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To ask visitors to take their shoes off before coming into my home?

(597 Posts)
moomin35 Mon 17-Nov-14 08:36:54

Including my MIL who clearly didn't appreciate being asked!

MTBMummy Mon 17-Nov-14 08:38:17

YANBU - your house, your rules

Can you arrange to step in dog (or even better fox) turd next time you visit and walk it over their floors? [not a serious suggestion]

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 17-Nov-14 08:39:30

Yanbu. Mine isnt a shoes off house, but I always ask when going somewhere new whether they are a shoes off house.

Only one of my close friends asks this, however she has cream carpets and no kids grin. We all have our own pair of slippers in a basket at her door to put on when we go there though - maybe you could suggest to MIL she leaves a pair of slippers at yours?

moomin35 Mon 17-Nov-14 08:44:22

I know she hates taking them off and she asked me to 'check the bottom of her shoes' for mud before coming in so I suggested she just slip them off in the porch. Then she tutted and said they were difficult to get on and off, let me just say she's very young and fit so it wasn't like I was getting an old lady to do something difficult. It really annoys me! hmm

QTPie Mon 17-Nov-14 08:45:15

Ours is a shoes off house - makes the floors a lot easier to look after.

Some people are just difficult. The problem I have had have tended to be with women in heels (which are worse for damaging wooden floors or grinding dirt into carpets).

My in-laws keep some disposable type (spa/hotel) slippers for people who prefer to wear something on their feet.

PlantsAndFlowers Mon 17-Nov-14 08:46:31

YANBU but I would judge you smile

QTPie Mon 17-Nov-14 08:47:49

My (half) sister is the same - heeled boots (stiletto style heels): "too much bother to take off".

I am going to get tough with her: we have moved to a house with real teak floor throughout much of the downstairs - I don't want little dents from the stilettos mud ground into the carpet.

LovleyRitaMeterMaid Mon 17-Nov-14 08:48:03

Oh this one never reaches a conclusion.

I think it's rude. It doesn't put guests at ease. It's precious.

TheAlias Mon 17-Nov-14 08:48:03

This is always a tricky one.

I sounds perfectly reasonable not to want shoes bringing dirt and germs into your house, but it's not entirely reasonable to ask people to go barefoot, especially in November. Apart from being cold, lots of people have feet they don't want to display.

I think you need to either tell people in advance so they can bring slippers, or provide them yourself. I believe in cultures where shoes off is the norm, householders provide newly washed slippers for each visitor.

In UK, until the last couple of generations and still in posher circles, removing shoes was/is considered most uncouth.

LovleyRitaMeterMaid Mon 17-Nov-14 08:51:16

I always wonder what kind of terrain people are hiking through before they arrive at your home. My feet are never caked in mud unless I've been out for a proper walk. I can't recall the last time I trod in dog shit and believe me there's enough of it about.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 17-Nov-14 08:55:10

It's your house, and she did ask you to check for mud so obviously thought they were dirty, so I think in this case you really weren't being unreasonable to ask.

As a general rule, though, it's rude. Especially if you haven't got a spotlessly clean floor - the worst of both worlds is when you go to someone's house and they ask for shoes off, then you find the carpet you're meant to be protecting from dirt is not clean, and your feet end up black and gritty. hmm

Acatcalledblue Mon 17-Nov-14 08:55:12

I've lived in places where it's the norm to take off shoes and you go prepared, but here it's not. Any chance you can inform peeps before they come of your house rules so that they can either dress accordingly or bring slippers along? (I'm thinking of visiting someone recently, me wearing long flared trousers with platform heels-fabric couldn't be rolled up, had to sort of walk as if wearing a too long ball gown and, no thanks, I won't take the guided tour of your new home this time round..grrrr. Would have been so much easier, and enjoyable, if I'd been forewarned.

SinglePringle Mon 17-Nov-14 09:03:36

I don't mind too much if it's a good mates house - somewhere I feel relaxed and at home.

I hate it at a new acquaintance's house - it makes me feel infantile and 'wrong footed' (no pun intended).

I especially hate it at a party. My shoes will have been chosen to with with my outfit and bare or stockinged feet would look ridiculous.

Mostly it makes me think the householder is too hung up on keeping everything clean at the expense of their guests relaxation or comfort. Hyacinth Bucket comes to mind...

SinglePringle Mon 17-Nov-14 09:04:27

Meant to add - of course, it you've all been out for a muddy walk then clearly shoes come off.

ThatBloodyWoman Mon 17-Nov-14 09:07:19

We live in the countryside and at this time of year we inhale mud,so shoes indoors are a no no,unless the wearer also doesn't mind following their tracks with the hoover and mop.

iwantgin Mon 17-Nov-14 09:09:32


it's gross what comes in on the bottom of shoes, whether you can see it or not.

I was brought up in a shoes off house. When I moved in wiht DH he wasn't the same.

We have a compromise now. Mostly shoes off downstairs, but not too bothered. But upstairs wehave new pale carpets - so it's a definitie shoes off up there!

bakingaddict Mon 17-Nov-14 09:11:30

My DH is part Chinese so shoes off when entering the house is the norm in his culture but I don't enforce either rule in my house. If people feel comfortable taking their shoes off fine, if they'd rather keep them on it's no biggie to me. I'd rather a visitor feel welcomed and comfortable in my house than being forced to comply with something they feel uneasy about.

maras2 Mon 17-Nov-14 09:17:22

I never ask this of people despite the fact that I was brought up to take shoes off at the door.I'm over 60 now and still automatically do it.In fact thinking about it, no one in the family wears shoes in our or their houses DC's and DGC'c automatically take shoes off but none of us ask visitors to do it. confused Hmm,I'll have to ask them later why we do it but don't expect it of visitors.

anyoldusernamewilldo Mon 17-Nov-14 09:17:46

Very rude imo, it always makes me feel unwelcome. Your poor MIL, who are you to decide she's lying when she says it's difficult to get them on and off?

gamerchick Mon 17-Nov-14 09:18:47

Can you not just get some cheap no backed slippers and a real nice comfortable pair for your mil? Some people get a bit paranoid about their feet of they are barefoot or worry about smell.

sanfairyanne Mon 17-Nov-14 09:21:47

rude to ask
if you have a shoe rack/slippers by the front door, anyone i know would just ask you what you would prefer.correct answer imo is for the guest to do as they would like (secretly hoping for shoes off is oksmile )

atticusclaw Mon 17-Nov-14 09:22:21

I would never ask adults to take off their shoes unless I know them very well but most offer. I do however make sure that we always have shoes lined up just by the door so that people can see that we don't wear our shoes in the house. I also always without fail ask visiting children to take their shoes off and so generally the adults see the children taking theirs off and do the same. There aren't many people who don't take their shoes off when they see you are not wearing yours.

I would feel very rude going into someone's house and not taking my shoes off. Why would I want to take muck and germs into a friend's house?

eurochick Mon 17-Nov-14 09:22:30

I hate it and find it really unwelcoming. I also have Raynaud's and so my feet get cold really easily. If I know it is a shoes off house I will take slippers.

I live in a city so shoes just don't get that dirty on their way to my front door so I really don't see the need.

OnlyLovers Mon 17-Nov-14 09:24:12

People usually ask when they come to my house for the first time, which I think is nice and considerate.

The answer is 'Only if you want to', but most people do take them off. And my household is a no-shoes household. I don't feel comfortable having shoes on in the house and can't relax.

Boysclothes Mon 17-Nov-14 09:26:06

I always kick my shoes off before going in anywhere. It's such a powerful compulsion that I cannot relax if I have my shoes on in a house, it feels very much like something is "wrong" and I've forgotten to do something. I did a home birth a few months ago where I arrived and the head was already born and poor dad was obv in a state. I actually stopped to kick off one of my shoes! (But caught myself doing it, and did manage to deliver the rest of the baby, albeit with one shoe on and one shoe off!)

In my own house, where I NEVER wear shoes, I think it's quite rude to ask people to take their shoes off. If people ask I tell them to do whatever is comfortable. If they are in my home it's because they are a guest and I want them to feel happy and comfortable, not embarrassed because they have chipped toenail varnish and freezing feet. I don't understand why a floor, which can be cleaned in moments, takes precedence over the comfort of a person?

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