I scratch my head sometimes over the concern folks have over the finishes on the floor. The discussion has come up before about removing shoes in homes, but in my neck of the woods, to ask guests to remove shoes would be a huge breach of ettiquette. Seriously, we just don't do that around here. I don't know anyone who takes off their shoes when going to someone's home, unless the weather is messy or they have been working in the garden, etc. If someone had on stiletto heels or had muddy shoes, I'd make the request, but I'd still feel funny doing it.
I have heart pine floors that were installed in 1913 probably from locally grown and milled yellow longleaf pine. I have rugs in places, but not everywhere. I don't know what the finish is, maybe shellac. I doubt I will ever refinish them because I love the soft patina and color. My personal view is that if you have created a finish so delicate that it has to be babied, or can't be walked on, it shouldn't be on a floor.
Floors are meant to be walked on. In fact, my great-grandparents used to host parties and dances in this house. They would move all the furniture from the center hall/living room and roll up the carpets. Mamoo played the guitar and Papoo played the fiddle. They even called square dances in this room. I admit that I don't exactly know what the floor looks like in this particular room, because it is the only room that has carpet--and maybe that's the reason it has carpet
, but I think it's a cool story. The carpet will remain until we finish other things in the room, then we'll find out what condition that floor is in. The floors in the rest of the house are in fine condition after almost 100 years and 5 generations (6 generations if you count my great-nieces who have visited, but never lived here).
I take care of my things and don't abuse them, but I'd rather live in the house than treat it like a museum. As to the pets, I love animals and I would not want to ever live in a home without a pet. I haven't owned a dog in a long time, so I can't say what their claws do to floors, but my cats, even when having crazy fits, have done no noticeable damage to my floors, other than to move the rugs around when engaging in their shenanigans.
The old workshop over my parents' garage has an unfinished wood floor. I love that floor. It is worn and smooth, despite all the mess and work that went on in there for decades--or maybe because of it!