Does anyone know of a source for the practice of not walking around indoors without shoes? (I am seeking an actual source, not speculation)

  • 3
    Never heard of this before. I know you're not looking for speculation, but there's some speculation here.
    – Fred
    Jul 29, 2016 at 17:54
  • 2
    – Double AA
    Jul 29, 2016 at 18:03
  • 3
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya Jay.
    – mevaqesh
    Jul 29, 2016 at 20:35
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    Again without a source (sorry) my family has a custom not to walk around in socks as it is a sign of mourning.
    – sol
    Aug 1, 2016 at 20:48
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    Probably not relevant. In a shiur on tumah, it was taught that one should have a special pair of shoes dedicated for their home or beis knesset that can be touched without requiring netilyat yadayim; tumah comes from outside the home. I wanna say Rabbi Moshe Feinstein has comment on wearing/not wearing shoes inside the home. Again, I'll try and source later B'N.
    – Re'eh
    Nov 1, 2016 at 14:14

3 Answers 3


As recorded in this Chabad article, walking barefoot is a sign of mourning, and we try to avoid signs of death as much as humanly possible.

In this article, quoted by Gershon Gold, there's a practical reason: it's easier to walk with shoes on.

  • 1
    Is wearing crocs also a sign or mourning?
    – Double AA
    Aug 3, 2016 at 3:55
  • That could possibly be a nafka minah between the two answers. Considering that they're mutar for Tishah B'Av and Aveilim, perhaps yes, they would be, but I agree that's a huge chiddush.
    – DonielF
    Aug 3, 2016 at 14:04

I lived for a while in a very strict Chassidic community. Walking around indoors without shoes was seen as an extremely serious offence, even when done with socks and stockings, and on a thick carpet.

The reason was that without shoes, one could be negatively affected by the ground's klipos.

  • Thanks for answering. I also got the sense that it's more of a Chassidic thing, but I never heard this interesting explanation before. Did they ever happen to mention a source to you - I guess it would be a kabbalistic work - that gives this reason for the minhag? An authoritative source would be greatly appreciated.
    – Jay
    Dec 1, 2016 at 17:32

Mesechta Shabbos 129a, Pesachim 112a. One should sell their property for shoes so not to walk barefoot.

Rashi in Shabbos states, there is nothing more disgraceful than walking barefoot.

RAMA 2:6 states this is the halacha, forbidden to walk barefoot.

100% forbidden to dress inappropriately in a shul which includes not wearing socks (even if you have shoes on), and other things like shorts, etc.

Mishna Berurah 2:14 says that if you are in an Arab country where it is normal not to wear shoes than it is permitted. Stressing here ARAB countries.

Maaseh Avrohom (circa 1860 or so) quotes the Chesed L'Avrohom (master of Kabalah in both ARIZAL and Cordovo, circa 1600 or so), states that shouldn't walk barefoot because there is a ruach raah (evil spirit) on the ground connected to the snake from the Gan Eden times. However this doesn't apply to Eretz Yisroel when it is ruled by Jews (I am not getting into if this is those times now....too controversial for me).

I hope I gave enough sources with my explanations to satisfy the needs. Have a great Shabbos

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