A new study reveals that shoes can be used to judge a stranger’s personality with 90% accuracy.
Researchers at the University of Kansas found that shoes can convey detailed information into a person’s personality such as gender, income, age, political affiliation, and emotional stability.
Study authors explained that shoes can provide nonverbal cues into their wearer’s personality through symbolic messages.
Student researchers judged 208 photographs of participants’ shoes based on style, cost, color, and condition.
Participants were asked to wear their most commonly worn pair and complete a personality survey.
The initial study’s findings were predictable. Results showed that people who wore more expensive shoes had a higher income. Participants who wore shoes with flashier detailing were classified as extroverts.
When it came to specific personality traits, the study found that people who wore more practical and functional shoes were more likely to have an “agreeable” personality. Participants who wore uncomfortable shoes were described to have “calm” personalities.
"Shoes have great variety of styles, brands, looks, and functions. Because of this variety, shoes can carry individual difference information, but do they? We suggest that the answer is yes," study authors reported.
Researchers also found that people who have several pairs of shoes or are conscientious about taking care of their shoes may suffer from “attachment anxiety.”
In regards to politics, liberals were categorized as wearing “shabby and less expensive” shoes.
Study authors believe that some people can also mask their personality behind their shoe choices.