What do your Shoes say About your Personality?

Even if you don’t have a favourite pair, we all wear shoes at some point. Here’s some research that highlights how accurately people can guess your personality just from what you choose to walk in.

I’d like you to think of your favourite pair of shoes for a moment. What image do you think they portray? Well, research undertaken by psychologists in the US suggests that people can accurately read certain aspects of your personality by simply looking at the shoes you are wearing.

The research was undertaken in 2012 and in it, 208 people were asked to guess the personalities of people based on a photograph of their shoes.

The results showed that more agreeable people tended to wear more practical and affordable shoes whilst those with pointy and branded/expensive shoes were likely to be less agreeable.

In addition people who were needy were more likely to have shoes that looked brand new or were always clean – and this makes sense doesn’t it as you can image them always wanting to look their best and impress others.

A couple of additional insights were that bright, colourful shoes didn’t necessarily mean an extroverted, outgoing personality and also that it was very difficult to guess someone’s politics by their shoe choice.

Let’s remember one thing though – the best way of finding what someone else is really like is to speak to them. Let’s not go round the world looking at someone saying “Well, I’m not going to speak to them because they’ve got pointy shoes!”

See you next week.


Gillath, Omri, et al. “Shoes as a source of first impressions.” Journal of Research in Personality 46.4 (2012): 423-430.





About the Author:

Jonathan Bradshaw presents and trains internationally on the fascinating psychology powering exceptional interpersonal communication. He is Founder of the Meetology® Lab and leads the company’s team of behavioral psychologists in collating and sharing cutting-edge research on exceptional people skills. As an experienced and engaging keynote speaker Jon has presented at conferences and business events in over 30 countries and is an award-winning columnist and blogger. Learn more about him speaking at your next event via www.meetology.com or connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.