When was the last time you noticed the shoes someone was wearing? When was the last time you asked about their shoes? Shoes might be overlooked as merely a necessity of the day’s outfit, but some shoes can provide insight into the lives of the wearers.
“I like to show off my sense of style,” junior Ana Hall said of her bright red cowgirl boots. “They add a sense of style to what I like to wear and what I like.” Hall said she wears her boots often. “I’ve had them for a year now, so I’ve gotten well use of them.” The only thing she doesn’t like about them are the signs of wear. “There’s a few scuff marks on them, but other than that I love them.”
In some cases the wearer might not even own their shoes. “Actually these are my mom’s to be honest,” freshman Quin Doval said. Her vintage but classy high heels remind her “of those oxford shoes that people wore in the 50’s.” While some girls may shudder at the thought of heels, Doval said, “these are pretty comfortable.” For her shoes selections in general, she tends to place fashion over comfort. “I’m more for style, especially at school since I’m sitting down a lot, but comfort does kind of play a role. I mean obviously I’m not going to wear shoes that give me huge blisters.”
Shoes can also be a way to take a peek into people’s lives. Christian Marseilles ended up sharing about his relationship with his brother as a result of being asked about his shoes. The freshman sports some well-worn Nike sneakers. “They were cheap,” he said of his shoes, “I got them at a thrift shop for $4. They were on sale. They’re really old Nikes and they’re kind of worn down but they’re really comfy.” Marseilles shops at thrift stores frequently, something that his brother got him into. “My brother used to [shop at thrift stores] a lot. He’s two years older than me. He always used to take me to thrift shops with him when I was little.” Marseilles said that the two of them are close. “We listen to music a lot. We’re both musicians so we play music together at his church. We like to go to the beach and get tacos.” Marseilles plays guitar and bass and plays “reggae and metal and pretty much anything” with his brother. “This extended a lot from shoes,” said Marseilles at the conclusion of the interview.
Zoe Lopp, a freshman, also has a story behind her shoes involving her and her sister. Lopp shows off her bold but trendy Birkenstock style sandals. “They’re fun and really unique,” Lopp said. “I like that they have a lot of colors on them.” When asked about one of the best places her shoes have taken her, Lopp said, “I went to get pizza with my sister and it was really fun and I was wearing these shoes.” She and her sister have a close relationship, said Lopp. “We always hang out together at home and we play games and we just have a lot of fun together.”
Shoes can take people all over the world to help those in need. A pair of Converse took one freshman girl to San Diego to help kids with special needs. Daisy Wolfe describes her white sneakers with blue highlights as “adventurous.” “They have blue instead of red like the normal red and white. So they’re blue and white, which is just a different change and it’s just unique.” Wolfe also likes to be unique in the wardrobe choices she makes. The best place she’s been with her shoes is “down in San Diego…there’s a baseball program for the disabled and my brother plays and I’m a buddy there and I wore them there just the other day.” Wolfe enjoys helping out there. “The kids with special needs, they run around the bases and depending on their ability we run with them or we help them hit the ball. When we’re fielding, we play catch with them or duck, duck, goose or just whatever.” Wolfe said that she has an easy time connecting with the children. “Some [of the kids] are close to home for me because my brother has special needs and my dad has disabilities…it’s just an easy connection.”
Whether shoes are casual sneakers or fashionable heels, they go virtually everywhere. They, too, have a story to tell.