Do you believe that shoes can make the man?
Well if you do, you are not alone. As recent research suggests that it is not only common to judge people by their footwear; but your judgements are probably right. Researchers at the University of Kansas say that people can accurately judge 90 percent of a stranger’s personality including a person’s general age, their gender, income, political affiliation, and other personality traits simply by the heel tap of his flip flop, boat shoe or sneaker.
Some may consider this junk science but as a expert people watcher, I have long suspected that this was the key to determining whether a dude was a catch or a dud – and I’m not just talking about junk size neither. So in an effort help the ladies weed out or find their perfect match, I have created a list of seven true-to-life personality traits that you can tell just by checking out what he is rocking on his feet:
Work boots: Well the obviously answer is that if he is rocking a hammer and a hard hat and has paint blotches on his arm, he is more than likely in construction of some sort. However not every man with a pair of Trees (Timberland boots) is Bob the Builder. Work boots were once popular in 1990s around the time when Onyx was slamming and Naughty By Nature was asking if you were down with OPP. Although they have now pretty much faded in obscurity, the style of rocking a fresh new pair of Trees is still very much relevant with a group of men. I have christened them young old heads. These men, who range in age of 30 to around 40, have a fondness for the “good ole days,” when men were outwardly roughed and free from the restriction of skinny jeans and smedium t-shirts. An era when all you had to do was throw on a pair of Trees and a Randall Cunningham Jersey to be considered fresh and clean. Work boot guy could also be considered a good catch for ladies looking to settle down into something more permanent as he is certainly beyond chasing trends or looking to upgrade into a shoe more fashion forward.
One caveat: If he is pairing his work boots with a long t-shirt then he probably is a young-old head drug dealer. In that case, call the police before he shoots up the block.
Loafer: If his name isn’t Church Boy from the Five Heartbeats or if he ain’t Bobby Brown making Every Little Step I Take Part 2, then he is probably a playboy. Loafers, slip-ons, moccasins or boat shoes are a man’s universal way of presenting an image of luxury and wealth – even if his pockets don’t match. However, a loafer guy can be lots of fun, if you are just looking for a “buddy” to kick it with sometimes. First, he is always on the cutting edge of hip, so you’ll always have a good shopping buddy. And you won’t find this dude sitting in front of the TV watching Sports Center. No, loafer guy is probably off sipping Chai tea while he thumbs through magazines like Esquire and GQ. He is the type of guy that admires Kanye West for his style more so than his music. Likewise being successful is at the top of his agenda. Loafer guy is the type that will call you in advance to find out what you are wearing and then show up at your doorstep with a matching, or complimentary pair of slip-ons. Then he will take you to the best restaurants, the best parties and the best hotel rooms for a whirlwind of hot, successful fun. But don’t expect anything long-term with him. Everything in loafer guy’s life is upgradable – and that includes you too.
One caveat: If they are spit shined loafers in neutral color like all black and brown but very expensive looking, odds are he is a lawyer, a corporate accountant or a mid-level executive. However, I still wouldn’t expect anything long-term, unless you like men, who will never be home and believe that lavishing you with gifts is how love is shown. If so, just be a mistress. It’s much more fun.
Sandals: I know men, who will swear up and down that they will never be caught in sandals. I have asked several men why they won’t wear sandals and the always given answer is because “it’s gay.” I don’t understand it either but I also found out today from a thread in one of the FB groups I belong to that bananas on your pancakes is gay too. What is certain is that many straight men have an irrational fear of being perceived as homosexuals. Therefore no sandals – like ever. Even if they are down the Shore, they will be on the beach with Trees or some Air Force Ones. I have seen this first hand.
One caveat: But if you do see a guy with sandals, particularly earthy sandals like Birkenstock, he is probably a man, who doesn’t care much what anyone thinks of him. In fact, he is probably engages in lots of interest considered “unmanly” including yoga, veganism and trail mix. If this is the case, make sure to hide the beef sausages and stretch properly before dates because this against the grain-colored sandal-wearing dude is going to wear you out – with hiking and extreme mountain biking. Oh what? You thought I meant sex? Ha. You are going to be so tired from all that outdoor fun you’re going to have to even consider knocking the sandals.
Air Jeezy/Throwback Jordans/ or any of the other latest sneakers: This dude probably still nursing on the teet. In fact, his momma or his auntie more than likely got him these sneakers for Easter or as a reward for getting good grades on his report card. Seriously, if you are over the age of 21, you might want to check for ID because if not, you will likely be headed to jail. And because you are black, they’re going to have you on the local nightly news looking all crazy with your weave out and your real hair all over your head. There is no caveat for this one, just a proper warning.
Other Type of Trainers: Sneakers used to be the required gear for those who actually played sports. But in our more dress-down casual culture, sneakers have become the quintessential everyday shoe. Think non-athletic tennis shoes like Pumas, New Balances or Gola for instance. Non-athletic tennis shoe guy is where trendy meets urban. He is the type that will wear a blazer to his non-corporate job, non-profit job just as long as he can pair it with a crisp pair of Chuck Taylors. He is also very comfortable, laid back and his ideal date is probably sitting at home on the couch, eating pizza, drinking cheap beer and playing Xbox with some strangers online, while you are doing your own thing in the other room.
One caveat: If his kicks are busted and leaning to the side, he is either broke, a hipster or is in the rears with his child support payments. As such, you don’t want him, hipster included.
Bright Colored Reptile-skin Shoes: Old-A$$ player. Think Bishop Don Magic Juan.
Unidentifiable Shoes: You know the kind of shoe I’m talking about. They look like sneakers or boat shoes but they have thin laces like preppy dress shoes? Plus they don’t have and identifiable logo to help you pin point what the heck they are. And on top of that, they are usually in brown or black. Odds are that unidentifiable shoe guy is probably a professor in college or a high school math teacher. The important thing to note here is that he has a job with benefits because that’s pretty much all you will have to look forward to on this one. Sure he is full of old head wisdom but he is also very conservative and a traditionalist. So if you like missionary – and only missionary – then he is your guy.
One caveat: Really wealthy men are known to be the unidentifiable shoe guy too. Unlike the loafer guy, who happens to be a lawyer, he has already reached the top, thus has nothing else to prove.
Bare feet: We know these dudes, you see them in the neighborhood coffee shop or vegan hot spot, wearing healing crystals and beginning every sentence with “Peace.” They also like cargo like jeans with that special nonsensical hoop thing on the side (what is that for anyway?) and t-shirts with ironic sayings like Monsanto Food Fight and Women Are People Too. Bare feet guy is known widely for his poetic flare. But he does not write the angry Black Man stuff, like say a Black Ice, but rather his poetry is a little more sensitive and new agey. Bare feet guy doesn’t drink or smoke and loves talking about metaphysics. He also believes that the answer to racism is for everyone to mix all up so that we are all the same color. Oh and did I mention that bare feet guy is a complete man Slore? With a capital “Slore.” Think Eric Benet when he was with Halle Berry. Bare feet men are smooth, considerate and very caring about many things in this world. He is the type to listen very interestedly to your whining about your long day at work. Heck, you might even get a neck massage and a cool poem out of it. But don’t expect him to only be giving out neck rubs and sonnets to just you. For bare feet guy, life is about freedom and expression, man, and women shouldn’t hold themselves to the archaic institutionalized system of oppression called relationships.
One caveat: Bare feet guy and sandal guy can be the same person. In fact they are known to frequent the same vegan hot spot. The difference is that sandals guy will keep his damn shoes on when it is time to read his poem during open mic night.
Of course the best type of dude is the one that can switch it up, depending upon the circumstance or when the occasion calls for it. Like loafers at work, bare feet around the house and sandals for a bike ride in the park. And of course, men can change. Some start out as loafers and then become non-athletic sneaker guy, especially in times of recession. Nevertheless, now you know what to expect if you find yourselves in the company of any of these dudes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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