Walk in style and comfort

By JP Graham | Reporter

Whether someone takes a few hours to make a decision or only a few minutes, deciding what to wear for the day can become a monotonous task over time. Usually, the last accessory put on before departing and an afterthought for some are shoes, yet choosing between discomfort and self-expression can tell you more about a person than you might think.

As someone who is obsessed with shoes, I shy away from the term “sneaker head” because my collection is more than just sneakers. From boots to brightly colored basketball shoes to slippers, I have a pair of shoes for almost anything that comes my way.

That being said, I still like to find reasons to wear shoes that are dedicated to less frequent events or appearances.

Two major factors go into selecting the correct pair of shoes for the day: comfort versus style. I look at these two factors as being directly related. The more undervalued of the two, comfort addresses the duration of how long certain shoes can be worn.

Daily schedules require people to constantly be moving, and if a pair of shoes is uncomfortable to walk in or can cause pain over time, there’s a good chance they won’t be selected for the day.

Also, shoes offer protection from the outside elements. Whether there’s a storm or tough ground to walk on, shoes provide defense against rain and puddles along with potentially sharp objects on the ground that could all affect your feet.

Style is the next factor that goes into choosing the right shoes for the day, one that most would agree on as the most important. Clothes allow us to express ourselves in any way we desire, and shoes help round-out the outfit selected. Shoes are so expressive that people even tie their shoes differently or, like me, not at all.

As someone who has too many pairs of shoes, I struggle with making sure I wear each pair of shoes in a relatively frequent manner. The shoes that I tend to wear less are ones that are more expressive in appearance, but also less comfortable than the other options. These shoes though, tend to be the ones that immediately caught my eye, and the “I have to have them” mentality took over.

Now that these two factors have been discussed, we can see the predicament we are put in every morning. People are forced to choose from their arsenal of footwear a pair that is appropriate for the events of the day, whether for work or running errands etc., comfortable enough to where they can be worn all day and of a certain style that fits what the person is trying to convey.

You can tell a lot about a person based on their shoe choice. Not only are you introduced to their personal style and what they enjoy, you’re also shown the importance of comfort and functionality for that specific person. If I choose to wear bulky boots on a day where I am always on my feet, you can tell that I’m choosing to value style over comfort.

Personally, it is a safe bet that I choose to prefer comfort and functionality over style. As someone with poor feet, the heel inserts and comfort of the soles are major selling points for me. On top of owning a decent number of sneakers, making sure I can walk around and accomplish the tasks at hand without any discomfort is crucial.

But, this preference differs from person to person. Next time you’re in a crowded space, take a look around at the shoes selected by people and see what you can infer based on their shoe choice. More than just protecting your feet or looking cool, shoes can tell more about someone than they think.