WANTED: shoe recommendations for a wedding photographer.
June 27, 2012 5:19 AM   Subscribe

WANTED: shoe recommendations for a wedding photographer.

I'm a (female) wedding photographer, which means on any given wedding day I'm on my feet for 8-12 hours and carrying heavy equipment. I haven't been able to find a shoe that is a decent combination of the following: comfortable, supportive, tough, professional, and/or semi-stylish. I bought a pair of good quality REI flats for last season's weddings, and they were good at first, but have already worn out all their support/comfort, and were too expensive to re-purchase every season.

My question is two-fold: 1. Can you recommend a shoe for my line of work? 2. How unprofessional would it be for me to show up in a nice understated pair of black athletic/running shoes? I'm certain it depends on the wedding, but I'm about to give up!

If it's relevant, I usually wear a pair of black slacks (or my PhotoPantz) and a black blouse/sweater/jacket.

Thanks for your help!
posted by rinosaur to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wear these in black and tan most days at work. They are fully Croc material, a little wobbly if you don't walk straight, but I've not fallen in them yet (I can't say that for most other heels).

These look cute and comfy, but I can't wear them (Crocs only come in Medium width, I'm super extra wide).

Land's End used to have some nice flats that were comfy but are now discontinued. If you can get away with them, I like this style and fit: (Women's Wide All Weather Mocs). They have a few clogs (Women's Wide Easy-flex Clog Shoes) that are comfy but I found them heavy and fell off of them. I'm also a bit clumsy.

These are beautiful and comfortable in person if you don't have wide feet. Made out of the same Croc-like material.

Everything else I have (especially in flats) are pretty much no longer sold so I'm glad I stocked up when I did.
posted by tilde at 5:36 AM on June 27, 2012


Look into Sofft. I have a pair of pumps from them that have a loafery look to them and they're perfect for dress slacks or skirts.

Cole-Haan has teamed up with Nike Air to make a pump that feels like a sneaker. It's not cheap, but at around $200 it's a great investment.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:39 AM on June 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


1. The barkingdogshoes.com blog, as rather frequently recommended on here

2. Fairly. But you should be able to find sneaker-like comfort in a better-made shoe shoe. I like Campers, but these things are so personal... A Birkenstock clog would be very comfy and possibly do-able in a black.
posted by kmennie at 5:40 AM on June 27, 2012


I think a sleek black sneaker like this is fine, because if you're wearing pants, no one is going to notice. I would avoid something that looks very athletic and chunky, like this.
posted by insectosaurus at 5:40 AM on June 27, 2012


I wear Van eli shoes when I will walking several miles a day and want attractive shoes. (I have wide feet but no arch issues). Van eli shoes cost in the $100-150 range (cheaper on sale or at endless or zappos). I've had pairs last in heavy rotation for years.

Personally, I would rotate through Sofft heels, and Van eli or Clarks low heel/flats, depending on how fancy the wedding was. Shoes last better when you rotate them. But you'd probably be fine in the sort of athletic shoe that the catering staff or barstaff are wearing, especially with pants.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:44 AM on June 27, 2012


Oh, and I don't own any right now, but I've never owned a bad pair of SAS or Propet shoes.
posted by tilde at 5:49 AM on June 27, 2012


Have you tried Rockport shoes or Clarks? They come in very comfortable and great styles. I walk a lot because I live in NYC and I carry quite heavy things when I am walking (for work and such) and I worry about looking professional. I only buy shoes that I can walk several miles on concrete in.

How about this

Or this is snazzy

Happy Shopping!
posted by Yellow at 5:53 AM on June 27, 2012


I am a photographer too, and I would never wear heels to a wedding, Cole Haan or Clarks or otherwise. Wedding photography way too often involves running through a wet beach or park, or standing on chairs or other crazy things.

Some of my photographer friends swear by Merrells, but I have never tried them. I've been wearing a pair of Nike (not Cole Haan) ballet flats for a while. I like them, but I like thin soled shoes that I feel barefoot in. I can't find a link to them, though.
posted by inertia at 6:07 AM on June 27, 2012


Shoes for Crews.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:40 AM on June 27, 2012


When you say your current REI's are "too expensive to re-purchase every season", just how much are they? They would certainly be tax deductible, and comfy feet are critical (it's a big reason I stopped doing weddings, among many, many others). If you've found something that works, why change?

That being said, I'm a firm believer in Merrell's.
posted by jeporter99 at 7:58 AM on June 27, 2012


I work for a high end caterer and I have seen the photographers in just about everything. I think the best approach is an Oxford - it looks professional while setting you apart from the guests. I wouldn't go with a sneakers because people do notice. Everyone is in "look at what other people are wearing" mode at weddings, and you're no exception.

I have to wear black, shineable, close-toed shoes for work. I actually got mine from Kmart for $25, because they have the non-skid ones for food service employees. They are comfortable for 8+ hour shifts on my feet and lugging things around, and have lasted over a year.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:00 AM on June 27, 2012


Don't laugh but check out the crocs website they have some very nice dressy leather upper shoes. I have one pair in a low heel as my dressy shoes. No one believes they are crocs. I wear out shoes like no ones business and these are still going strong and comfy. Only problem with crocs is their sizing can vary from shoe to shoe a little so read the comments to find out if you need to size up or not.
posted by wwax at 9:32 AM on June 27, 2012


I had a pair of Sketchers in a Mary Jane style that I absolutely adored. They were comfy like a sneaker but much more dressy. Beautiful arch support. I wore them throughout my pregnancy and they were a dream.

The closest I could find were these but there are other similar styles. (I was dog-sitting and he ate them. I got a pair of Teva sandals to replace them since I needed something waterproof and more casual.)
posted by TooFewShoes at 10:17 AM on June 27, 2012


Dankso makes a nice selection of stylish shoes that also happen to be very supportive and comfortable. The clogs are the most supportive, and are beloved by nurses and chefs and other professionals who spend a lot of time on their feet. I've been wearing the Ingrid model for nearly 5 years and they keep my very messed-up feet very happy through standing on my feet giving presentations and lots of daily running around.

Naot also makes some very comfortable shoes. Most of them aren't exactly what I'd call stylish (think Birkenstocks trying relaly hard to be dress shoes but failing), but these are cute and relatively professional, as well as ridiculously comfortable and supportive. I mean absolutely ridiculously comfortable, so much so that I'd still wear them even if they were ugly, but thank goodness they're not. I wear mine with jeans as well as dress pants.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:10 AM on June 27, 2012


I too am a female wedding photographer and I wear these Crocs. I'm thinking about getting these Crocs for my next pair. Crocs are reliably comfortable, cool and supportive and you could even say they're stylish if you stretch a bit. For me, they had to be comfortable and resilient first, since, as you know, you're as often as not kneeling, bending and sometimes climbing to shoot during weddings.
posted by Lynsey at 11:20 AM on June 27, 2012


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