Originally Posted by mafoofan
You're kidding, right? Not-wearing-shoes-indoors is a clearly established social custom. Some adhere to it, some do not. There is no slippery slope that leads to delousing house guests.
As for cleanliness--it makes a huge difference. It is more obvious in carpeted homes, but hardwood gets grimey and soiled, too. The owners of the condo we are renting used to wear shoes in it. Just glancing at the wood floors, you might not be able to immediately tell. But spritz some cleaner and wipe . . . it's horrifying. Our own floors never get even remotely that dirty.
Speaking of "rocket surgery," it shouldn't be hard to fathom how much filth one tracks into one's home on his shoes. Some of us clearly don't think it's much of an issue, or have other reasons to prefer otherwise, but you can't seriously think wearing shoes indoors doesn't significantly impact the cleanliness of your floors.
Anyway, like I said, if guests are dressed-up in nice clothes, they of course are encouraged to keep their shoes on if they prefer. We just scrub the apartment afterward. For casual get togethers, I think it's okay and normal to expect the shoes to come off.
I don't disagree that it's an established social norm, but that doesn't mean that it's prudent or reasonable. We've already established that there are people who live with dogs and require shoes off - does anyone have difficulty fathoming how much filth dogs bring in?
Also, this spritzing of cleaner and wiping - are you saying that you don't normally do that? Our floors are cleaned regularly, just like the rest of our house. If invited over to a house that isn't cleaned regularly, the last thing I want to do is take my shoes off and expose my feet to that - it's the number one reason I hate taking my shoes off at airports. Props to Russia for giving foot covers.
I never realized that shoes off policy was seen as an alternative to housecleaning but it is starting to make sense.