1.31.2010

the shushing of shuffling feet

I have some questions.

Why do so many apparently able-bodied, ambulatory young women drag their feet when they walk?

Has it become a "thing" to walk this way? A generational badge, like upspeak?

Is there something about Ugg-style footwear that compels the wearer to drag, rather than lift, her feet?

Are more young people dragging their feet than ever before, or have I suddenly grown super-sensitive to the sound of shuffling feet?

I would like to ask why so many women under the age of 30 want to spend upwards of $300 to wear what amounts to a uniform, but I already know the answer to that. I didn't do it when I was that age - in fact, I was decidedly uniform-free, including all the "alternative" looks that have a way of becoming one more uniform. I didn't do it, but I do understand it.

But the feet, the feet! Why the shuffling, dragging, scuffling, flagging feet? Pick them up! For chrissakes, WALK!

18 comments:

Chrystal Ocean said...

LOL. That's a beef I have too. Had no idea anyone else thought similarly.

Used to tell my children to "pick up your feet." My 3-year-old son one day tried to oblige: bent over and tried to pick up first one foot, then the other.

Poor little mite! Natch, he got smothered in cuddles.

L-girl said...

I thought this post might bring out someone with the same pet peeve!

Maybe I'm noticing it more because I'm in school, so around 20-somethings much more than previously.

L-girl said...

Cute image of little kid trying to pick up his own feet!

impudent strumpet said...

I have no idea what you're talking about. Like I can't picture it, can't imagine it, I've never noticed anything that could be interpreted as shuffling walking, and I can't visualize this "uniform" you're talking about.

So either we live in completely non-intersecting universes, or I'm doing all this stuff without even noticing it.

Also: Chrystal, I completely squeed at your little yellow duckie picture.

L-girl said...

Well, by "uniform" I am exaggerating the fact that 90% of female undergrads at UofT, and similarly aged women I see at the GO station, TTC platform, etc. are wearing tight jeans with Ugg boots over them (jeans into boots) and a certain kind of jacket.

And they do not pick up their feet and place them down again in a striding motion, as one does when one wears sneakers. Instead, they pick up their feet only a little, but mostly slide them forward on the sidewalk or floor, resulting in a scraping/shuffling noise.

When I walk from the subway stop to my class, I hear this noise all around me.

At the GO station, I hear it all around me.

Young men don't do it, I think because they are wearing sneakers.

L-girl said...

Also, I'm not complaining in the "young people do this" sense. I'm complaining in the "I hate this sound" sense, and it just so happens the people I see producing said sound are young women.

impudent strumpet said...

Interesting. I wonder if Uggs are hard to walk in or something? (I've never tried them, the look doesn't appeal to me.) There's only one person I see with any regularity who wears them and I haven't noticed anything odd about her walking, but now I might end up obsessively listening to her walk.

deang said...

I haven't noticed that, but then I'm in a warm climate where Uggs aren't worn so much. I have thought that Uggs appear to be a bit oversized, so maybe they're afraid that the things will slide around too much on their feet if they lift them.

I'm old enough to remember when wooden-soled clogs were popular in the early 1970s and I can still hear in my head the clop-clop sound those made. Young women back then definitely lifted their feet.

L-girl said...

I'm old enough to remember when wooden-soled clogs were popular in the early 1970s and I can still hear in my head the clop-clop sound those made.

Oh yes, I was one of those clip-cloppers. There were also the wooden-soled sandals we called "Dr Scholls". They had a curvy surface that was supposed to be good for your feet.

impudent strumpet said...

That's funny, because I always drag and shuffle in clogs, because my feet step right out of them and leave the shoe behind if I lift my feet normally. (Q: So why are you wearing them then? A: For walking around inside my building, like to take the garbage out or whatever.)

Mike said...

Hmmm I haven't really noticed shuffling but then I don't get out much in this weather. I have to admit that I kind of like young women in tight jeans maybe it's a guy thing, I'm pretty sure I'm not old enough to be a dirty old man.

L-girl said...

Hey, I have no problem with young women in tight jeans either! If they wore sneakers and picked up their feet I'd be all set. :)

Imp Strump, I stopped wearing clogs because of I was always stepping right out of them.

M@ said...

I'm sure I will surprise no one by saying that I too am annoyed by the young-women-dragging-feet syndrome. It's annoying and I really don't get the advantage. Unless the advantage is convincing the world that knees are for suckers, or something.

L-girl said...

And imagine if they were whistling! Justifiable homicide, I tells ya.

johngoldfine said...

"The pimp was a proud, defiant, bouncy stride. You take a regular step with one leg, then sort of hop or drag the other on the second step.... [T]he best pimpers twisted their torsos slightly and swung their arms in unison with that hop. It made guys look cool and tough.... [T]he pimp has always been around and is something every dude learns to do, like riding a bicycle or playing basketball."

--Nathan McCall, 'Makes Me Wanna Holler'

For camparison purposes only; don't try this at home....

L-girl said...

Oh yes, anyone who has lived in urban America, or who watched TV during the 1970s, can picture it exactly.

impudent strumpet said...

Now you've made me obsessively watch how Ugg-wearers walk all day, and I still don't see it.

L-girl said...

I should clarify that it's not only Ugg wearers who do this.

But how about this, don't watch anyone walking - just listen. Tell us if you hear a scraping/shuffling sound. If you do, see if the walker fits this profile.