The Guidebook to Shoes and Personality

Beth Anne - Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

People tell you not to judge a book by its cover. I do anyway. Call me superficial, call me hypercritical, but don’t try to deny secretly doing the same. I believe that the cover of a book can say a lot about what is inside. In the same way, I believe a person’s choice of foot attire speaks volumes about their personality. I always find examples to be useful in the divulgence of ultimate truths, so here goes my attempt to trace podiatry to a pragmatic fact.

The Guidebook to Shoes and Personality:

Running Shoes: First, the obvious. A wearer of running shoes will generally be a participant in sports, health conscious, or simply physically active. There are two subgroups to the running shoe genre.

The Worn and Tattered:

Or, referred to by the old-sneaker lover, “broken in”. Like the aerator holes in their sneaks, these people need room to breathe and are generally stubborn to change. They enjoy routine, take a while to get comfortable in new atmospheres, and refuse to give up until absolutely necessary.

Sneakers with a Side of Class:

New Balance, for example. A variety of colors make the New Balance wearer feel different. With the same basic shape and comfort of old sneakers, these people enjoy a sense of fashion superiority.

The Flat Fad:

More recently, girls have been compromising comfortable footwear for the cutesy petite look of ballet flats. Let me let you in on the unspoken truth about flats. No matter how “comfortable” you may claim they are, you will end the day with blisters. Flat wearers are easily deceived. They are drawn in by outward appearances; feign that life is ok, while persevering in silent suffering. Ultimately, a band-aid may do the trick, but the pain of poor judgment lingers for at least a few days.

Heels: Blessing of the short, bane of the tall.

Heels hurt. Girls are self-conscious. Height equals success. Really, it’s all very simple. Comfort is compromised for the chance to have a few hours from the point of view of someone “normal.” In the end, the stature is never worth the discomfort. Although you are always reaffirmed that you can’t change who you are, short girls never give up the opportunity to try. Unless the alternative is a pair of cute flats.

Converse: The official sneaker of all those artsy, generally a sign of musical involvement. How beat up your Chuck’s are measures how long you have been on the in-crowd in the drama department, on road or on tour, or working on a new album. Clean Chucks are for posers. Dirty Chucks are the real deal.

Work Boots: This person is probably involved in someway with manual labor. They work hard for their money, and most likely wish they were employed doing something else. Beware of profanity and plumbers cracks.

Birkenstocks: Environmental activists, comfort conscious. These people usually enjoy some variation of hiking, outdoors behavior, or simply opt to be one of those “natural” types who refuse to shave. A nice alternative for boys who can’t walk in flip-flops

Flip-Flops: Cheap and inexpensive, flip-flops are the universal footwear. If they aren’t wearing flip-flops, it is for one reason only; they can’t stand the feeling of something between their feet. These people are bothered by little things.

Crocs: Generally a member of the health field. Look for a pairing with scrubs. Practical and efficient, but only aesthetically appealing to other croc wearers.

The list could continue, but I digress. The final point is this. The cover of a book receives special attention because, no matter what, people take it into consideration. Shoes are the same way. So, the next time you come across someone new, put a smile on your face, shake their hand, and take a quick glance at their feet. You may be surprised by what you find.