How much do tripod feet cost and which ones should I choose?

How much do tripod feet cost and which ones should I choose?

Brian Mathers

You have found yourself looking at purchasing some alternative feet for your tripod and are looking for some pricing on the alternative tripod feet….well…let us help you out! 😊

We are going to dump a lot of thoughts and info on you, then we will back away and let you decide which tripod feet are best for you!

To start with let’s look at the different general styles of feet there are:

  1. Standard Tripod Rubber or Plastic feet ($10.00 – $35.00+ USD)
  2. Tripod Spike Feet ($10.00 – $65.00+ USD)
  3. Tripod Claw Feet ($35.00 – 85.00+ USD)

And the list goes on, but we will stick with these three for now. The prices listed above are estimates and some vendors may charge shipping on top of those prices.

Really quickly let’s go over some of the main factors that change the cost of the feet. We see the construction/material used to manufacture the tripod feet impacting your cost the most. There are quite a few materials used for tripod feet, including but not limited to: plastic, steel, aluminum, rubber ect. Generally speaking the plastic feet are going to be the cheapest, and the least useful…plastic changes so much with temperature that they can go from softish to hard in the matter of a few degrees. Steel/aluminum/rubber all kind of fall in the same price range. This is mid to higher end price range. This price can fluctuate depending on what size, how technical the feet are, what brand they are ect. Many feet are a highbred of metal and rubber. Some of the feet have removable rubber to allow for a spike or replacement rubber portion.

Lets touch on brand. Often times brand names are more expensive just because they have the logo on them!!!...hang on…not always true. Most of the time brands have a much longer development cycle of testing and innovating with their designs before releasing. The cheaper “knock off” tripod feet are normally much cheaper as the company simply copies the design of a more influential brand and badabing badaboom they have a tripod foot to sell for a fraction of the cost as they mostly use inferior construction products and techniques. Be warry of those no name or knock of brands if you are serious about your tripod feet! 😊

Skipping along to a few key factors to keep in mind before purchasing feet for your tripod are:

  1. Where do I plan to use my tripod?
  2. Will these feet hold up to what I am planning on using them for?
  3. How much will it change the height of my tripod? Will the height change be able to be over come with the tripod leg adjustments?
  4. Will the tripod feet fit in or on your tripod?

Where do I plan to use my tripod…? Well maybe its easier to spin this around the other way and kill the first two questions with one stone! 😊 Generally speaking the below is true for all tripod feet. The standard feet that come with your tripod are generally a metal shaft with a plastic or rubber end or foot. These are good to use on hard surfaces, generally good indoors and outdoors.

The spike feet are intended for uneven and loose surfaces (not your grandmothers hard wood floor!!!!). We see these being used in the mountains, in water, on rocks, in sand, in forests, heck they even work well in wind to give the tripod a bit of an anchor into the ground.

Tripod claws are a little less aggressive then the spikes but can be used in many of the same circumstances. The biggest difference is that they do not dig in as deep or as easily as the spike. Most are very robust and will work in 90% of applications as opposed to the spike that is limited where it can be used.

Changing the height of your tripod is actually a bigger deal then you might imagine. If you have a favorite height that you work at, you will need to adjust your extensions to compensate the length of the feet. We have had it where you have to adjust different portions of the tripod so get your desired height as the length of the feet changes it just that perfectly wrong amount to be compensated with one simple adjustment, so you have to do two…just one of our pet peeves! 😊

This is probably the single biggest mistake we people make is purchasing tripod feet that do not fit into their tripod. At the bottom of most quality tripods there is an insert in the bottom of each leg. This insert is normally threaded in. The tripod feet are threaded out. For those that know more about threads, the tripod leg will have a female thread, and the tripod feet will have a male thread. Yes and inny and an outy…make sense!?!? The biggest problem is that people forget to check what size their “inny” thread is. The most common size is 3/8” but there are some odd balls out there so please do your selves a favor and either read the owners manual and find out or pull out that trusty tape measure or ruler and use your grade 8 math skills to figure out what size your tripod feet threads need to be.

We hope you enjoyed this and were able to find some useful information. At the Camera Gear Store we strive to provide relevant content to help our people (you!) make the best purchasing decisions.

Now…as promised we back off and let you decide which tripod feet are best for you! 😊