Tennis Shoe Color Debate: What’s Your Brain Telling You?

A simple photo prompted a tennis shoe color debate and supposedly helped people learn whether they are left-brained or right-brained.

Did you get caught up in the tennis shoe color debate this week?

What do you see in this image?

Someone first posted the sneakers photo back in 2017.

But people shared the photo widely across social media this week. The caption explains the colors you see indicate which side of the brain is dominant.

Seeing the shoe as pink and white indicates you are right-brained, meaning that your right brain is dominant.

If you see the shoe as gray and the shoelaces, sole and stripe as green or teal, you’re left-brained.

NBC’s Today, it’s worth noting, reported that the footwear came from Vans, and were listed as “mahogany rose” (or, pink).

Left-Brained or Right-Brained?

Scientists say that the side of your brain that is dominant can reveal a lot about you.

The theory is that people who are left-brain dominant are better at analysis and logic, discerning facts and sequencing, and have an advantage in mathematics and language.

People who are right-brained, then, are supposedly better at being creative, daydreaming, have a great imagination, strong intuition and feelings, and have a talent in the arts.

Given the two lists, I’d assume I’m much more right-brained than left-brained.

But I see gray and green on that stupid tennis shoe photo.

Granted, I do have a certain degree of talent when it comes to logic and critical thinking, and working in the TV news businesses as the real job certainly requires the ability to balance facts.

But I’ve also won awards for marketing promotions which required much more on the creative side. Being a storyteller, of course, also requires a certain degree of right-brain skill.

You can always take a test like this one to try to get a better perspective of which side is dominant.

When I took the test, it showed the exact opposite result of the photo test. It claims I’m 100% right-brained!

Tennis shoe color debate may not tell you anything

Do you have to be one or the other? Not really.

Stephen Kosslyn, Ph.D., coauthor of Top Brain, Bottom Brain, told Huffpost that the whole left-brain/right-brain thing is all a bunch of bunk. There’s no scientific evidence behind it, he says. Kosslyn’s team found the top of the brain is exclusively involved in creating and monitoring plans while the bottom classifies and interprets information.

But he’s not looking to turn the left/right argument into a top/bottom one. Instead, he told Huffpost they’ve identified four modes that can better classify a person’s mental type. You can read about them here.

Of the four they’ve come up with, I would say I’m definitely a perceiver, but the link to the test that can verify this didn’t appear to be working.

In any case, any test that purports to tell you which side of your brain is dominant based on the color you see in one single picture is automatically suspect in my book.

You can decide for yourself whether I’m making that statement with left-brained logic or right-brained passion.

I’d suggest I’m using my talent for insight as a perceiver.


  1. crazy thing happened to me ..I am baffled!! I saw a strong aqua and gray when I first looked at this. I had been working on bills and got stressed and ended up destressing on facebook. I am always so interested in neuroscience. Then I wanted to share and the person who had posted had no sharing from their profile. I decided to screenshot it. As I looked at it and was using my photo editing skills to crop out and color over the names in the post, I noticed the color seemed more faded and by the time I shared it the photo was pink. I thought this was fascinating!! My brain traded sides to solve the problem! Has to be that right?

  2. When it comes to shoes, I’m much more concerned that they fit both my left and right feet! However, I do have some shoes that were purchased by my right brain, but my left brain keeps warning me not to wear them. 🙂

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.