I recently got some new shoes. I think they are pretty nice. It got me thinking, though, about what shoes really mean, you know?
Apparently there is this belief out there that you can judge a man by his shoes. I came across this at Well-Read Hostess, who says "you can tell everything you need to know about a man by his shoes". She acknowledges that this is preposterous, but others take it seriously. HERE is a video on how to judge a man by his shoes, that I actually feel dumber for having watched. And HERE is an entire book about it.
Seriously people? Did the makers of this video and this book do a controlled study, where they randomly sampled men from the population, did detailed personality tests on them, then specified within which margin of error predictions can be made about personality based on shoes? I sorta doubt it. So what do these "experts" base their judgments on, then? I'll tell you: they made it up. It was completely pulled out of their ass. And if there are people who actually make important decisions about who to date based on information that someone pulled out of thin air in order to sell books, well...I won't judge those people without further data.
Here is an insider perspective from a real live man. Many men - I would even say most - don't put that much thought into their shoes. Maybe there are guys who spend hours agonizing over which pair of shoes will best express the nuances of their personality. But you can't tell if any given guy is one of them based only on his shoes.
Here is an example. Let's say you notice that a guy has really nice shoes. Here are just a few possibilities: A) He put a lot of thought into choosing his shoes. He cares a lot about his appearance; he is style conscious, thoughtful and organized. If you got to know him, you would probably like him. B) He is a shallow materialistic prick who chose the most expensive shoes with a brand name he recognized from a "how to judge a man by his shoes" video. If you got to know him, you probably wouldn't like him. C) He put no thought into buying his shoes, just chose the closest decent-looking pair in his price range, and that was that. His shoes are completely uncorrelated with his personality. If you got to know him, you may or may not like him.
A and B cancel each other out. C gives you no information. Overall, the shoes tell you nothing.
Oh, and hey, I have three pairs of shoes. Does my entire personality change every time I switch from my gym shoes to my sandals?