Saturday, June 04, 2011



If asked to remove their shoes, most people are polite enough to comply. However, it is always possible that there may be some refuseniks.

If somebody refuses to remove her shoes, the host has several options:

1. Not let them in.

2. Let them in, but express one's unhappiness. Not invite them in again.

3. Let them in, express one's unhappiness, but invite them again hoping that next time they will comply.

4. Let them in and say nothing. Not invite them again.

5. Let them in and say nothing. Invite them again in hope that next time they will be more polite.

There is no right or wrong response. Whether you let them in and whether you invite them again entirely depends upon your wishes.

You have every right to refuse to admit somebody to your home. If a person is visiting to sell you a product or service, or to promote their religious organisation (usually Jehovah's Witnesses are polite enough to offer shoes-off) then you might well refuse to let them in. On the other hand, if your boss is visiting, it might be a bad idea to refuse to let her in!

If the visitor is not a close friend, but a person you have invited to dinner in order to make close acquaintance with, you have every right to never let them darken your door again. On the other hand, you may not want to lose a close friend over the issue. However, you might feel more comfortable expressing your unhappiness to a close friend than to an occasional visitor.

There is simply no right or wrong response to refuseniks.

Would you let somebody in your house if they refused to remove their shoes when asked?


tom sheepandgoats said...

This has changed over the years. In the U.S, "shoes off at the door" is fairly typical. But when I was a kid, it was unheard of. Times change.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to see people with personality, why be a one in a million person if u can be different? :D I just love to see people with personality, don't missundertstand, I don't mean to be rude! :D

Matthew Celestis said...

In case I get sued for libel, I don't intend to suggest that Carine Roitfeld was ignoring the wishes of her host at the yacht party in the picture. I dare say her host may have been happy for her to keep her shoes on.

Matthew Celestis said...

Tom, thanks for visiting. That does seem to be the case.

Matthew Celestis said...

Anonymous, yes, it is good to be an individual.

At the same time its important to take into account the needs and wishes of other people.

If you go to somebody's house and you refuse to take your shoes off, that is just plain rude and the host is perfectly entitled to bar you.

Julie said...

Hi Sandro,

The main reasons are both comfort and to avoid walking in dirt.

However, I am also faairly tall so unfortunately can't really wear heels and don't really like flat shoes so dometimes it is easier to be shoeless.

Also, as I am on a forlly tight budget i tend to have to buy chaep shoex which are'nt comfortsble to wear for long periods of time.

Sandro said...

Julie, thank you very much for your feedback. Your approach is very reasonable from all perspectives.

Julie said...

Thanks Sandro, - hope it makes sense and does'nt sound odd.

Can I ask the lady, I think it was Zandra from Sweden whether she works in the UK and if so whether she wears shoes in work or not.

Zandra Ling said...


Thanks for the replies.

Julie - yes I do work in the UK as a Paralegal.

I work in a solicitors office and have to be smartly dressed (business suits) all the time.

Shortly after I started I was told that it was against company policy to go shoelss so crazy as it probably sounds as a compromise I bought a pair of leather slippers to wear in the office. They cost about £70 from Russell and Bromley and are black leather so look really smart.

I wear heels to work and then wear slippers in the office unless a client comes in in which case I put my shoes on.

I hope this answers your question?