Shoes on or off?

I suspect that your floors are a lot less hygienic than the inside of a pair of slippers that have briefly been worn by someone else.

Personally I can’t stand begin barefoot in almost any situation, & don’t see the point of cleaning floors with my socks. I have two levels of indoor shoes; actual slippers & a pair of slip on trainers which are also OK for nipping outside on paving & decking if it’s dry.

Most guests enter our house into the large kitchen/salle de séjour, which has a tiled floor so I never ask anyone to remove their shoes unless they are clearly muddy, but most people would have removed them anyway if that were the case.



Was their home carpeted? I have cleanedmany a carpet commercially and the dirt that comes out of a carpet is incredible. A pair of slippers would be much cleaner internally than the carpets in most places I would expect. Outdoor shoes on carpets?

One of the reasons I really like the (rural?) French tradition of hard floors - at least downstairs - is that they are easy to clean and I don’t have to take shoes off. My partner never takes shoes off anyway but the only part of the house that is carpeted is around the guest suite so it really doesn’t matter.

We only have one set of friends who require the shoes-off approach and after a couple of experiences with slipping on their shiny floors, we now take slippers. When they come to us, they start taking their shoes off and we ask them not to. Our floors are never clean enough to avoid embarrassment given all our tooings and froings :smiley:


At that time (early 1980s) pretty much everyone had carpeted floors (I recall there was even a brand of carpets for kitchens) so yes, however this was greater London, so we all walked on pavements rather than through mud. We had carpet in our livingroom in Oxfordshire until the flood in 2020 and wore outside shoes on it. We also had cats that would go out and come in without wiping their feet.

I can see why some might not want to wear other people’s slippers, which are a much more enclosed environment that can retain sweat and odours that a hard floor would not in the same way.

artificially aged, though?

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And lurking in the enclosed environment are:-
Warts and verrucas are caused by a virus . They can be spread to other people from contaminated surfaces or through close skin contact. You’re more likely to spread a wart or verruca if your skin is wet or damaged. It can take months for a wart or verruca to appear after contact with the virus


I remember hiring ice skates for many years and they were given a quick spray as they were returned.
Up to the owner of course but many have mentioned washing the slippers.

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Same for bowling shoes. We worried a lot less in former times :grin:


What is artificially aged?

The darker bits.

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Now I’m intrigued.

I grew up in carpeted houses in England, but after living in France a long time, carpets seem disgusting to me now, especially if using shoes.


Yes I quite agree with that and could not wait to rip up the carpets we put down in our first french house, sand the floorboards and re-varnish.We then wondered why we ever had carpet in the first place but being english, it was ingrained in us as it was in every house and ceramic tiles were quite rare to find. Also having cats and dog, that made it even more disgusting with fur/hairs you couldn’t see and when the dog was a puppy, he peed a few times too and that was a nightmare to clean.

I remember busy saturday nights when you had to wait t bowl and then the hire shoes were still warm, used to make me feel sick but had no choice if I wanted to bowl.

With suspended timber floors very common in the UK, carpets are warmer underfoot as they add a bit of insulation.

Elderly dogs with joint problems - they slip on tiles and polished wood when they are having a mad moment.

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In my own home, I leave my outside shoes on unless they are slaked in mud. At this time of year and with our excess of earth worns that is pretty much each time I enter the house!
With 2 active dogs and wooden floors there is no point in trying to be overly-clean. Cleaning it is more a damage limitation exercise in winter and spring.
If guests and visitors start to de-shoe I ask them not to do so on our behalf; if they are more comfortable with shoes off then that is fine.
When visiting I remove my shoes as a courtesy, if the host asks me not to then I won’t, unless the shoes are totally clarted.
No need for a set of rules though, how delightfully middle-classed and something I hoped was staying behind in the UK, formerly known as GB

Actually it is my CNews watching French friends who are scrupulous about this. As was my German family. English people don’t seem to bother

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I lived decades in Asia and was a tireless explorer.

I took with me everywhere new pairs of hotel gift slippers for temples, and clean non-slip socks for mosque visits. It could sometimes be quite unpredictable and random the places that would request baring of feet, in all weathers. (Interestingly, in many countries flip-flops = shoes, so no use as a substitute).

It also helped to have a bag in which to carry my shoes with me, in case the exit was far from the entrance point. Does occur! I could also be sure of finding my own shoes to put on again upon exit,(something by no means guaranteed and oft learnt by experience :face_with_diagonal_mouth:).

I don’t ask visitors to take their shoes off in my home but the limestone is clean, so they can if they want to. As hosts, we just like visitors to feel at ease. (My husband and I however, are rather tall so, rarely do our visitors fancy having cricks in their necks).