General Question

Logan_Amori_Federico's avatar

Why do Americans wear shoes in their homes?

Asked by Logan_Amori_Federico (49 points ) December 11th, 2011

Why do Americans wear shoes in their homes?

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45 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Um, not all of us do. I don’t think it’s an American thing.

judochop's avatar

Damn, caught me. I’ve got boots on right now. Removing as we speak.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I don’t.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
SamIAm's avatar

We’re not used to taking them off upon entering our homes. I wish I did though! I think it would be irrational to ask friends to take their shoes off when they come in.

Logan_Amori_Federico's avatar

excuse me If I offended you, just I see this in movies

judochop's avatar

You are right @Logan_Amori_Federico , most American homes do not require that you remove your foot wear.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m American and I remove my shoes before I enter my own home and other people’s homes.

JLeslie's avatar

Most Americans (we are talking about USA right?) take off their shoes at home. Some leave them on when people are visiting, but many don’t even worry about it when guests are over, and make themselves comfortable in naked or stocking/socks feet. Some of it has to do with how familar the guest is. Close friends would kick off their shoes. Latin Americans almost always have some sort of shoe on, whether it be shoes they wear outside, or changing to some sort of house shoe.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m an American and I hate wearing shoes so I wear them as little as possible. I almost never where shoes in my house. 99% of the time take my shoes off the minute I walk in the door. I will sometimes go barefoot outside too, even in winter, as long as it’s not too snowy or icy or too horribly cold. That’s probably a little crazy but I do it anyway. Just me.

JLeslie's avatar

@Logan_Amori_Federico Are you going by TV shows and movies? Or, you live in America and that has been your experience?

Funny, my MIL once scolded my neice and nephew as they took off their shoes at my front door when they first came into my house. I had to stop her and tell her they were obeying my house rules. Months later she decided maybe it made sense as she swept the floor one more time behind the kids.

Coloma's avatar

I too remove my shoes. I have outdoor shoes that stay in my garage, boots and sandles and all other shoes are taken off in the garage ( I rarely come in my front door ) and carried to the closet.

I even hate to put my shoes on in my bedroom and walk through the house.

I have a beautiful persian rug in my living room and it has a cream colored border and white flowers carved into it on a red background…shoes off! ;-)

Fly's avatar

Based on my personal experiences, this is not an accurate generalization. In fact, most people I know don’t wear shoes in their homes, including myself. (I actually try not to wear shoes whenever possible, despite my unhealthy obsession with shoes.) But, I also know plenty of people who keep their shoes on, as my sister often does. I would imagine that the ratio of Americans who keep shoes on in the home to those who don’t is pretty even-split, and it is more of a personal preference.

Rarebear's avatar

Because the floor is cold.

KateTheGreat's avatar

If someone wore shoes around in my home, I’d be angry. I work hard cleaning those floors.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Logan_Amori_Federico I’m American and always take my shoes off. I don’t want to track dirt into my house – or anyone else’s house. Don’t believe everything you see ion TV or n the movies.
More myths:
1) All of our phone numbers start with 555. Myth! Not they don’t. 555 is a dummy exchange to prevent idiots from bothering people.
2) All American homes are gigantic. Myth! Look around on Google earth and see how our houses really look. We have street view and are open an honest enough to let anyone on the planet see.
3) Everyone is gorgeous. Myth. They’re not. Almost 50% are overweight or obese. They are not fashion models (I have a perfect body and am gorgeous by the way. ~ )
4) Everyone is lazy. Myth. We work longer hours than most of Europe.
5) Everyone has a gun. Myth. Oh wait…. In my area that is true.

CaptainHarley's avatar

We wear shoes in our homes because most of us have dogs and dogs are not noted for wiping their feet after going for a walk. : )

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy 555 numbers are for information like 411. When I lived in MI no one had any idea what 411 even was. All states I have lived in 555–1212 worked for information, even 800 numbers. I think possibly the last 4 numbers don’t even matter, not sure. I also am not sure if 555—???? is still information, or even 411, it has been so long since I have used either.

deni's avatar

I don’t think its an American thing, but I do know people who do this and could never figure it out. My dad wears shoes all the time. Gets up in the morning, puts them on, keeps them on! We’re talking tennis shoes too! Not cozy moccasins. I’ll wear moccasins around but that’s only because I don’t like feeling crumbs on my feet in the kitchen floor. Ew. I’m so glad I have carpeting in most of my house now, for that reason alone! Or maybe I should sweep more.

trailsillustrated's avatar

it’s not an american thing they do it in the uk and australia too. Some do, and about what @LuckyGuy said, I don’t know anything about 555 telephone numbers, yes the houses are huge, depending on where you are, the people are gorgeous, some are really fat and ugly, and from what I’ve seen they do have guns.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Logan_Amori_Federico
Here’s another big myth about Americans you might glean from only watching TV or the movies:
People never need to go to the bathroom. Myth! I pee 5–6 times a day and do something else once a day. See these women? They do, too. Of course theirs comes out looking like a small heart shaped pellet and smells like flowers, right? ;-)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Yankees don’t usually take off their shoes because:
• Laziness, we go in and out of the house so much, taking off and putting on shoes would be a bear.
• Yankees are very afraid of what other’s feet might smell like, trap that smell in the shoe!
• Yankees are afraid of what they might catch off the floor, some mites, other critters, who knows.
• Yankees figure they don’t have “pretty feet” so as long as their tootsies are not next to others, there is nothing to compare to.
• Most homes are not wall-to-wall carpet anymore.

You can start there.

Sunny2's avatar

I’ve usually worn shoes indoors to protect my toes from cold floors, getting stubbed, stepping on unexpected things like toys, thumb tacks, clods of mud left by someone else’s dirty shoes etc. Now, I mostly take my show off because of light colored carpeting. I think wearing shoes inside may have become an American habit from the days of our settlers, who lived in rough hewn log home or who were wealthy and had servants to clean up after them. It also would perhaps be interesting to compare who wears what on feet indoors in different climates. Anybody need a research paper project? Where are all the students when you need them?

JilltheTooth's avatar

I, and most of the people I know wear our shoes indoors for a whole bunch of reasons, having dogs being a main one. My feet aren’t great, so the support of shoes is more comfortable for me. If someone asks me to remove my shoes when I enter their home, I do so happily. There are over 300 million of us, living on a huge landmass, we’re all individuals.

Logan_Amori_Federico's avatar

@LuckyGuy ahah like myths about russians: bears which walk on the street with balalayka and vodka =D

jonsblond's avatar

We live in a farm house and we have a mudroom. All family members take their shoes off upon entering through the mudroom, especially when there is snow on the ground, the yard is muddy from recent rains or after the fields are harvested. We don’t ask guests to take off their shoes, but some do out of their own habit. We wear slippers to keep our feet warm in the winter because we have wood floors.

XOIIO's avatar

I’m Canadian, but I don’t. Except for right now because I’m supposed to be leaving. *wags finger * damn you Fluther!

wonderingwhy's avatar

Shoes in our house come off right inside the door due to a lot of time spent on farms, in the country, and in Japan/Korea, but most Americans I know don’t.

Laziness (inconvenience), habit, and foot/shoe smells are pretty high on the list with those I know who don’t but nearly all of them always take off their shoes when coming into our house so I’ll give a little extra weight to habit if only through consideration.

Aster's avatar

Cold tiles and wood floors ! Protection from sharp objects?

Coloma's avatar

Heh..well, I just adopted the worlds fluffiest cat with extremely hairy paw pads like a Cocker Spaniel…guess I’ll be on kitty door sentry to wipe the monster kittys paws now. lol

Aster's avatar

I have never witnessed anyone removing their shoes upon entering anyone’s home! With one exception: when we had a home built and we arrived for inspection, the guy with the clipboard was wearing surgical booties!! I loved that houseplan; hope I have it again one day.

mattbrowne's avatar

Most Germans wear shoes in their homes too. The reason – like in the US – is that almost all sidewalks do have an asphalt surface and we do use door mats. So usually we don’t ask our guests to take off their shoes. Most people wear slippers in their own homes because they are more comfortable.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Never sure why some people object to it when people wear shoes in their own homes or classify us as “lazy”.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t get lazy either. My BIL thinks it is more germy to walk around with naked feet, kind of grosses him out to think his naked feet would be where somekne else’s naked feet were. But, it has been shown homes where people wear outside shoes inside have more germs on the floors. Having a pet, as someone mentioned above, would change this though I’m sure. Cold floors are a big reason people wear shoes indoors, that is part of the cultural reason for some Latin American cou tries that frequently use marble and ceramic floors in their homes. I think it is funny people name wooden floors as being cold, I consider it warm flooring.

jonsblond's avatar

@JLeslie I think it is funny people name wooden floors as being cold, I consider it warm flooring.

My toes would be frozen right now if I didn’t have my slippers on. We have wood floors and it’s very cold during the winter if we don’t wear shoes or slippers. Do you have heated floors?

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond My wooden floors are too cold for me too if I don’t wear socks or slippers, but my tile floors are frost bite city. Even on a carpet my feet are cold in the winter.

Paradox25's avatar

I usually take my shoes off when I’ve just come home or I am about to leave the house. I also wear shoes inside if I’m cleaning or working in my house. I’m not obsessed with keeping my shoes off inside of my house and I only do so because it is more comfortable, especially after a 12 to 14 hour workday doing very physical work.

GladysMensch's avatar

Other questions that require answering:
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Why are all African American men either pimps, rappers or athletes?
Why are all African American women “sassy”?
Why can’t white people, especially males, dance and/or jump?
Why are Germans so efficient?

MilkyWay's avatar

I’m from the Uk and in winter I always have my trainers on inside the house. It’s because it’s so cold!
In the summer though, I go barefoot.

HungryGuy's avatar

Although I go barefoot at home, it’s not an American custom to remove your shoes upon entering someone’s home as it is in many other countries.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Like Hyacinth Bucket, everyone takes off their shoes in my entryway. I take off my shoes in the entryway of other people’s houses, just out of habit. I am American. Have to agree with @gladysMensch .

WestRiverrat's avatar

I take my outdoor shoes and boots off in the mud room. I put on soft soled slippers or moccasins to wear in the house, mainly because the floor is cold. I have ceiling vents for my furnace and the hardwood floors can get chilly in the morning.

Especially in winter when I turn the temp down in the house.

The 555 exchange is usually reserved for hollywood. Some phone companies use a couple of the lines for informational reasons. Time and temp were on 555 in one place we lived. 555–1212 is not universal, but I think ATT used it for information.

Sir_Truthalot's avatar

Dirty floors….............?

anam's avatar

I thin it’s an American thing as much as it is a European thing. :p

lillycoyote's avatar

I’m an American and I don’t wear shoes in my house. I generally don’t where shoes unless absolutely absolutely necessary or required, even when I probably should wear shoes, just for safety reasons, like when I am walking around in my garage, with nails and screws a possible hazard, not even outside, in the winter, if there is no snow on the ground and I am just running out to get the paper or something. If I never had to wear shoes again, I would be the happiest girl in the world.

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