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Statement shoes make strides in UCLA campus style

(Hediy Cadena/Daily Bruin)

By Kristy Pirone

May 20, 2015 12:14 a.m.

It doesn’t take UCLA students long to realize that campus is filled with hills, stairs and strangely-taxing slight inclines. When 20 to 40 minutes of a student’s day is spent walking to and from campus, the right shoe can make all the difference.

When comfortable shoes are so important, it can be easy to just throw on a pair of Rainbow Sandals and call it a day. However, this neglects the boost a great pair of shoes can give an outfit. Recently, UCLA students have found a way to combine comfort and style with statement shoes like platforms, jellies and Birkenstocks.

Second-year bioengineering student Madison Craig said she bought her muted green Birkenstocks because of the shoes’ good arch support, comfort and ease of wear.

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(Hediy Cadena/Daily Bruin)

Craig said she doesn’t feel that Birkenstocks are the most attractive shoes and that the trend will pass, but until then, she enjoys styling her Birks with socks.

“I feel like three years ago, if I’d worn Birkenstocks, people would ask me why I’m wearing really ugly shoes, but now it’s accepted,” Craig said.

Olivia Roseto, a second-year fine arts student, found her red platform oxfords in a Zara store in San Francisco, she said, after seeing a woman wearing them in the airport.

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(Hediy Cadena/Daily Bruin)

Since then, Roseto said she’s trying to wear her shiny red platforms and other shoes that she hadn’t been wearing regularly more often.

“Shoes have always been a statement, it just kind of depends on who’s wearing them,” Roseto said. “I think now because there are so many accessible online brands that make so many more knock-offs of shoes that are more expensive, more exotic shoes are getting pushed into the mainstream.”

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(Hediy Cadena/Daily Bruin)

In the recent statement shoe trend, men participate through colorful and patterned statement shoes.

UCLA alumnus Qihao Zhong said he found his large, black-and-cheetah print statement sneakers in Hong Kong.

“These shoes were quite unique to me, because I’ve never seen something like this kind of shoe before,” Zhong said. “I (usually) prefer to blend in, so I try to not wear very colorful stuff.”

For women, Urban Outfitters employee Adam Blair said sneakers like a pair of Adidas Runners have been a popular purchased item at the storefront in Westwood, as have wedges and open-toed sandals.

“We don’t have a lot of (chunky platforms) lately,” Blair said. “We’ve got a few platform sandals with wood bottoms that have been selling well, but it’s more about the open-toed shoes lately.”

Blair said the lack of chunky shoes can be attributed to a shift to summer styles. Summer styles are often lighter and more open to combat the hotter weather and maximize comfort, leaving less room for chunky platform boots.

First-year pre-business economics student Victoria Zacks’ pair of platform sandals may be the future of the statement shoe trend going into the warmer months.

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(Heidy Cadena/Daily Bruin)

Zacks said her Urban Outfitters platform sandals are her first pair of platform sandals, although she has other pairs of platform boots. Zacks said the shoes are deceptively comfortable in spite of their height and that she splurged on them because she wanted their added height.

“(These platforms) make me feel trendy and like I can rule the world in my tall shoes,” Zacks said. “They add a little extra something (to an outfit), it makes something casual go a level up.”

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Kristy Pirone
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