shoe policy

In honor of all things Friday, I was hoping we could have a bit of a discussion today.

I want to know about your homes.

What’s your shoe policy? Apart from finding amazing pairs to wear {and I secretly wish I could pull these off-my four year old is currently drooling over them}

I mean…what’s your policy for wearing them in your homes? On your floors?

Since we’ve been discussing all things floors, I must say, I’m a bit curious. We, personally as a family, don’t wear them in the house. It’s just what we do. However, when people come over, I also don’t {as much as it sometimes pains me on a rainy day} ask them to take them off. My version of playing hostess is letting people be the most comfortable as they are. Whether the shoes are on…or off. To some people, this really matters. To others, not so much.

I have friends who we have {mutual unspoken} agreements with, that will take their own shoes off at our house, and we will take ours off at theirs, just because it’s a comfort thing. As soon as I’m in my home, it’s all t minus five and I’m in stereotypical mom yoga pants and a t-shirt. I can barely keep the kids from stripping on their way from the garage, and leaving their clothes in the kitchen. We’re just a comfy home. It’s how we roll.

So, what’s your policy? How do you {whether it’s socially acceptable or not} draw that line between what you want for your own home, and what you wish others to do while they’re in your home? Do you sacrifice your own desires to make others comfortable? I guess that comes down to your definition of playing hostess…and this can apply to more than just shoes. I tend to become anal retentive about small children with dirty hands after meals…{see Duncan + my recent loss.}

Is it something you feel strongly about, or is this a little silly to you? I’m honestly torn because I’m a {reformed} OCD freak. I could go either way, and it’s all about healthy boundaries. So spill it! So what’s your shoe policy?

Shoes: via - Designers from all around were asked to embellish the original Dr Martens. This particular pair was designed by Jasper Conran. Click on over for some yummy eye candy. Floor: via – Julia and one of her latest fabulous Hooked on Houses posts. 
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60 Responses to shoe policy

  1. April says:

    I would love for my house to be a no-shoe house but my lovely husband will not comply it seems. LOL! The problem really though is how our house works. You come in the side door to the kitchen and to get to the bathroom you have to walk down a long carpeted hallway from the kitchen. He pops in from working outside to use the bathroom and never thinks twice about taking off shoes……ugh! I want hardwood in that hallway!!

  2. We live in a forest in Alberta so… yeah. We still have snow on the ground and then it will turn to mud (especially with an unfinished yard as of yet). I do know other people that live around here that don’t take their shoes off, but we sure do around this house!!

  3. I dont have a policy. I just rather NOT wear shoes in my house so I always take them off right away. Some thoughtful guests will see my shoes are off and take theirs off as well, some don’t notice. When guests are over, I let people do what they feel comfortable with.

  4. Allis says:

    We take off our shoes while in the house. For me it’s more of a comfort thing than a cleanliness thing. I really, really hate wearing shoes in the house. It’s like wearing a coat in the house. It irks me.

    I really don’t pay any attention to whether people leave shoes on or not when they come over. lol I know my neighbor always takes hers off because she has a no-shoe policy in her own house. Other than that, I can’t recall whether any of our visitors in the last two months left their shoes on or not. lol

    At other people’s homes I always take my shoes off unless I’m not going to be there long–then I look to see if they have shoes on. If they do, I leave mine on. If they don’t, I take mine off.

    • Haha Allis! You sound just like me.

    • Pam says:

      Moving to Minnesota from California introduced us to no shoes in the house. When house hunting most of the homes had no shoe signs at the door so we learned not to wear tie shoes. After 9 years in Minnesota we kept the no shoes in the house when we moved to New Jersey. It certainly helps with allergens and general dirt. I wear slippers or soft soled flats inside because my feet get cold.
      We have shoes at the front and garage doors and if visitors get the hint, that’s fine, but we don’t stress over it. Having wood floors makes it more of a non-issue.
      When visiting I look at feet first to see what others are doing.

  5. abby3 says:

    My shoe policy is that I will not have a shoe policy! lol
    We have a home that is almost entirely hardwoods, and it is just easy to let people do what they want and do a quick sweep later if necessary! We have two dogs that are always tromping in and out of the house as well- our feet might get dirtier in socks! Hmmm….what does that say about my housekeeping, I wonder? ;)

  6. Jodi M says:

    Comfy house…we can’t wait to get our shoes off-always tripping over the pile by the door. That is how I grew up.No shoes in the house.My hubby’s family always wore shoes but when i described vividly how many gross things your shoes touch he made the transition quickly. I don’t ask people to take off their shoes but I always mention” take your shoes off…stay awhile”

  7. colleen from alabama says:

    Honestly, i’ve never thought about it. We live in an early 1900′s house with hard woods or tiles (bathroom and laundry room) through out. If we are extra dirty (baseball cletes) or soaking wet (playing in mud puddles), we might but it just isn’t an issue. I sweep and mop the areas that get the messiest regularly. Because if the hardwoods, its just easier to clean it up. I can’t imagine asking people that aren’t family to take their shoes off though, feet are just too personal. :)

  8. Ellie says:

    Hi, I love your blog :)

    I just have to chime in that I have my children take their shoes off however I am miseable barefoot (and I’m short too :). So my policy is kids shoes off, adults whatever they are comfy with ( unless we are having an outdoor party then I slip mine off when I come in and hope others will do the same) I have dogs so maybe that is partly why I am not too worried about it!

    I love your family room btw :)

    xo ellie

  9. We, as a family, have a ‘no shoe’ policy. {though my kiddos are better at placing their shoes in the shoe ‘homes’ than dear hubby – ha!}

    I don’t outright TELL my guests to take shoes off, but I invite them to ‘make themselves at home’ and we have a clear ‘area’ by our main entrance that is clearly open and available for shoes to go. Whenever I am in someones home I always take a cue from their own feet if my shoes stay on in the house or not.

    ~H

  10. I don’t have a shoe policy in my house. However, I have a shoes-filled-with-sand-from-the-school-playground policy! We have a walk-in closet near our staircase (and partially under it – it’s like an “L”) that we call the “shoe room”. I was tired of the shoes being left in the hallway downstairs and taking time in the morning trying to find where they left their shoes so we created the shoe room-if they are put away every day, we know exactly where they are when we need them. We have 2 rows of hooks to hang jackets, backpacks, purses and shelves with cubbies to hold toys, pool gear, sports equipment, etc. So when the kids come home from school, they go straight to the shoe room to take their shoes off – but if they played on the school playground and have sand in their shoes, they are supposed to take them outside and dump them before bringing them into the house (this doesn’t always happen, but as long as the sand stays in the carpeted closet and not on my tile floors, then I’m fine – the shoe room gets cleaned often enough).
    When kids come over, my kids show them the shoe room – they seem to like showing off the shoe room to their friends. When adults come over, they usually keep their shoes on but the downstairs is tile so it’s not a big deal for me. However, my only issue with shoes is if you take your shoes off, put them in the shoe closet and not in the hallway where someone can trip over them.
    I don’t wear shoes in the house and I usually take my shoes off at friend’s houses – I live in flop flops so they can easily slip off.

  11. Abi says:

    I have mixed feelings… I love barefeet in my house when my floors are clean. Which isn’t all that often=) But as far as going to someone’s house…I know when we were in Germany and we walked everywhere, and there was life 3 ft of snow and wet, it was expected to take your shoes off at the door. I get that. But when I drive to someone’s house for dinner, and they ask me to take my shoes off at the door–or point to the pile of shoes by the door hinting, I think it’s weird. I think if anything, it can make someone uncomfortable because they have to explain why they didn’t paint their toenails or why they have two different socks under their boots. (It’s happened to me=)) I’d rather have to clean my floors after my guests leave then make someone uncomfortable in my house. So if you come to my house, shoes on or off–but it’s up to you=)

    • Yes, Abi! Sometimes I don’t really clean the floors all that much if people are coming over. With a big dog and three kids I’ve learned to chill over the years. And as far as taking them off-especially in the winter-if you haven’t traipsed through the mud-sometimes the outfit is all about the shoes!!! ;)

  12. Tiffany says:

    I have a pair of New Balance flip-flops that I only wear in the house, and my husband goes without shoes. I’ve thought about asking others to take theirs off, but I’m not sure how to do it without sounding rude!
    Also, we have hardwood floors (without so much as a rug right now), so it’s not as much of an issue for me as if we had carpet.

  13. margaret says:

    We are a shoe off household. It helps minimize the nasty seasonal allergies. I grew up on a farm and all footwear did not make it past the mudroom. The thought of walking in the barns and then in house makes my skin crawl. Most of my family and friends see us with shoes off and drop theirs at the door without commenting. I think it is polite to mimic (shoes on or off) the those I’m visiting.

  14. Debbie Panton says:

    Fun topic. I wear shoes in our home a lot of the time. We live in Canada.. long cold winters ( although this year…not so much) , so I take my winter boots off and will usually put on a pair of flats or something. We have mostly all old hardwood floors ( plenty distressed already) …so shoes aren’t going to hurt them. I get that if your footwear is wet or muddy, you want to take it off at the door… but otherwise, I would tell guests to leave their footwear on… many won’t but I’d actually prefer it if they did. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine that when I visit their homes, I have to take my shoes off and leave them at the door, like I was some six year old that was out playing in the mud all day or something. Lots of times ( especially holiday parties and stuff), I’ve chosen shoes for the certain outfit and there I am standing there in a cute outfit or if I’ve worn pants, the cuffs dragging on their floor because they’re meant to be worn with heels or wedges or whatever. I also think it’s kind of icky to have to walk around someones house on your bare feet. Grosses me out!! I In most of these homes, they have hardwood floors… easy to clean and actually look better the older they get…. they may as well hang a velvet rope and be done with it… they seem like they care more about their floors than their guests. Also in these homes, they don’t have young children ( I do), so there wouldn’t be the added concern of protecting young ones that may be playing on the floor from additional germs.

  15. Courtney says:

    Various blogs have posted on this topic over the years and it seems to be a pretty controversial subject. It also seems to be very regional.

    I too live in Alberta (like Catherine above) and I don’t know anyone who leaves their shoes on in the house. Lots of people wear slippers (like me) or flip flops but if someone came into my house with their dirty outside shoes on, I would not be happy. Perhaps in a warm weather climate where you don’t have to deal with mud, dirt and other fun outdoors stuff it would be different.

  16. Ashley S. says:

    Interesting question… I am weird about having dirt on the bottom of my feet, so for the most part I like to keep my shoes on in the house. I clean often, but we have an inside/outside dog, so no matter what I do, there will be dirt on the floor.

    Because I normally wear shoes in my own home, it bothers me when people ask me to take them off in their homes. I will take them off if I notice that all members of the family in the home are shoeless, but otherwise I will keep them on. If I am going to someone’s home for a wedding shower or a party, it just feels weird to me to not be wearing shoes.

  17. Leanne says:

    The biggest reason to NOT wear shoes is bacteria. It has been proven that we bring in a lot of bacteria on the bottoms of our shoes, some dangerous ones. So if you have little ones especially I suggest not too. It sure has helped keeping my floors cleaner than having everyone track in their dirt. So we just have slippers to wear in the house.

  18. Sandi says:

    Our policy is to take shoes off as soon as walking in the door. However, when guests come over, I don’t direct them to take their shoes off. If they offer, I say “sure,” but if they don’t, I will not make a fuss over it. I do leave a pair of shoes by the front door, as some people get the hint to remove shoes before proceeding. Others don’t get the subtle hint, and that’s okay. My kids both know to take their shoes off when entering other people’s houses, which I think is important. If the host/hostess at another person’s house says, “Leave your shoes on,” they get a little confused, but then I let them decide if they want to leave shoes on or take them off.

  19. Kim says:

    I personally have to wear shoes in my house now. We have wood floors throughout, though a rug in the family room. But I find that if I don’t have shoes on my legs and back really start to hurt. So in the house I either wear tennis shoes or flip flops. I try to make sure they are clean and not ones worn outside often – but it isn’t always possible.
    My husband wears these shoe slipper things that have more support during the winter months – in the summer he usually has his tennis shoes on or just socks sometimes. The kids go without shoes, though. Our oldest got “trained” in this at daycare and has just kept it up at home. Our 2 year old obviously has no choice :)
    With guests I usually let them decide. Often they wear their shoes because the wood floors can be slippery – especially my mother in law who has a bad back and arthritis and can’t seem to keep her balance on our floors :) Kids, too – they run and aren’t used to the slippery floors if they have carpet at home.

  20. Amber says:

    Oh how I wanted us to take our shoes off. Purely, a cleanly thing than anything else. And, not a germ thing. It just makes so much more work for me when people track things in from the outside. But, I have lost this battle because my husband will not walk around anywhere shoeless. He has a bad knee and claims it hurts his knee. I believe him but it is really frustrating. I have a hard tie making the kids take them off when their daddy doesn’t even do it. One day I am going to win this battle. I think I just need to buy him some comfy “in the house” shoes, that aren’t slippers!

  21. Cindy says:

    In our last house we got brown carpet to match the color of the dirt in the back yard. It also was the color of the hardwood we would have liked if we could afford it. The carpet needed vacuuming a lot but never showed dirt even with 4 kids and 2 dogs.
    In our empty nest home we went with the same brown carpet. No more kids at home but still 2 dogs. It’s a little dark in the smaller house but still works very well for us.
    I’ve never made people take off their shoes in my home because I don’t like it when I have to in theirs. If they do anyway in our house I let them know it’s not necessary pointing out the dark carpet.

  22. Erin J says:

    I always wore my shoes in the house growing up in TN. We did have one family friend who had a “no-shoe” policy, but I was never asked to take off my shoes anywhere else that I can recall. Now that we live in MN, EVERYONE takes off their shoes by the door. It’s just one of those rules that everyone abides by at all homes. I can understand, though; melted snow gets everywhere even if you wipe your shoes well and it’s wet, dirty, and disgusting.

  23. Diane says:

    No shoes in my home( on my carpets !!)
    It’s nice though as we never ever even use our front door.
    We pull into the garage and walk through the mud/laundry room( ceramic floors) and then into the kitchen which is wood floors and I also have an all season room and a bath room with wood floors available in that area as well.
    I don’t mind someone wearing shoes on those floors ( unless they are wet or messy)
    So there is never a reason to walk on my carpets or to any other place in my home unless your invited to do so.
    And then I will say something like should we remove our shoes and go here or there :)
    Hubby and I never ever wear shoes any where in the house once we leave the garage area though and my kids and grand kids know once they hit that mud room it’s all shoes off!
    It works for us I just don’t see the point of wearing shoes on carpet!
    If we would have a visitor come through the front door I ask if they mine removing their shoes and if so I have them come through the garage.
    Everyone that knows us know we always come and go through our garage and when I expect someone I open the garage it just works for us and no one has ever minded.
    I always always take off my shoes at someones house even if they don’t!
    I figure I do it at mine I can do it at yours and expect the same from you!

  24. Vicki says:

    I’m new to your blog and have been really enjoying it. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    We are a no shoe house. When I allow myself to think about all the stuff we could be tromping through our house, it totally grosses me out!!
    I love the guests that take off their shoes but I don’t ask anyone to do that. One of my best friends always brings her slippers — love her!

  25. I knew this ? would bring lots of comments and opinions. Here is mine…we take our shoes off in our house because it is a comfort thing – not because I require it. To be honest…I think it is a little awkward and even a little rude to expect guests to remove their shoes…especially when they dont expect it. Not everyone has perfectly manicured toes and non-holey socks – and I would just feel odd walking around with my skinny jeans tucked into my socks because I had to remove my knee high boots…really?! Do you know how long it took me to get these things on?!
    Barring the obvious like teenagers with muddy sneakers and cultural reasons that I do respect…I say leave ‘em on! I even once heard that the oils from bare feet are worse for carpet than the soles of shoes…not sure if that is true or not. As a typically picky Virgo…I am learning to appreciate the small scuffs and nicks…as the patina of a well loved and welcoming home for everyone to enjoy!

  26. Emma T says:

    I’m a take the shoes off in the house person, as that’s the way I was brought up. I have slippers (or in the summer flip flops although I do admit that the flip flops are used inside and out – but at least in summer there’s little of the outdoors brought in).

    The OH isn’t that great though – he has a pair of old grotty slippers that he uses to go from our house over to the farm in. He does have a tendency to wear them in the house as well as outside though which does annoy, especially when I’m trying to get our little one to get used to taking his shoes off.

    Friends do tend to take theirs off when they come in because I’m barefoot, and there’s shoes left by the door which prompt them, but if it was a party, I’d not worry too much – not enough room in the hall for lots of shoes!

  27. Tennille says:

    Shoes Off!! It’s funny because I wonder if this is a Canadian thing (I’ve noticed my American friends and family wear their shoes in the house) or if it just depends on what part of Canada you live in. I don’t know of anyone who leaves their shoes on in their house or anyone elses. It’s kind of a given that you remove your shoes upon entering your home or someone elses. Maybe because we have nastier weather we just can’t get away with it. We also have carpet in a large part of our homes, at least in suburbia, and it would be disgusting if we didn’t take off our shoes. Having said that I have inside shoes that I wear ALL THE TIME. I rotate between my Crocs and a pair of red leather loafers. This is for comfort, support and warmth. If I don’t have shoes on I get cold and slippers don’t provide enough support. I think the rule should be ALWAYS remove your shoes in someone elses home. Don’t assume they are okay with it until you hear them say, “Oh, don’t worry about your shoes”.

    • I agree. I have never known anyone in my experience in Canada (and I have lived east coast, middle and prairies) where you left your shoes on inside. Could be a weather thing but for me it is also a comfort thing. I do have many different levels of slippers though, from slip ons right up to muk luks.

      Of course in the summer we are a lot more relaxed on the issue. We do have the fortune of having hardwood on the main floor so when we are in & out a lot on nice days, you leave your shoes on.

      That being said, no one has ever assumed in my experience that they could leave their shoes on at my house. Again, is that a Canadian culture thing?

  28. Susan Woods says:

    Funny you should ask! We live in Michigan, and it’s just a given here, in ALL households that you take your shoes off when you go to someone’s home. Because your shoes are all covered with snow and salt for more than half the year. This caused me some difficulty when we first moved here because I HATE having sock feet, but felt awkward and cold having bare feet at other’s homes. I tried taking slippers with me, but they were bulk and ugly to lug around. So, I started a business to solve the problem. I make and sell custom designed soft soled shoes in all sizes that I make from repurposed or thrifted fabrics. They are easy to put in a bag to take with me. And they’re pretty (if I do say so myself.) Of course, mine are all worn out and I need to make another pair fro me, but now can’t find the time with so many orders! http://www.etsy.com/shop/GoodLittleThings?ref=si_shop

  29. Pamelotta says:

    In my house, as a general rule, there aren’t many rules. When we built it 7 years ago, we wanted it open and spacious and welcoming so we could have lots of people over to help us enjoy it. And break it in. And break it in we have.

    I have wood floors in the kitchen and dining area and carpet everywhere else. We chose a cheaper carpeting because of the age of our children and it’s just about ready to be replaced. As for the wooden floors, I remember when we were moving in I dropped my cast iron skillet as I was coming into the house and it left a pretty good gouge in the wood and it killed me. Now, I can’t even find that gouge for all the other scratches and gouges all over the place. It’s wood and we like the way it looks when it’s well worn and someday we’ll probably paint it anyway.

    We like to ‘live’ in our house. So that means if you want to take off your shoes or leave them on – go for it. It’s just a house. The relationships we’ve built in this house are the most precious things to me and what I’ll think of every time I see a scratch or a stain or a fingerprint. And I think that attitude has made people feel really comfortable in our house.

  30. Jacque says:

    I think it is best if you don’t wear outdoor shoes in the house…just slippers. However, my husband just can’t seem to get into that habit….and since he is 75, I doubt that he will. My daughter’s family and my son’s family do have the no shoes in the house rule. They have all lived abroad, and I think that they were influenced by local customs. Dr. Oz says it is the healthiest option, and I believe anything he says! : )

  31. Michelle says:

    We lived in Japan for many years, where it is custom to remove your shoes every time you enter the house. We had a cute sign at the door saying:

    This is an American house
    Run in the Japanese style.
    Please take off your shoes
    And stay a while.

    This gentle reminder works quite well.

  32. Rachel says:

    We’re a “no shoes in the house” kind of family. With an infant, the last thing I want is to bring in the public restroom or grocery store parking lot grubb on the bottom of my shoes – makes me cringe even thinking about it! :) I do let up on this rule when we have company over, but I clean the floors (all hardwood) as soon as they leave. All family visitors know that the shoes come off beside the door though! :)

  33. jennifer says:

    I would LOVE for my house to be a no shoe house. My kids and hubby leave there shoes by the front door..theres a pile..lovely. And mine are left in the garage. My good shoes are in my closet. We are a comfy home too. We always strip down and get in our “cozies” we call it. However, when guests come over I cringe. My OCD kicks in. And when they walk upstairs on the carpet my stomach turns a bit. But..I say nothing . When they leave I clean the floors. Is that weird? Thanks for such a cool post

  34. Jamie says:

    In Hawaii it’s pretty much a no shoe policy in anyone’s house! No if , ands or buts about it! it isn’t rude or uncomfortable to tell anyone cause hey, you ain’t wearing your grimy germ filled shoes in my house, THATS IT! So we wouldn’t wear our shoes in anyone’s else’s. But it is easier for us , being that we mostly wear slippers everyday. I can’t think of why people would allow it anyway.. I know it’s a mainland thing but it’s just gross, it does not take that long to remove your shoes. Don’t people just lay out and stretch themselves across their living room floors rolling around with their kids not having to worry about if they scrubbed it first. Germs people.. Germs! Try to keep them outside, not in!!

  35. I love it that so many of the commenters get their way in their own homes! Woo hoo! You go, ladies :)

    I’d be delighted to be a “no shoes in the house” sort of family, but my husband is INCAPABLE of remembering to take his off. Like, seriously, I think his brain must just have a block about it or something. Even when I have a bit of a tantrum when he has his shoes on in our living room (our poor, sad, rental house carpet), he just kind of mumbles something about forgetting, and then just leaves them right there on the carpet where he takes them off. Meh. There are other battles I’m more interested in fighting. (Such as the continual battle to get him to remove his ever-growing pile of socks from the living room. Apparently, his feet are allergic to socks or something, because he ALWAYS takes those off, if for some reason he’s not wearing those ever-present shoes.)

  36. Christine says:

    We have always been a no shoes inside family, although I grew up with wearing shoes in the house. We try to aviod tracking in all the dirt and gross things from outside into our house. Every time I’m in a public restroom it reinforces to me why we keep our shoes off when inside. We live in Florida and so many chemicals are put on the lawns and outside of houses year round so we try to avoid tracking that in too. I always tell guest to do whatever they feel comfortable doing and some do and some don’t, but if they don’t take their shoes off that’s ok with me. I know I’ll be cleaning again soon enough. I do take my shoes off when I go to someone else’s house for the most part. That’s just what I’m used to.

  37. Lianne says:

    We are a shoes off family. The kids and OH have been well trained to change from shoes to slippers(socks usually get thrown everywhere as well)when they get in. I think it’s safer for kids to tear around the house in slippers rather than barefeet. I wear slippers. It’s pretty obvious when people visit we are a shoes off house as there are always shoes/slippers in the entrance hall. We have very light and expensive carpets so guests automatically take off their shoes. It’s pretty cold here all year round so most guests bring slippers with them and we do the same when visiting. It seems to be the polite thing to do . And it’s also the comfy thing to do.

  38. karen says:

    I cannot go without shoes. We have hardwood and tile throughout our house plus two big dogs, cats, kids and various other critters of all kinds in and out……I think it would be more stressful to police a policy, so I would rather not have any. Although we have friends who own a vacation home near ours and they expect no shoes when we visit for dinner. The whole time I am in their house I am uncomfortable being shoeless, they believe it keeps their carpet cleaner, but I just think all those bare feet is actually worse.

  39. Katherine says:

    Let’s rephrase the question, “Your friend has been outside wiping her hands on public bathroom floors, the mud outside which contains E. Coli and herbicides, and the sidewalk with dog poo and gum and pollutants. She has graciously wiped them down on the floor mat outside your door before entering. Now she would like to play with your crawling babies hands. She has no rules about washing her hands before she plays with her babies, so should you ask her to wash them before playing with yours?” Just because it’s inconvenient to others to enforce a no shoe policy in their own homes, doesn’t mean they can’t inconvenience themselves once to keep your home healthy and clean. To me, it would seem be the guest who is being rude and not the hostess.

    Perhaps this question is ridiculous to me because I come from one of the many cultures (Sweden, Austria, Czech Republic, Canada, Asia…) who have a no shoe policy. In Japan, they have indoor slippers and outside shoes as well as bathroom slippers that stay in the bathroom. Some countries even remove shoes at the workplace. If you’re worried about making your guests feel uncomfortable, you can always leave a basket of clean comfy slippers or socks for your friends and booties for workers.

    Here’s a link to an article by a reporter who investigated this issues with researchers and specialists: http://www.womansday.com/home/organizing/the-surprising-benefits-of-a-shoe-free-home-101287

    Or, how about this study, “In 1991 the EPA conducted a study called the “Door Mat Study” that measured the amount of lead dust that was in homes. The study found that in homes where there was a doormat at the entrance and where shoes were NOT worn, there was a marked reduction (about 60%) of lead dust and other chemicals in the home. Not only that, but in homes where shoes are removed, there is a reduction in allergens and bacteria being tracked into the house.Removing shoes has been scientifically proven to reduce contaminants in the home. “

    • I think that saying someone is rude for either one, is taking it too far. I don’t think that’s what you were saying, but I want to make sure we don’t do that here.

      It’s all about preferences, location, and culture, and a lot of it is how you were raised. That being said, either way, no matter what your preference: It’s only shoes. No one will die of bubonic plague because someone wore them inside;} I also think there’s a fine art to playing hostess.

      I think that as a visitor, and as a hostess, it’s important to pay attention to the cues of both. Either way, it’s just a question about preferences. ;} Some germs, are good. If you live in a bubble, you never really live at all.

      But I do love hearing all of your policies in your own homes-just opinions-but thanks for those articles, you’ve now driven me to the right wing of no shoes-ville! Complex! ;}

      • Katherine says:

        Yikes. I just read my post and hear how harsh it sounds. Certainly didn’t mean for it to be offensive. Mainly wanted to post the link and the study. I’d be happy for Ashley to remove the post and just include the link if she finds it helpful for others who are also trying to decide what’s best for their home.

  40. People can do whatever they want in our house, though my kids and I are most comfortable not wearing shoes – though I wear slippers most of the year. :-) My husband doesn’t like removing his shoes.

    One of my pet peeves, though, is feeling like I have to take my shoes off at someone else’s house – my feet are always COLD and I’m then usually very uncomfortable. Sometimes the shoes are part of my outfit and they I look funny without them. OR they are difficult to remove (like boots). I don’t tromp around in the mud and make sure they are clean. Hospitality-wise, I don’t think it should be required of others we invite into our houses. :-)

  41. Oh! I just read the comment above mine – the one that says I’m rude for wanting to keep my shoes on. My only thought is: we are a ridiculously healthy house- my kids have hardly been sick (they are 20 and 16). Hmmm…

  42. Sharmin says:

    We have a “no shoes” policy in our home. It’s mainly about cleanliness. I don’t like the idea of bringing in dirt/germs from outside. I have a cute homemade sign hanging on my door that guests see when they visit. It helps, and I usually don’t have to ask people to take off their shoes.

  43. mary says:

    I live in Minnesota. People up here feel very strongly about not wearing shoes in the house. I am from FL so this was a bit of an adjustment. It makes sense with the winter and spring being most of the year around here.

  44. I grew up in a home where it was an absolute NO NO to wear your shoes past the front door. This rule applied to guests to and I always died of embarrassment about it.

    In my home, we do take our shoes off most of the time, but there are many times where the shoes get worn. I also don’t ask my guests to take off their shoes. I just tend to wash the floor after them come over, not before :)

  45. always no shoes. I even take off my shoes at other people’s houses…unless it’s something where no one else has their shoes off but I think it’s weird to not take off my shoes and I feel really weird when people where shoes when they come over my house. I just don’t know how to tell people that but most of my firends are no shoes in the house kind of people.

  46. Jen says:

    We don’t wear shoes in our house. That’s why there is a huge pile right inside the garage door and right inside the front door. We do ask people to remove their shoes when they come over because we have light colored carpet and I don’t want it messed up.

  47. Autumn says:

    I’m also from Alberta, Canada – wow a lot of us!
    I think no shoes is a Canadian thing but the climate I’m sure has influenced that. We just moved to Vancouver and I’ve noticed many people here don’t remove shoes, even in light carpet -eek! I find it so strange. Kids also don’t have indoor and outdoor shoes here which is unheard of to me, there is rarely snow but tons of rain. We are shoe free other than the front hardwood hall to access the alarm panel. I just think of all the gross stuff being tracked in plus no shoes is way more comfortable!

  48. Tiffany says:

    Love reading all these comments, because this is our great dilemma! My hubby grew up in Canada, everyone took their shoes off when they got to someones house. I grew up in Arizona, we didn’t do that. Now though the clean factor won me over, but I feel very uncomfortable making people take theirs off when they come to our home. It can ruin an outfit, make someone with stinky feet feel uncomfortable, oh and once I had a hole in my sock and I was so embarrassed to have to remove my shoes and show everyone! Plus what about when you’re inside for food and then eating outside? So let me know how you decide to navigate the murky waters… we’re at about 70% shoes off.

  49. Melinda says:

    My parents were a leave your shoes on family and my in-laws take them off. We tend to waver between the two. I prefer off but husband with many laces on his work boots tends to tromp through the kitchen to the bathroom with them on most of the time. I try not to freak myself out about the germs and let guests be comfortable. I have a niece who recently made her 80 some year old father in law sit on a tiny stool to get his shoes off and walk in socks on a slippery floor. To me that goes too far and is unsafe for the guest. I just figure if I am doing what my heart tells me (let the elderly leave them on or any guest who may want to) that is good enough for me…Thanks for the discussion!

  50. Amber says:

    People first! As a host, I want our guests to know that they are welcome and to love them more than myself! I always say if Im asked, “shoes on or shoes off, doesn’t matter. Whatever you are most comfortable with!” :) We do have hardwood floors that are easy to sweep and mop (but haven’t always — at one time we even had white carpet!!). I tend to think it’s kind of condescending when, as an adult, I’m asked at the door to add my shoes to an enormous shoe pile. As much as I like going barefoot in the summer and year round in my own house (where we keep the thermostat up to what my husband complains feels ‘tropical’), when I’m visiting other people, I can feel self conscious of my feet, sometimes they’re cold, sometimes it feels icky to step on their floors, sometimes I just wish I could wear my cute shoes that were the one good part of my outfit! I would never be rude enough to track wet mud. A throw rug, folks! Then people can wipe the bottoms of their shoes and leave them on. Or take them off if they choose.