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If the shoe fits

People have been wearing shoes for thousands of years, but never did our ancestors imagine that foot protection would become such a fashion craze. From Air Force Ones to Manolo Blahniks, shoes have become an obsession, not just a necessity.

Kimora Lee Simmons, wife of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, is said to have thousands of shoes, hundreds of which she has never worn. But women are not the only proud owners of growing shoe collections; guys are no longer ashamed to admit that they own more than three pairs of shoes. Just look in the closet of any male celebrity.

With such emphasis on what people are wearing on their feet, we thought we should fill you in on the hottest trends this season.

For guys, it’s hip to be square-toed. Many men’s shoes and boots are seen in varieties of black and brown, rugged and polished, but most designers are opting for square-toed. Kenneth Cole, Bacco Bucci and Diesel are a few designers who use this shape to dominate their fall lines.

To sport a more casual look, there are a variety of styles and brands from which to choose. From Nike to Puma, there are wide ranges of tennis shoes available to project one’s laidback sense of style. And were Timberland boots ever really made for hiking? Not if we were to judge by the number of men still wearing them in places far from the wild outdoors.

Old favorites die hard, and Floridians have difficulty giving up their beloved flip-flops at the first signs of cooler weather. They have become a year-round staple in the wardrobes of true Floridians. Some even wear socks with their open-toed shoes.

Remainders of the 1960s, such as leather clogs, are a very stylish hippie-era trend but not as grungy as the days of Woodstock. Clogs worn with a cuffed pant leg are also very stylish and gives the outfit a refreshing daytime twist.

To think, we all thought it was a crime to wear last season’s boots again this year, such as the UGG-style boot. Fear no more; there is added flair to this traditional style. The UGG-style boot this season is a taller, tighter, fuzzier version of last year’s. The boot is knee-high and laces up the front. Fur details have been added under the laces and around the top to give it a warm winter feel. These boots look great with skirts and pants. They can be worn casual or dressed up, and brands range from Payless to Marc Jacobs.

For a more polished and professional look, a sleek suede boot is a must have. If worn with pants, the pant legs should be tucked tightly into the boot. If the boot fits too tightly, cuff the jeans on top of the boot to create a similar look. Celebrities such as Faith Hill and Jessica Simpson have been seen sporting this look.

If dining and dancing is on the agenda for the evening, it’s important to look like a knockout. For a spin on a classic look, try round-toed pumps in different shades and patterns. For a spicier image, wear delicate ankle-strapped heels with open toes. These are great for showing off a new pedicure.

The alternative look is popular among punk princesses like Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani. To copy this fashion, Converse tennis shoes paired with long jeans or colored pants are the way to go.

Shoes known as flats are also becoming popular. These shoes look almost like ballerina slippers but are worn with Capri-style jeans or pants instead of a tutu.

Male or female, urban or punk, students shouldn’t be shy about their individual shoe fetishes.

In other words, if the shoe fits, wear it.