Different countries have cultural nuances that may be considered foreign. From Brazilians offering house guests showers to Spanish siestas, every country has its quirks. For Sofia Webb, Australia is no different.

The Latina of Chilean origins relocated to Australia and has been documenting her life on TikTok. One such video covered one cultural habit Australians possess: walking barefoot in public.

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In the video, she gives a quick overview of how it’s natural for people in Australia to walk about in public sans shoes, given the influence of the Aboriginal culture and community. However, Webb acknowledges that folks in Latin America will find this nuance odd.

Webb’s video showed all the people she encountered who were walking barefoot

The TikToker opens her video by citing how walking barefoot in Australia is seen as “cool” and normal. Webb notes that while this is the norm, in Latina America, this can be seen as something the “poor” do. 

Showing her bare feet, she continues in her video, “Look, here I am without shoes, and I am going to show you all the people I find with no shoes while I am on my way to my friend’s house by bus.” 

Webb proceeds to document seven people she ran into who had been walking around barefoot. In a separate and earlier video, Webb responds to a question from a follower asking why Australians do this.

“Hello, how are you?! Look, I am going to explain this to you [as it was told to me] from some of my closest sources,” she begins. “My dad is Australian, and I am going to tell you the story of my family.”

She details the story of her more formal father and his more casual brother. Her father would be all dressed up for school, but his more relaxed brother would go barefoot.

Webb explains how the habit of walking barefoot has ties to Australia’s Aboriginal culture

The Chilean native notes that because of Australia’s mixed background, many cultural nuances can be traced to the different influences they are embedded with.

“No one would say this was weird because it was part of the culture for years in Australia. In fact, many schoolchildren are made to run barefoot during physical education,” Webb continues in her video. 

@sofiwebb

Replying to @Jimena Chile insta: sofiwebb

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She adds, “Why? Because Australia has an incredibly mixed cultural background and it also has a lot of Aboriginal influence. [A] culture that would always walk through the desert barefoot.” 

“Why? One, because you get closer to Earth; and two, it’s alleged that it helps against dehydration. Third, and obviously, because they walk around barefoot, they have thicker skin on their feet, so they don’t feel anything,” the Latina TikToker explains.

Webb also cites that if walking barefoot in public isn’t something you’ve done before, it will be painful. Noting that it’s not done just anywhere — there’s a time and a place for it.

“I’ve done it when I don’t feel like wearing shoes and because it’s hot,” she asserts.

The internet had questions about this practice, with many concerned about stepping on bugs and dirt

Many people were concerned about the possibility of stepping on something they shouldn’t. Others commented about the health concerns that could occur.

“The fungus, the bacteria, the dirt? Wow,” a user commented.

One person asked, “And the country doesn’t smell like feet??” 

To which another responded, “That doesn’t make sense, feet don’t smell, what smells is the accumulated sweat in shoes, also they are being aired out, almost nothing smells when theres air.”

Others seemed concerned about losing a toe to an escalator. “Not wearing shoes at all is crazy but losing a toe on that escalator bye.”

Some noted how there are too many bugs in Australia for them to feel comfortable doing so.

“[I] wouldn’t do this (especially in Australia) just because of the fear of stepping on a tarantula or something like that,” one user shared.

While another quipped, “Walking in Australia without shoes is for the brave.”