Why Do White People Wear Shoes in the House? – Need to Know

Sock in the house – fine; shoes in the house – why?

Characters are walking around the house with their shoes on in Hollywood movies – a common scenario indeed. Surely you have seen that at least once in any movie? Have you ever thought  – why?

Or perhaps you went to your white friend’s house and got back with a new experience of wearing shoes, leading you to wonder why white people wear shoes in the house? 

To some, wearing shoes in the house is absolutely a no-no. There are many reasons behind their aversion to wearing shoes inside the house, including personal hygiene, preference, cultural influence, etc.

Then what makes white people different from them? Why are they cool with wearing shoes inside their house? Let’s find out.

Why do white people wear shoes in the house?

Why do white people wear shoes in the house

Seeing white people wearing shoes in the house might come as a shock to some. But there are many reasons why they do so.

1. Fast-paced lifestyle

White people lead a very swift life. They don’t like to waste their time on trivial things. As a result, they find it easy and efficient to wear shoes in the house. Putting in the shoes and taking them off seems like an unappealing idea.

2. Clean Surroundings

Most of the cities in America and Europe are usually mud-free. 

The streets and the pavements are pretty clean, so they don’t have to worry about a dirty pair of shoes. Therefore, they just walk into the house with their shoes on. You might see slight changes in rural or semi-urban areas where they have to work on the farm or walk in the mud.

3. Weather Condition

Many of the American cities and most of the European cities are cold. So the habitants keep their shoes on to keep them warm. They don’t want to get their feet cold by taking it off and don’t want their guests to suffer such a fate. Therefore, they just welcome the warmth of the shoes.

4. Culture

When it gets down to it, wearing shoes indoors is a cultural phenomenon. In Asian culture, taking off shoes while indoors has a different overtone than the Western culture. White people don’t think much of wearing shoes in the house, while Asians might raise a brow.

5. Comfort

White people are very particular about their comfort and freedom, especially when it comes to their clothes. They might consider taking shoes on and off too much of a bother. Therefore, they don’t bother with changing their shoes. 

6. Personal Choice

Most people worldwide seem to have gotten the idea that all white people wear their shoes in the house because of TV shows or movies. However, it is not true. In fact, wearing shoes in the house is a personal choice. Some like wearing shoes in the house and some don’t.

7. Preferred Cleaning Method

The method they choose to clean their house has a lot to do with wearing shoes inside the house.

Most Americans prefer vacuuming their house. For this, they don’t fuss about wearing shoes inside the house because they know that the house will be cleaned in no time.

You might be familiar with the scene of a white person suddenly vacuuming their home because they are bored and has nothing better to do.

8. Living With Pets

Most white people own pets, and we all can agree that they love their pets. While some people train their pets to do their deeds in private, some just let their pets loose. Therefore, they wear their shoes at home as the floor has a lot going on.

9. Floor Design

The interior of modern houses doesn’t use carpet as much nowadays. Therefore, walking in the house without something on the feet hurts. And during the winter days, it’s like walking on an ice rink without carpets. So, some people just keep the shoes on inside the house.

10. Socio-Economic Conditioning

In European countries, as they own big houses, the upper class and the middle class don’t bother with themselves or their guests to take their shoes off. Even if the house gets dirty, they have to help hands to make it spotless again.

So, these are the most common reasons for “why do Western people wear shoes indoors?” this question.

Why Is It Important To Wear Shoes In The House?

Why Is It Important To Wear Shoes In The House

Now, “why do non-Asians wear shoes in the house?” is not a mystery to you. Even if you don’t wear shoes, wearing slippers or other footwear in the house is essential. Because:

  • There are many places outside which might get you infected if you are not careful. Many viruses, bacteria might cause foot diseases that can be contagious. So, if you are not careful, you can infect others or get infected by others. That’s why it’s important to wear footwear in the house.
  • Walking barefoot for a long time on a hard surface might cause your feet to hurt or even collapse as there is nothing to support your arch, which leads to a lot of stress on your feet and your whole body.
  • If you have flatfeet, walking barefoot might aggravate the situation for you.

In case, you need a recommendation for the best house shoes, the table below will be helpful for you:

Why Don’t The Japanese Wear Shoes In Their House?

Why Don't The Japanese Wear Shoes In Their House

The Japanese use a special mat to cover their floor called the tatami mat.

This type of mat has a thick base of straw and exquisitely woven rush, which has a cloth border.

These mats need special care to clean, and the Japanese use these to sit and eat on them. Tatami mats don’t even allow slippers. This is why the Japanese are careful about not getting them dirty.

Additionally, they use futons to sleep on the floor; therefore, keeping the house clean is essential.

Usually, the Japanese are very meticulous about cleanliness. Their homes are designed with an entryway called genkan specially designed to put on and take off shoes.

Why don’t the Chinese wear shoes in the house?

Why don't the Chinese wear shoes in the house

Most Asian cultures don’t allow shoes in their houses, and the Chinese are no different.

Geographically, China and Japan are close to each other, so one can get influenced by the other. In China, they remove their shoes, believing that wearing outdoor shoes indoors will bring them bad luck. Well, if you consider being ill because of the dirt and germs that outdoor shoes can bring for you, it is bad luck.

Moreover, the Chinese houses are said to be clean but not as clean as the Japanese houses.

So, they wear indoor slippers and provide a pair for their guests. There is also the matter of the cold floor. The Chinese take their outdoor shoes off but put a pair of slippers on or other indoor footwear to avoid freezing their feet.

Why Are Asians So Particular About Not Wearing Shoes In Their House?

In most Asian cultures, the floor is used for various activities such as eating, sleeping, gossiping, etc. Therefore, keeping the house clean is a necessity. They don’t want the dirt, germs, or bacteria in their home environment. Thus, they are particular about not wearing shoes in their house.

Should You Wear Shoes In Your House?

That depends on you. If you feel comfortable wearing shoes inside the house and find it a hassle to put on and take off shoes every time you leave the house, you can wear them.

However, if you like the feeling of cleanliness, you can keep a pair of indoor footwear.


  • Do all white people wear shoes in their house?

No. Due to the entertainment industry, it has become common for others to think that all white people wear their shoes inside their house. But it is not true. It is, in fact, a matter of personal choice and preference.

  • Why do white people wear shoes on the couch?

Some whites don’t find it unnatural or unhygienic. Firstly, some people like and find it comfortable wearing shoes in the house. Secondly, some think they have furniture for a purpose. So if they don’t use the floor for sitting, anything goes. Lastly, some wear a different pair of indoor shoes. 

  • Should I keep my shoes on or off while visiting a white person’s house?

That entirely depends on the person whose house you are visiting. If they prefer taking the shoes off, you should. And if they don’t mind the shoes, you can just go in. But it is always better to ask to be on the safe side.

  • Do white people wear the same pair of shoes indoors and outdoors?

Some do, but others keep a different pair of indoor shoes.

  • Why don’t Asians wear shoes in the house?

Mainly because they don’t use their floors for something other than walking. Therefore, they think that everything’s fine as long as their feet are on the floor.

  • Is it bad to wear shoes in the house?

Well, that entirely depends on the individual’s preference and culture. Some cultures think wearing shoes in the house is bad or unhygienic, while some don’t. The same thing goes for an individual; it depends on their preference.

Take Away

Some white people wear their shoes in the house, some don’t. While Western culture doesn’t bother with shoes, Asian culture is the opposite. But when it gets down to it, it just depends on the individual. So, why do white people wear shoes in the house? Well, now you know!

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