Author Topic: Shoe Removal Etiquette  (Read 20333 times)

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Possum

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #105 on: December 03, 2013, 09:46:10 PM »
The guests should gently inquire.  If the answer is "shoes off" but a guest is uncomfortable with it, a gracious host accepts it.  (My mother *cannot* stand or walk more than a few yards without her shoes.)  Likewise, do not remove your shoes unless you're secure that the host is okay with it.  (This is both for etiquette reasons--you want to honor the formality level the host has planned for--and practical ones.  I have a tremendous OCD aversion to bare feet.  I cannot bear to have anyone else's in my house 99% of the time.)

baglady

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #106 on: December 03, 2013, 10:35:29 PM »
I didn't realize they still made overshoes! I haven't seen or worn them since I was in second or third grade (I'm in my 50s). They were a pain-and-a-half to get on and off. As a PP mentioned, it was kind of a rite of passage to graduate from overshoes to what my mother used to call "shoe boots" -- because they were worn instead of shoes, not over them.

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sparksals

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #107 on: December 03, 2013, 10:58:30 PM »
For some reason I always thought snow boots went over regular shoes. I've lived in snowy climits (when I was younger) and don't remember actually doing that, but for some reason I kept thinking you would. Like rain boots....don't you do that with rain boots?

My dad used to have rubbers that fit over his shoes in winter but that was mostly to go from the house to car, car to office.  If snow was especially plentiful he wore boots.

TootsNYC

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #108 on: December 03, 2013, 11:12:44 PM »
Someone posted that snow should be left out of the question as they thought it was obvious that people wouldn't want to leave snow tracks in someone's house. I agree that it is obvious, but would like to point out that for many of the non-american countries (like Canada and Denmark) snow IS an everyday thing. Last year, my city had snow from the beginning of October till the end of May.
Maybe we're just so used to having to take our shoes off every time we enter and leave the house for eight months of the year that its easier to keep on doing it.  ;)

Do you not change into some other shoes, though?

And yeah, I haven't seen four-buckle overshoes in years!

Re: someone who ends up visiting without "indoor" shoes but who needs to keep their shoes on--can  you not simply ask them to wipe the bottom of their shoes off with a babywipe or a Clorox wipe? Isn't that enough? It would be de-germed, and it would be clean.
   I would think that if this was not enough, then maybe there's some other issue besides the sheer science of it.

EllenS

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #109 on: December 03, 2013, 11:20:04 PM »

I've lived in various places in the USA, but I grew up in and currently reside in Southern California. Most of the people I know with a no-shoes policy are in California with me. Of those, 6 require that they be allowed to keep your indoor shoes. 1 of the 6 lives in Culver City. The other 5 live in San Francisco.

The ones in San Francisco are all on my father's side of the family, and they tend to have some...interesting notions. Even my father is required to remove his shoes, and he is in a wheelchair. His feet don't touch even touch the floor.

I can't get my head around the idea of keeping shoes for all the different people that might visit your home.  I mean, unless they have a very limited social circle, or only require this of family, that's a lot of storage space!  We barely have enough room for the shoes that belong to the people who live here...


Re: someone who ends up visiting without "indoor" shoes but who needs to keep their shoes on--can  you not simply ask them to wipe the bottom of their shoes off with a babywipe or a Clorox wipe? Isn't that enough? It would be de-germed, and it would be clean.
   I would think that if this was not enough, then maybe there's some other issue besides the sheer science of it.

I think it's a given that all customs are symbolic and carry emotional and traditional meaning, far beyond the call of science.

I also think that there is a sweet spot of mutual respect and consideration on both sides of hospitality.  Anybody who is "my way or the highway" toward their guests, or toward their hosts, is going to alienate people.

MariaE

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #110 on: December 04, 2013, 01:05:23 AM »
Re: someone who ends up visiting without "indoor" shoes but who needs to keep their shoes on--can  you not simply ask them to wipe the bottom of their shoes off with a babywipe or a Clorox wipe? Isn't that enough? It would be de-germed, and it would be clean.
   I would think that if this was not enough, then maybe there's some other issue besides the sheer science of it.

I think most of us agree that the "shoes off" policy is barring any medical reasons or a 'need' to wear shoes.

I wouldn't even claim it's a policy as such in Denmark. It's just the norm in familiar gatherings. It wouldn't be seen as rude to leave them on (except in the wet or snow), it would just be seen as that person wanting to maintain some distance, or perhaps being in a rush to leave again.

Formal parties are different, of course. There shoes are part of the "costume" and stay on.

I have thick socks (handknit! ;) ) and slippers to offer people when they take off their shoes.
 
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lmyrs

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #111 on: December 04, 2013, 01:17:06 AM »
Someone posted that snow should be left out of the question as they thought it was obvious that people wouldn't want to leave snow tracks in someone's house. I agree that it is obvious, but would like to point out that for many of the non-american countries (like Canada and Denmark) snow IS an everyday thing. Last year, my city had snow from the beginning of October till the end of May.
Maybe we're just so used to having to take our shoes off every time we enter and leave the house for eight months of the year that its easier to keep on doing it.  ;)

Do you not change into some other shoes, though?

And yeah, I haven't seen four-buckle overshoes in years!

Re: someone who ends up visiting without "indoor" shoes but who needs to keep their shoes on--can  you not simply ask them to wipe the bottom of their shoes off with a babywipe or a Clorox wipe? Isn't that enough? It would be de-germed, and it would be clean.
   I would think that if this was not enough, then maybe there's some other issue besides the sheer science of it.

IME, the answer to your first question is no. We don't just change into other shoes. It is completely unneccesary so it doesn't happen. It doesn't even occur to me to take another pair of shoes to a family or friends gathering in a private home.

For the second question, I guess if someone showed up without indoor shoes and insisted on leaving them on, I'd be fine with them wiping them off with a wipe of some kind. But it has literally never, ever come up. Not once. People either go without shoes or they bring their indoor hhoes. It's not even spoken of. It's just as much a habit as removing a heavy coat and gloves.

(Edited to add.) I also wanted to give a quick perspective on the idea that if it's not snow or mud, it's just the normal outside dirt and dust. As someone who has always had and been surrounded by no-shoes homes, that doesn't matter. The dirt from the outside, belongs outside. Not on the carpet, tile, hardwood, etc. I was thinking about why this bothers me and I came up with it: I don't wear shoes in my house. No one wears shoes in my house. So if a person comes in with outdoor shoes and brings in that dirt/dust, now I'm walking in it in my socks or bare feet. And just as I won't go walking down the sidewalk or through the yard in my socks, I don't want the sidewalk or yard in my kitchen.

Hope that makes sense. I'm just trying to explain it from my experience.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 01:26:44 AM by lmyrs »

Another Sarah

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #112 on: December 04, 2013, 06:08:29 AM »
I'm in the UK and I've only met a couple of people who ask for shoes to be removed at the door.
I'll always comply without saying anything to the host, but it does make me really uncomfortable.

It's not that I'm insecure about my feet or have a medical condition or anything, it's just that to me it's like being asked to take my top off, they are part of my clothes, and I really dislike the idea of sharing slippers with other people who might have visited your house before.

But all of that is my problem, and as a good guest I should want to make my hosts comfortable, so I'll do what they ask.

123sandy

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #113 on: December 04, 2013, 06:12:27 AM »
I hate being asked to take my shoes off! My sil wants shoes taken off in her house and she wears her shoes there (the hardwood floor is all pockmarked from her high heels...) I get especially annoyed being asked to take my shoes off and then being treated to the sight of the family pets galumphing in and out without getting their feet cleaned.

scotcat60

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #114 on: December 04, 2013, 08:01:57 AM »
My grandmother has indoor shoes (just like the schools)

When I was at school, we had to have house shoes. We were told it was for hygiene reasons, but later on the rule was dropped, as there were two builidngs in the school, plus a gymnasium block, and and what I swear was an old Army hut used as a dining hall, and girls switched between the four sites without changing shoes. And the staff didn't wear house shoes. We were not allowed to wear them in the gym  when we had House Assemblies there, as the gyms were used by girls in bare feet, and so the hygiene rule applied there. We left shoes in the changing rooms.
I've only ever been asked to bring slippers to my cousins' house, as they had just got new carpets. Unfortunately, those I brought were a Christmas present from the day before, and I had not tried them on, and they turned out to be too small, so I had to borrow a pair of thick socks to keep my feet warm. I took a pair of slippers that fitted the next time I visited, and a good job too, as we had been graveyard hunting for ancestors on quite the wettest June day we had experienced in a long time. Otherwise, I have been to barbecues there and everyone slopes in and out of the house and garden without changing shoes.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #115 on: December 04, 2013, 08:56:00 AM »
Re: someone who ends up visiting without "indoor" shoes but who needs to keep their shoes on--can  you not simply ask them to wipe the bottom of their shoes off with a babywipe or a Clorox wipe? Isn't that enough? It would be de-germed, and it would be clean.
   I would think that if this was not enough, then maybe there's some other issue besides the sheer science of it.

I think most of us agree that the "shoes off" policy is barring any medical reasons or a 'need' to wear shoes.

I wouldn't even claim it's a policy as such in Denmark. It's just the norm in familiar gatherings. It wouldn't be seen as rude to leave them on (except in the wet or snow), it would just be seen as that person wanting to maintain some distance, or perhaps being in a rush to leave again.

Formal parties are different, of course. There shoes are part of the "costume" and stay on.

I have thick socks (handknit! ;) ) and slippers to offer people when they take off their shoes.

Thanks for posting this. I was under the impression that many societies expected shoes off in all circumstances. Taking them off at close family or friends wouldn't bother me. But I would not want to take them off at someone's home I don't know well or at a party.

MariaE

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #116 on: December 04, 2013, 09:46:00 AM »
Re: someone who ends up visiting without "indoor" shoes but who needs to keep their shoes on--can  you not simply ask them to wipe the bottom of their shoes off with a babywipe or a Clorox wipe? Isn't that enough? It would be de-germed, and it would be clean.
   I would think that if this was not enough, then maybe there's some other issue besides the sheer science of it.

I think most of us agree that the "shoes off" policy is barring any medical reasons or a 'need' to wear shoes.

I wouldn't even claim it's a policy as such in Denmark. It's just the norm in familiar gatherings. It wouldn't be seen as rude to leave them on (except in the wet or snow), it would just be seen as that person wanting to maintain some distance, or perhaps being in a rush to leave again.

Formal parties are different, of course. There shoes are part of the "costume" and stay on.

I have thick socks (handknit! ;) ) and slippers to offer people when they take off their shoes.

Thanks for posting this. I was under the impression that many societies expected shoes off in all circumstances. Taking them off at close family or friends wouldn't bother me. But I would not want to take them off at someone's home I don't know well or at a party.

I honestly can't remember when I've last spent any length of time at the house of somebody who wasn't family or friends, so I have no clue what I'd do there ;) If I'm just in and out to pick something up I leave my shoes on, unless the weather dictates otherwise.
 
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LadyL

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #117 on: December 04, 2013, 10:02:01 AM »

I wouldn't even claim it's a policy as such in Denmark. It's just the norm in familiar gatherings. It wouldn't be seen as rude to leave them on (except in the wet or snow), it would just be seen as that person wanting to maintain some distance, or perhaps being in a rush to leave again.

Formal parties are different, of course. There shoes are part of the "costume" and stay on.


This is very interesting, in contrast to the view that bare or socked feet are very informal/casual and not a level of familiarity people expect from company (other than maybe family). I remember, as a child, taking off my dress shoes during family holiday parties so that I could run around in stocking feet. My association of shoes off is a bit of throwing the rules out the window - you do it around family, maybe at a wedding in the last hour when your heels hurt and everyone's had a few drinks. This implicitly assumes that shoes on is the "proper" way of being. But in some places, shoes OFF is more "proper" apparently. Maybe it's a bit like dollar dances or cash bars, which are normal cultural practice some places and considered very gauche in others.

Amara

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #118 on: December 04, 2013, 10:05:18 AM »
Quote
I also think that there is a sweet spot of mutual respect and consideration on both sides of hospitality.  Anybody who is "my way or the highway" toward their guests, or toward their hosts, is going to alienate people.

Gosh, I would hope not (to alienate people). I am firm on my no-shoes-in-the-house policy, but I do try to state it as gently and politely as possible with an explanation. I am also happy to provide advance notice. Whatever I can do to make people as comfortable with it as possible is good--but the unbendable rule is "no shoes in the house."

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Shoe Removal Etiquette
« Reply #119 on: December 04, 2013, 10:10:19 AM »
Quote
I also think that there is a sweet spot of mutual respect and consideration on both sides of hospitality.  Anybody who is "my way or the highway" toward their guests, or toward their hosts, is going to alienate people.

Gosh, I would hope not (to alienate people). I am firm on my no-shoes-in-the-house policy, but I do try to state it as gently and politely as possible with an explanation. I am also happy to provide advance notice. Whatever I can do to make people as comfortable with it as possible is good--but the unbendable rule is "no shoes in the house."

If that includes shoes that have not been worn outside, then yes, you will alienate some people.  I am unable to go around in socks or bare feet with out a great deal of pain.  If the rule is 'no outside shoes in the house', you're fine, as long as guests have warning to bring a pair of shoes or slippers to wear.
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