Author Topic: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?  (Read 6670 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2014, 08:19:17 PM »
I remember when these signs started popping up in the very early '70s (maybe even late '60s) and it was businesses reacting to a much more casual attire becoming more common. The signs were a business wat to say that at a minimum that expected customers to wear shoes and not be bare chested when entering their establishment. I don't think it implies an obsession with shoes but with an expectation of minimal dress requirements.

TootsNYC

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2014, 08:41:29 PM »

I have just been there with my son who hates wearing shoes when it is hot and he has been asking for an explanation for why you have to put on shoes almost everywhere.

Is he asking because he wants to go into those stores barefoot?

If so, then he would be one of the explanations for why there is a sign--because the people who own those stores don't want barefoot people in their stores.

Because going barefoot in public is not polite--except at the beach and other specific places.

If people like your son never went into stores barefoot (the way they don't in your country), then there'd be no need for the signs.

In places where it's unlikely to happen, there are fewer of those signs around.

VorFemme

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2014, 08:44:26 PM »
Back in the 1970s there was an Italian seafood place near the shore that was really good and included a glass of wine with the meal.   They had a big sign at the entrance that read, 'No shirt on your body, no wine on the house'.

IME, the 'no shirt, no shoes, no service' signs indicate that beach wear is not acceptable in the restaurant.  As other posters have said, the shoe stipulation is usually a safety issue.  the shirt shirt stipulation is an aesthetic one.  Who wants to sit one table over from a shirtless man who has crumbs from the restaurant's excellent bread stuck in his chest hair?

Ewwww.... 

 :o 8) ;D

Or wants a replacement meal because there are short hairs in his food (a friend had her own husband complaining about it - she told him to put a shirt on at the dinner table).  No more hair in the food she'd cooked....

Working in a fast food place in the mid-1970s - we had people come in in swimwear with cut off jeans over them.  Sometimes you could...tell...that the cut offs were TOO SHORT and that there was nothing under the jeans (I kept my eyes at face & shoulder level after the first guy who was NOT staying in his very short cut off jeans) and the manager asked people dripping lake water to take their food in bags "to go" instead of sitting in the dining room booths.  And to move to the "to go" section of the counter in front instead of the dining room area by the frozen treat section (glass topped and we did NOT want anyone dripping lake water or anything else into it if it got opened - self serve).

The local recreational lake was nicknamed "Nasty Water" (yes, kherbert05, it was San Angelo).

Seriously - a wet bikini with flip flops (thong sandals) might have covered more of the body in 1970-something than it does about forty years later - but it still didn't cover enough for protection if hot grease splattered on someone's chest when they bit into a corn dog or something else deep fried.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 08:59:34 PM by VorFemme »
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TeamBhakta

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2014, 09:05:48 PM »
A couple problems with being barefoot in public:
- Hookworm
- If a drinking glass gets dropped near him, you don't want a piece to hit his toes. And sometimes people miss a small piece of glass when sweeping up a mess
- Pins on the floors of dressing room carpets
- You're walking where people or pets may have previously thrown up or lost control of their bladders.
- The first time you drop a fork or knife and it bounces off your shoe, you realize "Thank goodness I wasn't barefoot!"
- If you've ever had a kid run a shopping cart into your heels, you know it hurts pretty bad even with shoes on. Without shoes = way worse  :-X
- Where I live, you don't want to go barefoot in public because we have fire ants everywhere. Fire ant bites are incredibly painful.
- If there's an emergency, you'll need proper shoes. Let's say you have a car accident and must get out of the car. You don't want him running around on the side of the road with unprotected feet.
- If it rains and he goes into a restaurant barefoot, he could slip and fall. I did in my dorm room once. I landed on my back. I was lucky I also had a stuffed backpack to cushion my fall and that my leg didn't break
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 11:30:53 AM by TeamBhakta »

lowspark

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2014, 10:07:23 AM »
Aside from the casual tone of the sign, how is it different than any other dress code? Lots of places have dress codes such as "jacket required" or "No jeans" for example. Is the idea of a dress code in an eating establishment exclusive to America?

Carotte

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2014, 11:37:09 AM »
Aside from the casual tone of the sign, how is it different than any other dress code? Lots of places have dress codes such as "jacket required" or "No jeans" for example. Is the idea of a dress code in an eating establishment exclusive to America?

Well no, a dress code is not exclusive to America, having to spell it out is.
I understood the subjet of this thread not as much as why shoes, but why mentioning shoes in a sign.

lowspark

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2014, 11:44:01 AM »
Aside from the casual tone of the sign, how is it different than any other dress code? Lots of places have dress codes such as "jacket required" or "No jeans" for example. Is the idea of a dress code in an eating establishment exclusive to America?

Well no, a dress code is not exclusive to America, having to spell it out is.
I understood the subjet of this thread not as much as why shoes, but why mentioning shoes in a sign.

Although the OP mentions the signs, her main question is about why shoes are required.

When I first came to the US I was rather confused by all the signs with "no shoes, no shirts, no service". At first I thought it meant that they didn't sell shoes or shirts and had no service.

I have just been there with my son who hates wearing shoes when it is hot and he has been asking for an explanation for why you have to put on shoes almost everywhere. I live in a cold country so going barefoot is not common but there are no rules about it unless a place has an actual dress code - not common here.

I have asked several Americans and they tell me it is for health reasons that you have to wear shoes in places where food is sold.  But why? Someones feet are not likely to carry more dirt than someones shoes?

Does anyone know the reason behind it?

TeamBhakta

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2014, 12:03:57 PM »
When you eat barefoot, there is a tendency to let other manners go out the window. Especially if you are a little kid. You may be tempted to put your feet up on the next seat or on the table. Because you wouldn't normally do that with germy shoe soles, right ? Then it's "oh gosh, this is comfy. This would be even better without my shirt. Heck, I'd be really comfortable eating in my undies!" Which leads to sitting on your knees or directly standing on the chair, grabbing whatever food you want, having food smeared on your face and hollering to your dinner companions instead of using your indoor voice. Tell your son his shoes are little reminders to stay dressed and mind his manners.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 12:05:28 PM by TeamBhakta »

SiotehCat

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2014, 12:42:19 PM »
Aside from the casual tone of the sign, how is it different than any other dress code? Lots of places have dress codes such as "jacket required" or "No jeans" for example. Is the idea of a dress code in an eating establishment exclusive to America?

Well no, a dress code is not exclusive to America, having to spell it out is.
I understood the subjet of this thread not as much as why shoes, but why mentioning shoes in a sign.

For people like the OP's son, who need to see it on a sign in order for them not to do it?

Twik

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2014, 03:12:16 PM »
It's partially as a defense against human rights complaints. Otherwise, it might be argued that throwing a patron out for no shoes was actually a screen for some other reason they wanted to remove him/her. The sign indicates that the rule applies to all.
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JoW

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2014, 08:04:44 AM »
As for the child who hates shoes, his parents could keep a pair of cheap sandals or flip flops in the car.  Most businesses with that sign will accept sandals as shoes.


And I can't leave this thread without mentioning the ad I've see for a pizza delivery place in a beach town.  The ad says "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem" and shows people in swimsuits accepting a pizza delivery.  I think its kind of cute.

iridaceae

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2014, 01:38:44 AM »
There's a chain called Schlotzky's Deli. They have a sign that says "No shirtsky, no shoesky,  no Schlotzky."

greencat

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #42 on: March 16, 2014, 03:10:21 AM »
I have been to a few places near the beach that have signs that say "no shirt, no shoes, no problem!" but as almost the entire state where I live is considered a tourist destination, almost every shop and restaurant features a sign like this.  I've noticed that people on vacation around here tend to develop a kind of casual attitude towards their appearance.

Business owners in the U.S. have responsibility to minimize the risk their patrons are subject to while on their property, and requiring everyone to be wearing shoes goes a long way towards minimizing the risk of foot injuries.

sparksals

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2014, 08:21:33 AM »
   I don't think the title was offensive, to my knowledge we're the only place that has "no shoes , no shirt , no service" signs.  I don't mean we're the only place that has rules about footwear in restaurants/stores or has signs , it just seems we're the only place that has
that particular sign appear with some frequency.

Canada does too.  They are most frequently posted in convenience stores, Restaurants and other food establishments.


rosiegirl

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Re: Why are Americans so concerned about shoes?
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2014, 09:18:19 PM »
There's a chain called Schlotzky's Deli. They have a sign that says "No shirtsky, no shoesky,  no Schlotzky."

I was just thinking of them!!!