Thursday, July 19, 2007



Some people are of the opinion that it is very important that guests have the choice of whether to keep their shoes on or not.

However, it is not as simple as that. Some choices may impose on the choices of others.

Some visitors may want to take their shoes off, but may fear that doing so will be considered rude. Being informed that shoes-off is encouraged will be a great welcome for these people.

The shoes-on folks might then argue, "Yes, but you can still let people keep their shoes on without imposing on the people who prefer to go shoeless."

However, this is not the case. Firstly, those people who want to take their shoes off may fear, if there are lots of other guests, particularly at a party, that their feet may get squashed by other peoples' shoes. In a crowded party, it can be hard to avoid having people tread on your toes.

Secondly, people who take their shoes off will prefer to walk on a floor that is cleaner. In fact, there is another issue here, as Angie pointed out in a previous post. Some guests will enjoy sitting on the floor. And sitting on the floor is a much more pleasent experience when it is clean. So allowing guests the choice of wearing shoes imposes on those who like to sit on the floor.

The simple truth is that no host can please everybody. However, there are far more good reasons to insist on shoes coming off at the door than for allowing shoes to stay on. Let guests chose between slippers, socks ot barefeet. That is choice enough.


Dawn said...

I think that the choice should be the choice of the host/hostess as to whether or not they would have a shoes off policy. That way, there is no fear of dirty floors for anyone.

richyrich said...

I think that the choice should be the choice of the host/hostess as to whether or not they would have a shoes off policy.

I agree and after all it's the host/ess who has to clean up any mess caused by dirt on guests' shoes. If guests have a strong objection to being shoeless in other people's homes, surely it should be their responsibility to carry some "fold-up" slippers with them and to put them on if asked to rtemove their shoes in a home that they visit.

richyrich said...

I've just found this link

I can say with experience that all the points in it are absolutely true. I moved into my house just over a year ago and it had a light coloured carpet that was almost as spotless as new even though it had been there for 2 years. I found out that this was due to the previous owners having a shoes off policy there (they had a young child but they still managed to keep the carpet clean due to all family members taking their shoes off there all the time)

I have continued with that policy and the carpets are still very clean. So when I read the article I could confirm that shoes off at the door definately works. There have been other houses I've been to where there are also light coloured carpets and the occupants keep their shoes on and the carpets are much less clean.

And while we are on about choice, it is my choice as owner of the house to have my carpets kept spotless for as long as possible and I think it is only right that guests to my house should be expected to respect that choice.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It is great that we all agree.

Rich, I might have read that article before, not sure. I have read so many articles on this subject.

Thanks for your testimony as to the effectiveness of removing shoes for keeping carpets clean.