What do shoes have to do with romantic relationships?
"Everything," says shoe guru Donna Sozio, author of Never Trust a Man in Alligator Loafers. Sozio says that a person's shoes can tell you all you need to know -- before you ever go out on a date, share a plate of linguine or even meet dear old Mom: questions such as who is he? How does he feel about himself? And what can you expect from him in the relationship?
Is shoe analysis accurate? More like brain scanning or Tarot cards?
Sozio says, "We don't get to choose everything in life. But we do get to choose our shoes! Shoe Personality Predictions are accurate because they turn the spotlight on our habits and attitudes through our choice in shoes. How we do one thing is generally how we do all things. What we choose to express through our shoes is also what we choose to express (or not express!) in life and our romantic relationships.
How does it work?
According to Sozio, the biggest clues come from three key areas: Material, Condition and Maintenance.
Sozio says, "Material is a sign of his 'outer skin.' Is the material of his shoes dull, shined, or 'distressed?' Is it soft, flexible or easily scuffed? Or is it hard and rigid? The qualities that the material of his shoes expresses are a sign of what to expect from him in the relationship -- especially when you see a pattern.
"Perhaps he only has soft, easily scuffed suede shoes. That would indicate that he has a high level of sensitivity and he's easily hurt. Or if all his shoes are made with stiff and rigid material, he may be trying to protect himself or have put up a wall to his heart."
According to Sozio, "Condition trumps price every time. It's not about how much you have. It's about putting your best foot forward with what you do have. That is what gets you where you want to go, especially in a relationship. A no-name shoe in good condition speaks more highly of a man than a dirty, falling-apart Gucci loafer."
She adds, "If his shoes consistently are unraveled, frayed or distressed, you might want to ask yourself the question, 'Where is he is unraveling, fraying or distressed?' The condition of a man's shoes indicates the condition of everything else in his life. Including his future relationship with you."
Maintenance offers the last clue in the shoe analysis trifecta. Apparently, high maintenance isn't as bad as we thought.
Sozio says, "Just like relationships, shoes need maintenance, otherwise their condition will suffer. What is his attitude towards sole maintenance? Does he grumble and groan when his shoes need repair? Or does he do the necessary work to keep his shoes well maintained? When the condition of his shoes needs some work, what does he do? Throw them out and get a new pair? Or does he get them resoled? How a man takes care of his shoes indicates how well he takes care of himself. I call this the Soleology Trickle Down Theory, which indicates just how well he is able to take care of you."
And while Sozio's book focuses on men's shoes, she says that the shoe analysis works for either men or women.
What kind of shoes is a guy with great husband potential wearing?
"Great relationships, especially marriages, need compatibility. Make a list of the qualities you want to find in a husband. Then while out dating, take note of the qualities that his shoes express about him. Are they a match? Miles apart? Or is there some wiggle room? Be honest with yourself so you don't end up dating a (shoe) frog when you are really looking for a husband.
"The shoes that have 'husband potential' are the ones that express the very same qualities that you are looking for in a man. This is not a 'one size fits all' situation. You need to find the right fit for you. When it comes to relationships, the wrong fit hurts more than 'just a little.'"
What kinds of shoes do female gold diggers wear?
"Female gold diggers put a man's attention before themselves. That's why they usually wear what look like highly painful shoes. These shoes hurt your feet just by looking at them. They usually have lots of bangles and bobbles to attract a man's attention, with exotic 'huntress' skins like python. Their shoes communicate one thing: sex."
What kind of shoes does a low-maintenance girl wear?
"Low-maintenance gals don't look for a man to take care of them. That's why they are low-maintenance. For the most part, they already have it together and look at relationships from more of a sharing standpoint than needing someone else to make them happy.
"Low maintenance women wear all sorts of shoes but the one thing they have in common is a level of comfort. Even if they are wearing high heels, their shoes might be platforms (less of an actual heel) or a wedge to reduce wobbling. They go for looks and comfort to take good care of their feet while feeling beautiful through their choice in shoes."
What kind of shoes does the guy who's sleeping around wear?
Sozio warns, "Watch out for long and skinny flip-tip loafers! Those are player shoes, especially, when he's sporting exotic leather. White loafers without socks are also very player-esque!"
Are there other articles of clothing that can tell us as much as shoes?
"For women, reading a man by his shoes is very helpful and easy to do because most of us are already tuned into shoes. For the most part, we aren't as tuned into watches, dress shirts or ties. Shoes are the one article of clothing that we wear equally," explains Sozio.
Do shoes ever lie?
Sozio says, "Sometimes it's the worst shoes that give us the best information. When it comes to other people, shoe analysis isn't about controlling the situation. It's about opening ourselves up to a range of possibilities from the signs his shoes give us to see if he's the one for us.
"Mind you, there are Shoe Sharks. Some men know women are looking at their shoes for clues and use them to woo women. That's why you need to look for consistency. Did he start out with fantastic shoes then roll out his ratty sneakers after you slept with him?"
Sozio says she once dated someone "whose shoes had all the qualities I was looking for in a man. But after a month I noticed that he was fighting against these same qualities and wanted to be more of a bad boy. Or at least have the bad boy experience under his belt. His actions weren't consistent with what his shoes said about him because he was in conflict with himself. I didn't try to change him or the situation. I was honest with myself and moved on."
In other words, she kicked him to the curb. Hmm. Wonder what kind of shoes she was wearing.