Start off on the right foot—with shoes!

It may seem surprising, but I find shoes to be the most important part of my college wardrobe. UW–Madison offers a wide variety of activities, and different seasons, that require a wide variety of shoes in your arsenal. I’ll go over some of the essentials that you should consider packing before you arrive in Madison!

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Winter boots

UW–Madison attracts students from all of over the United States and the world. Many of these Midwest newcomers have never seen or experienced snow before! I cringe each winter when I see students trudging through the snow in sneakers.

For your comfort and safety, I highly recommend a pair of waterproof boots for winter! These Chaco boots have kept my feet warm and dry for the past two winters now. Chaco also has some options for men, too.

Sneakers

A staple for UW–Madison is a good pair of sneakers. Campus is fairly large and speed walking to get your next class on time is quite common. A reliable shoe will keep your feet happy and blister-free.

My go-to sneakers are Allbirds. They are comfortable, fashionable, and they are easy on the planet. They are also machine washable!

Dress shoes

This may be an odd addition to the list, but dress shoes are a must! UW–Madison hosts multiple events, such as the Career & Internship Fair, that require formal attire. Making a great first impression is essential for building connections!

Dress shoes are also acceptable for a variety of different social gatherings. Toms has a great selection for fancier occasions and Birkenstock has some more laid-back options that are still nice.

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