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Shoes say a lot about a person, study finds

Categories: Science & Technology

 Turns out people are quite good at judging people by their shoes. What do your shoes say about you? (iStock)We're told not to judge a book by its cover, but a new study suggests that people are actually quite good at judging people by their shoes.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas, asked one group of participants to submit photographs of the shoes they wear most often.

A separate group of 63 participants was then asked to study the 208 photos and judge a number of factors about their owners.

The researchers found that by examining the style, cost, colour and condition of the shoe, participants were able to guess roughly 90 per cent of the owner's characteristics, including age, gender, income and agreeableness, Medical Daily reported Tuesday.

Lead researcher Omri Gillath and his colleagues found that people tend to wear shoes that reveal their personality, whether or not they're aware of it, the online journal said.

For example, the study, titled "Shoes as a source of first impressions" and published in the August edition of Journal of Research in Personality, showed that:

  • High earners wear expensive shoes.
  • Extroverts tend to own flashy and colourful footwear.
  • Conscientious people own shoes that not new but were spotless.
  • Liberal thinkers tend to wear shabbier and less expensive shoes.
  • Agreeable people wear practical and functional shoes.
  • Aggressive personalities prefer ankle boots.
  • Calm personalities appear to prefer shoes that look uncomfortable.

In conclusion, Gillath and his colleagues found that "shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers."

What does your favourite pair of shoes say about you? Does any of the findings apply to you? And have you ever judged someone by their shoes? If so, share your story below.


(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: POV, Science & Technology, U.S.

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