Sneak Attack

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Air Force 1s, black old skool Vans, and Converse trample the halls every 90 minutes in high schools throughout America. Anything off brand is frowned upon, and anything designer is praised. High school students take their shoes seriously, but just how seriously do high schoolers take them? The total revenue for shoe companies in 2018 was 81 billion in the US alone, according to IBIS World (an expert analysis webpage).

Teenagers across the country are always looking for the latest trend, and that is no different when it comes to shoes. Some shoes stay in style for a long time, such as simple slip­ on white Vans. Other shoes have left the realm of trendy must have clothing and only recently made a comeback, such as Doc Martins. Footwear has remained one of the most beloved American purchases, with imports of 7 pairs of shoes for every man, woman, and child in the country, according to FDRA (Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America).

How do teenagers feel about shoes though? “I take shoes slightly seriously” says Andrea Medina, a junior, “especially my Air Force 1s, they have to stay clean and not creased.” Keeping shoes clean is also a large part of shoe culture. “My white Vans and Nike Cortez, I usually clean them with a toothbrush to keep them shiny” she says. Crease less, stiff, and well kept shoes are regarded as the “cleanest” they can be.

“I think the most popular shoe is Vans, because they come in a lot of different colors and styles so people have a big selection to choose from” says Jessica Macintosh, a sophomore. “Friends seem to always make fun of other friends for wearing off­-brand shoes, but I don’t, people will make fun of you if you don’t, because they’re lame.” The shoe game is seen taken very serious in high school, and can potentially make or break your outfit.”

In conclusion, it’s important to take shoes seriously, but it isn’t the end of the world if you slip up on your slip ons every once and awhile. Shoes should be worn if it makes the person feel comfortable and confident, not if it gets stares in the hallways. It doesn’t matter if a person has the newest Nikes, or the oldest Adidas, or even sandals from Walmart, as long as the person feels their best is all that matters.