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Why Do Indians Wear Shoes? Isn’t It Stupid?

By on Jul 27, 2011 | 11 comments

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Wearing formal shoes is a sign of ‘being educated’ & being ‘sophisticated’. Wearing shoes is a sign of being smart and being ‘up to date’. My Gym warns me every time that if I don’t wear ‘dedicated gym shoes’, I won’t be allowed to enter the gym floor. I remember when I traveled to Kolkata years ago, I wasn’t allowed to enter a hotel because I wasn’t wearing shoes (I’m not making this up!).vWhen I was in school, my teachers warned me that if I don’t wear shoes, I’ll not be able to enter the classroom.

Smelly Shoes

Smelly Shoes - Stupid!

I remember when I was kid, I hated wearing shoes. I’m quite sure, you too hated shoes. Wearing shoes required me to pack my shoes with socks and then stuff them in airtight shoes. Shoes made me feel terribly uncomfortable. But I couldn’t escape. So I’d enter class and then take the shoes off. I remember I wasn’t the only one in my class who did the same.

…over a period of time I got used to wearing shoes.

But now I realize that it’s just a mindless copying of the west. Thanks to 200+ years of British rule, that we’ve been conditioned to wear shoes. The worst part is, we don’t realize that it’s stupidity. Instead, we spend thousands and thousands on buying shoes. We convince ourselves that shoes protect our feet.

People in Europe need shoes – because they have cold weather. There’s snowfall in most of the areas and wearing shoes makes perfect sense. But in India at least 90% of the region is ‘hot’. Then how do ‘shoes’ make sense in India? I mean, we first wear socks and then pack our feet in shoes – leaving them to sweat inside. I bet you have at least a colleague or friend who wears smelly shoes and makes it easier for you to be around him/her.

Why don’t we just adopt sandals or Chappals? Tell me the practical difficulties in using them and abandoning shoes?

PS: Lot of ladies footwear is mostly chappals & sandals. If ladies can comfortably use sandals and chappals everywhere including offices, why can’t all of us? Why can’t we abandon shoes? Wearing shoes, is STUPID!


  1. Amy

    July 27, 2011

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    hahhah you are right. But I only realized this stupidity after reading this and not before that. But that’s mainly since I am a girl and I didn’t wear shoes at all. I just hate wearing shoes. But one advantage of shoes in Nagpur’s searing heat: your feet are all covered and you don’t allow sun to tan them.  🙂 At leat girls in Nagpur do this for this reason.

    • The Big K

      July 28, 2011

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      Not just Nagpur. Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and 90% of India is ‘hot’. By hot, I mean temperatures exceeding 27 degrees. Tanning is for those who’re whites – not for Indians and 99% of Indians are brown!

  2. Sahithi Pallavi

    August 9, 2011

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    Nice 🙂  Almost everyone hate wearing shoes I guess. You said right, Ladies wear chappals and sandals, they are too convenient.  But you know these days, the same ladies wear socks inside their sandals to protect themselves from this huge pollution and from the Tann. Lot of ladies do this.

  3. Nancy gupta

    September 2, 2011

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    you’re point of view is so ryt  . . .
    i jst googled dt hw cn i escape wearing shoes in skul
    and came across ur blog
    i jst dn’t like wearing shoes wid skul uniform
    it don’t go good with skirts
    more over Delhi is still frekin’ hot
    waiting 4 winters when i rili wud feel f9 2 wear shoes

  4. Prasad

    September 3, 2011

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    hmm … I have been wearing chappals to office for the past two years. Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to work in places that focuses on outcomes rather than what footwear people are wearing 😉

    Although, I don’t quite buy your argument against shoes. I wear sport shoes not because its mandated, but I find them more comfortable than chappals (the bouncy feel of a good sports shoe, it literally puts a spring in your step!)

  5. Anoop Mathew

    September 26, 2011

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    What we need in India is someone to say that, “You are an Indian, you are Educated and you have a Brain…So please use COMMON-SENSE”. I appreciate you Big K for such an open fire on the society and on the structure in which India runs. Aren’t we ashamed of ourselves?

  6. Pankaj

    January 17, 2012

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    More power to you for bringing this up. I would *LOVE* to be part of a society/profession where wearing chappals and sandals is okay in professional settings. Want to start an organization promoting use of chappals over shoes? That could be name of that non-profit as well; CoS for chappals over shoes.

    • The Big K

      January 18, 2012

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      I’m already on my way to growing a company that will promote use of Indian wear in offices.

  7. Binu

    June 18, 2012

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    Even we can accept the shoes. but wearing Coat and tie is very very idiotic in India. They even feel uneasy to wear,but for status they are wearing it.

  8. Mahendra Sharma

    July 12, 2015

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    It depends upon person to person I wear sports shoes for around more than 12 hours and no problem I m having my wife also does the same thing shoes are good

  9. Rashmi Singh

    August 7, 2015

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    I wear complete shoes and socks all the 12 months and I m completely satisfied with them and I do this because my family doctor has advised this some times it gets a bit too much sweaty but I m okk

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