#12 ASK KATARINA: Should I remove my shoes when visiting someone's house? 👞

#12 ASK KATARINA: Should I remove my shoes when visiting someone's house? 👞

''Hi Katarina, I wanted to ask if I need to take my shoes off when visiting someone’s house? Is it rude to keep them on or is it more rude to be barefoot?''
F. T.

Dear F. T.,
thank you for your question!

Navigating the ''to shoe or not to shoe'' dilemma can be quite challenging as there are a lot of cultural nuances to consider. 

In your question, you don’t specify where you live, so let’s look into the topic in a more global perspective: Across the globe, attitudes toward shoes in the home vary significantly.

In some cultures, leaving shoes on indoors is the norm. This practice is often found in Western countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and parts of Europe (not all). In these regions, it's generally acceptable to keep your shoes on when entering someone's home.

On the flip side, many cultures adhere to the tradition of removing shoes before entering a home, mainly due to hygiene or religious reasons. This practice is prevalent in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, parts of the Middle East, as well as parts of Europe (e.g. Eastern Europe). In these cultures, keeping shoes on indoors is considered impolite and disrespectful.

Dos and Don'ts to Consider:
Whether you're a visitor or a host, here are some tips to navigate shoe etiquette gracefully:

Be Observant: If you're unsure whether to remove your shoes, take cues from your host or follow any visible signs or requests.
Respect Cultural Norms: When visiting homes in different countries or cultural communities, make your research beforehand.
Offer Options: As a host, consider providing a designated area for guests to leave their shoes if you prefer them to be removed.
Communicate Clearly: If you have specific preferences regarding shoes in your home, don't hesitate to communicate them politely to your guests.

Understanding and respecting cultural differences surrounding shoe etiquette is key to creating harmony and mutual respect in diverse social settings - and this applies to both the guests and the hosts 🤗

I wish you a beautiful day ahead,

Yours sincerely,


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