I’ve been asked about the best shoes to wear at concerts by a few people, so I thought I’d show the ones I wear. There are quite a few schools of thought. Some go barefoot, flip-flops, sporty offroad style sandals, and then the closed toe shoes and socks people. I’m the third one, as I tend to get my feet stepped on a lot, and my bones get tired so I need some support. I LOVE flip-flops, lived in them year round in Texas, but they just don’t cut it when you need to jump over a barrier, one always falls off. Anyway, I don’t like wearing the same shoes day after day, so I’ve found lots of options. Below is an extremely long catalog of shoes I’ve worn to concerts that worked.
Nike Air Max Sunrise – these are my VIP’s. They’ve seen 50+ shows, great support, good quality, and cute. In Charlotte this standard dirty hippie guy came up to me and said “excuse me, but are those the Air Max Sunrise? Well done!” and in Ohio a venue worker found them on her phone, she wanted them for work. That’s all the approval I need!
I’ve had a pair of checkered Vans in my arsenal off and on since I was a kid. Once you break in the back, these are the best. Cheap, you can toss them in the washer and dryer, and they match everything. These even stood up to the high tide coming up to our ankles at Jones Beach for Phish. Journey’s. I worked there when I was 16 and they were great to work for, thus I buy vans and tube socks there, they have a quota on socks that is tough to make.
The lace-up Vans are just as good. Since these come in men’s sizes, you will often meet a dude in the same shoes. This requires you to put your shoes next to each other, then do the Kid’n Play and high five. You will probably see this guy in two more cities and Kid’n Play each time. Journey’s as well.
Jordans. This is when you want to make a statement. These are pricey shoes to be wearing in sticky arenas, by wearing white ones you are showing you are stupid and frivolous and do not care. When I wore them at SXSW, I got stopped multiple times to get my picture taken for streetstyle blogs. This did not happen in any other shoe. Sold out, eBay with inflated price
These are for classier shows, where you will be dancing, but people will be older and in control of themselves, like a Medeski, Martin and Wood show or Spiritualized. These all live in their shoeboxes, and it’s taken years to collect. Whatever you do, take care of your shoes.
Speaking of Red Rocks, it’s slanted, so I like to have a cowboy heel when I’m there. I’m obsessed with ankle boots that don’t make your legs stumpy. I liked these MIA boots so much, I bought both colors. If you like something, buy all the colors, you never regret those purchases. This style is no longer for sale, but these are similar and even better. That’s also a really good price!
If only they came in more colors.
Since they don’t come in black, I wear these Vince Camuto Marcin boots. Softest leather I’ve ever felt, they are like wearing a slipper with spurs. They look really funny in the airport x-ray machine.
Oh hey! The same boot in a Chelsea style in cheetah print! I had to wear thick ski socks for awhile breaking them in, they are great for running around on steps in the dark.
Speaking of running around in the dark, these are great for sneaking around quietly and quickly. However, they get demoted a point because they stain when someone spills their drink on you.
Here are their fancier cousins, these are so freaking fun for dancing. I thought they were stupid looking, but after I kicked around in them it was on. I can’t recommend these enough, they come in a ton of colors.
As we get further into taller boots, these get worn to metal shows and anything that’s going to get crazy. Buy Frye boots on eBay for much less, and you get the added bonus of someone else breaking them in.
Final concert shoe. These are the best boots I’ve ever owned. Frye leather is awesome, if it already looks like they came from the Gold Rush, then they look good forever. Comfortable, cute, and warm, these are my go to for winter concerts.
I hope this helps at least one person, and keeps them from breaking a pinkie toe (happened in flip-flops), stepping on broken glass and bleeding everywhere (happened barefoot at a small outdoor venue), or getting tetanus (hasn’t happened). At a concert, you want to have fun and dance to great music, not complain that your feet hurt. Have fun out there!!