“Not Top 10” Shoes for Marching Band

One of our most anticipated blogs each year is our “Top 10 Shoes for DCI” blog. Everyone who has marched long enough realizes the importance of having proper shoewear to perform at a high level. Shoewear is one of the most requested topics of discussion at our clinics as well. This is only the case because so many people do it wrong!!

Thus, we think it’s time to address the mess. Here’s our “Not Top 10” list! Don’t you dare let us catch you trying to march in these!

1. Converse Chuck Taylor’s


C’mon! These were the “athletic shoe” of the year 1917. That was over a CENTURY AGO!! You cannot be wearing these on your feet to do anything remotely athletic now. They have ZERO ankle support, and negligible arch support. Wear them to class, then leave them in your gym bag when you change clothes for marching band.

2. Vans

Ah, the shoe of the skater boy. These have become more of a fashion statement than a shoe you can do demanding drill with. Again, there is no lateral support – a major problem every time you need to change direction. These are an ankle sprain waiting to happen. Yes, there are some high top versions, but, in general, these are not for marching.

3. Yeezy’s

If you can afford these, please don’t destroy them by marching in them. They won’t last. Save them for your date next weekend, when you want to showcase how willing you are to spend money on things in life that don’t matter. (I’m just mad because I don’t have a pair.)

4. Basketball Shoes

Curry’s, Durant’s, LeBron’s, Jordan’s. All amazing basketball players. None competitive marchers. Plus, you don’t want to blow out your shoe like Zion. Next!

5. Cowboy/girl boots

This wouldn’t be on the list if we hadn’t had to have this conversation before. Blake Shelton may wear them on stage, but I bet even he kicks them off as soon as he gets back to the bus. Boots have no business being on your feet when you’re trying to march around a field for hours at a time.

6. Sperry’s

The classic preppy boating shoe should be saved for your casual summer outings. They are made for relaxing by the water. I have yet to be in a marching band show about relaxing by the water. Can we make that happen in 2019?

7. Chaco’s

The front ensemble can get away with these for rehearsal, but the rest of the corps can’t. You’ll get blisters in all the wrong places if you try to march in these.

8. Sandals/Flip-Flops

I’ve seen band directors go into tirades over students trying to rehearse in flip-flops, and for good reason. It will only take a few reps to either blow out the shoe, or roll your ankle if you try to march in them.

9. Barefoot

Don’t. Do. It. I feel bad enough for the winter guards that have to rehearse barefoot. They wonder why they have so many foot, knee, and hip injuries. If you don’t have support from the ground up, the rest of you body has to compensate. This puts you at risk for a host of unwanted injuries.

10. Band Shoes

Ok, this is just for fun. But, really, I remember hating the shoes we had to wear with our uniforms in high school. I would stay out of uniform until the last possible second so I wouldn’t have to cram my feet into old Dinkles. Fortunately, shoe designers have realized that the old shoes can’t keep up with the demands of current marching band shows, and have shifted their designs to mimic athletic shoes.

We know you’ve seen this mistakes in shoewear and more. Comment on our post with any other disastrous shoe choices you’ve seen on the band field!

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