Having lived for many years in Asia I am very accustomed with the practice of removing shoes before entering someone’s home.
In fact I am so used to the habit that it feels strange, even shocking, to see people wearing shoes indoors.
Here in Malaysia it is not uncommon to see the practice extended to shops and offices.
For example, this English tuition centre and the next door laundry shop in Putrajaya both request customers to leave their shoes outside.
Not only does it save their spotlessly clean tiled floors from getting grubby, but it also makes customers feel more relaxed and ‘at home’ when entering the shop.
My dentist is another shoes-off place but the doctor’s clinic, where you would think hygiene is a concern, allows shoes inside.
Supermarkets and malls of course are definitely shoes-on. It would be chaotic to try and monitor the thousands of pairs of shoes and thieves would use the opportunity to upgrade their footwear.
Shoes-off in shops is a quaint practice but it is unlikely to spread far beyond the local dhobi shops.