What our shoes suggest for us



Image: © mh-werbedesign / Fotolia

Is it possible to understand what the person is by his shoes? Researchers have found that we can guess the age, income and even some psychological traits just by seeing the favorite pair of shoes of someone.

In the survey, conducted in Kansas, USA, took part more than 200 people aged 18 to 55 years. They had to send a picture of their favorite shoes that they wear most frequently, then to complete an individual questionnaire. Another group of 63 people then had to inspect the photos and to evaluate the owners of the shoes by different criteria. “The assessors” managed to capture the basic fairly quickly – the polished and branded shoes were properly associated with the existence of more money, the trainers and sneakers were associated with the youth and the scuffed and frayed shoes – with the low income of their owners.

The real surprise was in that, how exactly were assessed the psychological profiles of the people by their shoes – as, for example the degree of anxiety in commitment (sense of anxiety and fear that the close relationship with someone eventually will inevitably end with abandonment). The researchers remained quite surprised because they believed that the answers of the evaluation group would be based only on the maintenance and the types of the footwear. The worn out soles, for example, were associated with the peaceful nature of their owner, while the meticulously maintained shoes supposed that their owner is someone who is overextending with his appearance and therefore it is possible to experience the above-mentioned fear of commitment. The assumptions of the assessors were true in general, but a similar study has its “gray zone” – the worn out footwear may be an indication that the owner is a complete nonchalant fellow, but may also have a low self-esteem.

Therefore, according to the authors of the study “The type of the shoes nevertheless is not always an accurate indicator of the personality.” Of course, this is not the first study that studies the relationship between the appearance of people and their health. A study conducted by the Institute of Business at the University of Newcastle, connects the physical beauty during the youth with a better health and life perspectives (more friends, higher income, better quality of life) at a later stage. Another study suggests that the rounded proportions and overall attractiveness is a sign of health in women (but, it turned out, the same is not true for men).

The study at the University of Kansas shows that our appearance can not only serve as an indicator of the health “on the inside”, but this rule applies even for everything – from head to toe (literally!). The detailed results are published in the edition Journal of Research in Personality.




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