taking off shoes in someone’s home

IMAG009AIt’s melt-down Monday again. Today’s post is going to be controversial. Some of your will agree with me and some wont. Please fee free to express your opinion no matter which side you’re on.

First of all, some background.  Last fall we took up our tile and carpeting, exposing one hundred year-old floors which were then sanded and refinished at quite a cost. The only time I would ask anyone to take off their shoes would be if the shoes being worn were   stiletto type heels. Or maybe if someone came in with mud all over their shoes but I have rugs for that. Or maybe if they were going to be walking on white carpet but if I were foolish to have white carpet on my floors, that’s my problem.

I guess by now you know I don’t particularly like being asked to take off my shoes. Martha Stewart thinks it’s perfectly o.k. as long as you provide some slippers for your guests to wear. Of course, she’s fairly anal about such things.

Here’s how I look at it. First of all, shoes make the outfit, do they not? Asking someone to take off their shoes completely messes up the ensemb’, does it not? Bit seriously, it’s a floor. Do you eat off the floor? Do you have pets? Are your pets allowed to walk on your floors or do you wipe off their paws every time they come in? I guess I just don’t get it. Now if I’m in another country where this is considered the norm, I would get it. But where did this start in America? Have we gotten so concerned with our floors, we have to make guests feel like they’re intruding?

Should there also be a sign in the bathroom that says if you use the toilet, you’ll have to clean it? What about if you use a plate, you have to wash it?

I have one friend that suggests people take off their shoes in her home. We’re good enough friends that I was able to tell her that I wouldn’t be complying. I’ve had four foot surgeries. I’m never supposed to go without my shoes. I told her this and she has no problem with me keeping my shoes on. I’ve noticed though she allows dogs in her home and I’ve yet to see her wipe off their paws.

Now I know some of you probably do ask your guests to take off their shoes. It’s your house; you can do what you want. But rest assured, if you come to visit me, you won’t be asked to take off your shoes.

10 thoughts on “taking off shoes in someone’s home”

  1. I’m a ‘leave your shoes on’ person but an anomaly in my family. I, too, have problematic feet so I keep a pair of cushioned slippers in my car at all times and go by whatever the house policy is. There are people who insist on taking their shoes off though…I have a basket of slippers in the closet by the door for them (heck, I don’t know when I mopped the kitchen last- lol, I,’m on a crawlspace so the floors, esp the tile, are cold). And yes, I have beige carpet and a dog and a Bissell steamer (which I love and it gets used a lot). I’m with you, homes are meant to be lived in. Exception- I let kids splash in mud puddles after the rain, I think it’s good for them- then it’s def shoes off!

    1. I think it probably does depend on what people have been doing before they come in the house. For example, if they’ve just come from their car and there’s a sidewalk to the house, unless they’ve been up to their knees in mud, what could they possibly track in? Maybe pollen. But isn’t that what rugs at the doorway are supposed to be about? Thanks for your comment.

  2. In Canada it us customary to remove your shoes/boots when you go inside to someone’s house! Not sure why, but guessing because we have such snowy weather.

    1. We have snowy weather too (I’m in Michigan) and in the winter I think it’s obvious one takes ones boots off. That only seems logical to me. I guess I’m thinking of normal dry weather. And again, the only shoe issue I have would be stiletto heels. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Some friends of ours automatically take their shoes off when they arrive at our house, and I do like to leave my own shoes at the door so as not to track dirt in. But I wouldn’t make it a requirement. I certainly know what you mean about shoes being part of the outfit- and what if someone’s wearing holey socks, or no socks and they’re not comfortable with their bare feet? As a hostess, I just want people to feel comfortable.

    1. I guess the point I was trying to make is that floors just aren’t that important. Funny though this morning I left a note in a guest bedroom for my husband to read about making sure his shoes are clean before he walks in there as there were some dirty spots and he’s the only one that uses that room. We have a hundred year old home with little closet space so he uses that closet.

      But even after saying that, I reminded myself there could come a day when I wished I hadn’t made such a big deal about a floor!

      Yes, I want my guest to feel comfortable, with or without shoes. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Good day,
    Please. If you have a floor, what do you expect people to do….walk on it. If you dont want shoes on your floor…put it on your counter.

    1. Hilarious! Very good. Exactly, I mean they are to walk on, right? Now shoes on a counter are something else entirely. Thanks.

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