LACES Untied

LACES Untied

LACES Untied

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Stepping into Controversy

Debating Open-Toed Shoes
Art by Atticus Stevenson.

Anti Open-Toe

By Catie Orr

Open-toed shoes harm the school experience and should not be allowed. The spread of infection and overall lack of cleanliness far outweigh the benefits of the comfort and ease of open-toed shoes.

Missing Out on Athletic Activities

If you have ever tried to run in flip-flops, you understand that your ranges of motion are very limited. Anyone with open-toed shoes cannot run or move comfortably or safely. These kinds of shoes may also prevent you from playing a game of pickup basketball or volleyball on the blacktop. 

Causes Unnecessary Injuries

Even if you decide to participate in sports or PE with open-toed shoes, it could be dangerous. The shoes may slip off while running, leaving your foot to be susceptible to being stepped on. Open-toed shoes usually have little support, so jumping or sprinting in them could cause immediate injury to joints or ankles or gradually lead to another injury. Additionally, they have less traction, which could cause more slips or trips. 

Spread of Disease and Infection

Every year, there is one kid who wears Birkenstocks every day without fail. The only separating their feet from the entire school is a thin layer of fabric. Feet can carry fungus and infections like Athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot can spread through contact with the infection or contact with infected surfaces. One person wearing open-toed shoes can spread an infection to an entire population by slipping off their slide.


Pro Open-Toe

By Mia Orr

The Ancient Egyptians. Jesus Christ. Aristotle. All of these distinguished people were sandal-wearers. In fact, the Great Pyramids were constructed atop the soles of sandals, and The Odyssey, one of the greatest literary works, was created while Homer’s Greek toes basked in a cool breeze. But today, in schools and public spaces across America, open-toed shoes are ridiculed and scorned. 

“What about foot fetishes?” 

You can be okay with feet without having a fetish. By stigmatizing feet in the same way we do other body parts, and solidifying this stigma in school dress-code policies, we only sexualize them further. Feet don’t hurt people. People hurt people.

“But I’m scared of feet!”

The fear of toes is called Podophobia. According to, one in one thousand people have this crippling fear. Hiding feet in restricting shoes because of “trigger warnings” doesn’t help the afflicted. Exposing people to feet by wearing sandals to school might be uncomfortable for foot-fearers in the moment, but it will allow them to live calmer, less fearful lives in the future. 

“Open-toed shoes are unhygienic.”

Despite popular belief, open-toed shoes don’t make feet smell worse. They actually make feet smell less. In open-toed shoes, the digits are airing out, therefore decreasing stink production. 

“What’s the real cost of banning sandals?”

Finally, open-toed shoes help humanity. We are all wasting fabric by covering toes unnecessarily. According to the UN Environment Programme, the textile industry accounts for 2-8 percent of global carbon emissions. And according to the US Department of Labor, textiles are one of the most common goods produced by child labor. Civic-minded sandal-sporters are doing their part to limit climate change and child abuse. 


Better the world, free the foot. 


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About the Contributors
Mia Orr
Mia Orr, Editor-in-Chief
Mia is the editor-in-chief of The Horn. She enjoys long walks, good music, and learning about birds.
Catie Orr
Catie Orr, News Editor
Hey my name is Catie! I’m in 10th grade and I am the news editor. In addition to LACES Untied, I enjoy playing sports and baking!
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