Improper to ask guests to remove shoes before entering your home?

We are having a “Reunion Party” for people from our parish who attended the March for Life Bustrip to Washington, DC. Even though we’ve been in our new house for over a year, this is the first time we are planning a party for more than 30 people.

Would it be in bad form to ask the guests to remove their shoes in our foyer?

It is something that we all do in my family–for comfort as well as cleanliness. (What were we thinking when we bought the house??–white carpets and 4 children are not a good combination!)

We do not know many of these people well–as I said, they are fellow parishioners who attended the ProLife Bustrip (and I suppose, 18 hours on a bus will help you to know someone… :smiley: nevertheless, we are not close friends with all the invited.)

OK - you’ve hit a raw nerve with me!

Rant mode on:

My family never took their shoes off unless you just came in out of snow or mud or something more stinky.

My wife’s family (all 9 siblings) require everyone to take off their shoes at their homes. So every weekend, there’s maybe 50 people at someone’s home, and the entryway is a veritable obstacle course of shoes, both inside the door and outside the door. You need to tiptoe your way to actually get to the front door, and watch your step closely while hugging the hostess. Then tiptoe past the minefield of ankle busting impediments in the foyer.

You take off your shoes, walk in and say hi to everyone. Then you put your shoes back on to bring stuff from the car, and take off your shoes again so you can take the stuff to the kitchen. Ditto for more trips to the car, or when the host wants to show you how beautiful the flowers are in the front yard. It would be nice to have a chair at the front door so old folks like me can actually sit down to tie our shoes.

Be sure to wear slip ons, and not sneakers or hard to tie regular shoes.

And so what do you do when when you need to go out on the back patio to get your burger off the grill, or search for the beer barrel? Well, there’s about 50 sets of sandals of various sizes that are provided for the guests. None of them are large enough for me. Or you can tiptoe your way back to the front door, get your shoes - if you can find them, carry them through the house to the patio so you can wear them in the backyard or on the patio.

If you are the first ones to leave, good luck with the obstacle course. You’re lucky if you don’t trip and break some bones.

For my house, I REQUIRE that people keep their shoes on, unless they are actually filthy - which I’ve never actually seen. Perhaps if you live on a farm, it’s a different story. We have mats at the doors, so minor dirt can be scraped off.

Rant mode off:

We remove shoes when we come in so there’s normally a pile by the door & usually people see the pile & slip their shoes off without us asking.

I would never ask someone to remove their shoes. What if they had a hole in their sock? I wouldn’t want to embarass someone. Plus sometimes older people need to keep their shoes on for stability. I think it’s rude. To me it says, “my stuff is more important than you.”

Put down some rugs by the entryway & clean the carpets if they get really dirty - but I’m betting they won’t.

I agree. Be sure to have a good-quality door mat outside your door, and a small rug just inside the door. If peoples’ shoes are really messy or muddy, they’ll usually want to remove them anyway.

I don’t wear shoes indoors (not at home, not at work, and not in other peoples’ homes), but I never require guests to remove their shoes in my home.

I agree with the previous posters.Make it optional for your guests. Put down an extra mat or two.

I would rather spray a little Resolve carpet cleaner down than make my guests feel uncomfortable.

Of course, right now, we are knee deep in snow so people remove their boots without even questioning it. :wink:
My big problem with taking off shoes is that everyone’s shoes are in a big fat pile and if it is damp or snowy, etc. then other people’s shoes (now on top of mine) get mine all yucky!

It is up to you but I think you will get a lot of good feedback here! :smiley:

I think that Carol Marie is correct. Requiring people to take off their shoes seems rude.

If though you have your shoes at the entry way, people will automatically ask if they need to keep their shoes on or take them off. This is what I do when I go to other people’s homes. If their shoes are piled at the door, then I ask if it is all right to keep my shoes on.

Personally, I HATE taking my shoes off. It just seems a nuisance. Plus I just don’t like the feel of going around with out my shoes on. I think that I must be weird in this regard though, because I know a lot of people who don’t wear their shoes indoors.

If I know that my hostess doesn’t wear her shoes indoors, of course I will gladly follow suit.

But to be ‘asked’, ‘invited’ or ‘told’ to would kinda irk me, even if I really loved my hostess. Especially if it’s a big gathering of folks.

I say, sweep off your walkway, make sure you set out plenty of mats in the entryways to catch dirt at the threshold, keep plenty of this ready to go as soon as the last guest is gone, and then vacuum &/or shampoo like a madwoman!:stuck_out_tongue:

This is a pet peeve of mine. I won’t go in to why…

Close family, that’s one thing. A group of folks you don’t know closely, that’s rude. Let’s remember what carpet is for: walking on. It’s not supposed to stay pristine forever, and certainly not at the price of alienating people and creating discomfort. Consider, also, the possibility of someone with a hole in their sock being humiliated by being forced to remove their shoes and expose it. Believe me, when I get dressed in the morning, if I think my socks will be observed (like when I had OB appointments when I was pregnant with each of my kids), I was VERY careful about which socks I picked, to prevent embarrasing or drawing attention to myself. It’s just something to think about.

Hey, you have to have your carpet steam cleaned once or twice a year, why not just plan on having it done right after your event? It’s just not worth the potential negative effects it will probably have.

Let the guests wear shoes in your house that day. Make an appointment for the carpet cleaner the day after. Problem solved! :thumbsup:

If you want to passively encourage people to remove their shoes, I would do so by having a neat pile or shoe rack of shoes belonging to your family. People who don’t mind removing their shoes will simply add theirs to the pile.

I wouldn’t be offended at all if I was asked to remove my shoes, but I’m pretty easy going and tend to take them off anyway. I HATE wearing shoes.

Make it fun…have a Japanese Tea house theme party. They will think it is part of the party theme.

Family and close friends, its ok.

rare visitors and strangers, its rude.

We always remove shoes in our house. Makes sense–my wife is from Japan!

We make exceptions for the elderly and for workmen such as plumbers.

When we’re expecting company, we put slippers near the front door. No one ever has failed to take the hint. Besides, most of our guests are Japan-savvy. The no-shoes policy is what they expect. (By the way, slippers solve the hole-in-the-sock problem.)

We usually exit through the garage, not the front door, so our “geta-bako” (shoe box) is in the garage.

I learned long ago that slipping in and out of lace-up shoes is no problem if you keep the laces a bit loose.

Have mats available inside the door and a good mat for them to brush off debris outside the door.

I think it is a bad idea to ask others to remove their shoes. Some will, some won’t and don’t give it a second thought when they walk in. Plan to steam clean your carpets sometime after the gathering.

In our house, we never wear shoes inside, though we have never asked a guest to remove their own shoes. I am blessed to have guests and don’t mind cleaning up after they leave if need be.

Dominus vobiscum,


Wow, the things I learn on this forum!:eek:

I don’t know of anyone, family or strangers, that keep their shoes on. I’ve always taken my shoes off when i visit (so I make sure ahead of time that my socks match and are hole-free;) ) and I have never had a visitor not remove their shoes.

The exception has been repair people and my grandparents. But even they start to take them off before I say “don’t worry about it”. They wouldn’t presume to leave their shoes on.


It’s not a bad idea. I don’t imagine most people would mind if there were slippers provided, although depending on the size of the party it’d mean you’d need an awful lot of them on hand!

And a few may object to wearing slippers that other guests have ‘pre-loved’ before them.

I suppose we could always keep a supply of these around. :smiley:

Very stylish :nope:

Well, for 26 cents a pair, I guess you can’t have everything. :smiley:

Wow, I never knew it could be rude to ask guests to remove their shoes, but then I’m only 18 and live in California, so you can get by wearing flip flops even in winter. I’ve had friends ask me at the door to remove my shoes and it’s no big deal if I have a hole in my sock because after some momentary teasing it’s no big deal. That might bother some people I guess though.

To the OP, why not just say, at the door “Feel free to take off your shoes if you’d like.” That way more people will, but if they’d prefer not to then no pressure.

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