Kim says let them keep their shoes on

Page 2 Advice
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Dear Kim,

Please settle a dispute between my husband and me.  We don’t wear shoes in our house.  They track in all sorts of things I don’t want on the carpet.  Trouble is, I don’t want guests wearing their shoes in our home either.  My husband thinks it’s silly to ask people to remove their shoes when they come over.  What do you think?



Dear Erin,

I completely understand why you don’t wear your footwear in your home.  Lord only know what types of yuck our shoes trample through over the course of the day.  People that know you well, probably know your preference for a “no-shoe” space.  Other guests may not be prepared for your no-shoe rule.  I would venture a guess that you don’t want a causal acquaintance or stranger’s bare stinky feet rubbing all over your carpeting either.  I know I don’t! 

Everyone knows to remove muddy/wet shoes and boots at the door.  And with the increasing popularity of hardwood floors, more and more people are adopting a no-shoe household because they don’t want their beautiful floors scratched.  An errant rock stuck in the sole of a Nike can cause a lot of damage!  Dirt and grit damages carpet too, and it can feel like a giant door mat if people don’t take off their shoes.

Seriously though, it really depends on several things.    If you’re hosting a group of people for movie night and everyone is cozying up, people will want to remove their shoes for comfort.  They know you. They know you don’t wear shoes in the house and will wear socks and/or bring slippers.  If you’re having a cocktail party, that’s another matter. The shoes complete the dress or the suit.  If I’ve gone to the trouble of getting dolled up, why ruin the look by kicking off the shoes (at least until later?)

Typically, people do what others do.  If I see a pile of shoes at the door, I’ll take mine off.  Have someplace to sit so people can take off their shoes.  Have a space for people to put their shoes.  Have socks or slippers available for your guests to wear.  New ones!  It’s not a bowling alley. 

If they didn’t take the hint and leave their shoes at the door, most etiquette experts agree – never ask your guests to remove shoes.  Suck it up for the brief time they’re visiting.  Don’t like that answer, don’t let people in your house! LOL

Have a question?  Ask Kim!

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