Shoes support students

Oct 142004
Authors: Megan Buettgenbach

Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes can be tough, especially

if the shoes do not have proper support.

Dr. Robert Brarens, a podiatrist at A Step Ahead Foot and Ankle

Center, 2001 S. Shields St., said college students need to be

proactive about adequate footwear while they are still young.

“The things that start out like bunions and flat feet can become

much more serious (as time goes on),” Brarens said.

Some students have already addressed this problem.

“Medically, I have to wear comfy shoes,” said freshman Katie

Sloboda, an equine science major. “I can’t wear high heels, even if

I wanted to. I have really bad arches.”

For others, it is a completely different story.

“My motto is shoes are not cute if they don’t hurt your feet,”

said Sarah Damen, a freshman psychology major. “I just wear shoes

(on the basis) of if they are cute or not. I don’t really care

about the future. I get a new blister about once a week.”

Since students tend to walk a lot, they commonly suffer from

aliments such as heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, bunions and

hammertoes, a condition when a toe joint is permanently bent,

Brarens said.

Having the right kind of shoe may help prevent these


“High-heeled pointy shoes are something to avoid,” Brarens said.

“A wider area at the toe is better. Most tennis shoes are good as

long as they are not too tight. Buying small shoes force your feet

all the way into the point of the shoes.”

Many students prefer to wear flip-flops around campus.

However, wearing flip-flops can create a higher chance of

getting athlete’s foot, toenail trauma and flat feet, which may

increase the incidence of heel pain, Brarens said.

Wearing high heels forces toes to point downward, Brarens said.

If you to fall, you could twist your ankle and suffer from an

inversion ankle sprain, which could take four to six weeks to


For students involved in sports, Brarens recommends wearing

appropriate shoes for the activity.

Still, freshman Michael Smart just wears shoes that fit his

day-to-day life.

“I wear skating shoes because I can slip them on and off, and it

is really comfortable,” said Smart, a zoology major. “(But) for

getting around campus, I wear hiking boots.”

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