more winter slippers. When I find them on sale
for cheap I get them. The above size ranges seem to work; with
slippers you can wear a slightly bigger size if need be.
(c) how to avoid shoe clutter at your entryway(s):
We enter through the mudroom, where we have a tray for shoes
currently being worn (we try for no more than one pair per
family member). If the shoes are dry we put them in the mud
room closet where we have shoe shelves as well as one of those
over the door shoe pocket things. The remainder of our shoes
live in here too. Before we had a mud room we had a shoe shelf
in the foyer. Out of season shoes got stored in the bedroom
closet. Hold Everything makes something that looks kind of like
a dresser with hiden shoe shelves. When we have a party, the
foyer looks like a shoe department!
(d) how to deal with multiple entries:
We make an ocassional trip in with shoes. If someone is holding
a baby and needs to go back for a forgotten item, if the shoes
are not slip on, we usually leave them on. I think Plough and
Hearth makes slipper like things you put on over your slippers.
You could put these on while lugging in groceries and slip them
off and on easily enough, but we've gotten used to just taking
off our shoes.
We've had a no shoe house for a long time and love it. Hope
If I go casually (dropping by or 'just us folks', etc.) to a
friend's no-shoe house, and they provide clean socks (if winter)
and decent slippers or zories, and they let me leave my shoes
inside- I'm fine with it.
But, if I go to an event such as a party or holiday dinner, and
have dressed up nicely, I really resent having to take off my nice
looking clean shoes and put on schleppy slippers. I feel deprived
of looking my best and it strikes me as inconsiderate.
You always have to clean up after an event anyway, and a few sets
of shod feet won't make or break a nice floor or carpet
(especially compared to spilled food and drink), so what's the big
I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, and we were never allowed to wear
shoes in our house or anyone eles's. It was considered rude to
wear your shoes inside the house. To this day, I still follow
this rule. I post a pretty sign outside our door saying, ''please
remove your shoes upon entering''. If someone misses it, I
politely request them to remove their shoes. I have beautiful
oriental rugs which shoes and/or dirt from shoes would ruin, and
I'm able to keep a cleaner home with the no shoes policy. For
some reason, shoes inside the house gross me out!
I find it unfortable when people request I remove my shoes before
entering their house. Socks or slippers don't provide the same amount
of support as shoes, especially those worn with orthotics.
But it's equally unconfortable to request an exception.
We have a no-shoes policy in our house, but decided not
to ''enforce'' it with guests. After all, we are the ones most
frequently tracking dirt in, since we live here. However, most
guests seem to take the hint from the lined up shoes, and
automatically take their shoes off. If they don't, we do not ask
this page was last updated: Oct 13, 2013
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network