What Do Your Shoes Say About Your Personality?

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
February 10, 2014 Updated: June 22, 2015

Here’s a fun look at what your shoes might say about you.

Of course, no one should be judged solely on his or her shoes, but a study published in the Journal of Research in Personality in 2012 showed that 90 percent of your personality may be communicated by your choice of footwear.

About 200 volunteers filled out surveys about their personalities and had their most commonly worn footwear photographed. A group of about 60 people were shown the pictures and were able to accurately guess many of the wearers’ personality traits. 

Here are some characteristics associated with shoe types, drawn from the University of Kansas and Wellesley College research and some fashion publications.


Men and Women: 

First, we’ll look at types of footwear that apply to both men and women, then we’ll look more closely at men’s and women’s footwear.


Colorful Sneakers

Image of running shoes via Shutterstock

-Emotionally stable, less prone to attachment anxiety (fear of separation from loved ones, dependency). 

-You might expect people with colorful sneakers to be more extroverted, but that’s not necessarily so, the researchers found. Fun-looking shoes do not mean a fun personality.



-Standoffish, introverted, agreeable, conscientious, according to the study.

-Huffington Post Style says they signal “A kid at heart who doesn’t take himself too seriously.”

Image of high-tops via Shutterstock



-Some stereotypes were off the mark, the University of Kansas researchers found. People with high-fashion shoes are not necessary less agreeable, more conscientious, or more likely to be Republican.

-People with brand-new, well-kept shoes tend to be worried about relationships and may be prone attachment anxiety. Wearers tend to worry more about appearance and what others think of them.

High-fashion men’s shoe via Shutterstock



-Extroverted, emotionally stable.
-Not new but well-kept can mean the wearer is conscientious.

Shoes image via Shutterstock



-Trouble forming relationships, aloof, repressive. Wearers do not care what others think of them.

Image of plain-looking running shoes via Shutterstock


Biker-Style Boots

-According to Million Looks fashion website: reserved, egocentric, lack of trust in people and a preference to do things oneself, smart, sensitive.


-Ankle boots tend to be worn by aggressive people, the study found.

Image of boots via Shutterstock