I was raised in a household where everyone took off their shoes upon entering the home. As a kid, sometimes I resented the practice. Primarily, it was often a hassle plus most of my friends didn’t have this requirement in their homes. Nowadays though, I see the value removing shoes. The reasons are quite similiar to why they did it in the old days.
1) Shoes are removed to keep dirt out -- no one wants muddy shoe prints on their freshly cleaned floors, especially if you have guests sitting on the floor (which lasted about 6 months after we bought out condo and had no furniture).
2) Giving feet proper air circulation. Okay, sometimes I’m lazy. I confess that I might skip wearing socks if I know that I’m only going out on a quick errand. But I have sweaty feet and taking off my shoes when I get home ensures I dry out my feet and don’t get athlete’s foot. In more humid climates like Taiwan or Japan, I can totally see where this would be an issue.
3) Removing shoes are relaxing. The act of casting off my shoes when I arrive home is my way of saying that I’ve entered my comfortable, stress-free sanctuary, free of the constraints of the outside world.
I realize that not everyone feels this way, especially after watching the Sex and the City Season 6, Episode 9 entitled ‘A Woman’s Right to Shoes’ :
or maybe someone has holes in their socks they wish to hide. Even though it is my home, I know I feel a twinge of guilt and awkwardness when I force my guests to remove their shoes.
So here’s what I do. I always keep a few spare guest sandals handy. When my guests arrive, I give them the option to go barefoot or ask if they are interested in wearing indoor slippers instead. I know it isn’t much, but I want my floors clean and keeping outdoor shoes on is not an option. I’ve found that it helps when the slippers are cute or uber comfy. For example, the lovely folks at Dearfoams sent me these two slippers.
The top Dearfoams pair were too small for me but they were a hit with my girlfriend -- she loved the cute flower and the bright colors. My girlfriend happens to fall into the ‘take off the shoes at home’ category so she was an easy sell though. The bottom Dearfoams sole was so comfy, that I ended up wearing them myself. I’m not sure how fellow pregnant women can walk barefoot, but I need a little cushioning and support with all the extra weight I’m carrying. This pillowtop, memory sandal was simply a godsend for my aching feet.
Anyways, I digress. To give my guests slipper options, I purchased 2 additional Dearfoams on my own -- a light blue thong Dearfoam sandal and a fuzzy Dearfoam slipon -- plus a pair of manly slippers from Brookstones. Here’s a fun picture that I took of the Dearfoams in the shape of a flower. Some of my guests have said they like the sandals and would be purchasing a pair to wear around their house. I guess they like the memory foam on the Dearfoams as much as I do!
But what about you? Would you make your guests take off their shoes?