Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Flip Flops

The last week has been incredibly hot. An awful lot of people are wearing flip flops.

As I have said before, the popularity of sandals and flip flops these days show that very few people are embarassed about their feet. So don't be afraid to ask your guests to remove their shoes.

Its no coincidence that flip flops are the first choice of footwear in shoe-removing South-East Asia. Flip flops are the perfect choice of shoe for us Offalists, easy to remove at the door and still leaving our feet comfy when we put them on.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Worldly World: The offense of a "no-shoes" house

Worldly World: The offense of a "no-shoes" house

"...if a guest just doesn't like the insinuation that his or her shoes are nasty on the bottoms then they are welcome to not visit. Ever. Because the bottoms of their shoes ARE nasty and I don't care to have that tracked all through my home and over my expensive and expensive-to-clean oriental rugs."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shoe Covers


Occasionally some people suggest shoe covers as an alternative to shoe-removal.

I have expressed scepticism before that shoe covers can be worn with high heeled shoes. I find it impossible to imagine what an high-heeled shoe with a cover on would look like. Shirley Saunders supports my suspicion. She points out in her book that shoe covers can be damaged by high heeled shoes.

From an aesthetic point of view, I would not want people walking about my home in covered shoes. I want it to be a place of relaxation not a crime scene. In any case, I think most people would feel sillier and more self-conscious in shoe covers than in socks or bare feet.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Budget Savings

The chancellor of the exchequer will be unveiling his emergency budget today. The government plans on making up 80 % of the budget deficit with spending cuts. As much as I am a loyal Conservative, I am a bit sceptical about the feasibility of that figure.

Still, if we have to make cuts, a simple measure would be cleaning of carpets and floors in public sector buildings. I therefore propose that all public sector offices should immediately institute a shoes-off policy. All public sector office workers should be expected to work either shoeless or in slippers to reduce cleaning costs.

Furthermore, all public buildings that are state funded, such as museums, libraries, schools and colleges should carry out an health and safety assesment as to the feasibility of requiring removal of shoes on entrance.

It might not save much money, but it is worth considering.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Daily Mail: School head orders children to remove their shoes so the new carpets don't get dirty

Daily Mail: School head orders children to remove their shoes so the new carpets don't get dirty

"A school has ordered pupils to wear slippers 'or plastic bags' in class... to save spoiling their new carpets.
Some 200 primary school pupils are having to put on shoes and take them off up to eight times a day.
And angry parents, who have had to buy extra pairs of shoes to conform with the new rules, say valuable education and play time is being lost. They have also expressed safety concerns in the event of a fire.
A Facebook group has now been set up in protest by parents who have also written to headteacher Sue Ryall calling for her to scrap the policy."

Those of you who live in Finland will think it absolutely bizarre that this made it into a national newspaper. In the enlightened land of a thousand lakes, school pupils normally wear just socks in the classroom.

As it happens, it surprises me that it made the newspapers. It has become quite common for a lot of primary schools to require pupils to change into pumps when indoors. I went to one when I was very small. So far most of the comments on this article support the head's decision.

I find it interesting that a registered childminder is quoted as objecting to this; Ofsted encourages registered childminders to make their homes shoe-free.

This article was pointed out to me by a kind reader. I can't read every newspaper. If you ever see anything relevant, please let me know.

Fancy a Picnic?


It is good weather for picnics right now.

You should always remove your shoes before putting your feet on a picnic blanket. Not only do people sit on picnic blankets, but they put food on them. Resting shoes on a picnic blanket is like putting your shoes on the dinner table or even a dinner plate.

Many people who wear shoes at home will remove their shoes before sitting on a picnic blanket, but it is amazing that some people will keep their dirty shoes on.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


My parents do seem to be removing their shoes at the door of their home very consistently.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I am visiting my parents this week. They have a lovely garden, but I am getting dreadful hayfever. I don't think I have sneezed so much in my life.

If you suffer from hayfever, removing shoes at the door can really make a difference. It means that you don't bring in pollen on your footwear and rub it in to your carpet or rugs.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010



If asked to remove their shoes, most people are polite enough to comply. However, it is always possible that there may be some refuseniks.

If somebody refuses to remove her shoes, the host has several options:

1. Not let them in.

2. Let them in, but express one's unhappiness. Not invite them in again.

3. Let them in, express one's unhappiness, but invite them again hoping that next time they will comply.

4. Let them in and say nothing. Not invite them again.

5. Let them in and say nothing. Invite them again in hope that next time they will be more polite.

There is no right or wrong response. Whether you let them in and whether you invite them again entirely depends upon your wishes.

You have every right to refuse to admit somebody to your home. If a person is visiting to sell you a product or service, or to promote their religious organisation (usually Jehovah's Witnesses are polite enough to offer shoes-off) then you might well refuse to let them in. On the other hand, if your boss is visiting, it might be a bad idea to refuse to let her in!

If the visitor is not a close friend, but a person you have invited to dinner in order to make close acquaintance with, you have every right to never let them darken your door again. On the other hand, you may not want to lose a close friend over the issue. However, you might feel more comfortable expressing your unhappiness to a close friend than to an occasional visitor.

There is simply no right or wrong response to refuseniks.

Would you let somebody in your house if they refused to remove their shoes when asked?

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Housewife of NYC- Green Tour: Entry (Part 1)

Housewife of NYC- Green Tour: Entry (Part 1)

'I think it’s a must to have everyone who enters your home remove their shoes, especially if you live in an urban area. Did you know that having a place to sit down near the entry to remove shoes and store them is one of the requirements in order to get LEED certification? (In case you don’t already know, LEED is an “internationally recognized green building certification system” developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.) Removing your shoes will have a significant impact on the quality of the air in your home, not to mention how much cleaning your floors require!

Some people worry about offending their guests. In all the years that we have been doing this, no one has ever been upset. Every once in a while people ask why, but when I tell them what comes in on our feet effects our (and our cats’) health, it’s never been a problem. When our cats all ended up with hookworms, I asked the vet how on earth they got them as indoor only cats and the answer was, “they probably came in on the bottom of someone’s shoe.” Ew.'

Wednesday, June 02, 2010



Roundworms live in the intestines of dogs and cats. They pass their eggs into the feces. These tiny eggs can survive in the soil for months.

You might not see any dog or cat plop on the ground on which you walk, but potentially you are picking up Roundworm eggs on your shoes.

If you allow shoes in your house, Roundworm eggs may be introduced onto the same floor on which your children play. It just takes your child one mouth to hand contact for her to become infected. Potentially she could develope lung problems as a result of infection.

Just take your shoes off and ask others to do the same. It's not rocket science.