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.

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By Jonathan Small

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 Staff

Editor in Chief of Green Entrepreneur

Jonathan Small is editor-in-chief of Green Entrepreneur, a vertical from Entrepreneur Media focused on the intersection of sustainability and business. He is also an award-winning journalist, producer, and podcast host of the upcoming True Crime series, Dirty Money, and Write About Now podcasts. Jonathan is the founder of Strike Fire Productions, a premium podcast production company. He had held editing positions at Glamour, Stuff, Fitness, and Twist Magazines. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, and Good Housekeeping. Previously, Jonathan served as VP of Content for the GSN (the Game Show Network), where he produced original digital video series.

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