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The original Ping was painfully written in Perl.

March 7th, 2002

One Shoe On, One Shoe Off

Growing up, did you live in a “shoes on” or “shoes off” household?

In my house, it was generally OK for friends to come over and keep their shoes on while they were inside, but I remember visiting other friends’ houses, I had to make sure I wasn’t wearing holy socks, because all visitors had to leave their shoes at the door. There didn’t seem to be any perceivable reason for families to swing one way or the other, except for, perhaps, plush carpeting.

Now that I have my own house, I find myself in kind of a halfway state… I don’t wear shoes around the house, mainly for comfort. And while I don’t mind visitors keeping their shoes on when the come over, there’s been at least one time where someone walked on our (plush) carpeting with muddy shoes. So the unspoken rule is: if it’s messy outside, take your shoes off. Otherwise, do as you wish.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Paul [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 9:25:34 am
We tended to be a shoes-off household, but it wasn't absolutely required of guests. It later morphed into a mixture, and I started wearing them all the time.

Now I find that I really don't wear them when at home. The same messy shoe rule applies here: check your snow-soaked shoes at the door.

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 9:50:32 am
My house always has had a "do what the hell you like" policy. I hate to change, so it's become a habit for me to leave my shoes on from the time I get dressed in the morning until I get undressed for bed at night. It's a wonder my feet never smell worse than a dozen roses. In my new house, I'm going to ask my roommates if they are into a "no pants and no shoes except pumps" policy.

My experience has been that Asian families are the most likely to have "shoes off" rules, and they're the strictest about it. What rule does Huyen's mom enforce, if any?

Oh, and Ryan, you have spoken the "when it's messy outside" to Matt and me. Unspoken my ass!!! :-D

FROM: Paul [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 10:08:00 am
I guess a derivative question from this Ping is, do people wear socks year-round? Even on those hot summer days? I think that if socks are involved, people are more likely to keep their shoes on.

FROM: Kirk
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 10:18:02 am
We were definitely a shoes-off household. I think it was a by-product of a Dutch upbringing. All my relatives are downright fanatical about the shoes-off rule. But hey what can you expect from a nationality that holds a street sweeping festival every year? @,@

FROM: Matt
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 11:54:28 am
Did your mom and dad also introduce you to the tradition of Dutch Ovens?

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 12:40:36 pm
Matt -- Why am I not surprised you asked that? ;)

Robert -- I don't think that Huyen's mom had any sort of rule about that... then again, she's about the least "strict" person you'll ever meet.

Paul -- That's a good question. I don't, but I could.

A related observation, as a kid I would always wear socks to bed. Now, I never do and can't imagine doing so.

FROM: Robert [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 2:20:04 pm
I used to wear socks to bed when I was little, but I got so tired of loosing them after constant nights of fitful sleep that I gave it up. I gave up clothes altogether in bed much later. ;-)

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 3:15:08 pm
Growing up - I don't remember any real rule. However, my house now is a shoes off house for family. I don't insist guests follow the rule. I figure 90% of the foot traffic is us so we are getting 90% benefit if we roam the house in sock feet or slippers. My prom date senior year was Japenese-Hawaiiian and I picked up the habit from her family.

In summer, I am a no shoes - no socks guy as often as possible.

FROM: Matt
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 3:50:24 pm
My parents usually want people's shos off in the home, especially now that we have new carpeting. I usually only make people if they have dirt on their feet.
I personally fluctuate. I used to wear shoes from the time I put them on until the time I went to bed. Now sometimes I won't even put them on the whole day. I do, however, usually have socks on, unless I have on some flip-flops. I wear them to bed about 50-50. When it's real cold in the house I usually leave them on.

FROM: fresh
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 8:32:34 pm
come as you are in the fresh household not too much carpeting. i wore socks to bed until i got athletes foot and havent done it sence, in the sumemr i dont wear anything jus leave a pair of flip flops in the jeep in case of a store run

FROM: fresh
DATE: Thursday March 7, 2002 -- 8:32:57 pm
come as you are in the fresh household not too much carpeting. i wore socks to bed until i got athletes foot and havent done it sence, in the sumemr i dont wear anything jus leave a pair of flip flops in the jeep in case of a store run

FROM: sarah
DATE: Friday March 15, 2002 -- 1:59:52 pm
Growing up, taking your shoes off before bedtime was equated with living in a barn. Now I can live in a barn whenever I want! *thanks, Pinger Rob!*

FROM: Dave
DATE: Friday October 4, 2002 -- 10:33:33 pm
Socked feet around the house rule. I can't imagine wearing shoes at home or
at my friends' homes either. They mostly feel the same way about it.

FROM: Justin
DATE: Wednesday October 1, 2003 -- 5:32:37 pm
My house growing up everyone had to take off their shoes. Now that I have a house of my own I still take off my shoes at the door. My friends when they come over just see my shoes by the door and they take theirs off too without me asking. My friends have shoes off houses too. So we all just take our shoes off and no one even really asks. We just see shoes by the door so ours go their too.

FROM: mend
DATE: Sunday January 2, 2005 -- 11:11:31 am
hi evry1 i personally dont tae my shoes off at the door but i love it when other people make me take my shoes off at the door i think its nice and more cumfy thought im not in the habit of doing it in my own home

FROM: M Clarke [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday August 26, 2005 -- 3:58:32 pm
I always take my shoes off at home and when I finally get my own place, I will ask visitors to do the same.
I used to wear shoes at home until my parents and I moved to a house with cream carpets.
After adopting the new practise of removing shoes, I found at a lot more cultures than I thought required it. It began to seem the most sensible thing to do on entering one's home.
My parents never ask guests to take their shoes off; tehy are too polite. But if it was my house (and my money that had paid for it) I certainly would.

FROM: Susan
DATE: Wednesday October 12, 2005 -- 2:41:06 am
My husband, 8 yo son and I always take our shoes off as soon as we enter the house. It's not exactly a "rule", since we'd all rather be in our stocking feet or bare feet as much as possible anyway. For guests, if they are kids we make them remove shoes. For adults, we prefer shoeless feet indoors but won't stand at the door and cause a scene over it if they want to keep them on.

FROM: JayBee
DATE: Monday October 17, 2005 -- 11:56:35 pm
I agree with Susan. I don't have a rule, but I take my shoes off as soon as I walk in the door. I prefer to be in my stocking feet whenever possible. I don't impose on my guests, but most take their shoes off when they see that I am in socks.

FROM: helen
DATE: Thursday February 2, 2006 -- 7:31:02 am
I prefer to take my shoes off indoors, - Whether at home or office, wherever. I work for a property company nad as soon as I arrive in the office I take my shoes ooff, and just go in my stockinged feet all day, even in front of customers. It is just easier and more comfortable than wearing shoes!!

FROM: joanne
DATE: Wednesday February 8, 2006 -- 4:44:30 am
I agree with the last poster. | work for the Going Places travel agency, and I work in a brand new branch. I have to wear a uniform of navy top and trousers in work, with navy court shoes. However, as soon as I arrive in the branch where I work I slip off my shoes and just pad around all day in my stockinged feet, even in front of customers!! It feels so comfortable walking around on the new carpets just in my stockinged feet. Also, my work shoea are really worn and I dont want to waste money on a new pair when I can just go shoeless.

FROM: joanee
DATE: Tuesday April 11, 2006 -- 7:18:37 am

FROM: andrew
DATE: Monday May 8, 2006 -- 6:56:40 am
I visited an estate agents office this morning. The lady who served me was a really attractive blonde in her early 40's, - she had a great body and long blonde hair. I visit the office quite a lot and know her resonably well. She is always very smartley dressed and immaculately groomed. Today, she was wearing a white blouse, torquise green jacket and black trousers. Then I noticed that she had nothing on her feet, she was just walking around in her stockinged feet. Ii asked her why she was'nt wearing any shoes as I had never seen her shoeless before. She explained that she had been out on an appoitment and her ankle boots had got wet and mucky in the rain.

She said that she did'nt want to wear wet and mucky boots in the office, so when she returned from her appointment, she had taken them off and left them in the room at the back, deciding to spend the rest of the day just in her stockinged feet around the office.

Sha also made some comment about how it was comfortable with her boots off, just in her stockinged feet, and she wished she had an excuse to go sholess all the time!!

FROM: Rosalind
DATE: Friday May 19, 2006 -- 4:58:30 am
I think it's awfully rude to ask people to take off their shoes when they come to your home if it's not their custom. I can understand if your shoes are wet or muddy but under normal circumstances? If you can't deal, don't get rugs.

After I carefully choose an outfit and shoes, I don't appreciate being asked to take off my shoes because they complete my outfit. I can't believe that someone would have a dinner party in their home and ask all the guests to leave their shoes at the door. Absolutely rude.

Mark January 4, 2007, 1:21 am

I have no problem removing my shoes at a person’s door. Afterall, it is their home, their property and I have come to respect their floors and carpets.

A good rule of thumb if your host greets you at the door shoeless wheather it be socks or barefoot, it’s a subtle hint to remove your shoes before entering.

jane January 5, 2007, 1:07 pm

I work in a jewleery shop, and always take my heels off in the shop and just work all day in my socked feet. As long as I wear black trousers and black socks very few people notice. Heels are really not suitable when working in a shop all day, and I enjoy having my feet free and being able to pad around in my socks all day!!r

ann December 6, 2007, 11:09 am

I work in a bank and always go in my socked feet.

mark August 3, 2008, 9:39 am

We are most definately a shoes off house.I share a similar experience to kirk, or should i say my wife and her family.They are canadian and without exception are fanatical about shoes off.Essentially our house and her families are shoes off and slippers on.The only choice we have either slippers with or without socks.But i have to say after nine years i have got used to it and its harmless and just part of her culture.And we do have very light pure wool carpets, so its also good sense as we live in a semi rural area.Lifes too complicated as it is without getting booged down by trivia.

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