Thursday, April 22, 2004


I don’t know why I have focused on the shoes so much. It’s clearly some bizarre fetish but I care very much about my nursing uniform shoes. Surprisingly, most people don’t care about my nursing shoes. If you belong to the latter group, please ignore the long expository note on shoes below.

This year is a great year for the Super Dooper University School of Nursing: they are celebrating their 20th anniversary as an independent school of the University and nursing students are allowed to choose between white OR navy blue shoes. I think the navy option has been created for men who view white shoes as overly feminine and not quite “them”. I am a great supporter of increasing the number of male nurses so I will not argue with this notion although it does seem to merit some exploration. A less gendered explanation is that the uniform pants are navy so why not the shoes?

My peers and I were thrilled with the idea of navy shoes when the announcement was made at the accepted students’ day (there really was actually a gasp when the big news broke). Navy seems much more hip and modern. Also, EVERYONE knows white makes you look big, feet included (did the men know this too? Perhaps this is the real reason – their vanity, not masculinity).

Dansko “Professional” clogs are derigeur for the BSN set. They are expensive but the industry standard, apparently, for nurses and chefs and others on their feet all day. As it happens, the navy clogs are made of a different material (suede) than the white clogs (shiny leather) and I didn’t like the way the navy clogs fit at all so white it is.

The man at the store pointed out that you can clean “messes” off the white clogs with a sponge but the navy clogs must be carefully brushed. This is good as it is quite likely I will be sponging “messes” off my feet with alarming regularity.

No doubt, all of my peers will have sacrificed comfort and ease-of-cleaning for hipness and modernity and I will be known as “whitey,” or similar. I have actually been called “whitey” before so it won’t come as a shock.

In conclusion: I will be wearing white nursing clogs that make my feet look like mid-sized tugboats towing my nursing student self across the linoleum slowly and unfashionably but, I hope, surely and comfortably.


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