The Great Sneaker Debate

Photo of Siena Avolio’s Air Force 1s

Siena Avolio

Photo of Siena Avolio’s Air Force 1s

Renee Cargill, Guest Writer

Ever since the beginning of time, shoe trends, like all trends, have faded in and out of popularity. The most recent of these fads are designer sneaker brands such as Yeezys, Golden Goose, and most notably, Air Jordans.

Jordans, like all leather shoes, will crease in the toe box because of the natural way feet bend when people walk. This creasing has caused feverish debate in the sneakerhead community: does shoe maintenance even matter? 

Some people believe that shoes are meant to be worn and that people shouldn’t waste their time worrying about keeping them clean. According to an article by Sneaker Freak, creasing and other imperfections on shoes do not matter because these “flaws” make them cool and “add character.”   

Athens Academy freshman and certified sneakerhead Siena Avolio has a similar mindset. She “likes to have nice shoes,” but does not focus too much on taking care of them. Avolio cannot avoid messing them up a little while she is performing or practicing sports. This is the same case for many people as they, too, cannot avoid getting their shoes dirty without it becoming an inconvenience in their daily lives. 

On the opposite side of the debate, some people promote shoe upkeep. Proponents say that maintaining your shoes can increase their durability and help make the shoes you love last longer. 

In terms of style, they argue that shoes look their finest when they are brand new, so maintaining them by cleaning the shoes with a dry brush or simple soap and water will make sure they always look their best, and as new-looking as possible.

Another point that is shocking (and disgusting) and supports the upkeep of shoes is that according to a study done by the University of Arizona, toilets typically have thousands of different bacteria while one pair of shoes hosts 66 million different bacteria. Therefore, cleaning your shoes can prevent the spread of these pesky microbes. 

Whether you fall on one side or the other on the sneaker maintenance debate, we can all agree that everyone’s shoes are unique to them. When you walk around school, you notice the hundreds of different pairs of shoes, specially catered to their owner’s personal tastes. So if you want to sanitize your shoes once a week or run them through mud, it doesn’t matter! Your shoes are in fact yours, and you can make them special in whatever way you want.