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I'm visiting Norway on business next week. Our partner company is an engineering firm (metal fabrication, etc) in the northern part of the country. I expect to spend most of the trip in ordinary meeting rooms, though it seems likely that we might tour their production facilities at some point.

It's a mundane question, but I'm wondering which boots to bring (safety boots will certainly be mandatory in production areas). I have some big clumpy orange calf-high boots which will be good in snow and the workshop, but a bit industrial for sitting around the boardroom table. And a more discreet black lace-up pair that would be acceptable for either.

If I'll be wearing boots indoors and out, I'll take the black ones. But getting them on and off at the door is a chore because of the long laces. So if I'm expected to do that, the orange boots (which slip easily on and off) are much more practical, and better anyway for the outside parts. I have a pair of light slip-on indoor shoes I normally bring for work-boots-stay-outside locations. I just don't know whether Norway falls into that category. Any Norwegians able to comment?

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  • Do you have a personal relationship with someone at the partner company who you could ask? Jan 18 '20 at 22:31
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Normally, in mainland Norway (Svalbard is different) you would not be expected to change shoes at the door of a normal office. It would be at your discretion; wear what makes you comfortable.

In a private home however, at least in an informal setting, you would very often take off your outdoor shoes and either walk in your socks or wear clean indoor shoes.

People in Norway tend to dress a lot more casual in many situations than in e.g. the US (I don't know where you are from.). You could send an email to a contact at that Norwegian company and ask what people typically wear (clothes and shoes). This would not be considered weird.

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    Thanks Arne. I've worked before on a Norwegian ship, in a port in Norway with local technicians visiting, so I'm familiar with the sensible, practical approach to dress and plan to wear my company polo shirt rather than anything more formal. The ship, incidentally, did have a strict indoor/outdoor shoes rule, and I know it's the norm at home. I thought perhaps the same might apply at work in the snowy, muddy north. Thanks for clarifying; I'll wear the lace-up boots and expect to keep them on.
    – Traveller
    Jan 19 '20 at 0:13
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I worked for a couple of months in an office at the site of the former Oslo airport, starting in a snowy foggy early March. I don't remember seeing any evidence that anyone was changing their shoes. I certainly wasn't.

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Arne is right. Snowy, muddy or any other forms of shoes are not used inside private houses at all. We wear socks or a type of slipper. Inside a business, shoes that are clean enough can be worn, but you will find mats at the doors or just inside to wipe off excess muck. You will not have to worry about feeling cold even in socks, as all places are heated, both businesses and homes if it is cold outside. I have the same pair of woolen socks made by my grandmother 31 years ago that I take with me, and still wear inside when I go home to Norway. Tusen takk Bestu !! (Thank you very much Grandma)

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