The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

Tread Trends: The Evolution of Campus Kicks

Annemarie Mullet

The pair of white Air Force 1s you got last Christmas? Those are out. You’ll have to ask for a pair of Jordan 4s this year. Those (now not so white) high-top Converse you had in middle school? Better replace them with some platform Converse if you want to stay in style. Throw out those crusty old slides. You need some Hey Dudes to make sure your shoe collection is up to date.

And if you’re a Linfield University student, you really should have your eye on Nike Dunk Lows. It seems like every person has a pair on. Whether it’s a black and white or a blue and orange look, Nike Dunk Lows, nicknamed Dunks, are everywhere on campus. Individuality comes into the trend through the many colorways available.

Sophomore Lukas McNabb, who owns around 15 pairs of shoes, said his favorite is his Coconut Dunks which have a cream and white colorway. But what he really wants are the UNC Dunks, a classic light blue and white shoe.

On the other hand, freshman Ellie Fernando Campos said, “My favorite pair are my Next Nature Dunk Lows since they are versatile and go with anything.” The Next Nature Dunks have an elaborate design with purple and green flowers detailing the shoe, with a white base color and black accents on the tongue, the sole and the Nike swoosh. While the Next Nature Dunks are Fernando Campos’ current favorite shoes, her dream shoes are the Travis Scott SB Dunk Lows, which have a variety of patterns including plaid and a bandana-looking design.

This trend meets the needs of people’s differing senses of style. With all of the different options for just one shoe design, people are able to carefully pick and choose which Nike Dunk goes best with their outfit each day. To some, the importance placed on what shoes someone owns may seem bizarre, but to others, their shoe game is often more important than any other piece of their outfit. The pair of shoes someone puts on at the beginning of their day can impact their confidence as much as a good-hair day or a kind word from a friend.

“Shoes can make your whole outfit,” Fernando Campos said. “Even if you wear a casual outfit and put on a nice pair of shoes, your outfit goes from a 5 to a 10.”

But not everybody feels this way.

Sophomore Kelsie Williams does not consider herself a sneakerhead although she still claims to own around 20 pairs of shoes. She doesn’t really even know what the trendiest shoe on campus is right now. “I like shoes but am nowhere near the level of people waiting for shoe drops,” she said.

“Personally, I don’t notice shoes as much as other clothes,” psychology professor Cara Ray said. “I think shoes are the last part of the outfit I notice.”

So, maybe shoes don’t matter quite as much to other people as they do to the person putting them on and not all people have an interest in following the latest styles.

“It can be exhausting for people who feel pressured to keep up with the trends and it can also be expensive,” said Ray.

Frequent changes in shoe popularity are in large part due to the rising influence of the media. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram provide young people a space where they can easily see what trends are picking up, and it’s not just shoe trends.

“Trends are influenced by the media,” Ray said. “So whatever is being advertised or worn by influencers will set the trend.”

From basic sandals made from bark to flat leather shoes to sneakers, it’s safe to say that human beings have come a long way from a simple, barefooted life. And although people’s taste in shoes has been evolving for centuries, it seems to be changing more frequently and at a more rapid pace than ever before.

Because new trends can be circulated quickly and students on campus don’t want to experience the fear of missing out, the pressure to keep up with rapid changes in styles will keep many Linfield students’ eyes on the latest footwear.

And while Dunks may be the current trend, there’s no telling when they’ll be out and something new, either a new brand or just a new style, will replace them.

“I don’t think that the style of shoes will change in the next couple of years, but I’m sure it will change over time,” McNabb said. “Regardless, I think the trendiest shoes will always revolve around Nike.”

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About the Contributor
Annemarie Mullet
Annemarie Mullet, Managing Editor

Annemarie Mullet is a senior from Kirkland, Wash. She is a digital arts major and creative writing minor. Annemarie also works at the Writing Center and in the digital art lab. When not working or doing school, Annemarie can be found doing art, crocheting, sewing, reading, or spending time with her ESA bunny, Mocha.

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