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Let The Shoes Tell The Story

What’s a work shoe? Anything you need — or want — it to be. While pumps, laceups and dressed-up styles may have been the workwear bywords of the past, today’s playing field is as broad as the market itself. Our survey with Mesh01 asked 158 consumers ages 20 to 60 about the kinds of footwear they wore to work, and the results illuminated the sea change that’s occurred and continues to occur across American workplaces. Forty-eight percent said they’d made a change in the kinds of styles they wear to work in the past five years; today, only 2 percent of respondents said the dress code at their place of employment was formal. Business casual was the name of the game for the largest share of our surveyed consumers (41 percent), but every kind of workplace attire was represented: athletic (8 percent), casual (28 percent), uniform (12 percent) and workwear (7 percent). Casual (36 percent) and athletic shoes (32 percent) comprised the largest share of workplace kicks. The survey, conducted by MESH01, included 158 respondents, male and female, ages 20 to 60.
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How would you best describe the dress code at your workplace?
What style of footwear do you wear to work the most?
What are the attributes you most look for in your work footwear?
How many pairs of “work shoes” do you own?
How often do you shop for footwear to wear to work?
Do you buy or consider buying accessories with your new shoes?
Where do you primarily shop for your work footwear?
Quotes

What do a person’s shoes say about them?

We surveyed more than 158 consumers. Here is what they told us.

“If people are trying to stand out and impress others they will choose high heels and/or expensive leather shoes. Common sense folk often choose comfort, support and durability.” – Female, 57

“To me, they don’t say much. I’m into comfort, not style.” – Male, 42

“I think it shows how they take care of themselves. If you wear nasty shoes to a restaurant, I would assume that is how you take care of your house.” – Male, 27

“You can infer a lot from a person’s shoes. You can get a feel for the person and their sense of style, the type of work they do, and how well off they are.” – Female, 33

“Work shoes tell you what kind of work they do, be it safety toes or just a nice oxford with colorful laces.” – Male, 33

“A person’s shoes tell a story about the person’s occupation as well as [their] activities and attitude. If a person has shoes similar to workboots, it is likely the person works in a blue-collar job. If a person wears nice, polished dress shoes, it is likely the person is an executive of some kind. Though it can mean the person is very meticulous and likes to look nice. If a person wears sneakers, sandals, and similar shoes, I think it gives the impression of a casual person that works in a casual job.” – Male, 47

“How much money they’re willing to spend on shoes.” – Female, 42

“A person’s shoes say what they think about themselves. It is a reflection of your inner self.” – Female, 46

“It’s the details that make an outfit. The shoes show that you are put together and you care what you look like.” – Female, 44

“I think it tells you a lot about their personality and possibly their social status.  Shoes that are maintained versus shoes that are tattered let me know if a person cares about details and appearance.” – Female, 49

“It indicates how they live their life. I am a casual person and rarely dress formally.” – Male, 41

“Everything: Demeanor. Style. Character. I’m a sneakerhead, if you can’t tell.” – Male, 31

“Everything. A shoe is everything.” – Female, 31

“Nothing.” – Male, 30

“Are they put together? Do they care about themselves? Do they have taste?” – Male, 26

“Shoes complete a person’s style. They tell you a little bit about their lifestyle, about whether they prefer comfort over style, certain brands, their economic status, whether they participate in certain outdoor activities, et cetera.” – Female, 24

“I think a person’s shoes can convey their type of personality. I enjoy owning many types of shoes for the many different activities I do. I will also choose a specific pair to wear based on my mood. Also, it seems to me that people that don’t care about their style of shoes generally don’t care about keeping up with style or fashion, which could also mean that they are more self-confident and down to earth.” – Male, 27

“That really depends on where a person is, and what they are doing. But I hope that when people see my shoe choices they notice I take pride in what I wear, and note that I am also promoting the company where the shoe is from!” – Female 43

“Shoes show me if someone cares about style or comfort or a little bit of both. For some, shoes are just functional [items], so whatever does the jobs will work. People who prefer a little style, like myself ,will wear a cool shoe that isn’t necessarily comfortable for all activities.” – Male 26

“Everything. The shoe pulls the look all together. They are the heart of the outfit.” – Male, 24

“A person’s shoes say a bit about their personality. If they are old and tattered and need replacing, I assume that the person either really loves the shoes or they can’t afford new ones. Those who wear the name brands are usually looking for attention, but those who wear what they are comfortable in, are easy going.” – Female, 36

“It shows how active you are, and also [shows] a bit of personality. You can’t always wear the clothes that fit your personality depending upon your work environment, however, you can be a little more outgoing or colorful with your shoes.  Small statement.” – Female, 41

“Shoes express who a person is, what they are passionate about, and how they think. Color and style can express how introverted or extroverted someone might be. Brands that are recognizable show what causes a person might value. The combination of style and practicality show how a person might think and plan.” – Female 29

“How well they know and want to take care of their feet. You be kind to what gets you from Point A to Point B, you will arrive in comfort and have happy feet.” – Female, 56

“It says something about personality — superficiality/vanity, economic status, or whether they are confident. I personally don’t care what people think of my shoes. I hope I have more to offer than what’s on my feet.” – Male 34