Shoes at the Door Please!

Ding. . . Dong. . . company's here! Before your guests come in. Do you ask them to remove their shoes? Turns out 40% of people polled do. Interesting fact: Those age 40 or older preferred to wear shoes in the house, while others wanted to keep them off. It seems the younger group is onto something - keeping shoes off inside does keep your house cleaner & healthier. It's true that bacteria including E coli were found on 96% of shoes tested in a 2008 study by a University of Arizona microbiologist. Can you say. . . disgusting!

In the United States, taking shoes off indoors is not a tradition, but is considered to be expected in Hawaii and Alaska. It is also more prevalent in the North East due to poor weather in the winter, with standards differing from household to household. However, removing shoes is common among certain immigrant communities. In Northern Europe and Austria, it is generally considered rude or unhygienic to keep one's shoes on when entering a house, in particular boots or outdoor walking shoes. There may be exceptions, especially when it is a short visit where it is not necessary to enter the interior rooms of the house or flat. It's customary there to bring shoes for indoor wear in a bag and put them on when outdoor clothes are removed.
If you've been wearing shoes inside your house, don't panic. Your floors might be harboring dirt, germs, feces, bacteria and more, but not all hope is lost. The first thing you should do is to start removing your shoes at the entrance of your house. Then encourage your guests to remove their shoes.

So, how do you politely suggest your guests go barefoot when they visit?  "Try greeting them at the door with something low-key", says Anna Post coauthor of Emily's Post Etiquette. For example: "Hi! let me take your coat. You can just leave your shoes over there." How about adding a basket of slippers or flip flops by the door? It just may make those who are self conscious about smelly feet, holes in socks or a bad pedicure feel at ease. What say you?

No comments

Post a Comment