The Night Thread is Clown Shoes (9/5)

With the release of Stephen King’s It: Chapter 2 and the upcoming release of Joker, it seems clowns are all the rage! There’s sure to be an uptick of clown wear in this year’s Halloween season, whether it be of the Clown Prince of Crime or Saint Penny The Wise. One of the must underrated yet important questions is: “Where do I get shoes?”

One site seemed to imply that a good set of clown shoes can set you back $200. Such prices can be upsetting and are rather daunting for anyone expecting to be an amateur clown. There’s got to be a better way!

Sadly the internet has been pretty bad on the “clown shoe” search. The first results are for the Clown Shoes Beer. The next results are for the Urban Dictionary definition of clown shoes (“something or someone who is laughable or absurd, and not to be taken seriously”). Roughly zero are about actual clown shoes. Let El Santo walk you through the most appropriate wear for your feet.

The temptation is to get clown shoes that most costume stores sell. They come in two varieties: the rigid plastic ones and the ones with thin rubber soles with cloth outsole. The price seems to be about right: $20 or less. My unbiased assessment: they are awful and are at least $19 overpriced. You cannot stand in them for five minutes without causing substantial foot pain. Wearing the plastic shoes is like sticking your foot in a piranha. The cloth-and-rubber ones are almost just as bad. The rubber provides zero support (it is really very flimsy), so any time spent on your feet will be like stepping barefoot on the gravel. The outsole has the consistency of a plastic bag.

Thanks to the explosion in brightly colored footwear, clowns now have to option of grabbing big oversized sneakers. And because shoes get substantially marked down and shipped to outlet malls when trends change, it’s not hard to get a pair that won’t break the bank either. The upside is that you get great arch support. The downside: they’re obviously just your basic oversized sneaks. They lack the jollity of a true clown shoe.

My personal favorite: the Funtasma shoes from Pleaser, of which I own two pairs. They’re in the header: the red wingtips with the yellow toe cap and the yellow one with the stars on the red toe caps. (I have a very limited color palette I try to stick to.) They do not look out of place among the custom shoes that make up the rest of the circle. There’s some maintenance required: I had to epoxy the soles back on to one pair after two years of frolicking.

Pleaser is, generally speaking, a company that makes shoes for fetish wear. I don’t know who wears clown shoes for fetish wear, and I don’t kink shame. Funtasma also has a line of superhero boots (of which I own three pair) so it’s more likely they’ve expanded to cosplay. I will say, though… they do sell sexy clown shoes if you’re into that thing.

Complete your sexy Pennywise outfit today!

I think it’s more movie-accurate than the men’s version, to be honest.

I’ve worn Funtasma clown shoes for several years. I’ve juggled pins down a parade route in these shoes. Don’t expect any actual arch support, though: a standard shoe is meant for sizes 8 to 14 men’s. But you can get them for $50 on eBay if you’re lucky, they tend to last, and they don’t feel that bad when you’re wearing them.