Hats off! – But not shoes

It is commonplace for people to take off their hats when they are indoors.  Men are required to take their hats off in almost every formal setting, where women are allowed to keep their hats on almost all the time – provided they are fashionable.  Baseball caps? No-go for anyone.  Etiquette for hats can get muddy and complicated though, especially since they’ve fallen out of fashion.

One rule holds fast, however, and that is that shoes stay on your feet in public. The only times it is appropriate to take off your shoes outside of your own home are:

  • The beach
  • Someone else’s home
  • A mosque or other religious house that requires shoeless-ness

At all other times, it is polite, common courtesy, and just plain etiquettely correct to keep your shoes ON.

I was going to wait for a month or so before I introduced this topic to my blog, but I’ve seen far too many foot-pas in the last week alone!  Common places you’ll see people shoeless when they shouldn’t be are:

  • The cinema (Sorry this isn’t your private, home entertainment centre – it just isn’t)
  • The school library (Why!? That place is smelly enough without you freeing your rank socks)
  • Church (Seriously…mostly in the summer, but maybe that’s the worst)
  • Class (The lecture was torture enough; I didn’t need to see your big toe through the hole in your sock)
  • Flute concert (You would think at a concert people wouldn’t, but yet…)

I truly don’t understand why people think it is okay to let their feet breathe when they are in public.  I understand that maybe your feet hurt, maybe they’re sweaty, or maybe you want to relax and you can’t with your shoes on (maybe?), but that is NO reason to remove your footwear.

There are a select few in existence with a foot fetish who may relish the idea of staring at your smelly feet – but I’m not one of them.  Most people are actually extremely uncomfortable with the thought of being near or touching (never mind smelling) a stranger’s foot – socked or not.

It is important to keep others in mind when you are practicing good manners.  Do other people want to see your sweaty sock sticking out from under a table? Probably not.  In fact, it will probably bother a lot of folks.  So, please be considerate and keep your shoes ON in public.

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5 thoughts on “Hats off! – But not shoes

  1. omg foot-pas…love it! adding that to my vocabulary for sure! SO HAPPY you touched on this! When I went to the movies last weekend, the guy in front of us took his shoes off and then had his bare feet (ew he didn’t even wear socks with sneakers GROSS) on the seat in front of him. Like whyyyyyyyy?

  2. I’ve never been a fan of feet. But in the summer, you’re lucky to see sandals betwixt my toes, just too uncomfortable. That said, I don’t think I would pull my shoes off in class or at a theatre.

    • Sometimes barefooted is better in summer. Even when not appropriate, at least your feet are encased in sweaty socks that you’ve just removed from boots seemingly designed to release the stink.

  3. This is definitely worth mentioning. I think it is a truly forgotten manner. Personally, I don’t like it when people take their shoes off, and I don’t like taking mine off – but I didn’t know it was officially bad form.

    • I, personally, believe it is truly bad form. If you are exposing others to something unpleasant, you are being rude. The truly thoughtful think of others and not solely on what makes them comfortable.

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