Footwear Concerns

Today, my thoughts on footwear.  Wouldn’t think this would be my first post, would you?  But if your feet hurt like hell, it’s a monster distraction, painful, and apt to cut your shooting day short.

Case in point: do not tromp 3+ miles around Chichen Itza in the Mexican tropics wearing flip flops.  Oh sure, it’ll be great for the heat.  And very comfy at first.  And 8 hours later you will find yourself walking atop large gelatinous mounds of low-grade ground beef, that no amount of margaritas will heal.  And above all, should you be so stupid as to do this, do not then go climbing a Mayan temple the next day in loafers.  The only way to describe the result is “Wow, I didn’t know blisters could be that size.”

So yeah, pretty damn dumb on my part, huh?  And yes, while I did get the shots, I spent the next few days hobbling around the beach and wishing I’d been a bit smarter up front and less of a scrooge on how many shoes I packed.

There’re a few things to consider when selecting footwear for a shooting expedition:

  • Shooting environment.
    • No using mountain boots at the beach!
    • Nor decade-old Chuck Taylors at NYC Fashion Week (well, not this year anyway).
  • Heat level.
    • Ugg boots in the jungle  will be as fun as wearing a parka in Louisiana in September.
    • Ditto, do not go with flip flops in Denali National Park.
  • Just ‘cuz those bitchin’ stilettos look bad-ass does not make them a prudent choice in, say, death valley.  Trust me, no one with fashion taste will be around, and if they are, they’ll be wearing ugly shoes too and so won’t have room to criticize.
  • Last and by far most importantly: your personal feet. Everyone’s are different.  And anyone who disagrees with me on this point is 99.999% sure to be trying to sell you something that you have no business buying, unless you are just a chump (in which case, please give me large amount of money and/or jewels; credit, check and PayPal not accepted).
  • In case you think I’m kidding, my feet  are a full US size different from one another.

A few further thoughts on shoe type: there are a few, use them appropriately

  • Flip flops: fun, but rarely useful
  • Loafers: sexy, and good for, well, “loafing” (old-school Simpsons joke!)
  • Running shoes: good all purpose item
  • Hiking shoes: great if you’re carrying a bunch of gear a medium distance
  • Mountain boots: good of you are either carrying large amounts of gear, are going long distance, or have bad ankles like me
  • Thermal boots: beats the shit out of 20 degrees F in Yellowstone in any other shoes.
  • Barefoot: beach weddings
  • Birkenstocks: anything in Berkeley city limits or if you’ve been invited to a commune.

Now that I’ve offended everyone …

  • Buy the right shoes for you
  • Buy the right shoes for your situation
  • If the above 2 items conflict, buy multiple shoes. And stop bitching about it or you’ll most certainly bitch later.
  • Spend more now. And get a shoe expert who doesn’t live on commission to help you!
  • Or be a chump and spend a bunch of money (in which case call me first and I can help!!)

Next post coming soon!


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