Thursday, November 07, 2013
Shoes off if you are coming in.
Removing shoes before entering a building has a long history which dates back to antiquity. Better known as an Eastern or Asian custom the Romans too were known to remove their shoes before crossing a threshold. Foot protocols including which foot was used to enter a room, continued into modern times, especially in high European Society. Hence the position of ‘footman’ in Royal households whose primary job it was to ensure guests entered the room of a Royal presence useing the correct (right) foot to cross the threshold. Similar social mores have not been so well documented in North America. However it seems now city dwellers and suburbanites from New York to Los Angeles prefer guests to leave their footwear at the door. Weather and homeowners keen to protect expensive light-coloured rugs and high-gloss wood floors from dirt and dings are the reasons oft cited. So too is parents concerned germs on floors carried by outside footwear may be a risk to children playing on or near the floor. The new vogue for “leave your shoes at the door’ has caused much concern of late with many people taking exception to th suggestion. Ettiquette blogs are full of fors and against as the new no shoe rule takes hold.