Shoe Blues

Morgan Matson, Staff Writer

School dances, the time to get dressed up and rock a fancy outfit. The essentials include an elegant dress, sparkly jewelry, effortless hair, dramatic makeup, and heels. I’m going to completely frank; I hate heels. The second I put them on, my calf’s throb, my knees swell, and all my joints start to ache. I can’t wait until the time comes when I get to throw on Crocs.

Usually my teal Crocs were a safe haven of comfort, but just a month ago at Holiday Ball, my safe haven crumbled, and they were no longer shoes of ease and comfort. About half way through the dance, when I was doing the stanky leg, my knees started to give out and started swelling like crazy. My Crocs had backstabbed me! I then remembered what my dad had always encouraged me, don’t buy shoes for style, but for comfort, but how? How was I going to find shoes that were comfortable, practical but also stylish? And yes, I think Crocs are stylish.

Since I am an athlete, and I have been through my share of injuries. I have had a stress fracture in my back, torn ligaments in my ankle, and a cracked cartilage in my knee leading to surgery. After every injury, my dad would encourage me to wear nice, practical shoes to help prevent further complications and ultimately create comfort. I would agree to his conditions, because who doesn’t like to be comfortable, and who doesn’t want to get new shoes? He would take me out to buy new shoes, and I would think we were going to Nordstrom’s, or Nike, but that was not the case. To my surprise, we rolled up to….Schuler Shoes. Now, Schuler Shoes is not a bad place, but it is definitely not the store for teenage girls. However, it is a great place for practical shoes. So that is where my dilemma comes in, no store exists, for women at least, that combines practicality and style.

Shoes, in the eyes of women, are not supposed to be practical. In fact, very few women consider shoes simply protection from the elements. Instead, they are a form of personal expression. However, statistics show that high heels are leading factors in foot injuries in women. Women now understand that heels are horrible for them, so they move right to flats. While at first glance flat shoes may appear to be a better option, they can actually be more harmful than heels. They can cause foot, leg, and back injuries. By understanding that research, we can also understand the shoes that women wear to work are causing preventable injuries. There simply needs to be a store where girls can buy shoes that are comfortable and not hideously ugly.

There needs to be a happy medium with comfort and style, and I believe that it is vital to eliminate all preventable injuries, and shoes are a tiny stepping stone in that direction. It’s extremely important that both men and women should understand what they wear and even the little decisions they make can end up effecting their body negatively for the rest of their lives.