Waleed Aly attacks “white Australians” who insist on walking around barefoot.
Channel Ten’s The Project devoted a segment on Thursday evening to its panelists debating this “disconcerting” and “wild” habit.
The discussion was sparked by international tourists posting videos on TikTok questioning why Australians go barefoot when going out to restaurants, supermarkets and bars.
Even Australian actor Chris Hemsworth is regularly spotted on the streets of Byron Bay without shoes.
Aly sided with the tourists, admitting that even he was baffled as to why Australians opted to go barefoot when going out.
“Every once in a while I learn something about Australia that reminds me how not white I am,” he said.
Project host Waleed Aly (pictured) attacks ‘white’ Australians walking around barefoot
“Take off your shoes…it seems to me that white Australians wear bare feet in the street, then wear shoes at home.”
Comedian and co-host Kate Langbroek quickly chimed in: “Can I also point out that black Australians didn’t wear shoes!”
“But that’s a very different scenario,” Aly replied.
“Yes, but that’s one thing,” Langbroek said.
Aly maintained that it was “a completely different thing.”
Comedian and co-host Nick Cody joked that it should be socially acceptable for people near the beach.
“I think no shoes now, you need to be able to see the beach,” he said.
“If you can see the ocean, you’re good to go.”
Foreigners visiting Australia have been perplexed by the habit.
Many have posted videos on social media asking why Australians prefer not to wear shoes.
The segment was sparked by a series of TikTok videos posted by tourists questioning why Australians weren’t wearing shoes.
British expat Robyn Turner, who lives in Melbourne, said it took her “off guard” and surprised her in a video she posted online in January.
“It shocked me. In the UK, you’ll never catch someone not barefoot on a beach,” she said.
Another British expat, radio presenter Jordana Grace, described the habit as “disgusting and savage” in a clip.
Italian tourist Sofia Saccone described it as one of the things that shocked her in Australia in a video she posted in August.
“Everyone really likes to go out without their shoes on,” she said.
“You don’t know why, I don’t know why – they just do that.
“They want to go shopping, you’re going to find a lot of people without their shoes. On the bus, without shoes,” Ms. Saccone recalls.
“And they’re not crazy – they’re just like regular people like me.”
Panellists discussed the habit, with Aly (pictured left with co-host Sarah Harris) left perplexed while comedian Nick Cody joked that it should be OK if you’re “able to see the beach”.