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,
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
“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.”