This Asian Tradition About Shoes Actually Makes Perfect Sense
If you’ve ever been invited into a Filipino house, chances are they have asked you to remove your shoes before entering their home. A common practice with Japanese and Filipinos, this tradition of taking off your outdoor shoes before entering someone else’s house makes perfect sense. It’s a practice that we should all consider doing in our homes, not just for our guests but also with ourselves and everyone who lives in the same household.
Bringing your outdoor shoes inside also means you’re bringing dirt in your house. If you think about it, it’s actually an obvious fact that many of us fail to recognize. We wear our shoes everywhere, from the sidewalk, mall floors, to outdoor parks, and we bring all of the dirt from those places into our homes (especially our carpets) through our shoes.
This is why it is ideal for you to leave your shoes near your home’s foyer or have a shoe closet neat the house’s main door. The farther your shoe storage is in your home means the more dirt you let in. While shoe storages are usually found in one’s bedroom or walk-in closet, one should take into consideration that home slippers are a must. If your shoes are just too valuable to leave near the front door, leave a shoe tray near the foyer and leave outdoor shoes there, switch to home slippers, and carry your outdoor shoes to their proper storage area. Plus points if you wipe your shoes clean before storing them back.
If you’re a homeowner that often entertains, always consider your guests’ comfort. If you have guests remove their shoes, make that your floors are clean and free of debris that can hurt them. Also provide shoe tray so that your guests’ shoes aren’t just scattered in your foyer. Also, provide home slippers for your guests like how the Japanese would have you do. However, if you’re hosting a formal dinner at home, let your guests wear their shoes and just clean up the floor the morning after. If you’re a guest, always ask the homeowner if they are comfortable with letting you in with your outside shoes in their home.
If you want to be more traditional, you can even go barefoot. According to Chinese reflexology, walking barefoot is actually good for you. Walking barefoot allows your feet to breathe and stretch freely after a day of being confined in shoes.
This Asian tradition of removing shoes before entering one’s house does raise a lot of valid points, be it for comfort or sanitation purposes. So please, before you enter any home remove your outdoor shoes.
Written by Patricia Herbolario