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Shoes or No Shoes?

September 15th, 2010

Here at Chiot’s Run we’re a no shoes in the house kind of place. We have a shoe rack by the back door and remove our shoes in the laundry room, which is the entrance we use 99% of the time.

I have found that by removing shoes and having a few good absorbent rugs by the back door my floors stay so much cleaner. I don’t have regular rugs by the back door, I have those washable bath rugs. They get washed every other week and they do a wonderful job of keeping dirt and grime off the nice floors in the rest of the house. Of course sometimes my feet are just as dirty as my shoes, so I’m not sure this is quite as effective in the summer.

Are you a no shoes kind of house or do you wear your shoes indoors?

30 Comments to “Shoes or No Shoes?”
  1. Natti on September 15, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Here in India, shoes are a strict no-no inside most houses. They have a separate pair of slippers which are worn inside the house and that too only by few people.

    Reply to Natti's comment

  2. Tracy on September 15, 2010 at 7:39 am

    NO shoes. It keeps the house much cleaner.

    Reply to Tracy's comment

  3. Kaytee on September 15, 2010 at 8:16 am

    That’s a good idea to use bath rugs, I might have to look into that. We take our shoes off most of the time. Sometimes you’re just running into the house for something quick, and we’re too lazy to take them off. (That’s why my kitchen floor is always dirty!) But during the winter, they come off RIGHT away. I don’t want all that salty snowmelt everywhere!

    Reply to Kaytee's comment

    • Susy on September 15, 2010 at 9:40 am

      I especially like the ones that are like really thick towels not the ones with rubber backing. I sure does save lots of dirt/wet in the winter.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. megan on September 15, 2010 at 8:27 am

    With four dogs constantly wanting in and out, we’re a shoes on kind of household. There’s no way that I’m going to try to wipe their dirty paws every time they come in, so there’s no way my floors are going to stay truly clean. I focus on keeping them LOOKING clean, but they only feel clean about twice a week for the first ten minutes after I wipe them down. I can’t stand the feeling of gritty floors, so I wear shoes most of the time. There’s also no way that I could get Mason to remember to take his shoes off (or even wipe his feet!) every time he came in. He’s too absentminded. So, instead of being irked at him all the time, I’ve learned to just let it go.

    If I lived alone, I would most definitely be a shoes off kind of household!

    Reply to megan's comment

  5. Kelly on September 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

    No shoes! I grew up that way and, having kids, I’m a firm believer that it’s the way it should be. My MiL’s house is a shoes kinda house and her floors are disgusting (she has horses and her husband hunts)! I don’t let my boys go barefoot in her house and their socks are permanently stained whenever we go there.

    I’m with you that sometimes my (or the boys) feet are as dirty as our shoes, but our main access door is through the garage so we have coats/hats/shoes in the garage and any feet that are SO dirty are washed in the bathroom right inside that door.

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  6. Sense of Home on September 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Definitely no shoes! I hate wearing shoes in the house, not only does it get the carpet dirty, but my feet feel tight and stiff, like they can’t breath. In the winter I wear thick warm socks in the house and in the summer, well I wash my feet as soon as I get in from the garden.

    I grew up wearing no shoes in the house and, for the most part, no shoes outside during the summer. I developed very tough soles on my feet and could walk on gravel, but that is another story.


    Reply to Sense of Home's comment

    • Susy on September 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

      I was the same way as a kid, I prefer not having shoes on whenever I can. In the winter usually it’s a super thick pair of wool socks and that’s it.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Ryan on September 15, 2010 at 10:03 am

    We have been making the transition to our fall footwear and realized we need to both have slippers inside because the floors are so cold (Our house sits on bedrock). Also shoes have to come off in our house because our chickens are free range so there is chicken poo everywhere! Shoes are off and slippers are on!

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  8. Ryan on September 15, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Wow just as I pressed send on that last comment the UPS guy showed up with the recently purchased slippers!

    Reply to Ryan's comment

  9. Lynn Mc. on September 15, 2010 at 11:34 am

    No shoes. We have bamboo floors.

    Reply to Lynn Mc.'s comment

  10. Louise on September 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I have 2 pairs of Simson open-heel Dutch clogs; one for inside and one for outside. They slip on and off real easy, are orthopedic, made from natural materials (leather and wood). Once you get used to wearing them, they are just the most wonderful supportive shoe to wear.

    When I need to go outside I leave the pair I wear indoors by the door, so when I return I just slip the outside pair off and put the other on. This keeps everything inside much cleaner.

    If anyone is interested see this link:

    Reply to Louise's comment

  11. Attila on September 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    A few weeks ago, I would have definitely said no shoes, but I started to get pain inside my left heel. When I asked the doctor, her questions made me realise that, as I am housebound much of the time, I have actually worn slippers for most of the last 12 years. I started wearing a still sturdy and supportive pair of old shoes in the house for most of the day and my pain is disappearing. So I agree with Louise’s comment about clogs; my go outside shoes for the garden are clogs and a pair for inside would be great.

    Reply to Attila's comment

  12. Rhonda on September 15, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Unfortunately I can’t go barefoot. I have a bone condition where if I go barefoot, it feels like my bones are coming through the bottom of my foot. It’s incredibly painful so … I use Crocs for indoor use and all other shoes for outdoor. My orthopaedist specifically recommended the Crocs. He said “they’re like pillows for the feet” :-) All the other nuts who live in my house though … they’re all barefoot bums. :-) My mom calls us hippies. I love it.

    Reply to Rhonda's comment

  13. Matthew C on September 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    It is such a good idea to make your home shoe-free.

    I have an whole blog on this subject. Shoes Off at the Door, Please You might like to take a look.

    Reply to Matthew C's comment

    • Patrice Wassmann on September 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm

      Matthew, I think it is quite funny that you have an entire blog about removing one’s shoes! I loved it! and the cartoons of a western family in Japan were a riot ( since I grew up then)!

      Reply to Patrice Wassmann's comment

  14. Kim on September 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    We have a no shoes upstairs rule. Downstairs we have sealed concrete floors everywhere. Boots and shoes seldom make it past the mudroom though.

    Reply to Kim's comment

  15. Konnie on September 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Would like to be a No shoes house, but it is really hard to unring that bell. Now that all but one kid has moved out, it might be worth a try again.

    Reply to Konnie's comment

  16. Joyful on September 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I am basically a no shoes person in the house and I like guests and family to remove shoes also. Otherwise I have separate shoes, slippers or slip ons that I wear indoors only.

    Reply to Joyful's comment

  17. Teresa/Safira on September 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    I get the idea of keeping crud off the floor–it makes sense. However, our floors are often cold, and I don’t much like going barefoot.

    Reply to Teresa/Safira's comment

    • Susy on September 15, 2010 at 6:16 pm

      Yes, ours are cold in the winter since we have an unheated basement and we keep the house at 60. We usually wear wool socks and wool slippers in the winter. In the summer I sometimes wear cotton socks if it’s cool and during the spring/fall often I wear wool socks around the house.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. deedee on September 15, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    no shoes!

    Reply to deedee's comment

  19. Barbara on September 15, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Scandanavia and Asia and got used
    to taking my shoes off at the door. I’ve gotten my husband
    to do it as well but I’m reluctant to ask visitors to since it’s
    not something Australians are used to doing!

    Reply to Barbara's comment

  20. Jaspenelle on September 16, 2010 at 12:02 am

    I find taking off shoes at the door reduces my husband’s allergies so we are a shoes off kind of family. Granted we are 99% of the time barefoot (except my husband) as long as it is barely warm but we also rinse our feet off either in the kids pool or in the tub when we come in too.

    Reply to Jaspenelle's comment

  21. Matthew C on September 16, 2010 at 3:17 am

    Barbara, I am sure your guests would not mind if you asked them nicely. Just because it might not be what they normally do does not mean it is something they won’t like.

    Reply to Matthew C's comment

  22. Corinne on September 16, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    We are a SHOES house, although we are also moving soon and I hope to get that changed to a NO SHOES house. Although, I have also discovered how wonderful washable bathmats are by the outside doors. They really do a great job of catching the majority of dirt and dust. I will never go back to using non-bath mats in my entry-ways! It’s good to hear that other people have had this same discovery!!

    Reply to Corinne's comment

  23. Peggy on September 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    We are more or less a shoes off type of house. I am the exception as I have a foot condition which technically requires me to wear shoes all the time. That being said I do go barefoot until the pain is more than I can bear at which time I wear crocs or birkenstocks which are set aside for house wear only. While living in Alaska virtually everyone we knew had shoeless households and it was considered inconsiderate to wear shoes into someone’s house. Friends of ours had clean socks and slippers in a basket for guests to wear if they so chose. However I have noticed recently a member or two of my family is starting to become negligent in the no-shoe “rule.”

    I love the idea of using a bath rug into front of the doors!!

    Reply to Peggy's comment

  24. Patrice Wassmann on September 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Here in Vermont it is a cultural thing and considered the polite thing to do to remove your shoes when you enter a house. I even bring slippers with me to friend’s homes when I visit in winter, cause it is darn cold most places!

    Reply to Patrice Wassmann's comment

  25. Emily on September 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I am in the boat of having to wear orthodic supports now to help with a couple of foot conditions that are painful. So, I have outside shoes and inside shoes. Too much pain to go without. I take two sets of shoes with me when I go to peoples houses. some have strict no-shoe rules and I just can’t last an hour without developing pain, so the inside-only shoes come in handy. I just found a pain our garden shoes and now am in search of supports for them. I like your bath/rug idea. I have rubber backed industrial rugs outside each door. they vacuum up well and get hosed down a few times a year to wash them out. they work well and most of the dirt stays out.

    Reply to Emily's comment

  26. melissa on September 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    No shoes unless I am going to be spending hours in the kitchen. Those tiles hurt after a while.

    Reply to melissa's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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