Some homes are strict shoe-free zones, which means that you’re asked to remove your shoes upon entering. And while it’s all very well to kick off your shoes in your own home, how do you feel about doing that somewhere else? Are you comfortable walking around in socks, hosiery or bare feet?
My late Mum’s asian heritage was probably the reason that we wore slippers or house shoes, or walked bare foot at home when I was growing up. In Greg’s house, on the other hand, there was never an expectation to remove shoes indoors. But he has adapted to my family’s custom and these days we always remove our shoes as soon as we arrive home. So I completely understand strict shoe-free homes and I’m happy to remove my shoes at the door if that is the wish of our host.
That being said, I actually prefer to keep my shoes on in someone else’s home. The main reason is that unless I’m on a beach, I am not comfortable walking around bare feet. Wooden floors hurt my fussy feet, I worry about stubbing my toes, I’m often cold, and I don’t like the feeling of particles under my feet. A carpeted floor is a little better and wearing socks does take off the edge. But still, I’d rather not expose my feet at all.
Ideally, I need to bring along house slippers when I visit shoe-free houses. Sometimes I forget. I must, must, must make a greater effort to remember my slippers because it would make all parties happy. My brother has a shoe-free house and actually keeps Japanese slippers in several sizes by the door for his guests. This is a great solution.
A secondary reason that I’m sometimes reluctant to remove my shoes is that without them, my outfit feels incomplete. At an occasion where people are a little dressed up it feels strange to take off ones’ shoes.
Although we always wear slippers at home, we do not ask our guests to remove their shoes unless they prefer to do so. It helps that the entertaining area of our house has wooden floors, and guests seldom need to go upstairs where there is wall to wall carpet. When guests stay with us though, we do suggest that they bring along a pair of slippers or house shoes to wear upstairs if they are not comfortable in their socks or bare feet.
What’s your view on indoor shoe etiquette? Do you ask people to remove their shoes in your house? Do you mind removing your footwear when you visit other homes?