To grippee sock or not to grippee sock?

I have a mat for shoes by the door, and would like to encourage the shoes-off thing. It really cuts dirt and cleaning time. (I can get away with more vac/less swiffer).
I’ve put disposable spa slippers in the NO column due to expense and the environment.
So I’m trying to decide between 1) cheap bulk hospital-type grippee socks that might last a couple washes, 2) fancier grippee socks that are washable and should last awhile, and 3) actual slide on slippers (low end but cost more than socks) that are also washable.
I think the guests are more likely to take or discard the hospital socks, so I’m leaning against those. However, I’d be bummed (and take a $ hit) if they took the nicer socks or slippers. So if they’re going to take them anyway, I’d go bulk/cheap.
I’m making myself nuts trying to triangulate between responsible/reusable, and cost effectiveness if a certain % are going to end up in guest suitcases.
Is it rude to put up a little sign “Please leave the slippers/socks, so they can be washed for the next guest.”?

I would go with slide on slippers. I can’t put on socks while I am standing up and I’m not alone in this.

Please don’t forget to put no shoes in the house in your rules. I avoid places where I have to take off my shoes. I would be upset to be told on arrival that the house has a no shoes rule.


Thanks Ellen, I didn’t think about sock difficulty, that is a really good point. The no shoes is encouraged (by a mat being by the door with a little pointer sign that says “Shoes”), not required. Very typical in NY apartments when I visit friends/family, and I think not a bad idea for a small space with no entryway or foyer, which I would like to import here.
I also thought the slippers would “soften” (ha a little punny there) the no shoes noodge.
I too find it irritating to go to a house for a dinner party or something and the host or hostess insists on me removing my shoes because of their white carpet or their rug rat kid, or whatever.

If you have ever visited Japan, you know that shoes inside a home are a huge no no. At my son’s dorm there is a 200 yen fine for walking inside with shoes on!! At my little guest inn in Kyoto, you took off your shoes and either carried them up to your room or placed them in the little cubbies they by the door.

They DID provide these slippers to guests…However, I didn’t take them. I either traversed the lobby to my room in sox or in bare feet.

It’s about dirt I think. They don’t seem to care about suitcases scuffing the floors (or dorm chairs, hahah) but shoes??? NEVER! See the guest shoes they provide lined up? Optional. The small inner foyer is for shoe removal and they provide a bench so you don’t have to stand and do it.


Because Hawaii has a large Japanese-American population, a lot of us follow suit and have signs that say

“Mahalo for Removing your Shoes” at the front door.

You might be able to find such a sign on Amazon or Esty.


I put in my house rules that I suggest that guests simply bring slippers. The idea of walking through halls where people have walked through streets filled with urine, feces, dirt and mold makes me terrified. And no, just because you do not see the things does not mean that the surfaces of the streets and such are clean.

In many countries culturally it is seen as rude to wear shoes inside a home, so you would be best to avoid these if you feel you have to wear shoes at all times.

As someone who has a no shoes policy - I wouldn’t want to wear socks that someone else’s feet had been in, even if you told me you’d washed them. I suspect most will feel similar.

I don’t provide slippers but I tell my guests they can walk around in their own socks. I’ve had a few try to wear flip flops (which yes they have worn out in the street) but I will request that they don’t if I see it. It’s never been an issue.

I agree no shoes indoors really cuts down on cleaning particularly on carpeted floors that cannot be easily shampooed clean.

I don’t mind following the dictates of another culture when I’m in their country. I refuse to take off my shoes in the U.S. where it is not the cultural norm.

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According to quora the list of countries best to avoid if you don’t want to take off your shoes includes:

  • Belarus
  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Sweden
  • Ukraine
  • Hawaii and Alaska
  • most middle eastern countries
  • most south and East Asian Countries
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It IS the cultural norm in the US, at least in the Northeast. Where do you live?

That is very close to the note I have on my basket of slippers provided.
I provide about 15 assorted sizes of slippers.
I ask the guests to “Please put any used slippers on the door mat Thank You” And they do for the most part. They appreciate the slippers and don’t seem offended by the note.
My place is a house at ski resort so can be drafty on the feet. Also the slippers are handy for the 15 foot walk to the hot tub outside.
I found the slippers were easier to wash than I expected. Just toss them in the washer dryer. After 10 washes they still look new.
I never thought of people taking them and you are right.
Going to have to add - count the slippers before and after to my check list…

Thanks slipper basket with multiple sizes is a great idea. Psychologically it gives guests a choice rather than assigining them someone else’s previously used slippers

I live in Los Angeles, CA. I’ve lived here all my life so I’m aware of the cultural norms here. Shoes off in the house is not one of them.

I would have to agree. It’s not the norm in California. I also grew up (mostly) there.

It’s relatively normal here in South Florida because of the large boating community. People take off their footwear when going onto yachts and the practise has carried over to going into apartments/houses.

Strange. I am in the northeast as well and I have never been asked to take off my shoes. I have lived here most of my life, so, maybe we simply have different kinds of friends? Of course, in the winter, one takes off snow or mud covered boots, but shoes? Not the norm for me.

And Norway. 20202020

I don’t have a no shoes policy but thinking of introducing it. The number of guests that don’t seem to know how to use a doormat is incredible to me (same with coasters). I provide slippers for guests, washable ones with the grippee sole. If guests are too fussy to wear them because they don’t believe they’re clean, I couldn’t care less. They can bring their own or walk around in their socks or go barefoot spreading their verucca infections everywhere… yikes. I say go for some sturdy washable ones. Unless you’re a super high-end place, nobody is going to think they’re freebies.

I’m sure you know this already but verrucas are spread in wet conditions like in the bathroom. You know, the place where everyone goes barefoot.