I have been wondering about that for a long time. I know it is custom for Russian people to take their shoes off at home but try to tell that to a little American boy and he ain't having it!! My boys will be able to go to and fro the inside to the outside as much as they want and if it gives the wifey a heart attack so be it!!
Obviously, you're not married to a Russian wife.
It's not just in Russia that you get this. There are many other countries as well.
If you go to a lot of countries in various parts of Asia then you'll come across the same thing. Japan, Thailand, South Korea, India and Pakistan to my personal knowledge. I would guess that it is pretty common among many other countries in the region as well.
Also, the few Canadians I know tend to follow this as well. If those on this forum are different I'd be interested to hear their experiences.
It really doesn't happen in the UK, USA or Australia but I do believe that it is more prevalent in the nordic countries - although I have no personal experience, maybe Ade could enlighten us?
Talking to a couple of my Asian friends - for the benefit of non-Brits, when we talk about 'Asians' we are generally referring to Indians/Pakistanis, rather than Chinese etc that Americans mean - they say that they don't bother when visiting English people because it's not the usual thing to do here.
However, when I've had Asian workmen come into my house, I've seen them doing a sort of double-take when they see the pile of shoes in the hall by the front door and then they remove their boots without saying a word before coming into the house. Although it's not normal in English homes, I guess they do have the cultural awareness to pick up on the clues to realise that they're expected to remove their shoes without having to be asked.