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Article by Kait Mitchell

New comfort footwear trends come and go on college campuses constantly, from Ugg boots and slip-ons to Birkenstocks to Crocs to to Tom’s. I have to admit that through my high school and college years I have participated in every single one of the aforementioned trends. Sort of horrifying, right? Let’s face it: it’s simply not easy to walk around in gorgeous stilettos on WMU’s hilly campus every day, though many student fashionistas yearn to. Nobody can deny how flattering heels are to any figure and also their ability to instantly pull together any outfit. Alas, it is just not feasible to risk breaking an ankle (or a pricey heel) while walking to class. Fashion-forward college students are always looking for ways to define everyday comfortable and casual luxury in their busy lives, and this fall the trend is definitely cute and preppy as can be.

Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes (also referred to as ‘dock shoes’) can be seen everywhere on WMU’s campus this fall. They are a fun twist on the flat shoe, with a very comfortable sole and streamlining of the foot, similar to Tom’s shoes. However, they have a more defined sole than Tom’s and also a nautical lacing reminiscent of the rope running along the side of a ship:

See the similarity? It’s a pretty clear and well-realized inspiration on the part of the Sperry designers. Sperry is an east-coast company dedicated to making quality shoes that are ideal for use in and around the ocean. Paul Sperry patented the unique wave-like sole of his shoes in the 1930’s in an attempt to replicate his cocker spaniel’s excellent traction on the ice. The Sperry company is dedicated to saving the ocean’s resources and partners with local and global organizations in order to realize that goal.


So look out, WMU. Boat shoes are not just for your retired grandparents anymore. This ultra-preppy trend is hot right now and so versatile! I recently purchased online the platinum women’s Montauk slip-on, and I’m already dreaming up outfits to wear them with: dressed down with bootcut jeans, casual with black leggings and a chunky knit oversized sweater, or ultra-preppy with nautical inspired navy or red shorts and a polo or anchor-graphic cardigan. Snaps for the east coast style!

Works Cited:

Passion For The Sea. Sperry Top-Sider. Web. 17 Oct. 2011.