One of most important pieces of kit for a photographer, and the one thing probably most often overlooked, is a good pair of shoes. These old boots of mine have finally just about had it; they’ve started wheezing at me every time I walk in them, they smell like dead dog and they’re beginning to lose their soul (sic...and bad pun). I have been through all sorts of shit with these shoes (literally) and they have been to five of the worlds seven continents on my feet. As far as I was aware the particular model had been discontinued, however yesterday whilst on assignment in the south of England I saw a pair in a shop window. The shoes are made by Ecco (and no I’m not sponsored by them...but if they were interested I’m sure I could have my arm twisted) and weren’t cheap when I bought them. Thankfully with an awesome stroke of luck the ones in the shop window were in the sale and had 70% off. These shoes are the most comfortable and hard wearing shoes I’ve ever owned. They are quiet to walk in and didn’t used to be that scruffy to wear. But what of all this talk of shoes I hear you ask? Well actually it was a rather long and clumsy segue into talking about a book.
The first time I ever really start to think about shoes and their importance in my line of work was after reading “On being a Photographer” by Bill Jay and David Hurn, a must read manual for all photographers. The book is based on a rambling conversation between the two authors, and is something I dip back into every couple of years. Now, a few more years down the line from when I first read it I’m beginning to see what they were talking about. I find it hard to imagine how many miles of walking and running around I do when on assignment but it’s a lot. Good shoes are essential. As is the book.