‘Masks required; shoes optional’: American expat living in Australia is ‘shocked’ after seeing customers shopping barefoot in a supermarket
- An American expat has seen Australians shopping barefoot in a supermarket
- Sophia Kim moved to Down Under from California, Los Angeles in February 2020
- During a quick shop she was surrounded by shoppers with no shoes on
- In her TikTok video, the 29-year-old said: “Masks required; shoes optional’
An American bikini designer living in Sydney has revealed a culture shock she experienced after seeing Australians shopping barefoot in a supermarket.
Sophia Kim, who moved to New South Wales from Los Angeles in February 2020, went on a “quick and short trip” to Woolworths when she saw many customers casually strolling the aisles without their shoes.
While most Aussies consider it perfectly normal to leave their shoes on the water and walk barefoot in public, the habit comes as a surprise to many expats, including Sophia.
In her TikTok video, said the 29-year-old: ‘Masks required; shoes optional.’
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An American bikini designer living in Sydney has revealed a culture shock she experienced after seeing Australians shop barefoot in a supermarket
Sophia Kim (pictured) went on a ‘quick and short trip’ to Woolworths when she saw many customers casually strolling down the aisles without their shoes
‘I find it very interesting that people don’t wear shoes. I know it’s really an Aussie thing, but shoes are optional, rain or shine,” she said.
‘But I don’t hate. This is culture shock.’
During her grocery store, Sophia — who owns swimwear label Siempre Golden — said she even noticed the soles of some shoppers’ feet “all black.”
She added, “I’m sure people do this in Hawaii, but certainly not in LA.”
While most Aussies consider it perfectly normal to ditch their shoes and go barefoot in public, the habit comes as a surprise to many expats, including Sophia.
Her video has since been viewed more than 200,000 times, with many Australians insisting they “never” ran barefoot in public.
“Born and raised Aussie and this has always annoyed me. The number of times my friends have stepped on glass… No pity. Wear shoes,” one woman wrote.
Another said: ‘What a bogan demeanor. Shoes are cheap – it’s no excuse. Plus all the germs,” as someone added, “It’s not a general Aussie thing, it’s mostly a small town, an Aussie thing on the beach. If people were to do this in a suburb or city, they would be looked at strangely.’
And another woman said, ‘As an Australian I don’t approve of this.’
The video shoe shoppers casually walking around a Woolworths store without their shoes on
While other Aussies revealed that they are used to going barefoot in public.
“When you grow up next to the beach, you get used to walking around without shoes. They’re too much of an inconvenience — or slides or no shoes at all,” one wrote.
Another said: ‘Me in the west of Sydney, an hour from the beaches – I’m always barefoot when I just run to the shops’, while one added: ‘I live in Kirrawee, people also walk barefoot here and we’re not that close to the beach.’
And one insisted, “100 percent shoes are optional…I never wear shoes.”
Others explained how the habit usually occurs in people who live near beaches.
‘This is such coastal behaviour, so normal,’ said one, while another added: ‘I live in Cronulla in Sydney. I’d say 50 percent wear shoes in the stores so close to the beach.”