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WINTER Wear: An avocet wades in the Bear River to look for a tasty snack. The bird's black-and-white winter plumage heralds the onset of cold weather. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Sunday, November 13, 2005

On journalists during wartime (for Veterans Day):

"[I]n the news media that covered the war both overseas and domestically, journalists also were willing to cooperate and do their
part. The public did not see journalists (and journalists did not see themselves) as being against the team. Journalists were part of the team. Some, such as roving correspondent Ernie Pyle, repeatedly visited combat zones even though they did not have to do so, and they paid with their lives."

--Michael S. Sweeney, press historian, 2001 (from "Secrets of Victory," about censorship during WWII)


Bowling shoes go haute couture? Well, trendy at least

By Lydia Erickson

October 31, 2005 | Bowling shoes have become a fashion trend among young adults in recent years. The growing interest in the sport has helped spawn the late popularity of this unique style of footwear. The sport dates to 5200 B.C. and was practiced by the ancient Egyptians. Today it is one of the most popular recreational activities in Logan.

Have you ever wondered how many other feet have occupied the same rental shoe you were wearing while bowling? Logan Lanes manager Chad Rawlins said any given pair is worn about two to three times per day and each pair has a life span of about four and a half to five years. This means each pair can be worn up to 5,500 times.

THE LINEUP: Shoes at Logan Lanes. /
Photo by Lydia Erickson

Rental shoes are meant to withstand rough treatment and are made with genuine full-grain leather uppers, foam padded sock liners and rubber heels built to last game after game.

Rawlins said once the shoes start to look tattered and worn the employees go through and try to salvage as many as they can to be repaired and then eventually resold. People do buy bowling shoes just to wear around as a part of their everyday attire. This fad was a lot more popular a few years ago and in fact hurt the bowling industry tremendously.

When bowling shoes became fashionable, back in 2001-02, the style hit the stores with enthusiastic approval from consumers. Some opted for a more authentic shoe. An average of a dozen pair per alley were stolen a week. The main target was women sizes 7 and 8 and men sizes 11 and 12. When asked what made the bowling shoe such a fad, Rawlins said, "the style is different, the design is intriguing, and the slick bottom makes this a different type of traction than any other shoe out there."

Bob Rehringer is a photojournalist and says rental bowling shoes are the most identifiable form of footwear ever created.

A popular site for people still keeping the fad alive is Zappos, and is thought of as the most popular online shoe store. Zappos offers a complete selection of shoe styles from each brand in every size, width and color making the shopping experience more pleasurable, this site has more customer reviews on shoes than any other site.

Many people love the fashion while others think it should have been kept strictly on the alley. Kirstyn Draper, an interior design major at Utah State, said, "I think they are too distracting, shoes should be simple and complimentary."

THE CLASSIC LOOK: Bowling shoes at the Logan Lanes have that 1950s look and feel. / Photo by Lydia Erickson

Amanda Petersen, an apparel and textiles major at Utah State agreed with Draper and said, "It's weird, who decided to make bowling shoes popular outside of an alley when I don't even want to wear them in an alley."

No matter what your stance is on wearing bowling shoes in public you can be sure that an unconventional idea will be turned in to popular fashion again and again.


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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