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What Do Your Shoes Say About Your Personality?

Renuka Savant Feb 29, 2020
In a world where it's inappropriate to judge people on the basis of their race, class, sex, skin tone, nationality, financial or social standing, intellectual prowess and all that tosh, along comes a study telling us that it's actually a person's shoes that hold the key to their inner self. Here's what they found out...
Your soles are the window to your soul... Sorry... You are what your shoes are. Okay, apologies again. Try as one might, it's really hard to shield the mind from the frivolity of judging a person's true nature on the basis of their footgear. Of course, nothing gives a human more happiness than being mindlessly judgmental. And what could be better than starting feet first?
There's nothing wrong with being judgmental, really. We can happily spend our lives doing it. Hey, there are some who earn their meat doing it. So when we stumble upon a theory based on a similar line of thought, it does snag some precious attention. Let's get straight to the point, then?
People at the University of Kansas wanted to embark upon a mission to demystify the human tendency to size each other up. Apparently, the fine art of being scathingly superfluous begins at the feet.
So it only made fabulous sense to start judging people on the basis of what they wear on their feet. The results threw up some very delightful insights on every subject's personality. If you care to know, this is how they went through with it.

About the Research...

63 people viewed 208 photographs of different people wearing, what else but different shoes. The viewers were asked to describe the wearer's gender (really, now!), age and social status on the basis of the shoes they wore.
Further, they were also asked to guess whether the wearers were liberal or conservative, extrovert or introvert, their emotional stability and other such exacting details. This is what they had to say:
♦ Amiable people were observed to have a penchant for comfort when it came to picking shoes.
♦ Ankle boot wearers were seen as dominating.
♦ Those having issues with attachment in relationships had a thing for new and neat shoes.
♦ Scruffy footwear was mostly found on the feet of free spirits.
♦ People who wore "boring" shoes had trouble with their relationships, hardly caring about what people thought of them.
♦ And the winner: Uncomfortable footwear was found on the feet of calm personalities.
A pat on the back for those of you who've avoided surreptitiously looking at their neighbor's feet immediately after reading this. For those of you looking at your own footwear, or better, at your colleague/roomie/friend's footgear right now, help's at hand.
What follows is a mere interpretation of the above-mentioned research. This visual guide is tailor-made for those who can't discern their Huaraches from Hush Puppies, but still want to revel in the joys of judging.
A word of caution, though - it's hard to be fair while being judgmental, and it's no fun either. This is a strictly tongue-in-cheek look at things, so please keep a pinch of salt handy.

When Shoes Speak...

Let's Get High!

Need a shortcut to nirvana, ladies? Put these on, quick. While these may look super scary to some, the research noted that the wearers of visibly "uncomfortable" shoes fall into the cool and collected category.
And why not? They endure painful calves, hammertoes, bunions, tendinitis and bucketfuls of sorrow and yet manage to keep that Buddha-esque exterior intact. Leather cutting into your little toe? Smile. Ankles can't take the pressure? Relax. When confidence, happiness and good ol' pleasure is at stake, who cares about trivialities like these?

You're in vertiginous heels, so continue with the charade.

Look at Me!

It's a Louboutin alright, and for the uninitiated, this isn't just a shoe. She's got a name too, you know. It's New Decoltissimo. Women pay a cool $625 for these babies, and what does that make them?
According to the research, they are flashy, extroverts and not to mention, loaded (duh!). But seriously, don't we often see young women bending over backwards to get their well-manicured hands on shoes like these?
The likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna may have these served on a platter, but for a regular babe-to-be, it may mean debts or starving, even. One can only wonder if we're ever going to stop associating women's empowerment with what they choose to adorn their feet with.

I'm Sensible

To some, this pair of shoes may appear simple and functional; to others, it may look like a vital part of an elaborately coordinated attempt at color blocking.
The research duly associated pop colors with equally vibrant personalities. But does it end there? It would have, if all things concerned with the human psyche were so simple.
If this pair is a vintage, it could be expensive, even worse if it happens to carry a designer's tag, which would make the wearer...

... flashy, extrovert and rich, not to mention a shoe shopaholic.

So, So Comfy

Sneakers indicate comfort. They also say that the wearer is trendy and stylish. May be a college kid or thereabouts. We've gone beyond looking at trainers with their use limited in the athletic arena. Wearing sneakers in the context of this research could have several connotations.
It could mean that you value comfort over fashion - that puts you in the affable lot. Your shoes could be seen as "boring" by some, and God forbid if you've kept them spanking clean, so that makes you someone with intimacy issues.

Or perhaps, you could possibly, may be, just the tiniest bit be a borderline supporter of sweatshops and child labor?

The Free Spirit

Hippies of the world, rejoice! For once they have been understood for what they are, and who would've imagined their footwear to do the job for them?
Liberal people were observed to favor economical (read: cheap) footwear, for they are the ones who see footwear for what it is. No handmade Ferragamos for them, not even if they can afford them. They steadfastly refuse to pander to societal diktats by "dressing up" to make someone else happy, putting fun before fashion.
A move that's seen as liberating by them can just as easily be labeled tasteless by a harrowed fashionista, so there.

Indicators of Trouble

And finally, the logic-defying observation. Pretty adornments on your feet are indicators of your insecurity, apparently.
The research says that you dress up your peds in an effort to spruce up your public persona, as a mask to hide your inner demons.
Lemons to it, then.
Seriously, did anyone even think that choosing shoes could be an extremely personal thing? That it may make the wearer happy? Or comfortable? Or just plain indifferent?
But no. We can do what we can, but scrutinizing people is something that is ingrained in the human DNA to a nasty extent. And as long as we shall live, we will be subjected to analysis. For every person who nods his head in agreement with this analysis, there will be tons of others who will dismiss this as utterly preposterous.
So, which side are you on?