Get All Access for $5/mo

Zappos Puts Its Foot Down on 'Shoeperstitous' Internet Trends The online shoe giant surveyed 2,000 Americans to debunk viral shoe theories that may be bad for business.

By Jonathan Small

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Have you heard of "The Shoe Theory?" Us, either.

But there is a superstition gaining momentum on social media that gifting shoes to your significant other will ultimately cause them to kick you to the curb.

#Shoetheory popped up on TikTok around Christmas last year and is based on an old legend that shoe gifts are bad luck gifts.

As TikTok user @DiscoSexGuru told Slate earlier this year: "You give someone a pair of shoes, and you're inviting them to walk out of your life."

She claimed that after giving her partner a pair of Merrell Gore-Tex sneakers, they decided to leave their home in New York City and move back to their hometown.

As bizarre and irrational as these beliefs sound, The Shoe Theory and other so-called "shoeperstitions" are not going away. Some Deinfluencers are even walking the walk, encouraging their followers not to buy shoes for their partners or suffer terrible misfortune.

@taylor.castroo #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #fy #shoetheory #xmas #ex ♬ original sound - <3

Related: TikTok Video Goes Viral After Starbucks 'Surprise Me' Trend Goes Wrong

Zappos responds

Perhaps concerned that such theories might be bad for business, online shoe retailer Zappos has decided to stride into the controversy. They recently conducted a nationwide of 2,000 people about superstitions, myths, and social media trends about shoes.

After all, isn't the business maxim to walk a mile in your customer's shoes?

The so-called Shoeperstitions Report hopes to separate fact from fiction.

"On any given day – at least according to TikTok – you may find your relationship in peril because your significant other gifted you a new pair of shoes," Zappos said in a press release. "The next day, skinny jeans could be deemed unfashionable, or a 'known theory' that red nails will lead you to romance suddenly piques your interest. Who's to say what's actually believable these days?"

Putting The Shoe Theory to the test

Amazingly, 32% of people surveyed by Zappos said that TikTok influenced their decision not to gift their partner shoes. But, in perhaps better news for Zappos and humanity, the majority of people (73.5%) said the gift of shoes positively impacted their relationship.

That's not to say people don't have other strange shoeperstitions. For example, 59% of men said they have a go-to pair of sneakers for extra luck, and 46% of women said their luckiest shoes were sneakers.

Some other shoesperstitions do people believe?

Most people buy into the theory that when you throw a pair of Vans, they always land right-side up. In fact, 75% of those believers say they've tried it out for themselves.

Nearly 20% of Millennials believe storing shoes upside down is bad luck, so you might want to keep your feet on the ground.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

Apple Reportedly Isn't Paying OpenAI to Use ChatGPT in iPhones

The next big iPhone update brings ChatGPT directly to Apple devices.

Business News

Sony Pictures Entertainment Purchases Struggling, Cult-Favorite Movie Theater Chain

Alamo Drafthouse originally emerged from bankruptcy in June 2021.


Are Your Business's Local Listings Accurate and Up-to-Date? Here Are the Consequences You Could Face If Not.

Why accurate local listings are crucial for business success — and how to avoid the pitfalls of outdated information.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Money & Finance

Day Traders Often Ignore This One Topic At Their Peril

Boring things — like taxes — can sometimes be highly profitable.


Want to Be More Productive Than Ever? Treat Your Personal Life Like a Work Project.

It pays to emphasize efficiency and efficacy when managing personal time.