Hawaiian customs to follow

These are called “slippers” not “flip-flops” in Hawaii. Know the local language.

Newcomers to Hawaii should take note that we “locals” in Hawaii require everybody to remove their footwear at the entrance of every home.

It is disrespectful and rude to walk inside with your shoes on. Filthy!

You are expected to walk barefoot inside the house.

With this in mind, we usually wear footwear that are easy to slip off and on at the door. Don’t wear shoes that need to be laced up.

Get used to it, folks. This custom is here to stay.


In Hawaii, most companies observe “Aloha Friday,” when office workers can and should wear Aloha or Hawaiian clothing every Friday.

Local men wear their Aloha shirt hanging outside their pants. Local men don’t tuck in their Aloha shirt.

If you are an attorney, then you must wear a business suit in court. It’s mandatory.

Other than attorneys, men rarely wear suits in Hawaii.

David has not worn a suit since 2004, when he wore one to Maria’s wedding.

Here we are:


If you decide to live in Hawaii, then you really should try to fit in and follow these “local” customs.

If you don’t, then you will stick out like a sore thumb.

I suppose you all can say the same thing about customs in your own town, can’t you?

14 Responses to “Hawaiian customs to follow”

  1. DavidH Says:

    I really think that aloha Friday is every day. When I worked I only wore an Aloha shirt. As far as the shoes, homes tend to be a lot cleaner. I notice shoes are not allowed in many of the shows I watch, especially on carpeting.

  2. Beatrice Says:

    Thanks, Gigi, for explaining about these customs. I agree with removing shoes when entering a home and we do it in our own home, and in some friends’ homes as well, but most people do not.

  3. tomthebackroadstraveller Says:

    …on our many extended stays in Hawaii we try to live as Hawaiians.

  4. Arkansas Patti Says:

    With the removal of shoes at entering a home I can see why slippers are so popular. Interesting customs and if I ever make it to Hawaii, I will be informed. Thanks.

  5. Valerie-Jael Says:

    Thanks for the advice. I don’t let anbody into my place if they don’t remove their shoes – I have slippers in all sizes for guests big and small. And since Covid, all guests have to disinfect their hands! Valerie

  6. Christine Says:

    We take our shoes offbefore entering the home in Canada too!

  7. Doug M Says:

    We never wore shoes in my home either, but that’s because we were hillbillies not fancy Hawaiians! I will have to say though, here in Pa I’ve never seen a man wearing one of those Hawaiian shirts. I’m tempted to get some and start a fashion trend. :^)

  8. Elephant's Child Says:

    Your slippers/flip flops are called thongs in Australia.

  9. Iris Flavia Says:

    Oh? In East Germany you also left the shoes outside because especially in winter they got dirty as “over there” they had the heating on with coal and the snow was dark from that. You didn´t want black coal inside.
    Here in “West-Germany” it is odd to take your shoes off!
    My East German friends at first always asked what to do! On, off?
    (We live just above the cellar, so especially in winter you will want to wear warm shoes).

    Aloha Friday-look is just wonderful!

    Oh, I am SO with you!!!! Fit in! I really think it is disrespectful for Muslim women to dress up so much so you can only see their eyes. Not only kids get scared of that Niqab.
    Ingo once even saw woman driving a car like that! Dangerous!

    So, sadly, no. I cannot say the same for Germany.
    On the contrary – most, some… Muslim men and also women give you a nasty eye when you run around in summer in German summer clothes. Or bump into you on purpose, do not serve you… call you “whore”, happened all to me.
    Not ALL Muslims are like that, but too many.

    No problems with other cultures. And those “other” cultures also learn the German language. Or at least speak English.

  10. Linda Reeder Says:

    No shoes in the house has been a problem for me. I don’t ever go barefoot because of foot problems. I do adjust if I must. Here at home we have inside shoes and outside shoes.

  11. AC Says:

    Canadians mostly do the shoe-at-the-door thing too although it is not exactly a stated norm. In fact, I am not sure that we used to do it but is something that we have tended to do more and more over time.

  12. Nancy Chan Says:

    We call them slippers too. Over here, we too take off our shoes or slippers before entering any house. When I was working, civil servants were encouraged to wear batik on Fridays. Men don’t tuck in their batik shirts.

  13. marmeladegypsy Says:

    These are lovely customs, Gigi. We’re negligent here on taking off our shoes inside. Doing so makes for a cleaner house!

  14. DJan Says:

    I also have inside shoes and slippers for indoors, and don’t like to have “cooties” and dirt from outside in the house, so it works out well! I have Crocs for inside and I can wear a pair of socks underneath if it’s really cold (like now). 🙂

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