Attending the university that sits on the highest of seven hills in Tallahassee doesn’t require students to wear the highest heels. Fashion over comfort has been an issue for many generations.
Some students feel that it is O.K. to increase the chances of having pain for the sake of keeping up with the latest fashion trends.
“I wear shoes based on how I want my outfit to look, regardless of the possibility of foot pain,” said Tiffany Zeno, 20, a junior agricultural business student from Decatur, Ga.
“I usually overlook the more comfortable shoes because they are rarely on sale and just aren’t as cute,” Zeno said.
Other students would rather wear a comfortable shoe and disregard fashion.
“I prefer comfort over fashion in shoes, but sometimes you can find both in one shoe,” said Tacarra Avery, 19, a sophomore biology student from New Orleans.
“I have a lot of fashionable shoes, but after walking these hills, they kill my feet,” Avery said.
Billy Weldon, owner of The Shoe Box, a Tallahassee shoe store, said, “usually the more comfortable a shoe, the more expensive the shoe would be.”
This may be a reason why college students opt for a more fashionable shoe. The costs may seem too great when dealing with a limited budget.
In the 2002 Birkenstock order booklet, a sandal that has comfort and fashion is $79. This is compared to a Nine West high-heeled sandal on sale for $39. Students start to see dollars over the level of comfort that a shoe offers.
On www.foot.com, Mary Ellen Franklin, an exercise physiologist and associate professor of physical therapy at the Medical College of Georgia, said that heels have been linked to problems with lower back pain. Franklin said women wearing heels run the risk of altering their normal back pattern.
“Anything that does that probably isn’t healthy,” she said. “The bottom line is that high heels are terrible for women.”