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Filmmakers tell stories that sometimes imitate real life, and because you never know where life will take you, you’ll need shoes that can go anywhere. Film shoot locations can range from a simple bedroom scene (think Molly Ringwald chatting on the phone to a friend in “Pretty in Pink”) to extreme conditions (like “The Impossible” — a harrowing drama, starring Tom Holland and Naomi Watts, about the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami).
From harsh and unusual conditions to exceptionally long days on set that can have you on your feet all day, leaving you with lower back pain or aching soles, you’ll need shoes that can withstand the many duties that come along with making films. To help you out, we dug through online forums and customer reviews to find seven of the best shoes for filmmakers to wear on set. See the list below, and for more helpful accessories you might need on set, read our picks for the best lanyards to keep your phone safe, yet readily available when you need it.
Those beautiful shades of blue aren’t just nice to look at, they’re made to keep you going with a protective toe cap, wet traction grip, Gore Tex membrane, and 3D advanced chassis for stability. The Solomon XA Pro 3D GTX V8 GTX Trail Running Shoes are comfortable for long works days and different environments, making them especially useful if your film project takes your through harsh terrain. Says Reddit user zat1983, “Comfortable, can walk through puddles and no laces to worry about.” Find more styles at REI.com.
This waterproof, over-the-ankle shoe, fuses the support and flexibility of a sneaker with the tough durability and grip of a work boot. Notes one Zappos user, “They were very comfortable. I enjoy wearing them all day without any complaints. These boots are awesome!” As a user on a Cinematography.net discussion board mentioned, over the ankle boots’ are a great option for days on set. “It’s not just for hikers. The extra support of bracing the [ankle] keeps the foot from compressing onto the arch- and creating probs. oldest trick in the book. think about it” says user Caleb.
For those days on the lot when you have a schedule that calls for all-day filming, try these Ad Comfort Slip-On sneakers from Nike. Says user Shoe Lover, “This sneaker is very comfortable. Like walking on clouds.” The slip-on shoes are made with a foam midsole as well as a traction sole with flex grooves. This design is also available in a variety of colors to fit your style, including black and purple. If you’re looking for an alternative to Nike, try the Adidas Cloudfoam sneakers.
You can never go wrong with a classic pair of Vans. These black-and-white shoes are padded for comfort for all-day-everyday ease. One user stated, “Great everyday shoes! Fit perfectly & very comfortable!” while another added “I LOVE these shoes. They go with literally anything and are very comfortable.” As an added bonus, Asos is offering 20% off when you use the code “BigDeal” at checkout. These sneakers from Old Navy are also a great, inexpensive option for those light days on set.
The Red Wing Heritage Men’s Iron Ranger 6″ Vibram Boot is made from premium leather, with durable stitching, a reinforced cap toe to keep your feet safe on set, and resoleable welts for lasting durability. The boots feature a traditional lace-up closure with speed hook closure offering secure, comfortable wear, and soft leather lining designed to keep moisture away so that your feet stay cool and dry. Says Cinematography.net user Ed, “They make a variety of comfortable, high quality boots and shoes. Their motto is ‘quality is economy.’ And it is true. I have a pair of Red Wings I have worn for five years now off and on.”
Engineered from lightweight, waterproof leather, the Anacapa MID GTX are great for outdoors and long works days. The sneakers features a versatile silhouette employing recycled polyester materials in the collar, mesh and laces. The innovative style applies HOKA’s signature extended-heel geometry design to deliver ultimate comfort.
Says Reddit user Shiften, “For mountains and rivers you want waterproof boots” and these shoes from Hoka give you that plus more. These waterproof shoes are designed for hiking and have Vibram Megagrip rubber with 5mm lugs, making them a perfect option for those shoots in the mountains or other similar locations.”
Not only is the Columbia Wildone Nation shoe eye-catching, but this adventure-ready shoe delivers underfoot comfort and multi-terrain traction, which is a great combination for all day use in a variety of locations. The water and stain resistant shoes feature an over-the-ankle design that helps to add support, along with Columbia’s Techlite+ for cushioning and stability, and non-marking traction rubber.
Says user Reddit Explorer207, “The comfort nearly rivals the design in its execution, offering up a sticky foundation and support in all the places where you want it. My favorite part besides the vibrant colors is the quality: These shoes feel unquestionably rugged & solid. ‘Well-built’ is the most accurate description of how they feel.”