Sunday, February 19, 2017

shoe etiquette

As a kid, we never took off our shoes when we came into the house unless they were wet.

Only when I moved to Europe and was invited to dinner at the home of a professor and his wife, did I run into the convention. They lived on the third floor and all the shoes were left in the communal hall. The rabbit his wife cooked was delicious.

My housemate had a no shoe policy with slippers offered, but she wasn't fanatic with guests or residents. It was preferred.

Curious about who and where people routinely removed their shoes in a house, I took an unofficial survey on Facebook

Anything close to a scientific study of human habits and cultural foot-covering habits is purely coincidental.

Here are some of the answers by country.

Note: I am writing this in socks.


From a friend I knew when she lived in Switzerland: " Off, nationality...well, both US & Canadian... With many years of European living.... Guests can do as they please but in Canada most guests remove them automatically."


From my former exchange student and friend: She grew up in Croatian when it was Yugoslavia but has lived most of her adult life in The Netherlands, so she weighed in twice. "Off, and slippers on. Croatian," and  "The whole day ON. Dutch!"

Note: some people who responded are dual nationals or have their interests in more than one country.


From a former colleague. I have a wonderful memory of us releasing helium balloons and making wishes as each balloon disappeared. "I always have taken my shoes off. Just wear socks in the house. I go through socks like crazy."


From a new friend: "Birkenstocks stay on; other shoes usually come off. It's a matter of comfort. Guests keep their shoes on, or not, whatever they are comfortable with. At my kids' (in the UK and France), shoes come off."

From a friend who is also placed in the UK section: "I prefer to go bare footed. I would like house guests to do the same but would never dream of asking them to."
From friend in France but American: "I wear my slippers, my guests wear their shoes - cold tiled floors! Prefer being labeled as Me." 

From a French friend and writing mate: "I take my shoes off. My guests keep theirs on. I would feel rude asking them to take them off. Maybe also because I have slippery stairs. And cat paw prints everywhere!" Note. And they are beautiful cats who are bare-pawed.


From a new friend: "I take my shoes off at every opportunity I hate wearing them ... as soon as I walk in the door at home... sometimes at work 😱 love being barefoot πŸ‘£"

From my former exchange student and friend: "The whole day ON. Dutch!" 
 But she grew up in Croatian so she weighed in twice. "Off, and slippers on. Croatian."


From a writer friend: "People walk in their stockinged feet."


Ginger Dawn Harman said...

I am a shoes off gal too.

Stephanie Gaunt said...

Shoes on for me unless they are muddy/wet. Same for guests. But shoes off when am home for the night and slippers on. Friends with new/pale carpets sometimes go for off....