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You Should Never Wear These Shoes to a Wedding

4/12/16

Business, Photography, Tech-Talk Tuesday

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DATE:

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Five Shoes that all Wedding Photographers and Planners Need | Tech-Talk Tuesdays with Natalie Franke

I will never forget my first triple header weekend. It was the summer of 2011 and I had just purchased the perfect pair of black wedges with just the right about of height to match my three different dresses I had ready for the weekend. The first day they felt completely normal as I ran around the Naval Academy and photographed portraits on the yard. By the second day, my toes where a little achey until at the end of the third reception… I could barely stand. Little did I know that these shoes would do more damage to my feet in three days… than I had experienced in my entire life.

I’ll spare you the not-so-pretty details, but I ended up with badly bruised toes and within a week I realized that a few of my sweet little nails were going to toe nail heaven. Ugh. Working a wedding for eight to ten hours will take a toll on your feet. Every wedding photographer, event planner, and coordinator talks about the day after a wedding and how the wrong choice in shoes will result in sore feet for days.

Five Shoes for Wedding Photographers and Planners to Wear | Tech-Talk Tuesday

Disclaimer: If you’re the type of person that can flawlessly rock heels for eight hours on your feet, disregard this entire blog post. However, if you often feel as though you’ve been hit by a bus the day after a wedding… continue reading. There is a better solution.

 

Avoid Shoes That:

  • Have more than 1.5″ of height (I would avoid heels and wedges all together, unless you only wear them for the ceremony)
  • Pinch (are too tight) or shift (are too loose) as these will increase your risk of getting blisters
  • Are extremely rigid in the toe region, especially when combined with an incline (See story above. Or don’t… it still makes me cringe!)
  • Lack Arch Support and/or have a very thin sole
  • Have never been broken in or are severely worn out

Okay, so you’re thinking… “That’s great, Natalie! You’ve now eliminated every pair of shoes that look somewhat cute in my closet.” And I’m so sorry for that. Really, I am. But, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I’ve made and I truly believe that after shooting nearly forty weddings last year and hundreds over the past six, I can finally say I’ve found a few pairs of shoes that I absolutely love.

Five Shoes perfectly designed for Wedding Professionals, Planners, and Photographers!

Five Shoes that I love for Wedding Professionals:

 

Dexflex Claire Scrunch Flat:

These flexible flats are a staple among my team and were first discovered by the world’s best wedding photography assistant + second shooter, Madison Short! Maddie wore Dexflex Flats all last season and by the end of the year the entire team was considering buying a pair. They come in a variety of colors (I love the nude + black) and are a simpler shoe for wedding professionals who don’t need over the top orthopedic-style support. Oh, and did I mention that most pairs are under $30? Check them out >>

Crocs Cap Toe Flat:

I know what you’re thinking… “Crocs? Those hideous gardening shoes made of, what feels like, recycled packaging peanuts and car tires?” Before you completely give up on me, take a moment to check these shoes out. Crocs have come a long way. These cap toe flats are adorable and I keep hearing incredible things about them from colleagues who own a few different pairs of the croc flats. I ordered a pair of these exact shoes earlier this week and I can’t wait to give them a spin. Check them out >>

Clarks Alitay Susan Flat:

I’ve always loved Clarks because they are known for being reliable, classic, and supportive shoes. When I came across these gorgeous flats earlier this year, I just knew that I needed a pair for weddings + engagement sessions. I own a pair of the teal-tipped navy flats, however I’m dying to get the Nude + Gold ones too! At $99 per pair, the Alitay Susan flats are more of an investment than many of the other shoes, however they are really well made and will last a long time. Check them out >>

Aerosoles Between Us Ballet Flat:

I love Aerosoles. I seriously do. If you aren’t familiar with these shoes, they generally have a memory-foam insole or footbed and are designed for daily use. These ballet flats are simple and perfect for summer weddings when your feet need to stay cool. Check them out >>

Dr. Scholl’s Friendly Ballet Flat:

These are the ultimate, classic flat and I love them. I want one in every single color. They have a memory foam insole and breathable arch support that is perfect for a ten or twelve hour wedding day. And they are relatively unexpensive, so it won’t break the bank. If you had to choose one pair, I would recommend these shoes. They are the most versatile and are sure to get a ton of use! Check them out >>

Shoes for Wedding Photographers to Wear | Tech-Talk Tuesday

At the start of every year, I order a new pair of shoes. They tend to last one full season until I’ve destroyed them or worn them to the point of obvious neglect.

Over the past six wedding seasons, I’ve gone through more shoes than a DSW on Black Friday.

Everyone is different and I genuinely believe in finding the right pair of shoes for you. Some people need even more support than the shoes listed above, while a few lucky others can get away with wearing wedges and heels. I’m jealous of girls that can rock heels… Unfortunately, I’m not one of them! When it comes to colors, I generally choose black or navy blue because they tend to be the most versatile and show fewer dirt + scuff marks. If you shoot on yachts quite often (like I do), remember to keep a pair of non-marking shoes (like Sperry Topiders) in your car too!

And just a reminder that of the links above are linked with Amazon Associates and any affiliate revenue generated goes to fund the free content that I provide on Tech-Talk Tuesdays. In other words, if you decide to get one of these awesome pairs of shoes, you can support me by buying through the links above.

 

Wedding Photography Questionnaire — Resources for Professional Photographers by Natalie Franke

Download my Wedding Photography Questionnaire — Fill out the form above and get it delivered straight to your inbox! All of the questions I ask my couples to help them prepare for the big day and ensure that I can provide them with an extraordinary experience.

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COMMENTS +

  1. Laura

    April 12th, 2016 at 7:40 am

    Great shoe tips and I am a big fan of Clarks! I don’t have the prettiest ones but they work!

  2. Lauren C

    April 12th, 2016 at 7:55 am

    You know you go through wedding shoes when you’ve already owned 4 out of the 5 brands you listed haha! Clarks and Dr. Scholls are the ones I’ve been the happiest with so far. Definitely a helpful post!!

  3. Brea

    April 12th, 2016 at 8:39 am

    I am so intrigued by this post! I thought you wore Tieks! I have a few pairs for every day life but I can never get through more than 3 hours on a wedding day before needing to change my shoes. TOMS have been the only thing I can get through a wedding without any pain, but they’re not the cutest. I’ll have to try some of these! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Nichole Meredith

    April 12th, 2016 at 8:50 am

    These I such great wedding vendor tips! I was just looking for a pair of shoes this week so I know which I’ll be buying 🙂

  5. Kat Bruns - A Twist of Lemon Photography

    April 12th, 2016 at 8:58 am

    The cap toe crocs are my favorite, I wear them to every wedding! Looks like I need to give the Dr. Scholl’s a try as well.

  6. Rachel

    April 12th, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I love Cole Haan’s ballet flats with the Nike Air technology. I go through about a pair a year and clock on average 9-11 miles an event day in them. They’re leather so they breathe which is also fantastic. They’re a perfect ‘go to’ wedding day shoe!

  7. Casi

    April 12th, 2016 at 10:04 am

    These are great recommendations for wedding photographers and taking care of their feet and knees and backs (all which take a hard toll during a wedding day. Since I recently suffered a back injury and having discussed it with my June bride, I am wearing a pair of sandals for the ceremony and a pair of Nike Free 5.0 sneakers during the reception – hard floors only back my fragile back worse. Thank you for all these suggestions, Nat! You are one for giving out your research!

  8. Sarah W

    April 12th, 2016 at 10:35 am

    These are great tips! Uncomfortable shoes are pretty much the story of my life. I normally bring 2-3 pairs to every wedding because my feet get tired of them! I have found that my Toms have worked the best for my flat-footed self. 🙂

  9. Katie

    April 12th, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Ah, this is great!! I actually wear dressy sandals most of the time because my feet swell when I’m standing for long periods of time (gross, I know!) and those seem to work the best for me comfort and style wise 🙂 I’ll have to check out some of these though for winter weddings!

  10. Ashton W

    April 12th, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Great post! This is a topic that is so practical and useful, I love it! Last wedding season I tried out Josef Seibel’s sandals, and they worked awesome!

    I could totally tell in my body and back if I didn’t wear them. They are a bit more expensive, but so, so worth it!

    http://www.zappos.com/josef-seibel-tonga-25-camel-dolomite?zlfid=191&ref=pd_brand_page

  11. Kelly

    April 12th, 2016 at 11:15 am

    These are great! I’m only 4’10 and have tinnnnyyyyy kid size feet.. Unfortunately, none of these offer sizes that will fit my feet.. Do you know if any of these make “kid” shoes? I wear a size 2 in children’s =/ Such an unfortunate issue to have as my feet are always killing me and I can’t find a shoe that will work!

  12. Kat

    April 12th, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    This is great, Nat! I also love my Toms for set-up and my Tieks!! They are pricey but WORTH the investment!!!:)

  13. AmandaLiew.com

    April 12th, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Ah I love this! Such helpful tips! I’m a total wimp when it comes to shoes (blame it on the Californian past where I only wore sandals…)

  14. michelle

    April 12th, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    I might have to look into a pair! thank you for the review!

  15. Elizabeth G

    April 12th, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    YAY Chesapeake Strings photo shout-out!! Super helpful article for wedding pros but when I saw the strings photo of my husband and group I got so excited 😉

  16. Jenny Storment

    April 13th, 2016 at 3:54 am

    Best blog post EVER! It’s like the question each spring which shoes should I wear for this wedding Season!

  17. Alex

    April 13th, 2016 at 8:34 am

    This came just in time for my busy season! I love my Aerosols but I’m going to give the Dr. Scholl’s a try! Thanks for sharing!

  18. Urška Majer

    April 13th, 2016 at 8:51 am

    These all look like great suggestions! I found some really comfy elegant black flats from DKNY last year and hopefully they’ll last throught this season too 🙂

  19. Stephanie

    April 13th, 2016 at 9:27 am

    This is such a great blog post! I spent most of the wedding season last year eliminating shoes I could wear to weddings by trial and error. I am definitely going online today to purchase one of the pairs mentioned above! Thanks for doing the research for us!

  20. Jess Bulloss

    April 13th, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Need these shoes!! Totally ordering some!!

  21. Brooke Michelle

    April 13th, 2016 at 10:56 am

    *immediately starts online shopping because these are cute and comfy*

    Great post Natalie!

  22. Liesl Kammer

    April 13th, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Fantastic tips!! I am in LOVE with my crocs and suggest them to everyone! They’re nice on my feet and they actually have some pretty cute styles. I am going to look into the clarks too!! Thank you!!

  23. Sarah

    April 13th, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Awesome roundup thank you! I’ll order a few of these. I have tried the Crocs but found the rubber not breathable and gave me blisters, though otherwise they were comfy. My go-to is Dansko Mary Jane’s, they give a good amount of height for my stubby legs but still feel like a flat with the wide base plus my feet still feel brand new at the end of the day.

  24. Laura Hernandez

    April 13th, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Bought a pair yesterday! Can’t WAIT to try them out this weekend. 🙂

  25. Rhiannon

    April 13th, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Yup. After 19 hour wedding days (for real) it SURE does help to have a good pair of shoes on your feet. Love this round up, sweet friend!

  26. Emily

    April 14th, 2016 at 8:16 am

    All of these shoes are so cute! I am definitely going to be checking the Clarks and Dr. Scholls out before wedding season begins! Thank you for such a helpful post!

  27. Bridget Moore

    May 18th, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Love this post! Our whole office just went and got our wedding season flats thanks to your post we picked out the cute crocs AND they are 50% off deal of the day on Amazon today!

  28. Lisa

    July 29th, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you for the tips…sadly I have TINY feet and they don’t come in my size. Argh!

  29. Katie Lewis

    August 4th, 2016 at 8:39 am

    I also recommend Oka-B Taylor flats. They are sustainably made in America. They are like classy jelly shoes, look like patent leather, and are dishwasher safe. I wore a pair for 9 hours of coverage at a wedding last weekend and I had no foot pain at the end of the day! They also are available at Amazon for about $40.

  30. Nicole Amanda Photography

    March 13th, 2017 at 9:57 am

    ADORE my Dexflex! Stumbled upon them ironically while looking for some formal heels for a gala! Obsessed!

  31. Samantha Melanson

    March 15th, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    I wore the Dexflex flats all last season and they were the comfiest shoes I’ve found yet and I got tons of compliments on the nude ones. I’m usually a 5.5 or 6 and wear a 5 in these if that’s helpful to anyone. Thanks for this post! 🙂

  32. Jennifer

    March 19th, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Oh my goodness! THANK YOU! I’ve been wishing for a post like this for so long! I’ve had some luck with a pair of crocs I bought last year, but I have such a tough time with shoes and that “I got hit by a bus” feeling is exactly how I describe the day after a wedding! lol

  33. Kayla

    March 21st, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    This is fantastic! Very similar to shoes I have tried to wear before, just didn’t try the right kind apparently! Can’t wait to look for some of these! Thank you for sharing!

  34. Sarah

    May 31st, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    This is the post I have been searching for! I would love to hear about what you wear too. Specifically for warmer weddings when pants and a blazer don’t sound so appealing.

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