Why Europeans do not take off their shoes at home: 3 reasons and 3 exceptions

Why Europeans don't take off their shoes at home: 3 reasons and 3 exceptions

The traditions associated with changing street shoes to indoor shoes occupy the minds of mankind so much that analysts from the Reddit service even compiled a map showing in which countries it is customary to change shoes and in which they are not. It turned out that most of the world's population takes off their shoes at the entrance to the dwelling – this is what Russians, Canadians, Chinese and Indians do. But in the USA, Australia, South America and Western Europe, houses usually do not take off their shoes. Why did the Europeans choose the second option, and does everyone adhere to it?

Reason number 1: warm climate

Walking around the house in outdoor shoes is the norm for those countries where there is not much snow and it does not rain too often. What is the point of changing shoes if the street is warm and dry all year round, and there is no mud and slush under your feet? Therefore, the same shoes for home and street are most often used by carefree southerners – Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese.

Reason number 3: cleanliness inside

In their homes and apartments, Europeans clean up frequently and thoroughly: for example, two-thirds of the French clean up even when dirt is not visible, and 80% of them use useful gadgets and household chemicals to keep clean. To prevent this process from taking too much time and effort, the floors are covered with tiles or other easily washable materials.

The first exception, geographical

In the countries of Northern and Eastern Europe, where dank autumn and snowy winter are commonplace, street shoes are still removed, especially in rural areas. In the Netherlands, Ireland and Greece, the choice is left to the host: it is he who decides whether to allow guests to walk around the house in street shoes or not.

The second exception, territorial

Those who live in two-story houses usually they don’t change their shoes on the ground floor, where the kitchen and living room are located, and the floor is not carpeted, but tile. But on the second floor, in the bedrooms, they use slippers or go barefoot.

The third exception, hygienic

Europeans take off their shoes at the entrance if there are small children, elderly people or allergies in the house: the former actively explore the surrounding space and often taste objects from the floor, the second is hard to clean often, and the third is contraindicated in dust and other allergens that can be brought from the street.

What else to read on the topic

  • Why don't Americans take off their shoes at home?
  • Why Europeans don't put fences in front of their houses: 5 simple reasons
  • Why is it not customary in the US and Europe to leave apartments or houses as inheritances to children?

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