12 Festival Shoes Dos and Don’ts

Festival ‘season’ is becoming a perpetual thing, with a different music or cultural event always on the horizon. In Australia this week we have has seen a sell-out Soundwave festival (featuring great old favourites Blink 182), the Adelaide Clipsal 500 with a concert from legendary rockers Kiss, and the Future Music Festival has just started, bringing ‘Gangnam Style’ to our shores. Abroad, people are gearing up for Coachella in California in April and the UK’s famous Glastonbury festival in June. In light of all these events, I thought I would share a few tips with you about shoe dos and don’ts I have learned over the years.

Your shoes are probably going to get filthy. They could potentially fall off your foot in a crowd and be flung across a mosh pit. They will probably be covered in dust and dirt by the time you get home. Here are my 12 dos and don’ts for festival footwear.

First, the donts:

  1. Don’t wear high heels – you’ll sink into the ground and the balls of your feet will hate you. A low wedge or chunky low heel is mildly acceptable.
  2. Don’t wear your favourite shoes – you will regret it. It’s just not worth it
  3. Don’t wear white shoes, they will get filthy dirty!
  4. Don’t wear flip flops/thongs – there are too many accidents that can happen here. The plug breaks, it falls off your foot in the dance pit, and if it is muddy, you will have a mud-covered bum!
  5. Suede is probably a bad choice.
  6. Don’t buy cheap or flimsy shoes for a festival. Festival shoes will get punished. You wouldn’t take a Ford Festiva off-roading – you need a Land Rover. Same goes for your shoes!


And now for the dos:

  1. Canvas shoes, plimsolls, Volleys, Chucks, Vans are great – something you can throw in the washing machine at the end of the day!
  2. Secured sandals – ones that strap onto your feet –  are ideal, and sandals are great for really hot days. Just watch no one steps on your feet….
  3. Dark-coloured ballet flats – a comfy pair of ballet flats will go with almost any outfit and will take you through the day. Choose a quality brand that will support your feet, rather than $10 cheap and cheerfuls that will collapse your arches. Go for dark so the dirt won’t show!
  4. Ankle boots – if you’re keen to head into the mosh, or have long distances to travel between stages, go for some flat ankle boots to support your feet in extreme situations. Ankle boots work well across a number of looks – grunge, boho, girly-tough, punk, glam, whatever.
  5. Go for materials that don’t dirty easily or can be easily cleaned – quality leather, patent leather, canvas and rubber are all good options.
  6. Choose comfort over style, but remember that comfortable doesn’t have to mean ugly.

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