Researchers at the University of Kansas found that people were able to pick a stranger’s age, gender, income and other personality traits just by looking at their footwear.
Lead researcher Omri Gillath found by examining the style, cost, colour and condition of a shoe, participants were able to guess about 90 per cent of the person’s characteristics, Medical Daily reported.
Researchers asked volunteers to fill out a personality questionnaire and provide their most commonly worn shoes. They asked 63 students look at the shoes and guess the age, gender, social status and different personality traits like if the person was an introvert or extrovert and their emotional stability.
Observers did well in all categories, leading researchers to believe that people wear footwear that reflects their personality, whether they intend to or not.
Some clues were obvious – expensive shoes belonged to high earners, bold, colourful footwear was worn by extroverted types.
However, others were more surprising – practical pieces belonged to agreeable people, ankle boots have more aggressive owners and uncomfortable looking shoes were worn by calm personalities.
“Shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers,” the authors wrote in the Journal of Research in Personality.
“Shoes have a practical purpose and also serve as non-verbal cue with symbolic messages. people tend to pay attention to the shoe they and others wear.”