What to wear to a gig

I love music, and I love live music, which is kind of annoying because if there’s one thing the potato-ankle does not enjoy, it is standing around waiting for a band to come on followed by high-intensity moshing/flailing/dancing (delete as appropriate). Thus, it’s a mammoth task for me to find gig shoes as they must be:

  • comfortable yet supportive, my ankle can’t be strained for hours
  • not be so expensive I will worry about them getting wrecked or at least be robust against being wrecked
  • look amazing, because you never know who might stage dive on you, and you want to look your best*

As Meatloaf sang, two out of three ain’t bad so that’s my general rule of thumb. I’ve had many an outfit idea written off because I just can’t imagine standing around for four hours in an unsupportive pair of shoes.

I was at a gig at Brixton Academy a couple of weeks ago, to watch Børns,the support act for Halsey. Owing to Brixton Academy’s ridiculous policy of not allowing in cameras with removable lenses, I couldn’t take my SLR into the gig and thus took no photos, but here is a picture from Børns’ instagram that evening.

Backstage at @o2academybrix see y soon luvbirds phot: @ryandinham

A post shared by BØRNS (@bornsmusic) on

Yes, his shirt was THAT amazing, and his album Dopamine is very good. A bit poppier than my rock-indie tastes but charmingly catchy (Electric Love being my current favourite song on the album).

But back to the shoes…

The only shoes I have been wearing to gigs recently are these biker boots from Dune.


They are a few years old now, but you can buy this similar pair here.

Dune Peddley Boots.

The soles are sturdy, the leather is soft yet easily cleaned from the beer and mystery detritus that you step in (a girl in the crowd actually vomited during Børns’ set… it was good music but maybe not THAT good). The heel is also the perfect height to keep my ankle as mobile as possible (too flat shoes work against my ankle’s limited mobility) and it has a little roll on the sole, which helps to use my own momentum for walking instead of my ankle’s movement. If there could be one improvement, the footbed could be more cushioned, but they are roomy enough to take an insole if that was a requirement.They also seem to go with a lot of things one might wear to a gig and are smart enough to wear to work (as I often go straight from there), so all in all a good choice and one I would recommend.

However, as I was watching the gig, I noticed that the floor to the venues, and most venues, is sloped, which actually pushes my heel higher than normal. I don’t recall noticing this before, and I don’t know whether the slope is particularly high at Brixton Academy or whether beer-associated memory loss usually kicks in and this time I wasn’t drinking. So, for my next gig, I may dig out my beloved, yet awkwardly too flat, Converse and see how they fare. Hopefully, no one will vomit.


*OK, this has never yet happened, but I was at a gig recently in which the lead singer of Cage The Elephant swan-dived onto the crowd from a balcony, so you never know…




Author: shoeslifeblog

Being diagnosed with osteoarthritis didn't stop me loving shoes, so I've spent many years seeking shoes that weren't awful for my joints yet weren't awful on the eye. I have learnt that not all shoes are equal, and it is possible to wear amazing shoes while having arthritis (and other leg issues). I try out shoes so you don't have to.

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