Hi Cheeseoff, Sorry that you took offence to our request to not come in with dirty boots. This is because we are a food shop and need to maintain a tidy appearance and hygiene standards. The problem that day was that when wet, there is a white dust (particular to a very local worksite) that turns to concrete and is very hard to shift from our floor. You and your colleagues have been asked before to please be aware of your dirty boots and maybe our reaction was more confrontational because of this. We had already that morning had to re clean and mop after a customer visit earlier that day and previously have had to replace our foot mats.
Just so you know this request is not specific to builders - we have also asked children wearing muddy rugby boots, runners with muddy running shoes, anyone wearing gum boots, to remove their shoes before coming in. And there are several customers who don't need asking and have the courtesy to remove their boots or shoes before they come in. It is in fact very common in Christchurch to see notices in shop doorways with this request.
As far a crocs go, we know they are hardly stylish but they are very practical in that they can be cleaned easily - in fact ours are cleaned daily and are only worn at work. Crocs are actually standard industry foot wear in many food production businesses.
Not really sure about the comment about affording better shoes, except I'm pretty sure that a tradies hourly rate is most probably double what anyone including the owners earn at the cheeseshop earns.