Thousands of Australians are going without proper footwear all across the country.
From a random sampling, an estimated 10% of the population performs daily activities, such as grocery shopping or walking to work, without any form of shoe on whatsoever.
The cause of this strange behavior was initially said to be from a widespread shoe shortage in Australia, but after closer investigation into countless shop inventories, it was clear to see otherwise.
Now, sources say this going barefoot behavior could be linked to the beach culture, or more recently to the movement that going barefoot is just a healthier and more natural option.
“Shoes? We don’t need no stinkin’ shoes!” exclaims Running Barefoot, a website dedicated to the benefits of running without shoes.
The website’s founder, Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton, states, “Rather than depending on shoes, soft surfaces, or pain-killing drugs, to block the pain of clumsy running, it is important to take personal responsibility for learning to run better, more gently, efficiently, and gracefully.”
Even though Barefoot Ken Bob has a point, skeptics have a hard time swallowing the sanitary and safety conditions of walking down the street without footwear.
With numerous pitfalls plaguing sidewalks today, such as broken glass, used bubble gum, bugs, spit and other bodily fluids, feet can easily become filthy, injured or even infected just from a quick stroll to the shops.
“There’s a reason people take their shoes off when entering their home,” states Brooke from Brooke vs. the World. “So, what will these barefoot people do? Hose off their feet each time before walking indoors?”
For foreigners like Brooke, the sight of these free foot individuals in Australia has been quite the shock.
“I come from a ‘no shirt, no shoes, no service’ kind of culture, so when I see so many people in establishments without shoes, it is very surprising to me.”
Two working holiday visa makers from London commented on the situation by explaining how they thought these people were homeless at first because of their lack of footwear.
“It seems very strange to us. We just don’t get it.”