ByAndrew Brindley, writer at
Film reviewer, comic book fan and all around movie watcher.
Andrew Brindley

Do you know the secret behind creating a character? It's more than what that character says or does. It's something that can be interpreted differently only so much before the audience loses touch with who that person is and more importantly why and how that character came to be.

The key is in the visuals. Within the visuals, we will discover a rather interesting secret which costume designers have been displaying for our subconscious minds ever since the beginning of film.

Let's use Indiana Jones for example.

Now you may think you know what makes up his visual character. The fedora, jacket and whip, right? Well, while those are all key factors to his look, there's something more that surpasses just any one character. That thing is:


Think about. How would Indy look if he wasn't wearing these:

But rather these:

It just wouldn't work. Why? Because Indy spends his time in dirty, snake filled sand pits looking for lost artifacts. He doesn't spend his time in the gym shooting hoops.

Footwear tells us what kind of lifestyle that person lives, where they've been and how long they've been that way.

In fact each type of persona deserves their own type of footwear. Rich business owners wear some type of expensive dress shoe. Adventure types wear some form of boot. Superheros wear nice tall boots because it makes them look heroic. Seriously, it's all about the footwear, people. Forget the capes and cowls, the hats and the gloves, and the jackets and the scarves.

In fact, look close at the shoes on any costume and you will find intricate details, which tell you about the person wearing them.

Batman's mech suit boots have cleats specially designed for stomping the Man of Steel.

Catwoman's boots are specially made with sharp, serrated heels, used for offense and defense.

Batman's regular bat-suit boots have steel toes made for kicking in the Joker's teeth. Maybe that's why Jared Leto's Joker has those metal teeth...

Also, can we please take a moment to have a look back at the classic movie monsters? Frankenstein, with his tall brooding boots, became a slow, stumbling, loud and threatening giant.

Lastly and in closing statements, take a look at the shoes Ben Affleck is wearing on the set of Batman v superman as Bruce Wayne, while presumably not filming full action shots.

Looks a little goofy, doesn't it? Now here's the actor in the same setting and costume, but with switched out footwear.

As you can see, once he puts on those rough looking dress/business shoes, he looks 10 times more the part.

Footwear really makes a big difference even though it's such a small part visually. So that's it for now. I hope I get some people thinking and sharing those thoughts in the comments. Until next time, I leave you with these dreadful puns:

I hope you got a real kick out of that. It came from the bottom of my sole. It was on the tip of my tongue. I hope these puns aren't making me out to be such a heel. I really don't want to get strung up.


Thoughts on footwear in costumes?


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