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    Shoes

    I've been using shoes from a place recommended here, https://www.organmastershoes.com/

    My wife says it would be good for me to have something that looks a little more "normal" that I could still play in - any suggestions?

    Thanks.

    -S-

    #2
    With tongue firmly in cheek.... Get a divorce?

    Comment


      #3
      Your response has been duly noted.

      All kidding aside, I do end up wearing my organist shoes around a bit sometimes, and my wife's observation is that these look like what they call "character" shoes in the theater, or tap dance shoes.

      I am completely ignorant of both fashion and function when it comes to footwear in general - the shoes I wear for "dress up" most of the time are all black Converse Allstars, and otherwise I live barefoot, in socks, or in some sort of sneaker. (I'll note also that I'm completely ignorant about fashion in general and wouldn't dream of buying clothes without my wife along to veto things that would look bad on me.)

      So it is really an earnest question on my part because I don't know what makes an organists' shoe an organists' shoe - I got them because people here recommended them, and they do work better than my sneakers or my stocking feet. Just looking for alternatives if they're out there.

      We'll celebrate our 35th anniversary this summer, and I'm hoping for at least 35 years more.

      -S-

      Comment


        #4
        First of all: who sees your shoes when you're playing?
        And second: one could argue that organ playing isn't "normal" anyway, so why should your organ shoes look "normal"?

        Many organ shoes look like dancing shoes - some of them actually are dancing shoes. If you can play okay in your organmasters, why wear something else?

        Comment


          #5
          You should really only be wearing them when you play. They are not meant to be regular shoes for walking around.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by tbeck View Post
            They are not meant to be regular shoes for walking around.
            That's why I asked. Sometimes there is coffee hour after the service and I forget to change my shoes, and sometimes I wear my organist shoes home because I forget to change out of them.

            No disrespect intended to anyone, but I'm asking for recommendations for nicer looking shoes that would get the job done. I get that what I have isn't great to wear around.

            -S-

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Steve Freides View Post
              So it is really an earnest question on my part because I don't know what makes an organists' shoe an organists' shoe - I got them because people here recommended them, and they do work better than my sneakers or my stocking feet. Just looking for alternatives if they're out there.
              Here's my idea of organ shoe characteristics
              • Leather or felt heels and soles.
              • Prominent heel
              • Thin sole
              • Narrow toe
              • Light weight
              As others have pointed out, ballroom or tap shoes often have these characteristics. I'm currently using these Organ Master knockoffs
              https://amzn.to/2Kj0WzU
              -Admin

              Allen 965
              Zuma Group Midi Keyboard Encoder
              Zuma Group DM Midi Stop Controller
              Hauptwerk 4.2

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Steve Freides View Post
                All kidding aside, I do end up wearing my organist shoes around a bit sometimes, and my wife's observation is that these look like what they call "character" shoes in the theater, or tap dance shoes.
                Steve,

                Yes, OrganMaster shoes are actually dance shoes, and are designed for a tighter fit than other dress shoes. Often, because of their proper use, they develop scratches and bare spots if used properly. For example, if you keep your heels together as good pedaling dictates, the inside of the heels will eventually become bare leather; or even the toes will wear out if you do foot substitution on the pedals.

                Regarding wearing them around, I try never to wear mine around because the soles will soak up moisture from either carpet or the floor. However, those same soles provide either grip, or sliding on the pedals (i.e. during foot substitution). If I have to go, sometimes I walk on the sides of the shoes so the soles don't pick up where other have "missed." The soles should be thin enough so you can feel the pedals through the sole.

                Mine work for me, and I've found no need to look elsewhere for organ shoes. Your mileage may vary. There have been MANY threads on the Forum regarding organ shoes. I would suggest searching and reading those threads.

                Michael

                P.S. As far as the shoes looking "normal," well, that's not the reason I wear them. I keep one set of organ shoes nice for performance on stage where they'll be visible, but another set used primarily for practice and church (no stage).
                Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
                • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
                • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
                • 9 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 6 Pianos

                Comment


                • samibe
                  samibe commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My wife was confused last night when I took off my shoes to go to the bathroom and then put them back on to continue practicing.

                • myorgan
                  myorgan commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You must have little boys in the house!

                • samibe
                  samibe commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Not old enough to use the bathroom yet. I do have to walk through the dining room, though.

                #9
                What Admin says is what I'd have said. I used to have some nice leather (Nunn Bush) lace-up dress shoes with narrow toes and slick soles that seemed to do the job for me, but they were actually too stiff and I just didn't realize it at the time. Once I got more serious about my pedaling I realized that they were not meant for that. (Now I play in socks, though I've been widely chastised for that. But works for me, and I never forget to put on my real shoes after church!)

                BTW, one of the reasons for having "organ shoes" is to keep from contaminating the organ pedals with debris from outdoors, particularly small rocks and gravels, sand, and other materials that may cling to the soles of our street shoes, which could damage or at least disfigure the pedals. So you must take great care not to bring anything like that in on your shoes if you are going to play the organ without changing (or removing) them.

                My church shoes are dressy leather slip-ons, which I can have off my feet in a few seconds when I ascend the bench (which needs to be quick on Sunday mornings, as I must get there in time to play for the last stanza of the processional hymn). And I can get them back on in a flash when I need to move to the front of the choir to conduct or to get in line for communion. So that's what works for me, along with the fairly thick black cotton "crew" socks that I wear to church. They aren't slick and slippery like nylon or silk socks, and probably grip the pedal surface in a manner similar to good organ shoe soles.
                John
                ----------
                *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                Comment


                  #10
                  Wearing organ shoes away from the console to the Fellowship Hall is one thing, but even a short trip outdoors is something else entirely. That will shorten the life of the suede soles and ruin its texture. I've never done it. Ever. Not with my old pair that are decades old nor my newer pair that are just a couple of years old. Any other kind of 'organ shoe' can usually be treated ... like any other shoe. But John's point about grit and grime on the pedals is well taken. I don't really notice that OrganMasters look funny. But they do make you walk funny and that is reason enough to want to limit the amount of 'away time' you put them to.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Steve, dunno whether or not they make men's but there is a Korean brand that makes a very fancy looking shoes for Organists / Pianists. I was lucky to get a pair from one of my colleagues who gave it to me as a gift. Since I can't find their information online, I will have no luck getting another pair but it looks and feels very nice and is a definite change from that conservative look.

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Originally posted by jbird604 View Post
                      . . . (Now I play in socks, though I've been widely chastised for that. But works for me, and I never forget to put on my real shoes after church!). . . . So that's what works for me, along with the fairly thick black cotton "crew" socks that I wear to church. They aren't slick and slippery like nylon or silk socks, and probably grip the pedal surface in a manner similar to good organ shoe soles.
                      I won't chastise you as I am also playing in socks, like the type you describe. With severe foot neuropathy (from diabetes) I can no longer 'feel' the pedals through any shoe, no matter how thin the sole is. Been relegated to socks on the pedals for the past 10 years or so. I don't have to leave the console for communion - they bring it to me, the piece of bread and the wine in a communion cup on a plate.

                      I rarely perform these days, and the console at church is in a 1' deep pit so the congregation never sees my feet anyway. The choir does though and some like to watch ... that's the only reason I turn on the pedal light!

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Originally posted by Piperdane View Post

                        .... the console at church is in a 1' deep pit so the congregation never sees my feet anyway. The choir does though and some like to watch ... that's the only reason I turn on the pedal light!
                        I've always wondered what those lights were for underneath the key desk, and now I know!
                        John
                        ----------
                        *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

                        Comment


                          #14
                          Leather soles and heels prevent black scuff marks on the pedals. That's a consideration too.

                          Comment


                            #15
                            jbird604 Those lights are to help you realize what has fallen between the pedals. We all know those things like to eat stuff. LOL

                            Comment


                            • jbird604
                              jbird604 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              "organist droppings"

                            • lizny
                              lizny commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Last week I dropped the money I was paying my teacher and some slipped right between the pedals. Had to shoot it out the side with a pencil. >.<

                            • Piperdane
                              Piperdane commented
                              Editing a comment
                              My Apple Pen fell off the music rack and landed under the pedals. Necessitated the removal of the bench and pedalboard of course. Arghhhh.
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