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College Shoe Must Haves

Packing for college is tough. What am I gonna wear? What do I bring? What type of events will I be going to? It’s not easy. We all know the feeling, no one wants to look like a high schooler in college. Let me preface this, though, with a quick disclaimer: always be yourself. Don’t feel pressured to change who you are or what you wear for any reason. But if you are truly looking for a change, and think some tips could help, this article is for you.

Platform Sneakers

Platform sneakers are an essential. If you want to drop your old converse or Air Force 1’s, buy yourself a pair of any platform sneakers, ranging from high top platform Converse to the Keds x Kate Spade New York Triple Up Platform sneaker. This type of shoe has a variety of different styles and can be matched with any look. From going out to dinner, to just relaxing with a few friends, this type of style can boost your shoe game and make you look and feel more mature.


Very basic, but important. Post Covid life, when you are back to going out to big parties, bars, or clubs, you’re not going to want to be rocking sneakers anymore (unless that is totally your thing). Booties enhance the look of any outfit. Whether you are in a skirt, skinny jeans, mom jeans, or a dress, booties will make your outfit look a lot better by adding an extra sharpness. Not only will you look better, but you will feel better. With the few inches added from the shoes, your confidence will boost with that extra height. With a fresh new pair of black, white, or snakeskin booties, you will feel a little bit more like an adult.


Heels are not something you think about when first packing for college. “Who needs heels? I am not going to prom or a wedding.” Trust me, heels will come in handy. From sports teams, to clubs, to the Greek life community, to different organizations across campuses, formals are held. Even if you think you won’t go to any of these events, you really never know. Bring one pair of heels, preferably nude or clear, because they can match just about anything. Transparent heels are more fun, too – they are not as common and can be quite eye catching.

Combat Boots

Versatility is a necessity. Combat boots with chains on them can drive your outfit from sweet and fun to edgy and sharp. If you look up combat boots with chains, a variety pop up, all of which are different and can be a killer look just about anywhere. I first started wearing mine to parties because I knew it’d be dark and people wouldn’t focus as much on my shoes. And truthfully, I was nervous to wear them. Going from wearing your Puma sneakers to wearing boots with chains is a big jump. As I got more comfortable, I realized it’s all about confidence in yourself and how you perceive yourself. You just have to tell yourself that you’re that girl who can wear whatever she wants, and eventually, you become that girl. As I gained more confidence, I was able to wear these shoes with cargo pants for daytime activities, and even match them with certain skirts and more elegant outfits. 

The Obvious: Athletic Shoes

Even if you are not athletic, your friends will convince you to go to classes at the gym or on little adventures. You do not need super cute athletic shoes, this is about being comfortable and protecting your body. Make sure you are buying shoes that fit you best, comfort definitely comes before style in this realm.

At the end of the day, it’s about what makes you feel good. But stepping out of your comfort zone is a beautiful thing. It can introduce you to your own style, which definitely takes time to create. Your own style and aesthetic can do a lot in terms of helping you find yourself. First, you have to convince yourself you can pull it off, and then no one else will need convincing. Not that anyone else’s opinion matters, but we do sometimes overthink and hold ourselves back. Exerting confidence that can’t be reckoned with is important, it helps you to love yourself and know yourself, and shoes can make all the difference. Wear them even if your best friend hates them, they are on your feet and part of your style, not hers. 

Daniella Sears

U Mass Amherst '23

Daniella is a writer for the Her Campus chapter at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a sophomore currently studying Hospitality & Tourism Management with a minor Managerial Economics. Outside of writing, Daniella loves spending time with family, playing with her puppy, and trying new recipes!
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