Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Should One Provide Slippers for Guests?


In some Eastern European and Asian countries, guests change from their shoes into slippers provided by the host.

Some argue that if you intend to have a shoes-off policy in your home, you should keep some slippers for guests to wear. This will make them feel more comfortable and prevent embarassments such as foot odour and holes in socks.

This is a fairly good idea, but I am not so sure. If slippers are provided, then they must either be disposable plastic slippers or else slippers that can go in the washing machine. It would be quite unreasonable to expect guests to wear slippers that have been worn by somebody else that day. I am not sure whether most slippers are machine washable. Some guests might not even trust you that they really have been cleaned and may prefer to stay in bare or stocking feet.

I think the practise of providing guest slippers might be just a bit too weird for British. Many British people will have been to a house where shoes-off was required, but not many people will have been offered guest slippers to wear, unless it was in another country. I think a lot of English guests would prefer to go shoe-less, rather than wear slippers that are not their own.

I think it is a good idea to buy slippers for family and regular visitors and keep them at your house. These should be worn only by the person they are provided for. Hopefully, one's family and close friends would be delighted by this consideration.

Providing clean socks is a different matter. I would suggest keeping a supply of clean socks in different sizes by the door for guests who are not comfortable going barefoot.

I think it is very sensible to let visitors know in advance that one has a shoes-off rule in one's home. That way, they can be sure to wear socks without holes or bring their own slippers if they prefer.


richyrich said...

I agree with your comments about slippers. Providing visitors with slippers does seem rather "strange" to the British.

Here is another link about shoes off policies saying about its virtues. You may have already come across it but I'll put it there just the same. It also handles the question of where to put all the shoes (especially if you have lots of people over) without them all being in an untidy pile at the door.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

It might seem strange. But one might well offer to buy some slippers for people who visit often, like girlfriends, cleaners or relatives.

That is a good post. Not seen that, before. Thanks.

Marianne said...

Here in cold Norway, it's common practice to leave shoes at the door. If my guests need a pair of wool socks, I borrow them one, but it's really no issue. Good luck on your mission!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Marianne. thanks for the encouragment.

Yes, I am aware that removing shoes is the norm in Norway. I ma sure it must be a great place.

God Bless


Monica Ricci said...

To my mind, if a person expects me to remove my shoes when I come into their home, the onus to provide clean alternative footwear is on them, since it's their policy.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Monica, thankyou so much for visiting.

A lot of people share your view, tghough they may not be British.

I do not know your nationality.

While I do think it is polite to offer slippers and I might offer socks, from my experience, I think most British people would find it weirder wearing somebody else's slippers than being in stocking or barefeet.

God Bless