Sunday, August 30, 2015

Globalisation Does the Future belong to Shoes On or Shoes Off?

We live in a globalised world, a world in which billions of Africans wear flip flops mass produced in China and where children in Malaysia support British football teams like Manchester United and Arsenal. How will this trend towards an increasingly localised planet affect the practice or non-practice of removing shoes in homes?

In the West, I think the trend will be towards removing shoes. Increased travel has made us more familiar with cultures where shoes are removed and many will adopt this. Immigration of peoples from countries where removing shoes is customary will also have this effect, especially as people of European ethnicity intermarry with Asians. I have noted before on this blog, the enthusiasm of young people for Japanese culture and I think that will have some small effect. In addition, the high cost of housing in countries like the UK means that people will want to look after their homes.

Yet there is a factor that works towards people keeping shoes on. This is the import of western movies and television in which shoes are worn at home, realistically or not. In the minds of many, keeping shoes on is associated with living a western lifestyle and a sign of affluence. Plenty of people in Africa the Middle East and Asia may hold the USA in contempt, but they still want to live what they perceive as an American lifestyle. I understand in many East European countries, removing shoes is seen as a bit old fashioned and keeping shoes on is associated with living a modern western lifestyle.

Yet I think the shoes off still has the advantage. Cultures will be selective in what they take from the West, as Japan has always been. In some Asian countries films are produced in which characters wear shoes indoors, despite the fact that nobody in those countries would do that in real life. The viewers are presumably able to distinguish this from real behaviour. But the ultimate advantage that shoes off has is that it is practical. No matter how popular western culture may be, the streets will still be just as dirty.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Samaa TV: Bank fined for forcing client to remove his shoes

Samaa TV: Bank fined for forcing client to remove his shoes


RIO DE JANEIRO: A Brazilian bank didn’t have a leg to stand on when it forced a client to remove his shoes and do business in his socks, a judge ruled.

Many banks in crime-ridden Brazil have tight security with metal detectors and, on entering the Caixa Economica Federal (CEF) branch in Sao Paulo state, Lourivaldo de Santana was asked to empty his pockets.

But after the watch, phone and other small items, one of the guards “asked him also to remove his boots and then said that if he wanted to enter he’d have to go in socks,” the Sao Paulo federal court spokesman said Tuesday.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Shoes off at my door




A little glimpse of my life: the entrance to my apartment with my 'Please take off your shoes' doormat.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Crime Survey Appointment

Thinking about whether to ask on arrival or inform in advance of a shoes-off rule....

I got selected, apparently at random, to take part in the National Crime Survey. The interviewer called at my door last week to arrange an appointment to do the interview. I had to make the decision as to whether to tell her I would expect shoes off or not. I decided not to bother telling her in advance. I assumed that if she was visiting lots of houses, she would probably be expecting to have to remove her shoes at some of them.

The lady came today. She was a very nice, elegant posh lady. I asked her to take her shoes off as we entered my apartment and she seemed fine about it. She came in barefoot, having removed her soft black loafers.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

NorthJersey.com: Guests removing their shoes? Hosts love it or hate it

NorthJersey.com: Guests removing their shoes? Hosts love it or hate it

You go to someone's home wearing shoes that aren't — or, at least, don't appear to be — dirty. So, do you take them off, as a growing number of young people are doing? Do you leave them on? Or do you stand in the doorway, waiting for your host's instructions? (Followed, perhaps, by a brief lecture on bacteria, toxins and good old-fashioned D-I-R-T?)

The North Jerseyans we posed the question to on social media were almost evenly split on the matter.



Every American online newspaper seems to cover this topic in a general interest article at some point. I rarely see this topic discussed in British newspapers, except in the etiquette column.

Mumsnet: AIBU to tell people 'house rules' before they come & stay?

Mumsnet: AIBU to tell people 'house rules' before they come & stay?


Contrary to what is often said, a lot of posters on this thread suggested it is better to ask for shoes-off on arrival, rather than in advance.

I love it when this issue comes up on Mumsnet.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Bubblelews: Shoes on or off in the house?

Bubblelews: Shoes on or off in the house?

In America many people living here ask visitors, guests and residents to remove and to leave their shoes outside when entering a home. I ask my guests to remove their shoes and I have an area inside for them to be stowed until they depart.

My request is partially because I happen to live in an area with an abundance of farmland, and filthy sidewalks that are littered by men (and some un-lady like women) carelessly spitting, goose and duck excrement, cigarette butts just to name a few unsanitary reasons. I personally love to be barefoot and enjoy the luxury of my toes on carpet.

Friday, July 10, 2015

NaturallySavvy: YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO STOP WEARING SHOES IN YOUR HOUSE

NaturallySavvy: YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO STOP WEARING SHOES IN YOUR HOUSE

A recent study out of the University of Houston found that 39 percent of shoe soles sampled were contaminated with the bacteria C. diff (Clostridium difficile), a public health threat that is now resistant to a number of antibiotics. C. diff infections can cause severe diarrhea that may progress to colon inflammation and more serious health issues, especially if it does not respond to antibiotic treatment.

“Shoes are contaminated from diverse sources, and we are regularly contaminating our doorsteps by shoes,” says study author M. Jahangir Alam, Ph.D.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

MyRealityTimes: UNDERSTANDING A SELLER’S ‘NO SHOES ALLOWED’ RULE

MyRealityTimes: UNDERSTANDING A SELLER’S ‘NO SHOES ALLOWED’ RULE


'Certainly this has always been a topic of conversation in my house. In my family, we were raised to remove our shoes at the doorway and I have continued that practice in my own home. Most members of my extended family practiced the same behavior. Those that did not generally had little to no issue with being asked to remove their shoes at the door. There were a select few that took exception with this practice and those were not looked upon favorably.

For those of us that practice the removing of shoes in the home we probably give it little thought until that one person steps into our home and either reluctantly removes their shoes or begrudgingly does so with a myriad of questions or complaints. In my experience, the removing of shoes often seems to be more of an issue for the cable service person or other repair technicians than friends or family, but there are still others that unnecessarily and unreasonably take exception with the practice.'

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

PopSugar: The Lazy Girl's Guide to a Clean Home

PopSugar: The Lazy Girl's Guide to a Clean Home


'Taking off your shoes before going into your home may feel strange, but it actually helps minimize cleaning time. You won't have to vacuum up and mop away all the dirt and grime that you've been stepping on all day. It goes without saying that you should also clean your pets' paws before letting them enter your home.'

Monday, June 29, 2015

Daily Mail: Keep your shoes off the sofa, always flush the toilet and NEVER leave dishes to soak overnight: The 50 most common house rules in Britain revealed

Daily Mail: Keep your shoes off the sofa, always flush the toilet and NEVER leave dishes to soak overnight: The 50 most common house rules in Britain revealed

'New research in the home lives of 2,000 people has revealed the 50 most common laws of the land, and perhaps unsurprisingly, mothers were twice as likely to have laid them down than fathers.'

'A third of people polled said they ask family and friends to take their shoes off when visiting, and in turn, three in ten have been made to feel awkward for forgetting to do the same at someone else's house.'



'Shoes off' is listed here as the third most common house rule in the UK.

A third of homes in the UK have a shoes-off policy? Not bad. In most of those thart don't shoes are more often likely to be removed anyway.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Improvised Life: Take Your Shoes Off ? (Signs, Opinions + Warhol)

Improvised Life: Take Your Shoes Off ? (Signs, Opinions + Warhol)


'We’re down with asking people to take their shoes off (except for the occasional party where people are dressed UP and fab shoes make the outfit.) It protects our soft-wood white floors and keeps out city dirt and vibes. And it’s a strange leveler: When people take their shoes off, they remove a part of the costume, and are left standing on… their own two feet.

Many cultures make it a practice, to keep the space clear and quiet.'