Wednesday, May 07, 2008

How To Judge a Person Who Judges People By Their Shoes

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?

15 comments:

Jennifer said...

Mike has seven pairs of shoes. What does this say about him? I'm pretty sure it says he's a woman.

Anonymous said...

I wish you would have added that chapter in the alphabet of manliness.
Which, by the way, your dear Nebraska friend is checking out TOMORROW!

Captain Bee said...

Sir, I have been to Big Daddy Sharwarma (boy, was I wasted), and I thoroughly approve of it. Probably something like 3 years ago, I believe.

well read hostess said...

That kind of depends on whether or not your gym shoes or your sandals are of the non-dorky or the HOLY SHIT THOSE ARE SOME LAME ASS SHOES variety.

heh heh

Phronk said...

Jen: While it completely goes against my whole post, I'm pretty sure you're right.

Anon: OMG, I didn't even know I had a dear Nebraska friend! That's awesome.

Bee: Sweet! I am ashamed to admit that I have never been to any place with "Shawarma" in the name. I'll have to try Big Daddy (or Aladdin, which is a new one on Richmond).

WRH: Hehe, ok maybe there are extreme examples. But even then, maybe someone with really lame shoes got them for a gift, and they're so nice that they gotta wear them to avoid insulting whoever gave them. You never know!

I hope my shoes aren't dorky but I really have no idea. I'd post pictures, but that'd be vain, unmasculine, and the judgments would probably be severe.

Dead Robot said...

Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) had some nice shoes...

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I am soo glad you found WRH. I love when friends, find friends!

Phronk said...

DR: Exactly!

AG: I found WRH through Sarah who found her because she found Sarah through you. Now WRH found me! There's a whole lot of blog friend finding going on.

bunbungirl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KevBo said...

I wrote this a long time ago, but its very much along the same lines

http://washed.ca/blog/2006/04/14/this-key-is-to-your-kingdom-this-key-is-to-your-heart/

Anonymous said...

As you pointed out, it is of course (I say of course because it is obvious to anyone with a three digit IQ) impossible to tell much about a man by his shoes. It is, however, possible to tell a GREAT DEAL about a woman by how she judges a man's shoes. As a matter of fact, I think I'll publish a book about how to size up and manipulate women by wearing different shoes and carefully scrutinizing their reactions. That ought to throw a nice wrench into those evidently very well-researched and statistically valid peer-reviewed studies in COSMO :P

Anonymous said...

P.S. Any woman who judges someone by his shoes is a gold-digger

Anonymous said...

P.P.S. - so this means that she's inherently evil and is fair game to mess with and manipulate her. She's essentially volunteered by behaving that way. Any woman who is pure of heart will be immune to manipulation by shoe-modification strategies. Now isn't that just neat-o!!

Phronk said...

Haha, good idea there Anonymous. I'd buy it. It's a bit evil, sure, but like you said, only hurts people who deserve it. :)

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