'Interesting' Woolworths shopping behaviour shocks US expat

An American-Australian TikTok personality has called out an "interesting" shopping behaviour she noticed at her local Woolworths.

TikTok user @sophiainsydney posted a 29 second video to TikTok on Thursday.

The TikTok, which has racked up over 470,000 views, describes the US expat’s ‘culture shock’ in observing that some people do their groceries without wearing shoes.

The video, shows a montage of several people walking barefoot around a Sydney Woolworths and features writing on the screen which says: “Masks mandatory, shoes optional”.

Photos of people shopping barefoot. Source TikTok/@sophiainsydney
The TikToker couldn't believe what she was seeing. Source TikTok/@sophiainsydney

The TikToker’s voiceover details her observation.

“This was a really quick trip to Woolies and I think it’s really interesting that people don’t wear shoes,” she says.

“I know it’s a really Aussie thing. I’m sure people do this in Hawaii but they definitely don’t do this in LA.

“Some people’s soles are completely black.

“I’m not hating, this is just a culture shock."

The video has already earned over 60,000 likes, 3,183 comments and 1,525 shares.

While many people in the comments are suggesting that barefoot shopping is a "Queensland behaviour", the poster has confirmed on her channel that she is located in Sydney.

Aussies react to American ‘culture shock’

The viral TikTok has received mixed reactions from other users in the comments section.

Many comments are in support of barefoot shopping, and educating the original poster that Australians, especially those near coastal areas, often go out in public without shoes.

“Australia is an island just like Hawaii as you said,” wrote one person.

“This is our culture especially if you live near the beach,” said another.

“We’ve lost our Earth connection from wearing shoes,” wrote a third.

Left: Woolworths logo at entrance. Right: Barefoot people with dirty feet, text overlay reads 'black soles'. Source: Getty Images (left), TikTok/@sophiainsydney (right).
The TikToker was left wondering why Aussies aren't concerned about getting their feet dirty. Source: Getty Images (left), TikTok/@sophiainsydney (right).

Many other users have chimed in confirming that they prefer to leave their shoes at home.

However, not all viewers were impressed to see how many people were shoeless in the LA native's video, sharing their own experiences of the phenomenon.

“As someone who stacks shelves in a supermarket, you should always wear shoes - the amount of glass we break ... and it doesn’t always get cleaned up properly,” said one person.

“I work at Woolies and the amount of people who have urinated on the floor should encourage you to wear shoes,” commented another.

“I’ve learned my lesson - I jumped out of the car barefoot once and I stood straight in vomit,” wrote a third.

Other users have shared similar experiences, with some pointing out that being barefoot in public is a personal choice.

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Different cultures share barefoot traditions in comments

The video also sparked a discussion in the comment section about which cultures prefer to go barefoot.

“I’m Aboriginal and my whole family don’t really wear shoes because of our culture,” commented one TikTok user.

“A part of Aboriginal culture is to not wear shoes, my husband is Aboriginal and only wears shoes when he is at work,” added another user.

Those from overseas have also joined in on the discussion.

“Wearing no shoes is totally normal in New Zealand,” wrote another.

“Yep in New Zealand no one wears shoes where I’m from,” commented another.

“Arabic and Indian culture also do this, and us women put a special necklace on our leg that makes sounds when we walk,” said a third.

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