The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Kicking it at Bucknell: Sneaker culture on campus

As I walk through Bucknell’s campus, I can’t help but be captivated by the myriad of individuals who pass by. I’ve always been so intrigued by how one’s choice of shoes can speak volumes about their personality and style.

In my earlier experiences, particularly during my time in high school in Central New Jersey, it felt like your choice of sneaker held an immense degree of importance. However, here at Bucknell, it’s a totally different story. It appears that nobody really seems to care what shoe you might be sporting. The people and students here are so incredibly passionate and dedicated about what they do, whether it be academics, sports, student organizations or other priorities. Sneakers, it seems, have taken a backseat to textbooks and other pursuits. 

Before coming to Bucknell, sneakers were always so fascinating and important to me. Whether it be the allure of a new Air Jordan 4 color-way, a very specific pair of Chuck Taylors, or the thrill of trying to cop a limited edition release. The hunt for the perfect pair was a passionate pursuit, and sneakers were like a canvas for me to express my identity. I would always consistently save up and splurge on the shoes I wanted. So one can imagine my surprise last year when I arrived at Bucknell, a place where sneakerheads are met with indifference rather than admiration. It was as if the vibrant sneaker culture that I had always known faded into the background amidst the academic pressure and extracurricular environment that defines life at Bucknell. 

While it was definitely a shock at first, I eventually came to deeply appreciate this sentiment on campus. The decision to attend a school where a significant portion of the student body hails from upper-class backgrounds was not an easy choice. However, witnessing the drive and talent of my peers, rather than a fixation on material possessions, turned out to be refreshingly different from what I had initially expected.

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This change in perspective truly reflects the vibrant array of individuals on campus, each with unique experiences and qualities. It highlights the sheer beauty of coexisting in a space where nobody pays much attention to the sneakers you wear, fostering an environment where being true to yourself is encouraged. I’ve noticed that I no longer worry and overthink about my outfit choices. Instead, I focus on wearing what I’m comfortable in and doing what I need to do to thrive in this remarkable environment.

However, every once in a while I can’t help but observe subtle trends silently emerge across campus. Recently, I’ve noticed a surge in the popularity of the brand Veja–a white sneaker featuring a distinctive “V” logo–that I wasn’t even aware existed until this semester began. Not to mention the fact that Birkenstock Boston clogs have seemed to also gain widespread popularity out of the blue. And don’t even get me started on the Hokas that everyone suddenly seemed to be sporting last spring. I think it’s so fascinating to see how sneaker trends can suddenly emerge overnight and integrate into our evolving culture, without carrying any degree of profound significance.

It appears that the one sneaker trend that unites everyone on this campus are the “random white shoes.” Almost everyone owns a pair, and whether they’re mildly or extremely dirt-ridden, whether they’re Air Force 1s, Adidas, or any other brand, they are a unifying trait. 

Regardless of attitudes towards sneakers on campus, or the lack thereof, I constantly find myself still glancing downward, appreciating and admiring the diverse array of sneakers and shoes that represent all the different walks of life throughout our campus. 

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