You know what they say about guys with big shoes.
My own immaturity aside, I’ve always been curious about the cues we pick up from strangers — the cues that say, “I want to date you,” or just “Meet me in the bathroom.” My days of overachieving in AP Psych taught me that a girl’s hair toss means she’s ready for action, while the space between a guy’s feet when he stands is his own cue that he wants to make it a private party.
Then there’s the fashion magazine adage: You can tell everything you need to know about a guy by the shoes he wears.
My own boyfriend recently sent me a picture text (yes, technological romance is not lost on my poor existence) of his new sneakers: A bright, don’t-shoot-me-while-hunting orange pair of Adidas with black stripes. They suit him well: goofy, carefree and independent (for the rest of my sappy relationship memoirs, refer to the diary hidden under the mattress).
Is this assumption universally applicable? Do Nike Shox a he-man shake? Will Chuck Taylors hug the toes of the sensitive hipster of your dreams? Can you really tell everything about a guy by the shoes he wears?
There was only one way to find out: trapping random boys in their dorm rooms, snapping pictures of their footwear, then asking a panel of girls to guess what the guy is like — based on shoes, and shoes alone. Did the adage hold up? I’m so excited, I just might cry.
|The shoes >>|
"This guy seems to be a fairly casual guy who doesn’t stray too far from jeans and a t-shirt for most occasions. However, he has some sense of style as in he doesn’t just wear the free t-shirts he gets from various college events. He doesn’t seem to be an engineer but might possibly be a science or math major or a South Campus major."
"He seems like the typical guy: jeans and sneakers. Not necessarily the best style, but at least he’s trying."
"This guy’s a goof. He jokes a lot. He’s kind of dorky. I think he’d be an introverted type, shy about girls."
|The man >>|
Corey Winchester is a SESP freshman from Philadelphia, Penn., majoring in secondary education.
"I’m from the city of brotherly love, better than any other city in the country or world," said Winchester, who "always ties everything back to Philly." He described himself as "friendly, cool, funny, moral and intelligent."
In response to Macfarlane and Srinivasan, Winchester felt he had been described pretty accurately — but with some unfair assumptions.
"I’m a pretty casual guy," he said. "As far as style goes, catch me on a day when I actually dress up and then let me know how much of a ’sense of style’ I have. I mean, from what people tell me, I look amazing when I dress up, but I don’t boast."
However, Winchester didn’t think Saul could be any more wrong.
"I joke, yes, but, dorky…wow. Need I remind you where we all go to college? I think we all have our dorkish qualities," he said. "As far being introverted goes, I’m in SESP, to be a teacher. Introverted and teaching really don’t go together. I actually do stuff on campus too, and I don’t think I stay to myself much. Plus, I live in Bobb. Need I say more?"
As for being shy around girls?
"I’m definitely not shy," Winchester said. "You can ask my girlfriend."
|The shoes >>|
“This one seems to be the type of guy who only wears t-shirts which he gets for free. He’s really laid-back and doesn’t put that much effort into the way he looks in terms of clothing. He could definitely be an engineer or someone who works very hard at academics in general.”
“This guy is probably pretty laid-back, because he’s wearing shorts and sneakers, plus the color is so neutral. He seems the most likely to be in a frat.”
“Messy! He’s just kind of laid-back: doesn’t do much, stays in the dorm a lot and doesn’t go out much. I don’t think this guy’s Greek. These are workout shoes, but I think he just wears them around.”
|The man >>|
David Hong is a Weinberg sophomore from Barrington, Ill., majoring in economics. A brother of Beta Theta Phi and member of Philharmonia, he described himself as “low-key, passionate and cool-headed.”
“[Macfarlane] was the most accurate, even though I don’t normally wear shorts,” Hong said. “The laid-back part is very true. My shoes are a neutral color so that, in the college environment, I can wear them with anything without really having to think about if it clashes.”
“I usually wear my shoes with more colorful shirts,” added Hong, who said he was voted “Best Personality” in high school. “It’s not the shoes that make the outfit.”
|The shoes >>|
“This guy seems as if he would put some effort into his clothing. Most likely not an engineer… or he’s Asian. Also, he’s not emo but he’s more into laid-back music like Death Cab rather than hard rock.”
“He looks a little dorky because of those socks, even if he is wearing Pumas.”
“He’s laid-back, casual and sporty. This guy’s in a Jewish frat. He’s a biology major, and he plays soccer.”
|The man >>|
Bryan Taylor is a McCormick freshman from Arlington Heights, Ill., majoring in computer science. He describes himself as “content, relaxed, energetic, classy and chivalrous.”
“[Roni was] pretty much dead-on, except for the fact that I definitely am an engineer. I do like Death Cab, but I also like hard rock,” Taylor said.
As for Macfarlane’s and Saul’s thoughts? “What can I say, I am a dork,” admitted Taylor, a Phi Kappa Psi who plays electric violin. “But I’m not in a Jewish frat. Golf is much better than soccer, and I hate biology.”
I think the shoe litmus test came out pretty clearly: You can tell how laid-back or high-strung a guy is by his choice of shoe, but little else about his interests, extroversion or dating style.
But honestly, what are you doing walking to class staring at his shoes? If you really want to know about a guy, Facebook-stalk him. Um, I mean…look him in the eye and smile.
Yeah, look him in the eye and smile. That’s what I meant to say.