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    Best shoes for gimbal walk?
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    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    What do people think are the best footwear for nimble gimbal/steadicam walking? I'm considering buying some "barefoot" style zero drop shoes. I'm not happy with thick soles as far as coming down on the floor with control. I used to have some "toe shoe" running shoes (not a professional look) and they really gave me situational awareness of the ground, pretty much like being barefoot.
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    I know a few Steadicam operators who prefer those barefoot type shoes, I always thought it a little counterintuitive myself because of the added load on the body requiring more support/cushioning (running is a different story, since no added load). I also consider the footwork different between handheld and Steadicam where the former has a more direct affect on the frame--gimbal work can fall into either category depending on whether an isolating bodymount is being used.

    In my Steadicam career I started out with New Balance sneakers for Steadicam and handheld, and later went to hightops for Steadicam to protect my ankles (and indeed, never had a rollover). Even ten years out of the rig, when watching rehearsals of a walk-and-talk I still tend to backpedal like I'm wearing a Steadicam, much to my operators amusement (one foot going behind the other to maintain a straight line).

    Here's some discussion on this from a while back. Most of the talk moved to the Facebook Steadicam group years ago but you have to be a member to read.
    https://steadicamforum.com/index.php...#comment-24283
    Charles Papert
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    Senior Member JAMedia's Avatar
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    A friend of mine rates these and he says they will do them to match your nail varnish
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    Senior Member Peter C.'s Avatar
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    I actually prefer walking sneakers with a thick soft rounded heel. Hoka are nice.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JAMedia View Post
    A friend of mine rates these and he says they will do them to match your nail varnish
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    I thought roller skates were the right footwear for smooth movements.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahalpert View Post
    What do people think are the best footwear for nimble gimbal/steadicam walking? I'm considering buying some "barefoot" style zero drop shoes. I'm not happy with thick soles as far as coming down on the floor with control. I used to have some "toe shoe" running shoes (not a professional look) and they really gave me situational awareness of the ground, pretty much like being barefoot.
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    I know a few Steadicam operators who prefer those barefoot type shoes, I always thought it a little counterintuitive myself because of the added load on the body requiring more support/cushioning (running is a different story, since no added load). I also consider the footwork different between handheld and Steadicam where the former has a more direct affect on the frame--gimbal work can fall into either category depending on whether an isolating bodymount is being used.

    In my Steadicam career I started out with New Balance sneakers for Steadicam and handheld, and later went to hightops for Steadicam to protect my ankles (and indeed, never had a rollover). Even ten years out of the rig, when watching rehearsals of a walk-and-talk I still tend to backpedal like I'm wearing a Steadicam, much to my operators amusement (one foot going behind the other to maintain a straight line).

    Here's some discussion on this from a while back. Most of the talk moved to the Facebook Steadicam group years ago but you have to be a member to read.
    https://steadicamforum.com/index.php...#comment-24283
    Several years ago, the Steadicam op for the broadcast who was doing the live entrance with a college football team who makes an insane, running entrance down a steep "double hill", did so barefoot.


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    I prefer to do the moon walk when flying a steadicam.
    ;)
    Back when I was in marching band we had to do the glide step with one foot in front of the other. So I do that actually. Funny thing is back then we wore really lousy bando shoes which had basically no cushion or support. Just thin black shoes. Today I like some cushion when doing video work but no slip


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    Still have an ancient pair of Vans that roll pretty soft. Pretty much anything that fits your foot well, doesn’t flop around, and doesn’t clonk.
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    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Several years ago, the Steadicam op for the broadcast who was doing the live entrance with a college football team who makes an insane, running entrance down a steep "double hill", did so barefoot.
    That's pretty interesting, because the way I see it - running full-tilt is the one situation where I WOULDN'T want to be barefoot or in barefoot shoes. Because I can go faster coming down on my heel (as people typically do in shoes), but you don't come down on your heel when running barefoot (because it hurts). So, I feel like I would run more slowly that way. But maybe the guy is more practiced.

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    I know a few Steadicam operators who prefer those barefoot type shoes, I always thought it a little counterintuitive myself because of the added load on the body requiring more support/cushioning (running is a different story, since no added load). I also consider the footwork different between handheld and Steadicam where the former has a more direct affect on the frame--gimbal work can fall into either category depending on whether an isolating bodymount is being used.

    In my Steadicam career I started out with New Balance sneakers for Steadicam and handheld, and later went to hightops for Steadicam to protect my ankles (and indeed, never had a rollover). Even ten years out of the rig, when watching rehearsals of a walk-and-talk I still tend to backpedal like I'm wearing a Steadicam, much to my operators amusement (one foot going behind the other to maintain a straight line).

    Here's some discussion on this from a while back. Most of the talk moved to the Facebook Steadicam group years ago but you have to be a member to read.
    https://steadicamforum.com/index.php...#comment-24283
    Thanks for the link, Charles! Supremely interesting. And it's interesting to see that a number of those folks were turned onto the barefoot shoe thing.

    I'm only flying a Ronin-S rig without an arm/vest, all together probably 12 lbs or less. So, the duress/strain is not the issue I'm trying to solve.

    Specifically, I was shooting a 20-minute take following some art historians around a gallery the other day. No trouble on wide following shots. But when I came in close to the paintings, sidled up to them, and did slow pivots coming from a frontal angle to a 3/4 angle at close distance, I felt like I needed to do very delicate footwork to keep my balance and move slowly into position with control, seeing as how my rig/arms were locked to my core, so I was moving the camera by moving my core.

    And those vibram five fingers - I used to really love those shoes. they just looked weird as hell and took on BO very quickly.

    there are a few nice things about the barefoot thing - you feel more what's going on with your toes/feet and when/where you touch down. you typically come down on the front part of your feet which acts like a spring, or else rolling along the outer part of the foot towards the front. either way, it softens the impact. children naturally start walking on the front of their feet ("foxwalking"). so you get a lot of control, and it's very comfortable.

    I feel good about my situation now doing walking/jogging takes at moderate distance from the subject (3'+). my difficulties are at close range, macro-type shots, where I typically just pull out a slider. my bobbing and swaying is not diminished by the gimbal. although that's a slightly different issue than the dance moves I described above. I've considered getting a steadimate-S, but I'm not that impressed by the footage I've seen, and I'm not sure that the advantages would outweigh the drawbacks.

    I think these are the shoes I really want - https://www.vivobarefoot.com/us/mens...our=Dark+Brown

    Especially since I need dressy shoes for a lot of things. But I'm too cheap and they're not on sale, which was the point of buying right now.

    So I'm thinking of getting these, which look more like regular sneakers - https://www.lemsshoes.com/collection...23307304763450

    and are on sale for just over half the cost of the other ones...
    Last edited by ahalpert; 11-28-2020 at 11:06 PM.


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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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