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Etiquette of taking shoes off at the door for guests?

(291 Posts)
GYoIsReallyHavingABaby Tue 30-Dec-08 15:20:57

I've just got new hall and dining room wood floor (its bamboo so reasonably susceptible to damage) that was a lot of money to us so we'd like to keep nice for as long as possible.

The front door opens onto hall and goes through to dining room so we take our shoes off in the porch the before the front door.

Does anyone else have a "no shoes rule" and how do you deal with it with guests?

I feel awful asking people to take off shoes on way in... I'd always do it in other people's houses out of respect/ politness and I'd make sure I didnt make host feel awkward about it but a few guests over xmas have made me feel really bad for asking!

mrsmaidamess Tue 30-Dec-08 15:22:29

Ahhh, a 'shoes off' thread.

Can I ask, if its so susceptible to damage, why you chose it as flooring in the heaviest traffic part of your house?

I would put a runner down for when you have company, and let them keep their shoes on.

Habbibu Tue 30-Dec-08 15:23:17

Oh, you've entered into a biiiigg MN schism here.... Search the archives for big bunfights on this.

fwiw, no, I don't have a no shoes rule - life's too short...

PuppyDrunky Tue 30-Dec-08 15:23:49

I've never really had a prob just asking people to take their shoes off if they're coming in my living room, which has a cream carpet that's a bugger to keep clean. It's not a big deal I don't think - just ask them. If they are offended they can turn around and go outside again. grin We have a handy porch area where all the shoes live, btw.

Habbibu Tue 30-Dec-08 15:25:24

These threads are where we discover how many MNers have cream carpets.

Rindercella Tue 30-Dec-08 15:26:32

Would never ask anyone to take their shoes off. Tis rude IMO.

meemar Tue 30-Dec-08 15:26:35

I think if you have a no shoes rule you have to have the courage of your convictions to enforce it, or just accept that lots of people simply don't remove shoes when indoors.

I don't think people should make you feel bad for asking, after all it's your house. But I also feel that it's not practical to expect an entrance to a house to remain undamaged through normal wear and tear.

Carmenere Tue 30-Dec-08 15:28:53

If I am asked to remove shoes in someones house I happily do so but do not think for a minute that I won't JUDGE you wink

PuppyDrunky Tue 30-Dec-08 15:28:59

Eh, my mum always made people take their shoes off in our house in the 70s and she had a swirly coloured orangey carpet.. shock

TheSweetLittleBunny Tue 30-Dec-08 15:29:36

We have a no shoes rule. SHoes are for outside - they have been all over the street and as far as I am concerned don't belong indoors. I don't understand why people would want to wear outside shoes in the house! Most people who know us take their shoes off automatically and generally if they are friends and family shoes come off - if they are visiting for professional reasons, shoes stay on. We have a storm porch, but ask people to take their shoes off in the hall once they are indoors.

jingleallnewjinglebells Tue 30-Dec-08 15:30:15

I don't think it's rude. My lo is soon to be crawling and I'd rather people didn't walk dirt through the house

lisad123 Tue 30-Dec-08 15:32:17

we have this rule in our house although some are better than others about it. We have new stair carpet coming at end of month so will have to happen now! I think it shows resept, and to be honest with my LO crawling on the floor im not happy about the outside dirt in my house.

TheSweetLittleBunny Tue 30-Dec-08 15:32:24

Blimey Rindercella I think it is quite rude to leave your shoes on shock not to ask them to take them off. Why do you think it rude?

georgimama Tue 30-Dec-08 15:33:32

I think it is really rude to expect people to take their shoes off. I will do it if asked to but as Carmenere says, I will judge.

I don't walk dirt into people's houses. I am careful where I walk and I wipe my feet.

I certainly wouldn't take my shoes off in someone's house without being prompted to do so. It's an odd thing to do. It isn't my home, why would I?

<wonders if "shoes off" people take off their shoes in the office, or in shops, or doctor's surgery etc..>>

Rindercella Tue 30-Dec-08 15:35:00

Jingle, I am sure a little bit of dirt will do your child no harm whatsoever (may even do him/her some good!). grin

TheSweetLittleBunny Tue 30-Dec-08 15:35:01

Yes and let's not underestimate outside dirt - dogs wee, spit, left over poo, mud, old food, vomit - all this can be found on the pavement outside in various degrees of decay - who'd want that on their carpet - ewww grin

georgimama Tue 30-Dec-08 15:35:32

Can I answer that?

It's rude because it implies that you are dirty and the lovely house will be bespoiled by your filthy shoes. I actually think most people's feet are dirtier than their shoes. What if they aren't wearing socks? Or have odd socks? It could be embarrassing. Why would you want to embarrass your guests? The very opposite of hospitality imho.

Rindercella Tue 30-Dec-08 15:37:39

Couldn't have put it better myself Georgimama smile

Habbibu Tue 30-Dec-08 15:37:45

"dogs wee, spit, left over poo, mud, old food, vomit" - hmm. If you substitute "toddler" for "dog", isn't all this already on the carpet of most people's houses if they have small children?

AuntieMaggie Tue 30-Dec-08 15:38:54

Not picky about this at the moment but am getting a new cream rug for the living room (we have the dreaded laminate) and if I had little ones that were crawling on the floor and playing etc then yes I would expect people to take their shoes off and understand why.

You might wipe the dirt off when you come into peoples house but what about all thegerms and stuff you can't see?

fuzzywuzzy Tue 30-Dec-08 15:40:01

You could put up a small sign just saying 'Please remove your shoes',
You could put down a runner for when you have guests.
You could just not invite people around.

It's a floor whatever you do it will wear out eventually.

stillstanding Tue 30-Dec-08 15:40:05

I'm with georgimama and carmenere on this one - find it quite invasive to be asked to take off my shoes actually.

I like people to be comfortable in my home and so would hope that my guests would take off their shoes or leave them on as they please.

If you really want people to take off their shoes I wouldn't ask them to as such but leave little indicators as to what the norm (not rules fgs) is in your home. For example if everyone else is barefoot and you have a big pile of shoes at your door your guests are likely to follow suit.

But to be asked ... awful imo.

TheSweetLittleBunny Tue 30-Dec-08 15:40:45

I can understand that point of view - but the implication is not that the guest is dirty just that the shoes are dirty - no matter how careful you are - the pavement outside is dirty full stop. Not wearing socks, or odd socks - you are in a friends house so why should that matter. When I go to friends' house who also has a no shoes rule, I bring my slippers or socks with me.

potoftea Tue 30-Dec-08 15:41:43

Have never encountered this in RL, but would be annoyed at being asked to remove my shoes.

My shoes are part of my outfit; my feet would be cold in just my tights or socks; and I would expect my friends to trust me not to walk in a load of dirt into the house. I would take them off voluntarily if I'd been somewhere muddy.

My elderly relations would find removing shoes very difficult, and would need a chair to sit on to do so.

What do people do then when teenagers visit, who wear those annoying jeans, that are much longer than they should be, and just soak up water and dirt from the footpaths?

PuppyDrunky Tue 30-Dec-08 15:41:52

Well believe me, most people I know have filthy shoes! grin As for their kids...
They are also very chilled out about taking their shoes off and if they judge me, I don't really mind at all. I don't judge them if they have odd socks or bad feet either.. wink

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