Best Walking Shoes: 2004
Foot-loose and fancy-free is not so easy in the wrong shoes. What are the best travel shoes for you and why?
Rockport walking shoes look European, are made of 100% leather uppers, repel water, have non-slip soles, and are comfortable even after all-day excursions. Added plus: availble in black and often on sale for about $60.
Livingston, NJ USA Sun 12/26/2004
I need bunion surgury on both feet due to loss of joint cartilage AND I sell furniture in a large, busy store. I wear only z-coil sidewinders which have saved my life.
austin, tx USA Wed 12/15/2004
Hotter "Claire" shoes for women
I recently returned from Prague and took only one pair of boots and one pair of shoes - the "Claire" model from Hotter.These shoes were incredibly comfortable, even walking long distances over cobblestones. They have a very small elastic insert at both sides of the instep and that provides just a little "give" and makes the shoes really comfortable. They are made in England and look European enough so that you feel like you fit in. I wore this shoes all over, from sightseeing in jeans to the opera while wearing a dressy dress.
Rochester, NY USA Tue 12/14/2004
You gotta listen to your feet when it comes to picking out a pair of walking shoes. Comfort is key. If your feet aren't happy, you won't be happy.
I absolutely love my New Balance 470 shoes. They're gray/blue...the most comfortable pair I have ever worn...Unfortunately, they've been discontinued (never fails). But the New Balance brand is quite comfortable...you don't have to get the bright whites...they do have other colors.
For a dressier shoe, I think the Clarks shoes are wonderful. They're popular even in France...I've seen a few Clarks shoe stores in Paris.
As for socks...I get the Peds socks in Wal-Mart...they're made for diabetics (which I am) and they're fabulous...they have white and black socks. They're very comfortable.Also, Avon has this product called Foot Works Therapeutic Friction Control Anti-Blister Balm...Stop blisters before they happen. It's in one of their clearance catalogs for $3.99. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm ordering one just to see if it works. Can't hurt!
KS USA Mon 12/06/2004
Sketchers Serene --- no heel
I took a very well-broken in pair of Sketchers Serenes, with an almost flat sole, on my recent 4-week jaunt.With my orthotic footbed it was as comfortable as Birkenstocks while more dressy and offering better protection. Less heel elevation is preferable - you don't get shin splints after wandering the city for 12 hours.
Another option is the so-called "bowling shoe", which while tending to be thin-soled are the classy version of a running shoe, perfect for Europe if you're a lighter person.Sketchers stuff is not terribly well-made for durablilty... 1 year wear max. The soles crack, but till I find another pair...
Toronto, Kazoomalah Mon 12/06/2004
Sketchers all the way!
I go with Sketcher Sport shoes for daytime walking and at night, I switch up to a black pair of Sketchers casuals. They are very comfortable and fit to my large feet (size 14) very well. They're not terribly expensive, but very stylish as well.
USA Tue 11/23/2004
I have worn Reeboks classic leather, black, shoes to Europe many times. They are the most comfortable for walking, even on coblestones.
Clearwater, FL USA Mon 11/22/2004
I returned from a 3-week trip to Italy and took a pair of Merrel Sandals and tennis shoes. Next time I travel I will leave the tennis shoes at home as the sandals were very comfortable walking all over Italy, hiking the hills in Cinque Terre and the streets of Cortona. I'm sure any good sports sandal with a strap behind the heel would work. Since I was traveling with just a backpack the tennis shoes added additional weight to the pack that wasn't needed.
Chandler, AZ USA Thu 11/11/2004
Best Walking Shoes
The Landsend all weather moc kept me happy all over France. Light weight, dry, with great support for the cobblestone streets, A+. Nov. 2004
Grosse Pointe, MI USA Thu 11/11/2004
I had feet in pain in London after my shoes fell apart so I went to Covent Garden and got some shoes for a whopping 30 pounds and they hurt quite bad. So then, i came upon a show shop in Picadilly Square and got some comfy Clark Sneakers for the same price. But I would recommend getting shoes 2 weeks before you go so you can break them in.
Astoria, OR USA Sun 11/07/2004
Keen shoes are absolutely the best for walking hours at a time. They support my feet extremely well but they're so comfortable I just don't think about my feet at all. Plus they're water-resistant so you don't have to be careful of your shoes on rainy days. After years of searching for the perfect travel shoes, I've found them -- they're Keens.
Birmingham, AL USA Thu 11/04/2004
Very bad back and walking
I broke my back TWICE, I am on moriphine 3 times a day and on a recent trip to Chicago my wife bought me a pair a ECCO waterproof boots. God Bless her. I will be with her the rest of my life! We walked up and down Michigan Ave. and my feet never felt better nor my back. I also had a few pairs of very comfortable socks with me also.
I am now looking at other pair of ECCO shoes. She also bought me a pair of Rockport shoes but I never took them out of the suitcase due to the comfort of the ECCO boots. My sister wears those fancy $395 pair of comfort shoes but I am sold on Ecco. I never thought that I would be able to walk on the hard cement without being in bad pain for as long as I was able. I am not getting rid of the Rockports just adding another pair of ECCO's.
Chicago, IL USA Tue 11/02/2004
When I went to Europe I brought a pair of sneakers, and Joseph Seibel's European Walking shoe, made out of the softest leather, and feels like a glove on your feet. THe best thing was that they looked good with both pants and skirts, for those classy events you come across.
omaha, ne USA Sun 10/31/2004
wooden sandals are great, too.
Dr. Scholls wooden exercise sandalsI've spent the month of June in Germany, on tour. These sandals got me up those old castle trails with no problems.
Northbrook, Ill USA Wed 10/20/2004
I walked all over New York City recently in a pair of Dansko Jocelyns. Very good city walking shoe.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 10/19/2004
What worked for me
I just returned from a 3-week trip to Europe. Lots of walking. Since I over-pronate, I bought the motion-control New Balance 925 (ugliest shoes I've ever owned but well worth it because of comfort.). I also replaced the insole in it with the more cushiony and supportive New Balance Motion Control insole.
Add me to the list of those who love SmartWool socks. The walking socks provide extra cushioning in just the right areas; the material is so soft and absorbs moisture really well. Most comfortable socks I've ever worn. (Although I'd recommend buying the socks first if you're shopping for new walking shoes. You may need to go up a half size or so to accommodate the thickness of the socks.)
USA Sun 10/17/2004
Best Walking Shoes
I have several pair of Pliner shoes which are extremely comfortable and stylish.They are "pricy" but I recently bought a pair for $15 at TJ Maxx!
Anderson, SC USA Sun 10/17/2004
Do some walking before buying shoes
I've made this mistake before, but not for several years. If you buy walking shoes at the beginning of the day, before you have walked around, you may very well buy shoes that are too tight. Now I make sure to walk for several miles first and buy shoes in the evening. I want to duplicate the conditions under which I will be using those shoes!
Canada Sun 10/17/2004
Ecco Soft - walker's dream
I'm into my fourth week in England - LOTS of walking in London especially. Brought my favorite Ecco Softs and have not regretted the choice one minute. They are so light, the orthotics I must wear fit perfectly, and with that combo I've had NO foot pain whatsoever. After two years of plantar fasciatis (one before diagnosis, the second year in various braces and orthotics until I am now pain free) I was concerned about a return. NOT so - and I still have a week in Paris ahead. I'm going to have fun, and I know my feet won't be a hindrance!
Wichita, KS USA Fri 10/15/2004
Best Walking Shoes
I vote for New Balance Walking Shoes. They are lightweight, comfortable and long-lasting. Two orthopedists and a podiatrist have recommended them to me. They help me keep a steady footing and feel soooo comfortable.
Seaford, DE USA Mon 10/11/2004
Danskos do it for me!
Way back when on this wall I was complaining about spending hundreds of dollars on shoes that were comfortable for everyone but me. Then I tried Dankso clogs at Disney World and they were great, though I hadn't put them to the European cobblestone test. I'm here to tell you that the Professional and Bromley clogs and the Molly sandals were amazingly comfortable after 14 days in Europe on cobblestone streets and 17 days in Australia and New Zealand on trails and climbs. On cobblestone streets, my heel would simply slip out of the shoe if I caught the edge of a stone--no twisting or straining my ankles--and I'd just slip the shoe right back on with no problems.I was out-walking my group of 17 and 18 year olds and still ready to go out dancing at night!If you're still looking for the elusive comfortable travel shoe, try the Danskos! I don't even bother with the others anymore.Seek and ye SHALL find!
Sunland, CA USA Sat 10/09/2004
I've been a waitress for 50 years and I've been wearing sas's for the past 15 years for work so I take the same sas's to Europe with me and they are black & comfortable
Beverly, NJ USA Fri 10/08/2004
I am a very small person,and i have sum foot problems, i am wondering what kind of shoe would be good for my feet???
Ottawa, On Canada Thu 10/07/2004
Die hards are great
Sears die hards men only, I believe trust me chefs and mail men know . these black shoes are sort of dressy in a clunky way nice big toe box $80 but got my second pair on sale $39 keep my email handy so you can thank me !!I leave with my die hards for a month in europe-- venice to denmark in a week
Bellevue, wa USA Tue 09/28/2004
Clarks have my heart!
I bought 2 pairs of Clarks shoes. One is a dressier version of a sport shoe (hard to explain, but very cool!) and a camel colored flat. I have worn both in preparation for my trip to Venice/Bologna/Ancona and Rome. Out of all of my shoes I always find myself wearing either of my 2 pairs of Clarks. Both have good support, comfy, and the right amount of shock absorbency for walking and running. Best of all is that they are stylish, dare I say hip?!? Why would you need white sneakers when you could bring a pair of Clarks.
R-ville, md USA Sun 09/26/2004
If you want a great waterproof light walking shoe, check out montrails with gore tex they worked great on my 45 day trip to Europe. You don't have to stop seeing the sights on rainy days!!!
Downey, CA USA Thu 09/16/2004
Best shoe ever
I went to Kenya for three months and was on my feet for most of the time! My Birki's have been my saviors for a long time and I don't know what I would do without them! Thank you Birkenstocks!
Indianapolis, IN USA Tue 09/14/2004
Nothing but sandals
Just got back from 19 days travelling by train from London to Rome, and all I took was a good, broken-in pair of Teva's (hiking sandals), and loved it. We did tons of walking with no blisters. It was summer, so this might not work any other time. Whatever you're taking, make sure you buy them early and wear them as much as you can before you go, including the recommended training walks!
Everett, WA USA Mon 09/13/2004
I like to wear a pair of ankle-high boots for my "serious" walking especially around the unstable terrain of many of Europe's historical sites. I have a pair of Dr. Martens boots which are a tad "dressier" than the well-known Docs with the visual stitching favored by rockers and youths. They are padded around the ankle, have a black, lighter-weight sole, and look great with jeans or other slacks and are as great for tromping around archaeological sites as they are for navigating the tube all over London. I have "bad" ankles and find them to offer the support I need on uneven surfaces as well as city streets. They regularly have them at www.zappos.com and some styles to look for are: 0051 Series, and those classified as having an "air cushioned sole," rather than the "classic" series.Both my wife and I have these types of boots and have worn them on countless trips over the recent years, not feeling out of place in London, Athens, Zurich, Dubrovnik, Copenhagen, or any other European destination.
Lyons, OR USA Sat 09/11/2004
Great walking/hiking sandals!
I wore the Sonoma "Fearless" sandals through a 5-week trip in Italy (alternating with a pair of regular walking shoes for colder weather). Walked through Rome's cobblestone streets, hiked on the Cinque Terre paths, climbed Brunelleschi's Dome... all with no slipping/sliding and great comfort! And they look good with a skirt, too. Found mine at Kohls.
NJ USA Tue 09/07/2004
Sandals to wear with skirts
For our recent trip to France I bought a pair of Columbia Surf Tide Sandals to wear with skirts, which are more commonly worn in France than shorts. They were great--no breaking in time needed, and they even fit my slightly wide feet with no problem. They have two adjustable velcro straps for maximum fit, and are still good looking enough, I thought, to walk on the street with. I got them at Zappos.com.
Wales, WI USA Sat 09/04/2004
Z-coils! I just bought a pair for walking and find them heavenly. They are ugly, but who cares when your feet feel good. My doctor had mentioned them for the pain in the bottom of my heels.
La Jolla, CA USA Sat 08/28/2004
I would recommend Josef Seibel sandals--very comfortable. For myself, I like the style called Leah. My Columbia sandals (adjustable front, ankle, and heel straps) are also great.
vancouver, BC Canada Fri 08/20/2004
Best EVER shoes have springs
Get Z-COILS!! These are the best shoes I've EVER worn. I can't say enough about the comfort I enjoyed in Italy, France, England. They have springs on them so you don't keep "hitting" the pavement. Instead, they ABSORB the shock for you and let you keep touring in comfort. They actually allowed me to walk all day long. I have metatarsal pain, sometimes plantar facitis pain and bad knee arthritis, not to mention about 4 or 5 back injuries (and I'm only 35!). I wore the white athletic shoe they sell, got tons of looks, and started lots of conversations in Italian/French. It was sensational. Airport screeners were no problem, but were fascinated and it helped that I had a brochure to show they were for health reasons. They will X-ray your shoes to death, but no harm done. I hope you get some. I think the website is named after the shoes, do a search on Z-coils. I read this wall before and bought Clarks of England. My feet still hurt! These blow all other "sensible" shoes away, and hey, they even look Jetson-esque.
San Francisco, CA USA Sun 08/15/2004
Best Walking Shoes
Throughout our Europe Through the Back Door I wore my two pairn of well worn Clark Shoes. Sandals if it was warm and my slides with socks to hike and in cooler weather. No need for any other shoes, they proved to keep my feet dry, no blisters and just as comfortable as I am in them all day long back home.
Bluffton, IN USA Sun 08/15/2004
Your own choice
My husband and I recently returned from a two week trip to London, Rome, and Paris. I stressed over shoe choices prior to leaving -- considered Birkenstocks, Naots, Danskos -- and finally settled on Borns which I had been happy with for years. I bought a new pair of Born sandals (thong style) and also took a pair of Born slides I purchased earlier in the year and a pair of heels for nights out. My feet never hurt one. My best advice is wear the shoe that you are comfortable in and don't worry about it.
USA Thu 08/05/2004
GREAT! BETTER THAN MY MERRELLS OR BIRKENSTOCKS!
ellicott city, md USA Tue 08/03/2004
My favorite shoes
I began wearing Merrells last year and have clogs, sandals and tennis shoes. I wore the clogs most of the time on our recent trip and found them even more comfortable than the tennis shoes. Socks are a must for me. Whatever you choose to take, make certain it is the shoe that you always find comfortable. Trips can be ruined by unhappy feet!
Owensboro, KY USA Sun 08/01/2004
Great shoes for travel
I bought a pair of Naot sandels on a recomendation of a good pair of walking shoes you can wear with pants, skirts and shorts and have never looked back. I've worn them all over Europe and they are the only sandles I take. They have a great sole and grip really well on the cobblestones.
Bellingham, WA USA Mon 07/26/2004
I recommend Mephisto sandals and "Simple" walking shoes. They walk all by themselves
Wilmette, IL USA Thu 07/22/2004
after four weeks of walking EVERYWHERE in prague, florence, munich, zurich, geneva, and all over the swiss and italian countryside, i must reccommend CHACOS Z2 sandals. they are perfect for the summer, rain or shine. never one time did my feet hurt.
NC USA Wed 07/21/2004
Honeymoon in Amsterdam, 11 days and nights of constant rain-walking. I took my new Adidas running shoes--worn only once before under the wedding dress! Adidas shoes are always comfortable, even brand new. Even their skate shoes have good arch support. No foot pain, but planning for a more water-proof shoe on the next visit.
NLR, AR USA Wed 07/21/2004
must have backpacking shoes
Ecco shoes are by far THE most comfortable shoe on the market. They have the comfort of your favorite tennis shoes and the look of an expensive dress up shoe. I backpacked last spring all over Europe and only wore my ecco's. I used them for hiking and walking all day, and then to the clubs with dress codes at night. The only downfall is that they are expensive. I purchased mine for about $230. However they are well worth the price. I also hear if you wear them down (which is very, very hard to do)they send you a new pair.
san francisco, ca USA Mon 07/19/2004
Z-coil shoes are definitely the best shoes for walking esp. since they are so durable and keep their support even after years of wear! I am a nurse and had heel spurs which were cured after one month of wearing them!
San Diego, Ca USA Sat 07/17/2004
15 years of Dr. visits, closet full of custom made orthotics, 800 Mg of Ibuprofin 3 times a day, still hurt. All fixed when I put on my first pair of Z-Coil shoes 3 years ago.
Albuquerque, NM USA Fri 07/02/2004
Just got back from 2 weeks in Turkey. Wore my SAS nubuck sandals almost the whole time. I got one of the more stylish pairs and they were so comfortable from the moment I put them on. Not for hiking or slippery conditions though - for those I took my Columbia low-top hiking shoes. One word of advice - try your shoes on in person; don't expect to get comfort by mail order if you haven't tried on a pair already.
Roanoke, VA USA Fri 07/02/2004
Zcoils got me back in the game of life...couldn't stand the knee pain of arthritis and the mortons neuroma I had..along came zcoils and all gone...try em..you;ll love em.
Arlington, tx USA Thu 07/01/2004
I read all the comments on walking shoes and sandals because I broke my ankle and leg last December and have been battling pain in my "good" foot ever since. We are supposed to go to London in 3 weeks and I was getting worried that I wouldn't be able to walk without pain. I ordered a pair of Chaco Z1 sandals and they have lessened my pain in 3 days. Give yourself some time to get used to the arch support if you have low arches. They are wonderful.
BIG BEAR LAKE, CA USA Thu 07/01/2004
Z-Coils the only way to travel
I traveled 6 months in S/E Asia and 1 month trekking in Nepal. I wore Z-Coil shoes and they were more than terrific. I had no foot problems, back nor knee problems and I walked from 5 to 15 miles every day with a backpack sometimes which I filled with shopping goodies. This shoe is the only way to travel because it absorbs the hard surface before it hits your body.
Denver, CO USA Tue 06/29/2004
I purchased a pair of Teva Women's Circuit Sandals for my trip to France last summer and my could not have been more comfortable! I wore them everyday, I wish I had not brought my sneakers with me because they took up a lot of room in the suitcase and I didn't even use them!
FL USA Sat 06/26/2004
I normally wear a pair of Mephistos and take a different pair just for a change. With added security at airports, this past trip I wore a pair of Merrill clogs to the airport because it is simple to kick them off get through security and not have to stop and rety, etc I was amazed that I actually wore them in Switzerland, AUstria, Belgium and ENgland actually MORE than my trusted Mephistos. They are not adequate for serious hard walking or hiking but are great for strolling , shopping etc for a few miles at a time Will always take them now
Dalton, Ga USA Sat 06/26/2004
Love my Danskos for dress
I will always love my Birkenstocks, but women in Italy do not "go casual" like women in Minnesota. If I tried to go totally native and were pointy shoes with high heels, I would surely twist my ankle. However, before my trip I bought a black strappy pair of Danskos. While I would not wear them to hike on the Cinque Terre, they were certainly comfortable to wear while walking around in small cities. I always felt appropriate.
Austin, MN USA Thu 06/24/2004
I just got back from 8 days in Paris and would highly recommend New Balance shoes with the roll bar. I have some arthritis in my feet and ankles(I''m 57) and was able to walk all over without pain. Had to take a little medication only once a day.
Denton, TX USA Wed 06/23/2004
Best walking shoes
I bought a pair of Clarks (Style 36607) back in 2001 for my trip to Europe. I wore them all over Germany and Austria, and actually preferred them to the Timberland hikers I also brought along. While in Berlin, I trekked 12 miles to the Brandenburger Tor in them and never had any problem--almost like being barefoot. Now, sadly, after three years of constant wear, the soles are cracking through, and I'll have to retire them. Can't bring myself to toss them, and I can't find another pair anywhere like them. Wish I could get them resoled, but I don't think that is possible. Best shoes I ever bought!
Stafford, VA USA Sun 06/20/2004
Danskos all the way (and back!)
I've worn Danksos for the last seven years; all but two pairs of shoes I own aren't Danskos. They can be worn as a dressy shoe or casual, and they're the MOST COMFORTABLE shoe. I have a pair of Danskos that have hiked in the desert; strolled the historic streets of Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Rome, Florence, and Venice; kicked up dirt all around Tuscany; climbed up belltowers and down parts of grand American canyons; and I could still slip them on before I sipped wine in elegant Napa cellars. I still haven't worn them out and they're the 2nd pair I ever bought (in 1998)!
Seattle, WA USA Thu 06/17/2004
I bought a pair of 1803 sandals several weeks ago in anticipation of a trip to Italy next month. I have worn them considerably to break them in and get used to them. They are so soft they needed no breaking in, and I recommend them highly.
OK USA Thu 06/17/2004
Doc Marten's are the best. We just came back from 6 weeks in Europe and I could not have lived without my Oxfords. Not to mention that I got them at sierra trading post for $35! They go great with khakis and shorts. I did not get a sigle blister. They did awesome in the snow in Switzerland as well. For more casual times, I wore my Columbia sport sandals. Love them both.
USA Mon 06/14/2004
The Best Shoes
I have raved about other shoes here, but have shifted my allegiance to Merrills. I wore some of the trail shoes on my last trip to Europe and never had to even think about my feet. They accommodated my narrow heel and need for a wide front (bunions).
USA Sun 06/13/2004
Campers are the most comfy for me while travel and at home for a more dressy look. They were great the first day I put them on.
I love ecco hiking shoes too, and bought a pair last year through sierratradingpost.com for about 30 bucks, even though they were 200 retail. I swear by this brand since my first pair that hiked deserts and tropical rainforests.
USA Fri 06/11/2004
Mephisto & Clark's
I've been wearing Clark's for years and they are so comfortable. I wear the sandals and the clogs. I just got Mephisto Mobile sandals and they are pretty and very comfortable.
W. Palm Beach, FL USA Fri 06/11/2004
SAS & Clarks
I have terrible feet!!
I love SAS Free-Time & SAS Me-Too
I also love Clark clogs & sandals for everything else.
My feet have never felt so good!!
Port Carbon, PA USA Wed 06/09/2004
For those that love sandals, I just took my Chaco's to Europe and they were wonderful. The adjustable straps are a definate plus as they fit my narrow feet better than other sandals. I would definately wear whatever shoes you are taking regularly before you go, because you want to give your feet time to adjust properly. My advice: good shoes are a good investment.
Stayton, OR USA Tue 06/08/2004
Shoes for wide feet
I have worn Merrel Winter Mocs in Europe two times with no problems at all. I have recently bought a pair of Wolverine shoes and love them! It is like a foot massage with every step.
Fargo, ND USA Tue 06/01/2004
Munro American Shoes are my favorite. I walked all over France in my Cairns and have worn them to stand up and teach in all day. I have narrow feet with high arches and have trouble finding shoes with good arch support. All their shoes have rubber soles with good interior padding and are not heavy. Thank goodness I live in Arkansas where their factory is, so I can buy them at a discount.
Conway, AR USA Thu 05/27/2004
Ecco shoes are great!
I purchased a pair of Ecco Track II hiking shoes 5 years ago and wore them all over Europe in 1999 and again in 2002. They were very comfortable, from walking cobblestone city streets to hiking the Cinque Terre and the trail from Birg down to Gimmelwald. At almost $200, they are not cheap, but Ecco stands behind their product. When I noticed the chushy outer covering of the polyurethane soles were cracking and splitting on my 5 year old, well-worn shoes, I sent them back to Ecco for warranty repair. They didn't repair the shoes -- they sent me a brand new pair! And they paid the shipping too! I am very pleased with my Ecco's.
Baytown, TX USA Wed 05/26/2004
Clarks are amazing sandals. I have worn them on my last 4 trips to Europe sandals or regular, and they even helped when I twisted my ankle on the cobblestones . They were just fine on the Cinque Terre as well as looking alright to go out in.
calgary, ab cad Sat 05/22/2004
Really comfortable shoes
I have very "picky feet" and after much traveling with many blister-experiences, discovered Josef Seibel shoes--they're the best--I own 4 pairs, and take one pair (sometimes two) while traveling. They are 100% leather--it's when the materials are synthetic that your feet feel hot, uncomfortable. Seibel offers various styles of walking sandals (hiked the 5 towns of Cinque Terre in a pair of JS sandals (no sox)last fall--got strange looks from the hiking-boot crowd but at the end of the day, my feet felt wonderful.I find the shoes at DSW outlet here in the Chicago suburbs. Also--wear socks inside out and you won't be bothered by a seam which could cause a blister.
Chicago, IL USA Fri 05/14/2004
Shoes for narrow feet
I've been wearing Born shoes for a few months now. I have B-C width feet, and the pair I have fit nicely and have great "bounce" in the soles when I walk. You can pry mine from my cold dead hands!
San Diego, CA USA Thu 05/13/2004
Shoes for NARROW Feet
Several companies now make walking sandals with velcro straps for complete adjustability. My current favorites are Romika brand I bought through www.Magellans.com. They have a a cork inner sole which makes them very comfortable.
Minneapolis, MN USA Sat 05/08/2004
I was just in England and Wales and wore my Teva sandals the whole time. They were great on the plane, as my feet tend to swell during the flight, light-weight, and not once during the whole trip, after spending hours walking around did my feet ever feel sore or tired. Did I get a few looks and comments? Yes. After all, the British are very image conscious. But frankly, I saw far worse fashion statements in one block of SoHo than me or my sandals could ever match. I wore (yes) bright, white tube socks when it was cold and stood out like the American tourist I am, but I was happy, and isn't that what matters?
San Francisco, CA USA Fri 05/07/2004
best shoes for travel
Merrell walking shoes, clogs or boots are the only thing to wear when traveling. From someone who has a bad back!
West Chester, PA USA Sat 05/01/2004
Naturalizer "Dune" leather sandals are a dream to wear - bought some 2 weeks agao and I live in them - even on casual Fridays at work. They're stylish and comfrotable and come in N, M, W and WW widths.
Tally, FL USA Fri 04/30/2004
Merrell for women and Clark for men
Just came back from a two weeks stay in Paris. Walking on cobblestones and uneven surfaces was not a challenge for my Merrell Tetra Pace W and my husband's Clark Portland. Both were comfortable and lasted the entire trip. The Merrell was really light weight. Both shoes got really dusty after our trip to Versaille but they are still in good shape. If I were to give any suggestion to Merrell, it will be to provide just a bit more cushion in the shoes. This is where more the better. Happy travels everyone.
SG, CA USA Fri 04/23/2004
Trust the Doctor!
If you want a very comfy shoe, with the fringe benefit of being quite stylish, go with DR Martens. I have had a pair of Doc's 6-eyelet boots in black that have accompanied me around the world. From London to Singapore and all stops in between, these boots have never let me down. Whether you're wearing cargo shorts, jeans, or khaki's; these boots look great. I'm currently on my 3rd pair in 10 years, and i wouldn't wear anything else while traveling. I've walked through Vienna, Prague, Stockholm, and Budapest; put many kilometers on these boots, and have been very grateful through every step. If boots are not your thing, they also offer various types of shoes which i can also attest to as being top shelf. Don't let the large soles or yellow stitching throw you off, they may actually help you blend in, as i have been mistaken for a Brit in the UK quite often!
new haven, ct USA Wed 04/21/2004
11 weeks, 7 countries, no blisters!
I would like to reccomend Nike ACG lowtop hiking boots to anyone that will be doing some hard core walking. I walked on average 5 miles per day for 11 weeks and didnt get a blister!
Salt Lake City, Ut USA Tue 04/20/2004
Shoes for Flat Feet
I have relatively flat feet and less-than-sturdy ankles. I have found that New Balance Country Walkers, worn with ThorLo or Ultimax light hiking socks, work great for me. For open air, try the cushiest Teva flip-flops you can find.
Austin, TX USA Sun 04/18/2004
21 days, 2 pairs, and foot bliss
21 days, two pairs of shoes, not one bad day... ASICS Running shoes - very lightweight and cozy - and breathable, so dont wear on rainy days or else you get wet feet. Also Rockports - they've now been through cobbly uneven London and brick and rocky Italy without a hitch. I love my Rockports! And the light brown color makes them both dressy and casual all in one. So - Rockports and ASICS.
Lincoln, ca USA Sun 04/18/2004
Best walking shoes
I discovered that especially for fall and winter travel, buy one half size larger than you normally wear. I personally love Prada Sport label because my foot is a square shape. Flip flops are the best for the airport because they don't make you take them off at security. And in the words of a famous movie director, "Change shoes in the middle of the day"
Dallas, Tx USA Thu 04/15/2004
I am hard to fit but I purchased a pair of Columbia
vancouver, canada Fri 04/09/2004
Best Walking Shoes
I searched and researched for months to find the best walking shoes priced under $150.00. I found them - Brooks Synergy. These are about $90-$100 and worth every cent. These are at the cutting edge of walking shoe technology. So comfortable, every step feels so good. Men and women sizes and come in white, black and beige. The look great in shorts, jeans, and the black can be worn with fancy clothes'suits. They look great.
USA Wed 03/31/2004
Sorry, I meant to post for the ladies that I found THE BEST comfy shoes by Beautifeel! I am nearly flatfooted and have found that I love heals,but they just dont have the arch support and I cant add my insoles :) I found these at The Walking Co and love them. You can also get them online. I would definately wear them out dancing!
Seattle, WA USA Tue 03/30/2004
Check out the Ecco brand Walkathon shoe for guys. I recently purchased their 2004 model and took it on a trip. Very comfortable. Cost: $170.00 US
USA Mon 03/29/2004
Minnetonka mocasins are my favorite walking shoe. they are so comfortable it feels like you are walking barefoot. I also take a pair of hard soled shoes (the mocasins have rubber soles) for walking on cobblestones. The rubber soles let you feel the stones too much. The hard soled shoes are a simple black pump with a short heel so they work for dress up too I don't like regular hiking boots or shoes and do most of my walking on sidewalks not mountain trails These shoes are also very compact for packing.
Janice L. Killingbeck
Saginaw, MI USA Mon 03/29/2004
ara shoes croatia
USA Mon 03/29/2004
Merrel World Summit
Merrell World Summit are absolutely wonder for European travel. Extrememly rugged, yet comfortable and stylish. It's perfect for the person who's roughing it, but doesn't want to look like it.
New York, NY USA Sun 03/28/2004
Based on this and other boards I bought a pair of Dansko Professionals. I just finished weraring them for two days at a Girl Scout camp under "less then perfect conditions" They did great. I also have Eccos and depending on the weather that will be my second pair of shoes (either sandles or lace ups)
Nashville, TN USA Sat 03/20/2004
The New Balance 991 is great for men and women, young and old. It's gray and works for hiking and roaming the streets. A lot of Europeans wear New Balance, so you won't stick out. Very comfy- I walked and ran daily in them for 5 months in Europe and months later I'm still wearing them.
San Diego, CA USA Thu 03/18/2004
Ecco, Clark, and Naturalizer
My husband and I are always hunting for the "perfect" shoes for Europe. In addition to comfort, we are also fanatical about weight since we are carrying everything on our backs.
Last year, after reading this board, I brought four pairs. I know this seems extravagant, but by choosing light, comfortable shoes, I could afford variety.
My best decision was a pair of Adidas Adissage sandals to wear as slippers. The massage knobs on the soles completely energized my legs at the end of the day. They are also good as shower shoes. Ecco lace-up oxfords - super light, good with pants, and with the addition of an innersole, it was like walking on air. Naturalizer Rattan sandals - thick rubber cushion soles (not padding over PVC soles some of their models). Good with shorts/skirts, and I was able to wear them all day. Classic Payless pebble grain slides - my worst choice. They are comfortable and cheap, but as heavy as the other three COMBINED! By the end of the day, my feet felt fine but my legs were tired.
This year I'm trying a pair of Clark's Lindsey. I hope they're as good as their reputation!
Mankato, MN USA Wed 03/17/2004
Being a horse person I of course own two pairs of Dansko's Professionals. As much as I love these shoes, I would not recommend them for walking any type of distance. They are comfortable, but they are very heavy shoes. They wear well, are great in rain and mud, but for walking all day.. hmmm.. well I know my feet would hurt. I have also gotten the occasional blisters from them. Terri
Petaluma, CA USA Wed 03/17/2004
More (relatively) inexpensive Danskos
Another place to get seconds/discounted Danskos: www.danskooutlet.com. I love my Dansko Professionals for walking at home. I'm planning to try out the Jocelyn and Lolita for Europe.
WA USA Wed 03/10/2004
Ecco walking shoes
I have a great pair of Ecco shoes I purchased at Dillards here in Fla. They are slip ons, with a stitched pattern on the top. They are not as "dorky" or "old lady" looking as some I have seen both in this brand and others. They are extremely comfortable with a good grip on the bottom for uneven sidewalks, cobblestones, etc. Wouldn't recommend them for hiking. They are black and blend in well.
Odessa, FL USA Sun 03/07/2004
Best walking shoes
Finn Comfort and Mephisto are the best. I have the FC Texel and Kingston and the Mephisto Rush. I have yet to wear these in Europe but they have excelled in s.e. Asia, Canada, and NYC.
St Paul, MN USA Sun 03/07/2004
the greatest ! ! - i have very high arches and have spent a fortune on shoes. the best i have found is dansko. for europe - the 'janika' model is superb. i brought them to rome and walked an average of three to five miles daily for three weeks without any problems. especially outside the city centre where the streets tends to be very uneven.
ca USA Sat 03/06/2004
Chaco's are the best. I wore them every day in Italy - in Venice, Rome and the Cinque Terra. they are good for a rough terrain hike, a day in the city, or a day at the beach. Just don't wear them in Amsterdam - I got the weirdest looks!
Seattle, wa USA Wed 03/03/2004
I've worn Rockports and Eccos and have enjoyed them, but Mephistos are my favorite. Their most popular style seems to be their Mephisto "Match" shoes. I have a pair of these, and they are very durable but also a bit heavy and too cushiony for my taste. I highly recommend their "Mallory" slip-on loafers. They are lightweight and very comfortable and look good with jeans, khakis, dress slacks, etc., and so far have been great for all day use. Unfortunately, my all-time favorite Mephisto shoes have been discontinued - the Mephisto "Rony" style. This was a casual walking shoe that was lighter than the Match style and was a nicer looking shoe as well, in my opinion. Maybe they'll bring it back someday.
Modesto, CA USA Sat 02/28/2004
walking shoes for Europe
Twenty one days until my legs ached. The only shoes I was able to spend the day in were Zeeta's. I was so dissapointed in Born and Ecco I left them in the Hotel trash. I was also surprised to see Mephisto shoes I had just paid $300 dollars for in stores for E90.
somoma, ca USA Sat 02/28/2004
Several years ago, prior to traveling abroad, I decided to invest in leather footwear. After some research I purchased a pair of Rockports and Josef Seibel Air sandals at a Nordstrom store. The Rockports are fine for walking short distances; conversely, I can walk day in and day out in my Josef Seibel sandals, across all types of terrain, in total comfort. The sandals also look good wearing a skirt. I'm an avid bicyclist and often take my bike to Europe. For those trips I take a good pair of light weight cushioned cross-training sneakers that provide comfort on and off the bike. The Josef Seibel sandals are then used only for evening wear. Neither shoe is inexpensive but well worth the investment. Happy travels!
Avon, CO USA Sat 02/28/2004
TEVA now makes a shoe! Found a pair at Nordstroms Rack and they're probably the most comfortable walking shoes I've ever owned!
Lynnwood, WA USA Wed 02/25/2004
I just walked my way through 8 days of Paris--alternating between Danskos ["Joceyln" model] and a pair of no-longer-made Timberlands.
The Danskos were great--I could wear them with pants or a skirt. I could kick them off under the restaurant table for a moment of aaaahhh relief; they held up greaaat.
I was amazed at what many of the local women wore--eye-popping HIGH heels with make-me-weep pointy toes. Wow! How do they do it?
OR USA Sat 02/21/2004
For style and comfort, nothing beats a nice pair of wooden clogs from Schwen's in Amsterdam. After the wood molds you your feet, you will swear you have experienced shoe heaven.
USA Fri 02/20/2004
The very best shoes for walking I have found are Z-Coil shoes. They have a steel coil shock absorber built in to the heel of the shoe and it really works! They actually cut the impact when you walk. I have three pairs now and my husband has four. They have walking shoes and running shoes. They also have sandals and clogs and hiking boots. They look kinda different but they take away the pain in my knees and back!!! They also help heel spurs and plantar faciitis I hear. But for my knees they are great. I will be a Z-Coil customer for life!
Versailles, KY USA Mon 02/16/2004
Hush Puppy Sandals
In 2003 I took my family on a month-long visit to Europe by RV. We walked everywhere! Before we left, I invested in an expensive pair of walking shoes and at the last minute bought a pair of sandals by Hush Puppy for under $20. I ended up ditching the walking shoes, and wore the $20 Hush Puppy sandals 98% of the time. They were light-weight, very comfortable and could be worn to the pool or to dressy restaurant. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean the best for comfort.
Columbia, MO USA Wed 02/11/2004
Easy Spirit & TEVA
Two brands to try: 1)Easy Spirit - beware, different styles have different amount of cushion; 2) TEVA - the absolute best!
Norfolk, VA USA Wed 02/11/2004
I have a pair of Wolky nubuck sandals that I have worn to Costa Rica (twice), China, France (twice) and hundreds of USA spots. They even have been river shoes for me. They just came out looking newer than ever. I love them because the footbed is the most comfortable I have ever found. They have three Velcro attachments on top of the foot and a buckle attachment for the strap behind the heel. I wear them for everything except the most rocky footpaths. If is is cold, I simply add a pair of Thorlo short socks or even a heavier sock like Smartwool or Fox River. You can easily adjust them for size with socks or swelling. I don't know the model name, sorry. But give Wolky's a try. Only problem for me is that 39 is a bit small and 40 a bit big, so I went with 39's with no problems whatsoever.
Edwards, CO USA Tue 02/10/2004
Birks & Danskos
We visited Germany over the Christmas holidays. I took 1 pair of shoes; Birkenstock dress boots! They were right in every single occasion, including climbing the snowy path to the Marienbridge at Neuschwanstein Castle. They were worth every penny! I also like Dansko clog/rocker sole shoes. They offer great support for my back, feet and legs. They come in a variety of styles. When I don't need boots, I always take this single pair of shoes.
Cincinnati, OH USA Mon 02/09/2004
You cannot go wrong with Chaco boots and sandals, with some good Smartwool socks. You will not find anything better and more comfortable.
Bethel, AK USA Thu 02/05/2004
Mervyn's has a brand named "High Sierra" that are VERY comfortable. In fact, I paid $80.00 for high quality walking shoes & ended up taking them back after I found the High Sierra's. They are all comfortable & very cute. My favorites are the "Albion" style, a mary jane type shoe.
Rocklin, CA USA Wed 01/28/2004
Tingley Rain Mocassins
I packed Tingley Rain Mocassins. I got mine on e-Bay but have seen them at shoe repair shops in the Northeast. I took long morning and evening walks around Amsterdam with these and some nylon rain pants, stuffed them in my bag and went to meetings and events properly attired and dry as can be. Well worth packing if you are going to a rainy city.
Eastport, NY USA Sun 01/25/2004
I have always worn Rockport shoes. However after reading all the comments, I would like to try something better. I am not familiar with the sizing (wear 10 half wide). Also, where to find these brands.
Sheboygan, WI USA Sat 01/17/2004
I love my Danskos!
I work retail and I attribute surviving 8 hours on my feet to my Dansko Sport Clogs and REI brand cushioned hiking socks. You can't see the thick socks under my pant cuffs, and the extra padding on the soles is wonderful (also, they're non-cotton so my feet don't get sweaty). The trick with Danskos is finding the right sock to make the fit perfect for you. Also, I have Superfeet insoles in my sneakers and dress shoes - there are a number of different models for different types of shoes (including skates and ski boots). They're pricey at $28-30, but last a LOT longer than Dr. Scholl's.
Denver, CO USA Tue 01/13/2004
I have a pair of oakley coilovers and they are some of the most comfortable shoes that i own. The soles are not that thick but they are perfect for the big cities. try-em, they are great.
Edmonton, Alberta canada Mon 01/12/2004
I wore a nearly new pair of Mephisto sandals for a full week in July - very hot, lots of walking - and my feet felt like I was walking on clouds. As others have said here - expensive, but worth every penny. They look great, too.
ME USA Mon 01/12/2004
One thing we've learned from ultra-lightweight wilderness backpacking is keep your shoes as light as possible. That is why I selected Hush Puppy Zero G shoes for our last European trip. I took a pair of black Argo slip-ons and dark brown Ultimate Walkers. This combo easily allowed me to mix and match for all my clothing and activities from hiking in the Alps to dinner in Paris.They held up to tremendous mileage and are as light as a feather and very reasonsably priced. I would recommend Zappos.com for all footwear. Great prices, Free shipping and return shipping.
New Bern, NC USA Sun 01/11/2004
I was just in Europe for 3 weeks, and I found that Timberland shoes are very good for walking around, ecspecially the ones with "Smart Comfort".
Seattle, WA USA Sat 01/10/2004
I'm an avid believer in trying to look stylish in Europe so I blend in. I purchases 2 pairs of low black boots to alternate during my recent trip to Italy. (I don't agree that 1 pair is ok - alternate each day and your feet will be happier.) Also, when seeing the rockier sites in Italy, like Palatine Hill or Ostia Antica, my Merrell hiking shoes would have blended right in. Even many locals had one jeans and casual shoes. Next time, I'll wear my Merrells to "the digs" and have happier feet.
Orange County, Ca USA Thu 01/01/2004