Is it so bad to ask someone to take off their shoes in your home?

(563 Posts)
BlueVernis Wed 05-Dec-12 11:58:21

As huge row has broken out between my sister inlaw (SIL) and myself, after I asked her to take of her shoes when she came to my house!
She came over with a few other inlaws late one night as they were passing by. It was raining outside and we have carpet in our living room, which is quite new. Also, my kids like to play on the living room carpet.
My SIL came in and I asked her if she could take her shoes off. She told me that it was a hassle to take of her shoes. I just looked at her and said in a half joke-half serious way that I would have to get some kitchen roll and wipe her shoes then. Then I left her in the hallway and went to the kitchen to put the kettle on.
A few minutes later I heard her screaming at DH in the hallway, saying that I insulted her by not allowing her into my home and I have no right to ask her to take her shoes off as she is the older SIL. She rang my MIL and was going on and on that I had insulted her etc.
She then went outside, shouting and yelling (I'm sure the neighbours loved it!) and sat in the car and refused to come in.
I'm fuming with her behaviour as I don't think my request was wrong. I have been brought up to take off my shoes in other people's homes, and I even make my kids do the same, whether the house they go to are carpeted or laminated.
Was I being unreasonable?

RobotLover68 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:00:21

I think it's rude - sorry - but your SIL was being ridiculous and over-reacting

I would hate to be asked to take my shoes off in someones house. It seems a bit precious to me.

Your SIL sounds quite immature though.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 05-Dec-12 12:01:38

It's your home OP, if you want people to take their shoes off it's your call.

Spons Wed 05-Dec-12 12:02:21

Nope, you weren't being U at all. However, people on here think its the height of rudeness to ask people to take shoes off!

LulaPalooza Wed 05-Dec-12 12:02:27

I also think it's rude to make people take their shoes off unless they are covered in mud. If you're worried about germs, there are likely to be just as many inside the shoe as outside.

However, it sounds as though your SIL's reaction was over the top

Cezzy Wed 05-Dec-12 12:02:28

YANBU - we take ours off and the children do too, and my ILs really annoy me by walking all over without taking theirs off! We have a mix of hard floors and carpet and it really annoys me that I clean the floors then they walk all over with shoes that have been on dirty gravel and pavements where they have picked up who knows what! Especially as children often sit on the floor to play you are quite within your rights to ask, and family especially should respect your wishes. Stick to your principles! Next time you go to hers, wear really dirty wellies!

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Wed 05-Dec-12 12:03:33

WTF??? Why go so ballistic though? and say 'I'm the older SIL??!!' that's absolutely insane! Is there more to this OP? Do you get on with her generally? How come she doesn't already know your house rule?

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Wed 05-Dec-12 12:04:45

This topic comes up every so often on MN and opinion seems to be divided.

Personally, I don't think people should be expected to take their shoes off because if they are more comfortable with them on, then that is what's out important to me. It can be very cold if you don't have slippers, and people with diabetes are advised not to walk around without some kind of protection on their feet. Also, if people aren't wearing socks, I wouldn't want their bare feet on my floors any more than they probably want to walk around barefoot.

If you are going to insist people remove shoes, I think you should provide disposable slippers or pre warn them to bring their own.

MistressIggi Wed 05-Dec-12 12:05:11

[takes off coat and puts kettle on]

AnyaKnowIt Wed 05-Dec-12 12:05:32

Shoes off in this house, don't like it then fuck off

FeckOffCup Wed 05-Dec-12 12:05:36

YANBU, I ask friends and family to take their shoes off when they come in if it's been raining and their feet are wet and muddy. Your SIL sounds like a drama queen.

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Wed 05-Dec-12 12:05:46

Is it really that rude? I personally don't ask people to take their shoes off, but I like it when they do!
When I go to anyone's house, I take my shoes off and so do the kids, what if you had stood in dog shit and walked all over the white shag pile?

VonHerrBurton Wed 05-Dec-12 12:06:22

Personally, unless they were covered in mud, I wouldn't like being told to remove shoes entering someone's house. Just as I would never expect a visitor to my home to remove shoes, I find it all a bit twee. after all, if your kids 'like to play on the carpet' then it won't be that clean confused.

This has been done before and I know opinions are pretty much 50/50 but I just think back to a party we had a few weeks ago and the thought of asking all our guests to 'de-shoe' before being allowed in just makes me laugh.

So, imo, unless really muddy, yabu.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Wed 05-Dec-12 12:06:25

I don't think you were.

It doesn't bother me at all one way or the other.

I don't ask people to. We have a cream carpet, but it cleans up ok. If they want to take their shoes off, they can, if they don't want to, it doesn't matter.

I tend to joke that you wipe your feet on the way out in this house grin cos that makes people feel more comfortable, I have noticed grin (people are weird!)

When going to someone's house, I always ask "shoes on or off?" cos I know people feel different ways about it and it's such a little thing to get het up about. I'd rather just go with what makes other people feel comfortable. It's one of those things that just doesn't MATTER.

I think your sister in law's reaction was SO hysterical (not funny hysterical. Hysteria hysterical) that I would question if she's quite alright.

BendyBobsBrusselsSprouts Wed 05-Dec-12 12:06:32

Blimey over reaction there on her partshock

It didn't used to bother me at old house but since we moved and have nice wooden flooring and pale carpets yes I do prefer people to take their shoes off but I don't point blank ask them to (well I do dc and friends but not adults) I just don't argue if they do. I do feel uncomfortable about asking outright it's true.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 05-Dec-12 12:07:31

We always take our shoes off before we go into our house. I don't usually ask guests to but they generally do, as do I when we go elsewhere. Who wants mud and worse on the carpet? It's a home not a public place. SIL is being totally ridiculous. Perhaps she has holey socks on or no socks and revolting feet.

nemno Wed 05-Dec-12 12:09:35

This is a common thread topic. I am all for wanting guests to feel comfortable and when I am a guest to be accommodating of hosts customs. So no, I never ask people to take their shoes off but if I notice my host has this rule then all my family are fine with offering to take shoes off.

MistressIggi Wed 05-Dec-12 12:09:35

Cream carpet? Check.
Dog shit? Check.
And a very early fuck off from Anyaknowit!
AIBU bingo is fun wink

Sorry your SIL was so OTT, OP.

AngelOne Wed 05-Dec-12 12:10:02

I would never ask people to take their shoes off, but wouldn't mind removing mine if asked. It's not really a big deal is it.

Sokmonsta Wed 05-Dec-12 12:10:11

I personally think its rude to ask people to take their shoes off in my home. I do it for comfort but that's it. I also don't have a problem if people choose to.

However in someone else's home, it's up to them and I think your sil over reacted considerably. What did her brother say about the incident?

2blessed Wed 05-Dec-12 12:11:11

Shoes off in my home and thats it! Thats how I was brought up and its what I automatically do when I go to someone's home.
Your sil really went overboard!

iseenodust Wed 05-Dec-12 12:11:27

Wellies off, shoes can stay on. 'Your house your rules' and making people pad round in their socks is infantilising visitors even if they are (rather rude) family.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 12:13:57


Why don't you have a doormat?

EasilyBored Wed 05-Dec-12 12:14:48

Shoes off in our house. I've never had to ask someone though, as they just see us take our shoes off and follow suit. I have a crawling baby though, so I prefer not to have 'outside' floor germs brought inside. Plus, if you sit down wearing shoes, the baby will head straight for them and try and chew off your laces/lick the soles/pull them off your feet.

If someone said 'no, I would rather not' then I wouldn't push it, but I would find it a bit rude. Total over reaction on your SIL's part. What a weirdo!

schnauzerfan Wed 05-Dec-12 12:14:56

YOUR house, YOUR rules. You sil sounds like a drama queen.

HELPMyPooIsStuck Wed 05-Dec-12 12:15:01

I automatically take shoes off when I go into any house, maybe I'm weird ??confused

SantaWearsGreen Wed 05-Dec-12 12:15:49

I don't understand why people think it is rude to ask. Every house is different- some are shoes off and some don't care. It is manners to ask whether you need to take your shoes off, some people just take them off anyway.

My good friend always takes hers off, as does my nanna because they see it as manners. If I am asked to before I get chance to ask then whatever, simply take my shoes off- its no biggy! Its hardly a big task.. I've always grown up mainly around shoes off houses, that is normal to me! Its polite..

Your sil sounds a bit off the rails.

Gooseysgirl Wed 05-Dec-12 12:16:16

I usually have no problem taking my shoes of when asked... Your house your rules.. (However when the person asking has a grotty dog that is allowed to roam about the house and thus the carpet is already wrecked it really annoys me.. I'm talking about YOU dsil!!!)

FellatioBellsOn Wed 05-Dec-12 12:16:20

I hate being told to take my shoes off when I go into people's houses. Obviously if I thought they were dirty I'd volunteer to do it myself, but I hate being told like a child. Just get a decent door mat, and chose sensible floor coverings.

However, I would never refuse, or query it if asked, and I think your SIL has behaved like a huffy spoilt child.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Dec-12 12:16:48

I nearly always have a supply of (freshly washed) different sized espadrilles around. Cheap, warm, easy to wash and also do a turn for slippers for overnight guests. I don't ask people to remove shoes (I've got wood floors and dark rugs) but if I did, I'd smooth it into an offer of espadrilles rather than a straight - 'off with the shoes'.

Your SIL was being ridiculous though. What a drama queen.

purplecrayon Wed 05-Dec-12 12:17:10

Shoes off in my house. I don't ask for shoes to be removed but if a visitor doesn't take their shoes off, they will never be invited back. It is very clear from the fact that nobody in my family is wearing shoes and that there is a rack of shoes that it isn't acceptable to me to wear shoes in my house.

Either it will be obvious whether the host house is shoes on or shoes off or if it isn't you need to ask the host what they prefer.

Your SIL sounds deranged anyway, aside from the shoes on/off issue!

I was brought up to always take my shoes off in someone else's house! I wouldn't think twice about asking someone to take their shoes off in my house if I had new carpets and if I didn't, DS certainly would!!!!

YANBU and your SIL overreacted massively - is she always such a drama llama?

YANBU - she sounds unhinged.

No shoes in my house, not that I ever have to ask anyone, just take them off at the door.

BlueVernis Wed 05-Dec-12 12:18:34

I wouldn't ask guests to, but I would hope that they would take off their shoes. However I ask my family to because I would hope that they wouldn't mind. Perhaps I should have also mentioned (although I hope it wasn't a factor in the incident) that I am English and my inlaws are Asian. My SIL hasn't really been close to me so I'm not overly surprised at her behavaiour. Plus, I have been told that in her religion, you are meant to remove shoes in the home.
I wouldn't mind if I was being 'precious' as someone put in, about asking her to take of her shoes, but as I said, it was raining hard and I didn't really want damp patches or soggy leaves on my carpet.

MissCellania Wed 05-Dec-12 12:18:35

It's only in the UK and a few other western countries where this is an issue, in the majority of places around the world you wouldn't even think of walking into peoples homes with your outdoor shoes on.

Spons Wed 05-Dec-12 12:19:52

At our old house, we had lovely cream carpets throughout and most peor took shoes off without us asking, honestly. All gas / sky / electric / estate agents did it automatically. The people that didnt always trod dirt in too, not much of a problem but still. At our new much older house we have wooden / darker carpets and people don't take them off as much, so maybe it's a perception thing?

I take my shoes off at everyone's house, I'm much more comfy without shoes on, I always have socks in my bag / car, bit sad?! And I do find it a bit weird when people are sat with outdoors shoes on indoors, just looks like they're going to be legging it at any moment!

Maybe your sil has webbed feet or hooves she didn't want to reveal?!

VonHerrBurton Wed 05-Dec-12 12:20:43

Oh God the dreaded espadrille/slippers/socks 'for guests' use' as you come through the door....

Urgh. Just urgh. I wouldn't come in, I'd feel like a child in a nursery. I don't want to put any of your minging indoor shoe options - clean or not.

Bunbaker Wed 05-Dec-12 12:20:51

"Is it really that rude? I personally don't ask people to take their shoes off, but I like it when they do!"

"I would never ask people to take their shoes off, but wouldn't mind removing mine if asked. It's not really a big deal is it."

Same here. I expect people to wipe their feet thoroughly on the doormat when they come in anyway, but don't ask people to remove shoes. That said all my friends do anyway. I always ask when going to friends' houses if they want me to take mine off. It's called consideration.

I feel that as a host you have to make people feel welcome, but it is also the responsibility of the guest to be considerate towards their host. Your SIL was being exceedingly precious.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 12:21:06

Your sil sounds like a raving lunatic.

It's rude not to take your shoes off when you go into someone's house.

I always ask if it's shoes off.

cozietoesie Wed 05-Dec-12 12:21:57

Although thinking about it - I nearly did ask a visitor to remove shoes the other month - she came into the house in stilettos and I sat and gnawed my fingers until she got off the polished wood floor and onto a rug. I think it was only the fact that it was likely to be a tense visit anyway that stopped me.

So - it's not only a matter of dirt and pale carpets!

takataka Wed 05-Dec-12 12:22:19

she is being mental. besides the cleaning issue, it is common place to take your shoes off when entering childcare setting, where young children play on the floor; so you dont bring in dog shit/germs/ broken glass/bits and bobs

What did your dh say?

EasilyBored Wed 05-Dec-12 12:22:28

Do people sit around at home in their shoes? Isn't that uncomfortable?

I would always take my shoes off when in some else's home, just because I would be embarrassed if I left dirty footprints on their carpet.

As long as your socks are clean, what does it matter?

Crinkle77 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:23:10

Bit of both really. I would not ask people to take their shoes off unless it was my mum, sisters or boyfriend but I would hope that people would also have the good manners to realise that if it is wet outside then the polite thing would be to take them off so they don't trail mud through the house. I automatically take my shoes off when I go to other peoples houses out of respect for their home.

Paiviaso Wed 05-Dec-12 12:25:16

Your SIL is nuts. Your house, your carpet that you have to clean, your rules.

VenusRising Wed 05-Dec-12 12:25:28

Well, if she won't come into your house now you've solved a problem. Look at the bright side.

TBH she sounds like she has her high horse to sit on anyway.
OP Your family dynamics are odd I have to say - Lording it over everyone cause you're "first born" is a crazy outdated notion in these days of democracy - is she a Royalist perchance?

I understand the no shoes inside thing - many don't, but then when you have little kids playing on a carpet that has flakes of dried mud and dog shit, you might begin to understand it too.

I don't think you are being unreasonable to ask that everyone leave mucky shoes in the hall, especially on a filthy wet night.

YY MissCellania - I agree, having lived in forn parts, I can't imagine wearing my outside shoes inside.

WowOoo Wed 05-Dec-12 12:26:37

I don't think it's rude to take shoes off at all.
I do it out of habit whether asked to or not.

WowOoo Wed 05-Dec-12 12:27:04

rude to ask, I mean !

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 05-Dec-12 12:30:42

YANBU. Your house, your rules. And it's not even as if you asked her to take off her shoes because you have a blanket rule; it was because of a few specific reasons, which you explained to her.

I'm really perturbed by her 'screaming and shouting' and her opinion that you didn't have the right to ask 'as she is the older SIL.' hmm

chris481 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:31:06

No shoes inside is a perfectly reasonable policy. In many countries/cultures it is the default. MIL (and most of her fellow countrymen) would consider wearing outdoor shoes indoors a barbaric/disgusting practice. (If such shoes have been worn inside, in their minds the floor is now contaminated with invisible traces of shit those shoes have stood on.)

I'm not hugely bothered myself, but I see the practical benefits of a no-shoe policy in terms of keeping floor/carpets clean.

I find that visitors, even white Europeans (who probably keep shoes on at home) often offer to remove shoes without being asked. Even plumbers and decorators have asked me if they should, so it's not like awareness of the issue among Europeans is restricted to certain classes.

Crinkle77 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:31:31

I also learnt my lesson when I trod dog poo all through someones house. I did not realised I had stepped on it and the host was too polite to mention it and cleaned it up when I wasn't looking. It was only a bit later when someone made a joke about it that I knew. I was absolutely mortified and always take my shoes off now

OrangeLily Wed 05-Dec-12 12:31:49

Not rude and really the norm wherever I go these days. The only people I ever tell to leave them on are grandparents as I'm not asking them to bend. In fact I had 30+ folk at my house at the weekend and everyone took their shoes off. But then my friends have nice houses with nice carpets to are used to keeping them good. I can't afford to replace my carpets because folk get 'offended'. If you get offended please don't visit.

It's the norm in our family and they bring slippers or slipper socks or ask to borrow.

A diabetic person could bring slippers too.

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 05-Dec-12 12:32:45

Ridiculous overreaction on the part of your sil, and I speak as one who would no sooner ask people to take their shoes off than to disrobe completely, because yes I think that is really rude and inhospitable.

You don't sound like you're either rude or inhospitable OP, but PurpleCrayon if your post is not a wind up then I take my hat off to you (but NOT my shoes !!) for redefining the boundaries of passive aggression. If it REALLY matters to you then go ahead and ask rather than expecting unsuspecting visitors to pick up on non-signals, on pain of no further invires for insubordination.

And to everyone who thinks it's rude not to de-shoe...does it not occur to you that visitors might think (as I probably would) that to take your shoes off without being asked to might look equally rude...even if the residents are shoeless know, making yourself a bit TOO much at home.

Wanders off in search of something better to worry about

Jins Wed 05-Dec-12 12:33:52

I wouldn't have a hissy fit but I'd have already looked to see if you were a shoes on or shoes off household.

I don't like being told to take my shoes off when I'm on the step and I won't wear your minging guest slippers either. I hate slippers with a passion and I suspect I wouldn't like espadrilles either

MrsHoarder Wed 05-Dec-12 12:35:13

I currently ask people to, but DS is a rolling baby who likes to try to eat the carpet. In 6-12 months when he stops licking the carpet then I'll relax again. IMO if people know you have a floor-licking aged baby then they can't judge. If your DC are over 5 and old enough to know not to actively lick the floor then its still your choice (for all you know she has a foot problem atm and doesn't want to make it public) but its a less "normal" thing to get het up about in the UK.

snowtunesgirl Wed 05-Dec-12 12:35:54

We request shoes off in our house and they go in the shoe cupboard as one year old DD thinks that shoes are "tasty".

Banterpanther Wed 05-Dec-12 12:36:50

IMO it's rude not to offer to take your shoes off when you enter someone's house

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Wed 05-Dec-12 12:39:20

You're not allowed in our main living room or upstairs with shoes on even the dogs are banned but you can go into the kitchen, dinning room and back living room since they all have wooden/tiled floors so are easy to clean. They're DH's rules and he expects them to be followed.

Your SIL sounds like an immature brat shock

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 12:42:53

Her reaction is way OTT.

Personally I don't think it's hospitable to ask people to take shoes off, but if you have babies around, it's just sensible and you'd hope people would figure it out.

The rudest, of course, is insisting people remove shoes when your floor is also not very clean. That's just disgusting. But I'm sure you don't do that!

I always offer to take my shoes off when I go to someone's house.

I don't ask that people do it at mine, but people tend to around here (Scotland) because their shoes are normally either muddy, wet or covered in snow!

impty Wed 05-Dec-12 12:43:25

Shoes off. Only ever had a problem with FIL with this, and I've trained him now too. It doesn't worry as much now but it really did when dd's were crawling about.

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Wed 05-Dec-12 12:44:49

YANBU. I always ask if people have carpet whether they want me to remove shoes. ANd most of my friends ask when they come around.

Infantilising vistors - seriously?

Maybe have some disposable slippers as this is clearly an issue for people confused

Ephiny Wed 05-Dec-12 12:44:57

I wouldn't insist on someone taking their shoes off, but would be a bit surprised if they didn't. I would always take my shoes off when going into someone else's house, it just seems like good manners to me.

Either way though, it seems like a silly issue to have a huge falling-out over!

ssaw2012 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:45:08

The other day I stepped into dog's poo while walking in the town. I tried to clean my shoes as hard as possible into the grass. Fortunately the grass was frosty and moist smile It did help. Then I wanted a wee and headed off to the toilet in Asda. Someone managed to wee a bit on the floor. The floor looked disgusting but I was desparate for wee. Now convince me, why should not I take my shoes off indoors?

I have found an interesting blog written by an American woman living in Sweden. Here is what she writes about "No Shoes Indoors."

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 05-Dec-12 12:45:11

YANBU. She was ridiculously OTT in her reaction and made herself look a fool, not you.

I prefer shoes off in the house but I don't demand it. Most everyone I know just does it automatically, so it's never been an issue. (and no, I'm not pressuring them into it, we're still in a rental house and the carpet has seen better days, probably around when I was born!) Shoes in the winter are especially messy, I don't really get why people are surprised that others might not want them trekking through their house with them on.

EIizaDay Wed 05-Dec-12 12:55:05

YANBU. I haven't worn shoes inside for years and years - and no-one wears shoes inside our house. Shoes are for outside.

Would you ever think of walking about outside in your bare feet and then go inside? The first thing you would do is wash your feet as they'd be disgusting.

Your sister was behaving like a fool.

evilhamster Wed 05-Dec-12 12:55:50

I haven't met anybody who will actually ask, although if they did ask for me to take my shoes off I would be very happy to do so. Personally we don't take our shoes off, but it's not a rule, it's just easier for us and we don't have a very large house too clean. Also, as we have three dogs, however much we wash them, they'll always be some dirt to clean off the floor.

Normally I take my lead from other people. Someone takes off their shoes, I take mine off, and try and make it seem like it's natural for me in a way- someone keeps their shoes on, I'll ask if I should along the lines of 'I know some people prefer people not to wear shoes in their own house- I can take mine off if you want?' but that's more for politeness because I can tell if they do/don't take off their shoes.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 05-Dec-12 12:56:08

i wouldn't have anyone screaming at any member of my family in my home so she would have been out on her ear for that and wouldn't be back in without an apology to all present at the time.

WRT shoes. YANBU your house, your rules. i have a shoes off rule for me and the dcs and my close friends who come do it anyway as they usually curl up on the sofa and get comfy but i dont ask anyone to do it except children if they are going to be in and out and upstairs playing (carpet upstairs)

i do have a doormat though and i cant think of anyone who doesn't give a good wipe when they come in.

Nancy66 Wed 05-Dec-12 12:58:53

if someone asked me I would - reluctantly.

Your SIL sounds unhinged but i think asking people to remove footwear is a bit rude. They're guests in your home and you are potentially making them uncomfortable.

We have a new hall carpet and I'll say to people 'can you make sure you give your shoes a good wipe' but I'll never ask them to remove them altogether

ButternutSquish Wed 05-Dec-12 13:00:31

Why is it so difficult to have a sturdy front door mat to step onto when entering your houses (directed at all those who want shoes off?)

I don't like taking my shoes off, my feet get cold because I have bad circulation. I think most reasonable people would wipe their feet pretty hard if they thought their shoes were dirty,or if it had been wet. Of course if you've treckked across a muddy field or up Snowdonia then you're obviously going to offer to take your shoes off.

I remember the Sex in The City episode where Carrie goes to the party and someone nicks her shoes! I had a dozen or so people around at the weekend and not one of them offered to take off their shoes and I didn't ask, but how stupid does it look that you've made an effort with the make up and dress but you're having to stand in bare feet!

Bet none of you lot drink red wine or allow your kids ribena! wink

samandi Wed 05-Dec-12 13:00:54

Jees, let hr sit in the car. YADNBU. Shoes off is a fairly normal request, especially if muddy.

KellyEllyChristmasBelly Wed 05-Dec-12 13:02:19

Her reaction was over the top but I personally wouldn't ask anyone to take their shoes off in my house. I think it's really rude. Whats the problem with them just wiping their feet on the mat? If they've been on a 5 mile cross country trek in muddy wellies then fine.

samandi Wed 05-Dec-12 13:03:38

People who can’t bear not to have any footwear on should carry a pair of slippers with them to other people’s houses, unless they know the person doesn’t mind shoes in the house.

They might not only be dirty, but shoes on wooden floors can damage them as well as causing an annoyance to any downstairs neighbours.

ooer Wed 05-Dec-12 13:10:31

I take my outdoor shoes off in my own home and in other people's homes. I have "indoor shoes" I take with me and change. If my host says I don't need to change, I just say my outdoor shoes are a bit muddy (and they usually are!)

Even if your shoes aren't muddy they are picking up grit etc from pavements and treading on spit, oh yuk.

I ask visiting children to remove shoes in my house (because they are usually all over the furniture as well). I don't ask adults to do it but I am really pleased when they do! I wish I felt comfortable asking adults to do it and I applaud OP for doing so. SIL's reaction was way OTT. Why did she not want to take off her shoes? How was it inconvenient? Were they some kind of complicated bondage shoes? Or ... perhaps she has cloven hooves? grin

freddiefrog Wed 05-Dec-12 13:15:01

In my house, I'm not bothered either way, off or on, whatever

I personally hate bare feet but am happy to take my shoes off in other people's houses

YANBU to want people to take their shoes off, it's your house.

SiL's reaction was very unreasonable

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 13:15:31

I'm slightly squicked out at the idea of carrying slippers around to change into/blithely changing your shoes in someone else's hallway. People who happily kick their shoes off, IME, always claim their feet don't smell.

They do.

AnneofGreenFables Wed 05-Dec-12 13:18:49

I think there's always so much divided opinion on this, that it's ridiculous to say this or that is 'rude' (with a few notable exceptions - your SIL being one OP!). Everyone has different family/ friend traditions.

I was brought up shoes-optional. We usually remove ours for comfort but I would never insist that someone did unless they were mucky (but people usually volunteer IME in that instance).

I always ask when visiting friends/ family members and would generally copy what the hosts were doing. If asked, I would always remove.

I probably wouldn't remove them instinctively at a party or if I was only popping in for 5 minutes. It does always feel slightly familiar though, like opening someone's fridge or flicking through the TV channels, so I would feel uncomfortable if it was someone's house I didn't know well. Would still ask though.

Really dislike the idea of anyone being 'judged' on it. If it's important and someone doesn't do it, then ask. But it's not fair to judge because as these threads show, people have been brought up differently on this so there's no universal "it's rude <gavel>"

<gavel> grin

Most people who come to our house take shoes off, I don't generally have to ask - I think it's good manners to take them off but then I lived in asia for a few years.

I ask my DS's school friends to take them off mind as they are normally coated and they all hurtle upstairs.

Bunbaker Wed 05-Dec-12 13:20:38

My hairdresser has just been to do my hair. When she arrived she took off her boots and put on a pair of slippers. Sensible lady.

ethelb Wed 05-Dec-12 13:22:31

Its fine to ask someone to take their shoes off in your house. I get v cold feet and have a nasty skin condition on my feet but I can cope and so can everyone else.

However, it is very rude to bark and someone who dares to come into your house with shoes on and give them a lecture on how disgusting wearing shoes in-doors is as some people do seem to do.

Plus, you need to have a big enough area for people to remove shoes in. I hate quing up outside while everyone takes their shoes off and piles them up, makign the shoes dirties, inside the door on the carpet anyway.

ooer Wed 05-Dec-12 13:26:55

On the other hand, seriously, a rift between family members is not nice. Would you rather be "right" or would you rather have a harmonious family? (I struggle with this one in daily life! )

Can you say to SIL you're sorry she wasn't aware that's what you do in your house, and you didn't think it was that big a deal to remove shoes on going into someone's home?

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 13:31:53

I wouldn't ask people to take their shoes off if they were visiting -even though I never wear shoes around my house myself. You could really embarass people if they have a hole in their tights/non matching socks on under their boots or whatever.

However, if I was asked to remove my shoes in someone's house I certainly wouldn't make a ridiculous scene.

I think you were both at fault, but your SIL definitely more so.

EugenesAxeChoppedDownANiceTree Wed 05-Dec-12 13:32:43

It's such a hard one - we have inherited cream carpets but have laminate in the hallway.

Personally I think it's really bad form to ask (although I probably would ask children up to about age 16)... but I also think it's very bad for someone to come to a house and not be immediately aware of the customs within it! Even if being aware wasn't going to make her take off her shoes, she could have said 'Sorry - would you mind terribly if I didn't take off my shoes?'

I think going on about it was unreasonable on her part.

ooer Wed 05-Dec-12 13:34:08

LRDTheFeminist - oh dear! I have never claimed my feet don't smell - only because I never gave it a thought! I'm sure you are right, they probably do.

Two seconds of my probably-cheesy-feet-smell versus inflicting my dirty shoes on other people's homes. No, sorry, the slippers ballet pumps actually still win.

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 13:35:06

They might not only be dirty, but shoes on wooden floors can damage them as well as causing an annoyance to any downstairs neighbours. (Quote

If you have downstairs neighbours it is v v inconsiderate to install wooden floors.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 13:35:37


Fair enough ooer.

I guess what I'm getting at is, there's a load of reasons why/why not to take shoes off and the most important thing IMO is that host and guest should both be considerate of each other.

And not throw a blooming strop like the OP's SIL!

Narked Wed 05-Dec-12 13:36:44

It doesn't really matter if you were being unreasonable or not when she went ballistic about it, phoned your MIL to complain and ended up sitting in the car outside refusing to come in. It's like debating whether it's unreasonable not to expect your friend to pay for half the tip at dinner when they went on to moon the waiter.

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 13:37:18

(Btw, I will admit I have a specific person in mind, who always insists on 'popping in' after she's been on her feet all day shopping, removing her shoes to the most foul smell, and piously insisting she'd 'never dream' of not taking her shoes off when we urge her to keep them on and not worry about our floors! But I guess whatever you do, there's always someone who is completely unaware of what they're making you suffer ...)

ooer Wed 05-Dec-12 13:37:28

With you on that LRDtheFeminist

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 13:37:54


jennymac Wed 05-Dec-12 13:41:44

I don't wear shoes in my own house generally but that is more for comfort than anything else and I always change into slippers or slipper socks. It would never occur to me to take off my shoes in a friend's house though (unless it was a good friend and I was going to be there for hours, with my feet up on the sofa maybe). I would find it a bit weird walking around a mate's house in my socks especially if I'd only called in for a coffee. Plus, in the winter, unless you are in a carpeted room, your feet can get pretty cold without shoes and I wouldn't fancy wearing someone else's slippers. Similarly, I have never asked anyone to remove their shoes in my house and if I did, I think my friends would think me a bit precious!

popcornpaws Wed 05-Dec-12 13:45:12

Shoes off in the winter/wet weather, and as I live in Scotland, that will be all the time! No way do I want mess on my floors from outdoor shoes.

Mominatrix Wed 05-Dec-12 13:48:23

Shoes off in my house - it is the way I was raised based on the culture my parents grew up in (plus they had cream carpets...), where it is the height of rudeness to wear shoes inside a house.

I think it is rude NOT to take your shoes off in someone's house if that is their custom. I have slippers in a variety of sizes in the entrance for guests not to feel uncomfortable on the hard-wood floor in stockinged feet (not artisanal wink) and disposable shoe covers for tradesmen who have to keep shoes on for health and safety.

SuiGeneris Wed 05-Dec-12 13:51:35

I hate having to take my shoes off in other people's houses but your SIL vastly overreacted.

She was a guest so should have just complied with your request.

silvercup Wed 05-Dec-12 13:54:21


I was brought up in a shoes-off household - my mother has a phobia of people tracking dog shit in (and as they live right by a park it's not an unjustified phobia imo.) Our home is shoes off too.

But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what anybody else does, what your SIL does in her own home. This was YOUR home and as such, she should respect your wishes. Asking her to take her shoes off was hardly unreasonable and she sounds slightly unhinged tbh.

bellarose2011 Wed 05-Dec-12 13:56:42

I have a strictly no shoe policy in the. house, i had no idea that anyone would find this insulting, why?
I just don't understand why anyone would want all the filth from outside on there carpet? Especially with crawling babies around.

I do think your sil reaction is completely barmy, i would't worry she has made a fool of herself.

LadyHarrietdeSpook Wed 05-Dec-12 13:57:08

We have friends where the shoes off policy is for religious reasons. I can understand this. On 'da continent' yes it's common for people to remove shoes. I think these things become so ingrained culturally it's hard for people to think about the issue objectively...

Instinctively though I have an issue with people asking guests to take their shoes off mainly because of the lovely deeccooor might get spoiled!!! the idea that keeping everything 'just so' in my home is more important than my guests' comfort seems bizarre to me. I can never imagine asking on this basis.

HRH008 Wed 05-Dec-12 13:57:40

I think your SIL is bonkers! grin Totally over the top reaction.

Let her rant and rave ...

hattymattie Wed 05-Dec-12 13:59:33

We all take our shoes off in our house and I automatically do in others if it's wet - it's not an issue. My daughter's piano teacher is Japanese and it's shoes off automatically there. I have another friend from Norway who says there everybody takes off shoes.

I think SIL is overreacting (unless she has really weird feet or somethig???)

NormaSnorks Wed 05-Dec-12 14:02:22

Shoes off ideally, and definitely if going beyond tiled/ wooden floor area.

My SIL is also the worst offender though, as she is a dwarf pygmy shortish person and always wears heels. Just a week after having our expensive oak flooring laid she arrived in her steel-tipped heels, made a fuss about not taking her shoes off, and then half-tripped and skidded across the hall, leaving a 25 cm long, deep scratch across the most visible part of our new floor shock
DH was angryangryangryangryangryangryangry

EasilyBored Wed 05-Dec-12 14:05:56

It's not about keeping the decor 'just so'. It's about not wanting dirty shoe germs and go knows what you have trodden in, spread all over the floor. If you give your shoes a good wipe on the mat, all that does is ensure that the crap that was on your shoes in now on the bottom of everybody else's shoes too. Grim.

GreenShadow Wed 05-Dec-12 14:08:54

We are shoes free here, but when older family members come they tend to keep theirs on and we don't argue.
I find most 'younger' families do shoe-free (by which I mean under 60ish)

Children automatically take their shoes off in other peoples houses (they wouldn't want to wear shoes in a house anyway - far more uncomfortable) and near enough 100% of children visiting here automatically take their shoes off.

But - if I am visiting a friends house I'll offer to take my shoes off, but am often relieved if they say 'no, don't worry'. It can be very cold without shoes on (slippers at home).

GreenShadow Wed 05-Dec-12 14:10:17

Interestingly EasilyBored, it's the opposite here. Never even occurs to me that germs might be walked in. It's just to keep the carpets looking clean.

IsaXMASbelleRinging Wed 05-Dec-12 14:10:40

Any person with manners would offer to take their shoes off in someones house, especially when you can see they have expensive light coloured carpets and a shoe rack by the door. You are the visitor in someone elses home so be respectuful or don't visit them.

If you live in a house where everyone wears their outdoor shoes inside then the floors are filthy. Who wants to live in a house with dirty floors? I know my dd's feet are always black when she returns from playing at some peoples houses where they wear shoes inside. It is horrible.

Carry some light shoes or slippers in your bag if yu don't want to go barefut at someone elses house!

HairyGrotter Wed 05-Dec-12 14:11:56

I've never really thought about the whole 'shoe' thing. If I'm required to take them off, so be it, no skin off my nose. No rules in my gaff, on or off, whatever suits you.

Your SIL is fucking loony, cracking reaction, I'd have laughed in her face then demanded she take off her socks too so I could stuff them in her mouth to silence the mental banshee.

Ephiny Wed 05-Dec-12 14:15:04

I'm not precious about the carpets - we have dogs after all (though I do wipe their paws after a wet/muddy walk!). It just seems weird to me not to take your shoes off when you come through the door, it's like not taking off your outdoor coat. I wouldn't insist a visitor took theirs off, but I would find it strange.

Also aside from the germs, surely most home carpets (unlike the ones in offices etc) are not designed to be walked on with outdoor shoes.

ethelb Wed 05-Dec-12 14:15:37

"but I also think it's very bad for someone to come to a house and not be immediately aware of the customs within it!"

How would they be immeidately aware of the customs within it?

That's what annoys me about shoes-off'ers. They are so sure of their out righteousness that they seem to think everyone else must obviously know what they want/be telepathic.

It's that attitude that pisses me off. I don't mind taking my shoes off but its the whole 'why did you even need to ask' attitude that gives others waves of rightous anger in this situation.

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 14:16:45

I'm amazed that so many people would automatically take their shoes off in someone's house or would find it strange if someone walked into their house with shoes on. I can't think of anyone who automatically takes their shoes off in my house (apart from the kids) or who expects people to take their shoes off when visiting them.

Ephiny Wed 05-Dec-12 14:18:14

It's always the same on these threads though, everyone is convinced that what they do is normal and right, and the other way is wrong and bizarre smile

LRDtheFeministDude Wed 05-Dec-12 14:18:49

Isa, if you came to my house and kicked your shoes off, I would think you were slightly rude.

I wouldn't hugely care, and I would assume it was how you'd been brought up, but I'd find it hard to shake my habitual response that kicking your shoes off in public is inconsiderate and smelly.


LadyInDisguise Wed 05-Dec-12 14:18:54

Different issues there.
1- Taking shoes off - as lots of people have said, not an issue as such especially because it was raining that day (so muddy/dirty shoes were highly likely)
2- Reaction of your SIL???? Saying that you have insulted her? Unless there is something there on a cultural pov (she is the older sister so you should defer to her??? or It is considered very rude in her own culture to take shoes off at someone else's house??)
3- You say that you have been told that for cultural/religious reason, people should take their shoes off in your DH's family. So why why did she feel insulted? I get the feeling that something is missing there. What is your DH saying about it?

EasilyBored Wed 05-Dec-12 14:20:55

We don't have carpet, so the floor is easy to clean, and I imagine I might be a bit less cringey about it when DS is past the stage of putting everything in his mouth and trying to lick the floor.

I would just see what others were doing when I went round to someone's house - and follow their lead. If someone didn't take theirs off when they came round to mine (after watching me do it), I would just ask them nicely if they minded (and make a joke about my baby's need to lick All The Things).

Marzipanface Wed 05-Dec-12 14:21:01

Totally over the top reaction from your sister in law.

We take our shoes off in this house.

whois Wed 05-Dec-12 14:24:20

I grew up in a shoes off house.

Mum wasn't v precious about stuff but it really cuts down on the cleaning required of you have a shoes off and a no eating outside the kitchen rule!

No wonder people have to Hoover every day of they wear outside shoes inside.

I wear my shoes inside now as the flat has hard wood floors. And athefloors get way dirtier than they would of I changed at the door.

If I had a nice shoes off house I would want casual friends and family to take them off. Hosting a party or a dinner or something I would expect people to keep them on.

Nancy66 Wed 05-Dec-12 14:24:55

I'd rather risk a bit of mud and dog turd than look at people's skanky feet

Catsdontcare Wed 05-Dec-12 14:30:42

I like people to take there shoes off and always do when I go to other people's. if I had hard wood or tiles throughout I wouldn't care but our carpets at quite new.

Catsdontcare Wed 05-Dec-12 14:32:29

I don't like to ask people though so anyone who doesn't do it automatically kind of gets invited to sit in the kitchen! It's easier if they come with kids cause I can say all smiley to the little ones "oh you can put your shoes just there" which generally encourages the adults to take theirs off too!

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 05-Dec-12 14:36:15

I find that almost everyone except for the terminally socially unwired like DP's best friend asks 'Shoes off?' when they come into my house (possibly because we have piles of shoes on a rack in the hallway). My answer is always 'If you like, but it's not mandatory' but most people elect to take them off, and I can't imagine anyone refusing point-blank if I was to ask them to. Similarly I always ask/follow the local form/obey orders in other people's houses, even if it's different to my ideas. Isn't that just basic good manners?

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 05-Dec-12 14:46:07

Isn't that just basic good manners?

Well, yes, but it's hardly the height of good manners to refer to people who don't offer to whip their shoes off at the door as terminally socially unwired...especially as there is enough evidence on here that some people hold the opposite view..i.e that it's weird to start taking your kit off unbidden as if you owned the place!

Yes it really is weird how this subject polarises people but my view is of course the correct one

Quenelle Wed 05-Dec-12 14:47:34

'Overreaction' is the understatement of the year.

I am frequently amazed when I read on here about people screaming and shouting at others and storming off.

I can't actually think what situation might induce me to do that.

Perhaps if I found DH in bed with somebody else, or a visitor daubed QUENELLE LOVES AINSLEY HARRIOTT'S PERCY PEPPER in red paint on my living room wall...

mrslaughan Wed 05-Dec-12 14:52:54

We as a family have a shoe free house...... However i don't insit on it with guests - but we have hard floors, not cream carpet.
You didn't insst, you asked nicely (it seems) , you made a joke
Your SIL is a precious princess, and to be honest , just for her reaction i would not back diwn, she is being ridiculous. It is proably how she keeps her whole family revolving around her, and i would not buy into it.
You didn't ask her to leave, she chose to, she also chose to ring your MIL "to tell on you" - how old is she 5? My 5 year old behaves that way i ignore it and do not back down

Ephiny Wed 05-Dec-12 14:55:59

"I am frequently amazed when I read on here about people screaming and shouting at others and storming off. " - me too. Do adults actually do that in real life? I think I would laugh if someone did in front of me.

snuffaluffagus Wed 05-Dec-12 14:56:27

I always take my shoes off when going indoors (at my own place or other people's). I wouldn't dream of walking dirty shoes over someone else's carpets, it wouldn't occur to me to keep them on if you see what I mean, so I sort of expect my mates and family to do the same when they visit me too.. And they do really, I've never had to ask them to!

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 14:57:03

What about in Summer if people aren't wearing socks or tights? The thought of people walking about my house in bare feet is a bit Ugh! Especially on a very hot day. Yuk.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 05-Dec-12 15:06:59

march, this particular individual IS terminally socially unwired, in many ways additional to and more important than the shoe-taking-off issue. My point was that this exceptionally unaware person is just that – an exception – and that others, in my own experience, don't hesitate to ask if they need to take their shoes off.

Cat98 Wed 05-Dec-12 15:07:18

Our house is shoes off, it's how I was brought up and I don't like outdoor shoes worn indoors, particularly upstairs/in bedrooms!
That said, I don't ask visitors outright to take their shoes off (strangely enough only my mum and brothers as I feel comfortable enough around them!) because I feel it's a bit rude, but I do cringe inwardly if they go upstairs in their outdoor shoes!

Mumofthreeteens Wed 05-Dec-12 15:08:40

Shoes off in our house. All my friends expect the same.

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 15:09:58

LadyClarice Neither I nor any of my friends ask if we need to take our shoes off in other people's houses. Does that make us all 'terminally socially unwired'??

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 05-Dec-12 15:14:53

Jane, I used that phrase in relation to one particular person.

But IME, which is the only one I have, people always ask if they need to remove their shoes or not.

And IMO, which is the only one I can give, it IS a bit insensitive/unaware to not even think to ask 'Shoes on or off?' when you go to someone's house for the first time and don't know what they like to do/if they have any rules.

weegiemum Wed 05-Dec-12 15:19:21

I can't remove my shoes.

I have a disability that has given me numb hands and feet. I get intense pain as well. One of the only things that helps is wearing tightly laced shoes or trainers.

At home, I change into what are known as "mums slipper trainers". But I don't carry them about as 1) I can't carry them and use my walking aids and 2) it's actually rather embarrassing that I can't tie laces any more - dh has to do it for me and to be honest I'm humiliated enough by my mobility problems without making it worse sad

marchwillsoonbehere Wed 05-Dec-12 15:19:29

Well I wasn't being wholly serious Clarice and appreciate that you weren't either, but my point holds that you don't have to be rude or in any way weird not to offer to take your shoes off when you go to someone's house, and ime the opposite is true. Takes all sorts eh?

But fwiw if someone offered, my outward response would be they should so whatever they wanted, but inwardly I would prefer that they didn't...better a muddy carpet than someoen's manky feet any day of the week!

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 15:20:30

To be honest, if someone was calling to my house for the first time and took their shoes off or even asked if they should, I would think it very unusual.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Wed 05-Dec-12 15:26:34

Jane, fine, in your experience. Mine's different. That's all. But I will say that I think asking about taking shoes off is less weird than just taking them off without asking. I completely see people's points that that could be construed as a bit 'familiar' or forward.

march, I think I'd prefer manky feet to a muddy carpet/floor. Then again I don't find feet manky generally, and don't know (as least I don't THINK I know) anyone with manky ones smile.

elfycat Wed 05-Dec-12 15:30:29

My PIL and SIL have the shoes off rule in their house (I then get grief of MIL that my bare feet leave footprints on her high gloss wood floor).

We don't have that rule and have mainly wooden floors. We've just put down tiles in the hallway so we can drag the pushchairs in without making a carpet filthy, and without worrying about shoes. MIL then proceeded to stand in the doorway changing into her slippers while my ever-increasingly-expensive heating poured out. If she does that again there may be a profanity in my next sentence (not the DDs are there mind you).

expatinscotland Wed 05-Dec-12 15:30:35

She over-reacted, but I think it's rude to ask people to take their shoes off.

TwinklingWonderland Wed 05-Dec-12 15:30:45

Yanbu. I ask people to do the same, there's often dog sh#t in the road and mud etc and I'd prefer to keep it off the carpet.

fairyqueen Wed 05-Dec-12 15:31:32

If I take my shoes (and therefore orthotics) off I will start hobbling. My feet getting cold will make matters worse and I will be in pain before I leave. HOWEVER, I would explain and apologise profusely, and comply if given no option. I certainly wouldn't throw a hissy fit. But on a good day you wouldn't know I had mobility problems until I took my shoes off!

EasilyBored Wed 05-Dec-12 15:37:25

Why are people leaving the front door open while they change their shoes? Come into hallway, close door, change shoes/take shoes off etc.

fairy if you simply said to me, I've got orthotics in or just an 'I need to keep them on', I would not blink. Of course you need to keep your shoes on.

georgie22 Wed 05-Dec-12 15:47:35

Why can't people just wipe their feet on a doormat? I would never ask people to take their shoes off in our house. If I had muddy or snowy shoes obviously I would take my shoes off before going into both our house and other people's homes but otherwise not.
Think your sil was being over dramatic though!!

FunBagFreddie Wed 05-Dec-12 15:51:19

How is asking people to remove their shoes U? If you've walked outside you're bringing dirt into the house, even if you haven't walked far and you've wiped your feet. I always ask people if I should remove my shoes as a matter of courtesy.

Your SIL is very rude and she sounds like a right nutter. The whole incident says more about her then it does about you!


SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 05-Dec-12 16:01:49

i think sweden, norway, japan etc all must have large hallways as standard for the no shoes culture to work. i have a tiny hallway, the door opens and the stairs start about a foot from the edge of the door when open full and the hall is only the width of the front door, you are straight into the living room off the hall. there is space for the dcs to take a stair each and sit down to take shoes off while i stand (after shimmying round to close the front door) and do it but it wouldn't work with 2 adults, definitely would mean someone standing outside waiting and if it's raining that's not on as i have no little pointy roof bit, it would also mean all the heat getting out of the house as the living room door would have to remain open as i couldn't go in the living room and leave my guests to tip over get their shoes off in the hall. bringing the shopping in from the car is a bit of a pain as i have to come right into the house to take the dog into the back hall (so he doesn't eat the food i leave in) before i go back out to get the shopping, by that point i'm already in, in my shoes so might aswell traipse the shopping through the living room to the kitchen. i try to bring it in and leave it on the sofa and get the dcs to start carrying it through but even then i'm still having to go in with my shoes on. ah well, the house is perfect otherwise so cant complain about having nowhere to take shoes off really. we take them off the rest of the time.


It's your house and your SIL should respect that. What a ridiculous reaction, she sounds very immature.

If it was raining then why would anyone keep their soggy shoes on? It's not comfortable.
Where I am now, it's the norm to remove shoes when entering someones' house.

quesadilla Wed 05-Dec-12 16:24:01

She totally over-reacted. It is a tad precious, imho, to ask someone to take shoes off but it is your house and your call. Most reasonable people would have just done it without question. Sounds like she is a handful...

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 16:40:40

I've been pondering this throughout the day <need to get back to work emoticon> and it's not black and white.

In general dh, ds's and I are in socks or slippers in the house.

When good, proper friends come round for an evening of wine and chat I love the fact they are comfortable enough in my home to kick of their shoes and curl up on my sofa.

If a neighbour popped in for a coffee and took their shoes off I'd think they were odd.

When family pop round it depends. Today it's dry and my mum came in for a bit and didn't take her shoes off. When we've had family round off an evening it's quite common for them to slip their shoes off during the course of that night.

I'm the same at parents and in laws. If I'm just there for a quick visit I'll not bother taking my shoes off, if it's a longer visit I probably will at some point.

If someone stood and made me take my shoes off at the door I'd think them an arsehole.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 16:42:13

Although wet shoes would come off generally and I'll always wipe my feet on the way into someone's house.

shushpenfold Wed 05-Dec-12 16:46:15

I think your SIL sounds like a complete twonk...however, I DO think YABU for asking for shoes off with adults....if shoes are dirty the majority of people would take them off (and if they don't and then tramp mud in go for their necks!)

I have a friend who does this and it's the running joke among a large group of people...she would be mortified if she knew just how f'd off people were when she asked.

VonHerrBurton Wed 05-Dec-12 16:51:29


Therefore why use that as 'proof that it's right' to remove shoes? If I was in a country where there was no grey area, I would remove my shoes, as I would know that's the done thing there.

MissCellania Wed 05-Dec-12 16:55:47

It's the done thing in a lot of peoples houses in the UK too, why be accomodating on a national level but ignorant and rude on a personal one?

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:00:56

I wouldn't visit anyone who had a shoes off rule in their house.

MissCellania Wed 05-Dec-12 17:05:56

I'm sure they'll be pleased. Good way to weed out those with no manners.

VonHerrBurton Wed 05-Dec-12 17:11:05

I can assure you MissC, that my friends, family and I are far from 'rude and ignorant' by not removing non dirty shoes when we enter eachother's homes, thanks for the sweeping statement.

SomeTiggyPudding Wed 05-Dec-12 17:12:27

Some people like them off, some say keep them on. I think it's the person who's house it is that decides. You would be a rude guest for not going along with their reasonable request.

ethelb Wed 05-Dec-12 17:14:53

That's another problem. I go flying over people's shoes when they take them off in my house as I wasn't expecting it.

VonHerrBurton Wed 05-Dec-12 17:16:38

Oh, I'd much rather have a houseful of happy friends and family comfortably enjoying eachother's company and not worrying if they dropped a bit of whatever on our floor.

My MIL would rather be part of the shoes off, minging slippers on, don't eat that in there, keep the kids out of the 'good' room, keep the handtowels straight brigade. Shame really, they get very few visitors...

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 17:17:52

No shoes people where do you draw the line or is it really as simple as no shoes ever?

I do find that odd.

I'm thinking about situations like my nana's funeral. We all met at my aunts house before hand to get the cars etc. About twenty of us in the house for about twenty minutes. Would a no shoe person really have made twenty grieving members of their family all dressed for a funeral take their shoes off?

What about the meter reader? Or the grocery delivery man? Or a mum picking up their dc from a play date?

MissCellania Wed 05-Dec-12 17:18:46

You are if they ask you to, VonHerr. Which was the point.

catkind Wed 05-Dec-12 17:19:57

What? No not U at all. Some houses have a shoes off rule some don't. (We don't though usually take shoes off out of habit because it's better for our feet.) I'd always expect people to stick by house rules and would be pleased to be asked if I didn't spot that house rules was shoes off.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:19:57

Theres no way would I wear minging slippers, yuk.

I'd rather have a mucky floor and visitors that felt comfortable in my house.They can take their shoes off or leave 'em on. I'm not fussed.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:21:11

Do you have a printed copy of the 'House Rules' by the front door?

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 17:23:24

Seriously, can someone answer my question? How does this shoes off rule work in Summer when people are usually bare footed beneath their shoes?

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 17:24:12

I bet there's someone selling twee as fuck wooden plaques informing guests in a sugar sweet passive aggressive manner to remove their shoes

MissCellania Wed 05-Dec-12 17:24:47

In summer, they also take off their shoes. Whats so hard to grasp?

VonHerrBurton Wed 05-Dec-12 17:26:31

You sound lovely MissC. If it was as simple as 'I'm right and you're rude', I doubt there would be over 150 posts already on this thread.

MrsSnow Wed 05-Dec-12 17:26:51


Why bring the street in to your house especially if you don't wear shoes indoors. If however, everyone was wearing shoes then it would be rude to ask one person to remove their shoes.

Your house, your rules. Simple.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 05-Dec-12 17:27:03

Everyone I know here in the UK seems generally happy with taking off shoes when entering someone's home. I've never asked people to do so (I think I only would ask if their shoes were particularly muddy) but they all do, anyway. And when I visit homes, I've never been asked to take my shoes off but there seems to be an unwritten rule of sorts at all of them (eg, if I'm late and others are there already, there's a pile of shoes by the door.)

The only house I don't take my shoes off in has dogs which are constantly in and out of the place, so I don't really see the point. smile

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 17:27:23

Please please someone tell me they have blue shoe covers for the sky man!

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:27:41

I'm not wandering about anyones house barefoot. Have you seen my feet? grin

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 17:28:00

What's 'so hard to grasp' MissC is the thought of people with bare hot feet walking around my house. I would hate that. Yuck.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:28:44

I don't know one single person that has a shoes off rule.

MissCellania Wed 05-Dec-12 17:29:09

It's as simple as you do whatever it is the people inviting you into your home wish you to, basic manners as always win out.

I don't have a strict shoes off house, so its not a case of me being right. We take our shoes off, visiting children are asked to, visiting adults can take off or leave on as they wish, nothing is said to them.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 17:29:32

Neither do I usual

MissCellania Wed 05-Dec-12 17:29:47

Jane, then don't ask them to take their shoes off. Honestly, talk about making up things to complain about!

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:31:50

Nope basic manners means making your guest feel comfortable, not worrying about your floor.

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 17:33:09

I'm not making things up to complain about. Some people on here think its unhygienic to wear shoes in the house. I'm saying I find it equally unpleasant to have people walking around my house in their bare feet. It's a discussion forum MissC we're all entitled to make our points.

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 17:34:43

I agree usual. I take my shoes off in my home because I have wooden floors and don't want them to get marked and have to clean them. But I have never, ever, ever asked anyone visiting me to take their shoes off. I would think that a bit rude, to be honest.

VonHerrBurton Wed 05-Dec-12 17:35:06

Me neither usual and mrskeith smile

I think you'll find it's you that's making things up to complain about, MissC ...

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 17:35:28

SIL over reacted but insisting guests take off their shoes is so Mrs Bucket.

coldcupoftea Wed 05-Dec-12 17:37:22

Ever since the kids were born we've alwys taken our shoes off in the house. When you have crawling babies/toddlers who put everything in their mouth the last thing you want is mud on the floor.

Now I do it automatically at other people's houses, and most people I know do the same. It's not a big deal!

MissCellania Wed 05-Dec-12 17:37:46

I have nothing at all to complain about. I'm advocating manners and pleasant behaviour, not whining about having to show my hooves in public.

BlueVernis Wed 05-Dec-12 17:38:07

Once again, didn't insist.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 17:39:02

Sorry blue but saying you would have to wipe her shoes is the same as insisting.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 17:39:57

Actually I do wonder if insisting on shoes off is a class issue.

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 17:40:02

And some of us don't find it 'pleasant' to be asked to take our shoes off or to have other people wandering around our house in bare feet. Just because people don't agree with you MissC doesn't mean they're 'whining', 'looking for things to complain about' etc.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:40:38

It's not very pleasant to make your guests feel uncomfortable.

BlueVernis Wed 05-Dec-12 17:41:45

No... Wiping her shoes would have meant that I would have got the soggy leaves off and she could have worn them on the carpet. If it was a summers evening I wouldn't have asked.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:42:03

I would think you were bonkers if you wanted to wipe my shoes.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 17:43:37

The first rule of hospitality is to make your guests comfortable. This means that sometimes they will do things differently to you.

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 17:44:17

It is a bit Mrs Bucket, actually. Like keeping the plastic wrap on the sofa or getting out the best china everytime a neighbour pops in for a quick coffee.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 17:45:26

It is completely Mrs Bucket grin

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 17:45:48

Or getting the fish knives out to eat your fish fingers.

BlueVernis Wed 05-Dec-12 17:45:52

I would think its bonkers to trapse soggy crap all over someone else's carpet.
Now that's rude.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 17:46:57

Don't you have a door mat?

BlueVernis Wed 05-Dec-12 17:46:58

Rather be a Ms bucket than waynetta slob though eh?
Thanks for all the common sense comments x

Janeatthebarre Wed 05-Dec-12 17:47:36

Or having a knitted doll to hide the loo roll.

BlueVernis Wed 05-Dec-12 17:48:45

It seems I'm meant to be the doormat if I expected to allow crap to be trodden into my carpet.
However, yes the hall is laminate with a sisal rug thing inside and out on the doorstep.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 17:52:37

A leaf on the 100% laminate. Quelle horreur!

ledkr Wed 05-Dec-12 17:54:37

Here too shoes off. I have to say though I've let it go a few times now and my new wood floor has 3 chips already. Mil and sil once came to se new baby and traipsed all over the house on their heels.
I fumed and then made sure I returned the favour next time I went to their houses.

BlueVernis Wed 05-Dec-12 17:54:58

I think you need to re-read my original post. I have no issue with the laminate. That's the point of it being in the hall. The carpet in the living room is my concern.
word you seem to want to argue for the sake of it. Either you are my SIL or Matthew wright.

DiamondDoris Wed 05-Dec-12 18:00:47

It's your home and your rules. I can't stand people walking into my home with shoes on, especially if it has been raining. I have a carpeted hallway (not by choice) and workmen/delivery men have already made it grubby - I can hardly tell them to remove their shoes when they deliver a fridge freezer. Last time I laid plastic sheeting down and that did the trick. Other cultures wouldn't dream of walking around their homes/other people's homes with their shoes on. I have a nice big door mat where I get the DC to take their shoes off, they now do this automatically.

SamSmalaidh Wed 05-Dec-12 18:03:21

Shoes on inside is grim! I would be pissed off if someone walked crap into my house, almost everyone asks if it is shoes on or off though.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:05:08

I've still got my shoes on in my own house shock

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 18:06:02

It isn't Mrs Bucket fgs!

It's called standards.

You know wanting to keep your house clean and nice.

DiamondDoris Wed 05-Dec-12 18:07:12

Btw Koreans always make sure they have spare (and clean) slippers for guests, you may feel like an idiot but that's their tradition. And they really do make you feel like a guest and at home. So, I don't see why people would have a problem with removing their shoes.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:07:49

My standards are pretty low TBH.

Seabird72 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:09:36

I think it's a sign of respect and good manners - I don't always insist unless it's children because you never know what they've stepped in! :-) but I like it when the children just come in and take their shows off themselves without being asked to - I think it shows that they are being brought up right. I was always taught to take off my shoes at home and at other peoples' homes. People who are offenced by such a simple request really need to think about why they are so offended - it's only shoes and isn't going to hurt them to do it but you may have very valid reasons for asking. My mum goes spare if we wear shoes in her kitchen because it makes marks on the floor that won't come out/repair - It's not lino - don't know what you'd call it but I certainly wouldn't have choosen it since it seems so delicate! Your SIL is just alittle unhinged tbh to have reacted the way that she did and then to go tattle on you to MIL.

Cat98 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:11:06

Woah, who was it that said they wouldn't visit someone with a shoes off rule? Seriously? That's not very live and let live! Bizarre overreaction, their house, their rules!

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 05-Dec-12 18:11:48

i have to say in my last house it had wooden floors in the hall and living room and it was completely destroyed (not by me, previous tenants) with scratches and those round stilletto marks all over it. i would be gutted if i'd paid to have a solid wood floor put down only for it to end up like that. i think if it was in my house now i would insist on shoes of, heels anyway.

Op get one of those boot scraper things that has the bristles on it for outside your door, that should take the most of the muck and leaves off shoes then a wipe on the outdoor mat and dry them off on the inside mat should have them pretty dirt free.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 18:11:51

Hmm. Don't believe that usual I just think you kick against this type of thread for some reason.

There is nothing wrong in asking someone to take shoes off in your house.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 18:12:24

I tell ya what it's carpets that are grim. The way they keep all the dirt on them. Yuk!

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:13:17

It was me, and no I wouldn't.

Fortunately my family and friends are not precious about their floors.

I wouldn't visit anyone who said 'my house my rules' either.

MrsDeVere Wed 05-Dec-12 18:13:32

I don't see the problem.
I don't ask people to do it but I don't have any carpets.

I visit families for work and I always take my shoes off. I don't know if they are a non shoe family or not so it make sense just to do it.

Most of the families ARE shoes off.

I work with a lot of Muslim families and it seems pretty standard but when I visit families from other backgrounds it seems very common too.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:15:06

There is everything wrong with it Everlong.

It's rude and makes some people feel uncomfortable. I wouldn't want to look at my mothers bunions either. I would insist she kept her shoes on.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 18:16:22

Why exactly usual wouldn't you take your shoes off?

And it's got sod all to do with being precious.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:18:39

Because I don't want to wander about other peoples houses in my odd socks or bare feet.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 05-Dec-12 18:19:01

for those not to keen about asking people to take their shoes off, get a small shoe rack for beside the door and put the family shoes on it. if i saw that i'd definitely be in no doubt about whether to take them off or not and wouldn't be offended at all.

for those not wanting to have their feet out, couldn't you just wear socks?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 05-Dec-12 18:20:11

what's wrong with odd socks? i wear odd socks all the time, none of my friends think any less of me for it.

nemno Wed 05-Dec-12 18:20:33

This has become funny smile

Standards are not set down anywhere so to invoke them is pretty meaningless. Our traditional 'betters' would be appalled by shoes-off, it would be miserable too in their draughty cold piles. Their standards would once have been 'the' ones.

Now it can come down to courtesy; of the host for his/her guest and of the guest to be a gracious visitor.

In real life this can't really be a major issue, can it? Most people seem to share the view on this with most of their own circle.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:23:29

None of my friends would give a shit either, but then none of them would give a shit if left my shoes on or took them off.

swanthingafteranother Wed 05-Dec-12 18:23:39

YANBU. I think you quite quickly get to know those who expect shoes off and those who don't, as she is your SIL, she should have realised it annoyed you.

I excuse those who seldom come to our house, or elderly people but really anyone I know well, knows to ask whether they should. Often I say, don't bother, floor is dirty anyway, but sometimes, when it is really muddy outside, dogs everywhere on pavement, I feel very relieved to be able to admit, yes please take them off, or at the least check your shoes.

I think it does make a difference if you have small children or any children really, playing on the floor regularily, or in our case a newish staircarpet to get to the loo.

swanthingafteranother Wed 05-Dec-12 18:25:01

But at parties, obviously no-one takes their shoes off. Sigh.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 18:25:34

See I think it's rude to go into someone's home with wet or dirty shoes and trampling all over their carpets.

That's rude..

ToffeeCaramel Wed 05-Dec-12 18:27:28

Your SIL sounds utterly bonkers.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 18:29:40

I have a shoe rack, it's not some secret subliminal messaging device there to drop hints about whether or not guests should remove their shoes, it's a place to put shoes on.

Adversecalendar Wed 05-Dec-12 18:34:40

DH takes his own slippers as no one has spare size 14 slippers.
We have shoes off, cultural but also more comfortable. Any rules people have however daft should be adhered to by guests unless actually harmful.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 05-Dec-12 18:35:50

I have a shoe rack but it's buried in shoes so no one else can use it, anyway. I really need a bigger one for our new house. Or one of those fantastic shoe cupboards DH's family and friends in Germany all seem to have. smile

Clandy Wed 05-Dec-12 18:37:00

Yanbu. I don't ask people to take their shoes off but we have no shoes in our house and most people do take them off as they see us with no shoes on. Tbh I think it a little weird now keeping them on and most often take my shoes off in other people's houses.

DiamondDoris Wed 05-Dec-12 18:39:30

Maybe some people feel a bit vulnerable in just their socks, like they're naked? That can be the only reason why some people might be offended by it. But it's more inviting and homely not to have to wear a pair of shoes in someone's house surely? If it were standard practice like it is in much of Europe, Asia etc people wouldn't think twice about removing their shoes. Pavements and roads are dirty let's face it. I wouldn't want to lick a pavement or shoes.

expatinscotland Wed 05-Dec-12 18:41:06

I agree with usual.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 05-Dec-12 18:42:41

my parent's wouldn't take their shoes off in my house even if i asked. they would laugh at me and tell me to catch myself on. they wear shoes in their own house and my dad is the sort who puts his shoes on before leaving his room in the morning. once he's dressed, he's dressed IYSWIM.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 05-Dec-12 18:45:16

nope, not my parent's. blush my parents.

YANBU. Perfectly usual amongst my friends and family to take shoes off indoors.

Does your SIL normally react like that to people doing things differently to her? Sounds very tiring!

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 18:51:19

It's just good manners at the end of the day.

Nobody wants a dirty carpet. Surely?

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:52:23

I don't have carpets grin

And anyway the cat can't take his mucky paws off.

IShallCallYouSquishy Wed 05-Dec-12 18:52:26

How on earth is asking someone to take their shoes off rude? Especially family? If I walk into someone's house one of the first things out my mouth is "shall I take my shoes off?"

People take off theirs at mine too (except "official" type people, eg man who came to give us quote for some flooring). My SIL and I both take them off in each others house too. I do allow shoes on downstairs though (3 story house) as its just kitchen loo and hall and they are wooden floor. Anywhere carpeted though, no! And the same rule applies to DH and I.

andallthatjargon Wed 05-Dec-12 18:53:11


Drives me nuts whenever my mum is over though as she never does angry

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:54:16

I wouldn't dream of asking my elderly mother to take her shoes off.

caeleth Wed 05-Dec-12 18:58:27

Yanbu. In Norway I've never been anywhere where you're allowed to keep shoes on (except strictly indoor party-ish ones). It is unheard of not to automatically take them off at the door.

Tbh I can't remember ever keeping shoes on in England either..

3monkeys3 Wed 05-Dec-12 19:01:58

I think it's rude to ask people to take their shoes off, but she definitely over reacted. We generally don't wear shoes in the house ourselves - though I do sometimes - but I wouldn't dream of asking guests to remove theirs. I tend to take my shoes off in other people's houses as that's what feels natural to me, but would be a bit hmm if someone actually demanded that I did.

Bunbaker Wed 05-Dec-12 19:04:02

Those of you who wear shoes indoors - don't you find it rather uncomfortable and formal? I can't wait to kick my shoes off when I get home. I wear slippers because they are so warm and comfortable. Absolutely everyone I know - family and friends wears slippers indoors in their own houses.

lurkerspeaks Wed 05-Dec-12 19:04:48

I love this old chestnut.

I'm in my thirties but grew up in a shoes off household which was reinforced as lots of our neighbours were scandinavian (this was in the UK).

My own home (hardwood flooring, also in the UK) is also shoes off. I don't ask but in my experience most people of my age or younger will take their shoes off when they notice the pile by the door.

The older generation don't.

I hosted a family party at the weekend. I was amazed at the difference in my floors after 10 adults with shoes had traipsed through the house compared to my usual after party state (which is normally considerably more adults and a whole heap of kids). The floor was bloody filthy in comparison and I'm almost tempted (but can't quite bring myself) to enforce a shoes off rule the next time. I can just imagine my Grannny choking into her teeth at the prospect!

TwitchyTail Wed 05-Dec-12 19:08:52

We don't wear shoes in our house. I prefer guests not to but don't usually ask, though will gratefully accept if they offer. Virtually everyone takes the hint of the shoe rack and us not wearing shoes, and follows suit, but maybe we just have polite visitors grin Tradesmen offer to remove theirs too which I think is nice.

I always offer to remove my shoes when I go to someone's house, and remove them automatically if there is carpet or a shoe rack, or if the person is shoe-less.

If you can't or don't want to be shoe-less, I personally think the onus is on you to bring alternative footwear (slippers, clean ballet flats, whatever - not that hard to stick a light pair in your bag). People have a right to make rules in their own house.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 19:09:37

I do take my shoes off in my own house unless I'm in and out, that doesn't mean I expect visitors to take there shoes off.

mummysmellsofsick Wed 05-Dec-12 19:16:42

Oooh a shoe thread grin YADNBU! Shoes should be for outside where all the mud and bird shit and dog shit is.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 19:22:18

Can you imagine going to a house party in your best frock and having to wear your fluffy slippers grin

MollyMurphy Wed 05-Dec-12 19:22:50

No one should have to ask you to take off your shoes - its should be automatic and its bad manners not to take it upon yourself to do it. I realize that this is not the cultural norm everywhere....but where I am from it is bad manners indeed to wear your DISGUSTING outdoor shoes in someones home.

Disgusting = thank you for bringing a little piece of every toilet stall you've walked in, a trace of every spit ball you've trampled over etc etc into my home - especially where there is carpet involved.

YADNBU to ask and I encourage everyone to do so.


TooMuchRain Wed 05-Dec-12 19:24:42

I don't like people wearing shoes in the house, though that's partly because we all like sitting/lying on the floor which you can't really do if people have tramped outdoor shoes over it. The only people I ask to take their shoes off are my family and children though.

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 19:24:54

lurker I think some older people probably struggle to get their shoes off at the door unless there's a chair. I know my Mum does.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 19:26:53

If I'm having a house party I wouldn't ask or expect anyone to take off shoes.

But if someone pops in with muddy shoes I'd be grateful if they took their shoes off. If they didn't I'd stay in the kitchen where it's wooden floors. <shrug>

Are you telling me you'd rock up in muddy shoes to a friends house?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 05-Dec-12 19:33:25

i'd be over the moon to be told i didn't have to bother with painful heels and just to bring a pair of slippers for a house party. i love my slippers. best frock or not. grin

wordfactory Wed 05-Dec-12 19:39:30

If I knew my shoes were muddy, I'd take them off, but if I was coming from the car to the house, I'd like to be treated like an adult and make my own mind up.

And I have never ever been to a party/gathering where people had to remove their shoes.

Am assuming the shoe-removal-insisters never throw parties.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 05-Dec-12 19:40:37


Perhaps if I found DH in bed with somebody else

Surely under those circumstances you would hold up score cards then ask the unknown person how they took there tea.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 19:43:46

I'm quite capable of wiping my feet and I don't tend to trek over fields of mud to visit my friends or family.

blossombath Wed 05-Dec-12 19:52:13

YANBU, but agree with pp it sounds like your sil has other issue than the shoes.

To those who complain about bare feet, don't you wear socks?

I am shoes off and prefer if guests take theirs off but would only ask if rainy etc. if people do come to living room in shoes I just Hoover when they are gone, but I have a crawling, lick the floor baby so is more about him than state of carpet.

Fascinated by this whole thing, never knew it was an issue before joining MN. Is it a class, or generational thing?

Glad I read this thread, as now understand why my MIL got so stroppy when we asked her to take off shoes, and made pointed comments for weeks after. Must be to drop with her bunions or poor circulation. Would quite like to get her a pair of slippers to keep at ours, as compromise, but will prob illicit more pointed comments and martyr behaviour. Prefer to keep good relationship and Hoover more often smile

MollyMurphy Wed 05-Dec-12 19:52:28

Your shoes don't need to have mud all over them to be utterly covered in germs.

scottishmummy Wed 05-Dec-12 19:56:25

if asked to remove shoes,I would do so
what a stooshie

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 19:58:13

Wasn't expecting that from you Scottish I'm impressed.

what's a stooshie

MollyMurphy Wed 05-Dec-12 19:58:54

Dr. Charles Gerba:

"Ten people were given a brand new pair of shoes to use for two weeks before having them tested for bacteria.

After two weeks, more than 420,000 units of bacteria were found on the outside of the test shoes. Of that bacteria, 27% were deadly E. Coli virus. Also detected was Klebsiella pneumonia, which can cause pneumonia and wound and bloodstream infections and Serratia ficaria, which can lead to infection of the respiratory tract.

“The common occurrence (96 percent) of coliform and E. coli bacteria on the outside of the shoes indicates frequent contact with fecal material, which most likely originates from floors in public restrooms or contact with animal fecal material outdoors,” said Gerba. “Our study also indicated that bacteria can be tracked by shoes over a long distance into your home or personal space after the shoes were contaminated with bacteria.”

Eco Child's Play (

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 19:59:45

So, having to hoover is more important than your MILs comfort?

I know my mum has awful feet, I wouldn't like to think someone would embarrass her for the sake of a few germs on their precious carpet.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:01:18

It's rude and unhospitable to ask someone to remove their shoes in your home.

It is equally rude to enter someone's home and not seek out their rules and adhere to them.

stitch Wed 05-Dec-12 20:02:10

yes it is so bad. And I wouldnt bother visiting someone again if they made me do that.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:02:29

So one shoe off and one shoe on then, so as not to be rude?

MollyMurphy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:03:27

So get your mom some slippers or have her bring indoor shoes like my mother does.

The person who would wear their shoes in anothers house is the one who should be embarassed - by their poor manners and unwillingness to acknowledge how utterly unsanitary it is. Espcially selfish if the home has young children who mouth everything and play on the floor. Not a tiny matter of a few germs as indicated in my post above.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 20:03:50

Someone's arse could be covered in germs.

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 20:04:04

it's very rude and unwelcoming.

did you ask her not to brush against your wallpaper too?

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:04:41

My children crawled about outside on the grass, I'm not germ phobic though.

MollyMurphy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:06:22

Do your children roll around on a public toilet floor? Because that is what is on the bottom of your shoes.

scottishmummy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:06:46

stooshie,big fight,carry on,loud disagreement
opand her sil had big stooshie,sil went aff in huff

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 20:07:40

It's hardly the same! I can't remember the last time I was in a public loo

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:07:47

I hope your toilet floor is scrupulously clean, because I don't much fancy walking in there barefoot TBH.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 20:10:41

Oh god pee on your snazzy socks!

MollyMurphy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:11:12

Do you not have socks like most people usual? My floors are quite clean becasue I don't allow people to muck about my house in their outdoor shoes.
The people all around you in public places have been in public loos, dog parks, spit stained sidewalks etc then for you mrskeithrichards and are trampling that all over, where you undoubtably have also pick up the same.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 20:12:15

Ah right I get you SC.

expatinscotland Wed 05-Dec-12 20:12:25

'So get your mom some slippers or have her bring indoor shoes like my mother does.'

Yes, because, eeew, germs.

scottishmummy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:12:57

Molly you seem preoccupied.on hand,under nails is flora,Inc urine,faces.germs everywhere.Orofaecal route most common transmission.I'd more worry about shared food passed by hand,than shoes on carpets,given you won't ingest carpet

ps.if you touch someone else mobile strong chance has urine,faeces on due to non hand washing then use phone

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:13:20

I don't always wear socks, no.

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 20:14:37

Bloody hell do people really worry about what the other people using the pavement might have on their shoes?

Why don't you just have yourself laminated and have done with it!

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:15:45

The pavements are awash with spit, apparently.

blossombath Wed 05-Dec-12 20:16:02

Nope usual my point is exactly opposite, I'd rather hoover more and keep a good relationship with MIL by trying to ensure she is comfortable.

When I asked her I had no intention of embarrassing her, simply that I am from a no shoes culture and prefer to keep germs from my pfb (carpet in itself not the issue).

Since we asked her she does remember to take shoes off sometimes, and I appreciate her efforts to respect my preferences. Now that I know she might be uncomfortable without shoes I will try not to be judgey face when she and others keep shoes on, and give them benefit of doubt that its a comfort/culture thing not a laziness or dirtiness thing.

As pps have said, it's pretty much a case of each to their own and trying to be mindful of others wishes when hosting/visiting. Definitely not something worth fighting over.

maddening Wed 05-Dec-12 20:16:17

Is your sil usually weird socially.

Having an opinion on shoes on/off is one thing but a screaming fit, phoning and ranting and flouncing as she did is abnormal.

scottishmummy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:18:27

may I suggest hibiscrub on arrival,install a clean and dirty room,sluice,and maybe Mrsa swab fir all guests
did I mention most if us carry mrsa
we all live with germs

maddening Wed 05-Dec-12 20:18:49

Ps prefer shoes off but if it was friends round I wouldn't ask once ds was in bed and would clean it is the morning.

If you are asked to remove your shoes it is impolite to decline imo

MollyMurphy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:21:17

I don't disagree that there are germs everywhere but since you can easily take off your shoes, mop your floors and vaccum to keep them reasonably in check on your floors that seems a logical course of action.

I completely agree, that you should also maintain good handwashing and try to keep your hands out of your mouth and eyes to help prevent the spread of common viruses aka those pesky, yucky germs.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 20:21:17

Put guests in white paper suits

blossombath Wed 05-Dec-12 20:22:43

Oh and I don't think it's being too precious and germ phobic to try and keep home as clean as possible. DS crawls on grass, as per your example, and tries to eat anything and everything - I think it's good to get some exposure to germs, doesn't mean I don't try to keep things clean for him when I can.

However like I said, shoes in house not a massive thing for me, just a question of preferences really.

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 20:23:00

MollyMurphy do you ever scratch your arsehole in bed?

Just wonderin'

expatinscotland Wed 05-Dec-12 20:23:59

I recommend full decontamination, scottish.

Viviennemary Wed 05-Dec-12 20:25:15

I'd say it was terribly rude. But if a guests shoes are muddy they should remove them.

Haven't read thread. It wouldn't bother me (but then I lived in Japan and tend to take my shoes off anyway if I go into a tidy looking house - i.e. - not mine!) but I know from previous threads on here that people get very funny about being asked to take their shoes off.

As an aside. When DH (then bf) visited me in Japan he only brought his DM's with him. This was a mistake grin

YoHoHoAndABottleOfSherry Wed 05-Dec-12 20:27:46

I wouldn't ask people to remove their shoes - but I don't think I know anyone (apart from my Godfather) who doesn't remove their shoes on entering a house anyway.

I would automatically remove my shoes when entering someone's house and my DC would do the same, because it is what we are used to. I don't like leaving mine on indoors, so I can understand by the same token, some people don't like taking them off.

I still think it is an awkward thing to actually ask though - presumably most visitors would easily be aware if they were entering a "no shoe" house, little clues like rows of shoes lined up in the hall, the fact that their host answered the door to them shoeless, or whatever. I think that's what prompts most people to know to remove their shoes. So if they don't take them off, I think you have to just assume that they have good reasons for wanting to keep them on. Or that they are not very socially aware. Anyway, I think it is a little bit rude to ask an adult outright to remove their shoes.

Viviennemary Wed 05-Dec-12 20:27:48

Or have a sluice in the hall to walk through like they used to during the foot and mouth scare.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Wed 05-Dec-12 20:28:06

I'm not arsed about germs fgs. I've got a dog, cat and kids.

I just don't want muck on me sisal. wink

VBisme Wed 05-Dec-12 20:28:28

I think it's rude, but it's even more rude to refuse to if asked.

scottishmummy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:32:17

good hand hygiene will see off most germs
what's traipsed in on carpet isn't really the issue
or as suggested full decontamination,hibiscrub and paper shoe covers

LilyVonSchtupp Wed 05-Dec-12 20:34:31

In my culture (north London) it is very much the norm not to wear shoes in the house. The majority of my visitors from midwives to gas meter reader to casual acquaintances automatically take their shoes in the hallway without being asked to. DS(4) also has been conditioned (not by me but nanny, playmate homes, grandma etc) to remove his shoes as soon as he is indoors. (it took a while to explain that he didn't need to take his trainers off on the tube.)

Personally I don't care whether guests take their shoes off or not. I have original wooden floors so I do warn people that they go barefoot at their own risk. I personally don't care as a guest. In fact I thinks it's much nicer to be shoeless.

I don't think the germs argument really holds water does it? Unless you go around licking your floor? On that basis you'd bar guests from using your loo.

I also think on a personal level that shoes are for outdoor wear. It's not good for your feet to be encased all the time. Shoes are to protect you from concrete, gravel, dog shit and Tarmac. Wearing them indoors is pointless.

As a connoisseur of Elle Decoration, Living Etc, etc etc, I always find it weird that the investment banker's wife female homeowner is always photographed posing in her white carpeted living room or wooden floored kitchen wearing the most ridonkulous platform stilettos. Seriously girlfriend - it does not make you look glam and yummy, it makes you look try-hard and inappropriate. Sorry, I digressed...

In short, I don't care about whether you have a shoe or no shoe rule, but you should observe what other people do in their home because it's good manners and polite. YANBU.

Lifeisontheup Wed 05-Dec-12 20:36:32

I would take shoes off if it was obvious that the family did in a social situation but never take them off in a work context, not sure if the shoe covers thing would work either as may need to go in and out in a hurry. Never had anyone complain.

EnjoyResponsibly Wed 05-Dec-12 20:36:48

If was wet outside wouldn't you just offer to take your shoes off?

SIL sounds drunk at best. Total over reaction.

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 20:37:01

I take my shoes off "automatically" if I see shoes lined up by the door and the host isn't wearing any. Doesn't mean I think it's normal or that I don't think it's unfriendly.

expatinscotland Wed 05-Dec-12 20:39:12

Oh, and those plastic aprons on a roll, like they use in strict iso rooms. You have germs on your clothes.

MollyMurphy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:39:39

Some of you are just being thick for the purpose of an arguement I think.

Many people obviously have young children who play on the floor and put things in their mouth.....what else needs to be spelled out about it?

To each their own I guess. I would be happy to not have guests who couldn't be bothered to observe the social norms at another persons house.

I'm out.

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 20:41:10

Yes, but do you ever scratch your arsehole in bed?

scottishmummy Wed 05-Dec-12 20:42:11

Molly you're being alarmist and precious.bad combination
we all live with flora,kids out manky hands in mouth
and you know what despite the alarmist links we are all remarkably robust and healthy

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:42:35

She wears rubber gloves to scratch her arse.

crashdoll Wed 05-Dec-12 20:46:21

If you have a young child who plays on the floor and puts things in their mouth and insist on shoes off because of it, do you never put your child on anyone else's floor?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 05-Dec-12 20:48:45

In my house you go in straight through the gun room guests who remove shoes get led into the house from the door on the left those who don't get taken through the door on the right. One leads to the carpeted bits and stairs the other to the slate and wood floored area.

But if I go into anybody's house I automatically remove high heals due to a very embarrassing and costly error made many years ago in a clients house on a brand new floor but any other type of shoes I ask.

The way I figure it people pay good money for carpets ect if they want them to look good for longer so require people to take shoes off who am I to get offended by that.

Greensleeves Wed 05-Dec-12 20:51:32

if they have holey socks do they fall through a trapdoor and get eaten by crocodiles?

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:51:47

Do you live in a mansion, Sock?

LilyVonSchtupp Wed 05-Dec-12 20:55:12

I only keep guns in my gun room.

usualsuspect3 Wed 05-Dec-12 21:03:20

Sockreturningpixie, are you in fact the Kate

Are you talking about Buckingham palace?

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 05-Dec-12 21:07:15

I don't care about holey socks I'm very keen on pulling holes in my own. No crocodiles either but a few trap doors.

Usual, most of the year yes But I don't have a ballroom.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 05-Dec-12 21:12:55

grin nooooooooo I'm not the anybody, and its not a palace just a very old pile of bricks and horse shit (or so my brother informs me)

UniS Wed 05-Dec-12 22:30:16

shoes off house here and many other houses in the village. no one wants horse , sheep or cow muck trodden in. even in "shoes on" houses ( dog owners mainly) it seems the children take shoes off to go upstairs.

mrskeithrichards Wed 05-Dec-12 22:59:16

Oh socks house sounds like a choose your own adventure book!

nemno Wed 05-Dec-12 23:19:54

What about wheelchair and walker users? Do they have to go through a sluice? It'd be very rude to make them embarrassed by asking everyone around them to take their shoes off and make them aware that you consider their presence a germ risk?

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 05-Dec-12 23:23:25

"I'd more worry about shared food passed by hand,than shoes on carpets,given you won't ingest carpet

ps.if you touch someone else mobile strong chance has urine,faeces on due to non hand washing then use phone "


why would i eat food someone else had touched?

SomeTiggyPudding Wed 05-Dec-12 23:30:45

Why do some people wipe their arses with their phones? I suppose if your phone has a mesh style speaker bit you could use it to grate the drier chunks off, but it will build up eventually and ruin my phone again.

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Wed 05-Dec-12 23:35:42

NOBODY comes past my hallway without removing their shoes, and I would never go into someone else's home without removing mine. It even makes me cringe to see people walk around their own front rooms with shoes on! (I wouldn't say anything, but I internally cringe.)

squoosh Wed 05-Dec-12 23:36:27

If you have ever eaten in an establishment that isn't your own home, someone has touched your food.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 06-Dec-12 00:15:28

squoosh stop it!!

<fingers in ears> lalalalala

judefawley Thu 06-Dec-12 00:24:27

I would never ask a guest to remove their shoes; it's a bit precious.

What if you're having a dinner or party? People get dressed up and then have to pad around in their socks or tights? Just wrong imo.

Life's too short to care about a bit of dirt.

FellatioBellsOn Thu 06-Dec-12 04:26:05

yes Jude. Although in my experience the sort of people who make you take your shoes off are rarely the sort of people who have dinner parties. They don't like to cook because it makes their oven dirty.

FellatioBellsOn Thu 06-Dec-12 04:28:16

Exactly jude. Although in my experience the sort of people who make you take your shoes off are rarely the sort of people who have dinner parties. They don't like to cook because it makes their oven dirty and they get stressed about having people in their home generally.

(SIL I am looking at you.) hmm

OrangeLily Thu 06-Dec-12 07:08:19

Bull...... We always have parties and dinner parties and we take our shoes off as do our friends and family. We had a party at the weekend and everyone took their shoes off, some even brought slipper socks.

We're very sociable people and I can be arsed spending extra time cleaning my carpets because some lovely person gets offended because they can't wear shoes. Get. Over. It.

usualsuspect3 Thu 06-Dec-12 07:10:26

Lol at wearing slipper socks at a party.

exoticfruits Thu 06-Dec-12 07:16:07

You are both unreasonable. It is rude to ask someone to take off their shoes but if asked you should just do it. I can't see what being the 'older SIL' has to do with it!
I agree with fellatio- altogether too precious to have someone who puts the carpet first (it can be cleaned). I have a picture of people tiptoeing in, shoeless, to admire the carpet!

exoticfruits Thu 06-Dec-12 07:17:52

I wouldn't want to go to a dinner party where you take your shoes off- bizarre! And slipper socks when all dressed up are even more bizarre!

FellatioBellsOn Thu 06-Dec-12 07:29:35

That reminds of the thread on here the other day where someone went to a particularly pretentious friend's house for dinner, and they were asked to remove their shoes and help themselves 'to the artisanal slippers from the basket'. grin

There was another one a couple of years ago where a particularly strange woman kept a running stock of brand new cheap slippers which her guests were invited to buy from her as they came in the door. I amazed she had any friends quite honestly.

(sorry if it's already been mentioned upthread)

Honestly, just get some hard flooring, a mop, a heavily patterned rug, a decent doormat and a bottle of gin. It will all seem so much easier then. grin

usualsuspect3 Thu 06-Dec-12 07:33:30

I'm imagining the drunken scramble for your shoes at the end of the party. grin

poshfrock Thu 06-Dec-12 07:41:46

I am a lawyer and this morning I have a meeting at an elderly client's home where several members of the family will be present together with their accountant, their land agent and other lawyers. Are you seriously suggesting we should all remove our shoes? I have meetings at clients' homes all the time (I work a lot with the elderly and housebound) and have never removed my shoes nor been asked to. I think it would look massively unprofessional. My own financial advisor tends to visit me at home - I wouldn't dream of asking him to remove his shoes. Family members who are visiting remove them without being asked for their own comfort but I wouldn't ask them to.

usualsuspect3 Thu 06-Dec-12 07:46:48

Maybe you should have a pair of slipper socks in your briefcase grin

exoticfruits Thu 06-Dec-12 07:51:06

I can stand taking off my shoes, if asked, but there is no wayI am wearing slippers that are offered- that is truly dire!

I thought that Hyacinth Bucket was supposed to be a joke but she appears to be alive and well all over the country!

I agree poshfrock- how do you take a lawyer seriously in socks?

I also think it odd because in the summer I don't wear socks or tights- do people really want me in bare feet rather than a pair of sandals?

FellatioBellsOn Thu 06-Dec-12 08:00:47

I went somewhere in a really nice pair of boots once and was asked to removes them. not only did it take me ages to get them off and back on a gain, but I sat there the whole time with my big toe poking out of a hole in my sock. confused

YoHoHoAndABottleOfSherry Thu 06-Dec-12 08:08:37

shock and grin at the woman who tried to sell slippers to her friends when they arrived at her door. I am literally roaring with laughter at that.

My Dad is certainly not a fluffy slippers type of man, but he wouldn't dream of wearing "outdoor" shoes in the house. He has (very smart leather slip-on) "indoor" shoes which have never been outside the front door - and he even keeps another pair at my house for when he visits.

SamSmalaidh Thu 06-Dec-12 08:08:54

Luckily I never have dinner/house parties so posh that anyone dresses up for them grin

Is this a middle class/working class divide I wonder? People with lawyers and fancy dinner parties wouldn't dream of removing their shoes, people who like their houses to stay clean always do?

exoticfruits Thu 06-Dec-12 08:33:33

'Posh' people would never dream of it at a dinner party. ( they pay someone to clean the carpets)

wordfactory Thu 06-Dec-12 08:58:03

I know a lot of 'posh' folk and go to a fair few dinner/cocktail parties etc and have never been asked to take off my shoes. And no one has volunteered to do so.

The thought of everyone in their smart clothes with socks is hilarious.

There was once a coffee morning where the hostess asked everyone to remove their shoes and of course we all did, wouldn't dreamed of not doing as asked...but we did laugh behind her back, I'm afraid.

wordfactory Thu 06-Dec-12 08:59:52

Am actually loving the picture of 40 or 50 people mingling in a lovely house, wearing their nicest clothes in their socks... it could make a great scene.

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Thu 06-Dec-12 09:00:21

poshfrock if the lady had asked you to take off your shoes would you still have left them on?

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Thu 06-Dec-12 09:01:37

fellatiobellson shame on you having a hole in your sock grin

SamSmalaidh Thu 06-Dec-12 09:02:32

OK, so shoes on is definitely a posh thing then grin Maybe I just don't have enough middle class friends for this to have ever been an issue for me.

expatinscotland Thu 06-Dec-12 09:03:32

'Maybe you should have a pair of slipper socks in your briefcase '

Wear them on the pavement first, however; extra points for stepping in spit or where you've seen a dog pee.

expatinscotland Thu 06-Dec-12 09:05:06

If asked to remove my shoes at a dinner party I'd leave. Fortunately, my friends are posh. grin

cavell Thu 06-Dec-12 09:11:40

If you are a guest in someone's home, then I think you should do your best to fit in and if they take their shoes off indoors, I think yo should too.

I agree that it's rude to ask someone to take their shoes off (and so would never do so) - but I think it is equally rude not to offer to remove shoes in the first place.

Jins Thu 06-Dec-12 09:24:32

Quite a few of my friends are shoes off people in day to day life but thinking about it we've not taken shoes off at parties. I do have one friend who insists on shoes off but doesn't like bare feet or socks. confused

I won't wear slippers. The closest I get to slippers is crocs. I don't like wearing shoes much

DiamondDoris Thu 06-Dec-12 09:27:58

Shoes on invariably means more work: Ex brought in dog shit, mud and tarmac - all of which he refused to clean up (that's one reason he's an ex). The tarmac never came out. He was brought up by parents where the father wore shoes indoors and mother in slippers. She cleaned the floors and their bright orange carpet (hallway included) was grubby. It's old-fashioned machismo to wear shoes in the house: "look at me, I'm the man, I wear the shoes trousers in this house". Most guests these days offer to remove shoes. If they don't, I let them in anyway but grit my teeth.

poshfrock Thu 06-Dec-12 09:32:45

Jingle well this particular elderly lady is a farmer and has herself worn mud spattered wellies throughout our previous meetings. She also has stone floors covered in various types of animal hair and mud so I think it is unlikely that she would ask me, but if she did then I would probably refuse. And I'm sure the other attendees would too. I have been to her house several times and have never seen her or any member of her family in anything other than outdoor shoes.

Floggingmolly Thu 06-Dec-12 09:39:03

Yes it is a very rude thing to do, apparently. I couldn't care less, I do it anyway.
I last scrubbed dog shit off the carpet when 8 months pregnant, which some inconsiderate git had walked in and then left for me to clean, and swore then I'd never do it again.
I don't even have carpets anymore, actually, but I still insist on shoes off.

poshfrock Thu 06-Dec-12 09:40:11

exotic I agree with you about the sandals. I never wear socks or tights in the summer ( except for work - bare legs = unprofessional) so you would have to take me barefoot.

Actually, on that point if you asked someone to take off their shoes and they said "well ok but I have verrucas " what do you do then ? Do you still insist or do you let them keep their shoes on ?

MistressIggi Thu 06-Dec-12 09:41:48

"Honestly, just get some hard flooring, a mop, a heavily patterned rug, a decent doormat and a bottle of gin. It will all seem so much easier then.". - Fellatio, I am going to take that as my motto for life!

justmyview Thu 06-Dec-12 09:46:09

It's not clear from OP if the other in laws who were already at the house had removed their shoes. If they were still wearing their shoes, then it was rude to ask SIL to remove hers. I think it was rude to make a point of finding kitchen roll to wipe her shoes. That's what doormats are for.

Her reaction was rude though. She should have done as she was asked, even if it wasn't her preference

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Thu 06-Dec-12 09:54:31

See I wouldn't ordinarily insist on shoes off in my house. Unless they were filthy and then I'd nicely ask.

But I insist that me and mine offer to take them off when visiting.
Nothing wrong with that.

YoHoHoAndABottleOfSherry Thu 06-Dec-12 10:03:38

Am actually loving the picture of 40 or 50 people mingling in a lovely house, wearing their nicest clothes in their socks... it could make a great scene

Well if you had the space in your house to host a dinner party for 50 people, you could probably afford just to replace the carpet afterwards wink. If we tried to cram 50 people in our living room it would be more of a squash the tube at rush hour I doubt they'd be able to find a spare piece of carpet to smear dog shit all over stand in in their posh shoes grin

YoHoHoAndABottleOfSherry Thu 06-Dec-12 10:04:39

more of a squash than the tube at rush hour, I mean blush.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Thu 06-Dec-12 10:07:57

i've just remembered that i was at a boxing day party a couple of years ago and everyone was asked to remove their shoes. it was all family/extended family and nobody seemed to mind even though we were all dressed up.

echt Thu 06-Dec-12 10:13:35

Having been to places, such as India, where you take your shoes off as a matter of course, they rush to accommodate the shoe wearer, and say no, please leave them on. It's a case of making your guests at home.

The OP's SIL though, is an arse. The bit about children playing on the floor is unbelievably PFB. Floors are dirty. End of. And carpets. Why don't you have a doormat for your guests to wipe their shoes on?

Janeatthebarre Thu 06-Dec-12 10:23:24

It still comes across as very Hyacinth Bucket to me. The only time I remember everyone taking shoes off at a gathering in my house was on Christmas day two years ago when everyone arrived in wellies because of the snow and had decent shoes to change into and just left their wellies on the doorstep. But the idea of doing it everytime you walk into someone's house or asking 'shoes on or off'. It just sounds weird to me. Mind you, I live in Ireland so maybe it's a British thing. Any other Irish posters on here who do/don't do this?

squoosh Thu 06-Dec-12 10:31:10

I've never been asked to remove my shoes in anyone's house. I'd do it if asked of course but unless conditions are snowy or muddy I'd think it odd and naff in the extreme.

And it's not rude to not offer to take your shoes off in someone else's home, what a stupid thing to say. It just doesn't occur to most people that others would even expect it.

squoosh Thu 06-Dec-12 10:31:56

Janeatthebarre I'm Irish and have never come across this at home.

squoosh Thu 06-Dec-12 10:33:14

And I DEFINITELY wouldn't wear some random slippers offered by the host. Ugh.

Floggingmolly Thu 06-Dec-12 10:39:07

Janeatthebarre, I'm Irish and no, it's not usual there at all.
It's only here in London, where the streets are paved with dog shit, that I became all Hyacinth like smile

BadFather Thu 06-Dec-12 10:40:53

Good on you it's your home your rules apply in your home period!!!

Janeatthebarre Thu 06-Dec-12 10:45:42

Thanks guys. I was wondering had I been inadvertantly offending loads of people for years by tramping all over their carpets in my size 6s.

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Thu 06-Dec-12 10:49:42

Bit naughty OP!

You expect shoes off but don't offer the same <slaps hand>

expatinscotland Thu 06-Dec-12 10:58:10

'And I DEFINITELY wouldn't wear some random slippers offered by the host. Ugh. '

But they always tell you, 'They're clean'. What if there are none in your size? What if you're wearing expensive tights? Who goes round carrying socks and slippers in a tiny evening handbag?

financialwizard Thu 06-Dec-12 11:00:57

I automatically take my shoes off when going into someone else's home. I was always told it was good manners to do so.

PeshwariNaan Thu 06-Dec-12 11:09:50

I don't have a problem taking my shoes off at someone's house (their floors usually look nice!) but now that I'm nearly 9 months pregnant and wearing boots I do get a bit annoyed. DH hates it and won't do it at home (I do, and wear slippers).... guess who cleans the floors in our house!

In my experience those who hire cleaners don't care what you do with your shoes. Those who ask you to remove shoes do their own cleaning.

stookiesackhouse Thu 06-Dec-12 11:11:12

I want to add my two penneth.

I hate being asked to remove my shoes. I do it voluntarily 99% of the time.

I never ask people to remove their shoes in my house (combo of real wood flooring and cream carpets); I'd rather clean-up afterwards than embarrass/offend my guests.

My friend has a no shoes policy. I went to a party at her house and took along a relatively new bf who was mortified he had to remove his shoes because he had a hole in his sock sad I think it's so out of order when you're wearing your nice party frock and have to schlep around in your socks/tights. As Carrie Bradshaw in (the aforementioned SATC episode ) said, "this is an OUTFIT" grin

Also, my friend who insists on no shoes policy is more than happy to walk into my house wearing her shoes (probably because I don't apply the same policy) but very hypocritical don't you think?

I once went to another friend's house for a curry. We ate it at the dining room table; she then asked that I go wash my hands afterwards to avoid any grease on her new cream sofa. I complied, but was so livid. I'd used a bloody fork fgs.

wordfactory Thu 06-Dec-12 11:19:54

santa the fact that nobody seemed to mind isn't the same as no one actually minding.

If anyone asked me I would do it immediately and you'd never know inside that I was thinking 'what a twat'.

Actually there was one occasion when I let my feelings known. A cousin insisted we removeour shoes and my Mum finds it too hard without a chair so said 'oh my shoes are clean.' Now this was true but also a signal for anyone with any manners not t pursue it. Not my cousin. He made some quasi joke like the OP: cue my Mum having to lean against the wall while she lifted up each foot for me to remove the shoes for her. All done in the smallest hallway in the world with the host watching...

I made my feelings abundandtly clear.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 06-Dec-12 11:27:00

Wordfactory - it sounds like you were rude to your cousin. I would have said "Can Mum keep her's on? She'll struggle to remove them without a chair to sit on." Then your cousin can get your mum a chair or let her keep her shoes on.

FellatioBellsOn Thu 06-Dec-12 11:30:56

Someone once said on here with no sense of irony whatsoever that they were having a party and their new wooden floor was very expensive and they just couldn't have women in high heels on it as it marked so easily. That was their justification.
It's a FLOOR, FFS. Why choose a surface so precious and delicate and so wholly unsuitable for the job of 'FLOOR' (whose main, indeed ONLY job description is to be walked/stood on, remember) that you have a nervous breakdown every time someone needs to walk across it in shoes? confused

wordfactory Thu 06-Dec-12 11:54:19

ghoul when a wonderful, well mannered old lady declines a request to take off her shoes, why on earth would anyone with even a modicum of decency emabarrass her by drawing attention to the reason?

Are carpets really so precious?

MamaMumra Thu 06-Dec-12 12:46:35

I think it's inhospitable to ask guests to remove shoes. A guest should feel comfortable and welcome, not thy they are making the floors dirty / inconveniencing a host.

MamaMumra Thu 06-Dec-12 12:47:14


MerryKissMyArse Thu 06-Dec-12 12:47:55

Yes! ^ that indeed.

MamaMumra Thu 06-Dec-12 12:49:30

Also OP - is there backstory / tension between you and SIL?
If this went down as you said it, she seems like she was over reacting, but there seems more to this, we're you really going to wipe her shoes clean (!) or were you being sarcastic?

crookedcrock Thu 06-Dec-12 13:14:04

Rude to ask, incredibly naff.........(mad sil tho)

JingleBellsRawSharkSmells Thu 06-Dec-12 13:31:27

fellatio but it is their choice to have that floor as they don't wear shoes inside.

We are shoes off in our house but i would never ask anyone for who I know it would be difficult to remove their shoes - my dad is over 70 and keeps his on.

Also party shoes aren't usually as dirty as other shoes so if I did suddenly have a house big enough to have a party I woudl make an exception for this!

santaslittlegoldenelf Thu 06-Dec-12 13:50:14

I thinks that it's a bit of a class issue. The people that I know who ask for shoes off do come across as precious and I wonder why they don't have a more suitable flooring if they are worried about people walking on it.

I mean, if you're going to worry about a bit of dirt then why choose cream carpets instead of something easier to keep clean.

santaslittlegoldenelf Thu 06-Dec-12 13:50:45


cuteboots Thu 06-Dec-12 13:54:44

YANBU moved house in may and one of my family proceeded to walk dog crap all up the new stair carpet. I was not bloody happy I can tell you so now they do it automatically or they get the glare from me

Bunbaker Thu 06-Dec-12 14:57:05

"I mean, if you're going to worry about a bit of dirt then why choose cream carpets instead of something easier to keep clean."

I didn't choose any of the downstairs carpets in our house as they were already there when we moved in. I don't ask people to remove shoes BTW, but everyone does because none of my friends wear shoes in their own houses either.