Piggyback on Shoes in the House Question

Updated on March 14, 2013
S.G. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
19 answers

I was kind of surprised to see how many people wear outdoor shoes in the house. Where I am from nobody wears outdoor shoes in the house. We wear slippers or socks. I just thought that was how it was done everywhere. Our kids have to have indoor shoes to wear at school and daycare. We have to have indoor shoes for the gym. We also have to carry indoor shoes with us to church etc. We have to have lots of shoes!!! I was just wondering for people who come from areas where shoes are worn in the house: Do your kids wear their outdoor shoes at daycare/school? Do you wear outdoor shoes at the gym?

Just curious...

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So What Happened?

Although I would not like the idea of outdoor shoes in my house it would be nice not to have to buy 6 pairs of shoes for each kid, as well as boots!

I imagine much of our rules regarding indoor/outdoor shoes do have to do with snow/rain, but they do apply year round. The sand and gravel that gets stuck in the treads of shoes ar killer on the equipment at the gym and also scratch hardwood floors.

Everyone is required to wear indoor shoes at the gym(s). Schools and daycares require children to keep indoor shoes there, so they won't be forgotten. Other places like church it isn't required, but it would feel disrespectful to wear wet/dirty boots into the sanctuary, and our nice church clothes don't look so nice paired with snowboots!

My boys have to keep indoor shoes at school and change when they come in. (Many girls keep two pairs, a pretty pair and gym pair.) Kids who go to daycare keep a pair of indoor shoes at daycare. We carry a pair of indoor gym shoes to the Y or the community club for indoor sports. We carry a pair of dress shoes in a bag to church or choir recitals. They wear outdoor sneakers, rain boots, rubber boots or flip flops outdooors. That's up to 9 pairs of shoes per kid. It's not cheap living our climate!

It would be very uncomfortable to wear boots indoors as our feet would get sweaty, and it would be impossible to play sports in boots.

We actually have fancy shoe bags to carry our shoes for fancy ocassions. You get more than cold toes walking through a foot of snow! We change from snow boots to our cute shoes and check our boots along with our coats at the coat check.

When we travel we try to travel to a place where we don't need any boots!

Our kids change shoes when they arrive at school, to go for recesses and for gym class. They get pretty fast at it.

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

Ditto TF Plano/Allen

There are no outdoor/indoor shoes around here. In fact, we don't even require shoes to be off before you enter a home. By "we" I mean any house I've been to in the last 2-3 years.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My sons preschool had indoor shoes kept there. For recess, the kids changed shoes.

None of the public schools around here do that
A couple of private schools do

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Dallas on

Of course we don't wear muddy shoes in the house. Hubby has an old pair of shoes he uses for yardwork that stays in the laundry room.

Other than that, daughter and I usually wear tennis shoes, flip flops, etc unless she wears dress boots to school or something. When we get up, showered and dressed for the day, we put our shoes on and typically leave them on until we are done with our daily activities.

I never thought I'd be classified as dirty for wearing clean shoes inside my house!! I have a very clean, well kept house.

Keep in mind, we are in TX with very little to no snow or bad weather. We are outside a lot enjoying the weather, entertaining, etc. If we were in an area with constant wet rainy, snowy weather, then of course we would not wear those shoes inside our house.

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answers from San Francisco on

This is an interesting question. I am Japanese-American, so in my household growing up we took our shoes off when we got in the door - that's just the cultural norm. I don't require anyone else in the house or visitors to take theirs off, but it's a habit I can't break. When I go to friends' houses or my ILs, I automatically want to take off my shoes, but I go with the custom of the household.

My ILs live in the Midwest and when it snows they always want everyone to take their shoes off at the door, which makes sense. My MIL cracks me up, when she gets dressed in the morning she always puts her shoes on, and keeps them on, whether she's going anywhere that day or not. I keep all my shoes by the door and only put them on when I'm about to leave.

All that said, I live in CA and I've never heard of indoor and outdoor shoes. It seems a bit impractical, actually. At my DDs preschool they spend time inside and time outside, so which shoes would they wear to school? And I only have one pair of sneakers, which is what I wear to the gym or walking or hiking or whatever.

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answers from Wichita Falls on

My kids wear the same shoes indoor and out ......... when I can get them to wear shoes at all. They are the kind of kids I have to beg to wear shoes in the snow. They do have sport specific shoes that are not worn except during practice or games, but that is it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

i have lived in CA, GA, SC, NY, MD, FL...and we never wear our outdoor shoes indoors. i also ask guests to take shoes off. i can't imagine what's on the sole of shoes and whatever it is i don't want it in my house.
ps in my culture, you always take shoes off when you visit someone. i know this isn't an american thing but thankfully my american husband agrees with me.

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answers from San Francisco on

We don't have indoor vs outdoor shoes. When I was growing up, we didn't take our shoes off when we went into the house, unless they were particularly muddy or wet. We live in California though so that doesn't happen too often.

When I bought my own house and got new carpet, we got into the habit of taking off our shoes (and making our friends take off their shoes) to help keep the carpet clean and make it last longer. We typically just went sock footed or occasionally put on slippers when we were inside.

Now that I have kids, I usually have them take off their shoes because they tend to get more grungy and may have sand in them from the park or school. If it happens to be a rainy day and they have their rain boots on or we went somewhere where I know their shoes may have gotten muddy, I make a big deal of them taking their shoes off in the entry way. But we don't have any specific indoor shoes...they go in socks or go barefoot. They do have slippers and sometimes they put them on, but that's usually in the morning when they wake up.

When they were infants, I made sure no one walked on their play rug with shoes on since the kids frequently would be laying on the ground. Now that isn't as much an issue, but I tend to keep the shoes off the play rug still.

For adult gym classes, people wear the shoes they walked in with. For kid gym classes, they frequently make them go sock or bare footed so it's not an issue. For pre-school, they wear the same shoes they arrived in...for some kids that may mean their rain boots, although I have seen parents bring alternate shoes at times.

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answers from Houston on

It seems to be more of a geographic thing from what I've read on here. Most that comment about wearing shoes in the house seem to be from the south.
We don't kick our shoes off when going inside unless they have mud on them.
To answer your question, we don't have different shoes for different locations/activities.

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answers from Miami on

I never heard of indoor shoes for church or school. That is new to me. In any case, I have a NO SHOES policy in my house. I don't care who you are, stranger or not, I have a nice sign I made myself that says, "Welcome to our house...leave your shoes at the door." It's posted just outside my front door. Just yesterday, we had some AC repair guys, two of them, who I had to ask one to remove his shoes, and the other did so without me even asking. All they had to do was come in and out of the house to check the thermostat so it wasn't like they had to climb ladders, or do something "dangerous." I also have these footy things that you often see people in hospitals wear over their shoes. If someone really wants to be stubborn about it, or if it's someone that needs to climb in the attic (not like that ever happens, though) I have those as an option. Everyone who comes to my house, knows to remove their shoes. Or they will be asked to do so. We wear slippers and socks in the house. When I was growing up in Chicago, we also left our shoes at the door. I don't think it's a regional thing...it's just whatever you like, I guess. I don't want the outside filth on my floors where my children play and crawl around. Ick!

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answers from Dallas on

Yep. Shoes go everywhere.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

I don't have "indoor shoes" and "outdoor shoes" unless you count my Cajun Reeboks (rubber boots that only get worn if I'm going to be in a pasture). I don't carry a change of shoes with me everywhere I go. Unles I chagne clothes, I don't change shoes during the course of the day. I generally take off my shoes when I get home, simply because I prefer the feel of bare feet.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, it's not like we're slogging through mountains of mud to get from garage to school or office, etc.
I know it's a cultural thing, but I don't see the big deal, and frankly, I wouldn't be bothered with all that shoe changing and show buying and shoe storage!
Our shoes are rarely "mud caked" or even visibly dirty.

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answers from Detroit on

Growing up, we didn't have any rules about taking our shoes off at the door. Now that I have little kids, we always take our shoes off at the front door of our house. When you have kids that crawl on the floor, etc, it's gross to think what might be on the bottom of your shoes.

I have never been asked to use indoor shoes anywhere outside of a private home. Daycare I can maybe understand, but Church is crazy to me! I can't imagine carrying around all those extra indoor shoes!

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answers from Lancaster on

I posted the other question and until I read yours, I had never heard of "outdoor" shoes and "indoor" shoes. lol.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I grew up wearing shoes in the house. My parents didn't want to deal with taking their shoes on and off. Since I've been married (11 years) we do take our shoes off in the house. We do keep our shoes on at other places too unless we are at someones home, then we take them off.
I work at a montessori school and the kids do have school slippers that they change into when the get to their class. I think that's a bit odd, but oh well :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We are a shoe-free home, but at school my son does wear his "street shoes." Street shoes aren't permitted at the higher-end gym my husband goes to (free membership from his work), but they are at the YMCA that I go to.

The other day my oldest was watching "Caillou," and he was wondering why Caillou wears shoes in the house.

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answers from St. Louis on

Wow never heard of indoor/outdoor shoes and I have lived in Italy, Germany, Georgia and now IL!! Growing up, we always took our shoes off when we came inside and then took them up to our closets. With my kids, we have a shelving unit in the kitchen where shoes go now (mostly because they have a small room with barely any closet space). They are asked to remove their shoes when they come home but not at the door. We live out in the country and our driveway is gravel. We have rain, snow, etc all throughout the year but do not have special shoes for going to different places. If shoes are wet, they go on a towel until they are dry. If they are dirty, they get cleaned. I do not ask people to take their shoes off at our house but if I see them putting their shoes on my couch (mostly older kids/preteens) - I kindly ask them to remove their shoes. Only happened 2 times in the five years we have been at our house. Hubby and I USUALLY put our shoes into our bedroom, but we have been known to leave them in the kitchen under the table/in the living room where we take them off.

Outdoor shoes are worn to the gym unless you to to the gym in 'street' clothes and change there.

Kids wear the same shoes to daycare/school/home/etc. My daughter has gym five days a week and prefers to NOT change shoes every day at school so she wears tennis shoes 99.99% of the time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Duluth on

Wow, totally surprised by the number of people who wear shoes in the house! Although I agree with the poster who said that most of those people lived in warmer climates. We live in very far northern MN, and we do have shoes like that too. My kids are required to wear boots (winter or rubber) for recess as long as the weather requires it. Even when the weather is nicer, they are supposed to have outside tenners and inside ones. My son has school shoes, and then sometimes changes into his gym shoes if he needs separate inside shoes. But honestly, they start wearing rain boots midway into September, switch to winter boots in October or November, and, at least this year, it'll be at least April before they need rain boots...so most of the year, boots are required for outside recess. Some kids and grown ups wear boots to church and change; others just walk carefully. It seems more folks used to change when church was dressier, like when I was growing up. As for in the house...well, we are building a new house, so I've had appraisers, and heating experts, contractors, and other experts in my house. They ALL take off their shoes, whether they are suited bankers or contractors in work clothes. We are selling the home we are living in (it's a manufactured home) and the 6 couples that came to look at it ALL removed their shoes. My dad and my father in law are not keen on this habit (my father in law is a farmer, and wears lace up boots that are difficult to remove--and in his house, you can enter through the basement and come up stairs to the kitchen, all of which were areas that could be gotten messy, in his house) but otherwise, it's par for the course for everyone else that visits.

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answers from Austin on

How in the world do you pack to travel? You must keep a suitcase just for shoes! And all those shoes sound dreadfully expensive!

Personally, I go as long as possible without any shoes at all. Indoors and out. I've been known to drive barefoot, too.

The only times we have extra shoes, is if we need them specifically. If we are going to the pool and somewhere else afterwards, we might take flip-flops for the pool and real shoes for wherever else we are going, just like we'd take extra clothes. If we are going to the lake or whatever, we might take mudboots.

The only place we have indoor/outdoor shoes is the dance studio. Dance shoes are NOT allowed to be worn outside, as it is bad for the shoes and the dance floors. Otherwise, students are allowed to dance barefoot - shoes must be left at the door.

My youngest is required to wear tennis shoes to her MDO classes, so they don't have to change for the playground, and my oldest is required to wear tennis shoes to school on gym days (the teachers prefer that they NOT have to change - 20 kids, all changing their shoes, really slows down the school day).

I was wondering not too long ago, how women who live in colder climates handle wearing cute shoes to dressy occasions in the winter time. I guess you change your shoes? Seems like a lot more trouble than having cold toes for five minutes. But then, we don't get snow, and rarely get ice. If it's raining, you might excuse yourself to the ladies' room as soon as you arrive, to towel off your toes, if you are wearing strappy sandals.

Otherwise, we do take off our shoes for most homes we visit, and just go barefoot or in our socks.

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