Do You Remove Your Shoes Inside? (Survey)

CC BY 2.0. JahnmitJa on Flickr

In some countries, it is standard practice; in others, not so much.

When I was last in London I went to take off my shoes and was told by my expat Canadian host, "Don't bother. Nobody takes their shoes off here."

I was reminded of this when I saw a tweet from Kate de Selincourt of Passive House + magazine, where she worried about people tracking glyphosate into a home, and I thought, "Glyphosate – that's the least of your worries!"

In Canada, it seems to go either way, but I am seeing more and more homes where people have baskets of slippers by the door as a sign that people should take their shoes off and grab a pair.

I always thought that people left their shoes on in the UK because their houses were so bloody cold, and the tradition stuck even after they got central heating (and still keep their houses bloody cold). Others say it is about embarrassment:

I suspect the real reason Brits don’t like to remove their shoes indoors is the fear of putting their feet on public display. Who knows what horrors will be revealed? Old socks with holes in them? Smelly feet or a smorgasbord of bunions verrucas and cracked heels? Oh we don’t want to imagine...

But there really are many good reasons to remove your shoes, and have your guests do the same. Melissa previously listed 6 reasons to remove your shoes inside, including bacteria, dirt, increased wear and tear on flooring, noise and don't just worry about glyphosate:

An EPA study, reported in Environmental Science & Technology provided the first proof that unhealthy herbicides can be tracked into residences on shoes. The researchers found that the herbicide 2,4-D could be easily imported inside via shoes for up to a week after application....Exposure to 2,4-D can cause immediate and relatively minor problems like skin rashes and gastrointestinal upsets; long-term health effects of the herbicide are unknown, the EPA said. Another study showed that 98 percent of lead dust found in homes is tracked in from outside as well. Lead, bad.

I personally used to be sloppy about this, but now I always take off my shoes. I don't demand it of guests unless it is a really sloppy winter day, but I am considering that basket of slippers. What do you do in your home?

Do you ask your guests to remove their shoes inside?