Shoes send a message about the person wearing them. This leaves students wondering how to pick the shoes that send the right message.
With the pressure cooker of a dating environment at BYU, students are willing to do whatever they can to get a leg up on competition. For the men at BYU, one of those advantages has to do with shoe choice.
Some students are unaware that their shoes change peoples’ perception of them, especially when first meeting. Men’s shoe choices do not go unnoticed by the women of BYU.
“I’ve talked to my roommates about this,” said senior Brooke Weller. “We look at guys’ shoes. We think it tells a lot about their personality. First you look at their face and see if they’re attractive, and the next step is to look at their shoes.”
Weller said that because men’s shoes are the closest thing men have to accessories, their choices are telling.
Eric Young, who wears black, grey and green tennis shoes, has a functional approach to shoe choices.
“I look for something that’s comfortable that I can use when playing sports and stuff,” Young said.
But Young also recognizes that some brands have certain stereotypes associated with them.
“I think my shoes say how much I care about what I look like,” said slim-cut, oxford-wearing junior Nate Free. “I think it’s important to present yourself in a way that people can tell who you are.”
Free said because he makes some initial judgments about girls based on their shoes, women are probably doing the same thing at a higher-intensity level.
Spencer Erickson is a junior who wears Clarks desert boots. Erickson uses both function and fashion to choose his shoes.
“I want my shoes to look good, but I also don’t want to freeze my toes off,” Erickson said.
Erickson also brought up the point that the selection for men’s shoes is limited. But with a focused search it’s possible to eventually find a pair that suits both style and personality.
Sophomore Jessy Bowles summed up the reasons that men’s shoes and overall appearance are so important to women.
“When I see someone with a tattered coat, stained shirt and an old, white pair of sneakers, I wonder about their ability to excel in other aspects like education and earning a living,” Bowles said.
For females like Bowles and Weller, the shoes a man wears affect the assumptions people make about them.