Social Question

Seelix's avatar

Do you wear shoes in the house? Why or why not?

Asked by Seelix (14952points) February 17th, 2011

I’m interested to hear what the Fluther population has to say about this, seeing as how most of us are American. We do have a few Canucks, Brits and others here as well, and that intrigues me too.

I would say that most, if not all, Canadians take off their shoes in the house most of the time, regardless of the weather. Am I right in assuming that Americans usually leave their shoes on?

Why would you not remove your shoes? Why would you put shoes on if you’re not planning to leave the house anytime soon?

I’m just baffled at this whole shoe-wearing thing, and would love to hear your insight.

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82 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

American – Shoes off.
Like to wiggle toes.

What about you @Seelix ? Shoes off?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I was raised not to wear shoes in the house. In anyone’s house.
Personally, I hate wearing shoes at all, so that is an easy rule for me to stick to.

ucme's avatar

Brit here, shoes off….spongebob squarepants slippers on :¬)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I don’t ask people to take their shoes off when they come into my house,but I do make them duct tape carpet samples to their feet…Actually,the floors are wood and easy to clean.,I have a carpet cleaner for the rugs.Sometimes I wear shoes inside,sometimes not.Same for outside too.
I just went shoe shopping yesterday…incredible sales! XD

JilltheTooth's avatar

My feet hurt if I’m on them too much without shoe support. I fully admit that I’m a barbarian for wearing my shoes indoors, all the time. I am also a barbarian when I eat, so at least I’m consistent! good thing I’m so cute, huh… XP

tranquilsea's avatar

Canadian here and we’re a shoes off house (although my hubby often doesn’t take his shoes off). We spend 7 months of the year buried in snow so your shoes are often mucky. The last thing I need is an endless path of dirt from the front of my house to the back.

Jude's avatar

Shoes always come off as soon as I enter the front or back door. I wear socks or bare feet around the “hoose”. I’m a Canuck. :)

Seelix's avatar

I never, ever, ever wear shoes in the house, in my house or anyone else’s. Like @Jude, I take my shoes off immediately after coming in the house, before I step off the mat that’s at the door for that purpose. The few times I’ve been in someone’s house and I go to remove my shoes only to have them say “No, no, don’t bother”, I have to take them off anyway. It just feels wrong.

Okay, one exception – if they’re new shoes and I’m trying to break them in, I’ll wear them indoors. But that’s it.

janbb's avatar

I have to wear orthotics most of the time so I do wear shoes in the house. However, I have a pair offelt clogs that I usually change in to when I come in from work.

My husband, who is a Brit, changes into slippers when he comes in.

Seelix's avatar

@JilltheTooth – I’m imagining you wearing barbarian clothing a la Schwarzenegger as Conan, and it’s fantastic!

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Seelix : I look very fetching in smelly furs and skins, and I love accessorizing with axes and other pointy things!

Seelix's avatar

@JilltheTooth – I’m also imagining Barbarella hair… Please, don’t correct me if I’m wrong!

wundayatta's avatar

Shoes on. Why not?

meiosis's avatar

English, and shoes off, slippers on.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Shoes (or this winter boots) off the minute I get inside. Free range feet the rest of the time.

Aster's avatar

Slippers year ‘round. These tiles are freezing! and very hard.

Jude's avatar

The Canucks and the Brits are similar, yet, again. (remember the question about how you pronounce “process” (or, as the Canucks and the Brits like say, “PRO-cess”)).

aprilsimnel's avatar

Yes. I have bare floors throughout the flat, and they’re cold.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Most of the time, it’s shoes off. It kind of depends on whose house I’m at though. If I go to someone’s house that has cats, I leave them on because if the cat hair goes through my socks and pokes into me, I’ll have an allergic reaction to it and my feet will itch and swell a little bit where the cat hair poked into it. I’ve had that happen quite a few times, so in those situations, I leave my shoes on as protection for my feet.

In our house, we all take our shoes off as soon as we come in and only put them on when we are ready to leave.

marinelife's avatar

Shoes off in the house. For comfort.

gailcalled's avatar

American and shoes off, slippers (with heel cups for plantar fascitis) on.

The snow, slush, mud, rain and mess outside for much of the year has everyone removing the dirty boots, clogs or sneaks at this time of year.

Summer (and sandals) is much easier and cleaner.

john65pennington's avatar

Have you ever stopped to think where the bottom of your shoes have been? In restrooms with urnine on the floor. Walking throught the yard and gathering a little dog poop on the way.

Shoes off here.

Its a sanitary thing.

Cruiser's avatar

No shoes at home, plus I work in a glue factory and the shit on my shoes would destroy even concrete floors let alone the mess they would make of my nice hardwood floors. My car floor mats are indestructible! lol!

OpryLeigh's avatar

I usually take my shoes off when I get home as I am more comfortable walking around the flat in socks or barefeet.

AmWiser's avatar

As much as I love shoes I dislike wearing them in the house. Shoes off the minute I walk in the door. I also take my shoes off at the home of others and slip on a pair of footies that I always carry in my purse or pocket.

partyparty's avatar

I take my shoes off the minute I arrive in my house.
Then cosy and warm slippers on… I am in the UK

Coloma's avatar


I am a socks in the house type.

I have a huge Persian wool rug in my living room with a cream border and central cream colored design with white roses on a red background.

Admittedly, while not OCD about anything I do cherish my rug and wish to keep it beautiful.

Scooby's avatar

Ditto with meiosis

English, and shoes off, slippers on as soon as I’m in the door..
I’ve just put a new stairs carpet in so I expect any visitors to take off their shoes even though my hallway has a hard wood floor. Regular visitors have their own slippers & garden shoes…….. :-/

muppetish's avatar

When I was in second grade, I went to a friend’s house. It was a cultural custom to remove one’s shoes at the front door. This made sense to me. I always take my shoes off the moment I get home. I’m not a slipper or sock person, which means that I am barefoot at home more often than not. Unlike my friend though, this isn’t a family or cultural custom. Whenever I have company, they watch me take my shoes off and stand awkwardly in the doorway wondering whether or not they have to follow suit (no, they don’t – I want them to do whatever is most comfortable to them.)

It feels incredibly odd to me if I keep my shoes on in someone else’s home.

blueiiznh's avatar

Shoes off in the house 99% of the time.
Socks off in the house also 90% of the time (including winter).
Barefoot outdoors as often as I can

Coloma's avatar


I second the barefoot outdoors, barefoot yes, pregnant, no! lol

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Count me in as barefoot outdoors as often as possible, also.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Im American and I leave my shoes on when I am home. I simply grew up that way. I don’t ask people to take their shoes off when they visit. There is no carpet in the house. just hardwood floors and tile. I always have to go outside so I just leave my shoes on. Since I wear boots 99% of the time I don’t really want to remove them since it is inconvenient for me to have to keep putting the on and taking them off everytime I have to leave the house to take my dog out to poop or whatever.

Sunny2's avatar

American. Shoes off. We have a rental with cream colored carpet throughout. My husband wears a leg brace and he can’t get in and out of it easily, so he wears shoe covers. I do not agree with the choice of pale carpets, but it wasn’t my choice. Not practical.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The vast majority of people here in Hawaii take off their shoes at the door and walk around barefoot.

wilma's avatar

I’m American. Right now it’s winter and if I wear boots outside, of course I take them off just inside the door when I come in. If I happen to be wearing shoes instead of boots I usually take them off as well. I always wear slippers in the house when the weather is cold.
In the summer I like to go barefoot as much as possible both outside and indoors. If I am wearing shoes or sandals outside I usually take them off when I come in, but not always.

Coloma's avatar

Oops, American here too. ;-)

I never use my front door, come and go through the garage so most of my shoes get kicked off on the landing before I come into my kitchen.

Right now there are Ugg boots, mud boots, flip flops and some new walking shoes on my landing.

wundayatta's avatar

Is this like “who wears the pants in your house?” Who wears the shoes in your house? Some kind of macho contesty thingy? ;-)

Weak. I know. But there’s a joke in there somewhere, if I could only figure it out.

JilltheTooth's avatar

That’s all right, Wundy, stomp on over here in your hobnail boots, you’re welcome in my home with your feet covered…

Kardamom's avatar


We wear shoes downstairs where we have tile and wood floors, but then we take them off to go up the stairs where there is carpeting on the stairs and in the upstairs room.

We started doing this recently after we got our light colored carpets steam cleaned. There is a definite difference in how clean the carpet stays if you only walk on it with your socks or slippers.

We also bought a box of shoe covers (that painters and some hospital workers wear) to put over your shoes, if you don’t have time or the desire to take off your shoes. My Dad, who is 85 sometimes finds it to be an ordeal to take off his shoes, but it’s quick to put the shoe covers on.

faye's avatar

Canadian, shoes on, damn arthritis in my feet. Also I’m a lousy housekeeper so I wouldn’t walk on my floors!I was told by a carpet cleaner years ago that foot oils from bare feet are the worst thing for carpet.

wundayatta's avatar

@JilltheTooth What’s a hobnail?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@faye that’s okay, my carpets are not the prettiest things anyhow. Bare feet it is! :)
Interesting little factoid, though. Never heard that before, but it makes a lot of sense.

peridot's avatar

American here too. Generally, I only wear shoes if I’m getting ready to go out, or (especially) if my feetses are cold. Rockin’ my fluffy white booties right now… ^_^

flutherother's avatar

I am Scottish and I put slippers on at the front door.

casheroo's avatar

I tend to forget to take them off, but I prefer no shoes worn in the house since the kids play all over the floor and it just keeps it cleaner.

VS's avatar

American South: flipflops as often as possible, shoes as infrequently as possible—inside outside anywhere.

Deja_vu's avatar

I’m from Hawaii and most people take their shoes off at the door. I like having my floors nice and clean as possiable. I walk around barefoot. I wear ballet flats when it’s cold.

tinyfaery's avatar

I used to be barefoot all the time, but the laminate flooring is so hard that it hurts my feet if I walk around barefoot for too long. Now wear flip-flops or crocs in the house. But, I always take my street shoes off the minute I enter the house.

L.A. girl, here.

Jeruba's avatar

Normally I shed my shoes first thing and put on slippers. Back in Mass. I used to make that swap immediately inside the door; here in Cal. I usually walk a few steps and make the exchange in the bedroom. Right now I’m wearing one shoe to balance the cast on the other foot so I don’t walk off kilter.

YARNLADY's avatar

No shoes in my house for all of us. I don’t ask guests to take off their shoes, but many see that we don’t wear them and voluntarily take theirs off.

Last night, the auto dealer delivered our car. A man and woman came inside with the papers for us to sign. I was amused when the lady noticed we didn’t wear shoes. She quietly went over by the door and slipped off her shoes.

Anemone's avatar

I’m in the US, and in my house we usually wear slippers or flip-flops indoors. If other people come over, I don’t ask them to take their shoes off… I might consider it if we had extra guest slippers or something to offer them. I also don’t worry about it too much if I need to walk through the house to get something and I already have my shoes on.

cak's avatar

(US here) No, we don’t wear shoes in the house. Our house is mainly hardwood floors and it can get quite loud. I also don’t want the extra dirt and crap that is dragged in. I don’t go nuts is a guest wears their shoes, but family know that rule.

wundayatta's avatar

@cak I don’t go nuts is a guest wears their shoes

Yeah, but what about after they leave??? ;)

cak's avatar

@wundayatta: I do if it’s an awesome pair of shoes that I want! I may even tackle them for the pair of shoes!

lianna1969's avatar

English. Shoes off at the door and slippers on for myself and the kids. Its a new house and guests are asked to take off their shoes. Regular guests and family keep slippers here to change into.
From the comments here it seems that the shoes off, slippers on thing is standard practice in England, which in my experience is indeed so.

ETpro's avatar

We don’t. My wife is Thai, and her country’s custom of taking off your street shoes just inside the front door and wearing slippers or bare feet in the house makes enormous sense in a city with streets as dirty and full of purifying mess as Boston.

Jeruba's avatar

That’s where my habit began, @ETpro. Did you mean something other than “purifying,” though?

ETpro's avatar

@Jeruba That darned auto spell check sabotaged me again. I meant putrefying.

Jeruba's avatar

I thought maybe so, @ETpro, except that I never actually found Boston’s streets full of smelly, rotten decaying matter.

ETpro's avatar

@Jeruba The North End can get pretty dirty. It’s little Italy and life here isn’t that different than in Naples. It happens on the streets.

Jeruba's avatar

I lived on Clark Street in the North End for a year, observed the street life, and saw plenty of dirt and litter but no outright putrefaction. Maybe it’s changed since I was there.

ETpro's avatar

@Jeruba I’m on Salem almost next door to the Old North Church. It’s pretty decent. But I don’t want what;s on the sidewalks and streets here and around the Haymarket relocated to my living-room floor.

mattbrowne's avatar

To save energy when heating our rooms.

Meredith's avatar

New Zealand – shoes off, inside jandals or slippers on (depending on the weather), except when I come home for lunch on a workday, when strangely, I usually leave my shoes on. Most Kiwis take their shoes off, possibly because there’s a strong UK influence here. We’re also very close to the Pacific Islands, where it’s customary to remove your jandals before entering a home. Quite different in Australia (just across the pond) where, for the most part no one removes their shoes.

Jeruba's avatar

?? “jandals”

Meredith's avatar

In NZ flip-flops or thongs (as Aussies call them) are called jandals. Very popular here in the Southern hemisphere. :)

bunnygrl's avatar

when its cold I’ll pop slippers (or fluffy bedsocks) on but mostly its barefoot for me :-)

flo's avatar

House shoes/slippers in the house, outside shoes for outside. When going to other people’s houses I go by what they do, and I carry my slippers (featherweight ones) for that.

sarahjane90's avatar

American – and shoes off!! I cannot stand people wearing shoes in my house. If you look at all the awful stuff you walk around outside, thinking that that is tracking into my bathroom and kitchen feels terrible! I invested in a nice looking shoe rack, which sits by the door. Seems to encourage people to take their shoes off.

However, I’m not against slippers, as long as they don’t leave the house or go outside.

gailcalled's avatar

If I had the power, I’d ask Milo to take his paws off before entering. The damage that he has done to my bare and beautiful wooden floors is severe.

Recently he threw up while I was out. When I returned several hours later and cleaned up the mess, I noticed that the stomach acid had eaten away the polyurethane and left me with a large patch of bare pine boards.

Seelix's avatar

Yeah, ew!

tranquilsea's avatar

@gailcalled That is one reason I’m a tad reluctant to get hard wood. Two dogs who often puke in the worst places.

gailcalled's avatar

@tranquilsea: My floors are southern yellow pine (wide-board) and thus soft, but very beautiful. Luckily, they look nice when slightly damaged. They have dents from chair and stool legs, and four deep crevasses from my baby grand piano. It’s the lived-in look. I have the same look these days.

Periodically I get a teen-ager to do some patching. He gently hand sands the bare spots and puts several thin coats of semi-gloss polyurethane on.

blueiiznh's avatar

@gailcalled and @tranquilsea The hardwood is a blessing for animal cleanup. Imagine what that would have done to a carpet..ewww I love my hardwood floors for the very cleanup reason with animals. You do see everything, but you can clean everything. I could not imagine all the dog hair trapped in the carpet. I too have had what you state happen. Not too difficult to remedy.
Love the feel of the oak hardwood on my toes too.

gailcalled's avatar

@blueiiznh: I have lots of small and medium-sized quality antique rugs. Milo is systematically removing the end fringes and then unraveling them. And as of today, he chooses to get sick only on the bare wood.

blueiiznh's avatar

@gailcalled i am training my new puppy and my rugs have disappeared for the short term. A joy to watch this little 3 month old puppy gather his toys and bring them to his bed. I leave nothing out for him to grab. The edges of the furniture and chairs get a spray of off-limits to help. Good luck

gailcalled's avatar

@blueiiznh: I have a really nasty case of stomach flu and could use some cheering up. How about a pic of the new puppy?

During the darkest hours last night, I was hanging onto the toilet seat. Milo was very sweet and kept coming in to investigate.

blueiiznh's avatar

@gailcalled sorry to hear that. Get well.
Here are some of Hendrix to hopefully make you smile

gailcalled's avatar

Charming, all of them. Who is more adorable? Dog or kids? Your kids? They are beautiful.

And I am smiling almost as broadly as they are, including Snowflake. Is Hendrix a relative of Snowflake?

Where are you? I still have almost as much snow.

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