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Going barefoot

In our current country of residence, everyone takes off their shoes before entering a home. Everyone. This is the case in most countries, in fact, and in the case of Kosovo, where my husband and I lived several years ago.

I’m pretty sure the only country that doesn’t practice this is the United States. And maybe Canada.

When you take off your shoes, you’re keeping the outdoors that have crept onto your soles relegated to the front door. You’re coming in to relax. You’re telling guests to make themselves at home.

And most practically, you’re keeping your floors cleaner.

When my husband and I moved back to the States after living in Kosovo, the whole taking-off-your-shoes-at-the-front-door had become so habitual, we kept at it. It really does make cleaning easier, and let’s face it – it makes a lot of sense. Fly Lady would not approve, but that’s okay with me, because I do things rather differently than her anyway.

(I should note that I do have a particular pair of shoes – those ugly Crocs – for wearing exclusively in the house sometimes. This helps me when my feet are hurting.)

We’re reminded how un-American this idea is when we have guests coming from the States – they’re always forgetting to take off their shoes. We don’t really mind, and of course we’re not offended, but many of our neighbors here just don’t understand this American mentality. “How do Americans keep their house clean then?” my neighbor asked one time, after confirming with me a rumor she’d heard that Americans wear their shoes indoors.

I highly recommend getting your family in the habit of taking off their shoes upon entering. Make a convenient spot near the front door, or just outside it, for people to place their shoes.

I’m sure we’ll do this the rest of our lives, regardless in which country we live. It works for me.

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  1. Org Junkie

    Oh my goodness great post. I have always found it odd that people in the US don’t take their shoes off. This is the strangest thing to me ever! I live in Canada and we always take our shoes off (at least in the community I live in anyway). In fact it is considered rude not too. I honestly cannot imagine having all that extra cleaning to do. I do wear slippers in the house all the time but that’s it.

    The whole thing really does fascinate me 🙂

    Org Junkies last blog post..Garage Sales ~ Yes or No?

    • Steven

      My girlfriend and I definately love and prefer being barefoot)inside house year-round @outside mainly spring and summer. Although my girlfriend Rhonda loves dress shoes/cowboy boots @flip flops @she will only wear them when at work,when we go out to dinner/bar(with or without our closest friends,majority of the time(98% is is barefoot. My girlfriend and I both have a ” barefoot” in the house” rule. She has a beautiful house @ alot of beautiful hardwood floors(heated in winter) and very soft fluffy carpert in master suite bedrooms. Fortunately all of our really close personal friends love being/going barefoot as much as she and I do so. At her house or mine we have never forced anyone to go barefoot(guests would come over,see us barefoot year-round and without hesitation kick off their shoes/socks smiling. It is also very comforting that our really close personal friends have the same house rule (“barefoot” inside year-round).

      The best way to keep your house/floors/carpet clean(on the inside) is very simple (HAVE A NO SHOES ALLOWED IN THE HOUSE RULE. Wearing shoes in the house bring in dirt,mud,and anything else that can get trapped in the treads of shoes and makes cleaning the carpet,or hardwood floors harder. Certainly not everyone(or household is the same as my girlfriernd’s and mine (as well as our cloest friends but “we all encourage/recommend and maintain a “barefoot” in the house rule year-orund

    • Alexander

      But I also think it´s rude and not OK to be barefoot or in sockings when visiting someone?!Don´t you think that too?How do your guests do or you when you visit a house?:P

      • greenminimalism

        It’s all about the culture where you come from! Western society is so repressed, we love to dress up in as many layers as we can… barefeet are just as clean and respectful as shoes. Shoes cary dirt too!

    • Alesha

      Have you even ever been to the U.S.??? It is rude not to take your shoes off unless you are told that you may keep them on. Not sure where you were if you have been to the U.S.

  2. Tina in Thailand

    We take off our shoes here too. To wear one’s shoes into someone else’s house is in effect telling them their house is too dirty for you to walk barefoot in.
    But please do not look too hard at my floors! 🙂
    We do find we wash our feet several times a day up in the bathroom with the ‘kitchen sink sprayer’ that is installed next to the toilet. Very handy.
    But you are right, walking around on hard tile all day can make for some sore tooties and I have just bought a pair of indoor shoes. But darn it all, I forget that I am wearing them and walk outside. Good thing they wash well!

    Great tip! I shudder to think about all the dirt that is trapped in the carpet of our old houses where we used to wear our shoes. ick and double ick.

    • maria luisa

      In spain we always take our shoes off but keep indoor shoes (slippers) and NEVER walk barefooted. This could cause many feet diseases. Expecting visitors to take their shoes off without providing other wear is thoughtless and I would refuse to do so unless I was wearing tights. Floors are never cleaned, especially with many people walking on sweaty feet, or worse still if there are dogs in the house. Let´s learn about health and real hygiene. Should we not provide some kind of mat at the door for visitors? I definitly would not feel at home in my barefeet. But as I said We do change our shoes for house slippers.

      • Alexander

        Maria luisa,then you and I have exactlty the same mentality.We also change to slippers when we get home!I think that´s the best and most correct way to act!
        Walking barefoot is NOT hygienic at all!Here in Sweden people are very unhygienic,in summer they walk barefoot in other peoples houses without even reflecting if it´s unhygienic or not…….

        • mike

          I am with Alexander here and Maria Luisa. We all change into slippers when we get home

        • Tanake

          How is it not hygienic?

    • Steven

      I agree with Tina -to wear shoes into someone else’s house(home) is definately telling them in effect their house is too dirty for you to walk barefoot in. I certainly don’t see & can’t understand why you,or anyone would get offended,embarrassed,upset about going/being barefoot in someone else’s house(especially your best friend’s & especially if they answer the door in their barefeet. My girlfriend & I keep our house immaculate from top to bottom(including the hardwood floors & carpeted areas(living quarters) & she/I would be really annoyed if one of our closest friends came in from outside & brought dirt or anything else from their shoes that was stuck to the bottom & proceeded to walk into our house having all that stuff break off eyerywhere(floors & get stuck in carpet. So yes therefore she & I have a “barefoot in the house” year-round rule & no it’s not by any means rude or impolite to kindly ask your house guests to go barefoot. My g irlfriend would definately surprise a lot of you as she is so comfortable with herself she soemtimes even lounges around the house with guests or entertains our really close friends totally nude. -& sometimes her friends join her

  3. simplemom

    @Org Junkie – Thanks for clearing up what I’ve always wondered – whether Canadians practice this, too. So it is just us weird Americans! 😉

    @Tina – I LOVE Thailand. We spent two months there last summer, mostly in Chiang Mai. Tell me about your kitchen sink spray! I’m serious, I’d love to learn about it.

    • Alexander

      You americans would have been more “normal”if you had changed to slippers when getting home….because that´s the more normal way to act imo!:P

  4. Laura

    In Alaska it is also customary to remove one’s shoes when entering a home. After living/working there for the past few months it now feels very strange to walk around inside the house with shoes on!

  5. Laura

    I live in the USA and grew up wearing shoes inside. Then, when I was 28 years old, I met my husband’s aunt and saw her beautiful home. Everyone that visited took their shoes off at the door. It took me a few more years to really implement in our home, but we now have a rectangle shaped planter box we keep by the door with our commonly used shoes. Our kids, 3 and 1, also know where to find their shoes and where to put them away when coming inside. I LOVE IT!

    LOVE your blog by the way – just found it last night and read through all your posts!!! Great stuff!!

  6. Melissas Howard

    Interesting…nearly everyone that is commented is like my family in some respect – life is cool that way. I wear slippers in the house just like Org Junkie because otherwise my feet get too dry and my heals crack.

    My husband I grew up in households that wore shoes in the house – although in my house my parents seldom did for two reasons. My Mom loves going barefoot and my Dad wore heavy workboots and so it was natural for him to want to take them off when he entered the house.

    Somewhere along the line very early in our marriage we chose to always take our shoes off in the house. And we wipe our dog’s feet too. 🙂

    I have a large basket where the children (3 and 6) put their shoes when they come in and find their shoes when I tell them we are going out.

    My parents have adapted very well to this as have all my siblings in fact, I think both my sisters have shoeless households. However, my in-laws have a very difficult time with it.

    I think it just makes sense.

    Melissas Howards last blog post..making what is old, new

  7. Howdy

    My daughter picked this habit up while going to school in Hawaii and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do at home but my husband was resisitant before. We are both better about it now and will probably make it a firm rule when we move into our house soon. (Temp. rental due to a move) Although I love to be barefoot – I do have indoor shoes because I need the support. I have different shoes/boots to wear out back when I pick up after the dogs. I keep a big cotton rug by the door the dogs come and go from and they have to sit for a bit for their paws to dry if wet. The rug is easy to pick up and throw in the washer.

    Howdys last blog post..Happy Birthday Miss K

  8. simplemom

    Interesting ideas, all. It does seem to be more of a trend in our generation than our parents’.

  9. Julia

    I am so glad I married my Korean husband because this became a natural tradition in our home. Living in NYC and walking in subways where people are constantly spitting and who knows what else, I am very happy to take my shoes off before entering our apartment. I sometimes feel bad though asking my parents or other Americans who are not accustomed to it to take off their shoes at the door. I have to stop them as they’re walking in sometimes and I feel a little rude.

    Julias last blog post..Custom Stamps by CraftPudding

  10. simplemom

    @Julia – I know what you mean! I often feel rude asking our American friends – as if I’m telling them they’re specific shoes are too gross to be in our home. But everyone here finds this obvious, so Americans are the only ones I have to remind.

  11. Lynn

    I also grew up wearing shoes in the house but my husband and I stopped when we moved to our current house because it had nice carpet. Most of our visitors see that we take off our shoes and take theirs off too but we don’t ask anyone to do it. With 2 toddlers and 2 cats our carpets need to be cleaned at this point anyway! 🙂

  12. Kit

    Guilty by birth I suppose. I’ve never lived in a house where I’ve been expected or where I expected shoes to be removed. I have visited homes like this and yes, they were always clean. I was envious. But no connection was made. Well, “ding!” I see it so clearly now. Thank you!
    My only problem is going to be getting my 8 year old to actually wear his shoes outside. We live in a coastal town and he is forever barefoot. But, I think if I put socks in the basket for him to put on, that could work.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Karen

    I grew up wearing shoes indoors, but I stopped that practice when I grew up and started my own home. My kids remove their shoes upon entering any house, and most of their friends do it here too — whether to mimic my kids or because their parents have taught them to, I don’t know. My husband has been harder to train. 😉

    Karens last blog post..Knap! Knaetter! Knak!*

  14. Barbara Ling

    My husband, kids and I always take off our shoes at home but make certain to wear socks – keeps our feet nice and toasty warm.

    The challenge I personally encounter is in my family room/office – it’s where my 15 TwitterBudgies reside and they have an insane gift for chewing up nesting material and decorating various places with style and verve (ie, my socks gather bunches of chafs).

    I also find myself having to remove my nice toasty socks whenever I have to mop the kitchen floor (I soak two kitchen rags and skate about with them – great cardio workout) but hey…it’s a worthwhile tradeoff. 🙂



    Barbara Lings last blog post..21 Days to a more profitable blog – Day 2! Enhance your blog to compel word-of-mouth

  15. Dominique

    In our Asian Culture it is the norm to leave shoes outside the house. Everyone does that. Even if shoes are brought into the house they are removed at the door and kept in the shoe cabinet next to the main door.
    I find that it certainly keeps the house much cleaner. We do have bedroom slippers to use in the house when the weather turns cold or for normal usage so the “coldness” from the floor doesn’t seep in when you walk and result in aching feet- especially for older folks. I get the boys to use kid size bedroom slippers so they don’t catch a chill.

    Dominiques last blog post..I is for IGLOO

  16. Tiffany

    I love the idea of taking off shoes inside. I’m normally barefoot, but that has more to do with comfort than cleanliness. Most of our friends take off their shoes as well, again for comfort. We are in Arkansas, after all. 🙂

    Tiffanys last blog post..Waiting for the Sun (The Jayhawks)

  17. Andrea

    Indeed in Canada everyone, everywhere takes off their shoes. It’s a country custom! I married an American (he has now adapted our shoes- off custom) and at first I was aghast that his family kept there shoes on inside the house – all the gravel, sand, dirt that made its way into the home. UGH. They couldn’t care less though so who can argue.

  18. Laura @ Move To Portugal

    It’s not customary here in the UK however in our house we have a big shoe rack by the door so most of the time people put their shoes on it. If they don’t I’ve been known to either shout ‘SHOES’ if its the kids, or stare at peoples feet if its a visitor, this usually gets the message across. 🙂
    Am I very rude?

    Laura @ Move To Portugals last blog post..Grocery Spending so far in May

    • marie

      Has so many people forgotten why we have mops and hoovers?
      As children we always removed our shoes. My mother kept the slippers in the utility room and we always wore them in the house. She would clean the shoes(soles and all) ready for next time out.
      I still remove my shoes at home and so does my mother,but neither of us would expect our visitors to do so. My father who is 76, has two hips prosthesis, discal and umbilical hernias and finds it extremily difficult to stand, was told to remove his shoes in a non-carpeted house.It was so sad watching him straggling while attempting to do so unaided.Where have our priorities gone?
      My mother was so disgusted than when she was told to take her sandals off without providing slippers she stood up and left the house. She wouldnt under any circunstances go to the toilet (if she had to)in her barefeet.Would anyone? We believe in hygine, do not worry so much about spending a little time moping or hoovering

      • Mikael

        No shoes indoors = BETTER hygine, pretty obvious. If you would not walk into someones toilet without shoes I would not walk into your WITH my shoes. How often do you clean your toilet, ones a year?

        • marie

          You are an ignorant…. what do you know about hygiene? You are just lazy. A mop. ckean water , clean desinfectant.. Clean you house love and wear clean slippers in door. Your feet are full of fungus, dirty sweat. Mine are clean because I keep them well cover with clean soaks or slippers, depending on the weather. Nice powder etc.No darling my toiltet is clean. I bet I clean it more often that you clean your hands, or your tooth brush for that matter. How often do you wash them with soap?It is lazy people like you that make this comments. Ask any doctor. It would really make me feel sick watching people with smelly feet under a table. You defenetly wouldnot be under mine. Can you imagine the queen of England going around in bearfoot? How often do you warch your feet? Before going to bed a pressume. otherwise how often do you wash your sheets? How about dogs, have you any? I would be quite interested if you could answer all my questions. after discussing with a PODOLOGO. Do you know what that is? Look at the dictionary and stop being insulting. How old are you? I think you have a lot to learn.

        • Mikael

          Why am I ignorant?? And why do you call me lazy? You know nothing about me. I keep my house very clean, I’m actually a clean freak just so you know. My feet are full of fungus?? What’s wrong with you? My feet have no fungus, do you think all feet are full of fungus? I keep my feet clean, they may sometimes be sweaty but not DIRTY sweat as I keep them clean. Do you know what a big cause for fungus is? Sweating and bad air circulation is, things you get from keeping your feet in shoes all day! And to make things straight, I never said you had to go barefoot when you’re at home, actually I almost never do. What I said is you should take your shoes off. I pretty much always wear socks when I’m at home. Clean slippers are fine too. What I think is disgusting is to wear dirty shoes inside a clean home. I’m Swedish but I lived for 3 years here in the US know, studying, and I’ve seen a lot of dirty homes because of people not taking their shoes off. I’ve lived in a country for 28 years where everybody takes their shoes off when going inside and I can promise you this, smelly feet under the tables are not an issue at all. What I reacted to was your comment about not going into someone’s toilet without shoes. I think the way you put it was actually kind of IGONOARNT and INSULTING. Good for you if you have a clean house. I have a very clean house too, and I take my shoes off when I get home, making it even cleaner. I didn’t know what the word PODOLOGO meant.. I’ve looked it up though and it seems the word is actually PODIATRIST in English. Why do you bring up dogs, it’s not very relevant to this discussion but for your information I do not have any dogs. By the way, I read another post further down which I guess is yours and it seems like you think you have the feet of a goddess or something and that the feet of everybody else are disgusting and dirty, give me a break. I’m 28 by the way.

        • marie

          You accused me of cleaning my toilet once a year. If you had read the comment you would have noticed that we DO take our shoes off. I have many Swedish friends and I must say that they are very clean. However when I entertain them they do NOT take their shoes off and they do not leave any dirt on my floors either. I have been to a house where they do take their shous off, they walk around in fealthy slippers, and the kitchen sink needed a bottle of bleach amongst other things. I mentioned the dog because there are many shoe off people who kiss their dog in the mouth and even take them to bed with them, and I wonder what they do with thir feet when they take them bakc from the fields and allow them to sit in the chairs!So I feel that many people need to know that one thing is cleanliness and other hygine. Podologo is an Spanish word and I am Spanish. How can your house be cleaner when you walk on it. Houses must be cleaned regularly , not only the floor but top of furniture etc.I did not want to insult you but felt it was quite ignorant to accuse some of not cleanind their toilet. These articles are very judgemental. How do we know how hyginic everyone is, Really? All I know is that my friends mean a lot to me I would not upset them by insinuating their shoes are dirty. It does not take me long to ckean everything after I entertain. I live in Spain although I have spent many years in England. Hope we understand each other now

        • Mikael

          I guess we kind of misunderstood each other, got off to a bad start so to speak. I get your point and hopefully you get mine. It seems like we can agree about one thing, keeping our house clean is important to both of us. Some take off their shoes and some don’t, it’s as simple as that. Have a nice day.

  19. Jessica

    We have some friends who ask everyone to take their shoes off. (I’m in the US.) Although I understand in theory, it is not a custom in this country and it does make people feel uncomfortable. Some people don’t know to bring socks or slippers and spent the evening with their feet cold. Or they are just not comfortable with the way their feet look (or smell- yuck)… nothing will ruin a meal faster than someone with stinky feet at the table!

    I think it goes back to the American mindset of thinking that if you invite people to your home, your goal should be to make them feel as comfortable as possible. If you are more worried about your carpet than your guests then perhaps you shouldn’t entertain in your home.

    I know that doesn’t work for everyone, that is just the way I see. People are welcome to do whatever the want at my home.

    I feel like if my friends let their dog live in the house and get on the couch it would be insulting to act like my shoes are somehow more disgusting than their dog.

    • Bev

      I’m Asian so I grew up removing my shoes. My husband is white so he grew up wearing his shoes. However, he’s adapted and realized it is not only more comfortable, but our house is so much cleaner! Also, I have a dog… but sadly, I’m so OCD… we clean his paws every time he enters the house AND we always wipe him down after a day spent outdoors (because I can just imagine the filthy sidewalk that he laid/sat on… as we ate lunch at an outdoor cafe… after all, that is the same sidewalk that thousands of shoes have walked across…). I too believe in making sure my guests are comfortable, however at the same time, I still feel that they should respect our customs. I do keep my mouth shut if they decide to keep their shoes on. After all, I do have a nice sign that says, “Aloha, please remove your shoes, Mahalo”. My thoughts (to compromise), is if my guests would like to go upstairs to check out the rest of the house, then I would have ask them to remove their shoes. Otherwise, they get to stay downstairs!

    • Alexander

      Poor guests!I really feel for them,to be barefoot at another house is very UNCOMFORTABLE,and I think it´s a little disrespectful to the guests to make them remove their shoes if they can´t provide any slippers or other indoor footwear!

  20. Robin @ Heart of Wisdom

    I’m a Florida Cracker. I’m always talking off my shoes. Especially becasue we are coming in from the barn with euggghhh on our boots.

    Robin @ Heart of Wisdoms last blog post..We Have Too Much Stuff

  21. Shane

    Hi there! I just Stumbled on your blog and love it. I’ve looked around a bit and found so many great posts to read. I’ve bookmarked you and will return often. Take care. 🙂

    Shanes last blog post..Encourage Your Teen to Read with Free Books

  22. christina

    I am canadian born and raised ! I have always wondered why on sitcoms they all kept shoes on inside. I honestly thought that was just on

  23. simplemom

    @Jessica – That’s an interesting point, particularly about the dog. That makes sense! I think other cultures want their guests to be comfortable as well, and this is how they show it. I can’t speak for everywhere, of course, but where we live, you’d be saying you were uncomfortable in their home if you left your shoes on.

    That said, almost no home here has wall-to-wall carpeting. And there are a variety of slippers available for guests by the front door, in case they get cold.

    @Shane – Welcome! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you around.

  24. PreSchool Mama

    I have to pipe in with the other Asians who’ve commented here, and say that leaving your shoes outside is a normal custom here. I honestly didn’t even think about it that much before this post! It’s just how we do things. Part of it has to do with germs, of course. Plus, the fact that we are a spiritual kind of people, with prayers and rituals being conducted at home, and most Asian religions don’t allow footwear inside their place of worship.

    Having said that , I wear a pair of flip flops at home. But they’re exclusively for home use, and will not see the outside of the front door!:)

    PreSchool Mamas last blog post..How to Make Model Towns and Farms with Your PreSchooler

  25. Megan@SortaCrunchy

    Well, this “hippie” mama LOVES to be in her barefeet. If I could figure out a way to go barefoot around town, I’d do it. I’m hillbilly like that. So yes, I am always barefoot at home (and don’t buy into FlyLady’s dressed to the shoes theory AT ALL). Anyway, we always take off our shoes immediately upon coming in. I love the idea of getting a planter or some container for everyone’s shoes, as a previous commenter suggested.

    In our current home, we have brand new carpet, so we try to gently encourage people to take off their shoes when they come in by saying, “Hi! Come on in! You can leave your shoes right here.”

    I also agree with you that I think our parents’ generation is much more resistant to this. My parents and parents-in-law never take their shoes off in our home voluntarily. It drives me NUTS.

    • KB

      I agree with you completely Meg, I love going barefoot.

  26. Tracey

    where did you get the STARBUCKS WIGGIT for your blog?

    Traceys last blog post..

  27. Storm

    I have a HUGE basket by the front door where all shoes go when we enter. I love the idea and everyone knows where there shoes are so there is no running around trying to find shoes in the morning.

    Storms last blog post..Works for Me Wednesday #4

  28. joyfuljourney

    It’s also a common practice in the midwest (and many other areas receiving lots of snow each winter) to remove shoes at the door. The last thing you want in the winter is wet, sloppy, dirty snow tracked through the house.

    This habit took a while for these Texans to get used to, but it really makes sense!

    joyfuljourneys last blog post..Energy to Burn

  29. Eco-mama from Hong Kong

    Hello Simple Mom

    Yes, us Hong Kongers also take off our shoes before entering a household so as to keep germs away. This is especially when you have small children who tends to live off the floor and pick things up, put them in their little mouths as they please.

    Great article and I love that photo too!


    Eco-mama from Hong Kongs last blog post..Organising and Cleaning Tips, anyone?

  30. Tara

    I totally agree.. we have a “shoe” bench..that hides all our shoes when we come inside. Sure does help keep the house a lot cleaner..

    Taras last blog post..Weigh in Wednesday

  31. Christina G

    I grew up in the US taking my shoes off inside, but my mom is Thai, so that may be why. However, when I moved out, I kept up this tradition, and when people came over, they’d always ask if they should take their shoes off. I’d tell them they didn’t have to, but they always did.

    Now here in Germany, it’s still the same in my house, but at my German MIL’s house they always wear shoes and she frets if I go barefoot, thinking that I’m going to catch cold (even in the summer). My hubby grudgingly accepts my no shoes in the house rule, but he forgets a lot too. Aargh.

  32. Kristin

    Goodness – all you non shoe wearers lol My mother told me when I was very young that we needed to keep our shoes on our feet until we were done for the day. When FlyLady talks about wearing shoes, it doesn’t even phase me because I’ve done it all my life. About 9 pm is when I finally take off my shoes and am done for the day.

    I’m all for doing what works, though, and I honestly can’t function without my shoes – I go inside and out so often that putting my shoes on each and every time would take out a lot of valuable time in my day.

    Interesting post though – I had no idea that most of the world had a no shoes inside policy. interesting.

    Have a Great Day!

    Kristins last blog post..WFMW – SASE

  33. Jeff

    I spent a fair number of growing up years in Canada (West Coast) and we always took our shoes off.
    Most of our “American” friends also take their shoes off when they come into the house for a couple of reasons, we have a rather large collection of shoes by the back door that people can see when they enter. There are some people that don’t get the clue… to those it isn’t made an issue, but then they don’t walk around the whole house either. 🙂

  34. Jenn @ Frugal Upstate

    Well, I grew up in a house where we always had to have something on our feet. My dad found bare feet to be gross-but he lived in a tentament as a child and bare feet = squishing coackroaches with your toes. That obviously left him a psychological scar!

    As an adult we usually take off our shoes-and most of my friends here in rural upstate NY do the same. I don’t know why it’s fairly common here. .

    Jenn @ Frugal Upstates last blog post..Happy Anniversary to Us!

  35. Tiff@Three Peas

    we use to leave them at the front door until we got a dog that would run off with our shoes. So now we have a large basket that we have under a table by the front door on the inside. My hubby still has a hard time remembering to take off his shoes but my kids remember! They’d rather go barefoot any ways.

  36. A.M.B.A.

    Here in China it is also the custom to remove your shoes. We were already doing it while living in the US, so it’s second nature to us. No one in our family likes to go barefoot, so it’s slippers/flips year round.

    In the US, most of our guests will remove their shoes because they see us shoeless. I think I found the solution for guests who may be reluctant. The Chinese have a basket of bamboo slippers of various sizes available for their guests. There are also plastic shoe bags to buy, so this could be an alternative for those who want to keep the shoes on. In China, the men who bring the drinking water bottles wear put these on before entering your home because they are in and out in a matter of minutes. So, looks like I’m bringing slippers and shoe bags home!

  37. A.M.B.A.

    Also good point of having shoes exclusively for the house. Stick to it – don’t wear your inside shoes outside for a minute – ie. down the driveway to pick up the mail, put something in the oil-stained garage, walk across the lawn and into the garden to pick a tomato for dinner, etc. Inside shoes are for the inside only! If not, the dirt returns.

  38. Shannon

    I’m with you Jessica. Unless my shoes are wet or muddy I am much more comfortable with them on. Plus I think if you expect and ask people to remove their shoes you darn well better have a place for them to sit down and do so. Not everybody wears slip on shoes. My husband always wears boots and he needs to sit down to take off and put on his boots. Also my parents are elderly I would never expect them to stand up to put on or take off their shoes. I just think there are other things people need to consider sometimes.

  39. Laura G

    When I was growing up, shoes-on was the rule. I mean, it was literally the rule — we would get yelled at if we ran around barefoot. There was always something to step on, the potential for splinters from the (ancient) hardwood floors, and a genetic klutziness that predisposed us to toe-stubbing. If I ever pointed out that friends took their shoes off in the house, my mother would respond that unbroken toes are more important then pristine carpets — and usually would add that when I was old enough to take myself to the emergency room, I could walk around barefoot all I wanted.

    Laura Gs last blog post..I Am America (And So Can You!)

  40. Sheila

    I live in North Idaho and we ALWAYS take off our shoes when we enter the house. I do have slippers I put on when it gets chilly, but those are for the inside only. Most of my friends also have this rule in their homes, so we’re not complete neanderthals here in the States. 😉

    Sheilas last blog post..Joel: Bargain shopper extraordinaire

  41. viki

    I grew up in the UK but my mom was Canadian.Shoes ALWAYS came off at the door and we usually put slippers on.I now have my own family and we do the same as do visitors.It not only keeps the floors clean but its simply more comfortable to wear nice slippers or go barefoot..As with other contributors, most of our friends do this.

  42. simplemom

    So far it seems like most commenters appreciate having guests and family members remove their shoes. Of course, those with different opinions might feel intimidated to speak up! There are a few here who have said the opposite. Anyone else feel differently?

    • Emily

      I don’t feel differently, but I do have another point (I don’t think I saw it posted yet anyway). Going barefoot is really important for small children, especially those just learning to walk. I’m no doctor, but I do know that it’s crucial for developing muscles in the foot for balance etc. Just another bonus for being barefoot as much as possible!

  43. otherdeb (Deb Wunder)

    For me, it’s a matter of comfort rather than cleanliness.

    I hate wearing shoes. they are heavy clunky objects that often feel like they are weighing me down.

    I do wear slippers indoors, but — other than one time I had to get to a doctor and could not get my foot into a shoe — they never go out of the house.

    And my ex and I always remove our shoes when we visit folks. Of course, the feet and socks in the shoes are clean, or we would probably offend someone, but real shoes indoors just don’t feel right.

    otherdeb (Deb Wunder)s last blog post..Checking Basics 101 – Maintaining Your Checking Account

  44. denise

    it is a habit to take off our shoes indoors (our indoors, and other’s indoors).
    guests take notice, and kindly remove their shoes. when we are guests our hosts are always pleased that we do (especially our kids).
    it sure saves on carpet cleaning costs!
    i do wish there was some whimsicle sign i could get asking for a shoe free zone. any suggestions??

    denises last blog post..Say the Name Jesus

  45. simplemom

    @denise – Ooh, a whimsical sign… I like that idea. Maybe someone that does that sort of thing will see this post and get inspired to make one. 🙂

  46. sevenjobs

    In the part of Germany where I life, only the kids take off their shoes, but normally not the adults. To wear socks or houseshoes means, that you are in your private zone, but if you have guests with you, than even the houseowners wear shoes, because than you are in an ‘official’ area of your life.
    best reagards

    sevenjobss last blog post..Ich mache mich selbständig: wie frei bin ich in meiner Zeiteinteilung?

  47. simplemom

    @Christina G, @sevenjobs – Sounds like Germany may do things differently. Interesting.

  48. wodehouse

    I would never dream of asking my guests to take their shoes off. I love going barefoot for comfort, but my husband wears shoes in the house. My house is just as clean, if not cleaner, than the next persons.

  49. Eco-mama from Hong Kong

    I am from Hong Kong and as mentioned above we feel very comfortable taking our shoes off when we are inside. My husband being French comes from a very traditional up-bringing in terms of shoes policy. In his parents place in Paris, everybody wears shoes full access to all parts of the house. I suppose you lose a bit of “Elegance’ when the shoes come off, perhaps one feels a bit exposed too. His parents keep their shoes on the moment they get dressed even though they might be staying in all day. This is part of their proper education in terms of attire.

    I still favour shoes off so when my in laws are here, they know the rule. It is all for a good reason.


    Eco-mama from Hong Kongs last blog post..A Carnival on Relaxation Tips

  50. Nenette

    I too live in Canada, and we always take off our shoes. My family is originally from the Philippines, and my mother always had a basket of woven slippers at her front door for people to wear around the house. It also works as a subtle way to ask people to take off their shoes when it appears that they aren’t going to. 🙂

    Nenettes last blog post..I Confess…

  51. Clara

    Had to add my thoughts about the no shoes inside…my husband is Asian and his family all take their shoes off before coming inside. I grew up doing both – if out shoes were muddy, wet, etc they obviously came off but otherwise there was no rule. We went barefoot a lot but wore shoes inside if we wanted. Now, I love wearing my shoes, and while we all remove our shoes at my in-laws, I honestly find it very annoying especially when my three children happen to have on tennis shoes. Every single time the kids walk out the door they must put their shoes on (because while it’s fine to be barefoot inside it’s practically a crime to be so outside) but they come inside to go to the bathroom shoes must go back off ,then back on to go back out. This times three gets real old real quick. At our own house the kids mostly go barefoot inside and out but they certainly don’t have too – whatever is most comfortable. My husband and I often wear our shoes inside. I usually end up vacuuming every day whether there’s been shoes worn inside or not so I don’t think it would keep our home any cleaner – kids are just messy! Love your blog by the way.

    Claras last blog post..Why our neighbors don’t like us

  52. simplemom

    Seems like people are rather passionate about their stand on shoe-wearing. Who woulda thought… 🙂

  53. leah

    hi! i heard of your original blog through brooke wagen and have followed along with you for awhile. i didn’t read through the other comments, but just wanted to tell you about my experience with shoes in costa rica where my husband and i live. in costa rica, you must keep your shoes on at all times, outside or inside, unless you are in bed. why? because you might get deathly ill, of course, if you were to take them off! so here is another country that does not practice taking shoes off before entering a home. i am constantly getting in trouble by costa ricans because my children and i are in the house without shoes and (heaven forbid!) even sometimes without socks!
    now we have about 7 months of rain here and if we were to wear our shoes in the house all the time – well, you can imagine what my floors would look like. so we all take our shoes off in the house anyway. we do have tile floors (except the bedrooms) so it doesn’t bother me at all when guests do not take off their shoes. they are easy to clean floors, but i still don’t want to be cleaning them every single day.
    i love your blogs – keep up the good work!

  54. Dawn

    Hi there, I’m an ex-pat also, NZ ex-UK. I’d never heard of the custom of removing my shoes until I emigrated to NZ. I wasn’t something we did int he UK. Now it’s so ingrained we do it all the time without thinking, it certainly saves on the vaccuuming!

    One thing I find quite odd is that NZ’ers don’t wear shoes at all a lot of the time, even in winter and if they do wear shoes, it’s only Jandals (aka thongs or flipflops) I’m not quite at that stage myself!

    Love you blogs BTW.

  55. Matthew C

    I am British and here removing shoes in homes is not so common.

    However, I am trying to encourage it and have a whole blog dedicated to the subject. You might want to take a look.

    Matthew Cs last blog post..The relationship between host and guest

  56. simplemom

    @Matthew – Wow, I’ve never seen a whole blog dedicated to taking off your shoes at the door!

  57. AnnMarie

    Just started reading your blog and enjoying it already. I always speak up on this topic: I HATE HATE HATE going barefoot. Somewhat relatedly, I have a foot problem that is a whole lot worse if I don’t wear my shoes (with orthotic inserts). I especially hate going to parties where we’re told to take off our shoes. After one, I was in great pain from standing around in bare feet for hours. 🙁

    Not to mention being oh so very cold. What do folks in cold climates do about this? If you live there, you can wear slippers at least (although I’ve never owned slippers that were as warm as wearing my shoes). But what about guests? Are they expected to bring their own slippers? (Which indeed I try to remember to do if going somewhere in the winter time.)

    Why not just encourage people to own a pair of shoes worn exclusively inside? I could imagine doing that, and may actually consider it as a way of keeping down the dirt.

  58. pammy

    Re shoes off in the UK.I have lived in various parts of the UK and have found especially in middle class area thats taking shoes off in the house is quite a common practice.At present i live ina part of the Uk that is cold for much of the year.consequently one not only sees the householders shoes by the door but also their slippers there also/and often guest slippers.

  59. Paul Horne

    I find the shoes off habit really irritating, personally. I lived in Thailand and I’m fine with it occasionally when I’m visiting a (usually Asian) friend’s home in the states, but in my own home it would be a nightmare. It’s not relaxing to have to worry about getting my shoes off and on every time I come in or go out – especially because I usually wear tennis shoes and have to deal with lacing up. I have a dog and I take him out several times a day. Most of my house is hard wood floors, and in terms of simplifying your life, having to remove and then put back on your shoes 6-8 times a day seems the OPPOSITE of that. It’s one more “task” you add to your daily flow. People on the board seem so freaked out by all this supposed dirt we track in, but I keep my house clean, use a vacuum every couple days, and never have to hassle with shoes on and off all day. Honestly, I think I have chosen the truly simplified approach, and I’ll never understand the shoes off household. Just thought I’d share the OTHER side of this issue… 🙂

  60. robyn

    i love this idea! right now it’s totally not feasible in our home, because we’re in the midst of some pretty hefty renovations. it would not only be unsafe to walk around shoe-less (due to nails and tools and such), it also wouldn’t help any with all the dust and debris from things like an all-new kitchen and totally redoing the stairs.

    but in the next six months to year they’ll be done, and at that point i’m setting it as a goal to make the house shoe-free. hopefully it’ll cut down on my cleaning time!

    robyns last blog post..Super Simple Knit Beanie

  61. Julie

    I guess we’re one of the exceptions to the rule. We’re from the US, but we always take our shoes off at the door, and so does my family and our friends around here. Then again, we’re in Minnesota, and you would not want to be tracking the crud that gets on your shoes in the winter around your house! So you get in the habit and do it during the summer too. I actually have a hard time with it when we visit my husband’s family out east. They all wear their shoes indoors, and I just can’t! I feel like I’m being a bad guest somehow, walking around indoors with shoes on, but they think nothing of it.

  62. Crystal

    I live in the Seattle area, and everyone takes their shoes off here. Probably because it is SO muddy and rainy!

    Growing up I lived in Hawaii and everyone there does so as well. PRobably because of the Asian influence.

  63. Verdiene Geld

    In Austria we take the shoes off, when we enter a house or a flat or thelike – except the owner does not want that. What I find interesting is, that in Austria we have those certain kind of house-shoes made of fabric. My mum even sewed my name on it ;-).


    Verdiene Geld’s last blog post…Über Nischenblogging

  64. Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive

    Great post! I’m a barefoot girl and have always preferred to be so.

    We are in the U.S. (Texas, more specifically) and my whole family (aside from hubby) tends to kick our shoes off at the back door. We gave up trying to take them to our rooms and now have a shoe shelf there for that reason!

    It is more of a mindset with us. Relax. Be YOU. Stay awhile.

    I’ve even built our business around the Barefoot brand we’ve embraced it so much.

    Be comfy with your feet. Your floor. Your ease of mind.

    Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive

    • Steven

      Hi Carrie,great post, I have always loved and preferred being @ going barefoot ever since I was little,@ I still do to this day,as does my girlfriend. My family has always had a “no shoes”(“barefoot” in the house” rule.),my girlfriend whom I have been seeing for quite sime time now,she and her family are also very passionate about being/going barefoot in the house as they too have a “barefoot” in the house rule year round.

  65. Peter Lynn

    I’m another emphatically shoes-off Canadian. Wearing shoes in the house isn’t just dirty — it’s loud. As a student, one of my housemates (who was half-American, but more importantly, a complete slob) wore his shoes in our house habitually. Granted, the place was a dump and the carpets were a write-off, but that didn’t help. And the constant clunk-clunk-clunk as he walked around on our tile floors drove me crazy.

    Peter Lynn’s last blog post…I get by without making new friends

  66. Moderate Mouse

    I’m one of those people who wears shoes (and I use the term “shoes” loosely enough for flip-flops to count but not big floppy house slippers that one would normally wear with pajamas) virtually every waking minute of every day regardless of whether I plan on going anywhere or if I will be home all day. A couple of exceptions to not wearing shoes at home consist of either the shoes being muddy or if the carpets have been recently steam-cleaned (The latter has been done once). It’s one of those situations that make me feel like a “black sheep” in my family. Everyone in my immediate family, including my Canadian stepfather, have been perfectly content to, off and on, wear only socks or slippers or no footwear at all. My nephew’s the same way as my family. I, on the other hand, mentally insist that when I get dressed, that it must be include wearing shoes. While I understand people’s reasons for their adherance to the “no shoes in the house, ever” school of thought (and by the way, if I went to the house of somebody who did ascribe to that school of thought, I would respect that and would leave my shoes at the door). But I prefer to have shoes on if I can help it for a couple of reasons:

    1. There’s no telling what business I may have calling me outside or beyond the property on short notice

    2. I usually (not always) feel more ready to do something active and/or productive (such as housework of any kind) when I do have shoes on versus when I don’t. I don’t know why though.

    I may, in the future though, get a pair of ballet-ish slippers that maybe give the suggestion of real shoes in case I need to remove my outdoor shoes for some reason. I don’t know yet though.

  67. Michelle

    Wow, I live in Canada and I was not even aware that in some places it’s common to not take your shoes off at the door. I thought it was just normal to take your shoes off to leave the dirt out of the living area. Very interesting!

    Michelle’s last blog post…Who dresses that kid? Why Spider-Sam.

  68. Tim Masi

    Really nice article!

  69. marie

    I really do not understand this obsession for taking shoes off. Do they mean changing their shoes for slippers. This we do, but also have mats at the door for visitors to wipe their shoes and would not dream to ask them to remain barefooted during their visit. People DO NOT feel confortable like that. Can you emagine ten people at a dinner table ALL with nothing on their sweaty feet, specially on a hot Summer day? Or going to the toilet and suddenly feeling ‘wet’ undet your feet? I’ve been in a house where shoes were expecting to be taking off. When I looked at people’s “blackfeet” I wander if they would go to bed like that. Are people more preoccupied with the floor than the sheets? Perhaps all these lovers of SHOES OFF should look into the infections one can get walking barefooted. Even when I come out of the swimming pool I put my sandals on and got into the shawer wearing them. I will not walk anywhere with nothing on my feet, and would not wear anybody elses slippers.My feet are much more important to me that anybody’s floor. There is no such thing as a clean floor. I honstly believe that my floors and carpets are just as clean if not cleaner than any!!!

    • Tanake

      There’s such a thing as clean dirt, never did me any harm. 🙂

  70. ltee

    i grew up in Turkey and we take our shoes off at the door. it is also the custom to offer slippers for the guests, so the houses are built in a way that there is a built-in or enough space at the entrance for a closet for shoes and slippers. you (read women) may bring your own in-house shoes if you are extra careful about your appearance.

  71. simplemom

    @Mikael, @Marie – Just letting you know I’m tracking your discussion here. I’m not privvy to deleting comments, but I’m also not a fan of adults throwing dirt at each other on the playground in the name of proving “who’s right.” If you want to discuss this, that’s fine, but please be mature. If you continue down the slippery slope of ad hominem, I’ll delete your comments. Thanks.

    • Emily

      Thanks Tsh! Never thought comments about shoes/no shoes would be such a big deal…especially on your easy-going blog! Time to calm down folks.

  72. Nancy

    I just stumbled across this discussion, and wanted to add my two cents because I remember doing both! I grew up in the Northeast US, and when I was really little we never took our shoes off–until one memorably snowy winter when, even after we could stop wearing boots (which were taken off in the basement), our shoes were still a mess and our cleanliness-minded mother decided we should leave our shoes in the back hall rather than track grit and dirt everywhere. The habit stuck, and we all still do it in our own homes as adults. I have sturdy house shoes for myself and my preschooler; going barefoot makes my back hurt and we both get cold. My husband grew up in a barefoot/stocking feet house and continues that. Guests do as they please. I always ask in other people’s houses, and try to remember not to wear holey socks when I go out!

  73. Bridgette

    I am so thankful for this post. I was just reading “Sink Reflections” last night and feeling guilty for not wanting to ever wear shoes in my home. I do wear my “crocs” when power cooking and such, but my husband and I also always take our shoes off when we get home!

    Bridgette´s last blog post…Simple Mom

  74. WildJunket

    Hey Simplemom! Brilliant post.. and a nice photo as well! I´m actually writing an article on Bizarre Asian cultural habits, which include not wearing shoes at home. I´m wondering if I can use your photo for the article. It´ll be published on, and your photo will be credited to this website. Pls email me at to let me know what you think. Thanks!

  75. Melaniesd

    I’m on the East Coast of Canada.
    Here it is customary to remove your shoes when you come into the house, especially in the winter time.
    I prefer bare or sock feet when I’m inside my house. In the winter I tend to wear slippers more often. For my family it’s about comfort. We all prefer no shoes inside.
    It’s challening enough to keep a carpet clean with a 3 yr old, let alone shoes all thru the house.
    My grandparents tend to prefer to have “house shoes” on. They always have hard-sole slippers on inside and wil bring them with them if they are coming to visit. It’s just what they are use to.

    I think for most Canadians we would be offended if you didn’t want to take your shoes off. To us that is like saying our homes are unkept or that you don’t respect our home.

  76. autumn

    we had some friends from korea come over for dinner last week. when i opened the door for them they immediately started taking off their shoes. i told them not to worry about it, they looked at me, then each other and took them off anyway. i’m just worried i offended them by asking them to forgo a long-held tradition of respect.

  77. Rosie

    We’re barefoot kiwis and we always take our shoes off in the house. But if we have a visitor who doesn’t take off their shoes, I think it would be rude to ask them to, unless they had really muddy shoes.

    Rosie´s last blog post…Stredwick Reserve, Torbay

  78. Lisa

    I am an American and grew up in a household where we always took our shoes off. This caused a HUGE argument when I tried to implement this in the home I share with my husband. My mother-in-law refused to take her shoes off. At the time we were renting a place with my sister-in-law and her husband and they didn’t back me up either. My husband and I have since moved and are now having our apartment renovated completely: new floors, walls, you name it, it’s being done. Obviously I don’t want shoes scratching up my new floors, but I have a feeling that my “no-shoes” rule is going to be an issue once more. How can I handle this tactfully? I am not willing to have a repeat of what happened before.

  79. David

    In China, it depends on geographical locations and local cultures.

  80. Emily

    Just have to say, I am delighted by the broad cultural group of folks represented here! Fun to see such diversity.

  81. andrew

    Hi therer, just seen this.From a UK perspective I totally agree with Pammy.In my experience its not unusual to see lines of shoes and slippers to be exchanged at the door.

  82. lomagirl

    In Colombia it’s considered rude to receive guests in your bare feet.
    My husband, from North Africa, thinks I should wear shoes in the house, too. I prefer to be barefoot- we were barefoot indoors and out as children.

  83. jj

    South Africa!!! Is another country that does not take off shoes in the house. I have instilled the habit in my husband for the past 2 years, and now that we have a baby – its really a must. We have house shoes though. But people that come to visit refuse to take the shoes off!! Even if I ask to do so for the sake of the babes. Its very hard for me.

  84. billyboy

    In the US, I think that this issue is largely related to those that live in the North, Northeast & Northwest. I have lived on both coasts and also both in the north and south in the US and it is just not such a big issue in the South. I always wear socks, but I am weird…even when it is 100 degrees outside, but my wife (a true Texas girl) hates shoes and takes them off the first chance she gets when we are at home or at someone else’s home. She’s even done it at parties that we have gone to where she was the only one without shoes. Nobody seems to care and in fact, it has kind of been endearing to everyone. “There goes Les, taking off her shoes again!”

    I lived in California for a while too and in the southern part of the state I can assure you that people would care less if you took your shoes off inside. Where it is warm, it seems to be more of a normality.

    I will say that it seems more acceptable for a female to go without shoes than a male. It is probably a lot less noticeable when they do too!

  85. Vanessa

    I must be in the minority with this one but part of me feels offended when I’m asked (or strongly encouraged by seeing a display of smelly shoes by the door upon entering someone’s house) to remove my shoes. As a guest, I’ve often out of politeness have taken off my shoes and then been really cold and left w/a stomach ache or the sniffles. I get those when my feet are cold for a while. If people want their guests to remove their shoes they should just as politely replace them with comfy, clean, slippers. After all, if the guest does her part, so should the hostess to make sure the guest feels comfortable. Tit for tat I suppose. Just my not so humble opinion.

  86. Erissu

    I have always found it really strange to wear shoes indoors. But then again, I am from Sweden where no one does. I know it’s common in other parts of Europe, like England. But as I said, I don’t get it. Why would you want to make cleaning the house so much harder? Now all the mud and other things that gets stuck under the shoes just stay there instead of being on the carpet in the living room.

  87. ~M

    We began removing our shoes at home as soon as we became parents. We kicked off the new way of life by having the carpets cleaned and haven’t looked back. We love it. It is a coming home ritual. However, when I became a SAHM, I couldn’t go barefoot and needed shoes for support. I wore fitflops for a while, but have been checking out crocs as per your suggestion. Well, I just got these:
    this morning in gold to use as my house shoes and am in love. I feel quite glam!

  88. Alexander

    When you write “barefoot”,you mean “no shoes and socks” right?Please define it better?

  89. Angel Armogida

    I live in the UK and my mother is Thai, so I’ve grown up with the no-shoes rule at home. It’s done without any thought, you get inside and take of your shoes where the shoe rack is. We don’t tell people to take off their shoes at the door but they always just do. It’s not a strict rule, sometimes I or my sister still walk around with our shoes on if we pop in to see our mother for a while, and we never ask the plumber or electrician to take off their shoes!

    My friends here in the UK also have a no-shoes policy at home even though they are British/Irish and were born and raised in London too. Often my friends will come to see me at my home and either take off their shoes at the door or when they are inside, just to get comfy.. my friends even like sitting on the carpeted floor. It’s just more cosy.. I couldn’t imagine sitting on the floor with my legs crossed and having the dirt from my shoe rub on my jeans.

  90. purplejamie

    I live in the UK and would never dream of asking someone to take their shoes off. I would also hate to be offered “guest slippers” that someone else had worn before – yuck – what a way to share foot diseases. What about people with dogs and cats? Do their pets have slippers? I am not sure where the other UK commenters live but having lived seven locations throughout the UK I am amazed to hear of this practice.

    • Tanake

      I have a dog (who doesn’t wear slippers), and I simply don’t wear shoes or socks in the house (in ireland) and I don’t ever get sick, so I’m not sure what exactly the issue is here. ^^

  91. virginiadarlin@heated vest

    We take off our shoes in someones home out of respect, not dragging in the naties from where we have been before across the floor. We take our shoes off in our own home as well. Yes, we have two cats as well, but they do not go outside at all.
    .-= virginiadarlin@heated vest´s last blog ..Hestra Czone Gauntlet Jr Glove – Kids’ =-.

  92. Mike

    I think it is great there is a culture out there where you go barefoot in your house for a reason. I wish I had that growing up. But I have a hard time going barefoot at home. Wish I had someone to talk to on this issue.

  93. Eddie Harrison

    Always barefoot in our house! Our carpet has NO stains whatsoever and has required only one, yes ONE deep cleaning in five years! I vacuum weekly. Talk about saving money. Shoes bring in all the grime, germs and dirt from the streets and really mess up the floors and carpets. Always barefoot, winter or summer!

  94. Eddie Harrison

    By the way, I live in Colorado Springs, USA!

  95. Anonymous

    All my family have to go barefoot or with socks. If they don’t do it, they can use the computer 3 weeks. I liked very much this post.

  96. Tammy

    This is really interesting! I have always wondered why people on TV never take their shoes off! (though I’ve also wondered why they never shut the front door too..) Anyway, I live in Canada and everyone I know removes their shoes when they come inside. It is considered rude not to here. I personally feel uncomfortable going barefoot in other peoples homes, so I always wear socks when we visit people, regardless of the weather.

  97. KB

    Wow I can’t believe this is such a big issue. In our house my wife and I go barefoot because I hate wearing shoes inside or out. When we have company over we are usually barefoot summer or winter but we don’t expect our guests to take off their shoes. We feel that we want our guests to be comfortable, if they want their shoes on then fine, if they want to go barefoot fine as well. The next day WE (not just my wife) just clean the floors and the rest of the house. Feet are just another body part. People need to relaxe and get over their foot fobia. Wear shoes don’t wear shoes who cares, just relaxe and have fun. By the way we live in Michigan, go Lions!

    • KB

      Oops I spelled relax wrong. Oh well. 🙂

  98. Sharon

    I used to wear my shoes in the house, until I got married to my husband who grew up in an Asian country and never wore shoes in the house. We have a rack to put them on just inside the front door (and another rack by the door to the garage). I usually let people know ahead of time, when they are coming over for the first time that we have a “no shoe” policy in the house. That way they can decide if they want to be sure to have socks on (without holes), or if they prefer to wear sandals and go barefoot etc. It is kind of awkward to have to remind people to take their shoes off, but they usually see the shoes by the door and are reminded of our “policy.” Our carpet is in excellent shape since we keep the outside, outside. And with our daughter crawling and trying to eat any little thing she can find on the floor, it’s especially important to me that we don’t have dirt etc being tracked in. Here’s a question. When you lived in a country where everyone took there shoes off, if a delivery person was coming over, say to deliver a mattress etc. Would they automatically take their shoes off? We’ve never asked anyone like that to remove their shoes, but I’d love it if they did it on their own!

    BTW, I do wear slippers or flip-flops in the house at all times and I have tennis shoes that are only worn when I exercise inside. I don’t like to go barefoot.

  99. beatrice

    this an interesting discussion. personally i was brought up to remove my shoes at the door. we were fortunate enough to have a comfortable home, but shoes were not allowed. looking back i complained but now it does seem to be a very sensible method of not only keeping germs out but keeping ones carpets etc clean. with a family of three boys shoes most certainly come off at the door, and after depositing their socks in the laundry basket, its slippers on. Guests are asked to do as we do and when we visit friends and family then we take slippers with us. i think its very rude not offer to take your shoes off when visting. its something i was expected to do as a child and still do now, thankfully my boys know to always offer to remove their shoes,back home we all do it automatically

  100. Suszcza

    My Grandmother always had her girls wear shoes, and she’d never’ve let either of them out of the house without them. She never saw any use for shoes on a boy, though, and she saw to it that my dad grew up going barefoot everywhere. I’m bringing up my own two boys the same way. Gran didn’t believe in shoes for boys, and I don’t either. I wear sandals myself when we’re out walking, and if I had girls I’d want them wearing sandals too. No sandals for my boys though. Nope. All I ever want to see on a boy are plain honest bare feet.
    In and around the house, though, none of us wear anything on our feet. We all go barefoot inside, me included. It’s healthier that way. Feet left bare are as free from nasty fungus and nasty smells as hands are. All the problems that people associate with feet only come from wearing shoes.

  101. Marcy

    It sounds like a great idea for keeping your floors clean, but I find feet disgusting, smelly, and gross. I don’t like seeing people’s bare feet, it bothers me. I know its weird but I just find it gross, especially if they are dirty on the bottom, omg that makes me shudder. I’d rather just mop and sweep the floors every day or every other day than see bare feet.

  102. Base Camp Adventure Sports

    I live in South Dakota and there is a mix of people with fancy houses that ask you to remove your shoes but most people actively tell you to leave your shoes on. I automatically remove my shoes when entering someone’s house although I don’t remove my shoes in my own home. It’s more of a respect thing to me. I also lived in Hawaii for a couple months and it is very customary to remove your shoes when entering any house. It is considered extremely disrespectful to leave your shoes on there. Personally, I think removing your shoes in any residence is respectful, clean, and just good practice. After reading your article and thinking about it, I am going to start removing shoes in my own home and encouraging others to follow my lead. Thank you for the article!

  103. Tim

    I’m from Eastern Europe but I lived my past few years studying and working in a very international community here (a bible college) so most of my friends are from the USA and maybe a few other countries. I’m a constant source of entertainment as they haven’t mat another European who refuses wearing shoes =)

    It’s true that it’s very unlikely that people would enter a house without taking their shoes off, but it’s also just as unlikely to find them outside without their shoes on! (Not even on a perfect lawn.) Or inside without slippers. And socks. Disturbing…

    I never get blisters inside, but I do get splinters when outside, and some of them are really annoying.

  104. T J M

    I’ m gonna go against the grain a little. While I respect your decision to have a no shoes policy, I personally wouldn’t do this. Ive been to many households like this. Their houses didn’t impress me a whole lot. And sanitary? You think that having people come in from a full day at school, work or other, not shower, then lounge around in nasty old socks, or worse, barefoot is the better way to go? Especially kids. And especially if they dont know ahead of time that they are expected to remove their shoes. If they do shower right away, that’s one thing, also if you live in New York city. Sure, ok. But I gotta go with my instinct here and say, if you wanna keep the shoes on, do it, if not, that’s fine too. By the way I’m a father of four. My carpets are as clean as anyone else I know. Routine maintenance. I hate the trend. If you really believe its better, do it. But if your just doing it cause the “experts” say it’s cleaner and more sanitary, I say use your own judgement on this.

  105. Chris

    We live in Central New York (State), USA. Almost everybody removes shoes in the house. In winter it would be a terrible mess, tracking in snow salt and wet grime. It’s not all of the US.

  106. Michael

    I’ve lived in New York City all my life. I grew up wearing shoes in the house and never really cared much one way or the other until maybe a few years ago when I started working an overnight shift and wanted to relax when I got home.

    Now I would never dream of wearing shoes in the house, because I find being in socks much more comfortable. Of course, the house does stay cleaner when shoes are left at the door, and after walking through the streets of New York, why would you want to bring that into your house anyway?

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