Do You Ask Guests To Take Off Their Shoes? What About At Open Houses?

Ever since humans began wearing shoes, one question has defied space and time: Is it appropriate to wear shoes inside? What about at an open house?

A column published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal dove into the timeless debate, drawing hundreds of heated comments from Americans on both sides of the equation.

Columnist Kris Frieswick took a polarizing shoes-on stance, acknowledging that in the case of religious or cultural reasons, she respects her hosts’ wishes. It almost goes without saying, she added, that if guests recently stomped through mud, snow, biomedical hazardous waste or worse, she’ll remove her shoes — begrudgingly.

In less extreme scenarios, Frieswick argued that allowing guests to walk around with dirty shoes is often less painful than asking them to remove them and risk splinters, legos and power imbalances. After all, what are doormats for?

“Turns out there’s already an effective old-fashioned way to achieve your goal of a clean floor while neither insulting my hygiene habits nor endangering my delicate, vulnerable, long-suffering feet,” Frieswick writes. “It’s called a doormat.”

Some commenters agreed with the shoes-on approach, but others were vehemently opposed. “Remind me not to ever invite the author to my home,” one commenter wrote.

“The author must not frequent subway platforms or any major city streets,” another commented, while yet another added, “or a communal bathroom at a Jets game.”

Inman wants to know how readers stand on the issue — shoes on, or shoes off?

Email Lillian Dickerson

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