No Shoes in the House?

April 5, 2011

A not-so subtle but lovely sign by Never Without

We have a “No Shoes” policy in our house. Most people “get” why we have it but I have friends that are totally irritated by it but silently de-shoe.

When I see their annoyed reactions, I wonder, “Oh, should I just forget asking them?” But the idea of that gum, poop, lead, pesticides and spit on the city streets ending up our floors and carpets makes me steadfast.  We had a party recently and we had everyone take off their shoes. I got some really dirty looks. There is something unfair about asking a woman to bare her stocking feet at a party. I could give out slippers I guess. However, slippers don’t cut it with a black dress. What do you all do? Always shoes off or only sometimes or never??

Here are some thoughts about a “No Shoe” policy by parents on the Berkeley Parents Network (an awesome resource if you don’t know about it)

  • We have a no-shoes policy in our house, but decided not to ”enforce” it with guests. After all, we are the ones most frequently tracking dirt in, since we live here. However, most guests seem to take the hint from the lined up shoes, and automatically take their shoes off. If they don’t, we do not ask them to.
  • If I go casually (dropping by or ‘just us folks’, etc.) to a friend’s no-shoe house, and they provide clean socks (if winter) and decent slippers or zories, and they let me leave my shoes inside- I’m fine with it. But, if I go to an event such as a party or holiday dinner, and have dressed up nicely, I really resent having to take off my nice looking clean shoes and put on schleppy slippers. I feel deprived of looking my best and it strikes me as inconsiderate.You always have to clean up after an event anyway, and a few sets of shod feet won’t make or break a nice floor or carpet (especially compared to spilled food and drink), so what’s the big deal!?

So, here is my reason for initiating a “no shoes policy” (from Bellaonline.com)

**In 1991 the EPA conducted a study called the “Door Mat Study” that measured the amount of lead dust that was in homes. The study found that in homes where there was a doormat at the entrance and where shoes were NOT worn, there was a marked reduction (about 60%) of lead dust and other chemicals in the home. Not only that, but in homes where shoes are removed, there is a reduction in allergens and bacteria being tracked into the house.Removing shoes has been scientifically proven to reduce contaminants in the home. If that still doesn’t convince you to have your family remove their shoes before entering the house, then think about how much longer and nicer your carpets and floors will stay and how much easier it will be to clean if shoes aren’t permitted in the house. When you look at it like this, it won’t be so hard to ask family and friends to remove their shoes before coming into the house.

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