What Do Your Shoes Say About You?
The house you live in or the car you drive may say a lot about you, but according to new research, your shoes could actually reveal volumes more.
Researchers at the University of Kansas showed photographs of about 200 pairs of shoes to volunteers, and asked them to determine the wearers’ age, gender, income, political affiliation, emotional and other important personality traits. Their answers were then compared to questionnaires filled out by the people who actually owned the shoes.
The results? Participants were able to accurately guess about 90 percent of the owner’s personal characteristics based only on the shoes that person wore.
There were some obvious associations made — expensive shoes belonged to high earners, while colorful footwear belonged to extroverts — but other, more surprising revelations were found, too.
For example, agreeable people tended to own practical and functional shoes, while uncomfortable-looking shoes were worn by calm personalities and ankle boots were the choice of more aggressive people.
In addition, those most worried about their relationships generally had brand new and well-kept shoes, which researchers say could be because they worry so much about what others think of their appearance.
“Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as nonverbal cues with symbolic messages,” the study authors wrote, adding, “People tend to pay attention to the shoes they and others wear.”