What Men Actually Think About Your Shoes....

February 11, 2016


I read once that there are two types of women when it comes to fashion: women who dress for other women, and women who dress for men. Those who fall into the former category tend to experiment and are on the forefront of fashion.  Other women might find what they’re wearing fabulous, whereas a man would be confused. If this category is embodied by Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen, then Sophia Vergara might characterize a woman who dresses for men. She turns guys’ heads with her impossibly high, and unabashedly sexy, heels. In this vein, I asked three guys what they really think of women’s shoes and the women who wear them.

Cody, 25, Engineer from Denver, Colorado

When picturing what shoes a party girl might wear, Cody offered, “She probably wears high heels, like bright red ones. And she brings flats in her purse and carries her shoes by the end of the night.” Envisioning a ‘good’ girl didn’t inspire as vivid a picture: “she probably would wear flats that are pretty bland.”  On his own preferences, Cody finds casually and comfortably dressed women the most attractive. “Depending on the outfit, I like knee-high boots with a small heel. I really don’t like tall platform heels-- those aren’t classy.  But, I especially don’t like those Birkenstock sandals,” he cringes at his last observation of the ugly-chic shoe trend that’s currently enjoying a moment in fashion. And sneakers? “Those should only be worn when working out.” On the contrary, in a poll conducted by SoleScription of 96 guys, half thought that sneakers were attractive and a third of the guys considered sneaker-wearing women fun and adventurous.


Aaron, 22, Investment Banker from New York, New York

Being accustomed to a formal work environment, Aaron pictures the career driven women he works with and ballerina flats come to mind. He’s quick to point out that he likes that look or pumps for the work place. On his dislike list? “Oxfords. I don’t like shoes that look like they’re meant for men.” Outside of the office, he’s a fan of short boots (especially with dresses) and heels. But heels aren’t the be-all-end-all of attractive footwear in his mind (Nearly a third of guys said that they are indifferent if a woman wear heels), “I like when women are comfortable and aren’t slaves to high heels. A pair of sandals, like those simple Tory Burch ones, are cute, or those kick-around sneakers, like bright colored Keds. My rule of thumb is heels are hot, flats are nice and put-together, and sneakers are cute.” He concluded, “I just don’t like anything too busy.” 


Erich, 26, Graduate Student from Providence, Rhode Island 

“A nice heel always looks good but I’m not too picky. To be honest, I don’t really notice women’s shoes. Unless they’re really bad, then I notice.” Unlike Erich, almost 39% of the guys polled strongly agreed that they usually notice a woman’s shoes. When pressed for what constituted really bad shoes he replied, “I don’t know off the top of my head. Like really strappy ones that go all the way up the leg. The gladiator look went out with the ancient Romans, those don’t need to happen again.” In our poll, 64% agreed that classic black pumps are very attractive, a clear leader, and nearly 48% voted that a pair of knee-high gladiator stilettos are very unattractive. One Reddit user, who goes by McScumbag,  took our poll and succinctly summed up his take on women’s shoes, “Women’s shoes strongly affect my initial perception of them: 1. Jordans, platform wedges, flip flops (off the beach), heels with straps that go up [the] calf, clear plastic stripper heels = we probably won’t get along. 2. Tasteful leather pumps…ballerina flats, boots, chucks, strappy sandals = hey stranger!”

And because we love data, we sent a survey to over 100 men between the ages of 18-35 to get their perspective once and for all. 82% of the men agreed with the statement 'the type of shoes a woman wears can tell you about her personality while 72% felt that 'there have been times when shoes affect your opinion of a woman'. Although 73% felt that they usually notice a woman's shoes, slightly less than 47% felt that shoes greatly influence their first impression of a woman. It is also not surprising to learn that 85% of the men appreciated a woman who has nice shoes. But what about the old-aged question of heels vs. flats? Well, 40% of the men preferred 'a woman who wears heels' while 33% are indifferent. Now let's get down to specific styles....



When presented with a pair of classic stiletto pumps, nearly 100% of the men agreed that this style is attractive and indicative of a woman who is 'professional' and 'confident'.


However, when it comes to the gladiator-style shoes that women can't seem to get enough for a few seasons, 75% of the men thought the above shoes were unattractive and 41% viewed them as synonymous with a woman who is a 'party girl'. 

There's also good news for women who seek comfort, support and height! 75% of the men in the survey thought wedged shoes are indeed attractive but seems to be divided between their opinion on whether this style is for a 'party girl' or a 'professional woman'. 

Who doesn't love a pair of ballerina flats? Well, 71% of the men also agreed that they are attractive and professional.

And for all the athletic women out there, a slight majority of men found these shoes to be attractive while 42% thinks they're not. That said, men found that women who wear sneakers are 'fun and adventurous, 'low-key', and the 'girl next door' type.

On the other hand, a slight majority found these TOMS flats to be unappealing but 73% viewed them as something that the 'girl next door' and 'low-key woman' would wear.

And there you have it! 

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