Step It Up

Some work harder than others to pay for the things they want. TJ Stitzel is one of those who put in as much work as possible to get what they want.

TJ Stitzel, a rising senior from Shawe High School, ties his shoe outside of Franklin Hall. Stitzel states, “I had to get a job to pay for my shoe habit.”

Many of us are obsessed with some portion of our outward appearance. Some care more than others. TJ Stitzel, a rising senior at Shawe High School, cares most about his shoes. He is by no means ashamed of his “shoe habit”. It is the whole reason he got a job in early February of last year. 

“It’s this off brand, family owned Dairy Queen,” Stitzel said. At 17, he works 20 to 35 hours a week scooping ice cream, working the register, being a shift manager, and more. He puts in the work to make the money he needs — for his shoe obsession that is. Between school, being the head editor of his yearbook, and making music on the side with his friends, he puts the rest of his time in at work. 

Many people may assume by looking at him that he goes for the more expensive, clunky basketball shoes that most boys in their teens purchase. Stitzel, on the other hand, has a thing for stylish, more simple, less flashy shoes. 

His taste is similar to that of a “skater boy”; being that he picked up the hobby earlier this year. Multiple variations of Vans and Adidas Originals litter his closet to fulfill this stereotype that has become popular in the twenty-first century. 

Bringing close to seven pairs, including those on his feet the first day, to camp. It is easy to see his “habit” first hand.

“I coordinate my outfits with my shoes. I just want to make sure it looks presentable with the pair I choose. I wouldn’t wear basketball shorts with Adidas Originals,” Stitzel said. This is obvious in his eyes. He makes sure to bring a sort of comfort as well. In the multiple pairs of shoes, all are pairs that he finds “comfortable to wear, especially my moccasins.” 

His shoe game works for him, and his style is his own. He owns it, and walks with confidence, a bounce in his step as he goes. One’s shoes tell a story about them, and TJ has many stories to tell.