To ask all guests to take shoes off in my house?(775 Posts)
Just that really. A few people seem really put off by that.
My dear sil has to be reminded several times before she takes them off.
I hate the thought of trailing the dirt inside the house.
No feeling either way, but this is gonna be a cracking thread!
You don't mind their fungal infections and smelly feet though?
Are your floors spotless and warm? I think unless you are providing slippers for your visitors, or your guests know to bring their own YABU.
YANBU. We used to have a family friend who always refused so my mum used to lay out sheets for him to walk on - never understood how he didn't feel embarrassed enough to take his shoes off! Perhaps he had ultra stinky feet... Also, went to a party once where a guest's stillettos made marks in the carpet!
I come from a culture where wearing shoes inside the house is unheard of. I think guests should respect the host's preferences with regards to shoes.
This comes up a lot on MN.
Your house, your rules, but bear in mind it will make some people feel uncomfortable.
I hate having to take my shoes off at peoples houses as I'm often not wearing socks and my feet stink! I always feel like my feet are too skanky to put on people's carpets!
I have to take my shoes off at my inlaws and it means I have to choose an outfit I can wear socks with. (I know I should just keep a pair of slippers at their house.)
If people ask or seem hesitant, I provide either thick socks or slippers. I travel a lot for business and always nab those disposable slippers they give in hotel for that purpose.
Sorry I don't mean to drip, but I have hardwood floors. Heels are not good for those!
YANBU you pay for the flooring and clean it so you get to decide. Though some people' may feel embarrassed about their feet and want to keep their shoes on. I know I was before I had my bunions done
I don't think it's unreasonable, it's quite usual for Asian people but their carpets are generally immaculate. Mine aren't so I wouldn't bother asking anyone to take shoes off in my house, I always wear slippers.
However nothing wrong with it if that's what you want.
Oh. Time for this thread again? Ill get the popcorn.
Or, to save time, let you know you'll get a split, and there's no convincing people who think it is incredibly rude to demand your visitors take their shoes off, and who would like you to know that floors are designed to be walked upon and you really ought to get floor covering that is up to the job otherwise. Equally there is no convincing people who like a 'no shoes' house is the right way that there could be any possible reason why others might prefer to keep their shoes on.
So, all round a bit of a pointless question / campaign as no-one will have their ind changed
Oh, here we go.
It's just a floor. Seriously. A floor. Is it that important to you?
I always offer to take my shoes off at people's houses, but the most welcoming types say 'don't bother, just come on in'.
I have 100+ year old wooden floors. They can take a high heel.
I'd rather my guests felt welcome.
Move to Sweden its mandatory. I hate it. Worst thing is the primary school children have to take their shoes off before they go into class. The toilet is in off the classroom and the kids have to walk into class toilet in socks - rank.
It's just a floor, you are not going to be eating your dinner off it. I would never ask a guest to remove their shoes, I think it's rude.
It's fine if you're a bit common. Not acceptable if you're not.
Just going to watch this thread as there are a lot of MNers who seem to feel very strongly about having to take their shoes off. Gets out popcorn
There is something really tight and Presbyterian about prioritising a floor, over guest comfort and welcome...
This has been done to death on here.
I wouldn’t dream of asking guests to remove shoes as I am just not that uptight. What if you’re having a party and the women are dressed up
in high heels? I just can’t imagine making them pad around in ‘thick socks or slippers’ - it would render them very undignified. My group of friends went to a house party TWO Christmasses ago where we were asked to remove our shoes. Everyone gossiped about it for months! We all felt daft - all glammed up but shoeless.
We had a do for my parents’ anniversary 2 weeks ago and several of their friends came. The idea of making these 70+ year olds remove their shoes is just silly.
Life’s too short to care about a bit of dirt on shoes. I want my guests to feel comfortable and welcome.
I wear shoes all day every day inside so of course my guests are welcome to
The kids take their shoes off, but not adults. That seems a bit, er, precious.
Ima barefoot warrior. Shoes are probably cleaner than my contaminated trotters
Interesting. I may need to reconsider - for purely selfish reasons - someone mentioning foot fungus yuck.
I actually don't ask people to remove shoes when having a party. I clean the floor afterwards. This is for overnight guests or if we're having a bbq and people are in and out of the garden.
I live in Asia so no shoes in house here. Any workmen who come to the house always bring shoe covers to wear in your house.
If you did that to me, I'd avoid coming to your house in future.
The reason in Nordic countries people take their shoes off is due to the snow and ice they would bring in half of the year if they didn't. In my area there is an issue with dog poo so I like visitors taking off their shoes, and walking around in slippers/socks isn't undignified.
I'll take shoes off at someone's house if asked to. I don't like it though. PIL (before NC) used to insist on shoes off at the door before you stepped onto the glossy oak flooring, but then tried to insist I bring slippers or wear socks so I didn't. Nope. I wear shoes or have bare feet, they can pick at that point. Now redundant because there were too many rules including I had to do everything they thought I should from their limited and misogynistic POV.
My house has stone or painted floors (and underfloor heating in part of it), except in 3 bedrooms. People can breeze in with shoes on, workmen do not have to remove them. I do not fret about dropped crumbs, footprints, spilled drinks etc. It's bliss. Quick steam mop when needed and it's sorted. Some people do like taking their shoes off for the underfloor heating bit. I have cushions and throws for anyone wanting to floor sit on it, and there are a few friends who do.
Shoes off are common in Hawaii and Alaska also. It is considered courteous to have a chair or bench by the door and a basket of socks they can put on to keep their feetsies warm and clean.
It s a custom I brought home with me and oddly enough even when I tell people they do not need to take off their shoes they insist on doing so.
*I'm not implying that household who have shoes off rule are misogynistic/ controlling and weird... anyone can be those things. Just an observation that I could never do anything right by them, even if I took my shoes off.
I got in trouble with them for not having that rule at mine, and for not following their advice that I should have a huge sunken doormat right inside the door for guests to stand on to take shoes off. It's the only way, you know.
The dog brings more dirt in than visitors and he can't take his shoes off so I don't bother either
I take my shoes off when asked but avoid going back. You can set whatever rules you want in your own home but other people can equally choose not to come in to your house.
I’ll remove my shoes if asked, but in all honesty I find it a bit pretentious. Although maybe that’s why my carpets are knackered!
It's really the opposite of pretentious.
The relief when you go to someone's house and get told you can keep your shoes on! No hoping around on one foot, falling over, trying not to show how unfit I am when it's time to put the back on and I'm all red faced and breathless. Why are people so worried about their floors but not care about hands on the walls as you try to balance?
It's really the opposite of pretentious.
In what way? That seems a rather arbitrary statement.
YANBU. I live in Asia and shoes off is the norm. Keeping shoes on in the house would be considered very weird and extremely rude - I wish it was like that in the UK!
Before I moved to China, I lived in Germany and Austria and shoes off was the norm there too. Usual to have a basket of socks, slippers and chair by the front door. My kids have grown up with 'shoes off inside' and they would find it rude and weird to keep them on.
In Austria kids would take shoes off at school in the cloakroom and put on his slippers to wear inside school.
Shoes in the house is grim and unhygienic.
I have nice clean feet or nice clean socks. I don't actually know anyone who would let someone into their house with shoes. Could it be regional? I have friends (in the SW) from all walks of life and many nationalities, and not one has a "shoes on" home.
Not removing shoes indoors is a particularly British thing that we learnt about in school in Scandinavia, as a quaint local custom, and thought very weird and exotic.
I have people who insist on that so I'd say yabu
* In what way? That seems a rather arbitrary statement.*
Because you're prioritising floors (seriously - floors) over people.
Can you imagine going anywhere worth going, and being asked to remove your shoes?
I hate wearing shoes inside it just feels wrong! I always remove at any given opportunity even when people say i don't have to. I don't mind people wearing shoes in mine but I do look at their feet and wonder how they're comfortable it just feels not so to me. However, 2 people have worn shoes up my stairs and dragged mud up which was a bit annoying but I still don't ask as I would feel awkward I just wonder why they don't copy me and take em off!
Different people have different views. I'm not bothered either way and so am usually guided by my host. If they don't wear shoes in their home, I take mine off. If they have shoes on, I leave mine on.
Having said that - if your shoes are wet and muddy, take them off!
If in doubt, ask.
Totally agree about shoes off and I used to do that, even had a little sign in the front entrance. We used to have a gravel drive - wrecked havoc on our wood floors when it was caught in the treads of shoes, another are ladies wearing high heels who don’t maintain the rubber bit at the end of the heel so they’re walking with the metal digging into the wood floor. Light coloured carpets would show up dirt, grass clippings etc.
However, I provided slippers. Disposable slippers (think day spa, hotel)
That was until I got a dog. Then I invested in quite a number of turtle mats. However, most people take their shoes off and I note of my children’s friends, all take their shoes off both in their own home and friend’s homes. They grew up doing this in the homes in our area.
So here in Surrey, it’s quite the norm. (BTW - got rid of gravel drive, would never have one again).
Why is it OK to insist your guests put on slippers that someone else has already stuck their manky feet in?
And the shoes-off lot always seem to think it's some sort of nice, appealing offering.
Me and my family/friends must all be common then, it's the norm for us to remove shoes as we enter our own or each other's houses.
I don't understand why anyone would want to walk outside, picking up who knows what on their shoes, then have that transferred inside, into their homes. My dd often sits on the floor to play, so I hate the thought of shoes walking anything in. We do have carpets rather than hard floors though if that makes any difference.
And I just keep a clean pair of socks in my handbag so I can pop them if visiting anyone.
Its perfectly normal to take your shoes off when you get home.
It's insisting that your guests also remove theirs, that's rude and unwelcoming.
I always ask on entering a persons house if they want me to remove my shoes. It's not an unreasonable request.
You can ask - I have a couple of friends that do and I have to remember to take my 2nd stick as I really struggle to walk with bare feet, though am relatively mobile with shoes. And the ends of my sticks have been all over the pavements too, would you not let me use those either??
I always take my shoes off at other people's houses and they do at mine. No one asks it's just the done thing.
Out of interest what's your preference?
Ah the “grim” and “unhygienic” brigade have arrived. What do you do on your floors, eat off them??
If you have a crawling baby I can almost understand it (although my 4 have survived to teenagerhood despite crawling over floors walked on by shoes ).
I can’t imagine caring more about my floor than my guests.
This is why we only put carpets in the upstairs of our house, so people can leave their shoes on when they visit. And they often do - even though we live in Germany which is supposed to be one of the places where shoes off is totally accepted. The whole "slippers in school" thing is also a bit misleading - the kids mostly wear Hausschuhe, which are little lightweight canvas shoes with rubber soles, rather than Pantoffeln, which are fluffy slippers.
If someone asked me to take my shoes off I wouldn't bother going in but would go home. I have reynauds and get extremely cold feet therefore wear shoes all the time. No shoes = I'm in pain and no one is worth that.
If people turn up with muddy/wet shoes then I'd expect them to take them off but ordinary ones, no way.
I always find it a bit odd how ‘anti’ lots of people are. I think it’s a generational thing as my parents always leave theirs on at home but my sister and I take them off. In our case we’ve reverted to a habit that is different to our upbringing. Most of my friends take them off and do automatically at each other’s houses.
I always take shoes off at home and other people's houses. So does everyone at mine. I don't even have to ask. We just leave our shoes in the porch and everyone else does the same. The only person who doesn't is my gran but she's 92 so she wouldn't be able to balance to take her shoes off and she uses a stick which has been all over the outside anyway so seems pointless. I've had 3 occasions when tesco delivery people have trodden fox poo all over the house (I always just take the shopping at the door now) so I'm glad that everyone does it. I really can't understand why someone would get annoyed at taking their shoes off unless they have a disability or something like my gran. If I trod crap all over someone's house I would be mortified.
I do have young kids though and I think we became more careful about the no shoes thing when they were crawling.
Honesty if you get asangry and resentful about a simple request as some PP seem Id prefer you didn't come over anyway.
I feel uncomfortable asking people to take shoes off. But I'm also very stressed about germs (possible OCD). I know people don't look where they're treading when they're out and about; I'm obsessed with dodging dog poo so I'm always scanning the pavements, and I'm amazed at what other people obliviously step in. Some of that will end up on your floors if you have shoes inside. It's probably fine - but it unsettles me. Luckily all my friends seem to be shoes-off people. We must be very common!
To the shoes on people: do you keep your shoes on in your own home? Out of interest.
Most of my friends and regular visitors take off their shoes when they come round, but if they didn't I wouldn't ask (unless their shoes were sodden or dirty or whatever), but most people seem to. I always take off my shoes when visiting friends houses. I feel so uncomfortable in shoes in a house! Must be from when I was growing up or something.
When we were viewing houses we went to one open house where the owner had stipulated that prospective buyers should take their shoes off to view the house. I did find that quite funny/weird!
Why are people so worried about their floors but not care about hands on the walls as you try to balance?
I do care about hands on walls. I’ve no idea why people think it’s acceptable to prop themselves against walls with dirty hands.
YANBU as long as your floors are warm. I always ask anyway when I come into someone’s house as I do think it’s rude to wear shoes through it unless it’s all wooden or tiled floors.
Asian household here. Shoes off. Love how people think it's "precious" etc to do this. Wearing shoes in the house is seen as dirty.
Wearing shoes in a house is grim and weird. Why would you want all the outside muck and shit paddled all over your floors? I’ve got hardwood so I can just wash but for those with carpets unless you’re having very regular carpet cleans you must have a really disgusting house. I’d judge a shoes on house.
I’m from a Scandinavian family though so admit to cultural bias.
This is also a mumsnet problem only, in the real world I’ve never had to even ask anyone to take their shoes off. They see we’re not wearing any and do accordingly. And I don’t offer slipper socks either.
With hardwood floor I really don't see the point. Cream carpets maybe but wooden floor no.
I have no shoe rule indoors. ask people to i hate shoes indoors. Most people have socks on. We dont really get many visitors
Asking people to remove their shoes would be the height of rudeness. Just isn’t acceptable.
I could just see my guests faces if I asked
I always take my shoes off when I go in to someone's house but that's because I like being barefoot. If peoplle come here they can do what they want in regards to shoes, I really could not give less of a fuck either way.
I always take my shoes off in other people’s houses but don’t expect them to be taken off in mine. Personally I feel more comfortable with them off but now I’m worried it’s a bit disgusting! My feet are always clean!
I often go shoeless at home but it's not a rule. Depends on how comfy my shoes are. I'm rarely asked to remove them, and I'm a community mental health nurse so visit a lot of homes.
Grew up in 'nordic' country, so that shoes off is the norm. I find i take mine off without really being conscious of doing so. I love the feeling of being barefoot/wearing socks only.
I have never asked anyone to do the same in my house. We have hard / wooden floors throughout downstairs, so there would not much damage if anyone did wear shoes.
So far, people have tended to take their shoes off when they see the shoe rack in the hall
Your house your rules. I don't ask for footwear to be removed but wouldn't feel the least bit bother if a friend asked me to in their house. It is called respect.
Ps I never worry about germs and believe that's why I have the constitution of an ox, because I have a strong immunity. I haven't had a cold for about 4 years.
I always take my shoes off when I go to other people's houses. To be fair they are usually covered in mud. Unless they are dressy shoes and it's some kind of party. I do it automatically but think that's because I live and work in the countryside. I think it is much more embarrassing and rude to tread mud and animal mess through someone's house!
I have no floor rules in my house. Most of my friends are intelligent enough to make the decision to whether they need to or not. Apart from one close friend who never takes his shoes off until he notices the mud on my new rug. Then he remembers about his dirty shoes and takes them off.
good thing I love him I'll bust out the carpet cleaner then. No harm done.
In Austria we would call them Patschen - and were ime the equivalent of slippers in UK, but not fluffy like Pantoffeln.
When we moved from Germany to Austria I had no idea what the teacher was talking about when she said ds would need Patschen for school!
How can people think bare feet are more disgusting than shoes that have been walking round in contact with god knows what for possibly years on end? The mind boggles.
I take my shoes off when I get home and replace them with house shoes - an old comfortable pair of pumps. I hate soft slippers. We have wood block floors downstairs but I don’t ask visitors to take their shoes off. I’ll take my shoes off if asked but don’t really like being asked to.
We never had a shoes off rule in my parents house but in my house we have a “no shoes upstairs” rule because upstairs has carpet and I’m a lazy fecker and don’t want to hoover any more often than absolutely necessary. Downstairs we have hard floors and a robot hoover that doesn’t really do carpets.
To be fair, I’d prefer a besocked foot to a bare one, but I’d still prefer a foot that’s been washed - at least sometimes! - to a shoe that’s potentially been in contact with dog shit, spit, vomit and god knows what else for months/years on end,
Do people not just follow the lead of the homeowner? It's rude not to surely.
All I can see is Hyacinth Bucket telling people to take their shoes off and not lean on her walls.
I just don't understand, surely taking your shoes off is just the polite thing to do? I do automatically, so wouldn't need to be asked
I love shoes and boots and hate being asked to take them off. When I've gone to the trouble of picking out the right footwear to go with my outfit, I don't want to take them off and ruin the look. I also think it's the height of rudeness to ask guests to do something that might make them feel uncomfortable.
If I was wearing muddy boots that I'd just tramped across the fields in, of course I'd take them off, I'm not a complete Philistine, but mostly footwear has just gone from car/taxi to front door, and I'm an adult so can avoid dog shit and wipe my feet.
Anyone who buys carpets that are so precious they prefer to dictate what people wear on their feet needs their bumps read imo, and the people with hardwood or laminate flooring who expectspeople to remove shoes is certifiable imo. Socks on smooth flooring are lethally slippery, which is how my ex managed to spill red wine over a duck egg blue sofa in one shoes-off house!
Follow the house holder's request, odd to me or not!
Seems that cultural, personal and weather related reasons apply, therefore all valid I guess. I'm in the 'don't mind either way' brigade, although unless spectacularly muddy boots apply, I never do at home, as door mats and hoovers and mops are my friends!
I think it's weird if people don't take off their shoes and expect to walk in in their shoes and sit down
I'm an adult so can avoid dog shit
I've seen many adults blithely march through dog shit. Being an adult isn't enough!
I just don't understand, surely taking your shoes off is just the polite thing to do? I do automatically, so wouldn't need to be asked
Now you see, if someone took their shoes off in my house without being asked, I’d think that was weird.
Where I live everyone takes shoes off at the door - you are seen as rude if you don’t
Now so used to it seems weird when I don’t
In the UK I think this is a real class identifyer. To me, making guests take shoes off in the house says ‘don’t have a lot of money to replace things so try to keep everything best’.
< runs >
I hate taking my shoes off at people's houses when part of my job involved going to people's house and when we were buying at house and had to do viewings I stocked my bag with shoe covers.
I must be one of the odd ones out here. All my friends and family have a shoes off policy. Doesnt bother me in the slightest.
It’s an interesting one.
I’m from a country where pretty much everyone born and bred here wears thongs (flip flops). Your feet stay cleanish if you are only wearing them inside shopping centres or walking along really clean paved areas. The second you go ‘cross country’ the dirt and dust kicks up and your feet are dirty. No problem and the only people who have issues with this are blow in’s . It would be rare not to walk on grass or dusty paths during a day so pretty much you end up with dirty feet to varying degrees depending on the geography of your day.
We were out one day, DH’s friend rang and on hearing where we were said drop by on your way back through. He had a new wife he had brought back from overseas, she was from a European country. We rock up, greeted at the door, he says we must take shoes off as new rule from new wife who has installed new carpet. First time we had met new wife. We go sit down on the lounge and her face becomes a mask of horror on noticing our dirty feet on her new snow white carpet. She then offers me slippers which I refuse as they are her slippers, how bizarre. She asks her DH to offer my DH some socks (which would be his socks - how bizarre). He laughs like it’s the funniest joke he has ever heard . She then points out our feet are dirty and it will get her carpet and lounge (which was also new and white) dirty. I said, yes I can’t understand why we needed to take the things off as at least you can probably wipe most dirt off the bottom on the mat when entering as opposed to feet you would need to wash in a shower . My DH said who the he’ll gets white carpet . Needless to say the visit was shit. She was odd. We didn’t go back. He would come over and visit us without her.
I am very torn on the whole shoes off when visiting deal. We don’t wear shoes in our house, just our dirty feet , but we would never dream of asking guests to remove theirs. The other thing is people who do request this are entirely unreasonable if they don’t provide a place to sit and remove them. Not everyone wears slip off style and having guests hop around trying to hang on to people to balance or have to sit on the floor, maybe in a dress, and ask to be helped up (which is what I do if not wearing thongs as I can’t balance to hop around) is selfishness at its height.
Here we go again. It's only about a week since the last one.
The streets outside are absolutely filthy. I don’t understand why you want to bring that all into your home when it can so easily be avoided.
@imamouseduh - it’s not about money. I have a cleaner so I don’t even have to worry about cleaning it. But I like to walk around barefoot and it’s nice to know there isn’t particles of dog shit all over the floor when I do so.
One of the first threads I ever read on MN covered this very issue... it was hilarious. I sat back and just thought “oh, how the other half live...”
I let people keep shoes on but that’s purely because aside from the stairs, my house has wood floors throughout. I hate carpets, they’re vairy unhygienic whether people wear shoes on them or not.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.