“Well, I picked these shoes because they were really vibrant and out-there. I’m the kind of person who really likes to put themselves out there, so I guess you could say I have a colorful personality.”
“The first thing that stuck out to me was how many colors there were. When you look at it from afar, it just looks pink, but up close there’s so much detail and more to it…ya know? That was really cool for me to see. I guess in a way I’m kind of like that, too.”
Anishaa Patel and Erin Seu
Microbiology and Biology, Sophomores
A-“I don’t know where these shoes came from, but I know that they were on sale!”
E-“Mine too! I’m pretty sure I got these just because they were cheap.”
A- “ I think we were together when we got these, right?”
G – “How long have you guys known each other?”
A and E -“We’ve been friends since kindergarten, and now, we’re in college together!”
“Let me tell you a secret: I’m wearing Sperries because I don’t have any socks left. I’m a chill guy — I don’t need socks! But thanks for reminding me that I need to do my laundry.”
English and Public Relations, Junior
“I wore these shoes a lot during my freshman year, and I figured, ‘why not bring them back?’ There are a lot of memories involved with these shoes.”
“I know my feet look scary—these bites are actually because of the mosquitos at H-Camp, and my toes are from years of ballet. These scratches kind of make me remember how much fun all of that was.”
“Why are you asking to photograph my feet when I’m wearing the most beat up shoes I own?! I had a pair of these in middle school–I wanted them because everyone else wanted them. They’re plain and simple and match everything, and they last a long time. These are actually my sister’s that I stole from her because I wanted them back. I’m a very go-with-the-flow, very laid back, and very simple-minded person. I’m really easily influenced by other people, even on simple things like shoes. Even though it’s been so long, these are still one of my favorite and go-to shoes.”
“I’m a simple guy who just wanted a bold statement. I promise I’m not usually wearing this much red! But I liked how they looked, as well as how simple, yet bold, they were. No, I don’t drive a BMW, but I wish I did. I just thought it was nice to have a simple shoe with such a unique and bold statement–I guess you could say I have some unique parts of me that stand out too.”
I have a confession to make: I don’t actually like feet. There’s just something strange about them to me–maybe the strange shape, or the funky toes, or the weird smells. Before I embarked on this journey, I thought that it would be interesting to capture how people choose to display their personalities through what I thought was the weirdest, dirtiest part of their body. As I talked to my fellow students (some peers, some strangers), I began to see something more than merely a pair of shoes on a pair of feet.
My feet are extremely flat and have strangely broken and shaped toenails, results of years of sports and overly tight cleats. My feet are marked with an array of tan lines from random sandals I wear throughout the year in rain or shine because native Floridians don’t really own other shoes. Growing up, my Taiwanese mother always insisted on everybody being barefoot inside the house. Therefore, the only way for me to be comfortable is to be barefoot. I tell others that I “enjoy randomness,” which is basically an excuse to avoid saying that I am too lazy to find the matching sock. Chances are that you will find me at home, barefoot or wearing outlandishly mismatched socks, trying a new recipe in the kitchen or rolling on the floor watching Netflix.
The more I got to know people and their choices in footwear, the more I realized that feet, as well as the shoes and socks that mask them, represent who you are. Your quirks, traits, past, and passions are carried with you wherever you go on your feet, leading you and guiding you on the daily adventures of life. So I encourage you to ask this question–what do you wear on your feet?