XXL‘s Guide to Festival Footwear
There's such a thing as music festival etiquette, especially when it comes to footwear. This year's South By South West and Coachella may be a thing of the past, but with Bonnaroo, Rock the Bells and The Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival still to come, Music Festival Season has barely gotten started.
If there's anything XXL learned over the years, it's that comfort takes precedence over style when walking hours through the various festivals’s typically grassy, or sandy terrains. While many festival-goers simply opt to wear older pairs of sneakers, B.o.B's co-manager, TJ Chapman, says wearing fresh kicks is feasible.
“Well, you gotta walk a lot," TJ, who wore a burgundy and grey pair of Air Jordan Retro 5s to SXSW, told XXL. "I got on the 5’s, but you see I have on dark colors. You can’t bring light colors, whites, 'cause brand new nice shoes will get messed up out here. So the one thing you do, if you’re gonna wear some nice new things, wear some dark colors or something that when it gets dirty, you can wipe it off and clean it.”
For superstars like T.I., walking isn't even an option, which gives him the luxury of staying crisp at all times. “Pimpin ain’t gon walk too far," Tip told XXL.
MMG rapper Stalley agrees that transportation influenced his sneaker selection. Now that he's either chauffeured or riding on a tour bus, he prefers to get fly. But, in his years as an up-and-coming rapper, he went for comfort.
"I’ve been lucky to be in a car this year, but the previous years I was definitely in skate cons," Stalley, who was spotted with a pair of Candy Cane Air Jordan 14 retros, explained to XXL. "'Cause They have great insole and great cushion for all the moving around, being on stage jumping around. You definitely gotta dress and wear comfortable shoes because you gon' do a lot of moving around."
Packing a combination of kicks that serve different purposes, also sounds like a viable option. "I did bring a bunch of Louis [Vuitton] sneakers, but I felt like it was a little too early for that, so I threw on my Timbs and I kept it real up north," DJ Drama offered.
Roderick Scott—Warner Bros.'s Manager of Publicity and Digital Promotions—was able to make adjustments after wearing a more practical pair, backfired.
"Yesterday, I had my chucks, just 'cause I’m thinking these are some turf shoes, I can go ahead, kick it around, I’ma be in the dust," Roderick, who sported Cool Grey Air Jordan 11 retros, explained. "At the end of the day, those joints have no support. I’m walking. [It's] 2 o’clock, I’m like, 'Fuck!' Today I was like, I need some pillows on my feet, so the Js came out."
All in all, no matter what kicks festival-goers opt for and why, the choice always needs to have some level of freshness. Keep it pimpin', pimpin'. —Carl Chery (@CChery)