How Life Works

Last Updated: 1/18/2015 14:15 PST

What Your Shoes Reveal About You

What Your Shoes Reveal About You

From a young age we're told that our inner qualities matter more than the clothes we wear — but did you know that your shoes can actually speak volumes to strangers?

According to a study by researchers at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, people could accurately determine a stranger’s age, gender and income just by looking at their shoes.

While that isn't necessarily surprising, what did make researchers take notice was the second level of analysis. Participants in the study could also tell whether another person was clingy and insecure in her close relationships, or more laid-back and relaxed, based on the shoes she wore.

"Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as non-verbal clues with symbolic messages," said Dr Angela Bahns, one of the study's authors. "People tend to pay attention to the shoes they wear."

Shoes that were flashy, bright and colorful belonged to extroverts, while ankle boots fit with more aggressive personalities, and uncomfortable looking shoes were worn by calm personalities.

Shoes that were not always new but kept immaculate and well cared for belong to people with conscientious personalities. Practical and functional shoes that still showed some style belonged to agreeable people.

Interestingly, people who wore boring shoes tended to have a hard time forming relationships because the wearers were found to be emotionally "aloof and repressive." They also didn't care what others thought of them — which is admirable on one hand, but it also meant that they didn't stand out in their general appearance.

This isn't the first time that personality and shoe styles have been paired together. Online shoe retailer JustFab uses a fun, quick personality quiz to determine if shoppers are a Grand Glam, Classic Cool, or Trendy Chic shoe buyer. This quiz allows their team of celebrity stylists to select and present shoppers with a personalized collection of shoes that they think the customer will love.

And love them they do. Like with the above study, the results from this quiz are surprisingly accurate. Combined with free shipping, easy exchanges, and (most importantly) the shoes costing only $39.95 — that's right, only $39.95 for high-quality, high-fashion footwear — JustFab has quickly become a leader in online shoe shopping. 

Better yet, as a new member VIP exclusive offer, they're offering a "buy 1 get 1 free" offer.  That’s 2 pairs for only $39.95!

You can try out the personality quiz for free and see for yourself.

Shoes may be the last clothing item you put on, but they're clearly a critical part of a person's wardrobe, reinforcing how you're judged in business and personal relationships.

This article sponsored by JustFab Copyright 2015