Here's a scientific notion worthy of inquiry.
Researchers at the University of Kansas said people can accurately judge 90 percent of a stranger's personality simply by examining the shoes they are wearing.
The researchers maintain all manner of personality traits can be determined by looking at the cost, color and style of shoes people are wearing.
It makes perfect sense this study would be conducted by people in Kansas for two reasons.
First, you are in Kansas so what else is there to do? And Kansas, along with Oz, can claim partial ownership of the Ruby Red Slippers of Dorothy fame, although if she could click her heels and go anywhere in the world, why she would go back to Kansas has always eluded me.
Despite what are, I'm sure, highly intelligent and degreed people doing this study, one must question its validity on a number of fronts.
The first point of contention must be an examination surrounding the female of the species.
Considering the average woman has between 36 and 2,029 pairs of shoes, the idea of trying to determine a single personality based on what she is wearing on her feet on any given day is pretty much equal to trying to pull the sphinx off its squat.
Add the fact that a woman wearing tennis shoes can become a completely different person when she puts on stiletto heels, and you may not find out about this until it is waaaay too late.
Then there is the boot factor. You have dress boots, work boots and cowboy boots and sometimes one pair may be all of these. And it is possible for one person to have a pair of all three so I don't know how you could determine a personality from that.
People who wear boots usually do so simply because they find them more comfortable than shoes, which is not a personality trait but the mark of a reasonably sane person.
The only personality trait revealed by someone wearing shoes that hurt their feet is that they are a misguided slave to fashion or just plain crazy.
But what about the folks who go bare-footed?
My boyhood friend B.R. Smith, would take his shoes off the last day of school and not put them
back on again until school started in fall. This guy had feet like Bigfoot and could stomp out a cigarette butt on concrete and not bat an eye.
B.R. is now a solid citizen and member in good standing in the community but I'll bet if you drop by his house anytime this summer, you will find him bare-footed.
I suppose you could see someone wearing black wingtips and figure they might be on the conservative side while someone roaming around in Hush-Puppies might seem liberal, although you could see a conservative wearing Hush-Puppies simply because of sore feet.
The study does make sense if you see someone wearing ballet slippers every day. You know this person doesn't eat much and has ugly feet.
The study also makes sense if you see someone wearing shoes - especially hideous shoes - that cost hundreds of dollars. This indicates the person is a well to do, stuck-up snob with bad taste.
But perhaps the most glaring example of how this study may be inaccurate is when it comes to our politicians. Being able to determine their personality from the shoes they wear is simply impossible.
The reason? You never see them wearing flip-flops.
So much for this research.
Rick Latarski is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of topics and can be reached at Rlatarski@aol.com.