It’s customary to take your shoes off at home in many parts of the world.
For instance, in many Asian households it’s often shoes off at the door. There’s also a no shoes rule when walking around indoors at home.
Shoes | KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness (1)
Having grown up in a Chinese household, this is a habit that comes naturally to me. As a kid, I’d come home, take my shoes off and place them on the shoe rack by the door. Today this is still what I do every time I come home.
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.
Me wearing shoes at home…at a mock home setting in IKEA. Photo: Mabel Kwong
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.