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miu
15-03-05, 19:18
I went to visit a friend the other day and was kind of shocked when he said I didn't have to take off my shoes
once we got inside. He's not Finnish but in Finland, like in Japan, you almost always take off your shoes once you enter someone's home.
So you can maybe understand why I say I was shocked :blush: We have a long winter with snow and slush so it makes
sense to take off your shoes - it's more hygienic. Also, we always have carpets so keeping the carpets clean is easier
when you take off your outside shoes... And I wouldn't want to wear shoes all the time either. It's better for my feet
to take them off ^^; The only time you might consider not taking your shoes off is when you go to a more formal party in the summer. But that probably
goes mostly for women and high heels. :relief:

To be honest, I think I would still continue making people take off their shoes even if I moved to a country where people usually don't do that :blush:


What's your oppinion/customary in your country? Do you wear take your shoes off when you go to someone's house or not? Do you think it's something you should do?

lexico
15-03-05, 19:48
We always take shoes off when visiting, because that's what we do at home.
We have four seasons, Just like Japan or the rest of the world in the temperate zone, but the summer Monsoon and the winter-spring Gobi sandstorms made our housing rather unique.

The living room is elevated from the foundation by 2-3 feet, and the bedrooms have floor heating. The traditional bedroom floors are covered with fine hemp-paper stained and varnished to a shining finish. All meant to be kept clear of dust and stains at all times. This clean space is best apprciated without outdoor shoes. The traditional socks are quite thick and beutiful, but staying barefoot is also possible.

The semi-modern bldgs of the early 20th century such as school bldgs used to have wooden floors which make it a little dangerous to walk around barefoot or with socks only. Not being hard wood, one could easily get splinters in one's foot, Ouch ! So wearing indoor shoes was the standard, but if you lost them, you'd have to tiptoe around for one precarious day.

Of course doing and undoing the shoe is bothersome, but we're used to it. Some people change into slippers, but it's not so popular. Speaking of slippers, the best I've seen were the ones in Germany. Leather slippers were excellent. It would seem some Germans also liked to keep the indoors shoeless.

Funny habits die hard: Going to school in the US, I would keep my shoes outside my door while I lived in the university run student housing which was a military estblishment during WWII. When I needed some repair work done on the house, the service person would try to simply walk in to the house. I said, "Would you please take you shoes off ?" The guy seemed a little surprised and answered, "Well, I'd like to do that, but I'm not allowed." I never got to ask him why, not to sound confrontational, so I still wonder to this day. Why ?

No-name
15-03-05, 20:07
From California: I just started getting lazy and wearing my shoes indoors. It's winter, and it takes a lot more time to put on and take off boots. I also have started wearing orthodics due to plantar fasciitis- and walking barefoot is painful. We have wooden stairs and you see a lot more grit. No one else wears them so I guess I should sweep the steps.

TwistedMac
15-03-05, 20:25
In the words of Osaka (azumanga): "what if someone steps in dogpoo without noticing and walks in.. then the father does too.. and the mother..."

What's the point of wearing shoes indoors? is it really so cold in your house that you have to drag in dirt from the outside?

Shooter452
15-03-05, 22:20
To be honest, I think I would still continue making people take off their shoes even if I moved to a country where people usually don't do that :blush:

What's your oppinion/customary in your country? Do you wear take your shoes off when you go to someone's house or not? Do you think it's something you should do?
When I was on Okinawa, I followed the custom--when in Rome, you do as the Romans. I had no difficulty with the practice and it became second nature. When I came home at night to the barracks, I removed my boondockers and left them just inside the door for my housekeeper to shine--my best boots I never allowed to be shined by anyone but myself, since no one on Okinawa produced a better spit-shine than I could.

Upon my return back to the Land of the Big PX, I discontinued the practice in a few months. The only reason that I could give you was that my room on Okinawa had a shoe rack by the door. My home here did not.

If you want others to leave their foot gear by the door, give them a place to leave their brogans. Make sure yours on there, along with the other occupants of the house.

I have never been to a traditional Japanese home where that was not the case.

Andere Länder; andere Sitten

That last is for Lina and bossel. See? Not all of your efforts are in vain.
*chuckle*

Leroy_Brown
15-03-05, 23:29
Japanese homes have "genkan"--the space just inside the front door where you take off your shoes before stepping up and inside. This reminds people to take off the shoes.

Even kids in school have separate shoes for outdoors and indoors.

I take mine off when I come home.

No-name
16-03-05, 04:39
I have a genkan on the ground level with a couple of chairs, but no geta bako. Problem is (short version...) we are getting water on the floor this wet winter. (Like about 3cm of spring water.) So I have been wearing my shoes upstairs. (oooooo)

Maciamo
16-03-05, 06:41
I grew up in a country house with stone/tile flooring (with floor heating), which is easy to clean with water, so we could keep our shoes (although rarely upstairs, where there is carpet flooring or parquet in most rooms). Anyway, the house was completely cleaned once or twice a week, except the parquet rooms which dont need waxing that often.

There were families in my village were people must take off their shoes before entering, so it is really case by case, unlike Japan.

One sure thing is that in most families it is unacceptable to enter a house with dirty shoes (eg. after the rain). There is always a doormat or rug to wipe out one's shoes, but that's only when the shoes are not so dirty.

Maciamo
16-03-05, 06:47
Japanese homes have "genkan"--the space just inside the front door where you take off your shoes before stepping up and inside. This reminds people to take off the shoes.


So what ? Most Europeans houses too. It's called an entrance hall.

Maciamo
16-03-05, 06:54
In the words of Osaka (azumanga): "what if someone steps in dogpoo without noticing and walks in.. then the father does too.. and the mother..."

Who couldn't notice that ? What about the smell and marks left on the doormat ?


What's the point of wearing shoes indoors? is it really so cold in your house that you have to drag in dirt from the outside?

I was also wondering before coming to Japan. It's only 3 months I use slippers because I got bad "shimoyake" ("forst bite", well it doesn't freeze, but it looks the same) for the first time in my life just by staying inmy house in Tokyo. The insulation is inexistant and the A/C heating doesn't reach the feet (as warm air rises, and A/C are already above one's head). Or maybe is it during the night ? Anyway, I was used to live in a well-insulated house with floor and central heating, where the temperature was kept at a constant 20'C day and night all year round. In Japan, we can really feel how cold it is outside by just getting out of bed the morning. If you can see your breath, you'd better wear warm clothes. Living in a Japanese house is a bit like camping, temperature-wise.

misa.j
16-03-05, 07:14
It's only 3 months I use slippers because I got bad "shimoyake" ("forst bite", well it doesn't freeze, but it looks the same) for the first time in my life just by staying inmy house in Tokyo. The insulation is inexistant and the A/C heating doesn't reach the feet (as warm air rises, and A/C are already above one's head). Or maybe is it during the night ?
I wasn't crazy about those A/C heating either. The room gets very dry with that on. I much prefer the radiators.

My feet get cold easily, too; I don't know if they still have those, but I used to use a heated pillow under my feet at night when I was a child. That kept my feet warm, but I woke up with a sore throat from using it.

chimeraspirit
16-03-05, 07:36
I always remove my shoes when i go to someones home.

miu
16-03-05, 22:32
So what ? Most Europeans houses too. It's called an entrance hall.

I was just about to point out that we have a sort of genkan, too... The type of the entrance hall depends on what kind of house you live in but I would say that all Finnish houses have somekind of an entrance hall and its main purpose is to store outdoor clothing, shoes and stop dirt and cold air from coming inside to the house.

lexico
17-03-05, 00:02
all Finnish houses have somekind of an entrance hall and its main purpose is to store outdoor clothing, shoes and stop dirt and cold air from coming inside to the house.We have that, too. It has its own sliding door which acts like an air lock. It serves as an insulation area where temperature differences with the outdoors and the indoors aren't that great. This entrance hall is called hyon-guan here.

Ma Cherie
17-03-05, 00:10
The only time I really had to remove my shoes inside someone's home was because they didn't want their carpet to get messed up.

Martyr
17-03-05, 08:13
I wear my shoes indoors whenever I feel like it. And if I'm downstairs where the dog pisses everywhere, wearing no shoes is not an option.

Jungle Boy
17-03-05, 11:33
I take my shoes off all the time. I do have a pair of slippers for indoors because in the winter it gets very cold (-20, -30) and my feet seem to freeze very easily. But in the summer nobody wears shoes indoors and just slippers in the winter.

Miss_apollo7
17-03-05, 20:03
I also always take my shoes off when entering homes....especially mine!! :-)

misa.j
17-03-05, 20:54
I take my shoes off on a rug by the front door and wear slippers inside. Most of the people who come to my house knows that I don't wear shoes inside, and they happily take theirs off, but some people are not used to it and keep their shoes on, which I really don't care.

I would rather feel rude to make people do unfamiliar things. I'm not sure how one feels about sharing slippers, so we don't provide them to guests, but I don't know, maybe I should since it is not very warm where I live...

enix_fan
17-03-05, 21:13
i think it's an asian thing. Yup it applies to Hmong's too. but lately they stopped ... :?

lexico
17-03-05, 21:20
i think it's an asian thing. Yup it applies to Hmong's too. but lately they stopped ... :?I thought so, too, but it looks like people in Northern Europe are also like that; either by culture or by choice. As for the recent change in the Hmong community, has it happened to all Hmongs or only amongst certain Hmong-Americans ?

Another thing: the Chinese in Shanghai, Beijing, and Taipei do not take their shoes off in the house, and they clean the floor quite often because of it. So even in Asia not all people have the same practice.

btw: Your avatar is great. It always wakes me up to a greater level of awareness. It almost makes me laugh with its huge eye, but it's not funny. It should be called the "god(dess) of wakefulness." What character is it from what anime ? It appears to say Sin(d)bad.

Leroy_Brown
17-03-05, 22:02
If you went to a bowling alley in Japan and rented shoes, do they let you wear them inside?

:D :D :D :D

smoke
17-03-05, 22:13
i think in the UK it depends on the house-hold.
in my own home i take off my shoes for comfort (after returning from work for example). but that is when i am inside and not in the hall.
if footware is heavily soiled then yeah, of course you remove them...no one wants crap all over their floor.
i think this also raises the issue of stinky feet. i've said to people that have visited me...kick off your shoes and relax...and they reply...nah, my feet stink! so they keep them on. i don't really care either way, unless they have trodden in dogsh!t!!!
i had a friend who always walked around the house in his socks...most of the family did. i tend to wear slippers...they are god-awfully ugly and clumpy...but they are comfy and keep my tootsies warm!!! but sometimes i have to kick 'em off because my feet begin to boil!

smoke
17-03-05, 22:15
If you went to a bowling alley in Japan and rented shoes, do they let you wear them inside?

:D :D :D :D
from my understanding...removing of the shoes is something done when entering private residence...so unless it was a bowling alley in the back room of someone's house then i think you could keep them on!

lexico
17-03-05, 22:20
i think this also raises the issue of stinky feet. i've said to people that have visited me...kick off your shoes and relax...and they reply...nah, my feet stink! so they keep them on......
slippers...they are god-awfully ugly and clumpy...but they are comfy and keep my tootsies warm!!! but sometimes i have to kick 'em off because my feet begin to boil!That's the whole point. To aerate the stinky toes. Actually the foot-stink has an enticing aroma to it, depending on the person, at least mine are. j/k
I think of not having shoes/slippers or even socks if I can afford not to; these are the highest form of comfortable feet. Shoes/slipper on my feet are a huge nuisance if you ask me. Even driving is better barefoot. Nothing beats the skin touching the elements......ah, once we were born freee :-)

Leroy_Brown
18-03-05, 00:26
There are accupuncture points along the soles of the feet, which get stimulated when one walks bare footed.

Leroy_Brown
18-03-05, 00:28
from my understanding...removing of the shoes is something done when entering private residence...so unless it was a bowling alley in the back room of someone's house then i think you could keep them on!

Sorry, that was a failed attempt at humor on my part.

lexico
18-03-05, 00:35
I thought you were playing on the word Asia, weren't you ?
Because a bowling alley in Japan would be in Asia by logic.
It was a little obscure without the reference, though. :blush:

sgt. Pepper
28-03-05, 02:27
Why wear shoes indoors? The whole point of shoes is to protect your feet when you are outside, not inside.

No-name
28-03-05, 05:50
Legos. There are legos on the carpet.

mygger
12-05-09, 12:09
In Estonia we always take shoes off when visiting.

Minty
05-06-09, 00:27
Well I don't think the French take their shoes off when they enter a house or apartment nor do other western Europeans...

...at least none of the ones I have encountered.

I notice something the Russians take their shoes off when they go inside their house like us East Asian people.

I have live away from home for couple of years now and I no longer have the habit of taking my shoes off when I enter a house or an apartment.

So when I was asked to take my shoes off by a European, for me it came as a surprise.

rms2
16-06-09, 23:45
Shoes pick up a lot of filth on the street. Why carry all that into the house and spread it?

Take them off!

gnomie
12-07-09, 05:45
I say wipe them on the door mat and then take them off. At least wipe them thoroughly. The lego situation is a tricky one though, these things really hurt... :)

Cambrius (The Red)
12-07-09, 20:06
I've always thought that taking off your shoes before entering any home was a good idea. Heavens, who knows what you pick up walking around these days.

ChristineDoby
21-10-12, 07:55
He was not allowed to take his shoes off because he was doing repair work. If he stepped on a nail or something injured his foot some other way, his employer's insurance or his insurance wouldn't cover him if he was not wearing shoes to protect his feet. He was supposed to take reasonable precautions to protect his feet. It's the same as being required to wear a hard hat, a protective hat, on construction jobs.

ChristineDoby
21-10-12, 08:10
I live in the U.S. While I rarely wear shoes inside my home, it is not an American tradition to remove shoes at home or when visiting or anywhere, actually.

No one has mentioned that shoes are part of clothing styles, and people pay a lot of money to match their shoes to their other clothes. There is not much point in having beautiful shoes if you are going to leave them at the door.

If shoes are not worn inside the house, then the slippers or socks that people wear should have some styling so that they compliment the clothes that are being worn.

In Asia, most of the shoes (except in Japan?) that are worn out of doors are basically flip-flops that are of no beauty at all - although some can be slightly stylish - and they go barefoot indoors.

If you are wearing boots in the snowy Scandinavian or Northern European weather outdoors, and slippers or socks indoors, do you need stylish shoes at all? I can see the joy of not wearing shoes and it keeps the house cleaner - but I wonder why no one has expressed any interest in the wide, wonderful world of women's shoes?

ChristineDoby
21-10-12, 08:13
What do Northern Europeans, Japanese, and Korean people wear on their feet to keep them warm in the house in the winter?

ChristineDoby
21-10-12, 08:17
Then there is the problem of the shoes you have that match your clothing. Say you have a beautiful pair of high heels that match a suit, and a beautiful pair of sandals that match a summer dress, and good suede boots that match a mini-skirt, and so on . . . . maybe ten pairs of shoes . . . . do you leave all these shoes by the door and put them on at the last minute when you are leaving the house, or do you leave them in your bedroom closet with your clothing, and carry them to the door and put them on when you leave, and take them off when you return home and carry them back to your bedroom closet again? Just very curious.

Maciamo
22-10-12, 09:48
What do Northern Europeans, Japanese, and Korean people wear on their feet to keep them warm in the house in the winter?

As a northern European, I grew up with floor heating, which is nice when you walk around the house barefoot. Anyway, as there is central heating in practically every single house or apartment, cold is never an issue. Japan is very different, as central heating is rare and I have never seen or heard of floor heating there. The only 'frostbites' I ever got in my life (very light ones on my toes) were in a Japanese house. Mind you, it was in subtropical Tokyo where temperatures never fall much under freezing point in winter, which is all the more ironic.