Asking Guests To Remove Their Shoes – What do you think?

Asking Guests To Remove Their Shoes – What do you think?

Growing up our shoes came off at the front door of our home and any other home we happen to visit – no questions asked. It was just something we did and over time became accustom to. Still, til this day, it’s a habit I personally follow no matter whose home I may be in – but especially in my own.

{Source: Samantha Johnson Interior Design}
While some people have a no shoes policy, others take great offense being asked to remove their shoes in other peoples homes. I never insist that anyone visiting my home must take off their shoes – though 80% of our friends and family automatically do. {I do however admit, when we are expecting a large amount of guests, I sometimes randomly place baskets in the entry way filled with a few pair of our own shoes as a subtle hint}

We spent this weekend moving furniture around and giving our floors {and couches} a thorough cleaning. From the site of the disturbing water picked up it left me feeling a little neurotic; wondering how others may combat the shoe issue…or even if it was a concern to anyone else.

My little guy spends a good part of the day playing on the floor. According to the EPA Tracked in carpet dust is one of the major sources of home exposure to lead, allergen, bacteria, fungi, volatile organic compounds, and pesticides…eew! Not to mention the other dirt and grime {and who knows what else – restrooms – yuck!} found on the ground – everywhere you may go. There is a reason I wear shoes in public…I’m just saying.

So my search is on to find a nice nonchalant way of saying please take off your shoes without being so blatant {but kind of, in the best way possible, really}
Here are a few things I found while browsing around….

A basket of slippers in the entryway for visiting guests from Martha Stewart

Super cute wall lettering from Samantha Johnson Interior Design

An adorable hanging sign you can make yourself from How Does She?

Love this more formal version to attach to the front door
fromAtlas Sign and Plaque – also found on Etsy

Great vintage feel enamel sign fromFurniture Decor Easy

I like the unique look of this glass tile block using Envirotex
from A Blog 4 All Seasons

Simple message rock with chalkboard paint from April’s Craft Nest

Easily said with a welcome mat
from The Personalized Door Mat Company

This rug could potentially have an underlying message for some
from John Pour Home

Here is a free printable from The Organized Housewife

You can even go as far as disposable shoe cover kits from Shoe Eti-Kit

or make your own felt slippers from Martha Stewart

or a basket of no-sew slipper socks from Martha Stewart
{they look cozy but may not pair well with the fancy guests attire}

Do you think it would be weird to leave these slipper genies by the door
from Solutions {ha,ha – just kidding}

There are a lot of different opinions about removing shoes – though I have to side with Martha Stewart when she says remove your shoes at the door, and ask guests to do the same. {I just personally feel the asking part can come across to some as a little rough}

So what do you think?
Do you have a no-shoes household?
If so, what are your strategies for relaying the message to your visiting guests?
I would love to hear your ideas!

Have a wonderful Monday ~ Enjoy.


  1. I’ve never had anyone offended by our shoes-outside household..if the person is older and might have a harder time taking their shoes off and it’s dry outside, or if they’re only coming in for a minute (and it’s dry outside) we’re fine with it…otherwise, pretty much everyone we’ve ever had over automatically takes their shoes off when they come in..i love some of those signs though!

  2. I don’t enforce the no shoe rule, though most kid visitors kick off their shoes at the door because my own kids do it. Honestly, I’d feel weird asking adult visitors to remove their shoes. As for the basket of slippers, my germ-phobic mind is thinking, “When did those last get washed? Whose feet have been wearing these before me?” ☺

    LOVE the barefoot photo block! What a great idea that’s pretty too. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be interested to see the comments. Happy Monday! ☺

  3. Larri – I was thinking the same thing with the slippers – I think they would have to be disposable before I slid my feet into any random shoe =)

  4. We have a no shoes household for the most part and most of our guest automatically remove their shoes without prompting. But I have never posted a sign or asked an adult to remove their shoes (although I have no qualms about asking a kids to).

  5. I’m not a shoe stickler, but most kids just instinctively take off their shoes at the door! the biggest offender in our house is dad!!! love the “shoes off” wood blocks along the baseboards!
    xo, laura

  6. Because we lived in Alaska a number of years we more or less have developed a no shoes policy in our home. However I do break that rule regularly due to an old back condition that is raising its head again. That being said I don’t think we have had to ask anyone recently to take off their shoes… they just do it as they see the shoes sitting by the front door and everyone else barefoot.

    That being said we have had a friend who had the cutest sign which asked people to kindly leave their shoes by the front door. Basically if a person is going to be offended then more than likely they are just looking for an excuse to be offended!

  7. We don’t enforce it. I wish we did but we don’t. Our closest friends take their shoes off upon entering and we don’t wear them at home but we don’t expect others to. We should since we have brand new hardwoods!

  8. we have a no shoe policy but are willing to make exceptions like family members who have foot problems and guests who bring “indoor” shoes…i, as a guest, always bring my own “indoor shoes” because i can’t go barefoot…we live in snow state so most folks are used to bringing shoes and leaving boots by the front door..

  9. While I rarely wear shoes inside, I do not ask my guests to remove theirs.With our extended outdoor area…and walls of doors that open to the lanai, I do not feel comfortable asking guests to be shoeless. We also have dogs…they come in from the outdoors, bringing dirt and more in whenever they come in. So I sweep and “shark” my floors…A LOT!

  10. indoor shoes are show that are only worn in our own home…not outside or in public

  11. our no shoe rule went into effect when i had my son and my obsessiveness about germs went into full-out mode. any service provider that comes into our home has to have wear shoe covers. visiters are kindly asked to remove their shoes. (especially now since we laid $1500 worth of pergo flooring.) actually going to hobby lobby today to get our canvas for the sign. will send you the result later!

  12. I do have a problem asking or being asked to take my shoes off when entering a house. I think its a bit rude to ask people to take their shoes off. What if they have no socks on and dont want to track things off of your floor? What if they have ugly feet and dont want to show everybody? what if they dont like to go barefoot? Yes shoes bring in alot of dirt but if you clean/mop/vacuum then your good….. I hope when you all read this you realize that I am not screaming this nor saying it while wagging my finger at you. I am just stating my thoughts.

    • People here have said that one can simply clean the floors after someone walks through with shoes on to avoid any possible damage (especially to wood floors) but I think that perhaps the damage to the wood occurs instantly as the grit is ground between the shoe and the surface.

  13. we remove our shoes at the door, but store them in the garage. when my kids’ friends come over and if they are playing up in their rooms (where there is carpet) then i’ll politely ask them to remove their shoes. when our adult friends come over, I don’t ask them to remove their shoes. when we were having work done on our house i thought it was so nice of the contractors to remove their shoes or wear plastic over them without me even mentioning it.

  14. I automatically take my shoes off both in my own home and when I’m a guest. I prefer if people take their shoes off in my house, but I honestly don’t fuss about it. I mean…I have a big dog. The outside’s going to come in whether I like it or not. I love the basket of slippers! My grandmother used to knit brightly coloured slippers and kept a basket of them by the front door. I also like the wall lettering. Truth be told…I like to know exactly what someone wants me to do in their home, rather than accidentally insulting someone!

  15. I think it is downright rude to wear my shoes through some ones home space….who knows what I have trodden in at some point or another….whether they look clean or not. And my home space takes allot of cleaning and my grandchildren invariably end up on the floor…..NO SHOES PLEASE…and if this offends people then they obviously have no respect for our space……lol rant over

  16. Maybe this is a regional thing, but I’ve never had to ask anyone and I’ve never even heard about wearing shoes into someone’s house. Especially living in the country, most people leave there gummy’s on the porch. Interesting 😉

  17. I think it’s rude to walk into someone’s home with your shoes on. Like Duncan said, it’s a matter of respecting someone else’s space. As a visitor, you’re only there for a short period of time so it won’t kill you to leave your shoes at the door for the few hours you’re there as a guest. Why should your hosts have to clean up whatever gunk you’ve brought into their home after you leave?

  18. I have thought about this a lot too. As yet, I haven’t done anything about asking people to leave their shoes at the door but now I am considering it. We do have a basket at our garage door where we leave ours. Now, I’m thinking of expanding our no shoe house!

  19. We have shoe drawers in the mudroom of our house, and my children and grandchildren automatically take off their shoes when they come in. They put them in the drawers (so puppy doesn’t chew them). I do not know if I feel comfortable posting a sign, but I am thinking about it. My husband is the worst offender, and he becomes irritated if I remind him!

  20. This is really eye-opening to me. I am surprized by the number of people commenting who do ask folks to take off their shoes before coming in. I don’t like it one litte bit when folks ask me to take my shoes off or put on shoe covers, etc. It makes me feel like they are germaphobes or neurotic…but maybe I’m the crazy one for not liking to be told to take my shoes off.

    • I was the same way until I started a window cleaning company and knew my shoes would be wet and muddy. So I leave my shoes outside customers homes without waiting to be asked.

  21. as of right now we don’t have a no shoes in the house policy but once we are finished with our new flooring we will. i know sometimes its a hassle but its out of respect for the homeowner and what they believe is best for their house. plus if you have little children its a good way to eliminate some of the germs.

  22. This is interesting to me, especially since I just watched a rerun of the Sex and the City episode where Carrie has to take her shoes off at a party and they get stolen. 🙂 I do not request that guests remove shoes, but we do try to always take off our own inside our own house. Generally, if I’m visiting, I take off my shoes or take cues from the host and remove mine if they go shoeless. If I was hosting a party, I would not ask guests to remove shoes, but would clean up afterwards. We also have a big dog and just have to keep up with cleaning the floors.

  23. Growing up, we didn’t take our shoes off all the time. It was hit-or-miss. My husband, on the other hand, came from a house where shoes were always removed when you got home. So when we moved in together, I started taking my shoes off when I got home. It was a little annoying at first, but the carpet does stay cleaner.

  24. these are all very cute ideas! I love the letters along the bottom of the wall! thanks for sharing them all.

  25. I really think it should be up to the person. I have a foot problem that makes it painful for me to go barefooted, and I really don’t think it’s appropriate to wear shoes in my house and then ask guests to remove theirs. I think guests should be allowed to be comfortable in your home, whether it means removing their shoes or leaving them on. Isn’t that what brooms and mops are for! (By the way, we just installed beautiful new bamboo flooring and I simply added more rugs by the doors.)

  26. I have rarely walked into a house where shoes were removed, or guests were asked to remove their shoes. I can really only think of a handful of times I was asked to remove my shoes (even living in Germany for 4 years), which of course I did, cringing when I had sandals on and grateful when I was wearing socks. I don’t mind taking my shoes off (heck, everyone does in the winter), but like I said, I feel self conscious being barefoot in someone else’s home. Also the idea of wearing non-disposable slippers is icky.

  27. I just read what Cristy said and she stated the barefoot issue perfectly. I’ve lived predominantly in the northeast and have moved 13 times and am wondering if this is a regional thing. Or even generational thing – is the younger generation more germ conscious or do they do a better job of speaking up and not having people track in stuff that they would have to clean up?

    AUGUST 8, 2011 7:15 AM

  28. I have always wanted to have a ‘no shoe’ rule for our home too! I kick my shoes off at the door but my family (including hubby) does not adhere to it and our carpet shows it! I like the idea of offering those who may be a bit iffy about it a pair of new slippers or flip flops but haven’t had the guts to actually go for it. Winter is the hardest… I keep the carpet cleaner plugged in on stand by! The germs do make you think about what could possibly coming home with you!

  29. Maybe this is regional like someone else suggested?? It doesn’t happen often around here at all but this just happened to me at a client’s home. It almost made me feel stupid/embarassed, like “duh, you should always take off your shoes in someone’s home”. I then had to give them my design presentation barefoot, I felt weird and unprofessional. I understand the germ/dirt issue especially when you have kids who play on the floor. You have the right to do what you want in your own home but some people will be offended, it made me very uncomfortable.

    • I felt that same way when I started my window washing company. On my very first job my customer removed her shoes before entering her home, so before I entered to clean her windows inside, I asked her if I should remove my shoes first. It felt weird at first but now I always offer or just take them off.


  30. I’ve heard that shoes off is a cultural thing. Here, in Canada, it is common. You never wear your shoes in your house nor anyone elses home. I once saw this debate on The View (The one time I watched it) and all I could think was ‘how dirty are their floors!?’
    There is no need to post signs, ask or put baskets out just don’t wear shoes in a home.

  31. Now Kate that makes perfect sense and would make me feel unprofessional too if I think about it. Thanks for sharing that perspective. I have a hard time saying something to family and friends – I would feel so funny asking a complete stranger.

    I know not all people like to have to remove their shoes {for various reasons} – I am just a little more concern with the fact that my son has so many allergen problems and health issues – that shoes may perhaps be bringing into our home and irritating my little guy. According to the EPA cleaning and vacuuming will remove the dirt but a lot of toxins brought in are left behind – a little scary if you have little ones, especially ones that have severe allergies.

    While I just feel a little hesitant to blatantly ask others to remove their shoes, I do feel a sign or another way of conveying the message might be a better alternative to approach it – If someone still leaves their shoes on then I would feel that there, at least, may be other issues at hand why they personally do not want to remove their shoes – and be ok with it.

    We have hardwood throughout our home now with just area rugs and it has been a real eye opener of everything that actually hides in carpets.

    Thanks everyone for Sharing their thoughts!

  32. We are a shoes off at the door house. We all wear slippers and i would my guests to do the same. We dont provide guest slippers, but regular visitors keep their own pair in the closet adjacent to the entrance hall.All our guests know about our rule so its not necessary to ask them. We try and warn people in advance who may not know our shoes off rule so they can make provision when they come.

  33. Definitely no shoes!! It’s your home and your rules. I think it’s funny that people think vaccuming actually cleans the gunk off of carpets. It may get up the dirt, but it doesn’t clean the nasty germs that shoes track in. I think when you go into someone’s home, you should respect their space. If they say no shoes, then take your shoes off! And if you don’t like the rule, invite them to your house istead.

  34. Very interesting debate…not something we do in the south much…what bothers me is that I’m more concerned about what many people carry on their bare feet(or socks) than their shoes…direct skin contact isn’t often “good”.
    Have a great day!!!

  35. We never wore shoes in our home. At one point, we got new hardwood floors and my mom put up a sign that said, “Please remove shoes–new wood floor.” It is still up 10 years later. Haha

    I think it’s rude to wear shoes in someone else’s house. They have worked to make it clean and perfect so that you can enter it, so you shouldn’t be worried about going barefoot there.

    I have rugs near the front door that we line up a few shoes on when guests are coming. They almost always take off their shoes without asking. (And this is true in the three different corners of the country I have lived.)

  36. We have usually been a no shoes in the house family, but not 100% strict about it. We have a shoe rack in the entry with our own shoes on it and usually other people (who notice the rack) either take their shoes off automatically or ask if they should. Usually if I go into someone’s home where there’s no indication of a preference, I don’t worry about it.

    I think the best thing is for people on both sides to have understanding of unique situations. If there’s a specific reason to request the removal of shoes, then maybe specify on a sign near a basket, shoe rack or rug. If there’s a specific reason why you don’t want to remove your shoes, then ask for an exception if they have a no-shoes policy.

  37. I have never been asked to take my shoes off…my father in law made a rule when they got new carpet years ago that we weren’t allowed to take our shoes off..he had heard that the oils from your feet make carpet dirty faster.. I would feel so rude asking my guest to remove their shoes..I’m imagining asking a 80 year old to bend over and take off her shoes…I am old school..some germs make for healthier kids..

  38. Feet are highly susceptible for staph infection. I rarely go barefoot in my own home and would never go barefoot anywhere else.

  39. yes! i always ask people to take off their shoes! my kiddos tell them too! all of my friends and family know the drill! my kids like to play and roll around on the floor and i can only imagine what yuck is on the bottom of ones shoe! gross! i cant imagine someone being offended! you cant help what you step in! we just dont want it on our floors! i have to admit i am a freak about this!

  40. It’s and unspoken rule here in Hawaii… “Mahalo for removing your slippers” can be found in almost everyone’s entry way, front porch, etc. (including mine!)

  41. I saw a cute sign that I’m going to put in our foyer that says “NO SHOES REQUIRED.”

    Little bit casual, little bit serious. : )

  42. I can see both sides of this debate. We do not have a no shoe policy in our home but kids and grandkids have always shed shoes at the door. I do have a sign at my door that does say Please Wipe Your Feet Before Entering and I keep a good mat just for that at the entrance of the stairs into the house. I makie sure the mat is in good order and most people do wipe their shoes before coming in.

    I was brought up to wipe my feet. I did at the door going into work and when I go into a store that has a rug at the entrance way I wipe my feet.

    I did notice that it was mentioned about the oil on your feet makiing the carpet dirty faster. That is so true and oilo stains are hard to get to come clean.

    I wear slippers in my home most of the time unless I am going to be in and out of the house a lot. Then it is shoes for me.


  43. I don’t insist on shoes off in our house. We don’t have carpets, the floors must be cleaned regularly (thank you messy pre-schoolers!), and I believe a little exposure to dirt and germs is a good immune booster.

    Of course, if shoes are particularly wet or muddy, they come off at the door, and usually we do take off even our dry shoes, but it’s not a big deal if they stay on.

  44. I should also add that my husband’s mom is a hoarder — the extreme kind you see on the tv show (although it wasn’t quite as bad when he was living there), and he has the most amazing immune system.

  45. As soon as we walk in the door, we all remove our shoes, weather at home or not. My daughter even tries to do it at church! I don’t really ask people to remove their shoes, but it is obvious by the pile of shoes next to the front door. I have friends who live in Newfoundland, Canada. They tell me that there, everyone takes off their shoes as soon as they walk in the door. Most people have a mat of some kind for wet shoes. They have a basket near the door with slippers and socks of all sizes for guests to use. Everyone wears either the slippers or socks. I think it also can depend on where you live. Here in VA, in the winter everyone removes their shoes as soon as they step inside, so they don’t track mud and muck around. I think it is great to ask people to remove their shoes. I love some of the signs! It wouldn’t work in my house, as you enter right into the living room, but they are still cute!

  46. I to am from Canada and we never wear our shoes in the house or need to ask anyone to remove them as everyone goes by the same policy. Tho I have on occassion brought an “inside” pair of shoes to wear to a party rather than walk around barefoot.

  47. My 3 year old usually tells people to take off their shoes when they come in our house 🙂 I wonder how long before that becomes obnoxious!

  48. I never go without shoes in this house as the tile floors are hard and uneven and there might be stinging desert critters. I don’t expect other people to remove their shoes unless they are muddy and in all of my 69 years have rarely been in a home where I am expected to remove my shoes. However, the one exception is at my daughter’s home where they have light colored wood floors and I respect their wishes.

  49. I never go without shoes. Ever. I have trouble with my feet and legs, and to walk or even to stand without shoes is painful. I have substantial house shoes with rubber soles that I wear when I first get out of the shower, but as soon as I put on my clothes I put on my shoes. So it would never occur to me to take off my shoes in any person’s house. I do wipe my feet carefully when I enter someone’s home, but I don’t remove my shoes. If a host were to ask me to remove my shoes, I’d do it, but I wouldn’t be able to be comfortable in that home. I would certainly never ask an adult to remove his or her shoes in my home.

    What’s funny, though, is that my kids take off their shoes the minute the come in the door, and most of their friends do the same thing. When we have parties with lots of kids, I’m always grateful that the kids leave their dirty shoes at the door–I’m very touched by the gesture.

    With three boys and two dogs, our floors get dirty. When my boys were small, I did a LOT of mopping. Just goes with the territory. 🙂

  50. My husband can’t go barefoot due to some foot pain problems he has. So, although I enjoy being barefoot we have never asked people to remove their shoes in our home. I think it is kind of annoying when people want adults to remove their shoes for a number of reasons. What if the person is uncomfortable going barefoot? I would feel comfortable at a good friend’s home if it was just the two of us, but if it were a party with people I didn’t know it would feel strange. What if someone’s socks had holes? What if someone’s pants were too long once their shoes were removed? What if someone feels gross about walking on someone else’s floor without shoes? I actually think it is rather rude to invite someone to your home and then immediately cause them to feel uncomfortable by suggesting they must remove their shoes to be welcome in your home.
    I understand about not wanting to track all sorts of stuff into your home. But I guess that is what a mop and vacuum are for. I do think it is fine to have a basket for shoes or whatever to let people know they are welcome to remove their shoes if that is what they are most comfortable doing.
    Instead of slippers you could possibly provide slipper socks that could be easily washed for those who might want to remove their shoes.

  51. We leave our shoes at the door because our house is very small, and if they are in one place I won’t be tripping over all of them! But I would never ask a guest to remove their shoes, or any other article of clothing, for that matter, unless they wish and offer to do so. I personally dislike being barefoot in a stranger’s home.

  52. Hubby & I never wear our shoes in the house and neither did my boys growing up. All their friends would remove their shoes before entering and most of our family.
    I always take my shoes off when I enter someones home … if I dont think I will be comfortable I bring along slippers.
    I believe I would ask (real nice)
    or place a sign ….
    “Due to some health issues could you please remove your shoes”. I would think friends and family will have no problem. For anyone who does mind I would hand them the shoe covers and then probably not invite them back. Good Luck I think your son’s health is way more important than some one who might get their feeling hurt.
    Hugs ~ Connie

  53. I grew up in a family who always taught us to take our shoes off before entering someone’s home. My husband has a family who doesn’t do that, and it drives me absolutely crazy! It got to the point where my elderly father-in-law brought his own slippers to keep at our house because he claimed that his feet got cold. I understand how some people think it’s rude to ask, but it really bothered me when my kids were babies and crawling all over the floors.

    One thing that really bothers me is that my brother-in-law will scream at my kids if they even step a foot within his tiled floor with their shoes on, but when he comes to my house he NEVER takes his shoes off! Now THAT ticks me off!

  54. When I lived in Minnesota we removed our snow boots on entering someone’s house during the winter and brought backups to put on on entering.

    Having lived in Southern California now for the past 30 years going barefoot is expected. The shoes go off the minute I get home. Never have I even thought of asking guests to remove their shoes even though I am walking around without. However, I find that the only time I have been asked to remove my shoes has been when someone has installed either a new wood floor or new carpet. The comments I have heard from whispering guests is that the hosts feel their floors are more important than their guests.

  55. We have a basket next to the door in hopes our guests will “Get the idea” but we don’t push it. I really love the wooden letters though, that would settle it right away.

  56. I love the idea of removing your shoes. I lived in Austria for a yr and a half, and you ALWAYS remove your shoes. Almost everyone owns a dog and almost everyone walks… thus, shoes are not welcome inside. Europeans often remove their shoes outside their apartment door and then have “house shoes” for themselves and their guests to wear inside. (In Austria they’re called Patschen. 🙂 They’re thin and fairly inexpensive. Anyway, I love the idea, and I don’t think it’s at all impolite to ask people to take off their shoes. But I do appreciate the idea of giving them something else to put on. (Martha totally got the idea from Europeans.)

  57. What an interesting conversation….We often entertain and I would be uncomfortable asking my guests to remove their shoes. I just can’t see adults at a dinner party in beautiful clothing walking around without their shoes.

    When I extend hospitality to others, my main goal is to open my home and make my guests comfortable—so if they choose to take off their shoes great, but if they keep them on then I am great with that too.

  58. Growing up in Canada, it’s a given that shoes are removed at the door. No matter where we have moved to, people have always instinctively taken their shoes off. Maybe it’s because for a big part of the year, our climate of snow and wet weather means footwear would automatically be removed so it becomes a habit, whereas in warm climates where flip flops are more common all year round, it’s less of an issue…?
    I love that we remove our shoes. I don’t want to track in sidewalk dirt (including dog poop) into my home. And luckily, I’ve never had to post a sign to ask.

  59. We are a no shoe household. My kids automatically do it now (3 and 1 1/2) and we do it as well. I think it keeps the floors much cleaner and we don’t end up with the worlds ‘funk’ in the house from our shoes. I provide a seating area for guests to take their shoes off and enforce it strictly (so do my kids!!! they tattle on anyone who forgets!!!). My mother and her husband are the only ones that have an obvious and stated issue (which is odd because they usually take their shoes off at their house), but a rule is a rule. We take our shoes off at others houses (whether they do or not) unless they have really scary floors as well.

  60. When I was married to my first husband we had a no shoe policy and most of my friends and my children’s friends were totally OK with it. When I remarried, my husband had always worn shoes in the house so I loosened my standards. By this time all my kids were older so the crawling issue was a non issue. Really I feel funny now, coming into someone’s home and having to remove my shoes unless I have socks on, so I think a basket of socks would be a nice touch. Those could be laundered and replaced easily. Anyway just my take on it.

  61. YES!!

  62. One point that hasn’t been mentioned yet is how dirty feet can also be. I always walk around barefoot inside or outside at my own home and don’t always think to take the time to wash my feet before I leave my house. there is a reason socks turn brown and shoes stink. I feel that no mater what you do germs and toxins are going to be tracked in.

    As a side note in the Hawaiian culture the home is considered sacride and wearing shoes into a home defiles the sacrideness of it. I always removed my shoes before going into anyones home when I lived there, and even felt bad when I would enter mine in a hurry and not take mine off.
    I think Japan also has a simmilar tradition.

  63. It’s funny, where I live people automatically take their shoes off as they come in. Maybe they think I am just too pernickety to start with??? Actually I think it’s because they see out muddy shoes at the door and me in my slippers they assume they should do the right thing. I just prefer to wear slippers indoors as they are more comfy round the house.

  64. Love all the different ideas you found I have always made the kids take there shoes off! Love the green floor cleaner ones if I had that type of flooring you bet everyone would wear them!!! LOL

  65. I take my shoes off and put slippers on in the house because it’s more comfortable. But I wouldn’t ask my guests to remove their shoes unless it’s winter or raining and their shoes are particularly dirty. I think most people are aware of the condition of their shoes and are fairly respectful. To ask people to take shoes off because of germs and such is ridiculous. Unless you live in a bubble, germs are everywhere. It helps make us stronger if we can fight them off.

  66. Being asked to take my shoes off is like asking me to undress! I always wear shoes. I’ve never asked my 4 kids to take their shoes off (or tried to clean my dogs feet every time he comes in the house and we are a very healthy family. I willingly take my shoes off if someone asks, but . . . it seems kind of weird to me.

  67. Growing up I’ve visited houses that are both ways. Its a pretty big hint when there are a bunch of shoes next to the door, and usually when you’re younger your friend tells you to take off your shoes. BUT that being said I really don’t like taking my shoes off unexpectedly. I don’t like the way my feet look, so I”m really uncomfortable taking my shoes off in front of other people. Its nice when there are things like slipper socks ect to put on instead, or if someone is visiting your house for a party a polite mention that you don’t allow shoes in the house and that it would be ok for a guest to bring slippers ect is appreciated.

    I don’t have carpets in the ground floor of my home at all, so I’m not concerned with guests destroying my carpets/tracking in anything gross, and I just sweep and mop after everyone leaves. (I have children, yes they play on the floor) Kids play outside in the dirt/mud/whatever is in the dirt/mud and no one thinks about that. Its GOOD for kids to be exposed to germs, it helps them build up a tolerance as they get older.

    So to sum it up, I don’t wear shoes in my house, but I don’t ask guests to take their shoes off. I’m not offended by being asked to take my shoes of in someone’s house, but it often leaves me feeling uncomfortable. And just generally, I make sure that my shoes are clean before entering someone’s home. I wipe them on the mat outside, or I will take them off. I would NEVER track mud through someone’s home. That is just bad manners. I think it all just comes down to personal experiences. If someone is offended by being asked to take off their shoes in your house, they probably aren’t someone you want to come back.

  68. Personally, having an animal…any animal in your home is more offensive to me than wearing shoes indoors. Slobber all over the sliding glass door windows, hair on the furniture and floors, licking their butt then licking me…yuck. I’d rather keep my shoes on thank you!

  69. This is an eye opening discussion for me… don’t know if it is bc I am from the south or not, but I am nearly always barefoot. We all instinctively take our shoes off when we come home just as a measure of comfort (instruments of torture that shoes are)… but I have never before thought about a “shoes off policy” being something that other ppl would insist upon.
    What about the stink factor? I mean, I have this pair of flats… shew-eee. Embarassing! just sayin’ 😉

  70. I never used to ask people to take their shoes off, even tho I am almost always bare foot at home. Then I had lovely wooden flooring installed and it was ruined by heel impressions! So another new floor was laid and now people do have to remove their shoes. It’s nothing to do with the dirt – I can clean up any mud that accidentally gets brought it. But I am not going to lay new flooring every time someone wears 4 inch heels into my home! I do however warn friends to bring socks/slippers if I know they are visiting 🙂

  71. Growing up in Canada, removing our shoes or boots in the ‘mudroom’ was just what we all did. Not only did it confine the germs to one area, but it also kept the carpets much cleaner. It was just a sign of respect…those coming into your home respected that you wanted to keep your floors clean and you did the same when you entered others homes. I found after moving to the US that this was not a common practice here. I require my children to leave their shoes at the door, but I do wear mine (doctors orders). I think a small sign or the basket of slippers at the door definitely sends the message without being rude. Remember, it is YOUR home. Don’t be afraid to ask visitors to respect that.
    Just my 2 bits 🙂 Cindy

  72. Nobody should be afraid to ask guests to remove their shoes, nine times out of ten, they are not going to be bothered.

    We ask people to do things all the time. Knowing how to make a polite request is simply part of growing up.

    A no-shoe rule is simply one intelligent adult asking another intelligent adult to do something reasonable. And if people have a good reason for not removing their shoes (workmen with safety issues, somebody who is 80 or somebody with a medical issue) then you can make exceptions. It’s really not a problem.

    I have an whole blog about removing shoes in homes: Shoes Off at the Door, Please You might like to take a look.

  73. Just watched the Sex and the City where Carrie had to remove her shoes at a party and her monolos were stolen…..too funny. People either do it instinctively or ask should they or I’ve encountered people who react angrily and are insulted as if you are insulted their integrity. It is your house, your rules, to me a minor issue and if they don’t like it and take issue with it, I say who needs them LOL

  74. Hi everyone!

    I’m Susana from Portugal (southern europe) and i found this discussion very interesting…Here in Portugal we never ask our guests to remove their shoes Normaly we use shoes at home and if we are guests we never remove shoes 🙂
    I am nearly always barefoot when i’m at home but it’s only because i like it and i must say that that it’s not common here.


  75. I think it comes down to personal preferences and how inviting you want your home to be and feel it is sort of rude ask someone to unless exceedingly wet or dirty.

    I usually have a mat outside to wipe feet and also one inside the door.

    I have only asked close family members with wet or dirty shoes to remove their shoes and most of my son’s friends would kick off the above without having to be asked (probably because they have in their house). Otherwise, I consider it the cost of being a gracious host.

    While leaving cute suggestion reminders asking people to remove their shoes, I would be grossed out and offended if someone asked me to put on a general slipper or shoe cover to enter their home (and would not return their again) unless I had wet or dirty shoes.

  76. I guess I never thought about it much. I live in Hawaii and it’s pretty much second nature in most households for people to take their shoes off before entering someone’s home, even if there aren’t shoes in front of the doorway already. (Even at a baby shower I went to last weekend, there were about 65 people there and the food was inside while the tables were set up outside. People took their shoes off before entering the house without being asked to. It was a little chaotic, but kind of interesting when I think about it.)
    When I lived in Las Vegas, I had a pile of my own shoes just inside the door out of habit, but I found that when others came over, they didn’t need to be asked to take their shoes off. A friend of mine once told me that they saw my shoes by the door so they just followed my example. I never asked anyone to take their shoes off and didn’t mind if someone decided to come in with their shoes on (especially if it was one of the maintenance workers or something because of their work boots and them being a pain to remove and put back on).

  77. oooh now this is a topic very close to my heart. We are a no shoe home. Our entry has an area where we take our shoes off, and most people do not have to be asked.

    Growing up in Asia, we *had* to take our shoes off before entering the house. It had to do with cleanliness. Think about it this way, you walk into public restroom and what’s on those floors? That’s what get tracked inside the house.

    My friends & family know, we get a little push back from my in-laws, but I have avoided that issue by having their slippers at the ready when they come over. If there are some who are uncomfortable, I promptly sweep & mop my floors after. We have mostly tiles on our floors.

  78. What an interesting topic for debate and one that I am currently giving much thought to.

    I have no policy in my home, I wear my shoes indoors as do my guests. That said I do have several pairs and will slip out of the ones used for walking about, taking the dog out or work.

    I only have one or two friends that insist on guests taking their shoes off, it is kinda obvious anyway with those folks who are anti shoe and so the polite thing to do when visiting such a home would be to offer to remove footwear (or state that it is doctors orders that they remain on) before the host asks which avoids any awkwardness on both sides. I don’t think you should enforce the issue unless the weather is nasty or something major like that. Good guests and friends should know anyway.

    I don’t agree however with the offering of slippers, that is actually pretty disgusting. Asking guests to wear those is probably far more offensive than just asking them to take off their shoes. Also if your floors look dirty or are covered in pet hair and I still can’t keep my shoes on then i’m turning around and walking away. lol

    The key has to be ‘when in rome…’

  79. We have a now shoe policy that was implemented when our new almost white carpet was installed. Not to mention the fact we live in a sand area where sand burrs and stickers are everywhere.

    My husband has no qualms about asking anyone to remove their shoes. We’ve made a few exceptions over the years such as my 95 year old grandma. But for the most part EVERYONE is asked to remove them.

    My MIL did have a sign made for me that is in my entry. “Unless you are God or George Strait please remove your shoes.” It’s a great way to say it without having to actually say it. LOL

  80. I feel it is extremely rude if you are a guest or family or friend and go over to someones house and dont at least offer to take off your shoes. My mother in law is awful about this, she refuses to take off her shoes, and when she first comes over i can see her waiting at the entry looking down at all the other shoes and then when i dont say anthing she just walks right on our carpet like she is better than everyone else. We have a 9 month old baby and she still walks her shoes around where our poor child crawls. Yes it may make some feel uncomfortable when a hostess asks you to please remove your shoes but as a hostess we shouldnt have to ask in the first place! Dont make us ask, just take off your shoes. Unless your the one who is going to vacuum/steam clean the floors for the person then dont complain about it. It is NOT a big deal to remove your shoes, think about the person who works hard to keep things clean.

  81. I have very sweaty feet and also toenail fungus. Would you want me to walk around your house? What about warts? I would never ask a guest to take their shoes off in my house which is hard wood throughout.

  82. As someone with severe joint problems, I get offended if someone asks me to take off my shoes but doesn’t have a place near the door where I can sit to do so. It’s hard enough to reach my feet sitting down, much less balancing or trying to sit down on the floor and then get back up. I also have problems getting cold easily, and if someone’s house isn’t really warm, then the warmth of my shoes helps avoid extra physical pain. Even if you are asking folks to remove their shoes I think that it would show better hospitality to make clear that it is optional depending on your guests needs.

  83. I love that such a random topic is getting so much action! I agree with those who say it may be a regional or city/rural distinction, bc it was rare where I grew up. People with light or new carpet had you take off your shoes, but no one else unless shoes were very wet or muddy, in which case common sense usually prevailed without request. I also find people with older homes (depression era or earlier) seems to be more relaxed about the shoe issue, as well (maybe since not all floor plans have foyers or mudrooms).

    As long as we are talking about respect and manners, my take is if I invite you into my home, it is my job as the host to make you feel welcome and comfortable. I generally don’t want my feet on display, but have no problem taking off my shoes if you have somewhere for me to do so comfortably (not clutching my purse on a tiny wet or dirty entry mat and hanging onto the door handle to avoid falling over onto the precious floor while being accosted by pets & kids), and have something for me to put on my feet (a basket of clean socks is fine, no need to sew up something special). If you, as the host, can’t make those arrangements, then don’t have people over or don;t worry about it. It’s not like asking for a special vegan meal at an annual ribs & burger barbeque, the effort here is pretty minimal to keep guests comfy and the host happy. I am not wagging my finger at anyone, but I find it baffling that people sound upset about having to wash their carpets and floors. Most homeowners do it a few times a week anyway – what’s the big deal (nasty crusty kid shoes aside)? Of course, if there is a health condition to consider that is another story. More often than not, I find it’s a little more akin to the food service person taking your money while they have gloves on, then making your food with the same gloves on (ick!) believing they have “clean hands” – while insisting guests remove their shoes, the host has a gritty dirty floor that leaves feet or socks visibly dirty (equally ick!). I only know one person who has special “indoor shoes” in her purse. The thought of putting shoes in my purse (even in a cute bag) is as gross to me as shoes on the floor is to some of you. Hope we can enjoy a laugh together!

  84. For the block with the transparency. Did you put the transparency on the front of the block or the back of the block. I am trying to make one with a picture of my grandchild it is just not as clear as yours.

  85. As much as we paid for our beautiful new hardwood floors to be installed I had guest over the following week, (an emergency gathering for a candlelight vigil) and some women’s ragedy heels put heel indentations all over our new hardwoods. I was so pissed. We keep a basket of new socks at the front door so we did our part to make it as easy and as comfortable as possible to do. I don’t think it’s to much to ask, especially if you’re accommodating your guest.

  86. I think it would be easier being a Chinese or Japanese because in the chinese or Japanese culture, it is rude to wear outside shoe in someone else home. I hope someone invents a shoes alarm for inconsiderate people who refuse to take off shoes if you want them to.

  87. I don’t see anyhing wrong in taking your shoes off befor entering a home, the socks ideal is a good one. Just remember to check your shoes before putting them back on, especially if they have been left outside as spiders and other bugs love to get inside them.

  88. I think it is absolutely disgusting to wear shoes inside a home. I ask people to take their shoes off when they come to my home. If they don’t like it, they are free to not come back. People should respect others’ homes and wishes.

  89. This is the first blog post I’ve come across regarding this issue where anyone has mentioned the notion of respect for another person’s house. The reasons vary and are rarely just about cleanliness. It’s often about religion and culture. But the reason doesn’t matter.
    I have a pile of shoes near the front door, I consistently answer the door in bare feet, and I cannot believe the amount of people who will breeze right by all that anyway, forcing me to say something. Most of the time they are genial about it, but they still make me ask.
    Of course most decent human beings want their guests to feel comfortable, but personally I think it’s much ruder to expect concern for one’s own preferences before wanting to be a respectful guest.
    I’m flabbergasted by the few who, having been requested to remove shoes, refuse!
    Wait, that was just the in-laws.

  90. I never asked my guest to remove their shoes when they come in my house. Ever since the kids were babies, we never bring our dirty shoes inside the house as it is also all carpeted. When we have parties, friends come over and some bring their shoes at home . My husband is always mad because of that… : no more parties” Just imagine where are those shoes have been. It disgusting!!! When I visit friends, i always leave my shoes out, unless I see everybody else is wearing their shoes in the house. I did this one day, and of course, I got my dirty feet. For me , its a courtesy to the owner.. When you come to their homes, and you see that people remove their shoes, please follow suit.. Now I have to buy this item because.. hey my house is brand new and my carpet are clean.. No pets in the house either…Cant wait to have this item sent to me.. I bought one for my sissy too.. They got the same problem all the time… Please have some respect..

  91. I never used to ask my guests to remove their shoes until I got sick. My immune system doesn’t work like it should and I now have difficulties fighting off the diseases from the germs that come into my home on the bottom of other people’s shoes. So I ask people to remove their shoes for my health. It also does help keep the house remarkably cleaner.

  92. I grew up removing outdoor shoes before entering our house. My husband does the opposite. I just can’t imagine how one would use their outdoor shoes inside their house. I feel like you’re living with germs and bacteria all over and it’s as if you’re living in the street literally. We came to a compromise that no outdoor shoes inside the house. Posted a sign at the door and bought disposable shoe covers for everybody. Some ignore the sign and all I want is kick them out of the house (although, I can’t dod that) and scream “GERMS”. Once they leave, I go clean and sanitize the floor. And that’s not an easy job for a freak out mom like me but i’d rather have the floors clean than walking on it thinking how much germs and other things are on the floor… I’m glad it’s not just me who feels uncomfortable if somebody walks inside the house with their outdoor shoes.


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