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A crowd of people walking at the 2023 Sneaker Day event

Sneaker Day 2023 Recap

Stylish sneakers were on display across campus during Sneaker Day 2023

June 21, 2023 — 

The Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management’s Sneaker Day event returned last week with over 400 faculty and staff members joining together for a campus-wide accessible walk.

The event, co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice-President (Administration), encouraged community members to take a break from their usual routines, get outside together, and reconnect on campus.

“Sneaker Day is a great event to stretch your legs, breath some fresh air, and enjoy the campus,” said Douglas Brown, Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management.

The events also allowed the UM community to show off their sneaker style. From sportswear and streetwear to high fashion and function, the Active Living Centre Agora and the Brodie Centre Atrium were busy with UM community members putting their best feet forward, flaunting their foot ware style.

Eric Thompson, Facilities Supervisor for the Active Living Centre Frank Kennedy Centre & Joyce Fromson Pool, wore a combination of two Nike Kyrie 4s, both themed around cereal. On his left were the Nike Kyrie 4 Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and on his right were the Nike Kyrie 4 Lucky Charms.

Eric Thompson wearing his Nike Kyrie 4s

Eric Thompson wearing his cereal styled Nike Kyrie 4s.

“I want to try and keep them as pristine as I can, so they don’t see the light of day too often,” said Thompson. “But this seemed like a special enough occasion to take them out.”

Thompson, who has secretly been collecting sneakers for years, said he isn’t sure of the exact number in his collection but would guess it’s close to 150.

Thompson wasn’t the only sneakerhead in the crowd on Wednesday. Kelly Pokorny, the Confidential Assistant to the Dean and Associate Dean of the Asper School of Business, was sporting a pair of rose gold, Swarovski crystal-encrusted Maxima-R Steve Madden sneakers.

Kelly Pokorny wearing her shimmering Swarovski crystal styled Steve Madden sneakers.

Kelly Pokorny wearing her shimmering Swarovski crystal Steve Madden sneakers

An old-school shoe addict, Pokorny said she had her eyes on the shiny shoes for a while before getting them when they went on sale. They were such a good deal that she bought three pairs, including an all-white version she plans to wear on her wedding day, allowing her to be fashionable and functional.

“I’d say shoes have been a weakness of mine probably since I got a credit card,” said Pokorny.

Pokorny said the other pair in her shimmering shoes is an all-black pair she uses when walking or for light workouts in the gym.

Exercise and sport were at the centre of many shoes showcased on Sneaker Day, including Holly Brown’s Salming Distance D5 runners. Brown, the Strategic Institutional Research Initiative Coordinator for the Office of Research Services, bought the trainers for their advertised zero-drop.

Holly brown wearing her flashy Salming runners

Holly Brown wearing her flashy Salming runners

A zero-drop refers to the level of the shoe’s sole, bringing the foot to a more natural positioning over many runners with a higher heel-to-toe drop. Brown said she bought the shoes while training for a marathon, but now they are part of her regular workout shoe rotation.

The other reason Brown likes the shoes?

“The colour,” she said. “They’re super fun and different. And I’ve had them for a long time, and they’ve stayed bright.”

Colour and style were the defining elements of many shoes seen walking around campuses, including the pair of yellow and blue Adidas Forum 84s worn by Keziah Hoeppner, office assistance with the Dean’s Office Finance team.

One of the Sneaker Day co-event leads (along with Hayley Gibson, an office assistant in Recreation Services), Hoeppner’s Adidas, closely resembles the 2023 Sneaker Day logo shoe graphic. Hoeppner said she switched out the standard blue laces to a set of yellow ones to bring the logo to life.

Keziah Hoeppner wearing blue and yellow Adidas

Keziah Hoeppner wearing Adidas styled after the Sneaker Day logo.

And while Hoeppner said the shoes were certainly cool, after the 2.5-kilometre walk, it became clear they were an example of fashion over function.

“They are not very comfortable,” she said. “My feet are definitely hurting.”

However, occasionally comfort must be sacrificed to bring events like Sneaker Day to life. You can check out the Recreation Services Instagram account for a look at the dozens of sneakers from across campus that were on display.

All the sneakers, whether fashion-forward or well-worn and loved, joined together for the community walk, which took a loop through their respective campuses, giving faculty and staff a chance to reconnect outdoors.

FKRM would like to thank all those who came out to support the 2023 Sneaker Day event.

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