The Great Debate: Asking Guests to Take Off Their Shoes

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May 10, 2015 | BY Philippine Tatler

The question: Is it rude to ask your guests to take off their shoes when entering your house?


YES, says Renna Angeles


It’s rude to ask your guests to take off their shoes when entering your house. In some countries, like Japan for instance, that is the custom. So whenever I am there, I do not get offended being asked to remove my shoes. In Manila, however, this is not the case.

Still, if this is a decision of the owners of the house, I respect that. I just won’t accept an invitation to go to their house anymore.

I really don’t understand why some people will build a house in Manila and ask their guests to take off their shoes! Are they worried about their flooring getting scratched? Then, use flooring that won’t!

Are they worried about the flooring being dirtied? As a friend just said, there are household helps to clean the floors as often as necessary.

I think it is more of the former, that these people do not want their floors, wooden or marble or whatever, to get scratched. Still, imagine inviting 50 people and having them take off their shoes! That’s kind of hard! 

Renna Angeles holds several top executive positions like the vice-chairman and treasurer of Concepcion Industrial Corp. She also finds time for laudable advocacies, like Child Protection Network, where she is a member of the Board of Trustees, and Chosen Children. Of course, there must be some time for travelling with husband Ed and close friends.


NO, says Kim Atienza


It’s not. In fact, in some countries—Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavian countries in the West; Japan, Korea, Turkey in the East—it is customary to ask your guests to take off their shoes before they enter the house. In fact, it is even considered a major faux pas in these places to wear shoes indoors. In Sweden, too, some schools require their students to take off their shoes in the classroom. And here in Manila, I have been to a few dinners were shoes were not allowed.

Guests will not be offended if you ask them the proper way. One way to do it is to put really nice slippers in a place by the door where they could easily be spotted. Then greet your guests wearing the same slippers and they will get the message, for sure.

This is really the best way to do this—by setting an example. If you are for barefooting around your home, greet guests without shoes or slippers on.

You do realise, of course, the host’s responsibility if he imposes the bare-feet rule in his house. He must make sure his floors are squeaky clean. Nothing can be a bigger turnoff than seeing a host with dirty soles! 

Kim Atienza is a popular face on television, hosting shows and segments that deal with animals, the environment, and the weather. The celebrity status also makes him a sought-after product endorser.

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