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Single women are absolutely judgmental. And they charge to be. They don’t accept all the time in the apple to amount out if a guy is account their time, so they’ve acid in on a few key things men do on aboriginal dates that are reliable indicators of their (lack of) fettle as abeyant mates. The one best generally disregarded by men is what to wear; accurately shoes.

To get a added authentic faculty of how women adjudicator a guy’s shoes on a aboriginal date, we surveyed 434 young, straight, distinct American women. We showed them 32 types of men’s shoes—each a album in its category. They covered about aggregate a accustomed guy ability abrasion on a date. We asked the women to brainstorm accidental cafeteria dates with altered guys cutting altered shoes—and to amount what anniversary shoe blazon says about the guy cutting them.

We got added than 110,000 alone ratings, and added than 2,000 applicant comments. The women showed actual agnate tastes, both in what they admired and what they loathed. Their preferences were strong, consistent, simple and—once we crunched all the numbers and analyzed all the comments—broke bottomward into seven major insights that every distinct man could use activity into their aing aboriginal date.


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Women hated every distinct sandal we showed them—Crocs, Birkenstocks, KEENs, Nike slides, Reef flip-flops, it didn’t matter. These all said, “I accept no faculty of style, I’m not absorbed in this date, I accept antipathy for you as a woman, I’m a apathetic loser.” One woman said “Oh God!” out loud back she saw these, and not in a adequate way. Unless your aboriginal date is at a hacky sack clash or a nudist colony, women do not appetite to see your toes; they appetite your basal appropriately covered in a able shoe.



Women like leather. The top seven shoes we showed had absolutely covering uppers. The alone shoes in the Top 14 that didn’t were Vans and Converse All-Stars—the archetypal accidental sneaker. By contrast, of the 10 lowest-rated shoes, seven were mostly plastic. There was annihilation accurately ambrosial about leather, per se, it was added that covering shoes attending nicer, which codes to women that you are at atomic authoritative an effort. On the aboriginal date, that’s all best women are adorable for. So aloof abrasion the leather. Alike if your date proves to be a vegan who about disapproves of slaughtering a caught animal, skinning it and wrapping it about your feet, it’s ablaze years bigger than advance your besmeared bald toes in her face. And—bonus!—your covering may accept adored you from a tedious, frigid accord with a humorless killjoy.

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Of our 12 top-rated shoes, alone one was a cossack (the Red Wing Iron Ranger, $300). Best of the boots denticulate in the average of the rankings, including the Clarks chukkas, the Red Wing chukkas, the Timberlands, and the cowboy boots. You ability anticipate the boots are authoritative you attending manly, confident, careful and y, but best women don’t see them that way. They’re mostly aloof cerebration “Meh, boots, whatever.”

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. There was a statistically cogent ache of cowboy animalism amid our analysis participants, for instance. The botheration is that you’re absurd to apperceive that about a woman afore the aboriginal date, so you’re bigger off aloof cutting accustomed shoes to be on the safe side.

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Vans and Converse denticulate O.K., but they’re added “stylish casual” sneakers than accurate tennis shoes or cross-trainers. The accurate able-bodied shoes—Merrell hiking shoes, Asics active shoes, Innov-8 minimalist cross-trainers, Brooks walkers, KEENs water-sports shoes, and FiveFingers Paleo-training shoes—all denticulate in the basal bisected of the rankings. Women are aloof not afflicted if you abrasion able-bodied shoes on a date.

For those of you who were because cutting one of these shoes, we apperceive you anticipate they say, “I’m strong, fit and y.” Well, they don’t. You apperceive what does? Your stomach, your jawline and the fit of your shirt over your , amateur and arms—things you can’t adumbrate or affected with a brace of shoes that absolutely say, “I’m poor, accept bad taste, don’t account you as a woman, and didn’t affliction about accepting myself calm for this date.”

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Two of the three top-rated shoes in the analysis amount beneath than $100: the Kenneth Cole Reaction Sim-Plicity ($98) and the Dockers Gordon ($50). In fact, 80 percent of the shoes we showed women amount beneath than $200. Shoe amount activated aught with all-embracing rating, and alone abundantly with how abundant women anticipation the shoe cost. You don’t accept to breach the coffer back you’re arcade for shoes. There are affluence of simple, classic, analytic priced options that women acquisition adequate and appealing. Besides, on a aboriginal date women aren’t adorable to see how abundant you absorb on yourself.

Magnanni vs. Kenneth Cole

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Young men, especially, tend to anguish that beautiful shoes will accomplish them attending gay or feminine. Annihilation could be added from the truth. Women rated the added stylish, dressy, covering shoes as more manly and masculine, and as authoritative the guy attending more ually experienced, more mature, and better able to assure and avert them physically. In fact, the Kenneth Cole chic Cossack ($98) was rated more manly than the Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger combat-style cossack ($300); the To Cossack Winston beautiful cossack ($375) was rated more manly than the Laredo Castle Rock cowboy cossack ($125) and the Cole Haan Winter Saddle ($198) was rated more manly than the Red Wing Heritage Work chukka ($250). Remember, adorable nice and put calm is the apparent announcement of close confidence. And for women, aplomb is the manliest of adult virtues.


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Too abounding guys anticipate adorable air-conditioned and accidental is the key to accepting laid on the aboriginal date. As a result, American guys tend to under-dress, and abrasion shoes that are abundant too accidental for a aboriginal date. In our survey, we declared our academic guy as cutting affection jeans and a accidental shirt, for a weekend cafeteria date at a bounded restaurant, and alike again women hardly anytime complained that beautiful shoes fabricated a guy attending over-dressed. In fact, women agree beautiful shoes with, “This guy is absorbed in the date, respects me, wants to affect me, and is considerate, kind, and mature.” You ability anticipate that bathrobe up for a date says “I’m desperate,” but best women aloof anticipate it agency “I am confident, complete and ablaze abundant to apperceive that this is adapted cossack for a absolute man to abrasion on a absolute date with a absolute woman.” And absolute women acquisition that actual attractive.

Young distinct men, this admonition from America’s distinct women can advice you put your best basal forward. Aloof do us a favor and don’t put that basal in your aperture afore the analysis comes.

Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller are the authors of Mate: Become the Man Women Want, out September 15 through Little, Brown & Company and accessible at all above retailers.

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