FPS - Animation based footsteps stop playing when playing reload animations

Hey everyone, I started with the first person template (a long time ago), I added a lot of extra states to the state machine and more weapons. I also made a series of walk/sprint animations for all my different weapons. So I have like a pistol walk, pistol sprint, rifle walk, rifle sprint. These have footstep notifies to trigger PM-based footsteps. There are a ton of tutorials on this, I followed them and tuned things just right and it all works great.

My issue comes when I reload my weapon. If I’m walking around the footsteps play until I reload. I know this is because the reload animation, which lacks notifies for the footsteps, takes over. I have had some success fixing this by making the reload anims “Additive” (the anims themselves of course, not the montages). I give them a Mesh Space base > selected anim, and point them to the idle anim. However this only works when I’m standing still; if I walk around and reload I still hear the footsteps but the hand which removes the mag is usually off/mismatched to the mag geo.

I guess my questions are a) has anyone encountered this before and if so, what was your solution and b) would it be better to do footsteps differently? Say, playing a sound loop when doing movement in the character BP instead of in the anims?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

I should add, I’m setting up the footstep notifies like this, in the first person character’s anim blueprint:

And calling them in anim timeline like this: