A Dude Helps Us Decode Men's First-Date Shoes

Beware: sweeping generalizations ahead. Of course, sweeping generalizations exist for a reason, and if not for a glimmer of truth, then at least for a good laugh and to point out our obvious perceptions. So, while there are a million things to take into consideration when meeting a guy for the first time (eye contact, posture, thoughtfulness, to name a few), we have to admit: There is nothing more snap-judgment-ready than his shoes...or so says J-Date, which posits that you can decode a dude using just his shoes.
To test out this theory, we grabbed 12 iconic pairs of kicks — shoes we've seen on many male types before — and asked our favorite dude about town, Elliot Aronow, to let us into a particular guy's psyche. Upon a first (and admittedly cursory) glance, what does his choice in footwear say about him?
Mr. Aronow doesn't just dispense great advice, but the "Our Show" producer/conceptualizer/editor-in-chief and Playboy style columnist has one solid goal, and that's to make the sartorially challenged man take a couple risks and feel good about himself. He gives us his take on what each of these shoes say about a male approach to date nights.
Click through to see if you agree with his two-second shoe assessment, and let us know: Should we see what dudes think about the first-date shoe...for women?
1 of 12
The Desert Boot
"Out of the gate, you know this dude is not afraid to sprinkle a little swag sauce on his outfit. I'd say he is cool for sticking with a classic Clarks design and wins even more points for going the Ghostface route and rocking them dogs in wild colors. Provided the rest of his outfit is as well-mannered, this is a win. And for you fashionable ladies, he will appreciate your style, so don't be afraid to turn it on."

Clarks Desert Boot, $119.99, available at Clarks.
2 of 12
New Balance Sneaker
"While I would not immediately co-sign a man who wears these on the first date, this flip to the sneaker of the moment is pretty sweet for a weekend look. Your man might be a recovering indie rocker who is trying to step his game up from Saucony, so throw him a few points for effort. If he pairs them with well-fitting jeans and a good attitude, give him the benefit of the doubt and lose your fear of showing off your tattoos."

New Balance 574 Sneaker, $75, available at Urban Outfitters.
3 of 12
Nike Air Force Ones
"Vintage-inspired badunkadoo Nikes travel across many scenes (design, marketing, music), so it may be hard to get a read on your man at first pass. Just in case, I'd say you should be able to talk about Eames chairs, Kendrick Lamar, Supreme, and David Chang over dinner if you want to impress him. Don't order a beer though...keep him on his toes."

Nike Air Force 1 Premium iD Shoe, $175, available at Nike.
4 of 12
The Brogue
"While brown lightweight brogues are not exactly swagger city, you need to respect the man who is wearing a shoe that looks like this on a date. This is probably his day-to-day work shoe (totally acceptable for most jobs), or maybe he wanted to put in some effort for your special night. Either way, his 10% extra effort is a huge improvement over what most other men parade around in. Off to a good start."

ASOS Brogue with Leather Sole, $82.85, available at ASOS.
5 of 12
The Chelsea Boot
"Like most rock-'n'- roll-themed attire (the Chelsea Boot was made famous by the Beatles, Dylan, and other mod-inspired rockers), you need to be pretty together to pull these off on the 'Grown Stroke' tip. Expect him to own a guitar (which he might play for work or pay) and know how to dance to Buddy Holly. These don't come cheap, so also expect him to happily spring for a nice dinner, duh."

Burberry Chelsea Boot, $650, available at Burberry.
6 of 12
The Flip Flop
"You can respect his irreverence if he wears them to the beach. If he wears them to 'not the beach,' I'm a little skeeved. Maybe that is taking it too far, but you know where I am going. Just be his friend, ya know?"

Rainbow Sandals, $48.95, available at Island Surf.
7 of 12
The Boat Shoe
"This dude is definitely playing it straight, so ease in with the saucy talk or references to super-underground stuff. If he is into clothes, he knows that boat shoes are 'sorta over' and just wears them anyway (respectable), and if he's not, then at least his baseline judgement is pretty good (also respectable)."

Sperry Topsider Men's ASV Mariner II 3 Eye Boat Shoe, $120, available at Sperry.
8 of 12
The Fancy Loafer
"This one can be hard to call. Depending on where you stand on a guy being like 'Ehh yo, I am wearing Gucci loafers,' this look may be a little strong. Whatever though, Gucci and loafers are two words that go together. And they are definitely suggestive. Don't be afraid of his high-fashion sartorial peacocking, so long as he keeps the rest in check."

Gucci moccasin, $495, available at Gucci.
9 of 12
The Timberland
"I am a sucker for classic subculture looks so, of course, I am going to co-sign Tims. If it was 1994, this dude would make you a mix tape with Mobb Deep and Jodeci, which is a good look. Depending on how tight or loose his pants are, you can get a pretty quick read on his sartorial vibe. Many a fly dude have built the foundations of their outfits on Tims."

Timberland Men's 6 Inch Classic Waterproof Outdoor Boot, $129.95, available at Infinity Shoes.
10 of 12
Classic Vans Slip-Ons
"I will always have love for low-top Vans. The short list for the man who rocks burgundy canvas Vans probably includes the Bad Brains, skateboard companies like Girl or Plan B, any sort of pizza with eggs on it, and trips to the beach. If you are down, you know he will probably be fun to hang out with."

Vans Canvas Authentic, $45, available at Vans.
11 of 12
The Smoking Slipper
"If your man walks in wearing these, he had better be able to order a decent bottle of Sancerre, quote lines from Metropolitan, and talk to you about Gore Vidal. This is a very uptown look — not for boys and not for amateurs. I think it is rather handsome, as long as it is offset with some some humor and a not too, too perfect oxford shirt."

Stubbs & Wootton Marlin Navy, $450, available at Stubbs & Wootton.
12 of 12
The Classic Doc Marten
"The dude wearing these is definitely up on his music. Depending on his taste, this could range from The Specials to Kindness to the Cro Mags. You might want to slow down if he shows up wearing a pair of dirty jeans and a Cannibal Corpse T-shirt, but hey, even that look his its charms. These brusiers can also provide a nice dude-ical counterpoint to Greenpoint glasses or a sweater."

Dr. Martens Vintage 1460 Boots, $200, available at Dr. Martens.

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