Read this before you buy a pair of clown shoes!
The old saying goes “an army runs on its stomach”, but I say a clown runs on his shoes! When folks describe clowns, they always mention big red noses and big floppy shoes. Your clown shoes should not be an afterthought.
“Oh I’ll just wear some tennis shoes,” you say.
Sorry folks, but just tossing on a comfortable pair of shoes makes you look like a phony. It’s like Santa Claus in sandals, or a bride in hiking boots; it just doesn’t fit the picture or the character. Picking the right shoe for your physical ability and budget doesn’t need to be a hassle.
Here are some clown shoe tips:
- Everything you wear should look like it belongs to a clown. If you can’t handle the big floppy shoes and have to wear “real” people shoes, then you need to get some bright colorful shoe laces (be sure to buy multiple laces for back-ups). Add a bow or a funny flower. Use fabric paint to make polka-dots or stripes. Be creative, and think like a clown! What would your character wear? For as low as $50.00 you can get normal tennis shoes in your own customized styles and colors! Design your own by clicking on these links to online shoe stores: Adidas, Converse, Reebok, Vans, Nike.
- Be budget conscious, but not foolish. Do NOT buy clown slippers, shoes covers, or cheap plastic shoes. Why? Because you will look cheap! Also, they are dangerous to walk around in. Be practical.
- REAL clown shoes are worth the price! The top of the line clown shoe comes from a dear friend of mine, John Spear. His motto is “You Design, We Refine.” You will appreciate the quality leather, professional craftsmanship, and the great one-to-one customer service. His shoes come in a variety of styles from a street-shoe size to the classic big bubble-toe shoe. These shoes will last most clowns a lifetime. And when they need resoling or repairs, he is happy to take care of you! If you plan on doing a lot of clowning on your feet, start saving and make the investment. Starting price is around $350.00, and they are worth every penny. Visit his website: www.spearshoes.com or give him a call (413-732-7184) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- A new kid on the block is Joey Klein. He has studied with Marty Scott (of Wayne and Marty Scott “Clown Shoes & Props” fame). The Scotts were the shoe makers for Ringling clowns and home town clowns alike for decades. Joey makes his shoes in their style of construction. You can reach Joeys Clowns Shoes by phone (973-908-3924), online (joeysclownshoes.com), and on Facebook.
- No matter what style of shoe you wear, put in innersoles to support your arches. This helps reduce back pain after a long day on your feet. Good innersoles are available near the pharmacy section of your mega-mart or department store. If you have real foot issues, check with your chiropractor. I wear Foot Levelers inner soles and they have been a real blessing for my worn-out circus feet and back!
- Find a local cobbler and make friends with him –- it is a fading art and you will need his help over the years! From leather stretching, to buckle reinforcement, to polishing, to resoling; a good shoe repair shop will keep you walking tall. It is cheaper to replace worn heels than to have them resoled. Worn down heels add to fatigue and back pain. The connection between feet and posture is often overlooked. Poor foot foundation (i.e. Hyperpronation) can lead to back and neck pain or even significant health consequences. If you have uneven wear on the heels and soles, you may want to pay more attention to your posture while walking and clowning. Take care of your body now, and it will take care of you!
- Care and Feeding of Clown Shoes — Keep them clean and dry! If they get wet, then stuff them with newspapers to absorb the moisture. Treat scuff marks as they happen – don’t let them linger for weeks. Find out what your shoes are made from, and treat each surface properly.
- Leather: Use saddle soap to wash off the grime; use Mink oil or silicone spray to water-proof them.
- Polyurethane: Use a damp cloth or Mr.Clean Magic Eraser to spot-clean; use fingernail polish remover (or Propylene Carbonate, Ethyl Acetate, or Acetone mixed with Castor Oil) to remove the scuffs.
- Shiny/Patent (leather or polyurethane): Use a damp cloth to spot-clean; restore the shine with a spray-on product like “Patent Glow” which contains a blend of wax and oils to prevent cracking.
- If you have leather shoes, it is a good idea to take them in once a year and get a good polish put on them. Colored polish perks up the appearance. If you want to do it yourself, go ahead. Be sure they are clean first! Saddle soap will get off the grime. Use different cloths for the different colored designs on your shoes, otherwise you will transfer the blue onto the white, and vice versa. Purchase in a good shoe shine kit and use it just for your leather clown shoes.
- Walking in a long summer parade? Prone to profuse perspiration? Use deodorant on the bottoms of your feet before putting on your socks and put some “odor-eaters” on top of your innersoles – this will prevent your shoes from absorbing the sweat. During storage, remove the “odor-eaters” and pop in a couple of dryer sheets to keep them smelling fresh.
The bottom line: No one ever regrets saving up and getting a quality pair of clown shoes. They just make you feel funny! Here’s to putting your big funny foot forward!
In Love & Laughter,
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