Saturday, June 27, 2009



Some people are of the opinion that it is very important that guests have the choice of whether to keep their shoes on or not.

However, it is not as simple as that. Some choices may impose on the choices of others.

Some visitors may want to take their shoes off, but may fear that doing so will be considered rude. Being informed that shoes-off is encouraged will be a great welcome for these people.

The shoes-on folks might then argue, "Yes, but you can still let people keep their shoes on without imposing on the people who prefer to go shoeless."

However, this is not the case. Firstly, those people who want to take their shoes off may fear, if there are lots of other guests, particularly at a party, that their feet may get squashed by other peoples' shoes. In a crowded party, it can be hard to avoid having people tread on your toes.

Secondly, people who take their shoes off will prefer to walk on a floor that is cleaner. In fact, there is another issue here, as Angie pointed out in a previous post. Some guests will enjoy sitting on the floor. And sitting on the floor is a much more pleasent experience when it is clean. So allowing guests the choice of wearing shoes imposes on those who like to sit on the floor.

The simple truth is that no host can please everybody. However, there are far more good reasons to insist on shoes coming off at the door than for allowing shoes to stay on. Let guests chose between slippers, socks ot barefeet. That is choice enough.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tribute to Triel Baenre

Triel Baenre is a character in the Forgotten Realms fantasy franchise. She first appeared in novels written by RA Salvatore.

Triel is a Drow, one of the race of evil black skinned elves who dwell underground and who worship the spider goddess Loth. Triel was the daughter of Matron Baenre, head of the ruling Drow house and on her death, became the head of House Baenre. She is evil and cunning, has a bad habit of sleeping with demons (producing some monstrous offspring), but is embarassingly short in stature.

Triel is my favorite character in fantasy literature for the simple reason that she has a shoes-off policy!

In the novel, Siege of Darkness (I think it is that one, it is a few years since I last read that trilogy), she holds a meeting with a Drow mercenary, Jarlaxle, in her private chambers. To protect the plush carpet, she removes her shoes and tells Jarlaxle to remove his boots. He declines, but she warns him that if he makes a hole in the carpet, she will fill it with his head. That is the right attitude!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Do Heavy Metal fans remove their shoes at the door? A Global Perspective


- Heavy Metal music originated in the UK where removing shoes is not the norm.
- Heavy Metal is most popular in South America where people don't normally remove their shoes in homes.


- Some of the best ever Heavy Metal bands come from Scandinavia where removing shoes is definitely the norm.
- Heavy Metal also has a big following in Eastern Europe and South East Asia where people always take off their shoes in homes.
- This Heavy Metal fan certainly does!

Degrees of Firmness


1. You can take your shoes off here if you like.

2. We take our shoes off here.

3. We do like visitors to take their shoes off.

4. Are you alright with taking your shoes off?

5. You don't mind taking your shoes off, do you?

6. Could you take your shoes off, please?

7. Take your shoes off, please.

8. Shoes off.

9. Shoes off now!

Monday, June 22, 2009

It is not Selfish to ask Visitors to Remove their Shoes


Some people claim it is selfish to ask visitors to remove their shoes. They think that it shows excessive concern for one's carpet or flooring.

On the contrary it is not selfish at all.

Firstly, there is an health issue involved. Peoples' shoes pick up dust and animal excrement which is not good for one's health and especially bad for the health of one's children. If one has babies or small children that play on the floor it is extremely sensible to keep one's home shoe-free.

There are many worries today about the health risks posed by pollution, toxins and chemicals. Personally, I think many of these health scares are exagerrated. Many of the supposed health risks have not been scientifically verified. However, it is best to keep as much nasty stuff out of the house as possible.

Secondly, the notion of selfishness here is relative. In a country where shoe-removing is the norm, like Finland or Russia, it would hardly be selfish to insist on shoes-off.

In Britain or the USA, where keeping shoes on is the norm, there are many people who would like to insitute a shoes-off policy, but who are afraid of causing offence or being deemed 'selfish.' If a person is brave enough to insist on shoes-off, she makes it easier for those other people who feel that they would like to make their homes shoe-free. In time, the norms of the UK and the USA may change and shoe-removing may become as normal as it is in Thailand or Sweden.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Election Shock- Roja told to remove shoes

Election Shock- Roja told to remove shoes

Brief story about an Indian politician who caused outrage when she declined to remove her shoes when visiting homes to canvass for votes. I don't know about her politics, but she obviously lacked tact and sensitivity.

BidMyCleaning Banter: Is Your House a No Shoe Zone?

BidMyCleaning Banter: Is Your House a No Shoe Zone?

Top 10 Reasons Not To Wear Shoes In Your Home

Top 10 Reasons Not To Wear Shoes In Your Home

by Amy Lee

J-list Side Blog: Japanese Shoe Removal Culture

J-list Side Blog: Japanese Shoe Removal Culture

Interesting post on shoe removal in Japanese anime.

If you want to...

If you want to, you can become a follower of this blog. Just click the thing on the sidebar.

It would make me feel really warm inside and it would help me to know who is visiting.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Good Housekeeping: Shoes off, please!

Good Housekeeping: Shoes off, please!

The Tuscany Files: Please remove your shoes

The Tuscany Files: Please remove your shoes

You often see blog posts talking about how removing shoes is not very common in America, in contrast to places like Canada and Scandinavia. Well, this blog post makes completely the opposite contrast, portraying shoe removal as common place in America, as opposed to unheard of in Italy.

I would love to go on holiday to Italy (so much beautiful art and architecture), but I regard southern Europe, apart from the Balkan peninsula, as living in the dark ages on account of the domminance of shoes-stay-on culture. I have heard of Italians who remove their shoes, but I understand, as with Spain and South America, removing shoes is practically unacceptable.

I would be very reluctant to live in southern Europe (except the Balkan peninsula) on account of this.

Healthy and Green Living: Please Remove Shoes Before Entering?

Healthy and Green Living: Please Remove Shoes Before Entering?

In the custody suite

I really am not a fan of Eastenders. I don't even own a television and had to ask Richyrich how much a tv licence costs.

The above picture shows the characters Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell who were arrested and loacked in a cell together in an episode of the soap a while back. As is normally the case in our police stations, their shoes are removed. One of them (I watched the clip on You Tube) threatened to sue if her shoes were damaged. Maybe she had seen that episode of Sex and the City where Carrie has to remove her shoes (Again, I watched that on You Tube not on television).

If one must remove shoes to protect a police cell from damage and dirt, how much more should you remove your shoes before entering your home?

Kindly Remove Your Shoes! - Article from our Life Coaching Programs

Kindly Remove Your Shoes! - Article from our Life Coaching Programs

Wearing Shoes in the House- a good collection of comments

Wearing Shoes in the House- a good collection of comments

Two Fictional People (Stereotypes?)



Giles is a lawyer who lives in Surrey. He lives with his wife and two teenage children.

He enjoys golfing. He attends his local parish church and is a member of the Conservative party. However, his main passion is for his Harley Davidson motorcycle, which his wife occasionally permits him to ride.

Giles has a shoes-off policy in his home. He and his wife decided upon this some time after they moved into a new house with cream coloured carpets. They had not intended to impose this rule, but after a number of black marks started to appear not long after they moved in and they received a bill for a professional professional carpet cleaning job, they felt they had no choice.

Some of their guests were a little surprised by the new rule when invited to frequent dinner parties there and some of Giles' wife's friends occasionally looked a little sad when leaving their expensive shoes at the door. However, most of them have become used to it and a number have followed suit in introducing a shoes-off rule. Many of them bring slippers when visiting Giles and his wife.

Giles' teenage son and daughter needed a little coaxing to get used to the rule. The daughter occasionally makes faces when reminded to remove her shoes, especially when she has her friends over.


Victoria lives in in London with her partner and their two small children. Victoria and her partner run a vegetarian cafe and restaurant.

Victoria has pink hair and sevaral facial piercings. She is very keen on punk rock, particularly 80s crustcore type bands. She took part in many protests against the Iraq war and was more recently protesting about the expansion of Heathrow airport.

Victoria has a shoes-off policy in their house. Victoria is not the most houseproud of women and tends not to worry a lot about dirt. However, while travelling in south-east asia before they had children, Victoria and her partner came into contact with the practice of shoe removal. Victoria quite liked the practice, as she enjoyed going barefoot and thought it would bring a slightly oriental flavour to their home. Being very concerned about the environment, Victoria feels glad she adopted the shoes-off policy before having children. She is concerned about the effects of toxic chemicals and pollution on her children.

Victoria frequently invites friends to her home, hence their is often a vast pile of shoes and sandals at the door. Most of her friends are easy-going people, many of whom enjoyed going barefoot, like Victoria. However, a few of them favour combat boots that take a little while to unlace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A new cleaner

I am staying with my old folks in Hastings this week. I met the Chinese cleaner my mother now employs. As might be expected, she had left her shoes by the door.