For most people, removing one’s shoes at the request of one’s host is simple enough: After a brief panic attack about your sock situation, you respectfully comply. But there are some hardliners out there, and one of them recently touched off an internet firestorm.
- “Why I’ll Be Keeping My Shoes on in Your Shoeless Home”, said one contributor to the WSJ, stridently arguing that floors are in fact dirtier than shoes. The article went semi-viral, becoming a heated online debate that centers on a fundamental question: Is it more rude to demand that people remove their shoes in your home, or to refuse to remove your own?
- To be fair, both parties have a strong platform. Shoes-off people rightly point out that the soles of our sneakers, boots, and stilettos are filthy, and that removing them when we enter the pristine confines of a home is the right thing to do. But the shoes-on contingent can counter that point in any number of ways: the battle against contaminants is unwinnable, cold toes pose a serious threat to otherwise enjoyable visits, and so on.
- How big of an issue is this, really? According to an authoritative study conducted by a vacuum-maker Bissel, shoes-off policyholders are in the minority. While 57% of people take their own shoes off when they get home, just 10% request that others do the same. Still, that means that trouble is waiting at the entrance of one out of every ten American homes.
Read more at the WSJ: Why I’ll Be Keeping My Shoes on in Your Shoeless Home