Turtle Mat Blog: Turtle Mat 2014 Houseproud Survey
A survey by the doormat copany Turtle Map surveyed British towns to find out how likely British people were to remove their shoes and ask guests to remove their shoes. The results are a little unsurprising, with the South being the most houseproud in general. One interesting result though, was that while women were overall more likely than men to remove their shoes, men were more likely to ask guests to take their shoes off.
On the whole, it identified the British norm as I have described it here, that most British people take their shoes off in their own homes, but would not require guests to do the same. This contrasts with Sweden or Norway, where guests would be expected to remove their shoes and also with Spain and Italy, where most people keep their shoes on in their own homes. I suspect the results of a similar survey in America would show a sharp polarisation between people who keep their shoes on and people who require shoes off for guests, with less of the British comproise approach.
I'm not sure I like the tone of the way the results were presented, with the implied suggestion that asking for shoes off is impolite or unwelcoing. What is impolite or unwelcoming about asking people to do what they would do in their own homes anyway? I suspect a not-so hidden agenda; it's certainly in the interests of a doormat manufactuer for people to wear shoes indoors, then they will spend more money on expensive doorats.