Can You Judge A Person By Their Shoes?

marie claire

It turns out the old saying “you can’t judge a person by their shoes” may actually be inaccurate.

A new survey published in the Journal of Research in Personality found most people can correctly guess a stranger’s personality type just by looking at their shoes.

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The study asked 63 participants to examine the style, cost, colour and condition of 208 pairs of shoes and attribute them with personality traits such as “extrovert or introvert, liberal or conservative and the degree of their emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness,” with most participants able to correctly guess the strangers' temperament.

"Shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers," said the study’s authors. "Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as nonverbal cues with symbolic messages. People tend to pay attention to the shoes they and others wear."

As it turns out, those addicted to a Christian Louboutin heel equivalent were pegged as high earners, while flashy and colourful footwear “belonged to extroverts” and shoes that were well kept belonged to “conscientious types”.

“Practical and functional shoes generally belong to agreeable people, ankle boots fit with more aggressive personalities and uncomfortable looking shoes were worn by calm personalities,” said the study.

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Meanwhile, those addicted to shoe shopping (Carrie Bradshaw anyone?) were found to have “attachment anxiety” because they tended to worry about their appearance and “what others may think of them”.

Do you think the results of this survey are correct? Can you really judge a person by their shoes?

Pictured: Blake Lively with Christian Louboutin. Top and bottom image by Getty Images.

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