Where Americans put their feet down on the great shoe debate

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
February 15, 2022, 7:35 PM GMT+0

A recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, titled “Here’s Why I’ll Be Keeping My Shoes on in Your Shoeless Home,” returned a longstanding question to current online debate: When you’re a guest in someone else’s home, is it preferable to remove your shoes, leave them on — or do whatever the host wants you to?

We posed this question to 1,000 U.S. adults and found that most Americans (55%) say they will do whatever their host prefers. The remaining 45% are split: half say they prefer to take their shoes off and half say they prefer to leave them on.

We also asked Americans about their shoe preferences for guests invited into their own homes. When put in the position of hosts, 59% said their guests should do whatever they are most comfortable with. The rest tended to say they preferred guests remove their shoes (24%) rather than leave them on (17%).

See crosstabs and toplines for this poll.

Methodology: This U.S. News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between February 11 and February 14, 2022. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the 2018 American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as 2016 and 2020 Presidential votes (or non-votes). Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3% for the entire sample.

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