Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Work Shoes & Boots

Okay, hope this isn't off topic. I figure it's along the lines of the radial keratotomy discussion.

My feet are killing me!

As a lot of us work on our feet all the time, footwear can become a BIG deal. I've been working a lot lately and absolutely have to buy new shoes. But the old ones aren't working for me. (I used to always just use really good running shoes, since I'm an ex-runner).

Also, an A.D. I know suggested going to a podiatrist and getting customized inserts, he said it saved him.

Any recommendations on either? I hate spending money on shoes and then having them give out after a couple months. I'm looking for something that will last a while. (in the LA area of the US)

Phil Badger
gaffer (and size 14 feet)
Los Angeles

I ended up buying a pair of Dr. Martens one size too big and putting two insoles and an arch support in them. And I have to wear them with extra thick hiking socks.

However, they are now officially the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned, and I and wear them all day we/out problem and have even gone out dancing in them.

I just have to remember to take them off at night when I go to bed.

Jessica Gallant
Los Angeles based Director of Photography
West Coast Systems Administrator, Cinematography Mailing List


Here's a simple fix that worked for me- OTA - over the ankle.

It's not just for hikers. the extra support of bracing the angle keeps the foot from compressing onto the arch- and creating probs. oldest trick in the book. think about it.

I've been wearing Solomon brand hikers- under $200 USD.

They blow my old mephisto's off the wall. Comfort at hour 18.

Caleb Crosby, s.o.c.

Orthotics may well be the answer to your needs. I lasted for years without resorting to them by wearing shoes and boots with really good arch supports, but eventually that didn't cut it anymore. In many people's cases, the arch of the foot no longer supports their weight and flattens out when standing, which can cause aching and sometimes cramp-like pains.

The solution is a rigid or semi-rigid arch support which "shores up" the arch and keeps the foot shape correct. A good podiatrist will examine your feet, watch you walk, and, if so indicated, make a plaster cast of your feet from which an arch support is made. The supports go in your shoes.

There are several different types of supports. The ones that look like foam arch supports with a semi-rigid plastic "tray" that conforms to your foot are not adequate for those of us who spend our days on our feet.

We tend to need the fully rigid ones. There is no comparison between custom orthotics and the "off the shelf" drugstore variety.

Many health insurance plans will cover at least a portion of a podiatrist's appointment. The Motion Picture Health plan covers it really well. The podiatrist that I saw was referred through that plan.

If you were a grip, I would suggest that you just put less weight on your feet and let your knuckles do more of the work of supporting your body.

Mark Weingartner
LA Based

Take a look at the Bates 924

or my personal favourite:

Wendell Greene

(Usual Disclaimers Apply)

I bought rigid arch supports at Sportsmart. So far, so good, although they are not a perfect solution. I'm still looking for the perfect shoe. I guy I knew in LA used to bring an extra pair of shoes with him to work.

He wore one pair in the morning and another pair after lunch. He swore it was the ultimate solution to life, the universe and everything.

Now if someone has a solution to back problems I'd love to hear it.

Art Adams, DP
Mountain View, California - "Silicon Valley"

I recently discovered SAS shoes. They're made in San Antonio, TX, by a company that doesn't have a website or even email. But they make some of the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. When I wrote them ( snail mail! ) with some questions and a minor complaint, they sent me a personal, *handwritten* response, and included some extra insoles and arch pads.

I thanked them, and they wrote back again!

Even if the shoes weren't so comfortable I'd recommend SAS just on the basis of their outstanding customer-relations! BTW, the shoes come with extra laces, and a foot-care manual.

I'm a big guy -- 6'2" -- with size (American) 14 dogs. So I can't stand heavy shoes. These SAS shoes are *very* light. (I also have some lower-back anomalies that require me to wear a lift in my left shoe -- these shoes are high enough in the back end to allow that with ease.)

(I also have mild scoliosis -- spinal curvature -- which lets me balance shoulder-held cameras more comfortably than I would otherwise.

Talk about being born for the job...but I digress...

Dan Drasin
Marin County, CA

My routine :

1) Find a comfortable pair of shoes.

2) Wear them

3) Wear them out

4) Return to #1.

In the past comfortable shoes have included but are not limited to Technica low top trail shoes. Birkenstock sandals survived a month on an uninhabited coral atoll that was shredding my Technica’s, still have the Birkenstocks.

Be careful working in sandals you don't want to rip off a toe nail by accident. I did that once ( big toe) I get squeamish thinking about it.

Saloman low top trail running shoes.

Mark Smith DP
Oh Seven Films Inc.

Phil Badger writes:

> Any recommendations on either? I hate spending money on shoes

Spend the money for really good shoes like Mephisto. They last a long time as well as give you the best support. Running shoes are all wrong for standing.

And definitely get custom orthotics. They have saved my life.

Another trick I use is that when I come home I use a foot vibrating massager for a few minutes every night before I go to bed. It seems to stimulate blood flow and helps a lot.

Steven Poster aSC

When I used to do a lot of travel documentary work, I decided on a personal project of finding ONE pr of shoes to travel with. I hate to pack. After several bad choices (New Balance, Rockport, Blunstones, etc.) I was successful with a pr. of ridiculously expensive Mephisto shoes with lug style soles. Two years later they are still very comfortable, look nice, and are rugged enough to wear in funky conditions but nice enough to wear out to dinner. They've been around the world a couple of times (with my feet inside) and all over the US on location. The lug soles with real heels are very important to keep from slipping in wet or steep conditions.

I think I'd try Eco shoes next time. I know two DPs and an AD that swear by them. They're much less expensive than the Mephisto.

Rod Williams
Motion Picture First Camera Assistant
Petaluma, California

>Anyone know a decent shoe that's available in an 11W (or 11EE or >EEE)?

New Balance makes shoes in different widths.

FWIW, the *change-shoes-at-lunch* tip is a good one. I guess every shoe is a little different and switching mid-day changes the footbed enough to make a difference.

David Perrault, csc

David Perrault wrote:

>New Balance makes shoes in different widths.

I used to wear them, but found they made me stand weirdly -- especially after they switched their manufacturing to China from the US. No idea why.

I've been ok with Rockports, when I can find the wide ones...

Jeff Krines

I can strongly recommend Foot-so-port shoes.

Very limited styles (ever since the factory burned down and had to be rebuilt a decade ago.) They have really good arch supports and come in every size. My dad wears 13 A with a AA heel...

Their work boots have nice toe wiggle room and I got good use out of their casual shoes with the big cushy vibram crepe soles. They have a website somewhere.

For years I had three pairs of their boots which I would any on time I had one trashed pair and one almost dress-level pair and one in the middle pair. I resoled each pair at least twice and still have a couple of pairs well designed that the uppers would never wear out because they fit so well that they didn't develop stress points.

Mark Weingartner
(Not affiliated with Foot-so-port, Clown-so-port or any other shoes companies)

Art Adams writes:

>Now if someone has a solution to back problems I'd love to hear it.

1) Use a PDX-10
2) Keep an elastic back brace handy while on shoots, just in case.
3) Regular preventive chiropractic treatment. Really.

Dan Drasin
Marin County, CA

I wrote:

>Even if the shoes weren't so comfortable I'd recommend SAS

Steven Poster writes:

>Yes, but what do they look like?

Style is everything isn't it....

SAS makes various common styles. Appearance-wise they're nothing out of the ordinary. Do a google search on 'SAS shoes' and you'll find a lot of online retailers who sell them, even though the mfgr itself doesn't have a website.

Dan Drasin
Marin County, CA

Jeff "widelux" Kreines writes:

>Anyone know a decent shoe that's available in an 11W (or 11EE or >EEE)?

I believe SAS Shoes make ultrawides.

Dan "size 14, and proud of it" Drasin
Marin County, CA

Just a little side note. When you do find a pair of shoes you like, buy at least two pair. You never know when the manufacturer will decide to discontinue your favourite model. Has happened to me many times with New Balance. However, I do have to wear NB sporting shoes as they are the only maker of tennis shoes in EEEE width.

Can also recommend Red Wing boots. May be only here in LA, (Actually I think they are made in Minnesota) but they make a variety of comfortable, high quality boots and shoes. Check out the Irish Setter boots, lightweight, comfortable, sturdy.

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.

Ed Coleman - SuperDailies
Cinematographer Supervised Video Dailies

Bob Kertesz writes:

>I have heard it alleged that a lot of people have had their bodies >damaged by chiropractic treatment.

I've never heard of an instance personally, though I know that can happen But there are also a lot of bad stories out there about MDs, dentists, rental houses, producers, etc. As with anything else, you've got to shop around and develop relationships with service providers you trust.

There are also various schools of chiropractic. Some of them (i.e., Network Chiropractic, Grostic method, etc.) apply light pressure to reflex points rather than applying direct force.

>Most people might be better off with deep tissue full body massage.

That's also a good choice. Massage can be a good complement to chiropractic treatment as well.

Dan Drasin
Marin County, CA

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