Martha Stewart supports Shoes-Off Rule

Martha Stewart is not very well known over here in the UK. Back at the time of her incarceration, not many British people even knew who she was.

Nevertheless it is nice to know that a famous domestic goddess like her is in favour of shoes being removed at the door.

You can visit her website, Martha Stewart Living

There are some carpet care tips, naturally including advice to institute a no-shoes rule.

In the list of allergy protection advice for gardeners, she recommends havign a separate pair of gardening shoes and keeping them outside.

To disappoint fans of Sex in the City, those holding a baby shower are recommended to ask guests to leave their shoes at the door.

Discovering Reverance

The comfort aspect of shoe removal is both a strength and a weakness of the case for shoes off at the door.

It is certainly the case that most people will feel more comfortable for having removed their shoes. A 'no-shoes' home is a place of comfort.

The problem is that the western association of removing shoes with comfort and informality may make people more reluctant to accept the idea of removing shoes on more formal occasions even in the home. People may think that it is somehow inappropriate or impolite to go shoeless at a dinner party.

The problem is that in western culture, we have no concept of removing shoes as an act of reverance. The closest thing in the west would be Roman Catholics going barefoot at shrines like St. Patrick's Mount. To us in the west, it is more respectful to keep shoes on than to take them off.

In contrast, in most oriental cultures there is an assocaition of shoes-off with reverance. Mulsims do not remove their shoes in Mosques to be more comfortable (though I believe they usually have lovely carpets); they remove them because the Mosque is sacred. Japanese pupils remove their outdoor footwear on arriving at school, not just in order to keep it cleaner, but because the school is a place of authority that is worthy of their esteem.

I dare say that British people will come to appreciate this association of shoes-off with reverance more and more. School pupils in this country are often taken to visit non-Christian places of worship where they shoes must be removed. Thailand has become a very popular tourist destination for British people and there they experience going barefoot in Buddhist temples. More and more they will learn to show respect and reverance to the homes of their friends by taking off their shoes.

If The Shoe Fits

A Cinderella story it isn't. There is a mysterious shoe and a fitting to find its rightful owner. There's even a wedding. But, at least for the shoe's alleged owner, there is no happily ever after.

The story begins with a van plowing into the bathroom of a house in Holiday, a suburb of St. Petersburg. Residents Sandy McCombie and her fiance, Michael Toth, watched the van's driver flee across their front lawn — leaving a shoe behind.

The Florida Highway Patrol was investigating about an hour later when John Glen Aquista, 43, of Holiday walked up to the scene.

The man was bloody, wearing only boxer shorts and, most important, shoeless. His injuries looked as if his face had smashed into a steering wheel, investigators said. Aquista denied involvement in the crash, but the van was registered to his address, the patrol said.

When a trooper asked him to slip on the wayward shoe, "it was a perfect fit," the FHP said.

Aquista was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage and driving without a valid license. He was being held in the Pasco County jail in lieu of $1,250 bond Monday, jail records show. It was not clear whether he had an attorney.

McCombie, 46, and Toth, 39, plan to get married Friday.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Shoe Monsters

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Timberland Mistake

I was doing spring cleaning in dirty Fila's closet and I tried to weed out shoe shoes that may have been too small. I bought her a pair of timberland boots the christmas before last. They were her pride and joy. Now this past winder she barelay wore them. I thought they were too small as she seems to be in btween shoe sizes suddenly. I put them in a box going to Good Will.

She asked me where her shoes where. Therein lies the rub. Those timerlands? I told her that the things that did not fit had already been given away. Can we say broken hearted child? Can we say distraught mother. That was her first pair of timberlands. She informed me that they still fit. It was just that she was wearing her other shoes this past winter. She had to have the high heeled Rocawear boots. Remember?

Well, I apologized for tossing them and told her I would buy her another pair just like or any other pair of Timberlands that she wanted. Well, she has already taken me up on the offer. We got her a pair of the new timberland, maryjane ballet shoes. She loves them. She decided to pass on another pair of boots.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Worn Out Aerosoles

My mother was in the garden today watering flowers when she suddenly buckled under on the right leg. It was her shoe. Those worn out, stretched out aerosoles that she loves but has had for a number of years. The right shoe turned sideways on her foot and she could not get it turned back.. she was about to fall down. I had to run catch her from falling.

It is the first time this has happened? Hell no! It has been happening for the past month and I have mentioned to her on several occasions that those shoes needed to go in the trash. They are tripping her up, of she is walking out of them. All sorts of not so normal shoe things. Today I demanded the sandals as I was going to throw them away. She would not give them to me. I told her to think about a broken hip as she is nearly 70. I told her that I was going to make those shoes disappear. What has she done today? She has never let them be in my site. I am going to find them and cut them up. She is going to get a new pair of reliable sandals that fit! Why is she being so stubborn? She has about 60 pairs of shoe herself.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Smile! You are on Wedding Camera

When my brother got married, he and his wife did it themselves. It was pretty nice. One of the things they did do was have a lot of disposable wedding cameras at all the tables. Everyone at the table took turns taking pictures of things and people at the reception. They were to get them developed later. Well, some people thought that they were getting a free camera. Ghetto fab! Can we say that. No wedding manners, these people. My brother had to hunt some people down just to get the cameras back with the pictures.

I am not sure where he and my sister in law got their cameras, but they looked very similar to the cameras at The cameras there are inexpensive and are in varying styles so that they can be coordinated to match the wedding theme. I recommend getting cameras and other wedding favors from them because they are cheap and many of them can be personalized for the groomsmen and the bridesmaids. Also available at this link are other items that can be used during the wedding service.

Have a look around. There is lots of variety and they even have a sale link. There is even jewelry that would be suitable for gifts as well for the wedding party. They even have a lot of the necessities for a fantastic reception. For the bride with a budget, this Internet wedding superstore can't be beat!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

37 Reasons for Having a Shoes-Off Policy in Your Home


37 Reasons for having a shoes-off policy in your home:

1. Carpets are not easy to clean.
2. Carpets absorb dust and become breeding grounds for dust mites, causing the development of asthma and allergies.
3. If you do not have a carpet, the dust will not be absorbed and you are likely to breathe it in.
4. Shoes can leave marks on wood, PVC and marble floors.
5. Shoes can scratch wood flooring, especially if they have high heels.
6. Boots and high heeled shoes can cause wear and tear to carpets.
7. That goes for rugs as well.
8. Shoes pick up small particles of grit that cause wear and tear to carpets.
9. Shoes pick up traces of petrol fumes and industrial pollution.
10. Shoes can pick up pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals.
11. Shoes pick up traces of animal excrement.
12. Ever noticed how much chewing gum there is stuck to the streets?
13. In a square mile, there are more insects than people on the planet. How many do you think you have squashed on your shoes?
14. If you have a crawling baby, do you want him or her to be exposed to the dirt from people's shoes?
15. In rain or snow, you are less likely to get the floor wet.
16. If you live near a beach, you will bring less sand into the house.
17. If you have a crawling baby, you will do less damage if you accidently step on him or her.
18. If you get mad and kick the cat or dog, you will do less damage (apologies to animal lovers).
19. If your children play rough, they will do less damage.
20. It creates a less formal atmosphere.
21. It creates a greater sense of relaxation.
22. Your guests will become more like you by removing their shoes and will feel part of the family.
23. An oriental, Scandinavian or East European visitor will feel more at home.
24. It teaches children the importance of respecting and looking after things.
25. Psychologically, removing your shoes helps you to enter a frame of mind where you keep your everyday troubles outside your home.
26. It is more comfortable.
27. It is healthier for you feet to take your shoes off during the day.
28. Small children with growing feet should wear shoes only to the minimum.
29. If you wear high-heeled shoes, your feet badly need a break.
30. You can put your feet up on the sofa without taking your shoes off first (Dont tell me you put your feet on the sofa with shoes on?).
31. You can put your feet up on the coffee table without taking your shoes off first.
32. If you ever visit Japan, it will seem less weird.
33. If you are ever arrested and they confiscate your shoes, along with your belt and jewellery, it will seem less weird.
34. Your feet smell less if you do not wear them all day.
35. When you lovingly chastise your children, you will have a slipper to hand.
36. It was a Biblical custom (come on, did they wash their feet with shoes on?)
37. Do you really think the Saints in Glory are going to trample the sparkling, clean New Jerusalem with shoes on?



Some people in Britain and the USA have an interesting perspective on this subject. They feel happy taking off their shoes at the home of an Asian person whose culture demands removal of shoes, but consider it deeply rude for a British or American person to insist on visitors to her home removing their shoes.

There are two problems with this attitude. Firstly, there is a touch of cultural arrogance about it. It implies that the Asian custom of removing shoes is purely of spiritual or cultural significance with no practical value. Maybe Asian people are primarily concerned about keeping their homes clean! Behind the pretended respect for a foreign culture, there is the unspoken assumption that Western practice is superior.

Secondly, this attitude seems to take a rather static view of culture, seeing it as a set of chains that bind people to particular rules of behaviour. In fact, culture is dynamic and fluid, it changes over time.

It seems to me to be quite obvious that if a person of Asian descent can be considered British while keeping her home shoe-free, it is perfectly acceptable for a White British person to keep her home shoe-free.

It may be the norm in Britain and most of the USA for shoes to stay on in homes now, but this may change. In fact, I believe it probably will. Many White Americans and even British people are adopting the custom of shoes-off in homes.

We are living in a global village with increased immigration, travel and communication between different cultures. There is tremendous potential for different cultural practices to migrate across geographical boundaries.

Shoes-Off at Parties?


There are some people who are strict about no-shoes in their homes who make na exception for parties. They feel that parties are an occasion when people expect to dress up and this must include shoes. I disagree with their view. I think it is perfectly reasonable to require shoes to be removed for a party.

In Canada and Scandinavia, it is common for people to attend formal parties with a special set of party shoes that are not worn outdoors. This is not really feasible in the UK. I doubt that many British folks have shoes that are never worn oudoors, unless they keep a pair of sneakers to go to the gym. And if those formal party shoes have high-heels, they are unacceptable anyway.

Some people say that party of a party is clearing up afterwards, so you should not make a fuss about mess from people's shoes. This seems a little silly to my mind. People will make more than enough mess at a party without them bringing in dirt on their shoes. There will be plenty of spilled wine and crumbs ground into the carpet without chewing gum and dog dirt from peoples' shoes as well. Also the main party season in the West is Christmas and New Year, when there will be plenty of rain and snow (maybe not snow in England, but plenty of rain). The party season is a wet season.

Some argue that people will feel silly and uncomfortable at a party without their shoes. It is true that people might find it a little odd. But they will probably feel more comfortable for having removed their shoes. If it is made clear in the invitation that shoes willl need to be removed, then it will not come as a shock. Furthermore, if there is alcohol at the party, then most people will be feeling more relaxed.

The main argument levelled against shoes-off at parties is that people dress up for parties. A lot of people, particularly women, will chose their outfits very carefully and they the choice of shoes is part of that selction. For them, a party is an occasion to show off their good taste. They would not want to combine their cocktail dresses with barefeet.

In response I would say that parties are hardly the only occasions for dressing up. Ladies can show off their fancy shoes in restaurants or at the races. Not all parties are such formal occasions. If a party is a smart-casual event, it is actually quite rude to dress up more smartly than other guests.

The host sets the theme of a party. If it is meant to be a fancy dress party, then you should make the effort to find a costume or stay home. If it is an informal party, leave the suit or cocktail dress at home. If it is a no-shoes party, leave the kitten heels at the door.

I keep making this point, but I will make it again: it is best that guests know in advance that shoe-removal is required. If you are printing fancy invitations, make it known there (with some clip-art maybe?). If people know that they will have to take their shoes off, it will not come as a shock and they can plan their outfit with this in mind. They can bring some nice slippers that complement their outfit if they want and they can avoid long trousers that only look right when worn with high heels.

There is the question of whether it is really possible to hold a formal party while people are shoeless. It may be difficult in the West to maintain an air of formality when everybody is without their shoes, but is that really such a bad thing? Is it not better to be relaxed at a party? Certainly, the host and guests can make an effort to keep the party formal. Men can look reasonably smart by combining respectable slippers with their suits and women can look pretty elegant in stocking feet. So all is not lost. If shoes-off in homes becomes more common, shoe-lessnes will probably become less associated with being casual and informal.

There are some people who will certainly be far more happy and comfortable to party without their shoes on. As I argued in a previous post, it is not simply a matter of giving these people the choice. At a shoes-on party, those who take it upon themselves to remove their shoes are likely to get their feet squashed and to have to walk on a soggy carpet. Shoes-off for all guests makes it easier for those who want to take their shoes off.

My Beloved Bag

I know that my blog is about shoes, but what goes with shoes more than a nice purse. This was my Christmas gift to myself along with the matching wallet. I also got it at Parisians..not on sale of course. I have never seen a Brahmin bag on sale. I have carried this bag everyday since Christmas. I actually bought it in October and saved it for Christmas. That was some will power. It was also the first time ever plunking down about $600 for a purse and a wallet.

I love it. All alligator, shiny and beautiful. I got the small wallet that matches it thinking I would be able to downsize to a smaller wallet. What was I thinking? I have to clean it out often it gets so jammed with receipts. This was the wallet I got to go with it. For the price I paid I will be carrying it all year with very little break. It is a classic so it goes with just about everything.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Vacationing Shoes

I remember many years ago I was going on an all expense paid trip to the Bahamas that my best friend had won. My friend and I spent weeks getting ready. I am the type that when I go on a trip, I have outfits put together ahead of time and all is coordinated from hats to shoes, from my head to my toes. The day for travel I had decided to wear a pair of white pumps. We made it through customs and we did have to do a lot of walking in the airport. My shoes began to rub my heel...both heels. We had to go to another airline and we caught a prop plane. Even more rubbing of the heels. Our luggage was delayed and I could not change shoes. Well finally about 3 hours later and with me trying not to show the pain from my heels we finally got our luggage and we went to our rooms. My heels were torn open…both of them. The skin had been rubbed off the back of my heels and I could barely walk. I made it through the trip just fine but my feet were a mess. Those shoes just about ruined my trip from the very beginning.

Without proper planning anything could potentially ruin a trip. To help make a trip a success, you need to consider the United Vacation Network. This is a program that has trained staff ready to assist you in making arrangements for all your travel needs. Whether it be the actual hotel arrangements, airfare, rental cars once on the ground or vacation packages or resort rentals, the United Vacation Network can make your vacation a success. This is a company that has a good track record. They have arranged thousands of travel plans over the years that has resulted in many happy customers. They are not just limited to local bookings. They can arrange travel for you all over the world at prices that are competitive and often times very economical.

My travel tips: One--Be sure to check out United Vacation Network for a successful trip and Two: Don't wear the high heeled pumps on the first day of travel.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Yellow Box Shoes

This is the Goldie by Yellow Box and I have them. They were one of 6 pairs of shoes I bought at one time when the chain Parisians went out of business. This was in February. People were pretty cut throat the day I went. The same was a good one and the shoe were maked to 70% off a that time. If you saw something, you had better pick it up and walk with it until you made up your mind that you really did want it. I was going to get two pairs and put one pair down. I walked away to another shoe rack to look and about 25 minutes later I decided that I had better get the 2nd pair of Yellow Box Shoes. Too late..they were long gone. But that was okay. I left with six pairs total that day that I was most happy with.

I have yet to wear them, but I plan to strut my stuff in them this summer. Pretty cool shoes!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

I Did the Unspeakable!

Well, after about 7 months of wondering what they felt like I went to Dick's Sporting Goods last night and tried on a pair of Crocs. They felt wonderful. Now I realized why peopel found them so popular. Was I brave enough to buy a pair of white plastic shoes? I was. I decided that for summer I could get away with them on casual days. I have lots of summer heels but these crocs would be for my lazy days of summer. These are the ones I purchased. Believe it or not I love them.

Now dirty Fila wants a pair. SO, you know I have to get her a pair. We will be a croc wearing family now. I have not gone totally crazy. I will never give up my heels or all my other shoes. I love leather and suede and boots and heels and alligator just toooo much. My crocs are for my incognito days!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Landscaping and Shoes

About three weeks ago I was helping my mother plant some annuals and perennials in the backyard. We got all sorts of pretty things. I was not wearing the correct shoes for that work. I had just gone out and bought a pair of Nike running shoes that were very comfortable. They were white mess and tan. Well, after grubbing around in the dirt, they got filthy. Even after washing they did not come clean. After that I worn my hiking boots and they were a much better choice. The only choice and one that I should have made from the beginning. You do have to have the correct shoes to do yard work and landscaping.

Likewise, you can't just plant plants all willy nilly. That is what my mother likes to do. She thinks that every bit of space in a garden needs to have something in it. It has been hard getting her to realize that plants all jammed up on each other, does not a beautiful garden make. We have had that conversation several times with me objecting to her putting plants on top of plants with no room to spread out.

I think she could benefit from just the information that she could get from a landscape design company. For many years she has wanted to put in gardens and sculpt the yard but not has not know how to go about it . SLDA Landscaping and their team of green-thumbed professionals could help my mother realize her vision for the backyard. She wants to put in some sort of tribute garden to my father who passed away in December. I know she wants the yard to be something she can be proud of.

The three stepping stone process of planning, designing and implementing used by SLDA will help her create an impressive yard that reflects her personality and will something with a budget that she can afford to keep up. In the planning stage they come and do a walk through of the property, talk about ideas and a budget. Once that is done the designing begins. The staff works up drawings and sketches and discusses them with you and you finalize what you want. Finally, the implementation begins. You will be seeing the staff quite a lot as they work professionally and skilfully to create your masterpiece of a backyard, sculpted just the way you want it.

Be sure to check at the link for samples of their work. The home and yards there are just gorgeous. I plan to show this to my mother. She definitely has a plan. She just needs a little professional help to get it done. I know that I can't do it all. Some of it is beyond my skill level. Take the stress out of trying to doit all yourself. Contact the experts at SLDA Landscaping.

I know they won't be wearing running shoes. They will surely be wearing boots!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Very Unusual Feet

This was a news article sent to me by Wayne. Kind of alarming to see. I just hope that this young woman has had some medical attention and it is not some sort of active disease that will only get know some sort of connective tissue problem. I have not see anything like this in my life. I wonder what sort of shoes she wears? Has to be some sort of sandal? She has very unusual feet. I hope she gets her wish to see the world. Brace yuorself for this picture!

21 year old Shen Xiaojing lives in Nong'an County, China. She was born with an unusually large feet where her right foot is 32 cm long and 12 cm wide while her left foot is 30 cm long and 11 cm wide. The size of the big toe on her right foot at 7.5cm long and 4.5 cm wide is equivalent to that of a baby’s foot. However, the same toe on her left foot is entirely normal. Her second toe is also quite unusual at 9 cm long and 3.5 cm wide.

Shen Xiaojing has reached marrying age but due to her giant feet, most young men has been frightened away. Shen has only two wishes: see the world and get into the Guinness Book of Records.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Dirty Timberlands

About two weeks ago I went picking strawberries with some friends of mine and I am so glad I wore my Timberlands. I was going to wear tennis shoes and that would have been a big mistake! The beds were raised above ground beds but in between each raised row was rich fine black dirt. The day was extremely windy from a storm that occurred the day before and the wind and that fine black dirt was swirling everywhere. The bottom 1/4 of our pants legs and our shoes were just covered in a fine powder of black dirt. It would not come off very easy. I thought I could brush my Timberlands off and they would be fine. I had to scrub and the color still does not look right.

The Euro Hiker stands up to all kinds of terrain with the longwearing comfort of a sneaker and the rugged dependability of a boot. Nothing you put on your feet is going to have superior support, suspension, durability and all-around performance than this boot. Breathable fabric side panel for a little air conditioning when you need it.

These were the pair that I wore that day. They are my favorite pair out of the two that I own. They are like wearing a pair of very comfortable athletic shoes when they are on.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~

Hospitality part 2


Guests are aware when they visit a home that the hosts have boundaries that cannot be crossed.

Guests know or should know that they cannot go wandering about upstairs, looking in their hosts' bedrooms. They ought to be careful in conversation that they do not mention subjects that may cause offence to the host. If the host has strong views on a subject, it is best not to argue with him or her. Guests know that they cannot bring their pet dog to somebody else's home unless the host has expressly said this is acceptable. Even if the host is an animal lover, permission to bring a pet dog must be sought.

It is now recognised by most people that when you visit the home of a non-smoker, they should not smoke inside. If they need to smoke, they should put their coat on and go outside. There are still some people, probably mostly from the upper strata of British society who think it is rude to forbid smoking in one's home. However, this view is very much in a minority.

It is important to recognise these boundaries when one visits a home and if hosts prefer, even if they do not insist on it, removal of shoes, this should be complied with by guests. To ignore this boundary is, as stated in the previous post, taking hospitality for granted.

Some people would object to comparisons with smoking pointing out the health risks of smoking, compared with the minor ill effects to health of wearing shoes past the door. However, it is not so much the health risks that should deter smoking in a non-smoking home. Nobody is going to get lung cancer because a few guests smoked at a dinner party. They are unlikely to even develope a cough because of it. No, the reason one should not smoke in a non-smoking home is simply because the smells and mess are not convenient for such hosts. It is simply impolite. Likewise it is not convenient to impose the dirt and dust of your shoes in the home of a person who would object to it.

Some would argue that it is polite for guests to remove their shoes if this is what the hosts do, but it is impolite for the host to request shoes-off. They feel that it is better to leave the responsiblity of politness to guests. To my mind, this is not quite logical. If guests have the responsibility to comply with the preference of their hosts, then it is surely quite reasonable for guests to make their preference known.

Part of the reason why a verbal request for shoes-off may be necesary is because etiquette is so uncertain and in such a state fo flux on this point. While it may be a good idea to remove one's shoes when one is welcomed by a shoe-less host, as this may be a shoes-off home, such a gesture might be taken as impolite by some. There are some who go shoe-less in their home who would be surpised by guests going shoe-less. It is probably necessary for those who desire shoe-removal to make their wish known.

A Positive Gesture

We had some business people visit the house today. They offered to remove their shoes. Typically, my culturally backward father declined the offer. A shame. The lady's high heeled shoes made such an awful noise on our marble hallway.

Still, it is a postive gesture. Their offer suggests that a lot of homes they visit prefer shoes-off.

Gold is Always In

I was cleaning out my closet of and trying to get rid of some old ones. I did manage to give quite a few to good will. I found a pair of gold Bandolinos that had been buried so deep under mounds of other shoes that I did not even remember I had them. The tow is a little rounded and they are pumps. I recall now when I bought them. They were for an Easter about 7 years ago. I have maybe worn them 3 times. Since they are gold they will go with quite a few spring and summer things. I plan to wear them. Gold is timeless and never goes out of style.

The same is true with gold jewelry and it is even more true with gold that is an investment. I am talking gold bars. Gold is timeless and has always been a great investment. From the time of the Egyptians who were running around in togas and sandals (I wonder if they were gold ones) gold has been a treasure that man has been fascinated with.

Now we can all own some; not just to wear, but to save and accumulate as wealth. With a simple call we can all own gold bars or bullion. Monex is the company selling and they have a team of professionals waiting to take your order over the phone. You do have to pay for the gold at that time by bank wire or by sending a check overnight to them. Once those funds clear, then your order will be sent to you.

There are many options in which to receive your gold ranging from Canadian Maple leaves to American buffaloes to Krugerrands. So gold is always in. It can be a fashion statement or an assert to add some bling bling to your investment portfolio.

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~



In the UK and the USA a lot of people feel a sense of disgust and abjection towards feet. Of course, in many Asian countries, the foot is considered to be unclean. However, this is in connection with the fact that the foot touches the ground. Thus, shoes are considered to be far more unclean than the naked foot. In an Asian home, barefeet are acceptable, but shoes are not. This is actually the very opposite of the western abjection of the foot.

It is very common in internet discussions about shoes-off in homes for the subject of barefeet to be raised. It is argued that barefeet are disgusting, more so than the dirt on peoples' shoes. Of course, if you do feel that feet are disgusting, you can still ask visitors to remove their shoes if you lend then flip flops or socks to wear. Angie mentioned this in a previous post.

It is very likely that the sense of disgust about barefeet will decline. Sandals and flip flops have become incredibly popular in the UK and the USA. People are becoming more used to exposed feet. And ladies (and some men) are spending good money on keeping them looking nice.

The argument that feet are more unhygienic than shoes is quite wrong. Unless a person has been going barefeet outdoors, they will not have been picking up the awful things that the soles of shoes pick up (though sandal-shod feet do get a bit dusty). You may think your feet are disgusting, however, you undoubtedly have more germs on your hands than on your feet. Feet are usually remarkably cleaner than the average pair of hands.

Of course there is Athlete's Foot and Verucas. Hopefully, if a person with such a condition is an invited guest, he or she would bring some socks or slippers and if an unexpected guest, he or she would hopefully accept the loan of some clean socks.

One should remember that the oils on barefeet are acidic and can cause some wear on carpets, though not as much as shoes. Thus, it is best to restrict going barefoot on carpets to spring and summer.

Public Toilets


I do not know about ladies' public toilets, but the floors in mens' public toilets are always disgusting. They smell, they are wet, there is likely to be all manner of dirt on them. Not just the obvious, but cleaning chemicals and mud. You definitely would not want to touch the floor of a public toilet with your hand.

Now imagine somebody goes to a public toilet. He then visits your house or apartment and comes in with his shoes on, walking on the same floor on which your children play. See what I am getting at?



There are some who think that asking guests to remove their shoes is contrary to the principle of hospitality. Again, this is a culturally relative matter. Albania and Turkey are countries in which hospitality is greatly valued and yet is expected in those countries that guests remove their shoes.

The shoes-on people argue that a hostess should primarily be concerned with her guests comfort and not with the state of her carpet or floor. However, most guests will feel more comfortable after removing their shoes. They may, admittedly, be uncomfortable because they are embarassed about their feet or they feel their shoes are part of their outfit. Those problems can be dealt with by letting guests know in advance that shoes-off is expected and so they can either bring slippers or plan their outfits with bare or stocking feet in mind. Any embarassment should be minimal if guests are not taken by surprise.

In my opinion, those who insist that guests should be allowed to keep their shoes on take hospitality for granted.

When I get my own house or apartment, I may well invite you. I will give you the best seat. I will cook for you. I will serve you the best food I can. I will give you whatever you want to drink, whether it be alcoholic or not. I will give you my undivided attention. I will entertain you with conversation. If you live nearby, I will drive you home in my car. If not, I will let you stay the night. I will wash up the dishes and cutelry you have used and clean up any mess you make. Given that I am willing to do all this for you, do you really think it is so unreasonable that I ask you to take your shoes off?

Neat Freaks?


It is commonly thought that people who insist on shoes-off in their homes are neat freaks who are obsessed with keeping their homes clean and tidy.

I dare say that there are some people who prefer shoes-off who are genuine neat freaks. And those who are Obsessive-Compulsive about cleanliness may well be among the shoes-off community.

Of course this is culturally relative. In Japan it is thought that money is dirty and unhygeinic because it is handled by untold numbers of people. Japanese people also regard any objects placed in bathrooms, such as books or ornaments to be 'dirty'. A person in a western society who held such attitudes would almost certainly be regarded as Obsessive-Compulsive.

I have known a number of people who really were excessive in their desire to keep their homes clean. Interestingly, these people did not require visitors to remove their shoes. I suspect that they probably spent so much time in cleaning their homes that they were happy to waste time cleaning up afer their visitors.

Many people who keep their homes shoe-free are not domestic goddesses who like nothing better than spending whole days doing spring cleaning. Rather, they are busy working people who have far better things to do. They do not want to clean up for the sake of it, but they know that living in a clean environment is healthier and far more pleasent. Knowing that time is precious they would rather keep the mess to the minimum and spend as little time as possible cleaning up after their visitors. Prevention is better than cure.

Nobody needs a house that is spotless, but it is pointless to allow dirt and dust to accumulate when it could easily be kept out by leaving shoes at the door. A floor is meant to be walked upon, but that does not mean that one should not reduce wear and tear and save time and money.

Spring Cleaning

It might be time for spring cleaning. I think I will be redoing my templates or may be just changing a few positions on things. Either way I am ready for a slightly new look. Plus, I have been so tied up with other things, I have not been able to really blog for few months. I hope to get back into the swing of things. There are so many pairs of shoes out there.

Plus, I have bought quite a few pair over the last several months. Shoes are still my great love!
Can't live without them!

What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!
~~Aileen Mehle~~


The weather here in the UK is glorious. Summer is on its way. Of course with the warm temperatures, comes the pollen.

If you or your family suffer from Hayfever, one precaution you can take to reduce it is to leave your shoes at the door. That way, you can avoid bring in pollen on your shoes and walking it into the carpet.

Smelly Feet


Apologies for raising less pleasent aspects of this issue.

The issue of 'smelly feet' is often raised as an argument against the Shoes-Off rule.

In Western society there seems to be a lot of paranoia about the phenomena of 'smelly feet'. I think this is simply a result of people not removing their shoes very often. Your feet will actually smell a lot less if you remove your shoes regularly. It is unfortunate that we in Britain have not yet reached the civilised heights of Finland, where it is acceptable to remove shoes in business meetings and on trains (not that people do not do so in Britain, but it is frowned upon somewhat).

Nevertheless, I think most people worry too much about this issue. People imagine their feet smell far more than they actually do. I have met very few people who let off much of an aroma after removing their shoes, and most of them were people who did not wash and change their socks regularly.

If people know in advance that they need to remove their shoes, they can make sure they wear clean socks, or even better, bring slippers with them. If they are especially worried about it, they can use some of those fancy foot deoderents.

Feet wil smell a lot less if people wear sandals. Sneakers are best avoided in favour of leather shoes.

Some people will say 'I would rather put up with a dirty floor than people's smelly feet.' Well, I guess people must set up their onw priorities. However, stinking feet will leave with the guests. A dirty floor will not. Nor will the dust they brought in on their shoes, and that is very bad for your health.

Athlete's Foot


An unpleasent fungal infection.

A lot of people mention Athlete's Foot as an argument against people having a shoes-off policy. However, this is a quite unnecessary concern.

Athlete's Foot is generally associated with swimming pools and changing rooms. It is possible to catch Athlete's Foot on one's barefeet at a swimming pool or in a locker room. However, recent research indicates that this is not so likely as was previously thought.

Most importantly, the reason people catch Athlete's Foot in those places is not because people there are barefoot, but because the fungus needs a warm and wet environment. People get exposed to the fungus in the damp conditions. If they fail to dry their feet, the fungus is very comfortable and even more so if the victim puts on sweaty socks.

The fungus will not survive long on the clean, dry floor or carpet of a person's home and so you are very unlikely to catch Athlete's Foot in somebody's house, even if the owner has the condition.

What is more, people who are not wearing socks are likely to put on sandals when they leave, as opposed to closed shoes. Thus, they will not create the right environment for the condition to thrive.

Of course, if you are worried about it, you can always bring some slippers or socks when you visit a shoes-off home.

People who have a shoes-off policy ought to let their visitors know in advance and be willing to lend a pair of clean socks, if not slippers.

Slippers for sale everywhere

One of the things I noticed in Japan was that you could buy slippers from so many different shops- supermarkets, dollar stores (100 Yen stores), convenience stores, hardware stores and even some petrol stations. I suppose slippers are such a basic commodity in Japan, quite unlike over here in the UK, where many people never even wear slippers.



Some people are of the opinion that it is very important that guests have the choice of whether to keep their shoes on or not.

However, it is not as simple as that. Some choices may impose on the choices of others.

Some visitors may want to take their shoes off, but may fear that doing so will be considered rude. Being informed that shoes-off is encouraged will be a great welcome for these people.

The shoes-on folks might then argue, "Yes, but you can still let people keep their shoes on without imposing on the people who prefer to go shoeless."

However, this is not the case. Firstly, those people who want to take their shoes off may fear, if there are lots of other guests, particularly at a party, that their feet may get squashed by other peoples' shoes. In a crowded party, it can be hard to avoid having people tread on your toes.

Secondly, people who take their shoes off will prefer to walk on a floor that is cleaner. In fact, there is another issue here, as Angie pointed out in a previous post. Some guests will enjoy sitting on the floor. And sitting on the floor is a much more pleasent experience when it is clean. So allowing guests the choice of wearing shoes imposes on those who like to sit on the floor.

The simple truth is that no host can please everybody. However, there are far more good reasons to insist on shoes coming off at the door than for allowing shoes to stay on. Let guests chose between slippers, socks ot barefeet. That is choice enough.

This Weekend

I had a walk about the neighbourhood. I saw a house which had lots of shoes in their porch. They had a sign that might have requested shoes-off, but I could not tell without walking up the drive, which I would have been too embarassed to do. They had a taxi in the drive, indicating that they were probably Pakistani. There are a lot of Pakistanis in the neighbourhood, so I dare say quite a number of homes pracice shoes off at the door.

I was talking to a man at my church. He said he always wore slippers at home and his wife would never permit him to keep his shoes on. He did not make it clear how strict they were about guests, but it seems quite a number of visitors to his house removed their shoes.

I am so glad I have this blog. It was so hard before I had any means of expressing my firm views on this issue. I mean, I would bore people to tears if I tried to have conversations with people about this. That is the wonderful thing about the blogging revolution; anyone can express their views on any subject.

It is not Selfish to ask Visitors to Remove their Shoes


Some people claim it is selfish to ask visitors to remove their shoes. They think that it shows excessive concern for one's carpet or flooring.

On the contrary it is not selfish at all.

Firstly, there is an health issue involved. Peoples' shoes pick up dust and animal excrement which is not good for one's health and especially bad for the health of one's children. If one has babies or small children that play on the floor it is extremely sensible to keep one's home shoe-free.

There are many worries today about the health risks posed by pollution, toxins and chemicals. Personally, I think many of these health scares are exagerrated. Many of the supposed health risks have not been scientifically verified. However, it is best to keep as much nasty stuff out of the house as possible.

Secondly, the notion of selfishness here is relative. In a country where shoe-removing is the norm, like Finland or Russia, it would hardly be selfish to insist on shoes-off.

In Britain or the USA, where keeping shoes on is the norm, there are many people who would like to insitute a shoes-off policy, but who are afraid of causing offence or being deemed 'selfish.' If a person is brave enough to insist on shoes-off, she makes it easier for those other people who feel that they would like to make their homes shoe-free. In time, the norms of the UK and the USA may change and shoe-removing may become as normal as it is in Thailand or Sweden.


Well, that was quick.

Just an hour after I petition the Iranian government to free our personnel, they do so.

I am glad to know that the Iranian government reads this blog.

I only hope I can also persuade some people to always take their shoes off at the door and ask visitors to do the same.

The British Military Personnel held captive in Iran

I would like to take the opportunity to protest the illegal detention of the 15 British military personnel by the Iranian government.

This blog demands the unconditional release of those captives.

I would urge the British government to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that outcome without delay.

On a lighter note, the Iranians released new photographs of the captives relaxing. I noticed that they were all sitting on carpets in their barefeet. It appears they are experiencing the Iranian custom of not wearing shoes indoors. Much as I detest the Iranian regime, the Iranian people have got it right on this issue.

Should One Provide Slippers for Guests?


In some Eastern European and Asian countries, guests change from their shoes into slippers provided by the host.

Some argue that if you intend to have a shoes-off policy in your home, you should keep some slippers for guests to wear. This will make them feel more comfortable and prevent embarassments such as foot odour and holes in socks.

This is a fairly good idea, but I am not so sure. If slippers are provided, then they must either be disposable plastic slippers or else slippers that can go in the washing machine. It would be quite unreasonable to expect guests to wear slippers that have been worn by somebody else that day. I am not sure whether most slippers are machine washable. Some guests might not even trust you that they really have been cleaned and may prefer to stay in bare or stocking feet.

I think the practise of providing guest slippers might be just a bit too weird for British. Many British people will have been to a house where shoes-off was required, but not many people will have been offered guest slippers to wear, unless it was in another country. I think a lot of English guests would prefer to go shoe-less, rather than wear slippers that are not their own.

I think it is a good idea to buy slippers for family and regular visitors and keep them at your house. These should be worn only by the person they are provided for. Hopefully, one's family and close friends would be delighted by this consideration.

Providing clean socks is a different matter. I would suggest keeping a supply of clean socks in different sizes by the door for guests who are not comfortable going barefoot.

I think it is very sensible to let visitors know in advance that one has a shoes-off rule in one's home. That way, they can be sure to wear socks without holes or bring their own slippers if they prefer.

Shoe Cleaning and Sorting

Shoes go through a clean and sort before being shipped off. View other photos on Flickr

Burglar Alarms

In some of the houses in which I have lived, the burglar alarm control panel has been situated at some distance from the door. This tends to necessitate walking a few metres into the house with shoes on.

If one was wearing slip-on shoes (as I do nearly always since going to Japan) one could possibly remove them in time to get to the control panel, but it would be hopeless with lace-up shoes.

Is it really necessary for the control panel to be such a distance from the door?

Generous Supporter

John Doherty of Des Moines, Iowa poses with some of the shoes he collects for One World Running.