‘We are a shoes-off home. My family has a huge issue with it.’

There are two types of people in this world: those who believe in a no-shoes-in-the-house policy and those who do not

Depending on which side of the fence you're on, there are some pretty convincing arguments both for and against – but one woman went to the Mamamia Out Louders Facebook group to gauge whether her frustration at family members repeatedly coming into the house with shoes on, despite having been asked not to, was fair.

Watch: Mamamia Confessions: The worst thing I said to my mother-in-law.

Video via Mamamia.

"I just don't know where to go to get pure, unbiased feedback," she wrotes. "We are a shoes-off home. We have lots of carpets, it's lightly coloured and we have small kids who were just babies when we got it so we spend A LOT of time sitting on the carpet and playing on the floor generally."

As such, she continued, they always ask everyone to remove their shoes when they come to visit.

"If they don't want to [take off their shoes], they can come around the back way and enter through the kitchen, which is hardwood flooring. 

"We got sick of asking people to do it – it seemed like the same people would just 'forget' to take them off every time – so now we have a self-deprecating sign at the front door that says 'we are those annoying people who prefer no shoes'. It seems to take the confrontation out of it."

But, she wrote, her immediate family have a "huge issue" with it. "They feel it's unwelcoming and frankly rude to ask people to de-shoe."


Things had become so strained over the great shoe debate that relatives have started declining "many an invitation to come over". 


So it got us thinking: is it rude to make a shoes-off request of people visiting your home?

According to Apartment Therapy's etiquette expert Alice, it's actually quite reasonable to ask guests to remove their footwear.

"Maintaining a no-shoes apartment is important to you – I imagine it's about a sense of cleanliness and protection over your domain," she wrote, adding that it is very important to have your response ready.

"For each situation, I'd say some variation of, 'Sorry to be a stickler, but you know how I am about shoes in the house.' Or: 'When I come to your place, I promise to follow all the rules! Or: 'If that makes me uptight, then what can I say! But it just really bugs me.' Or: 'I just really don't like shoes in the house, thank you.'"

In any case, it seems like the research is saying anyone who asks guests to de-shoe has plenty of good reasons.

One 2008 study from the University of Arizona found that there are a lot of harmful bacteria on the outside AND the inside of shoes... including E. coli (which can cause diarrhea, stomach pain and cramps).

The research found that bacteria were detected on the outside of 96 per cent of the shoes they examined.

"That's more than we find on hands or on floors," professor and environmental microbiologist Kelly Reynolds told Real Simple. "Shoes are a common vehicle for bringing major contaminants into the home."

The debate of 'to shoe or not to shoe' may rage on for eternity – but while some may stand by their claims it's a rude request, it's probably a fair one.

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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