My grandma grew up poor, like they didn't have any shoes.
She always made sure that I wore shoes because not wearing shoes was "poor" and it was kind of a thing with her.
It turned me into, as I've heard it called elsewhere, a soft-paw. A person who has to pick their way through the concrete for fear of stepping on a pebble. Also, HOT!
But, yeah, it's a thing. You get called redneck, or hillbilly, or whatnot for not having shoes. O.o