Often overlooked, but extremely important is a photographer’s footwear. I am by no means vain. I pride myself in being perpetually out of fashion. Nonetheless, I do understand proper shoes. A huge part of photography is being on our feet. We are either photo walking, doing long photo shoots in studios, or shooting landscapes. Most of the time we are walking or standing. 25% of your body’s bones are in your feet. If your feet are uncomfortable, it will affect your photography eventually, mostly affecting your stamina or your mood.
Problems with your feet can cause issues in your knees, hips, or lower back which can affect your shoulders and neck. This can add unwanted fatigue to your day. If the problems are too bad you should see a doctor. However, ways to prevent these issues are good shoes. As photographers, we need shoes that support weight properly, and allow you to shoot for longer periods of time. This goes for photographers no matter the size. Bad shoes affect people no matter how much we weigh.
What are bad shoes?
Bad shoes do not fit right. Either your toes cannot move freely or there is so much space your feet are moving in the shoe. If the shoes do not fit the width of your feet, it will hurt even more. If the shoes do not support your feet correctly it will affect so many other things. If you are standing all day holding a Nikon D3S and a 85mm 1.4 with a Tamrac evolution 8 filled with other gear, your back a will feel it if you are wearing the wrong shoes. Whether standing or walking hard, a bad shoe, even if they are in fashion, they will cause you grief.
With Good shoes…
You can walk and shoot a wedding all day and not think about your feet at all with decent shoes. If they are flexible, allowing the feel to roll properly and have the proper amount of space, shoes can take you far. With a good pair of shoes, you can grab your Canon 60D or your Nikon D7000 with a 50mm lens, put them on your Blackrapid Strap and walk for hours.
To make sure your shoes fit right, get your feet measured properly at a respectable shoe store. Keep the size including the width. Make sure your toes are able to wiggle in the shoe and that the widest part of your foot is comfortable. When trying on shoes make sure you are wearing the socks you plan to wear them with. A thing to keep in mind also is shoes do not stretch, if they are uncomfortable when you try them on. Those shoes are not for you.
Take care of your feet and they will take care of you.
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