Is this just a Northwest thing?

I realized that people now take off their shoes whenever entering someone else's home. I hadn't realized how accustomed I've become to this practice, but I do it without even thinking now. (We always take our shoes off in our house as well.)

I never did this as a child, but now it seems to be common practice. So my question is -- Is this a NW thing or do you do this in your part of the world?


  1. I don't know if there's a specific practice in Ohio as a whole. It seems split from my experience. My mother insists that we take of shoes in the house, but many of my other relatives tease us and say "what, are we in China?" Ah, family . . . . Likewise, some of my friends take their shoes off, some don't. But Ohio has always been a rather bipolar state in many ways.

  2. I'm in California, Bay Area specifically, and yes it's pretty common practice here. Always has been too. I don't ask people to, but we have a big entry way where our shoes are kept so people just follow that lead I think.

  3. We lived in Korea for a year and while there, a waitress once screamed at me because I started walking across the restaurant without removing my shoes first. I was horrified ~ all the other diners glared at me! Which means they noticed me. Which freaked me out. Since then, I've been an absolute shoe-remover. In my house, friends' homes. But not in restaurants.

    We're sort of NW here, but most people *don't* remove their shoes when they visit. But it's become a pet peeve of mine, and I kinda wish they would.

  4. The only friend who asks us to take off our shoes when we go in her house is originally from the Northwest.

  5. I always take my shoes off when I come in my own house, but that's not a common practice here in the South, unless the homeowner is anal retentive about their carpet. I mean, really, if you're a bit Christmas party, is everyone walking around with no shoes?

  6. In Alaska we are dedicated shoe removers, especially in light of the continual precipitation (snow, rain or a little of both). Plus you never know when you might step in bear or moose droppings on the way to the house.

  7. It's quite common here (Minneapolis and this region generally), though it's not universal at all. I'd say it's more common in the winter, or when it's raining at whatever time of year, because people are walking in with shows that are wet or snowy or muddy. (If people are wearing boots over their shoes, they'll normally take off their boots but leave their shoes on.)

    It's also not uncommon here for people to ask visitors to take off their shoes, though if people don't ask I leave mine on.

    I take my shoes off in my own home, but that's just because I like being barefoot.

    I knew some people once who were traveling in Los Angeles, and visited some people at their home, and took off their shoes (without being asked) as they entered the home, and their hosts became distinctly offended that their guests had removed their shoes. Indignant about it. Go figure.

    I'd bet that in general it's more common in colder and/or wetter regions, where the ground tends to be wet or muddy a lot.

  8. We remove our shoes in Southwest Ohio, but maybe that's only in Clifton--we're a bit "off" here.

  9. Okay, this is really interesting. It definitely sounds as if some of this is just our NW weirdness (though I was glad to hear others do this as well.)

    And Collin, yes, I've been to Christmas parties where no one is wearing shoes. Dinner parties also.

    Many times I've borrowed socks from friends because I haven't been wearing any and well, my feet get cold. I know one friend who keeps wool socks in her car for such occasions. (I've borrowed them too.) I've also started carrying socks in my purse if I know I'm going to friend's house and I'm sockless beneath my shoes.

    This all sounds a little nuts as I write it out, but it's kind of sweet if you think about it. We know/like each other so well, we welcome our barefootness.

    Maybe we just all love feet here in the Northwest.

    I'd love to hear from others in different parts of the country or world.

  10. It's hardly a buffalo thing, but for me--no shoes! slippers or socks for me, even in summer (i have 'house' flip-flops that never touch outside)...i am totally annoying about this, i know, but i cannot stand the thought of outside stuff brought inside, and then if i am sitting on the floor, then sit on my bed and voila--the gross outside stuff is on my bed! i am sure this is a mild form of OCD or something...;)

  11. I guess Kentucky is a Southern state after all. You never take off your shoes in another person's house. (At home, you never wear shoes inside--unless they're inside shoes).

    The only time I can remember being asked to remove my shoes, the host provided surgical booties for all guests (brand new white carpet).


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