Some boots aren’t made for walking

Nathan Bottiger, Managing Editor

By spring, some freshmen walk around Pitt-Johnstown’s campus with tattered, worn shoes that have seen much better days.

Senior Jennifer Rightnour said she knows the exact number, four, of pairs of shoes she’s ruined by wearing them through a UPJ winter.

“Two pairs of Ugg boots, a pair of Coach shoes and a pair of flats,” she said.

Rightnour said both her sets of Uggs, black and gray, are now white on the toe from salt. She said her Coach shoes and flats now have holes eaten into them and are fading from the salt.

“I wear my boots mostly in the winter. My flats I wore for work,” she said. “My Coach shoes I wore freshman year a lot, but they’re ruined now so I don’t wear them anymore.”

Rightnour said she left the ruined shoes at home, which, to her, is the same as throwing them out.

She said she advises freshmen that ask her about shoes to not wear anything they don’t want ruined.

“Buy cheap boots.”

Rightnour said she doesn’t quite know why she hasn’t stopped wearing nice shoes, and she wishes someone had warned her before she went through so many pairs.

“I honestly didn’t think they would get ruined over and over again.”

Freshman Anna Yefimov said she is not too worried about the coming winter ruining any of her shoes, and she is actually looking forward to the season.

“I like the snow and cold, so it’s not a big deal for me,” she said. “I have warm clothes and boots.”

Yefimov is from Reinholds in Lancaster County, and said she feels the winters back home are every bit as frigid as the Johnstown winters

“I talked to my mom the other day, and she said there’s no snow yet, but it’s pretty cold. We get snow anywhere from November to February,” she said. “It’s the same as here.”

Yefimov said she bought a pair of ankle boots from Germany two years ago, and she’s confident they will hold together through a Johnstown winter.

Sophomore Nicole Gross said she ruined two pairs of shoes during her freshman year.

She said she lost her favorite shoes, a pair of brown Uggs. She said she also ruined a pair of moccasins.

“Ugg boots get ruined so easily here because of all the snow and salt during the winter.”

Gross said the worst part about ruining a good pair of boots is having to buy another pair. She said it can be costly when involving expensive boots.

According to Ugg’s official website, Ugg boots cost usually more than $100 with some reaching over $300 and $600.

Many designer footwear brands, like Ugg and Coach, reach well over $100 as well, usually averaging $200 to $250.

Gross said she learned from her mistakes her first year. She said she now wears old shoes when the weather is bad.

She said her rain boots are the perfect type of footwear that would alleviate these problems, but unfortunately, she left them at home.

Gross said she feels many freshmen are unprepared for Johnstown’s snowfall.

“Unless they’re from here, I don’t think they really know what’s coming, so they will just wear whatever shoes they want.”

Gross said she would advise people to get waterproofed shoes or to just wear old shoes when the ground is covered, wet or salty.

Another trick that may be helpful to some is to waterproof shoes that aren’t already done so by the manufacturer.

Waterproofing these products, which usually come in aerosol cans, cost $10 to $20, and for men who wear leather or dress shoes, cleaning and polishing could prevent them from showing wear and tear.