The Best Shoes For Every Music Festival Scenario

It’s that time of year, friends — the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival is soon to descend on Indio, CA for a two-weekend-long orgy of music, surprisingly awesome food, and of course, the most outré and eye-candy-ish attire that concert-goers can pack into their cars. While “festival style ” is met with its share of eye-rolls these days, we encourage you to put down that bottle of haterade — there’s no denying that scrolling through those slideshows of the best looks provides at least a handful of Pinterest saves.

If you’re a seasoned attendee, you know that festival-friendly footwear requirements are Goldilocksian in their specificity. Temperature is a concern: desert weather is scorching during the day and cool at night. You don’t want total foot coverage, but also need something that will protect your feet from mud, beer, rain, and maybe — ew — Porta-Potty fluids. The shoes also need to sustain you for hours of walking, dancing, and standing in line. You also, um, likely want to look cute.

Armed with these parameters, we set out to find the impossible — a stylish, comfortable, weather-appropriate festival shoe. We’ve outlined some scenarios you may encounter at the legendary music fest, along with the right footwear to help you navigate each one. Click through to find your magic pair, and know that they were all chosen for maximum function and cuteness.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.


The Situation: Diplo’s Set
The Florida-bred DJ’s sets are legendary in for dance-worthiness, and you are so prepared to cut loose for what’s sure to be an eclectic mix of tracks. Sure, you want your shoes to stand out in the crowd — but they should also protect you from the crowd, lest someone else’s overly-enthusiastic footwork hamper your ability to walk for the remainder of the weekend.

The Solution: Heavy Duty Uppers
No, not those uppers. In footwear talk, the “upper” is the part of the shoe that covers the top part of your foot.

Dr Martens 1460 Vegan 8 Eye Boots, $119.95, available at Amazon


The Situation: A Fluid Environment
In a festival setting, the possibility of spillage — from the sky, from your best friend’s Allagash-filled Solo cup, from an errant shake-and-dance — lurks at every turn, so we suggest keeping your feet dry with a chic waterproof boot.

The Solution: Impermeability
Let your soul soak up the music, but don’t let your sole soak up anything else.

Hunter Original Chelsea Gloss Rain Boots, $135, available at Zappos


The Situation: An Endless Summer … Line
Wait in line for beer. Wait in line for Porta-Potty. Repeat. You’ll find yourself doing this dance for most of your time at the Empire Polo Grounds, so a shoe than you can stand in is crucial to your survival.

The Solution: No-Fooling Arch Support
Keep your arches golden with one of these supportive-sole options.

SoftWalk Rylee, $139.94, available at Zappos


The Situation: Muddy Waters
While chances of rain in the desert are slim, it has been known to precipitate during Coachella, and there’s plenty of festival-related runoff that can contribute to sludgy grounds.

The Solution: A Boost and a Tread
Look for rugged flatform sneakers that boast a treaded sole to keep you from slipping around.

Fila Trailblazer Platform Sneaker, $90, available at Urban Outfitters

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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Every Outfit You Need For Coachella — All In One Place

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The Best Shoes For Every Music Festival Scenario

It’s that time of year, friends — the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival is soon to descend on Indio, CA for a two-weekend-long orgy of music, surprisingly awesome food, and of course, the most outré and eye-candy-ish attire that concert-goers can pack into their cars. While “festival style ” is met with its share of eye-rolls these days, we encourage you to put down that bottle of haterade — there’s no denying that scrolling through those slideshows of the best looks provides at least a handful of Pinterest saves.

If you’re a seasoned attendee, you know that festival-friendly footwear requirements are Goldilocksian in their specificity. Temperature is a concern: desert weather is scorching during the day and cool at night. You don’t want total foot coverage, but also need something that will protect your feet from mud, beer, rain, and maybe — ew — Porta-Potty fluids. The shoes also need to sustain you for hours of walking, dancing, and standing in line. You also, um, likely want to look cute.

Armed with these parameters, we set out to find the impossible — a stylish, comfortable, weather-appropriate festival shoe. We’ve outlined some scenarios you may encounter at the legendary music fest, along with the right footwear to help you navigate each one. Click through to find your magic pair, and know that they were all chosen for maximum function and cuteness.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.


The Situation: Diplo’s Set
The Florida-bred DJ’s sets are legendary in for dance-worthiness, and you are so prepared to cut loose for what’s sure to be an eclectic mix of tracks. Sure, you want your shoes to stand out in the crowd — but they should also protect you from the crowd, lest someone else’s overly-enthusiastic footwork hamper your ability to walk for the remainder of the weekend.

The Solution: Heavy Duty Uppers
No, not those uppers. In footwear talk, the “upper” is the part of the shoe that covers the top part of your foot.

Dr Martens 1460 Vegan 8 Eye Boots, $119.95, available at Amazon


The Situation: A Fluid Environment
In a festival setting, the possibility of spillage — from the sky, from your best friend’s Allagash-filled Solo cup, from an errant shake-and-dance — lurks at every turn, so we suggest keeping your feet dry with a chic waterproof boot.

The Solution: Impermeability
Let your soul soak up the music, but don’t let your sole soak up anything else.

Hunter Original Chelsea Gloss Rain Boots, $135, available at Zappos


The Situation: An Endless Summer … Line
Wait in line for beer. Wait in line for Porta-Potty. Repeat. You’ll find yourself doing this dance for most of your time at the Empire Polo Grounds, so a shoe than you can stand in is crucial to your survival.

The Solution: No-Fooling Arch Support
Keep your arches golden with one of these supportive-sole options.

SoftWalk Rylee, $139.94, available at Zappos


The Situation: Muddy Waters
While chances of rain in the desert are slim, it has been known to precipitate during Coachella, and there’s plenty of festival-related runoff that can contribute to sludgy grounds.

The Solution: A Boost and a Tread
Look for rugged flatform sneakers that boast a treaded sole to keep you from slipping around.

Fila Trailblazer Platform Sneaker, $90, available at Urban Outfitters

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Stop What You're Doing — & Other Stories Is Having A Sale

Every Outfit You Need For Coachella — All In One Place

29 Top Sell-Out Items That You Can Now Shop