Enforcing a “no shoes” policy at home helps keep out dust and allergens. It also protects your floors from dirt and debris, allowing you to go longer between cleans. But how do you encourage guests who pop over on a whim or come over for dinner to remove their shoes without sounding like a stickler?
Shoe removal is common in some countries, such as Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Keeping them on can be a sign of disrespect.
Is it rude to ask guests to remove their shoes upon arrival? We don’t think so as long as you follow a few simple steps when asking. This way you can still make people feel welcome while setting a “no shoes” boundary.
Requesting guests to remove their shoes is best when done directly upon entering. It might take a little practice getting used to it, but we suggest you keep it simple by saying, ‘Would you mind if you removed your shoes before you came in?’ or ‘I’d prefer if you went shoeless, thank you.’
Most of the time it will be a non-issue, but if anyone balks, simply explain your reasoning by saying it’s better for your allergies or it’s been very muddy out, etc.
Not only should guests have a place to sit when they remove their footwear, but it’s also nice to have a few extra pairs of socks or slippers nearby for added comfort. Clear a designated spot for people to place their shoes so no one trips over anything.
Having a few pairs of house shoes or a few pairs of socks can help soften the request. It’s also a good idea to have guests slip-on socks if they borrow any house shoes while they’re at it. House shoes have grown in popularity since the pandemic. They offer more support than traditional slippers, thanks to their durable, non-slip soles.
If you’re in the market for some, check out our selection of the best house shoes for men that’s been vetted by a team of experts. (All the pairs work well for women, too.)
When it comes to hosting larger events, if you want guests to remove their shoes, it’s best to give some advanced warning. This way, people can plan their outfits around the idea. Some guests may decide to bring along a pair of slippers or socks, and some women may choose to wear different hosiery. This means at the bottom of the invitation, you might want to add something like ‘Please plan on removing your shoes once inside.’
It really boils down to what you and your family feel most comfortable with. If you don’t mind people wearing shoes but your spouse can’t stand picking up the little pieces of leaves that inevitably get tracked in, it might make sense to set a blanket rule for guests.
It’s your house, after all, so it’s perfectly fine to set boundaries. Now if only we could train our dogs to wipe their muddy paws before entering, we’d be all set!
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