A video showing numerous Australians walking barefoot in public has captured widespread attention online. Shared by the X handle @CensoredMen, the video features both men and women navigating the streets without shoes, including a man walking his dog barefoot. The caption accompanying the video asked, “Is this a normal thing in Australia?” 

Since its posting on May 14, the video has amassed 6.5 million views and elicited a range of reactions. Some social media users highlighted the health benefits of walking barefoot, while others found it embarrassing. 

The Barefoot Trend in Australia

In Australia, it is not uncommon to see people walking barefoot on the streets while performing daily tasks. This practice, which has recently gained attention through a viral video on social media, highlights a cultural norm shared by many Australians and New Zealanders. 


According to The New York Times, it is typical for people to go barefoot for everyday activities, such as grocery shopping or visiting a pub. 

Writer Seth Kugel observed this trend during his visit to New Zealand in 2012, noting that, “People walk around barefoot. On the street. In supermarkets. All over. It’s not everyone, but it’s a significant enough minority to be quite striking and a bit disconcerting. Sure, city sidewalks are clean. But they’re still city sidewalks.”

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Benefits and Scepticism

The barefoot practice is also embraced by schoolchildren in Perth, where some schools have adopted a “shoes optional” policy. Educators argue that going barefoot helps improve posture, enhances sensory awareness, and strengthens the feet and body. However, some podiatrists remain doubtful about these purported benefits. 

The Australian cricket team also made headlines in 2019 by walking barefoot around the pitch during a tour in England, claiming it allowed them to absorb “positive energy coming out of the earth“. While the exact origins of this trend are unclear, it is often linked to Indigenous traditions or simply a preference for comfort.

Internet Reactions

Reactions to the barefoot trend in Australia have been mixed. Many Australians and individuals familiar with the country confirmed the practice, attributing it to the cleanliness of Australian streets. One commenter noted, “It’s good for your feet, legs, and circulation and we don’t have broken glass or nails lying on the ground. It’s a clean country“. 

Another added, “Yeah, I’m an Australian and this is actually rather normal in Australia. A third user added, “Filming 100 metres away from the beach and being surprised by people not wearing shoes is crazy. Yes, this is normal”. Another user simply stated, “Yes, and it’s embarrassing“. This phenomenon isn’t limited to Australia.

In February 2022, a TikTok video from the US showing people walking barefoot in various conditions, including snow, parking lots, puddles, and crosswalks, went viral. A netizen, who has lived in both Australia and the USA, remarked, “Only people from dirty or cold places think this is weird. Australia is WAY cleaner than the USA in comparison (I’ve lived in both for a long time) I happily walked barefoot in Australia, I wouldn’t do the same in the USA“.

Conversely, some people find the idea of walking barefoot unappealing despite the cleanliness. One user commented, “The bottom of your feet, no matter how clean, must still be dirty black by end of day. Feet perspire, it’s just going to happen no matter where you are.

While unusual to some, the barefoot lifestyle in Australia is a well-established practice rooted in cultural and personal preferences. Whether for health benefits, comfort, or cultural reasons, many Australians find walking barefoot to be a natural part of their daily lives. 

Despite some scepticism and differing opinions, this trend remains a distinctive aspect of Australian culture, reflecting a unique approach to casual living and a strong connection to the natural environment.

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: Money Control, WION, Indian Express

Find the blogger: Katyayani Joshi

This post is tagged under: barefoot, trend, viral, video, cleanliness, netizens, casual living, Australia, walking barefoot, culture, USA, Australian culture, natural, daily lives, everyday life 

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, or copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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