We usually associate removing shoes before entering the home as a Japanese custom. Actually, the practice is found throughout Asia.
It is also a sign of respect both family and visitors must take off their shoes when entering the house. It is symbolic of leaving the world outside. In removing your shoes, your body lets your mind and spirit know that you are transitioning from work and other concerns to the sanctuary of your home.
Shoe outside a Laotian house. The Laotian community settled in Putnam County FL in the late 1970's after the Vietnam War ended.