Footwear: Friend or Foe

Dragon*Con is not a convention for the ill-prepared, especially those of us who partake in all aspects of bliss from early morning panels to late night shindigs. To truly enjoy the convention, one must make careful, diligent preparations, and one of the most important components of those preparations is to break in the footwear.

And the feet, but I digress…

Boots from platform to combat, sandals from flip-flops to Roman, slippers from fairy to fuzzy, and stilettos from pump to glitter-toe; almost every form of footwear imaginable makes an appearance in the foyers and streets of the convention. Sure, the average Joe/Jill attendee is likely wearing comfortable runners manufactured by a company starting with an N, C, A, or R, but if you want to add flair or make the costume more authentic, you must don that pair of red, six-inch, lace-up-above-the-knee boots.

This reporter stares at such beauties with reverence and awe, wondering how anyone could endure the treks from Hilton to Hyatt and back again in such rarities. As it turns out, such a pair can be, dare I say, comfortable if you: first, break them in long before the convention, and second, wear either one or two pairs of socks underneath. In the places that will rub, use duct tape rather than an adhesive bandage to cover any pressure points (which you will discover when you break them in).

Part of the training involves the feet. You cannot spend the other 360 days of the year wearing loafers and then expect your feet to spend the weekend staggering around in stilettos without complaint. “Treat it like any form of physical training,” said one attendee who will be living in her pumps. “I’m more likely to fall on my face in flat shoes than in heels, since I wear [heels] every day for work.”

So the next time you’re wandering through the halls staring at people’s faces (okay, I know that’s not the first place you’re likely to stare, but children might be reading), glance down and get a new perspective on the con. And for the love of comfort, make sure you buy next year’s pair in the month of September so you’ll have plenty of time to ready both body and gear.

Author of the article

When Suzanne Church isn't chasing characters through other realms, she's hanging with her two children. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, On Spec, and Cicada and in several anthologies including Urban Green Man and When the Hero Comes Home 2. Her collection Elements: A Collection of Speculative Fiction is due out in spring 2014 from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. She is a three time finalist and 2012 winner of the Prix Aurora Award in the Short Fiction category.