Recently, I fleshed out a few reasons why many Asians tend to leave their shoes at the door and go barefoot at home.
In reality, some of us don’t share this love of taking our shoes off before going indoors. Some of us especially in the Western world don’t recoil in horror at the thought of stamping around our bedrooms and kitchens with our shoes on.
There are legitimate reasons that explain why wearing shoes at home is perfectly normal behaviour for some. The notion that it is a cultural thing is probably the most believable one. Choosing to wear shoes at home is akin to just another everyday life choice or custom: some of us eat with chopsticks while some with forks and spoons. Some of us eat chicken feet and some of us don’t.
Admittedly, awkwardly stooping over, bending down or squatting to remove or put on our shoes can be a hassle. And painful if we have bad backs. Taking off our shoes to go indoors to get something that we’ve left at home only to put on our footwear two minutes later before venturing out again can be understandably frustrating.
It can be frustrating too for those who frequently move in and out of the house. Gardens and sizeable backyards are notable features of housing properties in the West and for a number of Caucasians, lounging in their own backyards – five paces from their bedrooms – is a favourable pastime. So perhaps it’s just more convenient for these Caucasians to leave their shoes on literally 24/7 since they’re likely to shuttle outdoors quite a bit.
Or laziness could be a reason.
Maybe some wear shoes at home because shoes keep feet warm, particularly in winter. Also, it is rather unpleasant a feeling to step on tiles in the kitchen or bathroom and feel our feet get colder and colder by the minute. Who likes cold feet?
Perhaps those who find it normal to walk around the house with their shoes on have a different perception of cleanliness to those who don’t, and that’s why they do. Perhaps this is the case with pet owners who let their dogs and cats run all over the house with their grubby paws after coming back from a stroll in the park with their animals. Or, in their opinion, the floor at home could be unsanitary, with crumbs and bits and pieces of trash everywhere, and shoes function to keep the feet clean indoors.
Some may see shoes as part of their outfits and so like to keep them on for as long as possible. Even at home.
There is also the possibility that some simply can’t bear the sight of bare feet. Or regard feet as unhygienic and germy, put off by the fact that feet constantly swell, smell, sweat and are prone to develop nail fungal infections. So keeping feet enclosed and hidden by wearing shoes sits well with them.
Then there are some who aren’t fans of wearing shoes at home but find the idea of going barefoot at home distasteful. As pointed out in the comments section in my previous post discussing the phenomenon of taking shoes off before going indoors, some wear “home slippers” or stockings as opposed to going all-out barefoot at home.
Nothing wrong with this. In a sense, this gives weight to the idea that wearing shoes at home is really just a cultural thing.
Do you wear shoes at home?