Shoe Theory: Why Gifting Your Partner Shoes Could Spell The End Of Your Relationship

Shoe Theory: Why Gifting Your Partner Shoes Could Spell The End Of Your Relationship

If you gifted your significant other new shoes for Christmas, TikTokers think you should be on the lookout for an impending breakup thanks to the viral “shoe theory.”

In a now viral TikTok video, user Angela Chan says her mum always warned her from a young age about gifting shoes due to superstition. “If you gift someone a pair of shoes, they will eventually walk out on you,” she said of the shoe theory. According to Chan, the superstition has roots in the fact the Chinese word for ‘shoes’ sounds similar to the word for ‘bad luck’ or ‘evil.’

Many TikTok users took to the comments of Chan’s video to share their thoughts on the shoe theory, with some concerned about their Christmas gifts being a bad omen for their relationship. Others said they had also heard of the superstition, and had a workaround – to give a token amount of money back as if ‘buying’ the shoes off your partner to ward off the consequences.

The shoe theory trend first began last Christmas, with over 32.9 million views on the hashtag on TikTok – many of the videos associated with the trend are of users sharing their experience buying partners shoes, only to break up soon after. One user on another video by Hillary Wichlin, who even tested the theory after her mother insisted her breakups were being caused in part by buying them shoes, said that gifting watches to a significant other also didn’t bode well for the relationship. “We have this in the UK about watches, because it ‘puts time on your relationship,’” they said.

Shoes and watches aren’t the only gifts surrounded by superstition when it comes to relationships (and connections with other loved ones) – gifting umbrellas is also seen as a sign the gift giver feels their relationship with the recipient has fallen apart in Chinese culture.

While there’s plenty of taboo gifts in different cultures with bad omens attached to them, many TikTok users said the shoe theory wasn’t all it’s cut out to be, with many relationships going strong even after multiple years of gifting pairs of shoes. As with any relationship theory, take it with a grain of salt – it’s likely that those new Doc Martens or Nikes aren’t the final nail in the coffin of a relationship that may well have other issues bubbling under the surface.

However, as Chan says in her video on the shoe theory, if you’re wanting someone out of your life and don’t know how to start the process, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to get them some new kicks, just in case.

Lead Image Credit: Andrii Shablovskyi for iStock

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