“Shoes as a source of first impressions,” (2012), Gillath et al. – Is something that I heard for most of my life. In fact when I was younger (in the 70s-80s) kids noticed if you had the latest sneakers. When my daughter was growing up (she is 20 now – do your own math) there was this race to have some of the latest Jordans (yes she was into it) In fact now down at the Jersey Shore outlets there is a store that sells hard to find Jordans ad ridiculous prices. A friend knowing I am a hacking geek recently asked me could I write something so once he gets an alert that it could go to the nike site, buy the shoes faster than humans can click.
As a kid I guess I got into it, but somehow this pushed into adulthood. During my younger years I was told to be a success you need to first get a great pair of shoes, it was the first thing people notice. And in dating, there are articles that tell women to look at a persons shoes, and in their apartment if they use milk crates as shelves. All of these make me wonder, is there real research behind that? Or is it just some filtering that is all about money? Do you actually need to look rich and successful to be rich and successful.
Ok so maybe its a subset of “dress for the job you want…” which all sounds good until you show up at work dressed like Gene Simmons from KISS. Or maybe the people at footlocker want to all be referees? Ok, back to reality, the challenge with hearing these comments, is it sounds like success if it is not about a meritocracy but more about looking the right part.
I was fortunate I chose to be in IT – and well according to movies we all were overweight, dressed like slobs, and don’t know how to brush our own hair. Even working at a fortune 500 company – where when I started we had to dress up dress down Fridays kicked in. Then it kinda grew from there. Covid seemed to make it now so that WFH changed all dress code rules recently. But back to reality, the dress at some offices have gone a bit more casual over the years.
To me I started to wonder, maybe that rule is actually the opposite. Are people dressing up cause they are successful or want to be? Are they dressing up cause there is some deficiency or not as good as others. Will dressing up get them promoted vs the person who adds value for the company. Telling an impressionable 20 something year old at their first job is supposed to make them conform? It is strange that this is a piece of advice we give new employees vs. learn how to add value
So what does this have to do with shoes/sneakers. To me, after years of wrecking my ankles, what I need more than anything is a sneaker that is comfortable and has support (the right arch.). I found a brand, and fortunately they not only have outlet stores but also discount often online. In fact not only do I have a brand, I have ordered 3 pairs of the same sneaker for about 3 years now (when they start to completely wear out) . Lucky they have not been discontinued completely. They actually updated them, but I think it was just a new name and same sneaker. Now 3 pairs have cost me about $100. I have been doing this for 30 years. And honestly I don’t care they are not the latest, greatest thing. The support me, feel comfortable and my feet do not hurt at the end of the day. And at the price, once they wear out, i replace them quickly.
The question is have I ever been not promoted, rejected by some girl, or other wise lost success due to my choices, well I have no idea. And honestly I do not seem to worry about it at all. In fact maybe its the opposite, sometimes I see someone with overpriced shoes I start wondering what are they trying to hide. What deficiency are they making up for. So enjoy the most comfortable shoes you can wear, wear them with pride and add value, if you want to succeed and the company you work for is selecting the better dressed person, you are at the wrong place.
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.