Do You Remove Your Shoes Indoors?
This is a national obsession: to remove your shoes indoors or not?
Some say it makes sense if you want to protect your expensive carpet. Others resent being asked to do it.
Many people have different opinions on whether or not you should remove your shoes when you come into someone’s house. There are a few reasons you might want to keep your shoes on, such as not wanting to walk around barefoot.
However, there are also a few good reasons to take your shoes off when you come indoors. For one thing, it can help to keep the floors clean. Shoes track in dirt and other contaminants from outside, which can quickly make indoor surfaces dirty.
If you are visiting someone and they ask you to take off your shoes, what do you do?
Many people object to pottering around in socks in other people’s houses or carrying your shoes from the front door to the back door if you want to go in the garden for a smoke.
There have been many debates on Mumsnet (an online forum for middle-class ladies who shop at Ocado or Waitrose and own Sebo vacuum cleaners) about this. Here’s a quote:
We’ve had this rule from when I was young and have carried it on when I moved out. I think it makes sense not to walk all over the house with shoes that have been worn outdoors, who knows what you’ve stood on and then bringing all that in to your home.
Should a homeowner prioritise their floors above the comfort of their guests? Or should a guest remove their footwear to avoid bringing dirt indoors? Is it good manners to ask your guests to go shoeless, or worse manners for guests not to offer?
Why do people choose white and cream carpets anyway? The debate on this is endless. At least having a top-quality vacuum cleaner will keep your deep pile carpets, whatever colour they are, as clean as possible.
This debate is astonishingly polarising — and revealing. People who live in the countryside tend to sneer at such preening activity. If it’s not got mud on it, it’s alright. Dirt never hurt anyone, after all, did it?
When did the great shoes-off thing creep into British homes? It wasn’t a thing when I was growing up. That said, we never really had too many guests, and those that did come had a habit of entering through the back door, rather than the front, and of staying in the kitchen and avoiding the front room which seemed to be reserved for guests, Christmas and perhaps the Queen if she chose to drop by.
Taking off your shoes inside the home is a very normal thing in China, Russia, Korea, Japan and many other countries. As is washing your hands the moment you enter the house. In many countries, outdoor shoes are swapped for slippers; homes are designed to accommodate this, with guest slippers in the hallway.
Shoes are a big source of dirt and bacteria, so it’s often recommended to take them off when you enter your home. This is especially important if you have little ones crawling around or if you’re pregnant, as both groups are more susceptible to sicknesses.
In some places (like Japan), it’s considered bad manners to walk around in your shoes indoors, so it’s always a good idea to check the etiquette of the place you’re visiting before you go. And remember, even if it’s not considered bad manners in that particular place, it may still be better for your health to take your shoes off.
It’s likely the case that Covid has made the nation more squeamish about germs and lurgy generally. Now we are thinking about germs.
Science backs up the remove your shoes indoors thing, apparently. Some studies have noted that drug-resistant pathogens, cancer-causing toxins and E. coli can hitch a ride on the soles of your shoes.
Keep Britain Tidy calculates that the dog population has increased 44 percent, from 9m to 13m, since the start of the pandemic. And the result of more dogs is — of course — more dog poo. They claim 53 tonnes of it is left in parks daily because of 780,000 irresponsible dog owners, all of which could be finding its way to a living room carpet near you.
The nicest pair of shoes worn in the park might bring something nasty into your home.
Context counts as well. If it’s a party for example, then shoes should surely stay on? Ladies want to show off their nice high heels. Who wants to mooch around a party in stocking feet, bare feet or slippers?
Do you want to be at a party, glass of red in hand, and be confronted by a stranger’s nasty yellow toenails? Do you want someone’s Athlete’s Foot all over your carpet? Will you find yourself quickly recalibrating your opinion of someone based on their Mickey Mouse socks? Is a man in slippers going to catch the eye of the ladies?
Many people don’t like being told what to do. “Would you mind taking your shoes off?” the host sometimes says loudly. Inside your head, you may be thinking, “Well yes, actually, I bloody would”, while standing on one leg messing about with your shoelaces. It’s all very undignified.
Apparently, there is a class dimension to this whole debate. The Mumsnet verdict was that those who are lower-middle or working class were more likely to be proponents of the shoe-removal policy. Those who can afford cleaners, or the aristocracy wouldn’t dream of asking you to remove your shoes. So, it’s people with cream carpets in Pinner then is it?
The grim dog-poo statistics might make you think twice about the whole shoes on the carpet thing. By keeping your shoes on, you risk tracking in harmful bacteria or other nasties into the home. And that brings us to vacuum cleaners.
A good quality vacuum cleaner is an investment that will pay for itself many times over, especially if you have expensive carpets. Not only will it help to keep your carpets clean, but it will also help to extend their life. A Sebo vacuum cleaner is a good choice for anyone who wants to get the most out of their investment.
Sebo vacuums are designed for optimal performance on all types of carpet, and they do an excellent job of pile grooming and dirt removal. In addition, Sebo vacuums are known for their durability and long lifespan. Sebo vacuums come with a number of attachments that make it easy to reach tight spaces and remove pet hair. For anyone who is serious about keeping their carpets clean, whether you remove your shoes indoors or not, a Sebo vacuum cleaner is the way to go.
But before you dash out to buy a Sebo from John Lewis, know that independent stores like us can usually offer you a far better deal. Think twice before you buy a Sebo vacuum cleaner on Amazon too, as we can save you money on their prices as well.
Which is the best value Sebo vacuum? Find out here: The best value Sebo vacuum cleaner
The Sebo Shop at Manchester Vacs are approved Sebo dealers offering the full range of domestic and commercial Sebo vacuums together with consumables and spare parts.