I went to a persons house…30 years ago, and I walked into the foyer, and she said, “we don’t wear shoes in the house”. I was taken by surprise. I did not know if she was serious or what! She was serious.I had never experienced this before. Now, after I snorted a derisive laugh, thinking she was joking….but she was entirely serious! I made my way to the steps, sat down and removed my shoes.
Granted her carpet was in pristine condition, but I thought of the fact some people’s feet have cooties, and icky fungal things on them. Had she offered me slippers, or even socks, I might have not been any happier that way either. I would not care to put on community slippers either. Perhaps the footies that you have at a shoe store would have been appropriate, and satisfactory. And clean. Unless they were recycled.Ewwwww. There is no happy scenario for this. Unless something pleasantly appropriate is provided, I think it is presumptuous to expect compliance.
Now…another family wrote and framed a polite request because the had a crawling about age infant, to please remove shoes, for the germ
free aspect. This did not offend me. But the other person…. I never went back to her house. And I remember it as very offensive. Perhaps it is in the way the request is presented.
I think guests should be provided with slippers or socks if that must happen. Furthermore, hosts ought to inform their guests in advance so that it doesn’t come to them as a rude shock. We all come prepared to take off our shoes for security checks at international airports. Mutual understanding is key.
*** Please correct typo in your intro, “weather” to “whether”. Thank you.
I would consider it very rude if I were asked to remove my shoes if I were a guest. I hope that I would wear appropriate footwear for the occasion and that it reflects the environment I am invited into. The emphasis is on the word ‘guest’ Think before you invite.
It depends on the situation. Different cultures have different customs.
Where I go to book club, guests are encouraged to remove their shoes. A basket of thick, comfy socklets is provided. There is also an empty basket for the used socklets. Everyone is happy..,
I don’t think it’s polite. They are worried about their carpet. Then they should also ask people to take off their shoes when they give them a ride in their car.
If I were one to request that guests to remove shoes then I’d certainly be one as well to provide the slippers.
I can’t help but mention here that I am HIGHLY impressed with the you tube video of Emily Post on the subject of table etiquette. Thank-you.
If I were one to ask guests to remove their shoes then I’d certainly as well be one to provide the slippers.
I can’t help but mention here that
I was in the group I believe in Fall of 2017. Recently divorced and just always loved manners and refinement. It was a exceptional week beyond forks and spoons. I still observe that but other issues of refinement may parlay those presently. The five rules I thing I remember may stay true currently. Denise Siri
When greeting guests at the door, the first thing you should not tell them is that they are not welcome to wear their shoes in your house. I use the word house because that is what it is to you….almost like a museum where people are not allowed to touch anything. Home is a much warmer place where you look forward to friends and family making memories and sharing their lives. I would rather have a scratch on a coffee table and a memory of having someone in my home, then a perfect house where no one leaves dirt on the carpet.
I think it’s rude to ask people to remove their shoes if you have invited them to your home. Shoes are part of an outfit and have probably been carefully chosen to go with the clothes the person is wearing. Particularly for women, having to remove a heeled shoe could throw off the whole look of their outfit and make them feel uncomfortable. The primary job of a host is to help their guests feel at ease.
Having said that, I think female guests should have the courtesy to not wear stiletto heels if they are visiting someone else’s home (particularly if the host has hardwood floors!)
I lived in Hawaii for several of my ” formative” years and have the custom of removing my shoes when I enter my home. Many of my friends have the same custom,and when we visit we do so accordingly. Most people don’t mind. Other than my British friends who will never even think of doing so. We live in the desert, so most footwear are slippers.
I like removing my shoes because it does keep the floors much cleaner no outside grim or germs.
It’s probably best not to ask them to take off their shoes as many women consider their shoes part of their outfit. If you are going to ask folks, it’s nice to give them advanced warning so they have time to get pedicure or make sure their socks have no holes, but you should also say, slippers will be available!
I had to take off my shoes at an acquaintance’s house up in the mountains one winter’s night. No slippers were offered. My feet and I were frozen. I would have brought slippers, if I had known his policy. I thought it was rude to have to remove my shoes, and to not have been informed when the invitation was issued.
Personally, living overseas I have had the practice of leaving my shoes at the door when entering my home. It sure helps keep the dirt & grime off my hardwood floors! If I’m asked by a guest, depending on the situation ( has it been snowing? Ice/salt or sand?) & who they are …is it a family member? Or, someone I don’t know all that welll? I tend to state that it’s not necessary they remove their shoes. However I do have house slipoers/ socks on hand to give them should they decide to remove them.
Whatever makes them the most comfortable!
why are we changing our culture?
I have no problem to remove shoes. But instead of being confronted upon entering dwelling which may put everyone in a uneasy feeling. Instead when being invited for the dinner or other function the host is giving the host should make it known on the invitation or verbally that footwear will be left at door. If the attendee feels uncomfortable they can be given the option of bringing their own slippers or host could provide a pair
If one is so afraid of having people in their home with shoes, they should stop socializing and live
in their own bizarre behavior.
I sometimes feel uncomfortable when someone asks me to take my shoes off especially for a dinner. I understand why they do it. But, it is different if you are coming in from running around a field or in sneakers after a game. But for a dinner engagement or something that is a bit more formal I think it is awkward.
My rule of thumb is: If the weather isn’t inclement and they are not wearing heavy snow boots or rain goulashes that could track in major dirt and grim, then go ahead and keep your shoes on!
If it were normal in my culture (for example, as in Japanese culture), then I would ask and expect it. But not as a person from the USA, and in fact it isn’t common where I currently reside, in Chile. More common than the USA, in my opinion, but still not very common. Although, growing up in the late 50’s and 60’s, our house had a “mudroom” and we kids were always muddy, so I guess we did take our shoes off then!
The only reason I would ask guests to remove shoes upon entering home is if there were a health issue to consider.
Would never ask guests to remove shoes. It implies my floors are more important to me than my guests – never going to happen!!
We remove our shoes on a daily basis, however, when having Guests for a Dinner we wouldn’t consider asking our Guests to remove their shoes. Some may have issues with putting their shoes on for a variety of reasons we may not be aware of.
I don’t go without shoes in my own home and unless there were inclement weather conditions I would not want to remove my shoes in someone else’s home.
Sometimes in winter/mud season, one may wish to suggest the guest leave the muddy shoes to dry out in the entry. One might say,”Here are some slippers that look like they might fit. (From a nearby basket with several sizes to accommodate many feet. ).” If one wrote no to this query, it would seem one has not had the experience of living in many different climates or met many types of people
I’m super allergic to cats. So many of my friends have cats. They don’t understand that if I have to walk in my socks, the cat fur sticks to my socks, and before long absorbs into my skin, making it hard for me to breathe and causing hives. Even if they did offer slippers, the slippers would probably have cat hair all over them. One six-year-old kept saying, “I don’t know why you don’t take your shoes off,” no matter how many times I explained it.
In many countries and cultures far older than the USA one never wears street shoes in a home, as a guest or otherwise. The reason being is for sanitary conditions. Streets are filthy harbor germs and carry pest eggs too many to mention. A leading Entomogist told me to never wear Street shoes inside a home. Yes, provide slippers / house shoes for guests.
I think this situation is more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. I hate people wearing shoes in my house, but I would never separate a women from her Louboutins 😏
In your paragraph, the word should be “whether” not weather.
The people I have over for dinner already know that they have to remove their shoes once they are in our house. If I invite anyone new over for dinner, I politely inform them that they should bring socks because we don’t wear shoes in the house. Mahalo
For clarification – the question on the top says SHOULD GUESTS BE ASKED, then on the poll is say DO YOU ASK GUESTS. The answer to the latter is no – I do not ask guests to take their shoes off at a dinner party. However, if that were my practice at my home, my answer is that a host SHOULD be allowed to ask that of their guests if they ask it any other time, but yes, I think another foot wear option would be a good idea. However, I am not sure if I want to wear another person’s pink fuzzy slippers… they do make disposable shoe covers for those who cannot take off their shoes, and some clean socks and/or shoe options would be nice… along with a comfortable bench to sit on to remove the shoes and put on the whatevers.
I spent time in Hawai’i where Asian culture is a strong influence. It is rude to wear shoes in doors.
I live in Maine and during winter and mud season (spring) you have to removed shoes or you will destroy a persons floors and rugs.
It becomes a non-issue if the invitation, printed or verbal, gives the guests the information they need to know to accept or decline, No drama, embarrassment, surprises etc. for the hosts or potential guests!
If they express the desire to remove their shoes, I graciously thank them; at the same time assuring others they do not do the same. Usually I wind up with everyone in their stockinged feet. Some have even brought slippers.
We live in Southern California – and I thought removal of the footwear at the door was always something that only happened in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills. But now I am hearing it all over the country; and I am not a fan of removal of footwear. Especially if guests don’t know ahead of time. An outfit changes without footwear and sometimes pants can be too long without heels. Then your hems are dragging the whole night on the floor. I always say safety first, what happens if you trip and fall over your pant length. Please all – let’s leave our shoes on while making a social call.
If I ask my dinner guests to remove their shoes I ask way ahead of time, like at the invite. I almost never remember though, so I just take the loss and mop/vacuum after
I find this awkward and inappropriate. When your guests leave you can easily clean your floors. This is what I do. We always take off our shoes upon entering our home for cleanliness and sanitary reasons. However, when having guests over, I never require it. I just don’t clean my floors before their arrival; I clean after everyone leaves and then we go back to removing our shoes upon entry. Problem solved without any awkward conversations with your guests. I find it annoying to be asked to remove my shoes; perhaps my toes are unpolished or unkempt at the moment; perhaps I’m wearing a pair of favorite (but stinky!) shoes; perhaps I don’t want MY bare fee on YOUR bare floors! 🙂 Hosting is about making your guests feel comfortable. If someone asks if they should remove their shoes, I let them know it’s their preference.
If someone is going to the time and effort to invite me for dinner and they want me to take off my shoes, I am happy to oblige.
I answered “sometimes” as I believe hosts shouldn’t HAVE to ask guests to take off their shoes, guests should ask the host about the household expectations. I was taught when I go over to a person’s home, I should ask if I should remove shoes (and if so, where shall I put them so they’re not in the way). As a courteous guest, I try to remember to bring a pair of socks with me so that I do not have bare feet in someone’s home. Where I struggle is with older guests- I don’t want to have to inconvenience them to take off shoes (mobility issues), but I also do not want to have shoes on my carpet. Any suggestions for what to do in this scenario? I want everyone to be comfortable, but I have asked a frequent older visitor to my home to remove her shoes and got a huffy response as it takes a good deal of time and energy for her to do so. I’m not certain what is right in this scenario.
I feel it is ridiculous to ask people to remove their shoes.