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A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR I’m a firm believer that every shoe has a story to tell. Whether they’ve been run in for thousands of miles, worn everyday for the past two years, or simply purchased for a special event, a shoe can speak volumes about a person and their personality. You know better than to judge a book by it’s cover. But judging someone by what they wear on their feet? That’s a whole different story. — Sara Smokrovich


Madeline Guzzo

Camden Dechert



I like Nike blazers ‘cause I can go to class then ball right after if I want. Sink some threes, think about Lebron, you know, stuff like that. — Camden Dechert



“I DON’T WEAR ANYTHING TOO CRAZY.” I tend to wear pieces that are pretty versatile and comfortable. Since I’m a bit more introverted I feel like that matches my personality well. ­— Madeline Guzzo



MY FIRST $100 PAIR OF SHOES. The shoe was the Nike Diamond Turf, the signature shoe for two sport (NFL/MLB) superstar Deion “Primetime” Sanders. Me, my cousin Rich, and my boy Jarrett walked 7 miles to the sneaker store to grab them. On my first day wearing the shoes, I cracked my head open horsing around in the cafeteria of my school and ended up needing 36 stitches on my forehead. What was the first thing I did when I got home? Got a toothbrush, soap and a rag to clean all the blood off my Primetimes! — Nana Dadzie

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When I was younger, I remember my family and I were taking a trip to Universal Studios, and my mom said I needed to get a pair of sneakers that would be comfy to walk around in. Somehow I ended up on New Balance’s site, ordered my first lime green pair because I thought it was cool, but they were by far the best shoe I could have worn on that trip. No sore feet, only compliments. I’ve been hooked ever since. — Paige Majdic


Nathan Bennet

Camden Dechert

I traveled all around Spain, to London, Amsterdam, Prague, Brussels, and Morocco and these shoes always came with me. If you think about it, your legs and shoes facilitate you getting places. These shoes took me on a lot of adventures. — Emilee Lampert



Will Curtis 21

“I GUESS I AM A BIG SNEAKER BOY.” If I wear sneakers, that’s childhood, that’s fun, that’s playful. If I wear loafers you’re gonna make me send a fax or something. — Will Curtis



Charlie White

“I TRY NOT TO BUY THE SAME PAIR TWICE.” There are so many great shoes out there and I’m still trying to play the field. Maybe one day I’ll settle down with a nice pair of chucks. ­— Charlie White


“IN 2013 MY BEST FRIEND JOE THREAT DIED.” It was the day before he was supposed to teach me how to skateboard. He was only 32. Joe absolutely HATED walking down alleys, it scared the shit out of him. But walking down alleys was a comfort zone for me; I love the shadowy grit that awaits. Joe felt safer walking down alleys with me, so whenever I was around we normally did that. After he died, I kept his shoes in the trunk of my car for 5 years before hanging them up on a telephone pole wire in the alley directly behind my apartment building. I threw a pair of my kicks on the wire too. This way Joe and I could alley walk for the rest of our lives together. Until I see him at the gates. — Nana Dadzie


Jonathan Castaneda

“ I HAVE AN AFFINITY FOR WHITE SNEAKERS.” They are so minimal yet versatile. I have two of the same Kurt Leather sneakers. I wear these shoes more than any other shoes I own. ­— Jonathan Castaneda


THIS IS THE THIRD TIME I HAVE OWNED THE SAME PAIR. The pair I currently sport entered my life at 24. It was a birthday present from my friends. They’ve followed me across three continents. When they inevitably wear out, I’ll probably end up buying a new pair too. These shoes embody understated minimalism and quality. They represent what I want out of life. — Kevin Ma


Jason Colliton

A few months back I was eating some chicken while watching a soccer game. Someone scored so I did a lil celebration and knocked some hot sauce from the plate and onto my shoe. — Nick Malone


“THESE ARE THE ONLY CLOSED TOE SHOE I LIKE” They are super versatile - I can wear them to walk around town or even a short hike. I like knowing that when I have shoes on I am ready for any kind of activity. I’m a pretty laid back, outdoorsy person who likes to be comfy with a little bit of style. Most of my clothing has a purpose and everything tends to be in earth tones. ­— Rachel Broadwell



Nathan Bennet 45

This combination offers the perfect blend of warmth and breathability.

“I DO PREFER WEARING SOCKS WITH THEM.” The combination offers the perfect blend of warmth and breathability. Plus, not everybody wants to see all the minute details of my toes. ­— Nathan Bennet


I feel like what I wear is a direct reflection of my personality. I’ve had friends joke that I always look put together even on Zoom calls, but it’s definitely intentional. — Marissa Liu



“MY STYLE IS CLASSIC AND SIMPLE.” I don’t think that’s reflective of my personality at all. ­—Adam DuBrueler


Jason Colliton

I THINK I USE CLOTHING AS A WAY TO TRICK MYSELF. When I need to get work done, I dress well so that I think I’m a professional. When I play sports, I wear jerseys so I think I’m good at the sport. When I want to watch movies all day, I dress like a bum so I’m sure not to accidentally work too hard. These shoes are definitely more adult than a lot of my clothes. I feel like they’re more of a reflection of the style I want than the style I have. — Jason Colliton


Written and photographed by Sara Smokrovich

CREDITS Special thanks to Madeline Guzzo, Camden Dechert, Nana Dadzie, Shaw Schiappacasse, Paige Majdic, Nathan Bennet, Emilee Lampert, Will Curtis, Charlie White, Jonathan Castaneda, Jason Colliton, Rachel Broadwell, Marissa Liu, Adam DuBrueler, and Kevin Ma.

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