Shoes Talk: FM Downtowners Reveal Personality Traits Through Shoes

Jasmine Maki, MSUM Multimedia Journalism

FARGO, N.D. – From golden ballet flats and purple pumps to flip-flops and old moccasins, a wide variety of shoes makes its way through downtown Fargo every day.

As people come and go, it’s hard to say what they’re doing or where they’re going, but a short glance at their shoes might provide some insight into their lives (or at least their personalities).

A recent study done by researchers at the University of Kansas found that strangers can accurately identify certain factors of a person’s personality just by looking at their shoes.

F-M downtowners dish about their shoes, personalities
Caitlin Leick of Fargo said her sparkly gold ballet flats fit her outgoing, bubbly personality. But, the glittery flats also give a hint at her age.

She said she chooses cute, yet comfortable shoes because she’s a college student who walks a lot.

On the other hand, Shaun Myhre of Fargo said his tennis shoes reveal his casual and sometimes lazy personality.

And Ashley Morken, owner of Unglued in downtown Fargo, said her moccasins reveal her trendy, yet comfortable personality. She also describes herself as restless, creative and outgoing.

Shoe ‘experts’ share insight
Dustin Anderson, store manager at Journey’s in West Acres Mall, said he can tell what type of shoes customers are interested in just by their appearances and first impressions.

“A lot of people that like Toms actually care about other people,” he said. “Or, they have the punk-pop personality, or they’re just following trends.”

While people who wear Sperry’s are generally more friendly and sophisticated, he said.

 Anderson’s co-worker, Dustin Enwesi, manager at Journey’s, also said he can name personality traits of customers based on the shoes they’re wearing.

“I try to observe what they’re already wearing,” he said. “Clean shoes mean they care a lot about appearance and how they present themselves.” 

So, what do your shoes say about your personality?
According to the University of Kansas study:

  • Bold, colorful shoes say you’re an extrovert.
  • Comfortable shoes say you’re practical and active.
  • Ankle booties say you’re more aggressive.
  • Designer or high-fashion shoes say you’re wealthy.
  • Bright sneakers say you’re emotionally stable and less likely to have attachment anxiety.
  • Old or worn shoes say you’re extroverted, comfortable and emotionally stable.
  • Clean, well-kept shoes say you have attachment anxiety.
  • High-tops say you’re more introverted and less agreeable.

 For more stories about shoes revealing personality traits, view my Storify

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