Street | Humor

Psychological breakdown of winter footwear

The unprecedented length and sheer intensity of this winter have given rise to a wide variety of footwear selections — some perhaps more practical than others. In response to the weekly blizzards and ice storms, many on campus have designated a single pair of shoes for the brutal weather. Find out below what your go-to winter footwear says about you.


Sure, they’re not exactly warm, but they keep your feet dry, and that’s what’s important! You emphasize the pragmatism behind the decision to break out your fire engine red babies for another day, frowning only slightly at the realization that you haven’t worn your green pants in three months. It’s a price you’re willing to pay, though, as surely your choice of this particular color out of twenty others speaks to your quirky personality. How better to express your unique identity than by donning the same pair of boots owned by every other girl on campus?


Good for you, you’re probably the only one in your friend group who has stuck to your gym-related New Year’s resolution! You’re the person I glare at in the dining hall between mouthfuls of cake, the one wearing nothing but running shorts and a fleece as he makes his way to Dillon in 10-degree weather at 6 a.m. Or, you know, just that guy who wears sneakers, and only sneakers, year-round, weather be damned. Don’t be that guy.


In all likelihood, you’re just another one of the many poor souls who happens to have a formal or interview at an extremely inconvenient time. If you’re not bringing your formal footwear to the venue in your bag, though, chances are evolution will phase you out. What did you say? This is just how you roll? More power to you. Just remember that a pair of flats won’t kill you, but those platforms very well might. Even if your nude pumps make your legs look like Miranda Kerr’s, they have the unfortunate side effect of also making your brain resemble Paris Hilton’s.

Flip Flops

Wearing Rainbows in February can mean one of three things. You’re: 1) from Russia; 2) hallucinating; or 3) a masochist, because those are the only valid explanations for trudging essentially barefoot through the small lagoons of icy slush. If you were trying to pull off the cavalier, nonchalant, “What snow?” attitude, suffice it to say that you’ve failed pretty miserably. Frostbite is not hot, literally and otherwise.

Hiking Boots

The proverbial Chuck Norris of footwear, nothing says “YOU WILL BE CONQUERED” to the polar vortex like a pair of Gore-tex hiking boots. You won’t just make it through the snow, goddammit, you will overcome it because that’s just the kind of person you are. You are an example of the beauty of the human spirit, the type of inspiration that star in emotional YouTube videos that get passed around during finals week. Strength. Endurance. Grit. As you begin the ascent from Fine to McCosh Hall on a Monday morning, ice pick in one hand and bungee cord in the other, passersby stop to watch you in all your glory. Is it Bear Grylls? A North Face commercial? No, it’s just you, hiking boots-wearing Princetonian, making a mountain out of the molehills of slush still clinging to campus. You alone will survive this winter with limbs intact.

Sperry Top Siders

What are you doing? Sure, they’re nonslip, and yes, they’re waterproof, but YOU ARE NOT ON A BOAT. Last time I checked, your yacht wasn’t docked in Lake Carnegie. It’s probably time to reevaluate your life choices. While you’re at it, put on some socks and get some real shoes.

Bean boots/Snow boots, etc.

You’re all for getting into the Olympic spirit, but not quite ready to participate by luging down the path to Terrace. Unassuming, sensible and down-to-earth, you’re just trying to get through the day (and this interminable winter). In the end, that’s all we can really do.

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