I have shoes on my mind these days.  I’m not a fashion-conscious kind of guy.  It’s always been pretty simple, one pair of tennis shoes, flip flops and occasionally some dress shoes for the inevitable wedding/funeral.  Well, I need to update my one pair of sneakers and I have been thinking about the implications of wearing tennis shoes for my professional work.  Does it impact my business?

Someone told me that as a professional I need to wear shoes that reflect my profession.  So, being that I’m a professional “Why Guy” naturally I started thinking about what kind of shoe would best represent me and why. I came up with a clean pair of white sneakers.

Let’s take a look at professional shoes. First off, we really need to answer the question, “What are professional shoes?”  A professional life guard doesn’t wear finely polished leather shoes to rescue people in the water. A professional cowboy shouldn’t dawn flip flips when driving cattle.  A Wall Street finance pro wouldn’t be caught dead in lower Manhattan sporting a pair of studded cleats.  At least not on a work day.

So what kinds of shoes does a self-made man wear?  Simple, whatever kind of shoe he wants. I did a little research into what my personal mentors and peers wear and sure enough I found pictures of them wearing sneakers.  Even on the job!

Now, back to the question, “What are professional shoes?”  If the shoes define the profession and not the potential of the person wearing them, then what difference does it make?

I’m just thinking here.  Does ones clothing determine if you do business with them?  Maybe you could help me out a little. Share your thoughts below. I’d love to know your take on all this.