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Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Muddy Boots Mucking Up Church Service

DEAR MISS MANNERS: This may be a silly question, but I’ll ask regardless: What is the protocol for wearing rain boots?

Our church parking lot can become muddy, and it makes sense to me to wear boots to combat the muck, but doesn’t make sense to wear the mucky boots inside. I’ve often seen children wear their rain boots all throughout the service, and have seen the mess they cause on the floor. Are you supposed to change shoes at the door, then carry your boots the rest of the service?

GENTLE READER: And how many sets of footprints would that make? This feels like a parable -- and if so, Miss Manners is likely out of her depth.

However, she suggests that you consult the parish -- not just to answer the footprint question, but to see if something can be put in the church newsletter about bringing a change of shoes on rainy days. And providing a boot tray for dirtied boots. That is What Miss Manners Would Do.