Shoes off in the house?

Does your household observe the “no shoes in the house” policy?

Muddy or wet shoes, and of course those with other nastiness on them, are one thing, but all shoes? My BIL had a shoes off in the house policy, and he vacuumed the house several times a day! If he’s that fastidious about daily vacuuming, perhaps the occasional carpet cleaning wouldn’t be out of the picture. I’m not suggesting that they let me dirty their carpet and then clean it later, but are my shoes really going to ruin your carpet?

This is in an apartment BTW, they didn’t have to sell the place later. I just don’t get it. I think I’d rather have a persons leather or rubber soled shoes on my carpet than potentially sweaty sock feet, that may or may not have some sort of fungus on them.

There’s also the issue of smelly feet. Some people have 'em. Is the potential damage done to your carpet worth the amount of embarrassment that person might suffer?

I have a friend that does this. He doesn’t have a high amount of traffic going through his house. His 3 YO kid has gone through threevacuums by trying to help.

I don’t ever plan on having such a close relationship with my carpet that I might get infected by something. I would never lick my carpet. I’ve been to many peoples houses who allow shoes indoors. Surprisingly their carpets did not look like the floor of a slaughterhouse.

So, what is your take on this? I’m especially interested in the opinions of people that do not allow shoes in the house.

I have a friend in Chicago who is absolutely anal about no shoes in the house. Her take on it is that nearly everyone she knows takes cabs or the El and she doesn’t want the nastiness tracked in. I have to agree with her. It’s definitely not a bad idea; however, my feet do get a bit odorous, at times, and Iam most self-conscious about removing my shoes. On a business trip out west, I was thrilled to be dining at an authentic Japanese restaurant in Santa Barbara until I realized we would have to remove our shoes. I stopped off at the hotel room beforehand and washed my feet off in the shower.

Although I get the no shoes thing, I think there should be exceptions…you’re having a more formal party, where your shoes are a major part of your outfit. Plus, it seems weird if everyone’s all dressed up, but barefoot.

There you go, for what it’s worth.

Absolutely no shoes in the house here. This is Thailand. Only a complete clod would keep his on.

Our family rule is, no shoes in the house. This saves wear and tear on the carpets by reducing the amount of dirt tracked inside.

However, I don’t ask guests to remove their shoes, because I know some people are squicky about taking their shoes off in front of other people, and I’m really more concerned about the day-in/day-out damage done to the carpets by my own motley crew running in and out and tracking Og knows what all over the carpets, than I am about the occasional guest’s shoes.

Shoes can encounter some fairly dirty stuff, but it’s not like they collect them forever. Things wear and drop off.

Do the “shoes off” people get skeeved out when they go to a restaurant where dozens of people remain shod? Surely that must be the most filthy carpet in all of creation, yet they walk on it, and eat near it.

If you have a kid that likes to crawl on the floor, that’s one thing, if one of you likes to do lots of lounging on the carpet, that’s another thing. If the floor is disgusting enough to vacuum three times daily, and shoes are an abomination, I’m guessing that a person that thinks this way gets very little face time with the carpet.

You’ve been in a cab? Clearly everything nasty that has ever been on the floor of that cab is on your shoes! Take them off! Let’s dirty our socks with dust, and exchange foot sweat. That nasty athletes foot you have going, far better than dirt. Spread your fungus in our carpet, and pollute our nostrils with the stench of your feet. Otherwise, our carpet would get dirty.

This makes much more sense to me.

Inviting someone over and implying “You’re welcome here, but not your filthy foot coverings” is almost insulting. Some people look at you like you’re literally spreading pig shit on their floor if you keep your shoes on.

Siam Sam has it right though. In Thailand, they don’t allow shoes in the house. He will be back to explain why this is integral to the functioning of the nation, and keeps people safe from disease and foot odor. I’m expecting three pages worth of analysis, backed up by a dozen pages of research data. He will also explain what a clod is. It seems to be a term only used in the past, but he will set us straight. Hopefully he has his “clodhoppers” on.

For me it’s a carpet wear-and-tear issue. When dirt and debris from your shoes gets into the carpet fibers, people then walk on the fibers, and the embedded dirt/debris will, over time, make the fibers wear out more quickly than they otherwise would. Vacuuming helps, but I don’t like vacuuming any more than I absolutely have to. So we take shoes off when we enter the house, and it lengthens our carpet’s life span.

But again… I don’t ask my guests to do so, partially to avoid being ranted about in Internet fora. :wink:
ETA: Whoops, dnooman got in a simulpost with me.

I guess MsWhatsit isolated my concern. Do what you want in your own house, but don’t force guests to comply with that.

I’ve only been the guest that was “forced” to comply. I could wear my shoes, but would be silently hated.

She has a legitimate wear issue to deal with, tear also, hehe.

Maybe my issue is with two person living spaces. Two people, and a handful of guests a year does not a worn out carpet make.

I’m a shoes-off person and have lived so long in places where people usually do remove their shoes that not doing so almost seems odd. However, when guests enter our house for the first time, see the shoe rack for the first time, do a double take, and then reach down to start unfastening their shoes, we always tell them “oh, we remove our shoes out of habit – you don’t have to.” Most people do, but a few people chose to keep their shoes on. That’s fine. In addition to the stinky foot issue, some people might have holes in their socks, fungal toenails, whatever. I’d hate to embarrass them.

It seems to me that 100% of my son’s friends automatically remove their shoes in the house, though, and virtually all of his friends are American (but used to living abroad, of course). Do American children in the US not automatically remove their shoes? I would think they wouldn’t have the embarrassment issues, and would love the extra comfort of being stockinged/barefoot.

Or American children living abroad just wierd? (Of course, in the northern states in winter, I could see keeping shoes on for warmth.)

No shoes here… I can’t even imagine wearing shoes in the house.

I want to hear about modern reasons for forbidding shoes.

…Did you miss all the previous reasons concerning wear and tear as well as filth, dirt, etc… on carpets? And even if you have some kind of hard floor, wood, linoleum, pergo, or what have you, then the one person who does go in their socks or barefoot has to deal with all the small bits of dirt and crap from the shoes and it can be uncomfortable and really dirty up a pair of socks.

It’s also a big regional thing. I’ve lived in the northeast US my entire life, and everyone here takes their shoes off when entering a house. (Well, not everyone 100% of the time, but most people most of the time.) It comes from the winter and psring seasons when, if you don’t take your shoes off, you’ll track snow, mud, salt, and gravel EVERYWHERE. Sure, you might not have to do that in the summer and fall, but it’s already a habit to do it.

Carpet that has prohibited shoe usage, is not clean. Carpet with such a prohibition, is slightly less clean.

Prove that wearing shoes indoors causes anything harmful. Prove that the lack of wearing shoes lessens the likelihood of being infected.

Off. It’s the standard custom in this country and one I had no trouble getting used to (I always used to keep my shoes off at home). My mother’s commented that she wished it was the custom in the US as well, since it would greatly reduce the dirt tracked into the house.

It’s basically a matter of keeping what’s outside, outside, and what’s inside, inside.

In the house, we wear slippers over our socks, and have a small rack of slippers for guests to wear.

I don’t know who said anything about disease. All I know is, if you live in a city and regularly wear shoes in the house, you will track industrial grease across the carpets over time and it will be difficult to clean. If you live in the woods, you will similarly track mud and leaves and such. One incident of shoe wearing won’t have much effect, unless the shoes are really dirty, but multiply that by thousands of times and it adds up.

I agree.

Should visiting guests, who were invited, be subject to these limitations? Is the potential damage to the carpet such, that any shoes in the house are a potential liability to the property value?

From what I’ve seen and heard, shoe-less households have slightly cleaner carpets, depending on traffic.

Such house-holds also enjoy…slightly cleaner carpets.

When I visit my friend’s house, and there’s a tacit implication to remove my shoes, it’s for the benefit of a slightly cleaner carpet.

I was kind of hoping that there would be a better reason behind this phenomenon. Is it about carpet replacement frequency? Is it about filthiness? If it were the latter, would people not be disgusted by walking on “filthy” floors, or having their kids associate with people that didn’t keep their carpet clean?

Does it not follow that people that are almost obsessed with carpet cleanliness are more likely to get new carpet sooner anyways?

Take two sets of carpet. One has had no shoe traffic on it ever, and the other has. Vacuum them both, and apparently one is far dirtier than the other.

I just don’t get it. I can just see a realtor walking a potential buyer through a house “These people never let anyone wear shoes in the house”. “Oooh, we’ll take it!”

We’ve come a long way since the days of walking through mud and horse shit. We also have much more advanced methods of cleaning carpet, also, we have carpet now. Do people that disallow shoe wearing indoors think that the rest of us are barbarians?

Don’t mean to rain on your parade, but this has been discussed ad nauseum on the board. I withdrew from the latest thread with the realization that some ppl can’t stand it one way, some can’t stand it the other way, and lots of ppl fall in between. NO way am I gonna tell you which I prefer (heh).

This is representative of what I’m talking about:

ETA: ‘do people who disallow shoe wearing consider us barbarians’? (sorry if I mangled it).

Yes. Yes, they do.

Do you honestly care? You’re being undeservingly antagonistic toward people who don’t wear shoes in their home. No one except you has mentioned “harm”, “infection”, or “damage”, just a reasonable desire to keep their homes clean. The dirtiest part of my apartment is always near my front door, where I remove my shoes. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

In the vast majority of homes I’ve been in, in 5 different states across the country, the practice has been to not wear shoes indoors. I grew up that way and have never worn shoes indoors, and can’t conceive I ever will. For most of the people I know, it’s the same. It’s just the way we live.

In someone else’s home, I do as my host does. If my host wears shoes indoors, then I will too, after checking my shoes. I’m always concerned about dirtying someone else’s floors or furniture. Although some hosts would prefer otherwise, my comfort is a secondary concern when I’m in someone else’s home. (I choose my shoes primarily by what’s comfortable and I don’t have toe jams, so it’s not like this is a huge sacrifice.)

In my own home, I prefer my guests to do as I do and remove their shoes, but if they don’t, it’s no big deal. At the very least they should show some respect by showing concern for keeping my place clean, but it’s not like I would force them to take their shoes off or kick them out for non-compliance. I may grumble to myself about needing to Swiffer after they’ve left, but it’s not like I’ll carry a grudge.

Unless they’re like the Comcast guy who obliviously tracked chunks of mud across my living room hardwood floors. Then I’ll hate them for life.

see? :wink: (no offence intended, ** Audrey **). This is one of those subjects where ppl feel very strongly one way or the other. I think I will leave now before I get in trouble.

I never said anything about hating anyone, let alone for life.