One thing that bothers me about some pro-shoes-off people is the tendency to make anti-American remarks. You often get comments like:
"Those dumb Americans. The only country where people don't remove their shoes."
I really don't like crass anti-Americanism. I believe it is the modern version of the Idiot's Socialism. Personally, I don't understand how so many Americans fail to see the benefits of free healthcare, but I still believe that America is an empire of liberty and a great force for good in the world. I am sure many readers (particularly those shoes-off advocates who are strong environmentalists) take a less pro-American view than I do, but they must surely see the unpleasentness of showing spite to an whole nation.
It is necessary to point out that statements like these that cite America as being the only shoes-on country. While removing shoes is certainly not the norm in the south of the USA and in parts of the east coast, removing shoes is very common in northwestern states and two states, Hawaii and Alaska (interestingly with totally different climates) are very firmly in the shoes-off camp. Even in the south, removing shoes is becoming more common.
It is actually not the USA which is most resistant to removing shoes, but Latin countries, like Italy, Spain and South America. Removing shoes in homes is very rare in those regions. I can imagine removing shoes becoming the norm in the UK and USA, but I find it hard to imagine it becoming the norm in Spain or Chile.