Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Podolinguism: Sportshoes 'r us: New Research

New research from University of Brighton suggests the kind of shoe sportsmen choose to wear has more to do with their personality then by serendipidy. Dr Christopher Morriss-Roberts, senior lecturer in the School of Health Professions, interviewed a group of sportsmen from different disciplines and sexualities. The group included professional and semi-professional, from rugby, tennis, body building, football, squash and gymnastics. The focus group discussed their sporting lives, bodies, why they wore the sports shoes they did, and how they read messages into the shoes that other men wore. Transpired shoes chosen by the athletes had specific meaning to them and collectively sent clear message to others. Highly coloured (bright colourways) footwear for example was generally regarded as signalling the wearer was masculine, cocky and highly skilled. More modest sportsmen wore black or neutral coloured sporting footwear in order not to attract unwanted attention from aggressors. In contrast all-white sport shoes were considered ultra macho and worn by direct and aggressive types. Morriss-Roberts believes shoes communicate much about our personality and has called this podo-linguistics. Although only a small study has been published in Podiatry Now, the author intends to develop the concept with further research.


It is well documented shoes play a major role in youth/gang cultures. To the educated eye these depict rank and status within the group. In football, Sir Alec Ferguson often critised the choice of his and other players footwear reminding younger players that bright colourways attract unwanted attention from opponents. Players who dared to wear the ligher coloured boots when they were first introduced faced open and loud derision from opposing supporters with derogatory remarks on their skill and sexuality .

Have a swizz
Shoes 'r' Us

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