Meeting the Woman behind ‘How To Tell A Man By His Shoes’

Meeting the woman behind ‘How To Tell A Man By His Shoes,’ 20 year old first time author Kathryn Eisman (pictured here), I had secretly hoped that there would be something about this successful model and final-year communications student that I would find disappointing. You know, that she had a really bad accent, was a total airhead or worse, a prima-donna brat. How wrong could I be! As we relaxed into our cappuccinos I became acutely aware that I really wanted her to like my shoes. By the end of the interview, I wished she was my best friend. Kathryn Eisman – gorgeous, funny, smart. Oh, and she has the amazing ability to read a man’s personality by his shoes. Read on?’I’ve got this theory, that a lot women share, and that is that you can tell a man by his shoes,’ says first time author and self-confessed footwear fetishist Kathryn. ‘And I have girlfriends who have gone out on dates with men and simply wouldn’t go out on another date with them because they just could not get past how hideous the shoes were,’ she laughs. ‘So I thought it would be a great thing to have a manual for decoding the male species from their footwear,’ she says revealing the reasons behind her first literary outing.

The book, a pint-sized guide featuring 45 shoe styles complete with relevant personality assessment was also illustrated by Kathryn herself, remarkably, the shoes in most cases drawn from memory. This is obviously the work of someone deeply in love with shoes. Are we talking Imelda here?

‘I’ve got a lot of shoes!’ she admits. ‘At one stage I thought ‘Oh, I can buy this because it will be a tax deduction because I’m writing a book about shoes. But I’ve since found out that that’s not the case. Serves me right!’ she laments. ‘I’ve got a lot of shoes, 40 at least. I went to New York last year and came home with 9 pairs of shoes. I was there for 3 months. There was a suitcase primarily for shoes and I thought ‘If I lose that I’ll kill myself!’ she laughs.

March 13, 2002

Meeting the Woman behind ‘How To Tell A Man By His Shoes’ (Cont.)

We put ‘How To Tell A Man By His Shoes,’ to the test on the SheSaid boys and the results were, well, spooky.Take ‘Square-Toe Lace Up Man’ for instance. ‘Staying up to the minute is priority numero uno for this man. In fact, one might conclude that this guy is so obsessed with acquiring the latest and greatest that he has no time left to enjoy his new purchases (but he manages somehow).’ Too true!

And what about ‘High-End Skater Man’ I hear you ask? ‘This man’s dream apartment is the stereotypical urban bunker dotted with design classics, laced with the latest integrated sound system. Like the man himself, it is both eclectic and minimalist.’ Uncanny!

While a single shoe type reading may provide some great insight into a personality type, it is often not enough to reveal the complexities and quirks of most personalities. Kathryn is quick to point out that a combination reading is usually more accurate.

‘I think it’s smart to look at the two favourites or most commonly worn shoes and take a bit from both. People are more than one thing,’ she says. Kathryn is also of the opinion that while money can buy style, it can’t always by personality. She has some heartening advice for the financially challenged, who may now live in fear that their shoe budget is not sufficient to reflect their personality accurately.

‘Some of the most expensive shoes aren’t the most attractive in my opinion, so it’s always good to know that your personal style and panache can override the price tags in many cases,’ she says.

Knowing how to read a prospective mate by his shoes must have had it’s advantages for the once-single Kathryn, avoiding potentially ill-fated romances from unsuitably shod suitors. Her boyfriend ’80’s advertising guru Siimon Reynolds must have been sporting a winning pair on their first date. Or things might have turned out very differently.

‘He was wearing the pointed boot, ‘ she admits. ‘Although I have to confess, his shoe closet has been given a bit of a facelift through the duration of our relationship. Sometimes a little bit of guidance is always welcome – for all men’ she laughs.

So what do Pointed Boots say about the man? You’ll just have to get yourself a copy to find out!

‘How To Tell A Man By His Shoes’ is out now through Pan Macmillan at all good bookstores.

By Sally Schofield.

March 13, 2002