What Your Shoes Say About You


In 1968, Dr. Seuss introduced to children, and other willing readers, that no one has two left feet. We have a right foot and a left foot no matter how inept we appear on the dance floor. In complete transparency, The Foot Book, opened doors (and pages) to the possibility of Seuss’ 1990 book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. While modern transportation continues to evolve in technology, capabilities and availability, we still depend on the oldest method to get us from point A to point B, regardless if point A is our home and point B is the vehicle in the garage.

Even if you’re heading to the beach or the mailbox, rarely do you head out barefoot (once there is a different story). We rely on shoes for every circumstance in life. Some of us have a shoe for every occasion. Some of us wear a lucky pair to get us through each milestone, some of us celebrate milestones with a new pair. Either way, shoes are just as essential to us as our three staple meals.

Moreover, just like our favored foods denote sentimental value – our traditions, our heritage, our schedules – so do our shoes.

The sneakers you just can’t get rid of? They give us a sneak peek into your personality.

The convulsive shopping for every pair of peep toes? They are part of your DNA fabric.

Your choice of footwear tells us something about your individualism just as much as your style does. Sure, you may follow trends, but why? And although the types of shoes are endless, your type helps us define your personality.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on in your life and head when you’re tying, strapping or squeezing your feet in your new, (or decade old dilapidated) kicks:

Scuffed up Sneakers: You know the guy (or gal) who buys the baseball cap and keeps on bending the bill? That’s the same sneaker concept. Sneakers are often the first type of shoes you own. They may be light ups or Velcro®, but they are made for comfort, running; made for endurance, and just like that baseball cap, we want to conform the sneakers to be part of us in every way. There’s an emotional connection with a strong sense of individuality. Sneakers are often the most expressive in color, brand recognition and customization. Tennis shoes, cross training, basketball or cleats. When you tie them up, it’s like you’re tying your heartstrings together. It’s just that basic.

*Sneakers are most advantageous when you need to go from one activity to the next, e.g., shopping, workout, ATM.

Head over Heels: Stilettos. Kitten heels. Pumps. Platforms. Wedges (the safer way to walk at elevated heights). It’s not always about looking good for others; it’s about looking and feeling good about yourself. No matter how tall or height deficient you may feel as a woman, heels are often a way to boost not just inches, but confidence. While we may never pinpoint the exact designer – gender or name – of the heel, they were worn as a symbol of power, privilege and prestige. Yes, even men took part of this practice during the 1600s. As generations passed and clothes shortened, the intentions became misinterpreted as a sex symbol. However, for the majority of women, inherently the power, privilege and prestige are the reasons they’re worn – despite the potential for long-term pain. Hey, if it doesn’t hurt, it’s not helping – right?

*Heels are highly recommended for pants that haven’t made it to the tailor yet.

Bad to the Boots: Boots aren’t just worn because you’re cold. They were never just a winter staple (rain boots, cowboy boots, combat boots, motorcycle boots, construction boots, to name a few). Just like sneakers, boots take considerable wearing in. From the buckles, laces and tread, they require a lot of living before they have your blood, sweat and tearstains of approval. Boots, for men or women, tell people that you’re not afraid to look good while getting things done. That, no bugs were harmed in the filming of this movie, even though it looked like you stomped on an entire ant hole. Boots express an independent, simplistic lifestyle. Functionality, fashion and bad to the boots, year round, all day, all occasions, you wear boots because despite your can-do-it attitude, they do the job when you cannot.

*Boots are great for covering up mismatched socks and No-Shave November participation.

Saved by Sandals: Heatwave? Sandals can definitely help you, but there’s a difference between those who wear socks and sandals and those who purposefully select sandals and wear the latter by themselves. Those who add socks to the mix have a careless spirit, those who embrace sandals as they were intended, have a carefree spirit. If you are wearing any this spring or summer, you are all about seasons and embracing every day; living in the moment. As sandals free the feet, they are emblematic to the earliest conceptualization of footwear. The Gladiator proves this through ornate trappings the entire way up the calf. Next to running barefooted, sandals are the most organic form. In choosing sandals, you are proudly stating you are mindful of whom you are. Despite the occasional shower sandal, you strive to wear pairs that do not comprise your sense of fashion.

*Sandals are the preferred choice of footwear if your feet suffer from claustrophobia.

The Loafers: While the name may conjure up images of gentleman puffing cigars, shucking off their collegiate blazers with elbow patches, a life more complex exists. Gentlemen and gentlewomen who wear loafers or flats, boat shoes and moccasins, live life comfortably and all in. The name loafers does not denote a character quality; it does not imply an attribute of laziness, but rather someone who when they decide to go, they want to go right away. Perhaps you truly understand Seuss’ 1990 book, Oh, The Places You Will Go, most intrinsically. The places – water, woods, library – you can traverse with a pair of flats.

*Loafers, specifically moccasins, make exceptional Christmas gifts.

Rock The Oxfords: A classic and now a trend; you cannot go wrong with a pair of oxfords. If you own a pair of oxfords – or two – you appreciate the details. You are someone who is okay with standing out while at the same time sitting on the sidelines. Oxfords are charming in their simplicity. Whether the bold, swinging saddle shoes or just a pair of classic, brown wingtips, a little bit of brogue makes a big difference in your outfit and your outlook. If you Oxford, you have a foundation, you have a classic piece; you have an everyday shoe. It’s more than a special occasion; it’s a quality that you can count on to get you through the work week. The Oxford personality is someone who bought a pair of shoes first, their mind made up with the first step, then fell in love with the second step.

*Oxfords are essential to a wardrobe if you are trying to impress your three-piece suit boss.


We are all more than one dimensional, commuting to many places through life. The pedometer of our footwear will exhaust itself. Soon we must pick out a new pair; either a replica – for those of us who are fastidious with brand loyalty – or perhaps we will embrace the concept of something new, shiny and unknown.

Designers and manufacturers are in tuned to what catches our eyes; styles are continually experimenting. (Jumanji, anyone?) Chunky heels, canvas tops, ankle wraps, fringe details, houndstooth, nubuck leather, snake embossed, steel toe, wide calf, cap toe, patent. The footwear options we can choose from are astounding.

And even though the collections that are presented in front of you are presented in front of millions as well, what you pick up and put on says something about you as an individual. At ELM Shoes, we believe that not only do you have a story, but so does your shoe. And we’re excited to be part of your shoe journey.

Stop in and we’ll help you start it. And snap a picture of it too.

-Your Missing Sock

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.