There’s one question everyone has been asking – “What shoes should I wear to march?” Good news – the wait is over, y’all! We’ve researched and tested many shoes, and come up with a “cream of the crop” list. While there are many shoes that can handle the rigors of the drum corps season, we picked these shoes for their cushioning, flexibility, height, and weight.
We want this list to SERVE AS A GUIDE for you in your search for quality shoes. Trying on these shoes and those similar will give you a better understanding of what shoes fit your feet best. Before we dive in, take a quick look at this shoe diagram to familiarize yourself with shoe anatomy.
Notice the difference in these different components when looking through this list and when finding a pair of shoes to help YOU get through the summer. Everyone’s feet are different, so we cannot state enough that you need to find a pair that works FOR YOU. Here’s a good place to start:
1. Nike Pegasus 35
Definitely drawing on the mythical flying stallion, this shoe is not only signaling speed, but also representing light weight. Check out the thicker midsole that runs the entire length of the shoe which can add cushion for each and every one of you crabbing, heel-toe marching, or even jazz running!
2. Adidas Ultraboost 19
Just like the Pegasus, these Ultraboosts have a very cushioned midsole that can take the pounding of your instructors saying “one more time” x 1000. This version of the shoe is improved with a new heel counter lock that provides rear-foot support. This fit combined with the cushion lets you glide across the field with ease.
3. New Balance Zante Pursuit
This shoe is a little more firm and offers less drop than your average shoe, meaning that the heel and the toes are closer to the same height. The Zante Pursuit is perfect for fleet-footed individuals that do not require as much cushion and are looking for a very light feel. The new knitted upper is lighter, has fewer pieces, and is more breathable. If you typically find yourself jazz running to sets or are doing plenty of body/choreography, this shoe might be the one for you.
4. Saucony Triumph ISO 5
Cushion, cushion, and more cushion. This shoe sacrifices a little more in the department of weight, but offers you the cushion that you might want for a day of run-throughs. One individual testing these shoes said, “this shoe makes you consider selling your bed and begin sleeping standing up due to the comfort it provides.” That’s pretty high praise of the cushioning, and might feel pretty awesome in a “Park and Bark” situation.
5. Brooks Launch 6
Brooks shoes are always high quality, and seem to provide a lot of space for your toes to splay and move without limitation. This shoe offers plenty of cushion, and plenty of space for your feet. This space will be handy since your feet tend to swell as you rehearse throughout the day. It does this all a relatively low price for the high caliber of shoe, too.
6. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
This is one of Brooks’ top running shoes and has been for quite some time. In a perfect world we wouldn’t need support from a shoe, but this shoe offers guide rails that can help bring your feet back into a neutral and more natural position. The Adrenaline would definitely benefit those that want a little more support, and those who tend to roll their ankles.
7. On Cloudsurfer
This shoe, while heavier than previous models of the Cloudsurfer, offers a lighter ride in the sense of cushioning and comfort. The shoe is known for its reliability, responsiveness, and breathability. Just look at that midsole/outsole. You might find yourself getting a little more height on your Barrel turns, Pas de Chats, and Jetés.
8. Hoka One Cavu 2
The One Cavu 2 offers a combination of decreased weight with increased cushioning. The midsole is thick offering great cushioning, and the foam is light requiring less work on your part to move your feet. The combination of light weight and cushioning can benefit everyone in the corps regardless of section.
9. Altra Paradigm 4.0
Altra’s have recently shifted to offer a lot more cushion than they previously did. The Paradigm 4.0 offers a wider toe box which ideally supports a more natural foot, allowing your toes plenty of room to move. The shoe also offers guide rails like the brooks which can help keep that foot and to some extent the ankle, in a more neutral position.
10. 361o Strata 3
This brand is less known than the big companies such as Brooks and Asics. However, it offers similar cushioning. It also has an excellent mesh upper that provides both superb weather protection and impressive breathability. This comes in handy during conditions of high humidity or wet grass.
Remember, these shoes are great for certain people but may not be the ideal shoe for you. This is not an exhaustive list of the great options that shoe companies have to offer. Heck, we didn’t even get to talk about the great shoes Asics has! Shoe companies are always adapting technology and are trying to offer the best shoe for your money. Go and try on some shoes at your local running shop, or a store where a knowledgeable associate can analyze what your feet need.
You will need more than one pair of shoes over the course of the summer. We recognize that this list is higher-end prices. Your feet are worth the investment over the summer. However, if you need to find more budget-friendly shoes, stay with these big brands that are known for their reliability.
The mileage that you will cover cannot be handled by one pair of shoes, though. You will need 2-3 pairs to keep your feet happy and avoid injury. There are definitely options at lower prices. The main priority is that the shoe must be comfortable and last the entire summer.
Also, be sure to purchase a light-colored shoe! Dark colors will attract sunlight and heat, which can lead to painful blisters and skin irritation. We want to make sure you prevent any easily avoidable situations by being smart with your shoe selection. Happy marching!
Many of these concepts were referenced from runnerclick.com and the shoe manufacturer websites. Please check out these sites for more information on this topic!