Thank you for the question, David. It was coming at the right time because I went to a family party that weekend. So I had the opportunity to ask my whole family about the Hausschuh matter. I already knew my dad’s answer as whenever I am barefoot and not wearing house shoes when it is colder he will say “Wear house shoes or do you want to catch a cold?” or sometimes even “…or do you want a pneumonia?” The answer is not difficult, of course. “Pneumonia? No!” Being houseshoe-brainwashed I will never forget why to wear houseshoes of course. Nevertheless, today and at my home I prefer to wear socks (Sorry, Papa!).
So cold feet is the main reason to wear house slippers. In winter walking barefoot in the flat really makes cold feet and is uncomfortable. But there are two other reasons I know why Germans wear house shoes. Keeping the house clean is another important reason. This is not only for Germany by the way. Right now I am in Japan (hello from here!) and here it is impossible to enter a house with your street shoes. For the bathroom there are extra slippers (don’t take them out of the bathroom!).
Another reason for German houses to wear house shoes would be to prevent a wooden floor such as parquett from wearing.
How about your homes, does anybody else wear house slippers or is it really so strange and exotic?
PS: I was wondering whether Daniel was born in an endotherm species and never wore house slippers. In a chat with him I found out that he was actually asking about those stiff Birkenstock house slippers that many Germans have at home. In winter he wears fluffy warm slippers at home himself.