true dat. we went to a family new years eve party a few years ago and, like many others, removed our shoes. however NOT everyone removed their shoes. and it was super super crowded. by the end of the evening, my white socks were black and WET. yuck!
i've already posted up-thread on this topic and generally i'm very much in favor of shoes off, but i do make the exception when we have a large party. reason being that the floor is pretty much bound to get trashed anyway, and i just know that i WILL be cleaning it completely and thoroughly when the party's over, so, basically, why bother in this situation? and if just one or two people with wet or dirty shoes don't comply, then everyone else gets wet and dirty feet. NOT FAIR!
most generally, however, i sure don't feel like or have the time/energy to clean my floors after every time someone visits. there's a nice way to ask -- just be upbeat and friendly about it, most people will comply,.and those who don't want to (like my father), will self limit their visits into your house. which is too bad, but fine i guess; we can visit on the front porch instead.
Put a small shoe rack outside near the front door with a nice handpainted sign to Please Remove Your Shoes. Make sure you also have a nice bench or chair for them to sit on while removing their shoes near the door either inside or outside.
Mother of 3, welcomed a new baby girl July 2011
I put up a small sign saying "Please Remove Shoes". I think it's too small and am going to make a larger one and frame it. I also put a shoe rack in the foyer.
A friend of mine is getting shoe covers (the kind they use in hospitals) and she will keep them in her entryway. I think I'm going to be more strict about having people take them off after I saw a few tv reports about what kind of bacteria, pesticides (etc) is on the bottom of shoes. It just grosses me out.
Have a place for them to sit and remove their shoes, and a supply of clean slipper socks for them to slip on. It would bother me to have my feet exposed to other people if I wasn't expecting it, so having clean slippers available might be the difference between me staying and going. I don't like outside dirt in my house either (we wipe the dog's feet if it's muddy out and she doesn't walk around in public restrooms....PUKE.....) and ask people to remove their shoes. I have slipper socks available as needed.
Communal slippers? Ewwww. What a way to spread foot fungus or such. If I was going to come to your house, please let me know in advance you are a shoe-free household. I'll bring my own indoor-only slippers (though I've worn them outside a time or two when the doggie needed to go out and pee or poop RIGHT THEN (talking he was squatting to go and i got him outside just in time) and when I was in Haiti--and we were encamped on a landfill. I swear. But, I only wore them inside the (unfloored) tent (mind you it was a landfill). Except the time I *really* had to go. But, seriously, let me know so I can wear proper socks or bring proper socks/slippers. But, if I'm wearing shoes that are complicated to get on/off (such as my combat boots), allow me to be grumpy about it.
This thread is odd for me. It must be a regional thing. Where I live (Canada) no one ever wears shoes in someones house. Obviously in the winter you would not wear your snow/mud/salty outdoor boots inside of someones home, but in the summer everyone removes their sandals too. No one asks, it just is. If you go to party it is totally normal for there to be dozens of shoes to step over just inside the door. Where do you live that people where shoes inside a house?
I've lived in northern and southern California, and it's not the norm to remove shoes in either of those places. I grew up not wearing shoes in the house, but my mom didn't ask guests to remove their shoes. At parties everyone wore their shoes (or didn't, if they felt like taking them off, but the norm was shoes-on). That's sort of how it is for us now too -- we don't wear shoes in the house, but we don't ask guests to remove their shoes (except I do ask that my kids' friends remove their shoes before going upstairs).
It's weird, because here it's almost like you're not fully dressed if you're not wearing shoes, so when we throw parties at our own house, I put shoes on even though it feels strange to walk around my own house wearing shoes. But I almost feel like some guests would be ... I don't know, put off? ... by me wearing slippers, or socks, or bare feet. They probably wouldn't be put off -- I don't think any of my friends/family would be judgmental about something like that -- but somehow it just feels more socially correct to wear shoes at parties where I live. And I only remove my shoes in the houses of very close friends and family, or if I'm asked to remove them -- if I just took my shoes off in the home of an acquaintance, I think it'd be perceived as ... forward? Presumptuous? Overly familiar? I'm not sure.
I didn't read the whole thread. (1st and last page) but I agree with PP who said that living in Canada, people just naturally take their shoes off in your home. It becomes habit seeing for over half the year you would be dragging snow and mud into someone's home! Sometimes we have people come and we INSIST that they keep their shoes/boots on. (Inspectors going in and out of house, someone going straight through out the back door, if the floor is chilly but it's not a snowy mess outside etc). People KNOW that they will be in stocking feet so if they care, they always bring slippers with them when visiting. Our family dinners are a bunch of people sitting around in socks and slippers. I always make sure I wear nicer socks. ;)
But the idea of people shoeless at a cocktail party is strange. (not that I've been!) and people on tv always where shoes.
I just ask them to remove their shoes.To be honest though, around here it's exceedingly rare to have someone visit and have them think they can wear shoes inside. It's considered rude here to wear shoes in someone else house, even if you wear them in your own. Really, being direct and polite is the best way to deal with it. "Can you please take off your shoes" works well enough.
Haven't read the whole rest of the thread yet, but this is exactly what I was going to say. I find people always do when I ask politely - finished.
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
I usually just politely to please remove the shoes. It's something everyone in our household does when we come inside. But last year for DD's birthday party we didn't ask anyone to remove their shoes. It was Spring so no yucky salt or slush stains to worry about. When everyone left I just swept and cleaned the floors. For a birthday party, I don't want a bunch of shoes sitting in one area. It always reminds me of a Sex and the City episode when Carrie had her Manolo's stolen at a baby shower.
I have been a guest in many Asian homes where shoe removal is the norm, many times the hosts provided slippers for their guests to wear in lui of shoes. I think being straightforward and explaining your reasoning is inoffensive, and one would hope your guests would respect your wishes to keep your home clean. We ask guests to take off their shoes, we explain we want to keep the ridiculously light colored carpet in our apartment as clean as possible (ha! it hasn't worked).
As for your friend- I think as soon as she started running around the house I would've asked again "Can you please take your shoes off? I know you weren't planning on staying long but we really don't want the floors to get muddy" or something like it.
Mama to my sweet boy O age 4; baby girl lost at 13 wks, July '14 ~ I'm a nerdy, treehugging, polytheist lady and a professional herbalist. Three candles that illume every darkness: Truth, Nature, Knowledge. - Triads of Ireland