A blog about academic fashion addresses the question of what to wear when invited to a professor's home. The post points out the need for 'party-ready feet':
'Have party-ready feet. All three of us have been to parties at a professor’s home where we were asked to remove our shoes at the door. This would not be the time to make-do with hole-riddled socks or tights.'
Are academics more likely than other people to have a shoes-off policy? Possibly. They are likely to be well-travelled and have an awareness of the more enlightened etiquette in other cultures.