You probably didn’t even realize it, but your choice of footwear goes beyond your sense of style; they reveal so much more and send out all sorts of signals about who you really are. But don’t just take our word for it, trust the science that reveals that you can, in fact, judge a book by its cover – or in this case, judge a person by their shoes.
There have been numerous studies over the years on the correlation between shoes and wearer’s personality. One of the most interesting ones is a 2012 study published in the Journal of Research of Personality that says you can judge 90% of a stranger’s personal characteristics just by looking at their shoes. In fact, a group of 63 participants was able to accurately determine a person’s age, gender, income, and even attachment anxiety based solely on pictures of people wearing their shoes!
Before you disagree that this is even possible, think about every shoe you’ve ever owned. Which one is your favorite? Which one will you be wearing later? Hold on to that thought and let’s walk through what studies have revealed specific shoes say about the people who wear them:
Practical shoes = Agreeable people
It makes perfect sense – practical shoes mean practical people. People who wear shoes more for their function rather than for fashion are no fuss folks.
Expensive shoes = High income
This comes to no surprise; high-income earners can afford to buy the pricey pairs. And they will probably do so to keep up appearances with their equally high-earning circle of friends and because they associate price tags with luxury.
Ankle boots = Assertive personalities
Did you know that just wearing a pair of ankle boots or high-tops, you’re giving off an assertive, sometimes the non-crowd pleaser vibe?
Uncomfortable shoes = Calm personalities
Even this revelation came as a surprise to us. But then the more we thought about it, the more it made sense. Anyone who has ever seen what women go through to wear a pair of stilettos all night or confidently wear 5-inch heels would understand. Only those who are calm, composed, and controlled can pull it off.
Brand new or immaculately well-kept shoes = Emotional Independence
We assumed that people who take impeccable care of their shoes are just conscientious. It turns out they have high levels of emotional independence or attachment anxiety and may seek the assurance of others to calm these feelings.
Colorful shoes = Extroverts
It’s fair to say that people who sport really loud, super colorful and bright shoes aren’t the shy type. They know their shoes are going to catch attention and that’s probably exactly the point. They use their shoes as a conversation starter.
Scuffed/Less Expensive shoes = Liberal thinkers
When your mind is free, and soul is open, you could care less about wearing the trendiest shoes or whatever the kids are wearing these days. You’ve got far more important things to worry about – like fighting for your cause.
Do you suddenly want to rethink what shoes you’re going to wear today because of the message they might send to people who don’t know you? Do you think the science is accurate? Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes and let’s see if we can guess who you are!