Best Walking Shoes: 2005
Foot-loose and fancy-free is not so easy in the wrong shoes. What are the best travel shoes for you and why?
Read the Distillation: Best Walking Shoes, 2005
Go with Mephisto
I own six pairs of Mephistos, and strongly recommend them for any kind of European (or worldwide) travel. And, as several contributors have pointed out, they are much cheaper throughout Europe. I've bought three pairs in France, one on Rue Clare in Paris, another at the large Paris Dept store and have saved about $100 - 130 from what they cost in the US. I bought the other three pair on ebay here in the states. There is a lively Mephisto (and ecco and all of the others) market on ebay....I have typically spent about $70 for my Mephisto's on ebay -- Most of these are sold by shoe dealers or brokers and are shoes that have been returned. My favorite story is the pair of Mephisto hiking boots I got on ebay for about $90 -- on the bottom of the shoe was a Nordstrom's price tag marked $340.
Indianapolis, IN USA Thu 12/29/2005
I have loved Crocs since they were first introduced to our area. After vacationing and wearing them on a 3 week tour of Italy, I bought the whole family Crocs for Christmas.....adults as well as the children! They loved them! They have to be the most comfortable shoe on the market today and so affordable! Try them...they are wonderful!
Nashville, Tn USA Wed 12/28/2005
Easy Spirit for Me
I love my Easy Spirit oxfords. Walked a LOT in London and Amsterdam and never had a foot problem. Comfortable and lightweight. The size 9 narrow fit as if it was custom made for my feet. I now swear by these shoes.
St. Petersburg, FL USA Tue 12/20/2005
This may help solve the Dansko controversy---Dansko makes several lines, each with a different sole. The "Ingrid" referred to below is a "Stapled Clog", a true clog with a fairly high heel. While they may work for some, I find them tippy on cobblestones (hence one writer's turned ankle). However, the Dansko "Bay Bridge" and "Golden Gate" shoes, which they make both in closed shoes and cute sandals, are the best all-round shoes I know. They have a lower, wider base and are very supportive, and not at all heavy. I have walked miles and miles in European cities, villages, and in the Alps in mine (several styles, but all are "Golden Gate" line). They are also dressy enough to go out to dinner in the evening. At our last family gathering, I looked around, and six of the eight women, varying in age from mid-twenties to mid-sixties, were wearing Dankso sandals! Go to the Dansko website (www.dansko.com) and you'll see where you can navigate to view the different style groups. You can also tell the style by the name---Golden Gates have names beginning with J through M, and Bay Bridge sandals have names starting with E or F. (Just to confuse things, the clogs' names can start with any letter). I recommend a sandal with a back strap for best walking stability and comfort.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 12/19/2005
i spent 10 days in Ireland a couple of years ago with a friend. I only took my birki clogs and my birki oslo sandals. no problems and comfortable walking and sight seeing and driving. we were everywhere. for people who have slippery issues, there is a line of shoes called, shoes for crews, that have great styles and non-skid soles. they are leather and come in everything from business dress to steeltoe hiker and work boots.
tacoma, wa USA Sat 12/17/2005
Danskos work for some
The best way to use this site it to get ideas of shoes to try - not that every shoe will fit every person. A friend and I went to Ireland, are of similar build & fitness, walked the same streets - one of us in Dansko clogs and one in Merrells (me). My friend swears by the Danskos and had no problems at all. I tried on the Danskos and really felt they were too heavy for my so went with the Merrel Mocs instead, which were a suggestion from this website. I love the lightweight feel of the Merrells and also they have a small lip on the back that seems to keep these on my narrow foot better than the Danskos. So - try them both and hopefully you will find that one of them work for you. Another shoe that works great for me is Mephisto sandals. I have worn 3 pairs of the same style for the past 10 years during our summer trips and again love the lightweight feel. They are expensive but sure work great for me. Good luck finding the right shoe!
USA Fri 12/16/2005
I love my Ingrid Danskos and have been wearing them every year on my trips to Europe since 1993--I'm on my second pair. I do wear the back strap for safety since I stumbled once when I wore them as slip-ons. I suspect it's a case of "to each his or her own". We're all similar and we're all different.
Lewiston, ID USA Thu 12/15/2005
Dansko Bad Bad
Dansko clogs ARE NOT RECOMMENDED. I strained my ankle due to the high heel of the clog; furthermore, they cause lower backpain in walking/standing for prolonged periods.
St louis, MO USA Wed 12/14/2005
SAS Walking Shoes
I highly recommend SAS walking shoes. I purchased them a month prior to our trip to Italy. Even though I did not break them in, they were the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. I am 56 years old and we walked miles and miles and I never felt one moment of discomfort.
Snohomish, WA USA Mon 12/12/2005
Z-CoiL's are best
Z-CoiL's are the best walking shoe made. Although they may look unstable, the person who fits you makes sure that you are comfortable in them. They are custom fit to your feet. I just got back from a trip to Italy, walking on lots of cobblestones and uneven surfaces. They saved my knees and back and I was able to walk farther and longer without getting pains in my knees. Z-CoiL's made the trip enjoyable!
Los Gatos, CA USA Sun 12/11/2005
Athletic Shoes Are Taking Over
On my 24 day trip to Eastern Europe in May we could not help but notice how many Europeans wore athletic shoes - many of the younger folks and a lot of older men too. These were NOT Americans because they were not conversing in English. We could no longer assume someone was an American tourist if they were wearing sneakers.
USA Fri 12/09/2005
Until recently, I've never had a pair of shoes that was kind to my toes. I always thought the shoes were too narrow in the toe box next to my "pinky" toes and would take them to the shoe repair place and have the shoes stretched out sideways. Recently, I went to a podiatrist who looked at my feet and toes and informed me that I needed to wear shoes with a deep toe box.
I've since taken my pile of boots and shoes to the repairman and had the toe boxes lifted. Wow! Now I can wear almost all of them. My favorites for travel: ECCO Track II, Joseph Seibel, and Brooks Beast (terrific for severe overpronaters!).
So all of you who have problems with the fronts of your shoes (painful bunions, blisters, etc. on toes or sides of your feet)take heart. Find an old fashioned cobbler (preferrably not a chain) and have them see what they can do to prevent you from throwing out or donating those expensive shoes and boots you have in the back of your closet. Happy walking!
Woodinville, WA USA Thu 12/08/2005
I found this real cheap generic shoes by airwalk last year. I wore it rain or shine everyday for 1 month while traveling throughout Europe. Look like Ugg boots (but generic from Payless). It was so comfortable and I absolutely loved it. I didn't have any hard time walking through cobblestone and walked in this shoes for 8 hours or more a day. It was the best $22.00 I've ever spent in my life. It's too bad that they don't make this type of boots anymore.
San Francisco, C USA Tue 12/06/2005
Reiker and SAS
Love SAS (not much style) and Reiker shoes (more stylish) as I have high insteps and wide feet. My feet start to hurt very easily as I spent too many years in high heels at work on concrete floors where I did a lot of walking, and sometimes running. :-( I just bought a pair of Reiker (Leas)in CA and immediately wore them for 8 hours of fast walking in SF.....no problems at all. Nice having some style along with comfort.
Dallas, TX USA Sun 12/04/2005
I just spent 3 weeks walking (and walking..and WALKING...LOL!) through Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg & Holland...in my trusty Merrells! Boy, they were a GODSEND!!!! I also packed a pair of Easy Spirit boots...but ended up shipping them back home because my Merrells were so comfy! Also, I found that instead of one pair of thick socks, two pair of thin socks are much warmer and more comfortable. Try the silk sock liners from Lands End and a thin pair of wool socks.
Columbus, GA USA Sun 12/04/2005
best walking shoes, 2005
Crocs is the winner! I went for 3 weeks to Spain and Portugal, took my Crocs because I thought they'd be good at the beach, or as shower shoes. I did not wear any other shoes for the entire trip. It was easy to walk on cobbled streets, up steps, etc. I would never travel without them again. Didn't wear my Danskos or keens. They cost $30. You can wash them off and they also don't smell. I got lots of looks and also it opened up a lot of conversations since mine are bright orange.
boulder, , CO USA Sat 12/03/2005
I am going to Italy in March for 10 days and naturally will be walking a lot. Does anyone have any experience with Geox shoes? Thanks.
St Simons Island, GA USA Thu 12/01/2005
Comfiest shoes ever
Last year I wore my first pair of Cole-Haan (Nike partnership) slip-ons...they slip on but they also fit like a glove. Of all the shoes I have tried to wear on all my travels, these are the BEST! I bought two more pair for travel this year and never wore anything else. They're pricey, but worth it...and a breeze at airport security. Walk on!
Oakland, CA USA Thu 11/24/2005
Clarks work for me
Last fall I spent 3 weeks in Slovenia and adjacent parts of Italy. I brought only 2 pairs of shoes, both well-worn already: Clarks 3-strap sandals and Clarks basketweave leather clogs. Both performed like champs. I'm not a serious hiker, but I walked a lot (touring caves, hiking the "Rilke Path" to Duino, tromping around Lake Bled and up to the castle, etc.), and my feet were happy the whole time, except for a couple of rainy days when I wished I'd brought something waterproof. (At least the clogs enabled me to wade through all but the deepest puddles!) I have terrible feet -- average size and width, but I have NO arches, and they're bony and prone to calluses. From considerable experience, I find that the best way to avoid misery on a long trip is to wear shoes that you've already worn a lot and find comfortable. Don't buy a new pair 2 weeks before the trip and try to break them in, and don't buy a brand just because someone else recommends it -- even Rick! What works for you, works for you, so stick with it. (But I agree that if you wear white puffy sneakers, you might as well tattoo "American Tourist" on your forehead. I like to blend in, so I wear mostly black, shoes and all, for traveling -- and I'm constantly being mistaken for one of the locals.)
Santa Fe, NM USA Mon 11/21/2005
ONLY WORE 1 PAIR FOR 3 WEEKS
CHACOS - At first they seem eeeh, so break them in but after you do, when you get back home you won't want to wear another pair
Edmond, OK USA Sun 11/20/2005
I agree that good quality socks can be just as important for comfort as shoes. I found that Smartwool socks to be the best - I have a small foot so I can buy the children's size from LLBean inexpensively. There are many different styles for various activities - walking, hiking etc.
ON Canada Sun 11/20/2005
I'm starting to think that socks are just as important as shoes. On a recent business trip, I wore cotton athletic socks with my usually very comfortable shoes and got a blister that bothered me the entire week of the trip. I think maybe the cotton socks weren't as cushiony as they should have been for the amount of walking I ended up doing. It's just something to think about...
USA Sat 11/19/2005
Ugly as sin, but highly functional
I wear Crocs at work (possibly the ugliest shoe ever made, but perfect for an RN). For the heck of it, I took them to Italy with me to see how they'd hold up. They were awesome! Extremely lightweight, comfy, they pack well, don't pinch, rub, or cause blisters and are easy to keep clean. The only caveat is that they are not waterproof (although I wore them out in the rain in Florence with a pair of warm, thick socks and stayed perfectly dry and comfortable).
Although humbling to wear in the Beautiful Shoe Capital of the World, my knees and ankles thanked me round about the 215 stair in the Campanile! :)
Rohnert Park, CA USA Thu 11/17/2005
Based on a comment by Rick, I bought Ecco walking shoes for a 4 week trip to Italy in 2004, also packing my Rockport walking shoes. My Eccos are the most comfortable shoes I have ever had, better even than my trusty Rockports. I used UltraMax and Fox River hiking socks. I took all of these with me on our Best of Europe in 21 Days tour in September 2005, as well as on several trips in between. I am highly satisfied with this combination.
Spring Valley, CA USA Wed 11/16/2005
walking and shoes
A suggestiojn..Just returned from 1 week Ireland and 3 weeks France..Took a pair of black easy spirit flats for Dublin and Paris..nlo tourist look for me in these wonderful cities but New Balance off roads for elsewhere including the Naiux caves. Great shoes and if you take two extra insoles you can wash them, if not dry you have another pair to slip in. Insoles from other sneakers can fit well in the ones you take to wear..or Dr. Scholl's or whatever but no smelly sneakers to bother you. Unfortunately most sneakers label you while in Europe as a tourist and these days you might like to blend in to the crowd...
mary Ann May
Calgary, Alberta USA Sun 11/13/2005
I bought SAS, I bought Clarks,but my New Balance 801 slipons were the ones I wore nearly every day. They had just the right combination of comfort, flexibility and support
Santa Fe Springs, CA USA Sun 11/13/2005
To minimize the break-in with Birks, use the birkoflor ones for traveling. My favorite style is the nepal. Last trip I did not bring my most comfy Birks--big mistake. My blisters are still healing. Never again! For Garmisch in December, I am taking just Birks and pseudo-Uggs (from Costco). The uggs keep your feet warm and dry in the snow and slush, and dressy Birks are acceptable in the fanciest restaurants. I wore my rhinestone ones on New Years a couple of years ago and received lots of compliments.
Pacific Grove, CA USA Thu 11/10/2005
Pumas and Rockport Shoes
I have taken Rockport walking shoes and criss crossed strapped sandals to Europe twice, three years ago on our two week trip to Scotland, England and Austria and again on our recent trip to Greece and Italy. This most recent trip I wore basic Puma tennis shoes which come in a fantastic array of colors and styles and are amazingly comfortable. Throughout the trip I would remark on their comfort to other women who were wearing them and they agreed! I wear a small size so if the equivalent children shoes are available, I buy those since they tend to be much cheaper.
San Francisco, CA USA Wed 11/09/2005
Rockport Pro Walkers
The former Chinese production seem slightly better but oh well.
Rockports are costly but well worth it. Very stable, solid midsole prevents injury from twisting on uneven footing and cobbles.
Moderate arch support - I rarely insert orthotic. Very hard wearing outsole and upper... it's impossible to discard an older pair as they will not fall apart & make great garden/shop shoes.
Toronto, USA Wed 11/09/2005
Tips: new Birks
Irritating straps: sharp strap edges can be lightly smoothed with sandpaper, emery board etc.
Footbed burn: New suede can be 'conditioned" by putting just a little lotion on your feet, until you 'sweat' them in naturally.
Stash 2-3 bandaids in your wallet in case you get a skin irritation during the short break-in.
Birkenstocks are the ultimate second pair of travel footwear; a nice clean pair of Milanos look alright with smart clothes.
Toronto, USA Wed 11/09/2005
I wear z-coils exclusively. I have 3 pairs, walk/work 12 hour days on cement floors, have NO back, knee pain. At the end of long days, I may be tired but my feet and legs NEVER are. Threw out my orthotics. The shoes are very durable. Would not recommend the clog style, but the sandels are great as well as the lace ups. Take your time when shopping to get the correct size. The sales people will adjust the inner arch support as needed. If you weigh 200 lbs, get the medium weight coil, it lasts longer. These shoes look unstable, but I am not a graceful person, and feel very safe. http://www.zcoil.com
Baker City, OR USA Sun 11/06/2005
Narrow feet/high arches
Mephistos might work. I know they are outrageously expensive, but you can find good deals on the Sierra Trading Post website. My current favorite is the Mephisto "Zyrilla" sandal, in Nubuck not faux lizard. I wore them constantly, except when we were actually hiking, on a recent trip to Switzerland. They've just been reduced in price. For winter, there a number of other choices, but still over $100, so I'm waiting.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 11/04/2005
Try before you buy
I find that just wearing new shoes indoors to "try them out" is not the same as outdoors. My solution to keep the shoes returnable is to wear a pair of my husbands socks OVER the shoes and take a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood (after dark). That eliminates alot of unknowns!
Brands I like:
SAS - super comfy but not too stylish.
Dansko - but hard to fit my narrow feet.
Teva - leather sandals.
Merrell - some sandal styles fit me ok & are super comfy.
Keen - clog type with wool lining for winter with socks - good support.
Chaco - tried the sandals but did not like the rough footbed.
I have worn all but the Chalcos on 8 previous European trips but I certainly agree that it is a good idea to alternate shoes regularly.
Any reccommendations for narrow feet and high arches would be appreciated.
MN USA Thu 11/03/2005
If you like Ecco's---Sierra Trading Post has a sleek little black leather lace-up shoe, size 6 1/2 only, for $13.45!!! The size says "4.5", but that's in British sizes, and the U.S. equivalent is 6 1/2. They have others in the $30 range too. And Nubuck clogs (Ecco also) for $18. Go to "brand name search" and choose Ecco.
USA Thu 11/03/2005
I have feet problems too but I wear Easy Spirit walkers (several styles).
They are lace-up and have nice, wide toe boxes (none of that pointy stuff for me!).
I've got a pair in black nubuck that is nicely worn but I have another brand new pair just waiting in the wings.
You can find them at Dillards or Foleys but great buys can be had at the Easy Spirit outlet store in Hempstead.
If you need directions, email me.
Houston, TX USA Wed 11/02/2005
I got shoes for you
I have found that Chuck Taylors aren't a bad idea. Plus they are super expensive in Europe, you'll be getting all sorts of compliments. But also, Skechers Retro are nice (you can find the cheap versions in Wal-Mart)
Ottumwa, IA USA Tue 11/01/2005
women's shoes for Europe
I have been to Europe many times in many kinds of shoes. I have VERY wide feet and find the SAS walkers or a men's brand called EZ Strider in extra wide to be the best. The EZ Strider looks like a cross between a tennis shoe and a slightly casual leather shoe. It is inexpensive (on sale at KMart for $9.99) but VERY VERY comfortable.
Charlotte , NC USA Mon 10/31/2005
ANother footwear suggestion
While not for everyone's taste or needs, I am in love with my Keen sandals. Super traction if you go on hikes yet not out of place with capris or shorts in the city and funky enough that I actually got two compliments from EUROPEANS! They also make a clog- like shoe and some in the ECCO walking shoe format. If you need a lot of support- especially on slippery cobblestones- you might check out their Website:
USA Sun 10/30/2005
Shoes for older walkers
The most important two things in a walking shoe are good support and good fit. WIthout good support, your feet will get tired and sore; without good fit, you'll get blisters and raw places. Either way, the wrong shoes will have you focussing on how miserable your feet feel instead of how amazing Europe is.
Get walking shoes that fit your width as well as your length; if you are a narrow or wide, keep in mind that there can be more than one size of wide or narrow and if you need an unusual size, that's going to narrow your options. (For example, I'm an extra wide, so Ecco's have nothing that works for me.) Then zero in on your specific foot needs. You say you have "bad feet" but there are lots of different kinds of "bad feet"--bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, Morton neuroma, etc. For most of these there are specific shoe inserts--get the ones that work for you. (For me, it's plantar fasciitis heel pain, so I never travel without my trusted arch supporting orthotic inserts.)
Finally, wear your candidate walking shoes around town a lot in the socks that you plan to use to make sure that the shoes won't rub and cause blisters. (And, just for insurance, bring along some moleskin in case your shoes cause any sore spots.)
USA Sun 10/30/2005
Walking & older ladies
I've enjoyed reading all of the comments on various brands of shoes. I'm 65 with bad feet and planning a trip to Europe. Any shoe suggestions from other senior ladies?
Houston, Texas USA Sat 10/29/2005
Earth shoes have saved my travels. They are available in many styles, so I only take one pair that's versitle enough for a woman's wardrobe. They require a little breaking at first, but my back doesn't hurt even after 11 hours of nonstop walking on cobblestone.
Tacoma, wa USA Sat 10/29/2005
I have several pair of Danksos that are great for travel and lots of walking. All have the wider base (not a true clog), and a open back WITH a back strap for security (keeps your foot from sliding backwards on uphill stretches). The open back means no heel blisters, ever, but the strap makes them more stable, expecially on cobblestones.
USA Thu 10/27/2005
Okay I went to the store and tried on the Danskos, which were very comfortable. But I can't decide betweent he slip on open back clog or the closed back style. Please help anyone who has tried both for a trip to Europe. I really am more inclined to buy the open back but wonder if the closed back style would be better for Europe.
TX USA Wed 10/26/2005
shoes for Italy?
Hi! I checked out this site several years ago before I went to Austria, Switerland, and Germany. I followed advice I found here and wore the Lands End Mocs. They were great!
Now I am planning a trip to Italy with my students. Because of the cobble stone I was wondering if somebody has a better recomendation. Should we wear soemthing with ankle support? One of the teachers going has problems with her feet at times and is anxious about the cobblestone especially. Figured some of you might have some insight for us!
USA Mon 10/24/2005
Naot (Israeli) Sandals & SAS Freetime
Naot Sandals and SAS Freetime shoes are great for feet that use orthotics and need a wide toe box. Naot is the only sandal where the orthotic stays in and doesn't slide out. Also my feet don't hurt with Naot. I just discover SAS Freetime and it is the most comfortable closed toed shoe but as usual, not attractive. Oh well, I can't have everything. As long as I still eat ice cream, I'm ok.
Chapel Hill, NC USA Sat 10/22/2005
Crocs....my best friend!
Crocs! I had 2 weeks of hours of walking daily all over Italy. My arthritic feet were happy because of these fun shoes. I can not tell you how much pain I would have suffered without my Crocs! I love them!
USA Fri 10/21/2005
Without a single doubt, Merrill shoes are by far the most comfortable shoes on the planet.
Dunkirkq, MD USA Thu 10/20/2005
Chucks - better than you think!
I am taking my first trip to Europe this coming summer. I have been curious as to what shoes will work the best.
I live in New Orleans, and as of now have the one pair of shoes that I evacuated with - my Converse Chuck Taylors. You might be thinking these aren't comfortable shoes, but I use Dr. Scholl's arch supports in them. I walk a few miles every day with these shoes, and I find them incredibly comfortable. Plus, I've found that since they are athletic shoes, they do great on rough terrian, perfect for hiking through the Alps!
New Orleans, LA USA Thu 10/20/2005
Rockports and Tevas
Having travelled fairly extensively throughout Europe and parts of Asia, Rockport shoes have been the best, and Tevas are great walking sandals. My wife likes SAS and Tevas.
West Sacramento, CA USA Thu 10/20/2005
Adidas Supernova Running soes, with a pair of Dr. Scholls arch supports. I ache easily and I can walk through ruined castles for MILES in these. I'm so surprised everytime. And, they are not white all over. They are blue and white with blue-greyish stripes. I bought them specifically for running, but find they are so comfortable all the time, I will have to go buy another pair to save for my workouts!
WA USA Wed 10/19/2005
white athletic shoes
I bet Europeans aren't rushing to get their dark athletic shoes bleached white before they visit the U.S. Just a thought...Stop obsessing about the white shoes!!
USA Wed 10/19/2005
White Atheletic Shoes
Since I also do not like that fact that most atheletic shoe companies only give women's sizes in white (or sometimes very light colors), I got to thinking about the one way to change this. Take them to a shoe repair place and have them dyed the color you want them to be. There are also shoe dyes that you can use yourself but the result might be better if you let a professional do it.
Sharon R. Johnson
Lincoln, Nebraska USA Tue 10/18/2005
Arcopedico and Cole Haan
I have tried a variety of shoes and have identified the two favorite brands for lots of walking! Arcopedico. It's a Portugese company ( i think). design and look is similar to Birks but I liked these better for some reason. The closed toe ones are kind of ugly but the sandals (lots of different styles) are cute. After 21 days of walking all over France and Italy, my feet didn't feel much worse for the wear! I have never found shoes that I actually wanted to keep on when I got back to the hotel room!! But with these, I did. Cole Haan. Cole Haan is part of Nike so a lot of their shoes have the Nike "air technology" in the soles. I had 2 pairs in particular that I liked----a pair of dark brown leather sandals that had thick bands that criss-crossed the top of my foot and the other pair was a a pair of black, close-toe, slide-on shoes. Both with the "Nike" air so you have the comfort of a running shoe but the dressier look of leather sandals/shoes. Both brands get 2 thumbs up!!
Costa Mesa, CA USA Mon 10/17/2005
Kathy, here are a few more suggestions
SAS makes excellent walking shoes in several styles that my podiatrist highly recommended. They aren't available online, but they do have a store in Seattle where you can try them out.
Drew and Propets are two other brands that were also recommended to me--Drews are pretty pricey and Propets much less so. The best thing is, though, that both brands are very available from online shoe stores that will send you your shoes postage free and, even better, let you send them back postage free if they don't work! I know at least two online shoe stores with that policy. (I won't name them here because I don't want the post deleted as advertising, but you ca easily find them by typing in a couple of shoebrands in Google...). I've used one of them myself and ordered several pairs in several sizes, tried them out and then sent back the ones that didn't work for full refund and without ahving to pay return postage. Terrific customer service! Good luck in finding the shoes that really work for you.
USA Sun 10/16/2005
These shoes weren't made for walking...
I've probably spent $200-300 on walking shoes and still haven't found a pair I can walk in for more than a few blocks other than my white (yuk) athletic shoes. I've had Eccos (not enough support), New Balance (they were so bad I wouldn't even donate them), LL Bean Mocs (better than the New Balance, but not enough support) and now I have Rockports....still haven't found the answer. Yes, I've been to a foot doctor and yes, I have orthodics. Still haven't found the right shoe....
Seattle, WA USA Sat 10/15/2005
Amanda, there are no "modesty" rules prohibiting sandals in churches or elsewhere in Europe (though sandals, like other shoes, must be removed before entering mosques). As for whether you will need nicer shoes for restaurants, it really depends. The "best" restaurants in Europe expect more formal dress than most upscale restaurants in the US expect. You'd probably feel underdressed in sports sandals in those places; but then again, unless you're planning to tote along some dressier clothes, shoes are just one way in which you might be underdressed. There are lots and lots of great restaurants that welcome casually but neatly dressed diners--sandals there are no problem.
But I do agree with the other poster that lots of places in Europe can be chilly and wet in summer. If you're thinking about the UK, Holland, northern France and Italy, Germany, Switzerland, etc., you should assume that you'll run into some sandal-unfriendly weather.
USA Sat 10/15/2005
For Amanda: to Shoe or not to Shoe (Gesundheit!)
First, you have remember that it rains in the summer in many parts of Europe, and it can also get quite cool. Do you really want to be wading around in cold water in sandals? I'd recommend a waterproof pair of comfortable, closed shoes (see lots of past postings for recommendations, though I personally like New Balance)and, of course, some socks. Depending on what your sandals look like, there shouldn't be a problem getting into "nice" places.
San Francisco, CA USA Sat 10/15/2005
I Need Some Advice
I'm going to Europe next year from May through July, and am trying to decide what shoes to bring. I am definately a sandals person. I like feeling the air on my feet, lots of toe room, and the other things that only sandals offer. I've been trying to find a good pair of closed walking shoes, but everything I try on feels awful since I'm so used to sandals. In Europe, I'll be backpacking part of the time, doing a lot of city walking and some hiking. I'm fine with walking and hiking in sandals, but I'm concerned that there may be some places (nice restaurants, churches, museums) that won't let me in without closed shoes. My question is: Will I have any problems if I only bring my Chaco Z/1s and a cushy pair of Teva Olowahu flip flops?
Tallahassee, FL USA Fri 10/14/2005
Nike Air Teocalli
I consider my Nike Air Teocalli's the best shoe ever to walk/hike in! The are lightweight, very supportive, and work out great on rainy days....they're Gore-Tex!
ATL, GA USA Fri 10/14/2005
Pack shoes for the type of trip you are going on
I just returned from a month in Italy, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and the Netherlands. Because of the varied weather I brought 3 pairs of shoes - tennis shoes, Dansko clogs and Tevas. All worked out perfectly. On the plane I wore the clogs which are roomy and are easy to take on and off. I didn't have any problems with all the cobblestones in any of my shoes. The Tevas were great as sandals and hiking shoes on hot days. Also, I read so much from others about not wearing white tennis shoes because they look "touristy". I saw and met many locals who wore white tennis shoes. It is no big deal at all and I wouldn't worry about it or go running out to buy a new pair of shoes if you have a perfectly good pair of white ones at home.
Napa, CA USA Fri 10/14/2005
Birks,Clarks & Mocs
Jusr returned from 2 weeks in Germany, Austria & Switzerland, and I took the right shoes! For easy slip-offs at the airports, I took Birkenstocks (my favorites for my plantar facitis), a pair of Clark's springer sandals with a backstrap, and for hiking & rainy days I took Land's End All Weather Mocs. It was worth the space that the two pairs in my luggage took up. Packed socks in the mocs and the sandals flatten in my luggage. Our weather was turning cool- don't think I'd pack the mocs for the heat of the summer.
Cincinnati, Ohio USA Thu 10/13/2005
Don't skimp on hiking boots
I wore my REI Spirit mid-range weight leather hiking boots the entire 21 days of ETBD. Advantages were: no stumbling over cobblestones in sandals (everywhere), no toes stomped on in packed subway (Rome), no wet feet in high tide drenched St. Marks Square (Venice),no slipping on the wet/steep paths of many on-your-own side trips, no tired feet thanks to good support on ten mile day in Cinque Terre. Foot support is the place to go a bit heavier, not lighter, when traveling or hiking. (Member of the thousands of miles club)
Richmond, VA USA Wed 10/12/2005
I travelled through Greece and Turkey in May. Lots of hikes up to ruins, walking through cities, cimbing, etc etc. I found that a hiking shoe or boot would've just been too much in the heat, but that a nice walking sandal worked great. I'm partial to Born sandals, although they tend to run in the $80 range, but have lasted me at least three summers and trips to europe in the past. Blisters are expected the first few days with sandals, so bring some blister bandages. It's tempting, but don't wear socks with the sandals--it looks tacky and touristy and defeats the purpose of sandals (keeping your feet cool).
Minneapolis, MN USA Tue 10/11/2005
Clark's-- best brand ever!
My favorite brand of shoes are Clark's. I took a pair of slip-on black Clark's to London and Paris where we walked everywhere, and I did not have one problem at all. Clark's makes several differnt styles of shoes-- they can be dressy, sandals, regular shoes, etc... and they are all made ergonomically with in-sole support, so no matter how nice you want to look, your feet will be supported regardless. Mine were flats, because I had a lot of skirts I was going to be wearing, and not once did my feet hurt. I could even wear them with slacks if I wanted to. I highly, highly recomment Clark's, not only for their comfort, but for their diversity. If you buy Teva's, you pretty much know what style of shoe you're going to get, but Clark's makes a type of shoe for everyone. Get this! I even had four British people stop me on the street and ask me where I got my shoes because they thought they were really cute :) I was glad I at least fit in somewhat!
Hillsboro, Oregon USA Sat 10/01/2005
Best walking shoes
I don't care so much about looking like a European...the second I open my mouth they're going to know where I'm from, anyway. But comfort, now that I do care about. And I like nice looking shoes, if possible. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and resulting foot problems from that. Also, I have a very thin foot (not narrow, I mean thin top to bottom), and a very high arch. I love Birkenstocks--they're awesome. And they have some dressy ones now. I have the black Birkenstock sandals with rhinestones; they are actually pretty! And I really like Chaco sandals, and I LOVE Wolky sandals. I wear the Wolky Lianas, which are a lot cuter on than they look in the catalog. And comfortable, oh my goodness. I'm thinking of buying a pair of Wolky closed shoes for winter.
TX USA Sat 10/01/2005
Rockport Pro Walkers
My vote is for the men's Rockport Pro Walker shoe. I wore these for 10 days straight on my tour of Italy last November. My feet never had that tired feeling after a whole day of walking on cobblestones and such. They are very lightweight and have great traction without having the bulk of a thick knobby sole.
Houston, TX USA Thu 09/29/2005
Need comfortable walking shoes/boot
I am diabetic, have neurothpy in my feet and have been battling plantar fascia lately. I have a pair of ECCO dress shoes with an orthodic insert made by my podiatrist. These shoes are fine for the office and I have had to switch to these shows from sneakers while on walking tours, vacation, etc. I feel that I need more support around the heel and ankle area to be more comfortable and prevent pain in my feet from extended periods of walking. Something like a hiking boot but not with the ridged soles.
Wake Forest, NC USA Tue 09/27/2005
Best Walking Shoes
We just returned from 3 weeks in Europe and had NO problems with our shoes. Ecco for my wife and SAS for me. We walked the heck out of these and had no problems. Yea!
Santa Barbara, CA USA Sat 09/24/2005
Just got back from Switzerland and wore black suede Merrell brand shoes the entire trip. I LOVE these shoes, they are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn and come in sneakers and sandals and other styles too. They are all super comfortable. My sister and another friend and I all swear by them. BTW, I have a pair of Z-Coil shoes and while they are comfortable on your feet I find them hard to walk fast, always feel a bit tippy in them. My husband is always afraid a cord is going to get caught in the coil and trip me.
USA Sat 09/24/2005
Try New Balance
For a good walking sandal I prefer TEVAs, but for regular shoes I go with New Balance or SAS. My mom turned me on to NB when her doctor had her get them. She has to wear orthotics in her shoes (or else she has to wear a special cast just to walk). NB also tend to come in more styles, and I find them on sale more often than SAS. Be sure to get a WALKING or Cross-Trainer. Running shoes are designed for just that, and can be very painful if you are just standing or walking in them. (They throw your weight onto the ball of your foot to help you run, but it is a bad position for walking/standing.)
Birmingham, AL USA Fri 09/23/2005
I love my Ryka walking shoes so much I'm taking them to France & Italy in 2 weeks, along with a pair of their sandals - put your foot in one and you will love it.
Encinitas, CA USA Thu 09/22/2005
Best Walking Shoes
Without a doubt,for me, the best walking shoes and just plain "wearing shoes when you're on your feet forever" are SAS. When you buy them, you wear them for about 1 hour and they feel like a pair of slippers! No kidding! I'm taking my SAS to Paris in a couple of weeks! Try it, you'll like them!!
Chandler, Arizona USA Wed 09/21/2005
Tevas and flip flops
I could walk for miles in my regular Teva sandals, but not flip flops. For some reason, I get shin splints when I walk too far in flip flops. Maybe it's jut me, but my flip flops are for the shower only.
USA Tue 09/20/2005
Keen and Teva
Keen Newports were my official 'walking on cobblestone' shoes. They give wonderful support, but your feet and the shoes will start to smell after a few hours. I also wore my Teva flip flops for the days when I didn't think I would be walking as much. I think that instead of flip flops, I would invest in a pair of the Chaco flip flops, or something with an ankle strap...or maybe that's just me being a clumsy person!
Snohomish, WA USA Tue 09/20/2005
Walking Shoes for the wide Footed
For thos of us with Wide feet finding the right shoes can be a trick. I have gone through a lot. My current favorites are Keen Bronx and Chaco Z1's. I have walked hundreds of miles in the Chacos with no problems (they are not for mountain climbing however). The Keens are new but were very comfortable right away.
New Paltz, NY USA Tue 09/20/2005
Clarks' Privo line
Yes, Yes...these are very comfortable and stylish shoes! I also just bought a pair..and they do look like Keens, but not as "big" I love mine too! I bought them for work, but might travel with them too. One thing though...make sure you wear them with socks, or a ped. I got blisters on my little toes when I wore them to the airport. by the time I got off the plane, I couldnt' wait to get out of them! I stopped and changed shoes right outside the jetway. Now that I wear them with a sock, I don't have that issue. Again - it's all in the breaking in period! I should have known better!
Do check out the Privo line from Clark's! I found mind at Dillards.
USA Fri 09/16/2005
Clark's Privo sandals
I took a pair of Clark's Privo "Joyner" sandals on a recent Rick Steves Heart of France tour and I couldn't be happier. Not one blister, and I wore these shoes 8 days out of 10, with socks and without (more often without). These shoes look somewhat like Keen's, and are very cushiony and comfy. You can adjust the width - great for narrow or wide feet!
San Diego, CA USA Fri 09/16/2005
Jungle Mocs and New Balance 925s
Once upon a time (before I injured one of my feet), I highly reccomended Merrell Jungle Mocs. I still really really do, they are super comfortable ( I put a gel heel under the insole of mine). BUT these days my feet are far more picky and rather than my beloved flexible-sole Mocs, I need a more rigid pair of shoes. The orthotics person suggested New Balance 925s. I blanched at the price, but thank god I got them, they really fit the bill for someone with foot problems. I can't believe the comfort, and on all sorts of terrain. They aren't really dressy, (white, black, and brown leather), but the comfort is worth it. Although they are fairly stiff, they have a very good rocker on them (sort of like an aircast boot), so you don't actually have to do as much work to take the next step. They are super stable (motion stabilized is the technical term)... and best of all they are available in all widths (I'm a D width so that matters). Also they have plenty of depth for orthotics.
Vancouver, BC Canada Wed 09/14/2005
Keens can be sweaty...try a light weight pair of socks. I know, I know, it looks a little geeky, but it does help. I'm a total Keen fanatic! They have really comfortable footbeds, and they look cool too!
USA Tue 09/06/2005
Lands End All Weather Mocs
As it starts to become fall, I'll mention my favorite fall, winter and spring shoes: my Lands End all weather mocs! They are so comfortable and have nice thick rubber soles, so they are really good for walking. I haven't been to Europe with them YET, but I walked miles of NYC streets, sidewalks and parks in them and my feet were very happy!
One caveat: They have made some changes to the design of the mocs and I haven't tried the new ones yet, but from the pictures and description they don't seem all that different. Still, you never know ...
Hyattsville, MD USA Tue 09/06/2005
Keen Newport H2
Just back from a Mexico/Belize cruise. I purchased a pair of Keen Newport H2 "sandals" to wear. I found them to be VERY comfy walking around the Mayan ruins there. I usually achey feet when doing a lot of walking and standing. There was none with these. NOW, I will admit they are very HOT to wear, and your feet will sweat a lot, but I will live with that for the comfort I got.
Waxahachie, Tx USA Tue 09/06/2005
comfortable walking shoes
my best walking shoes were my Timberland sneakers. i bought a pair of sandals with me that i thought i would wear half the time. they stayed in the hotel room. i also brought a pair of flip flops to use as slippers.
east orange, nj USA Mon 09/05/2005
Steve, I also agree...
I bought a $160 pair of Memphistos (Nero Allrounder)for my trip to Asia. Many people told me they were so comfortable. I found that I could only wear them for short periods of time and they look as though I have had them for years when I just bought them in April!! Huge waste of money and I am stuck with them since I wore them outside. Never again!
Grand Forks, ND USA Sun 09/04/2005
Steve, I agree (unfortunately) about Mephistos
I had a pair of Mephisto sandals that were the best ones I ever had till they were resoled. Apparently they change the soles and insoles frequently, and they had to use different ones than the originals. They went from my favorites to being unwearable--different arch support, straps that rubbed me raw. My advice--don't waste your money on resoling--it's questionable at best.
USA Sun 09/04/2005
I bought Mephisto sandals in France, the kind with Velcro straps. The Velcro wears away,the darn things don't fit well and hurt my feet. had another pair of Mephisto's before this -they were fine until I had sent them top be resold,now I can't wear them at all. I don,t say nice things about Mephistos. Ecco!! Never had any problem with Ecco!
Daytona , fl USA Sat 09/03/2005
Birkenstock Bali sandals didn't work for me
Birkenstock Bali sandals didn't work for me during 3 weeks in Great Britain. I stumbled many times on unevan pavement, which contributed to the stretching of the leather straps. Even though the straps were adjustable, they got to the point where I couldn't adjust them any more. My feet "slopped around" in the sandals. The sandals were not supportive enough for hiking. The foot bed was a too firm for walking up to six miles a day. After the trip, my feet felt bruised. Next time, I'll wear my New Balance walking shoes.
South Florida, USA Thu 09/01/2005
MY 11 year old says she's taking her white Sketchers- Well be in UK, FR and IT. foresee any problems? Of course in IT, it wont help to wear dark ones, as she's a blonde Italian (Northern) and we'll be in Southern Italy! So I guess she'll stick out there either way.
SF Bay, CA USA Thu 09/01/2005
Dansko Lolita Sandals
I went into the local shoe shop at home & explained that I'd be walking for 3 weeks on European cobblestones. Based on the retailers advise, I purchased the Dansko Lolita sandals & am so glad that I did!! My feet are now spoiled and hurt if I try to walk thru a mall at home in flip flops. I walked for weeks in Europe, without problems. My travel companion, who was 10 years younger than me & just wore what she normally would have at home, complained about hurt feet and a hurt back during a lot of trip, while my feet and back (which usually hurts at home) felt great!!! I'm going to wear the Dansko's from now on whenever I can (whether at home or on travel). http://www.dansko.com/
Abingdon, MD USA Thu 09/01/2005
For those who don't know, Holey Shoes are a "knock off" of Crocs. They are a "foam" style sandal. Both come in lots of colors, have a decent footbed, but sure look silly to most people. They seem to be very comfortable, and definately an "in" shoe right now for those that want to look different. you will certainly stand out as a tourist in Europe if you wear them, but they wash well and are very lightweight.
USA Wed 08/31/2005
LL Bean Rockport Walking shoes
My LL Bean Rockport walking shoes ($50) are by far the best city walkers I've ever owned. Last weekend I walked 22 miles in one day from NJ to Manhattan to The Bronx to Queens to Manhattan and back to NJ. These Rockports are light, supportive, and dry quickly. Also, I got mine in all black, so I don't look too touristy in European cities.
Livingston, NJ USA Wed 08/31/2005
Have a look at www.holeysoles.com They're part shoe, part sandle.
They're incredibley comfortable, lightweight (300grams for a pair), and a lot of grip. Lots of funky colours as well :)
They are definetly coming to SE Asia next month!
AUS Wed 08/31/2005
Danskos are amazing. I have a history of stress fractures in my feet from improper footwear and was told to try them out. I love them and now only purchase them for work wear. They also have a slightly higher heal, so help with pants that may be a little long. Lastly, they took awhile to get used to. I found them uncomfortable at first, as they also assist with correct posture and alignment, however once broken in, I could wear them all day without any pain.
Iowa City, IA USA Wed 08/31/2005
25 Years of Experience
Here we Go!
I have been fitting shoes for over 25 years.
These are really good recomendations. 1. Don't wear NEW shoes on vacations, take a pair that are tested and you have worn several times. 2. Walking shoes are your best choice....you'll be walking alot!
These are recomendations for new shoes. First understand the foot function in these principles. The foot is a shock absorber, stablizer and a lever.
3. When you purchase new shoes....make sure the shoe has a firm counter,(that is the part of the shoe that controls heel motion) This help maintain the shock absorber in place and work well.
4. When you purchase new shoes....Make sure the shoe has a shank ( this is what make the shoe supportive and strong.
This allows the foot to to stable when standing with all your weight on it.
5. When you purchase new shoes....Make sure the shoe bends in the toe area( this allow the foot to leverage forward)
Now for Brands....New Balance athletic shoes, SAS shoes are great and Made in the USA, Rockport, Ecco, Propet, and several other brands.
Disclaimer; Not all shoes from these brands are the best, apply aboe principles.
Bellefontaine, Ohio USA Tue 08/30/2005
Italian walking shoes
I have a hard time finding comfortable sandles to walk in. But I tried an Italian sandle called "Fly Flot" that is the most comfortable shoe I've ever had. We walked all over Paris for a week and never had sore feet from shoes, sore legs yes, but the shoes were incredible. Theri website is www.flyflotshoes.com
San Diego, CA USA Tue 08/30/2005
Chacos and New Balance
My wife and I went to Nice for a few days and then into Italy for three weeks. We did a lot of walking: Traversed our share of Tuscan hilltowns, beaches, cobblestones, museums, etc. I wore my Chacos for most of the trip and my New Balance Country Walkers a few times. My feet were comfortable, no blisters, and I never felt out of place with either shoe in churches or going out to dinner. When I go back, I would consider only bringing the sandals if traveling in Italy during the summer(feels good to let the feet breathe, and the sandals could handle all the various terrain), although I did appreciate the toe protection of the shoes in a few places. The total price for both pairs was about $180, which was a good value considering the quality.
Puyallup, WA USA Tue 08/30/2005
Just spent a month in Europe. My favorites are Stonefly (Italian) with Shock Air soles (it's the only one of theirs I've tried). I have two pairs--lace-up "Lady 2"s and a similar slip-on.
I bought Hartjes (Austrian) in Berlin. They are solid but I need thick socks--they're leather-lined and my feet slip.
Sudini (Italy, at Nordstrom) are my most comfortable pumps, and Chacos for sandals. I also do well with Munro (at Nordstrom).
I've tried Josef Siebel and (cheap) Eccos--JS is too soft and squishy for my feet; Ecco quickly fell apart. My low arches rub against Birkenstock footbeds.
San Francisco, CA USA Sun 08/28/2005
Sarah - higher shoes
Hi Sarah: Try Danskos. Their Golden Gate line (which I prefer) are built on an elevated footbed, as are their regular clog line. Take a look: http://www.zappos.com/n/br/b/440.html
USA Thu 08/25/2005
Best Walking Shoes
My problem isn't that I want to look like European. I wear heels at home, and I either need to get my pants shortened or find comfort shoes that are a couple of inches off the ground. For late November in Paris, is that possible or a pipe dream?
Shreveport, LA USA Thu 08/25/2005
Flat arches shoe reccomendation
I spent 22 days in Europe with a pair of Dansko Lolita sandles and Dansko Edie closed shoes. I have very bad feet, flat and ankle problems. I loved these shoes! I would reccomend a pair of closed toe shoes - Dusty, dirty ruins were not good in sandles
Seattle, WA USA Wed 08/24/2005
Ladies just trust me on this...
I spend two months each summer in London, and have done for about 6 years now. I swear by cheap ($8 USD) flipflops called "Fluffer Scuffer" available at Macy's department stores. Now before you roll your eyes, hear me out; I have terrible ankles which are prone to swelling and weakness, and I never spend less than 5 hours on my feet at a time when travelling. I pack a pair of black or beige micro-fibre Fluffer Scuffers in my little shoulder bag and take them with me during the day. After about two to three hours on my feet, I switch out my shoes and experience the relief!! The flip flops weight the same as a pack of cigarettes (although I don't smoke), feel like walking on marshmallows, and are slim and slender. Try a pair while bumming around your home town and see what I mean. I will never go abroad without them. Happy feet!
Washington, DC USA Tue 08/23/2005
Josef Seibel shoes work for me
I just bought a pair of Josef Seibel shoes for our trip in September. When we went in 2003, I wore my Merrell's everywhere (they were the most comfortable of the 3 pair I took), but my feet were still very tired at the end of the day. I've worn my Josef shoes every day to work, taking the bus and walking around downtown during lunch, and have come home with feet that felt no worse than when I left in the morning. One tip about shopping for them: Make sure you try them on first, as they are handmade and each pair feels a little different even if they are the same size, so you have to find "the ones" for your feet. You can find them at Nordstrom, or here in Denver they also sell them at Dillards. I can't wait to wear them on our trip!
Denver, CO USA Sun 08/21/2005
Nothing beats Ecco sandals - light weight and still with a firm grip to your foot. I had them on everyday and walked about 10 km. a day in Paris during this summer's most blazing heat. Design is obviously not for breakfast at the Ritz, though....
Denmark Sun 08/21/2005
I bought a new pair of pumas that actually have more support than the regular pumas, the speedcat types. These are a bit wider and have more suppport. I put in a pair of insoles and they are very comfortable. I have been testing them before the trip and I think that they will work out very well as I am taking two different pairs of walking shoes so i can switch off
USA Sun 08/21/2005
Best Walking Shoes
I wore my gray New Balance 991 running shoes for 21 days. They were great and I didn't have one blister/calus. Every night I massaged my feet with a vaseline type foot cream that I bought at a local shoe repair store. I took my Birkie sandals but found them difficult to wear on uneven surfaces. I kept tripping and losing them. A fellow traveler on the RS tour had the same New Balance shoes I had only in black. She never complained about her feet either.
Keizer, OR USA Fri 08/19/2005
Walked all over Barcelona and Lisbon in Dansko clogs and even on cobbly slick streets these shoes were sturdy and comfortable.
santa rosa, ca USA Wed 08/17/2005
Z-Coil and Crocs shoes
Z-Coils are the BEST shoes I have ever walked in! I have really bad knees and they help so much with my knee pain - I cannot tell you how much they have helped. Some may think they are a fad or gimmick, but they WORK. They do help with pain in your back or knees or feet. They have an orthotic built right into the shoe (not the insert kind)which helps with arch support. Plus they have an actual spring in the heel which cushions the walk - a lot. They are recommended on a site for traveling. I think its called europeforvisitors.com -- or something like that (not sure if that is it). Another kind of shoe thats good - especially for walking on the beach, or using around a pool or boat is called Crocs. I have a pair of those too. They feel really good on my feet. I don't know about walking long distances - especially with my knees. I have heard some people say they do, but I just use them to knock around the house in. But they really seem to relax the feet. I like them a lot too. I have seen nurses and doctors wearing them, so they must be good. thats where I saw the Z-Coils too - on a nurse. They should know!
Clearwater, Florida USA Mon 08/15/2005
Puma --my thoughts
You will see athletic shoes all over Europe. Puma, being a European brand will be on feet everywhere. go ahead and wear your shoes if you are comfortable in them. I'm not sure which model you own, but the new "stylish" ones do not have much cushioning, or arch support and would not be good for long days walking distances. If you are young, you probably won't notice, but use older people have issues with our feet (in most cases!) Puma styles are very cute....!
USA Mon 08/15/2005
I walked all over Italy this summer: Venice, Florence (and all those cobblestones), the Riviera and the Alps. I brought a good pair of hiking/ walking shoes, which I did use when actually mountain climbing in the alps and climbing the 478 steps of the Dumo in Florence. But everywhere else my $10 pair of black and white Old Navy flip flops were perfect. Women wear sandals and flip flops everywhere in Italy. I had more air on my feet (and the ability to slip them off under a table) than I ever would have had in sneakers. I only slipped them in my bag to wear at the beach, but they worked from souvenier hunting in the morning to out to dinner with my little black dress at night and everything in between.
Madison, CT USA Mon 08/15/2005
Ecco Hikers--for Matt in Little Compton
I have had the same pair of Ecco gore-tex hikers for 7 years. They took some breaking in, at first (I have a high arch). But, once that was done, they have been wonderful. You can stand in a creek with these, and your feet will stay dry. In wet, cold, weather, you're really comfortable. I wear Smartwool socks (walking or light-weight hikers) with them. I love my Eccos!
Davis, CA USA Sun 08/14/2005
For Michelle - Shoes for Over-Pronators
Hi Michelle: I feel your pain (maybe literally). I over-pronate severely. Here are a few suggestions for closed-toe shoes. They are designed for over-pronators.
If you don't need something dressy, look into New Balance shoes in these models: WW976, WW975, or WW925.
I wore the WW925s for a 3-week trip to Europe, walking everywhere - and they were fine. I got the ones in black, and while they were ugly, they at least sort of blended in with my black pants. I replaced the insole they had with a New Balance Motion Control insole and a heel cup, and the shoe was sooo comfortable.
I haven't tried the 976 or 975 yet, but am thinking of getting the 976 for a future trip that would require more trail hiking. It has a graphite rollbar for motion control, so I think it should be supportive enough.
You can go to www.zappos.com or a similar website. I like Zappos because I can read reader reviews and they have free shipping.
If you're looking for a dressier walking shoe for Europe, you might want to try Danskos. I've found the Golden Gate line to work pretty well for me, either with the insole included with the shoe, or sometimes replaced with Superfeet insoles.
USA Sun 08/14/2005
Keen - feel pretty darn good to me
I have been testing my Keen sandals out for my upcoming trip to Germany. They feel really good, and I think I will be able to get away with wearing them with a long skirt for dress attire, and go on a few hikes in bavaria!
Seattle, WA USA Sun 08/14/2005
what does everyone think of Pumas for Europe? I am thinking they will look good with jeans, casual pants, and shorts. and they come in more colours than just white, or you can get white with bright colours which I understand is very paris.
USA Sun 08/14/2005
Everyone's feet are different...
There is no such thing as "the best walking shoe" across the board, because, assuming you've picked shoes with sturdy support, fit is going to be what matters. I am partial to Propets myself, but recently I ordered three different styles and only one of them really fit perfectly. So, back went the other two, even thought they were *nearly* perfect fits. There is nothing like a long trip with lots of walking to make *nearly* perfect into unbearably uncomfortable.
Just remember to wear your candidate shoes around town for several extended wearings before taking them on vacation, including some long walks on uneven pavement if possible and some time late in the afternoon when your feet are at their biggest. If they still feel great, then you've got a keeper for traveling.
Also, for those who are getting older (like me!), think about replacing the inner sole with an orthotic insole. I use the off-the-shelf Superfeet ones and they definitely help prevent and cure heel and knee pain for me.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 08/14/2005
The one kind of shoes that I have worn that do not hurt my feet during long periods of walking are Chaco Sandals. I wear the water sport Z1 type. I have tried Ecco, Clark, and Easy Spirit shoes, and those have not worked for me.
I am leaving in 4 weeks for a 6 week trip to Europe. I will certainly take my Chacos, but am still looking for shoes to wear in cooler weather and rain. I had recently purchased a pair of Adidas Wanaka trail running shoes to take, because these are good for over-pronators, but found they hurt my knees and calf muscles after walking for about 15 minutes.
So, alas, I am still looking for shoes. I find it frustrating to shoe shop because the only way to tell if the shoes are right (at least for me) is to walk around extensively on concrete. However, if they don't work, they can't be returned because they've been worn outside.
If nothing else, I'll have my chacos, and some wool socks (:
OR USA Sat 08/13/2005
Black and White
I recently returned from France and Italy. In Paris I could spot American tourists a mile away with their white tennis shoes (which makes them a target for pickpockets). I wore NB black running shoes (with stylish black pants or jeans) and felt that I blended in, as black sneakers are popular with locals there. They were also extremely comfortable and offered much-needed support. To Kathy in Seattle, most of the women in the group I travelled with experienced swelling in the feet or ankles and sometimes a rash around the ankles. It's from walking extraordinary distances over cobblestones in the heat of Italy, and seemed to occur no matter what type of shoe any of us was wearing. I'm guessing the black leather compounded the problem for you. Next time try a mesh running shoe instead of a leather walking shoe. Mesh is breathable, leather is not.
N. Hollywood, CA USA Sat 08/13/2005
white athletic shoes
It's so funny about how some of us are so worried about our white shoes looking too touristy in Europe. When my husband's Swiss friends were here, they bought some white athletic shoes to take home with them. I've been in shoe stores in Switzerland--they just don't sell white shoes. I think European people would wear any color, but they just don't seem to have white in the stores. So our friends bought their white shoes here. So as far as looking like a tourist in white shoes, for all anyone knows, you could be a European who has bought white shoes in the U.S.
USA Fri 08/12/2005
comfy Chacco sandals
I recently purchased a pair of women's Chacco "Isabella" sandals for our upcoming trip to London and Rome. I have been wearing them around lately to break-in and boy are they comfortable! The toe box area seems a little big when you look down at your feet but from a sideways view they look fine and not clunky. I'm sure with all the walking around we will be doing the extra room in the toe area will be needed! They look cute, conservative for this 30-something gal, and are super comfy! I can't wait to put them to the test! (p.s. I got them thru zappos.com)
Fort Worth, TX USA Fri 08/12/2005
Can't go wrong with running shoes
Although I by no means want to stick out like a tourist in Europe, I finally gave in and bought a pair of running shoes for my next trip to Europe. I recommend the Adidas Supernova Trail shoe, as they are comfortable, perfect for walking or hiking all day, and very well cushioned. Also, the pair I found has no white on them (they are mostly blue and grey) so hopefully I won't stand out too much in them. I found them online for $25 less than in stores, with free shipping included. Give them a try if you're looking for a comfortable, attractive running shoe.
Bellingham , WA USA Fri 08/12/2005
hot and humid!
What shoes to wear for walking a lot in very HOT and HUMID (80-90% humidity!) weather?
USA Thu 08/11/2005
Walking shoes and padded socks
Just returned from 45 days in Europe and never a sore foot or toe. We walked several miles each day up and down flights of stairs. We would leave our hotel/B & B or hostel early mornings and usually return no earlier than 6 PM. We were walking or climbing stairs all that time except when eating. When traveling with our luggage to a new destination - I wore my Teva Citrals for better support. Other occasions, I wore my Teval Spoiler. I only wore Thorlo CoolMax (padded) Running Socks with both pair of shoes. If you have bad feet, at least try on the Spoilers and Citrals.
USA Thu 08/11/2005
New Balance - BAD!
I spent a month in Italy wearing New Balance black leather lace-up shoes. My feet hated them! At the end of one long day my feet were actually purple and it took several months for them to recover. On my return I threw the New Balance away and I'm still looking for a good walking shoe.
Seattle, WA USA Thu 08/11/2005
I just purchased a pair of gore-tex ecco hiking shoes. They were only $99 and I assume they are a discontinued style. I am writing to see if anyone else has owned a similar pair and if they were satisfied with the confort.
little compton, ri USA Wed 08/10/2005
I have two pairs of Mephistos. My regular US size is women's 9 1/2. One Mephisto says 8.5 and the other says size 9. It partly depends on the style and whether they will be worn with sox, the thickness of the sox, etc. But it seems that they run a little large. BTW, Mephistos are made in France. If you can hold off til you get there, you will save lots of $ by buying in Paris. Maybe as much as $100 USD per pair. If the shoes fit correctly, they don't take much breaking in. You will find lots of stores and many different styles available in France. One Mephisto store is near H. Leveque on rue Cler.
USA Wed 08/10/2005
Hello - considering a pair of Mephistos for our upcoming trip to Paris - do they tend to run large or small? Thank you
Camp Hill, PA USA Wed 08/10/2005
Turkey Floors !!
Wet Marble floors are like Ice Be careful and have the best non skid shoes I Have never Seen so Much Danger Really!! I sliped entering hotel first night almost broke wrist and sliped other times too SO BE CAREFUL!!
Bellevue, USA Mon 08/08/2005
for europe, i only take birkis. they make dressy ones now; i have worn the rhinestone ones to a formal dinner with no funny looks. and there are so many birkis and birki lookalikes available, especially in germany. there are at least two birki outlets in germany--giessen and marburg. i always visit the marburg one and get ones you can't buy in the us. if price is an issue, there is a chain in germany called deichmann (in almost every city) which makes amazingly comfortable shoes along with the strictly for fun pointy ones.
carrie l roe
pacific grove, CA USA Mon 08/08/2005
what not to wear in belgium
do not wear flip flops in beligum (or perhaps other european countries).the streets/sidewalks are marble and if it rains (even in summer it rains) it is extremely slippery. i had to buy a pair of shoes there (not recommended breaking in new shoes walking miles a day). so wish i had my favorite pair of low top converse instead!
eugene, OR USA Mon 08/08/2005
Ecco and Teva
I've traveled the world - literally - with Ecco Walkers and Teva Sandals. Oh how I miss my black leather Ecco Walkers; they weren't pretty but they were the best darn walking shoes I ever owned. Took me 8 years of heavy walking to destroy them. They're not manufactured anymore - if you come across a pair: Waste no time, buy them, you'll forget the hefty price for the high-end Ecco products when you start walking. Teva sandals (the 'good' kind with leather upper) can't be beat for warmer weather walking. Also: Give Reiker nurse-style sandals a try.
Philadelphia, PA USA Mon 08/08/2005
Good tennis shoes can't be beat. (I wear New Balance.) Even the most comfortable sandals will not do the trick for walking the trails at Cinque Terre, IT, or climbing many steps to the top of a domb. I saw 2 ladies wearing flip flops starting to climb Mt. Vesuvius. There is no way they made it to the top in those as it is steep and on loose gravel. My daughter had on flip flops when we rode the chairlift on the Isle of Capri and she said they almost fell off a couple of times. They may be good for the beach and the shower, but not for serious walking!
Deborah Kay Harker
Waldron, IN United States Sun 08/07/2005
Flip flops would work. I have a pair of RAINBOW flip flops that have a life-time guarantee. Meaning the straps and soles would NEVER break! I believe the straps went through a 2000lb test. And the soles are made of premium leather and they are very comfortable! I'm going to Japan in a couple weeks (hot and humid), and I think these would be perfect. My mom is going to bring clarks sandals. Anyone have any other ideas though?
USA Fri 08/05/2005
Born Clogs are great walking shoes. I have worn various pairs on a variety of surfaces from cobblestone to rough terrain. Born shoes are durable leather,provide great arch support and are under $100.
Denver, CO USA Thu 08/04/2005
AND they were totally in style, people thought I was Italian too!!
USA Thu 08/04/2005
the best you can do is buy some cute thong-style birkenstocks when you get there. After packing way too many pairs of shoes, this was the best buy of the whole trip. Many days of walking in Rome and all over Italy- my feet were finally happy!
San Diego, CA USA Thu 08/04/2005
I just returned from 5 weeks in UK and Ireland, and walked miles!! I took a pair of SAS walking shoes and a pair of ECCO sandals with me, and both were great. I have a very narrow foot, and was able to get the walking shoes in a AAA width (they call it slim). The ECCO sandals were casual enough for shorts, but dressy enough to wear to the theatre with a dress; they were sturdy enough for walking trails, too. Neither pair had to be broken in, and they both still look new. I will wear these two brands exclusively from now on!!
Grinnell, IA USA Wed 08/03/2005
Only leather shoes
The only time we ran across that problem was when one of us was turned away from an upscale casino because he was not wearing leather shoes. Others were allowed in with shorts on without an issue, as long as their shoes were leather.
MA USA Wed 08/03/2005
On footwear that bend
I guess it really depends on the individual person (foot) what kind of shoe is best. I have friends who are more comfortable walking for long distances in more flexible shoes. But because I am overweight and over-pronate, the best shoes for me are the ones that don't bend. That's why Danskos, Chacos and the New Balance shoes specifically designed to prevent over-pronation (they're pretty stiff) are the best and most comfortable for me.
USA Mon 08/01/2005
Danskos and Chacos worked great for me for our June trip...4 weeks in Italy, France and the Netherlands. My favorite style is "Ingrid" so that I can wear the strap to feel "secure" when I'm wearing my backpack & carry-on or walking on cobblestones. I wear them as slip-ons on the plane or when I don't have to walk very far. This trip my feet NEVER bothered me once even in the heat waves. Because my feet swell, I wear a size larger when I travel than I wear at home. The Chaco sandals were great too.
Lewiston, ID USA Mon 08/01/2005
Danskos issue- walking on cobblestones, etc.
The important thing to remember about Dansko shoes is that they are wood soles...thus there is absolutely no bend to them. That is why they are not great for hiking, or walking on very uneven surfaces. They are wonderfuly comfortable shoes, but might not work for cobblestones, or trying to hike. This applies especially to styles that are more open, like sandals, or the original clog. If you are used to walking in them, then you might be fine, but if you plan to buy a pair to wear on your holiday, then you might rethink that. Footwear that bends is much better...it should flex at the ball of the foot area and have good cushioning. Birk will bend, but not a lot...they have a cork footbead. the think about Birks and Dansko is that Dansko are also a "higher" profile shoe....it's almost like the shoes the kids are wearing...it's harder to feel the surface you are walking on...but that's also a reason they are comfortable for people who stand on their feet all day.
USA Sun 07/31/2005
Shoes made on German lasts tend to be a lot wider than most. Solidas and ARA both make shoes that fit wide feet well. I've also found that some Mephisto sandals work for me, as long as they have adjustable buckles across the instep. Footsmart, the online shoe and foot health store, has several brands of sandals that come in wide and double-wide sizes. Good luck!
Seattle , WA USA Sun 07/31/2005
DANSKO CLOGS ON COBBLESTONE
Hi Anne, You hit the nail on the head...I bought a pair of DANSKO clogs for studying in Florence,Italy. I've always loved DANSKO shoes, but they were terrible on cobblestone and I twisted my ankle badly a few times. I finally had to buy another pair of shoes and packed my clogs away. Other students had the same exact shoes and loved them....I think it just depends on the fit and your foot. Hope that helps...
Bend, OR USA Sun 07/31/2005
I found that www.onlineshoes.com is cheaper than Zappos.com. Free shipping too.
LA, CA USA Sat 07/30/2005
Ann - I will say that I did once turn my ankle wearing my Dansko clog-type shoes last fall. For the most part, I did not have this problem, but as you know, if it happens once, it tends to weaken your ankle so it repeats itself - no fun. I continued the rest of the trip with an ankle bracelet worn under my Dansko, just in case. Fortunately, it was during cooler weather so no problem, but, be cautious with any shoe you wear without ankle support.
Lihae, I too have very wide feet and will be interested what others post. My Danskos are tight to start, but within a few minutes, they seem to conform to my foot - good luck with your search, and hopefully we'll both find that "magic" shoe!
SC USA Sat 07/30/2005
Bea - no leather required
Bea, maybe in some hoity toity places they might look at your shoes, but otherwise, you are fine with Teva or any other brand of shoes. How can a place not allow you in based on the materials of your shoes? Feel free to wear what feels comfortable, but be presentable, clean, etc. It's great to wear nicer clothing if you are eating out in nicer resturants in Europe.
USA Sat 07/30/2005
Leather type shoes required?
I was told by a friend that you have to wear leather shoes to get into restaurants in Europe. Is this true? I just want to bring a pair of light hikers (not leather) and a pair of Teva's on our 2 week trip to France.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 07/30/2005
I have wide feet and I have tried Born, Dansko, etc. sandals mentioned below but found them a little too tight. Any suggestions (wide and comfy but not ugly)?
Los Angeles, CA USA Sat 07/30/2005
My 3 prs of travelling shoes
Best shoes I've had so far for lots of hours on my feet:
1. Raichle Spirit II GTX Hiking Boots with wool blend socks over polypro liners. Bring 3 pr of each, and you can wash them in the sink each night. Polypro will be dry in the morning, woolies that evening. These boots are all leather and AWESOME for heavy duty hiking.
2. Ecco laceup shoes. I've got a pr of captoes that I can wear with a suit or khakis. Cotton socks. I can wear these all day on hard pavement, whether standing or walking a lot. Plus, they have very little metal in them (eyelets only, and these are thin metal) and you can walk right through security with them.
3. Birkie sandals - obviously more casual, but pretty comfortable as long as you get a good fit.
I usually bring 2 of the 3 above on any trip. If I bring the boots, I wear them so I don't have to pack the beasts. I unlace them at the airport before the security line and walk with the laces tucked in. Then, I can just pop them right into the X-Ray as I approach. I wait to tie them up until I can find a place to sit down away from the hustle of the security area.
Larissa, Thessaly Greece Sat 07/30/2005
Anne, My husband and I spent 11 days in France this May,2 walking around Chartres and 9 walking around Paris. I has a pair of SAS lace-up walking shoes and a pair of Dansko clogs. The clogs were the most comfortable and being able to alternate shoes helped. I also brought a tube of mint scented lotion for foot rubs and that helped ease foot and leg pains after a day's walking. I kept track and the least we walked in any one day was 5 miles (we had a Carte Orange for each of us and made full use of that as well)
Minneapolis, MN USA Fri 07/29/2005
I have recently bought some DANSKOs. I love them and wear them all day as a nurse, but the clogs are so loose, though comfortable, I would be afraid of turning an ankle on the cobblestones of Europe. For those of you who are DANSKO fans, what is your experience with this?
Canada Fri 07/29/2005
Only Danskos for Me
Dansko. I have worn Dansko shoes for my last two three-week European vacations, and plan to wear them again this fall for two-weeks in E. Europe. I have a wide foot, and they seem to work perfectly for me. By the end of the day, my feet still hurt, they always do, but Dansko gets me many miles!
Sorry, I'm not old (well, not THAT old - 40) but I am still of the belief - no tennis shoes in Europe! Just because "they" wear them, doesn't mean we have to. (I also believe in no jeans, especially in churches, here or in Europe).
SC USA Fri 07/29/2005
Bring 2 pairs of comfortable shoes!
Just returned from two weeks walking every day in cities, on dirt roads, etc. I brought a pair of Born mary janes and a pair of Ecco sandals with a slight wedge heel, both well broken in. Although both pairs of shoes remained comfortable throughout the trip, my feet became tired if I wore the same pair more than 2 days in a row. Switching between the two kept my feet feeling good and able to keep going. I also brought a pair of strappy espadrilles for going out to dinner at night. A waste of packing space, some might say, but I wore them nearly every night and felt a bit more dressed up. Whatever makes you happy, it is your holiday!
MA USA Thu 07/28/2005
Clarke's and buyer beware for NAOT's
Clarks makes very good shoes, I found Naot's very hard to wear because the heel area is made small and the insert is lower than the back stitching for the leather sandals and make the worst blisters I have had in some time. I think I will go back to Clarkes or some other company. Most stores that these shoes are distributed to don't know anything about how Naot's are supposed to fit and I got ripped off big time because of return credit issues. ALL beware do not go to Corso's on Queen St East in Toronto Canada their staff don't know anything about customer service or shoes.
Toronto , Canada Wed 07/27/2005
Footware and clothes
Being a sneaker guy, finding a comfortable pair of shoes for my three week trip was critical. As skimping on up-to-date guidebooks is a bad idea, so is trying to cheep-out on shoes. I spent $150 on a pair of Ecco dress shoes that were sooooo very comfortable.They did not even need breaking in(serious). I brough an old pair of white sneakers and only used them in the Alps. Also, as a blue jean person, I brought one pair of jeans as well as two pair of wash and wear slacks. Guess what? Everybody wears jeans in europe. So did I, along with my Eccos and a nice button down shirt(yes, at some point you will need a laundramat; So what, take a break). I looked resonably un-touristy and felt good. I had a great first trip to Europe. Thanks Rick, your guidebook info was almost always on the money.
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl USA Tue 07/26/2005
Lynda and anyone with foot problems..Try
Lynda, best advise would be to take at least 2 pairs of shoes so you can switch off. I feel that settling on one pair for 4 weeks is not a good idea. Not sure from your post if you are trying to just get one pair for your foot problem. If you have a "Foot Solutions" store in your town, you might see what they offer. They specialize in foot problems. The owner is usually a "Pedorthist"....not a medical foot doctor, but can recognize foot issues and specialized in fitting shoes for all kinds of issues. I'd recommend these stores for anyone with problems! They should be listed in your yellow pages under "Shoes" they are a national franchise, but home owned. They carry name brand shoes that they can work with to fit your foot, and deal with your foot problems.
USA Mon 07/25/2005
Best shoe deals
I recommend visiting www.zappos.com they have a huge variety of all the brands listed in the Grafitti Wall by members! Free shipping and 110% price guarantee. FREE return shipping if you don't like them. Please remember: Wear them around the house indoors and try them out way before traveling. There is absolutely no hassle to return them if they "rub" or bother you in any way. I have been back and forth with several pairs of shoes for weeks with Zappos and have settled on Clarks, Propet and Ecco sandals. Will vary the wear during my upcoming trip to Italy.
La Quinta, CA USA Mon 07/25/2005
TravelSmith sells a shoes caled the Arcopedico toggle flat - anybody walked around a long time in these - got four weeks in Europe in a few weeks and am starting to panic - I have "heel spurs" on the top of my feet, not the bottom so need VERY comfortable shoes - opinions? Thanks
Charleston, SC USA Mon 07/25/2005
Bring running shoes
I just returned from a trip to France and Italy. My New Balance running shoes were the only thing that saved my feet. I went on very long walks over cobblestones in these shoes and the cushioning, support and width were wonderful. The Ecco walking sandals I brought were okay for short walks, but really didn't provide enough support. My advice would be to bring running shoes, even in hot weather. They provide cushioning, support, traction and add spring to your step.
N. Hollywood, CA USA Mon 07/25/2005
DANSKO CLOGS!!! I AM A FLIGHT ATTENDANT AND DANSKO CLOGS ARE THE MOST COMFORTABLE SHOE EVER MADE! THEY LOOK GREAT WITH JEANS TOO. I WAS IN PARIS RECENTLY FOR 2 WEEKS AND ONLY TOOK MY DANSKO'S WITH ME. THEY COME IN A VARIETY OF COLORS AND WILL LAST FOREVER.
REDINGTON BEACH, FLORIDA USA Fri 07/22/2005
Shoes play evil tricks
The one and only time I went to Europe in early summer (never again) my very well-broken-in Rockport La Platas (no longer made, alas)which I had worn daily for six months, rubbed bleeding blisters on my feet. Problem=unrelenting, extremely humid heat, never before experienced by this very insular Californian! So--you never know what weird things might happen with shoes.
Santa Rosa, CA USA Thu 07/21/2005
Just a reminder...NEVER take new shoes on your holiday! You shold always wear your shoes for a good long time before your vacation so you know if they will rub blisters. Walk everywhere in them before you decide if they will work. it's great to read this wall and get recommendations about shoes that readers like, but try several, and WEAR WEAR WEAR them prior to your trip! Every brand mentioned on this wall is a great brand! It's what is good for your foot! You might have bunions, or a high instep, or flat feet, not every shoe will work for your individual issues.
USA Wed 07/20/2005
Keens not for my feet
I also took Keen Taos to Europe. I do have a slightly high instep, but these shoes wore blisters on my heels and toes! They cut into my heels terribly. I had bandaids on my feet the whole trip. I will say at the end of the day my feet were not tired from all the walking. In my opinion, Keens fit some feet, and they just don't fit mine. I Know Birkenstocks work for me and I will never travel again without them. Still have the blisters to remind me!
LC, NM USA Wed 07/20/2005
We just returned from the Best of Italy tour. Don't worry about looking like a tourist. Choose shoes that are comfortable for you! You will be doing lots of walking! I wore Chacos and Birks (I have extra wide feet). My daughter wore her DC tennis shoes and Tevas. We were comfortable and blister free. (We saw lots of white tennis shoes.) It doesn't matter what you choose because most likely your shoes will look different from the ones they are wearing in Europe anyway. Have a good trip!
Jacksonville, OR USA Mon 07/18/2005
I bought a pair of teva sandals and used them on a 13 day trip to Germany and Spain. loved them.
Summerville, sc USA Mon 07/18/2005
Teva sandals...elegant looking European styles with sneaker soles. EVA support and nice leather.
NY, USA Mon 07/18/2005
Good Shoes for a Vacation
The best shoes I have come across are from an Italian manufacturer called GEOX. These shoes have a special membrane in the sole of the shoe allowing air to circulate without letting water in! They're light as a feather and styles range from a cool looking retro sneaker to loafers to more formal wear. Cool styles for ladies too. I will be bringing a pair of casual black and my sneakers on my trip to Europe.
Long Island, NY USA Sun 07/17/2005
If you'd purchased at REI, I'd bet they'd let you bring them back, or at least exchange. I'm not so sure about the Walking Company. Haven't heard real good things about them.
As far as theTaos goes...i'm I think (and own) the Newport sandals. Much better for walking. The Taos, which I also have, as does my husband...these did give my hubby blisters on his toes. Got these for our trip to Sicily, made him wear his here in the US before our trip, and he decided to take his old Teva sandals instead. They look terrible, but his feet were happy. I am not impressed with this model for my feet either, they seem a little stiff, so the back rubs and blisters form. Only comfortable way to wear them was with socks, but that defeats the purpose of wearing a sandal!
all in all, if you still have the receipt and box, I'd try to take them back to the store. let them know, and show them what they did to your feet - or write to Keen and let them know. their website is www.keenfootwear.com
USA Sat 07/16/2005
NO offense but someone my age would never wear Joseph Siebels. For us younger people, tennis shoes are best or some sort of cool looking sandal
USA Sat 07/16/2005
Problem with Keen Shoes
I have a problem with my Keen Taos sandals. I have terrible blisters on the back of my heel. Does anyone else have similar complaints. I have never had blisters in this spot. I usually wear Ecco's but I bought Keen sandals last year for Kayaking and found them quite comfortable. I was interested in a sturdy sandal for a 4 week trip to China and purchased the Taos, terrible decision. I have added pads onto the shoe and still blisters are there. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. Can these be returned? I was informed at the Walking Store that no one has ever complained about Blisters. Anyone out there.
Danbury, CT USA Fri 07/15/2005
If you want to buy Mephistos, wait til you get to France. Buy them there for 50-60% off what you will pay here. It depends on the exchange rate of USD/Euro. In Paris there are numerous shoe stores specializing in Mephistos. Many styles are available. If they fit you a break-in period may be less important.
USA Fri 07/15/2005
Best walking shoes
In my rumble opinion it has to be Joseph Siebel, the best waking shoes ever, no need to walk around in tennis shoes and please no flip-flaps. My wife and I have travel from China to Norway in the last 10 or years JS endurs then all, spray a little water repellent and you are done. Its good day or night ware. Happy walking, Mario
Palo Alto , CA USA Fri 07/15/2005
Best Walking shoes
I have tried many shoes and found Rockports to be both comfortable and durable. The styles vary too and allow me to use them for casual wear at work. Otherwise, the "pro-walkers" look like serious walking shoes and they are! I have walked all over Europe with them and also use them when I have to give back-to-back one hour lectures at school. They have really reduced my leg and lower back aches to almost zero.
San Antonio, TX USA Wed 07/13/2005
I tried some Arcopedico brand shoes on a recent trip to Paris and I loved them. Normally, I wear pretty plain footwear when I travel, but I wanted something this trip that was comfortable all day as well as a little more stylish, and I was not disappointed. I ordered them online and they were less than $100 a pair; one was on sale for $50. I think I ordered them from shoebuy.com
Seattle, WA USA Wed 07/13/2005
I have recently been on the search for comfortable walking shoes for a November trip to Italy. I bought Mephistos, and guess what? I am going to sell them on ebay. I ended up getting a referral for a brand called SAS. They are way cheaper (about $120 a pair), and they come in five widths! They are amazing. OK...they look a little like something my mom might wear. But I don't care, I will just wear long pants that cover them and no one will know. I think I might try to start a new trend of being "orthopedic chic."
North Hollywood, ca USA Wed 07/13/2005
Shoes...to take or not to take...
Puma or Diesel will not be comfortable. They just don't have enough support. Try Nike Shox or I just bought some cute sandals by Aerosoles called Disc Pool. Or if you really want to stick to something more "young" (I am young too), try skater tennis shoes. They have tons of padding and are great for walking. I usually use mine or my Nike shox. I hope this helps!
Grand Forks, ND USA Tue 07/12/2005
What shoes to bring?
I'm having some trouble deciding on what shoes to bring for a month long trip to Europe in the fall. I have always worn running shoes when traveling, but I would like something a little more stylish (yet still functional). I am 22, so I would love to have something both comfortable and hip..any ideas? Right now I'm leaning towards something by Puma or Diesel. Any recommendations?
WA USA Tue 07/12/2005
I have a pair of Padua Footprints by Birkenstock. They are THE MOST COMFORTABLE shoes I have ever worn in my entire life. I bought them from Zapppos.com for $105.
USA Sun 07/10/2005
I have tried Teva, Born, and Mephisto while walking Tuscan hill towns. Each of those drove me back to my J Crew Wedge flip-flops (much to my husband's chagrin)until.....Cole Haan Nike Air wedges. Absolute euphoria! I bought them for Italy and have continually worn them since returning in May. Don't want to take them off!
Scottsdale, AZ USA Sun 07/10/2005
Fashion vs Comfort
So what does one wear for "fancy" evenings out in Venice and Rome? I brought 1 pair of heels, a Naturalizer sandal with a 2-1/2" wedge heel (no ankle strap) and comfy padded insole. They were actually more comfortable than my sport shoes! And I felt a lot less dowdy around the ultra-fashionable Italians.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 07/08/2005
In order to adjust my shoes to accommodate my bunion, I bought a professional shoe stretcher at a shoe-repair shop for $23. It works. I have adjusted most of my shoes with good results. I've also noticed that I can wear athletic shoes made with stretchy material in the bunion area. Some of the lighter weight shoes have this construction.
USA Fri 07/08/2005
Keen Shoes are Great
My family purchased keenes for our trip to europe last month. We were everywhere (Paris, the Swiss Alps, Cinque Terre) and my wife has terrible bunyons. They were always comfortable and cool. The only drawback was that they kind of got a little stinky when we didn't wear socks. I would recommend them to anyone.
east moline, il USA Fri 07/08/2005
Ecco for narrow foot
I have a very narrow foot as well. I couldn't wear Keens at all, nor some of the others that people suggest. I did find that Ecco Fresh slip-ons worked well.
Des Moines, IA USA Thu 07/07/2005
Narrow Width Shoes
Does anyone know if Keen shoes come in a narrow width? I wear a 9 1/2 AAA or AAAA. It is so hard to find narrows widths in any brand of shoe.
Golden, C0 USA Wed 07/06/2005
Just a note for those interested in Keen's. They're good shoe but if you have even a remotely wide foot they will hurt. I returned mine, bought a pair of Born Hale's a love them. They're like having pillows on your feet.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 07/05/2005
Shoes for all over
CAN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT KEEN!! I brought only 2 pair of shoes for our 18 days in Austria and Hungary; a pair of New Balance cross trainers and my new Keen Newport sandals. I rarely wore the New Blanace because I found my back hurting after a whole day of walking on city streets. (BTW - the Keens have also been to Disneyland for 2 days and to Colombo, Sri Lanka with me since I bought them in early May. These are GREAT shoes!!)
Only problems w/them is that they won't protect you in a heavy rain; your feet will get wet.
You can also buy socks (peds) for them that are so low it doesn't look like you are wearing any. I got mine (black so they blended w/ the dark gray of the shoes) at Target.
Kennewick, WA USA Tue 07/05/2005
Paul Green of Munchen walking shoes (got mine at Nordstroms). They can be dressed up or down and go anywhere (cobblestone, dirt, pavement, grass, etc.), with an added plus of looking classy and sophisticated. Have rolling, hard (but not too hard) rubber soles, elastic pulls through a metal ring rather than shoe strings, clean up well and are a joy to walk in 10 to 15 miles a day.
San Diego, CA USA Mon 07/04/2005
I'm taking black New Balance 991 running shoes. I've searched the earth over for really comfortable walking shoes for my wide foot. These are it for comfort and support and they add that bounce to my step. I've been told that Europeans of all ages are wearing New Balance and other brands of running shoes... but not white ones. I decided comfort was foremost. I plan to wear these with stylish boot cut jeans and a chic jacket. I love my dansko shoes, but they are not flexible enough for miles of walking and standing in the museums of Paris. I'm also taking walking sandals made by Ecco, which I will probably wear for most of the trip in hot weather.
CA USA Mon 07/04/2005
This may be a "Well, duh!" comment, but when traveling to the U.K. I stupidly (based on other postings) left my Keens stateside and attempted 2 weeks of walking in Sketchers skate shoes. (I THOUGHT they were comfy enough prior to leaving!) I ended up buying a new pair of shoes in southern England that got me through what would've been a miserable time if I hadn't ditched those shoes early on. By the way if any one ever finds themselves in city center of Dublin heading to the ferry terminal, do yourself a favor and take the BUS! (Or a cab...) Those signs that point the way are deceptive when it comes to distance, and all those friendly Irish lining the way SAY "ten minute walk" convincingly enough, but I found out time is measured differently there!!! Secondly, Bandaids are called "plasters" in that part of the world...although I called them life savers! :)
Mesa, AZ USA Sun 07/03/2005
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes....
Can you please note what style of "Keen" you used? I also want to add for the ladies that I just bought a pair of Aerosoles Disc pool sandals and they are so super comfy! I've been wearing them around town to break them in but it's not even necessary as they are really light-weight and comfortable. I have gotten lots of compliments on them and they can be worn for nice evenings out with a skirt, dress, or nice slacks. They have earned their spot on my carry-on headed to Europe this October!
Grand Forks, ND USA Sat 07/02/2005
Great all round shoe.
My wife and I went to REI and brought each a pair of "KEEN" shoes. These are a sandle type shoe. We traveled in London, Paris, and Italy. We used them to hike the Cinque Terre trails, and swam in the ocean with them. After three weeks, no bluster or tired feet. A great all round great shoe.
Elk Grove, CA USA Sat 07/02/2005
Here's what worked for me
I have probably among the world's worst feet, and here's what worked for me:
First, I purchased special walking socks at REI, they have extra cushioning at the heel and toe, and wick wetness from the foot. I also packed mole skin in case of blisters.
Then, I purchased multi-purpose Merrell shoes from REI a LONG TIME BEFORE THE TRIP and wore them a lot to break them in. For hotter days I wore my Chacko's (they're like Teva's but because they have one continuous strap the adjust to a more customized fit).
My best advice, buy shoes at the end of the day when your feet are swollen, then wear them a lot before you go....take them hiking, get sweaty, break them in.
Woodland Hiils, CA USA Fri 07/01/2005
flip flops- not always a good idea- Part Deux
I missed the entire point of my story. The flip flops broke. the toe piece pulled out of the sole of the shoe. The women was then without footwear. Not that they were uncomfortable to wear. Just not strong enough to stand up to walking the stones in Pompei. As I mentioned, they'd probably be OK for walking around city streets, but if you had to run to catch a train, or if you just stepped wrong, these lightweight shoes could fall apart!
USA Fri 07/01/2005
the very young rarely has the same trouble with their feet as others do. Hence the young person in previous post who wore flip flops and had no problem. The trick is, that when older they then may regret their flip flop wearing days!
I wear flip flops, but not for any major walking.
Canada Fri 07/01/2005
I would swear on my Dansko Clogs
I first discoverd Dansko clogs in culinary school when I spent 60-70 a week on my feet. Since then I have travelled and lived in France for several years. I do a lot of walking, over trails, roads, and of course cobblestones. I should note that I am tall and of heavy build. My Dansko clogs have taken me everywhere, rain, shine, snow even. I even wore them all through my pregnancy in Paris! They have the benefit of looking a little European (tennis shoes on people over 25 are a big neon AMERICAN TOURIST sign). Also my clogs dress up for dinner with a skirt and down for coffee with loose pants (I never wear shorts another neon sign). They can be too warm in the summer but they make a sandle that does the job just as well. If clunky black clogs aren't your style check their web site they have a lot of styles with the same base. Of course they are heavy, but they are always on your feet and I almost never need another pair of shoes. Also clogs have the added benefit of being able to be slipped on and off easily. They need to be broken in first! As they form to the individual foot. I introduced my mother to them (55 yrs, same build) and she won't wear anyother shoes.
Bainbridge Island, Washington USA Thu 06/30/2005
flip flops- not always a good idea
Just a comment. We took a tour of Pompei, one of the gals wore flip flops. Not even 1/2 hour into the tour her husband came up to the guide asking if there was a place to purchase a different pair of shoes. I noticed this lady when we were getting on the bus in Sorrento and thought the shoes were inappropriate. I was darn right. needless to say, walking on the stones in Pompei, then hiking Mt Vesuvio in thongs isn't a bright idea. This woman disappeared from the rest of the tour...they spent $100, and she had to take a taxi back to Sorrento. how foolish! Wear shoes that feel comfortable, but are appropriate for the activity. If you are walking a long distance, you better make sure your shoes will hold up. the last thing you want to happen is a shoe to break and you either go barefoot, or have to purchase shoes in the middle of your trip, or you waste money like this couple did.
USA Thu 06/30/2005
I have a pair of Nike Presto that are flexible, comfortable, and great for warm weather,not sor for rain. For sandals I ahve a pair of old Merrell's that I bought many years ago and still travel with them
seattle, wa USA Thu 06/30/2005
One young person in our party wore nothing but flip flops for 6 weeks of daily walking. And, never complained. When she tried to wear her trendy Puma's, she was complaining in an hour, so they never re-appeared.
USA Thu 06/30/2005
Z-Coils throughout Europe
I looked dorky and got a lot of odd glances, but never complained with miles of walking in my z-coils (cloudwalkers)with my orthotics. I have flat feet and plantar faciitis, but my z-coils got me through 6 weeks of Italy, Switzerland and France. I didn't have any problems on cobblestone roads or gravel paths (or mountain paths) as I feared. I bought my shoes last year with my trip in mind, so they were well broken in. Although, I bought them to help with my foot problems, the biggest benefit has been for my back. I can walk hours on a hard surface without my back getting as tired. These shoes are big and bulky, but not heavy.
USA Thu 06/30/2005
SAS does not sell by internet. You must find a dealer store. The company says they want personal contact for their customers, and they will go beyond expectations to help you if you contact them by "snail" mail or telephone. SAS Shoemakers, 171 SAS Drive, San Antonio, TX 78224. Telephone 210-921-7415. I am lucky to find them locally, but it might take some detective work to find a place near you to buy SAS. They are without a doubt the best shoe made, and will last you for years. You just can't wear them out. Comfortable to walk miles from the first time you put them on your feet.
FL USA Wed 06/29/2005
Jenny from the Bronx and the "look in your closet" person may both have been close to the truth. I agree that running shoes give more spring to your step. However, after a month of trying on many brands of shoes, buying and returning... I discovered that a pair in my closet, Dankso shoes (loafer style--not clogs) are the most comfortable of all the closed-toe shoes I've tried. Also, I agree completely with the person who said it's "polite" to dress up a bit for nicer European restaurants. For women, this complicates matters: Closed shoes for rainy weather, walking sandals, and dressy sandals for nicer restaurants. Mama Mia! What a hassle!
LA, CA USA Tue 06/28/2005
I saw a question asking where to buy SAS shoes online, but no answer! I LOVE their sandals, but I don't know how to get them! Any suggestions?
Saipan, MP USA Tue 06/28/2005
I actually wore a new pair of Birks at a trade show in Stuttgart, and my feet were happy (I had bought them just before I went to Europe and I took a chance). The great thing about Birks is that they are versatile--I wore these new clogs with a suit at the trade show, but I wore them with my jeans and a sweater too. One less pair of shoes to pack, since the Birkenstock clogs did double duty!
USA Sat 06/25/2005
Birks are great...as long as they are broken in before you travel. They make sandals and closed toed shoes for both men and women. Any shoe that is comfortable for YOU and is broken in is fine for travel. I always recommend taking 2 pair, one sandal, one regular/closed toe shoe. that way you have options for weather changes and for a "dressier" look for dinner. I find that in Europe it's polite to wear nicer clothing to a resturant at night.
USA Sat 06/25/2005
What about Birkenstocks?
Las Vegas, NV USA Sat 06/25/2005
Born shoes are great. You can now get them on zappos.com or on eBay. I own about 6 pairs and my mom who is diabetic and has trouble with her feet loves them too. Her doctor was happy she had them. My husband also loves them now. They are expensive usually $80 and up but you can get them cheap on eBay or sometimes at TJMaxx of Marshalls for about $40
Guilford, CT USA Wed 06/22/2005
In my experience, running shoes are the best for traveling. They are cushiony and you can be in them all day and your feet feel great. The better brands are Adidas and Nike. If you already have a pair, then don't bother buying anything else! Just take your trusty running shoes and who cares if Europeans don't wear white shoes!!! I saw them wearing white sneakers in Asia, so maybe they just don't wear them at home but they sure do when they are on holiday!!!
Jenny from da block!
Bronx, NY USA Tue 06/21/2005
wrong feet need perfect shoes!
There seems to be a nice sub-plot here from people with various disabilities, and what usually makes life possible for us makes life more comfortable for the rest of the population... does anyone have any experience of Diesel's Carmen boots - I have muscular dystrophy and they look to be just the thing to help stop my 'foot drop' and keep me from tripping myself up. What I could do with knowing is how much do they weigh...? btw, I'm in UK, not US
Norwich, Norfolk UK Tue 06/21/2005
A different take on heel elevation
For some of us, who are used to wearing heels on a daily basis, it actually hurts more to not have a walking shoe with a slight elevation to it. That's why I usually end up putting a thick padded heel cushion under my walking shoes. (Of course, I'm not talking about high-heeled or stiletto shoes here.)
USA Tue 06/21/2005
No Heel elevation & orthotic footbed
The less heel elevation the better, if you want to walk all day on Europe's cobbled streets.
Birkenstock sandals and many styles of shoes offer zero or minimal heel elevation. Your shins will thank you.
Orthotic shoe inserts will keep your feet from getting mashed into tender puffy things you can barely walk on. The ball and the heel of the foot are bony areas which are over-stressed by a flat insole. Support those arches and you're good for all the sightseeing you can soak up, remember, it's why you bothered going!
Toronto, Canada Tue 06/21/2005
GOOD SHOES FOR HURTING FEET
HELLO I HAVE M.S. SO EXCUSE THE CAP'S FOR ME THE SAS WALKING AND FREE TIME SHOES ARE GREAT HOWEVER THEY DONT HAVE A ONLINE STORE AND HARD TO GET INFO ON I WANT TO BUY 2 PAIR HOWEVER HERE IN HALLANDALE FL AT JAY'S SAS SHOE STORE, HE WOULD NOT GIVE ME A DEFECT OR COMFORT GUARANTEE AND HIS ATTITUDE WAS WELL IF YOU DON'T LIKE EM DONT BUY THEM GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU.
MIAMI, FL USA Mon 06/20/2005
Finn Comfort and Mephisto Sandals
Thank you to the person who recommended the Finn Comfort sandals. I bought a pair with two brown leather velcro straps last week and I have worn them every day all day at school this week (I'm a teacher and I spend a lot of time on my feet). I hope to wear them next month on my trip to France and England, as well as a dressier pair of black Mephistos that I was able to buy for only $25. CAD !!
Canada Fri 06/17/2005
Shoes for touring
Go to your local Walgreen's drugstore and sometimes CVS (of course I live in Florida, so we may have moreof these rubber shoe/sandals - open toed, bu with reflexology bumps built in. My feet I'm sorry to say, always hurt, I've been wearing these for 1 1/2 years..what a godsend. For about $10 they come in white, brown, black, mens and womens, and I fully intend to wear them on my trip to Paris and London, even if others do look at me ! I've gone from being able to stand on my feet for two hours to almost the whole day...and I think that's what's important don;t you? BTW, many people have heard of Okabashi, so maybe they're online.
Palm Beach County, Florida USA Fri 06/17/2005
I'm glad to find mention of the Born brand because I just bought some for Italy. I ended up buying the "Subway" Borns which are basically flip flops and I'm a little worried about wearing them. I am usually very comfortable in flip flops and wear them all summer but treckking around Rome is another story! However, I broke my little toe about a month ago and it still bothers me when anything presses against it so I'm not sure I can wear any other type of shoe. But they do seem really comfortable so maybe they'll be OK. I've seen lots of mentions of Merrells here so I still might exchange them.
Fort Worth, TX USA Fri 06/17/2005
I am the pickiest shoe shopper I've ever known, and I have finally found a brand I can wear: Born.
Don't go traveling with bad shoes--it can ruin your trip (I know). If you find something that works for you, shell out the money. My expensive Borns were worth every penny.
Also: I don't understand others' love of the Dansko clogs. They're definitely not for everyone. I find them to be stiff, unsturdy, and terribly uncomfortable.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 06/17/2005
Been reading this site hearing all about expensive walking shoes. I bought a pair of Thom Mcan's leather oxford at Walmart and they are great walking/touring shoes. They come in wide widths and they only cost $29. After walking all over Italy my feet felt great. Save your money and spend it on a bottle of fine wine.
Largo, Florida USA Thu 06/16/2005
I don't know where you live but we don't have that kinda technology round these here parts...
the deep backwoods, ND USA Thu 06/16/2005
People here have wisely posted that everyone's foot is different and thus need different shoes. I wholeheartedly agree. And here's another suggestion. Go to a good running-shoe store (usually not a chain), where they have very good, knowledgable salespeople, and a treadmill with camera where they can record how you run and/or walk. That way they can tell you whether you over-pronate, or other considerations you should keep in mind. That's how I found out that I heavily over-pronate, and now I look for shoes with motion control and very good arch support. I'm not saying this is the only way to buy shoes, but it's one step toward getting a pair that works for you.
USA Thu 06/16/2005
Look in your closet!
Everyone is asking about what shoes to buy for their up coming trip. I'd bet you have already have a pair that you go to everytime you need to walk someplace. Why go to the expensoe (unless you really do need a new pair of shoes) of buying and worrying about what shoes to wear on your holiday? Take what you wear everyday and know fits your foot?
I bought a pair of Chacos 3 years ago, and they are the pair I go to for travel. I bought some Keens 2 years ago, and love them too, but the Chaco sandals go with more stuff, and I can wear them out to dinner with pants and look OK. Each of us have unique foot issues - don't rush out and spend $100 on a pair of shoes because someone here highly recommended them - unless you really really need new footwear! you are only going for 1-2 weeks in most cases, your shoes in your closet will work just fine - unless it's full of Blaniks.
USA Thu 06/16/2005
i bought mephistos ten years ago for a trip to ny and, after a couple of hours and bleeding blisters, had to stop and buy a pair of arches to finish the trip. the mephistos were over $100 and the store wouldn't take them back even though they had fitted me with shoes that were inappropriate for my feet (my arches were falling and these sandals were very wrong for me). i still have them in my closet.
Berkeley, USA Wed 06/15/2005
I bought Eccos three days ago since so many raved about them. I couldn't get them off fast enough. The Walking Company would not help me even though my toes were right on the front edge. Today I bought Mephistos so I'm hoping. Have any of you traveled with their sandles?
USA Wed 06/15/2005
For our 10 day trip to Disney, I purchased a pair of Birkenstocks & a pair of Eccos. I bought them well in advance, knowing they needed to be broken in. I'm not convinced the Birks will ever be broken in. Both those pairs of shoes gave me blisters, while the Born Muse sandals I bought 2 days before we left were my salvation. I wore them everywhere & put many miles on them and was comfortable for every step. I've purchased a few more pairs of Born since.
NY USA Wed 06/15/2005
Shoes for St. James Way
I would wear light-weight boots with a high top for a 25K hike. For me, Nike or Merrell's fit and serve well. Whatever you end up with, wear your shoes or boots around home a mile or two at a time for a few weeks before your trip. If sore spots start developing on your hike, stop and apply tape or moleskin to the hot spot. You will save yourself from a blister. Also, for more comfortable feet, change into dry,clean sox mid-day during your walks. I like to soak my feet in cold water when it is available.
USA Wed 06/15/2005
Okay -- about Eccos... I have to agree, and I'm the person who raved about them in an earlier post. Eccos do not come in widths. Some of their styles run narrow, some wide. I thought the Ecco Mobiles were going to be great, until I walked 3 miles in them and ended up with a corn on my left little toe. I did take them back, but salesman suggested I try one size up. Now they are too long and narrow. I'm taking them back for a refund. If you have narrow feet, these should be great. I would like to pass on some advice I read yesterday: each person's feet has unique needs. I'm going to a New Balance store today, because their shoes are available in many widths. That said, the Ecco Cosmo will work for any width of foot--they are adjustable. This is a VERY comfortable sandal.
LA, CA USA Wed 06/15/2005
quality walking shoes needed!!
hi there, i am a not very experienced walker and am doing 25k a day for one week alon gthe st. jame's way in northern spain. can anyone suggest a really good walking shoe for this kind of terrain? thanks, donal
USA Tue 06/14/2005
Ecco shoes - not so great
Unfortunately, what one person thinks is heaven another person feels as "the other place"! Shoes are so person-specific that I always take LOTS of time to walk around the store for at least 15 to 20 minutes while I "check out" other styles. If anyone asks about it I tell them that I refuse to spend money on shoes that don't fit correctly. Then buy and take home, where you should wear them some more INSIDE to confirm that they at least feel right to you. If not, return them ASAP.
And go ahead and take the charcoal greay Nikes - you gotta love your feet and treat them well! Take the Eccos to a consignment shop (or at the very least give them to a second-hand store).
FL USA Tue 06/14/2005
I just purchased a pair of Garmont light hikers (they are black w/a silver mesh for breathability). I've been breaking them in by taking my dogs walking and they are pretty comfortable. I've noticed that Garmont hasn't been a brand mentioned here, I hope they will do ok for our trip to Italy!
Also, I will probably bring my Dansko slip-ons....I live in Danskos and have 4 pairs that I can't live without. Too bad they are so heavy!
Glendale, AZ USA Tue 06/14/2005
For my upcoming trip to London, Ams/Ireland and Scotland I bought a pair of Ecco FLEXOR model and hate them. Maybe I should have bought Mobiles (they look lighter on their website). The Flexors although sporty in appearance are anything but in my opinion. They feel heavy, the insole is hard and not springy like my Nikes or other running shoes that I am used to. I have tried Gel insoles and it didn't help. They are much too heavy for summer wear. I paid over $125 with tax for them at the Walking Company and cannot return them, buecause they have been worn outside. (How else are you going to know they are comfortable or not?). I don't care if I look like an American Tourist, I am wearing my charcoal colored Nikes for my trip,they are so lightweight and springy. And afterall comfort comes first. But I sure wish I hadn't been swayed by all the people (plus the salesman at Walking Company) saying Eccos were so great. I would be $130 richer.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 06/13/2005
Best Walking Shoes
I found my favorite shoes, Ecco Mobiles, in nubuck and they did wonderfully for me during our three weeks in England. I had planned to buy white but found the nubuck and got those instead; not because of the "looking like an American" thing, but because the nubuck walking shoes looked a little less casual. When we went out to eat (we didn't want to go to any "fancy" restaurants, preferring pubs instead - LOVED the pubs), my footwear looked fine. We did a lot of walking and my Ecco Mobiles gave me complete comfort (and I've had a bunionectony on both feet). I did take a pair of flats (I don't wear heels) which I used once.
Jacksonville, Fl USA Sat 06/11/2005
Someone just told me that podiatrists actually recommend switching shoes, because your foot will get tired of the same type shoe... especially with lots of walking. This rings true for me. I'm actually taking 3 pair of Eccos on my trip: the mobile, the cosmo sandal, and the Austin Ankle strap (for nicer restaurants). If you have arches, Ecco provides superior arch support, in my view.
CA USA Fri 06/10/2005
My advice is even though you are trying to pack light, take two pair of shoes that supports your ankles. I found walking on the cobblestones is tiresome to your ankles. My Merrells did great for about four days and then I needed another pair to trade off because my feet were wearing in the same place each day. We both bought another pair of shoes in the Rome Mephisto store that helped us out.
Atlanta, GA USA Thu 06/09/2005
Hi, was wondering if anyone has worn the teva casitas sandals for an extended period of time yet? I love tevas, but have never tried the leather type, these have the toe wrap like the chaco sandal but was wondering if the leather toe wrap would be a problem....anyone tried these yet? here is a link to the page that they are on if anyone is interested in having a look. Thank you http://teva.com/Apparel_Detail.asp?dept_id=1&sku=6478&sc=all&g=women
salem, or USA Wed 06/08/2005
Carolyn: Finn Comfort
Carolyn, I am sorry, but I threw the box away and can't seem to find the name on the sandal. But, I will describe them. They are black and come in several other colors, backless slip-in(I thought this would be a problem and it was not)They have three adjustable velcro rather wide straps in front that support the foot well. There is a slightly thick heel, and the bottoms are made of plastic? rubber? not sure. There is a removable cork insert. I was given a choice: hard or soft. I choose the hard inserts as they were the most comfortable, and I don't regret that. But that is an individual thing. If this helps, the number inside one of the straps is: 4684816 9 Hope this helps! You may be able to get them cheaper than what I paid, but I went to a speciality store that spend hours fitting shoes. And they were experts on anything foot. OH, one more thing: I wore them with capris, skirts, casual and semi-casual wear, and they looked great with everything. Of course, most of the Italian women were wearing very high spiked heels with extremely long pointed toes. I do not know how they walked on those streets with them! :)
WI USA Wed 06/08/2005
Debi- re Finn Comfort Sandals
Which style Finn Comfort Sandals did you buy?
USA Wed 06/08/2005
I wore Dansko sandals all throughout my 10 day trip through Paris and Italy. They were extremely comfortable- I would highly recommend them!
Champaign, IL USA Wed 06/08/2005
Finn Comfort Walking Sandals.
Finn Comfort: I have a very high instep and Size D width. I tried on all the walking shoes that were recommended on this board, and the ONLY one that fit my foot properly were Finn Comfort sandals. I paid $190 which seemed like a LOT at the time, but it was well worth it. I just returned from a 2 week trip to Italy and that was ALL I wore, all day long. This included walking all day long on the cobblestone streets of Venice and Florence, AND even climbing in Cinque Terre. I only wore my New Balance once and the FINN Comforts were much more comfortable. Excellent support for my kind of foot. And I did not have to break them in. The rest in our group complained of aching backs, calves, knees and feet at the end of the day. Not me!
WI USA Wed 06/08/2005
Naot are great shoes. I have the sandals with a strap for the heel. I wore them for the last two weeks through Italy. I've had them for about 2 years now and they hold up well. If you are travelling in the Spring and haven't worn sandals since last Summer, you might want to break your feet in again though!
Springfield, MO USA Tue 06/07/2005
Fantastic sandals and shoes. Very comfortable footbed, made of cork like Birks, conform to your foot after wearing. Should be able to find on line...try Zappos.com or Shoedini.com
USA Tue 06/07/2005
I have a pair of Naot sandles that I ordered online and they are so comfortable. They do not have a backstrap, so on my trip to Turkey, I just wore them in the evenings and in my hotel room. I like them much better than Birkenstocks.
AR USA Mon 06/06/2005
Anyone heard of Naot shoes. I saw some today that looked pretty good, and were comfy too.,they didn't have my exact size , but I am thinking of looking around for them.
Anyone have them, any comments? I was looking at a pair called Marine
Canada Mon 06/06/2005
I just spent 4 weeks in Europe putting plenty of miles on my shoes. I wore Eccos with inner soles from a new pair of Nike Structure Triax running shoes. An expensive solution to be sure, but it worked for me. It was the most comfortable combination I have ever worn. For sandals I wore a pair of Mephisto walking sandals that I had worn in Europe on a previous trip and still had lots of miles in them.
Eureka, CA USA Mon 06/06/2005
I just returned from Italy and I took my Chacos and a pair of tennis shoes for hiking Mt Vesuvio. I loved the chacos. This is the 2nd trip to Italy that I took only these sandals. they do weight a little bit more, but the support I get and the underfoot comfort are totally worth it. I use the model that has a backstrap and the toe strap. I feel very secure in these. I've hiked all over the hilltop towns in Italy with these, and even been on the CT trail with them. My vote it "take em"! It sounds like you like them and they are comfortable. If they are on your feet, you don't have to carry them in your suitcase.
USA Mon 06/06/2005
Merrils and good running shoes. Perfect for walking, Merrils are light weight for packing that second pair, which I highly recommend for when you get sore feet, or it rains and you need a dry pair. They wear running shoes in Europe, so don't worry about it, just be comfortable and enjoy your trip.
Minneapolis, MN USA Mon 06/06/2005
Chacos: heavy and not enough support?
I wear Chacos on a regular basis, but I'm afraid that for walking in Europe they don't have enough ankle support and weigh too much. I'm not a big sandal person, so I'm not sure how they compare to other sandals.
Atlanta, GA USA Mon 06/06/2005
In defense of the Walking Co.
I've had good service from the Walking Company over the years. I once returned a pair of Dansko clogs that were rubbing against my high instep. They refunded my money fully, and I had worn them. It sounds like you dealt with an unprofessional person at that one store. Also, it's good to do some research about shoe brands before going to the walking co. They carry most of the brands mentioned on this board -- Ecco, Merrill, Keen, Teva, Dansko, Mephisto, etc. If you do your homework before you go, it's a good opportunity to try on some of the best brands of shoes specifically designed for walking.
LA, CA USA Sun 06/05/2005
Walking company - also dont' recommend
I'd recommend going to ANY independent shoe store in your town to shop for good walking shoes. the Walking company is a chain store...thus they get chain store employees. Most independent shoe stores will work with you, lots of the owners are now podorthist...they can fit shoes to you with their orthotics if you have foot issues. Most important thing that has already been said on this board....DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE WEEK BEFORE YOU LEAVE to buy your shoes! you should have these on your feet a month or more before your vacation, especially if you plan to only take one pair of shoes. See story below...the shoes failed on them! who is to predict this happening if you only have the shoes for a week or so before your trip. And walking in the office is lots different that walking on cobblestone streets, or in the hills of Tuscan towns! Plan ahead!
USA Sun 06/05/2005
Avoid Walking Company "Authentic Comfort" sandals
I have to put in a word against The Walking Company. I went in a couple of weeks before our vacation, and asked the salesperson (who happened to be the manager) to recommend a pair of comfortable sandals. I explained that we'd be doing a lot of walking and I wanted a pair that would hold up and keep my feet comfy. He recommended - and I purchased - the "Malibu" black sandals by Authentic Comfort.
Well, I wore the shoes to work for a couple of weeks to break them in, and they were indeed comfortable, but after one week of wearing the sandals on our trip, both of the heel straps had started to rip at the seams. Within a few more days, one strap had broken off entirely, and I had to go buy a new pair of shoes. And we weren't doing more than the usual amout of walking on a vacation in Europe; more than at home, but certainly not offroad or rock climbing!
When we got back, I brought the shoes back to the manager at The Walking Company. He said he'd never seen that happen before, and said it in a way that implied I'd done some sort of damaging walking with the shoes (if that's even conceivable). He conceded to give me store credit, but refused to provide a refund. And he wasn't particularly friendly - he just kept telling me that he'd lose money on the shoes and I was lucky he'd even agreed to exchange them. When I suggested he return them to the manufacturer so that they might improve the shoes' design, he just said no, he'd thrown them in the trash. No sympathy that I'd spent $95 on shoes that had broken after a few weeks of walking in them.
Incidentally, the pair I replaced mine with in Germany were Josef Seibel black sandals, and they've been great!
WA USA Sun 06/05/2005
best shoe store
I did something today that I should have done from the beginning: I went to The Walking Company in my local mall. I would highly recommend this store to anyone reading this, and, if possible, speak with the manager about the best shoe for your foot. I ended up with Ecco Mobiles (with a special insole he recommended for my foot--a Walking Company product), and also Ecco Cosmo II sandals. The sandals tend to run one to two sizes small, so it's best to try them on at a store, but the arch support can't be beat. Once again, every foot is different. Check out The Walking Company in your community.
CA USA Sat 06/04/2005
My new favorite sandals
Haven't seen any mention of my new favorite comfort shoe on here, so I'll toot their horn. I was determined to find a comfortable, yet cute sandal to take for two week of heavy city walking throughout Italy. I couldn't find anything that wasn't either painful or comfortable but downright ugly (sorry Keen-lovers). Merrel's neoprene sandals felt great, but made my feet sweat (and looked rather orthotic) and none of the other highy touted comfort sandals I've read about were all that comfortable. Two days before we were to leave I was beginning to panic. I was out shoe shopping...again, when I happened upon a cute little pair of Indigos by Clark (Verve-I) and they felt like they had been molded just for my feet, plus they looked pretty normal. With no break-in time left, I proceeded to walk all over Rome, Venice, Florence and several Tuscan hill towns in complete comfort. I found I could go from morning till night without my feet or legs getting tired and they never rubbed or pinched. I can't say enough good things about them.
Atlanta, GA USA Fri 06/03/2005
White tennis shoes rock!
I just got back from a month of traveling through Southeast Asia and saw plenty of Europeans wearing the infamous white tennis shoes. So I say wear 'em and wear 'em proud!
Rebel without a cause
USA Fri 06/03/2005
White Athletic Shoes All The Way!
i wanted to post a follow up on how my shoes worked for me. My post way below indicated i was taking my white athletic shoes (Mizunos) and my Danskos. The Mizunos won, hands down. The Danksos were good for our 10 days in Europe, but the Mizunos were by far the more comfortable of the two, in fact the most comfortable shoes ever for me. Plenty of cushion for the cobblestone and plenty of arch support. i wasn't concerned about looking "American". Paris and London are brimming w/Americans and i was too concerned about having fun on my trip than how my shoes made me look.
Philly, PA USA Thu 06/02/2005
Birkenstock will last you a lifetime. I even put Birko-Balance footbeds in my Clarks and Dr. Martins. Avoid "Birkis" and "Birko-Flor," leather is the answer, if you can wear it. These shoes can be brought back forever to the dealer for rebuilding. My first pair is 15 years old, and I haven't had any recurrence of foot problems since then. I think the thong styles are the most comfortable and stylish (classic).
USA Tue 05/31/2005
sBirkenstock will last you a lifetime. I even put Birko-Balance footbeds in my Clarks and Dr. Martins. Avoid "Birkis" and "Birko-Flor," leather is the answer, if you can wear it. These shoes can be brought back forever to the dealer for rebuilding. My first pair is 15 years old, and I haven't had any recurrence of foot problems since then. I think the thong styles are the most comfortable and stylish (classic).
USA Tue 05/31/2005
Born for me
I scoured the Earth for a comfortable, supportive, nice-looking (no water sandals for me!), and "rub-free" pair of sandals for a long trip in Europe this summer. I chose Born Ripple II in brown leather. They are wonderful!
Portland, OR USA Mon 05/30/2005
Only Tevas for me. I will be wearing the Teva Spoiler III and the Teva Citral during our 6-1/2 weeks through Europe. Been wearing both for approximately one year...never a blister or sore spot. Stable and at the same time cushy.
CA USA Sun 05/29/2005
Old backpacking tip. Take some Duct Tape with you. Use it on your heels before you get a blister, or when one is starting. YOu can wrap the tape around a water bottle to have handy when needed. Also great in case of a tear in fabric for a quick repair. Just a few inches will do, once around your water bottle. Then tear off what you need. It is a lot cheaper then moleskin, and stays on your heel a lot better.
USA Sat 05/28/2005
Tevas, Chacos etc.
I am a big guy, 6'3" and 220lbs. I spent 2001 walking all over Europe with new Teva Chase leather sandals (recently on sale at REI for $60). I also have a pair of Chacos that are also great but do not cushion quite as well as the Tevas. I walked all over in Mexico this last February and traded off between the Chacos and a $15 pair of very cushy Teva flip-flops. This Summer to London-Paris-Berlin-Prague its both the Teva Chase (new) and my cushy Teva flip-flops to trade off with which are a very lightweight extra to bring along. I'll wear socks with the chase pair in Paris to blend in.
Seattle, wa USA Sat 05/28/2005
USA Sat 05/28/2005
As a retired backpacker I can offer a solution for the blister problem. I learned in the mountains to carry moleskin or adhesive tape to apply to "hot spots" as soon as possible, covering the area before a blister can form. There are various products available--check the foot-care section in stores or camping gear stores.
USA Sat 05/28/2005
ecco , north face, mephisto
I found ecco atlantis listed here a few months ago. I agree with the former reviewer they are wonderful for my extremely high arch foot. I have hiked in them here in rocky dry arizona and wore them shopping. Great shoe. But other ecco styles I have tried, run small, so buy where you can return them free. My daughter loves her The North Face Fury Gore-Tex and she has a flatter arch. I tried Mephisto Screen but the toe box was too narrow, although the length perfect. I really like Zappos.com and buyshoes.com because I can wear the shoes for several hours at home to try them out. I have purchased many shoes that felt wonderful in the shoe store but painful after wearing then for one hour. What a waste of money. These two sites have free shipping and free return.
Sierra Vista, AZ USA Fri 05/27/2005
Walmart "Earth" Shoes
Ironically the most comfortable sandals I used was from WALMART! They are in an Earthy box... and the leather one I wore all over Europe for 10 days was so comforatble and NO BLISTERS! I've worn other so called comfy shoes only to get sore feet, blisters or both. It was a bargain for $14.99 and I "tested" it 2 weeks prior to my trip all over town. I'm going to buy another pair of those "Earth" shoes... they were in a brown and green box.
Anaheim, CA USA Fri 05/27/2005
I managed to try on both the Chaco Z1 and the Teva Leather sandal at an REI store. I decided the Teva is much more comfortable on my foot. The cushioning and support makes this an extremely comfortable sandal for miles of walking in Europe.
N. Hollywood, CA USA Fri 05/27/2005
I found that a Chaco wide size fit my wide foot just fine. They may run a little bit big, though. For instance, most of my shoes are size 7, though technically I'm a 6.5 wide. For the Chacos, I got a 6 Wide that was a perfect fit.
USA Thu 05/26/2005
Chaco's narrow? No
Susan - I need a pretty wide shoe at the ball of my foot and a narrower heel - Chaco's are great for that combination, and I didn't buy a wide size. One thing I noticed while breaking them in, is that the adjustable straps can slip out of place after I walked. The company said to wash them with Simple Green a few times and the slippery aspect of the straps would wear off. Go to chacousa.com for lots more info about the footbed. Good luck!
Seattle, WA USA Thu 05/26/2005
Fashion and comfort
I've found Mephisto to be a great shoe. I have a pair of leather boots by them, and I go everywhere. I love to wear black leather boots with pants, so these are perfect for me, and more comfortable than my sneakers. Unfortunately, Mephisto shoes are about $300 in the US. The good news is that they're about 100-150 euros in Paris.
USA Thu 05/26/2005
Thanks to all who talked about Zappos I found a pair of new balance ww746 and they were the best, and we walked almost non stop for 12 days from the moment the plane landed.
Miami, FL USA Wed 05/25/2005
Chaco vs. Teva
Danskos are great. I wear them to work and around town almost every day. However, I want a lighter weight shoe for my upcoming trip to France and Italy. I'm going to take kt's and Kathy's advice and try the Chaco. (Oh well, this keeps UPS in business.) I have a feeling I may like them better than the Teva sandals which are due to arrive today. I've had very good luck with Zappos. Shoebuy is another great online store if Zappos doesn't have your size. Someone said that Chaco runs narrow, even in their wide sizes. Is this true? A customer on Zappos said she had to go with a Men's wide to get the right fit.
North Hollywood, CA USA Tue 05/24/2005
Merrell + Chaco
I love my Merrells! After having foot surgery 2 years ago (for a Morton's neuroma), they are the only shoes I wear - even to work. My podiatrist recommended them. I have my sports shoe type, plus my moer hip "varsity sprint blast" in both summer and winter styles/colors, plus my slip-on sandals. I took sandals and sports shoes to Europe for six weeks last summer, and they worked great - extremely comfortable. I can't wear their moccasin style, so if you've been discouraged by their fit, don't hesitate to check out the lace-up models.
I am now trying Chaco sandals, which my friend loved on her trip to Europe. They seem much more supportive and comfortable than the Tevas I've tried on. A good source for both Merrell and Chaco is www.rockcreek.com - they often have them on sale, and their customer service and return policy are excellent.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 05/24/2005
Susan, Chacos are wonderful. They have great arch support. They're a little spendy but your feet and legs will be happy. Mine are headed to Italy in a few weeks. Look at REI, maybe zappos or shoebuy.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 05/23/2005
I ENDED UP GETTING PLANTERS FALITIA(SP?) TODAY AND WE ARE LEAVING FOR LONDON, PARIS AND AMSTERDAM IN 5 DAYS. WENT TO THE PODIATIS AND GOT HE RECOMMEND SOME SMART FEET INSERTS AND EURO WALKING SHOES. I WENT TO REI IN COLORADO AND PURCHASED A PAIR OF DANSKO CLOGS FOR $110 (SHOULD HAVE SHOPPED AROUND BUT I'M IN PAIN , IN A HURRY AND DESPARATE). IVE BEEN WEARING THEM FOR ABOUT 6 HOURS NOW AND THEY ARE GREAT! THE ARCH WORKS TO IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE AT THE SAME TIME.
Littleton, Co USA Mon 05/23/2005
I've read all of your comments and am so confused! I plan to go to Norstrom to try Merrells since several of you have mentioned them. I ordered a pair of Teva Pretty rugged leather sandals, which haven't arrived (I hope they are wonderful, I'm so tired of returning boxes of shoes via UPS). Last night, I discovered the American Podiatric Medical Assoc. web site where they list "accepted" brands. Merrell and Teva are not listed, but Chaco, Ecco, Dansko and Rockport are. Now I'm curious about Chaco sandals. I'm getting a headache!
North Hollywood, CA USA Mon 05/23/2005
I have had much difficulty finding good shoes for my problem feet. I have tried almost every shoe mentioned in this column and settled on ECCO ?1944? Oxford with Gore-Tex lining (Nordstrom,com). I also use Superfeet insoles (REI) which come in several different configurations. This seems to work well for all weather/walking conditions; good for light hiking as well as in-city dress code conditions. These shoes along with my Chaco sandals offer a near perfect combination.
WA USA Fri 05/20/2005
Michelle, I bought a pair of Merrell Barados about a month ago. I have been a fan of Merrill shoes for about 3 years. These are very comfortable, run true to size, but are much "closer" fitting than the Jungle Moc. I have worn them constantly since I got them. I also wear them without socks and they are still comfortable and cool feeling.
Fort Collins, CO USA Fri 05/20/2005
MERRELLS!!! I own 7 pairs of them, and am taking 3 to Italy this summer. I am a nurse and am on my feet 13 hours when I work - they are fabulous. Whenever my husband and I travel this is what I wear b/c with the sandles/flipflops, you don't have to wear socks like with tennis shoes, so your feet do not get hot nor do you get blisters. Also, they are fashionable! I have walked all over NYC and San Francisco all day in my Merrell sandles and come home with comfy feet.
GA USA Thu 05/19/2005
bring a pair of tennis shoes for strenuous walking, and the rest of the time, wear ballet flats! ballet flats are comfortable, cute, and transition easily from day to night. i have a pair of gold roxy ones that i absolutely love. be sensible and chic!
CA USA Wed 05/18/2005
Women's shoes online (cont.)
Just to follow up on my earlier post, I received a pair of Ecco Receptors today (UPS loves me!). The 41s (10/10.5) were fine for my size 9.5 feet. The Receptors look more like trail shoes than the Cosmo IIs, but are still more substantial (and, for my feet, far more comfortable) than Teva's leather sandals. Very comfie!
Ithaca, NY USA Tue 05/17/2005
My daughter and I will be leaving for 45 days in Europe next month. Almost a year ago, I bought both pair of Tevas that I will be wearing in Europe. One is one of their (Women) Original Sandals called a "Spoiler" the other is a Hiking and Running shoe called "Citral". I can wear these all day and my feet do not hurt. Only shoe, other than Aerosoles that never hurt my feet. Due to the fact that I'm packing light...I will not be taking a pair of dress-flat Aerosoles.
CA USA Tue 05/17/2005
I live in my Tevas. Look at their website. www.teva.com. They are very comfortable. I'm on my 3rd pair.
DFW, TX USA Tue 05/17/2005
Thoughts on walking shoes for wide feet
Thanks to Kim in NY for your comments about online shoe shopping. I just ordered the Ecco Cosmo II in size 40 (I'm an 8 1/2, normally), so I guess I'll have to send them back when they arrive. Zappos is an excellent place to online shoe shop, but I'm having a horrible time finding the right shoe/right size, so I keep sending them back. If you have a wide foot like me, consider Rockport Ellen in Wide or Xwide. I found that the Ecco Soft V was two narrow for my foot (some of Ecco sandals are made wide, some of their shoes are narrow). Danksos are great for arch support and the rocking motion they provide.
North Hollywood, CA USA Tue 05/17/2005
KEENS are great!
One word: KEENS KEENS KEENSI love my KEENS. I bought my first pair (sandals) last summer and took them to Denmark. Ended up wearing them every single day. Bought my second pair and took them to Italy this spring. Again I love them. Now my whole family wears them. Matching shoes! Too cute! They are rather expensive but worth it. Just keep your puppy away from them - mine destroyed two pair.
Atlanta, GA USA Tue 05/17/2005
women's shoes via mail order
For the women who do most or all of your shoe shopping on line, I thought I'd share my experiences so far with various brands of shoes, in the hope that the info will help you mail-order the right size the first time around. (Unlike me!) * Keen shoes tend to run a half-size small because of the toe guard. The Monterey (the new model that looks more like a classic fisherman sandal than like a river shoe) doesn't cinch down as tightly around the top of the foot as some of the other Keens, and felt sloppy on my somewhat narrow foot. The Taos and Boulder are built on narrower lasts than other models. * Ecco Cosmo II sandals run very small; I had to go to a 42 ("11-11.5") to fit my size 9.5 feet. * Merrell jungle mocs seem to run true to size. * Teva's new line of waterproof leather sandals run true to size and are cheaper than the Eccos, but I found the straps less comfortable than the old nylon straps of the classic Tevas. * As for mail order companies, zappos is more expensive than some but has a much better shipping policy, so if you think you might have to send back a size it's probably worth it; zappos doesn't seem to carry Merrell. Walkers Warehouse was cheaper and carries Merrell, but has slower order-processing; in my case, they also never sent an exchange shoe and didn't bother to tell me that they had credited my card instead ("personnel problem"). REI is a good bet for Merrell and Keen, but doens't carry Ecco.
Ithaca, NY USA Tue 05/17/2005
shoes for high arches and other problems
For problem feet try footsmart.com. They have shoes for everything!
munster, in USA Sun 05/15/2005
I am leaving on Monday for 2 weeks in Italy. I'm taking my Chaco sandals, and a pair of athletic shoes. That's it. My opinon is that that 3rd pair of shoes is not needed. One open toe, one closed toe shoe is plenty for travel. I'm wearing the athletic shoe on the plane because it takes up more space in my luggage. I'll end up wearing the Chacos everyday, and into the evening with a linen skirt for "dressy" stuff. Rethink taking the Merrells, I don't think you'll need them.
USA Sat 05/14/2005
Merrell Barrado - Any Comments?
Heading to Italy-Rome, Florence, Venice/Paris and Barcelona. I don't want to give up fashion completely so I'm taking black Z2 Chacos and broken in Diesels. I've just purchased the Merrell Barrado slip-on and I'm concerned if they'll be comfortable. I haven't been able to locate ANY reviews. Can someone offer their opinion? Thanks!
Gilbert, AZ USA Fri 05/13/2005
Women--shoes to consider
Here's my opinion for what it's worth. I think the shoe that will work best for you depends on the shape of your foot. I love Danskos, but for my upcoming trip to France and Italy, I may opt for Ecco black leather soft V lace ups (especially for day walks around Paris), Ecco dress sandals with a little heel for classy restaurants, and my brown Dansko Lolitas for casual day wear (they goes with skirts or pants--and you can walk miles in them). Okay, so I'm going over Rick's recommended shoe limit, but I have a fashion sense that makes this my personal limit. The problem with Danskos is they are HEAVY shoes to pack and lug around, whereas Eccos are very lightweight.
North Hollywood, CA USA Fri 05/13/2005
sandels for orthotics x-high arch
Three years of plantar faciitus. I have a verrrry high arch and with my new orthotics, I can't find a shoe to fit. If I take out the insole, there's not enough cushion. If the insole is left in I can't get them on or the heel sits too high in the heel pocket, and my heel slips up and down. In some of them, the ankel strap isn't long enough to reach across and fasten. I've been to three walking stores with no luck. Help! I leave in three wks for Europe . Thanks
Aurora, CO USA Fri 05/13/2005
To Elaine--I should have been more specific--I meant white running shoes (the trendy, clunky kind like Skechers and Nikes), not walking shoes. And you are right about girls in heels. I saw one extreme or the other--hiking boots and trendy sneakers, as you say, or those pointy-toe high heels. I think it's all just a matter of personal preference. I just wanted to agree with Chris that I did see white athletic shoes ( but not walking shoes). And I did in fact buy some dark gray athletic shoes in Switzerland for just the reason you said, that they are easier to maintain. Sorry for the confusion.
USA Fri 05/13/2005
Reason not to wear white shoes
Since moving to Germany I've realized why most do not wear white shoes...it is impractical! Because the increase of walking is substantially higher than in America most don't understand before they come over their shoes will get dirty and undergo much wear and tear. Tan and black shoes are easier to maintain. And although I am not ashamed of being an American, I try to blend in when traveling for my own safety. Why stand out and put yourself in the position for a situation? (especially with what is going on these days in the world)Ok, yes, i understand medical issues, but that is an understandable exception. I haven't seen anyone over the age of 25 wear white shoes (girls like white high heels and guys like trendy sneakers) none of this walking shoes business!
Frankfurt, Germany Fri 05/13/2005
Good Choice - Keen Shoes
I just bought some Keen Brand shoes I will have to say they are extremely comfortable - the Sandal style I'm even able to walk with out rubbing my narrow heel. They come in enough styles and colors everyone should find something they like. Very cushy and nice arch support.
USA Thu 05/12/2005
re: White Athletic Shoes
I agree, Chris! I too was in Germany and Austria, plus Switzerland, and I saw many white athletic shoes on locals. Behavior is much more important than anything you wear. Zappos is great--if you don't find it there, you probably won't find it anywhere else.
USA Wed 05/11/2005
White Athletic Shoes
I just returned from Germany and Austria and saw lots of white athletic shoes on men and women, and they were not tourists. I really don't think an American wearing white shoes will look out of place. Your behavior is what counts, not your shoes! I wore black Propet brand shoes and they are great for a woman's foot of 10.5 Wide. A great website is www.zappos.com. They have a large range of styles and sizes, and best of all free shipping and return policy.
San Jose, CA USA Wed 05/11/2005
I got a pair of Merrill moccasins that were terrific. While in Amsterdam I discovered I was standing in a puddle of water and my feet did not get wet. Also, they were extermely comfortable throughout our 21 day trek through five countries.
Salem, OR USA Tue 05/10/2005
Try ebay... they have quite a few on their website, variety of sizes and styles........................
USA Tue 05/10/2005
Lands' End All Weather Mocs
I have lived in Lands' End All Weather Mocs on a trip to Europe (in 2003) and a trip to China. They are awesome. Unfortunately, the current style has been discontinued (you may be able to find small sizes on their website clearance area) in preparation for a revamped fall release.
CA USA Tue 05/10/2005
CHACOS !! Cool and Comfortable for Summer Travel
For summer travel in Europe, there is nothing like the cool footbed, wonderful support and great outsole of a Chaco sandal! The arch support is fantastic, the uppers are very nice, look great with a skirt or capri pants. Get black for the most use. Newer styles have leather straps, so even dressier. No break in needed, buy and wear them!
USA Tue 05/10/2005
If you have a high arch and wide feet as I do, you can't go wrong with Dansko clogs! They saved me over long cobblestoned walks in Italy. You can get them for at least 25% off retail on E-Bay and many sellers will give you a money back guarantee to assure your fit.
Lower Gwynedd, PA USA Sun 05/08/2005
Best Shoes For Hard To Fit Feet
I have horrible feet-flat & 10.5AAAA-enough said. Munro American shoes are the BEST I've ever tried for comfort and support. The pair I bought 2 years ago helped me spend 5 or more hours a day walking in Europe without pain. I still wear the same pair nearly half the time for work. They still look new. Most styles aren't stylish, but are waterproof and wonderfully comfortable. Nordstroms is the best source.
Lakewood, CO USA Sat 05/07/2005
Elizabeth, I've tried everything I could think of to find a website that has SAS, but it looks like the company won't allow their shoes to be sold over the internet....some companies are like that. I even tried Nordstrom.com, and it wasn't listed there. Looks like you will have to find a local SAS store to shop. Sounds like you don't have one in your town. Have you tried the independent shoe stores where you live? Perhaps they can order what you want? Good Luck!
USA Sat 05/07/2005
Where can I buy SAS (San Antonio shoes) online? Thanks. Liz M.
Grinnell, IA USA Thu 05/05/2005
Best Walking Shoes
We traveled for a month in Europe 2 years ago. I wore Merrels for a lace up and Clarks slip-ins. I have achilles tendinitis. They worked great!We're planning our next trip and will do the same!
OR USA Thu 05/05/2005
Unfortunately Land's End don't come in narrow widths. I have eyed those Mocks in the catalog but I know they wouldnt fit right.
MO USA Wed 05/04/2005
Lands' End= great quality and value
FYI... just returned from 10 days in Paris and the Perigord in France and wore just one pair of shoes. They were the $30 All Weather Mocs from Lands' End. They worked great and were so comfy. We walked for several hours every day and my feet never once ached. (My calves are another story!) I even dressed them up with some black hose and a black skirt and went to a church service while we were there. So... don't think you have to spend a ton of money on a quality shoe.(Or that you even need to buy new shoes at all... These have been in my closet for months!)
Fort Worth, TX USA Wed 05/04/2005
Wearing *gasp* white sneakers
I'm going to London and Paris in less than 2 weeks and going to *gasp* wear white sneakers! (Mizuno) to be exact. I have plantar fascitis in both feet AND heel spurs in both too. These are hands down the most comfortable shoes I've put on my feet! Luckily, i am not a loud, annoying American so I'm not too concerned about "sticking out" plus i've been to Europe before so i know how to behave :-) i also will have my black Dansko shoes to switch on and off with. Sometimes comfort has to be more important and wearing wrong shoes just so i can look better is a huge mistake waiting to happen!
Philadelphia, PA USA Tue 05/03/2005
Ladies REDWING wasn't mentioned at the time I was reading about this subject, so I thought I'd suggest looking into this brand. I have nothing to comparte my Ladies Redwings to, except to say I have never wished there was anything different about these...except I wish I also had a bback pair, too.
Detroit Lakes, MN USA Tue 05/03/2005
North Face Rocks!
The absolute best walking/hiking shoes in the WORLD are the North Face Fury Gore-Tex XCR Hiking Shoe. I wore this shoe on a 5 day, 105 mile thru hike and did not have one blister, pain, or ache. Paired with a pair of Smartwool socks, they rock! (The Smartwool socks are a neccessity!) Plus, they look like sneakers, not heavy boots or walking shoes, so you can get away with wearing them with jeans. I love them and will NEVER buy another make or model of hiking/walking shoe.
New Bruns, nj USA Mon 05/02/2005
Best Walkig Shoes
Just completed my second trip to Europe with Ecco's and still love them. They are light and comfortable for those long days of walking. Have lace ups, slip ons, and now the Mary Janes for dress-up.
Belleair, FL USA Mon 05/02/2005
Best Walking Shoes
The best shoes for both men and women are Eccos. I take a pair of black leather walking shoes and a pair of sandals and that's it for a week or a month. My husband does the same. That's all we've ever needed-we've hiked trails and walked city streets in these with no problems.
Aurora, CO USA Sat 04/30/2005
Best walking shoes
The best walking shoes are those that let your feet breath yet are snug. A great selection of shoes can be found at http://www.SHOEChalet.com
Montreal, QC CANADA Thu 04/28/2005
Hi to all those 25 and younger who are wondering what shoes to take to Europe. I'm 22 and have walked in a bunch of different countries and I found that almost any shoe works. Discard this advice if you have foot problems, but I've gone in Pumas, Adidas, flip flops, 3 inch heels, and pointy boots (in paris...of course). The trick is to bring bandaids and pain reducing neosporin. Also, if you plan on bringing a pair of heels, they make these gel cushioning pad for the ball of your foot (at any drugstore). Those work pretty well. A good thing to think about is combining types of shoes (sandal with a little heel, etc.) Please remember: you can buy all the comfortable shoes you want, but if you ultimately don't like how they look on you, you're going to feel really awkward.
CA USA Wed 04/27/2005
Dying shoes reminds me of a friend who bought discounted clogs in a funky green color. She pulled out a magic marker and colored them brown! A year later and they still looked great, with only one touchup.
NYC, USA Tue 04/26/2005
Julie H- Ecco Mobiles
Julie, if you are interested Zappos.com has Ecco Mobiles in black leather and beige nubuck as well as white.
USA Tue 04/26/2005
Uggs and beyond
Uggs for some people can be uncomfortable, but others they are very comfy. I recently travelled across the country wearing nothing but my uggs. Yes we were in the car a lot, probably just as much as on a train in europe. We did a lot of hiking and walking and my friend & i were both fine(she was wearing them too)also, we bought shoes when we were in Paris a couple years ago, and we love them we used them everyday while we were in Paris, while we weren't wearing our heels...i choose a fashion and comfort mixture in a shoe...the point is wear whatever makes you comfortable, and if you like wearing your uggs wear them, just because people don't wear them in europe makes no difference, maybe they'll start!!!you can fit into the culture in many other ways.
CA USA Mon 04/25/2005
Dye your white leather shoes
Hey, if you're really hung up on loving the fit of your white leather sneakers but hating to look AMERICAN!!! there is a simple solution: dye your shoes. Cobblers can do it or buy a bottle of leather dye and DIY.
Arcadia, FL USA Mon 04/25/2005
Dankso's for Less
A good place to get Dansko's for less is Sierra Trading Post. Their merchandise is seconds & discontinued lines, but the prices can't be beat. I've purchased 2 pairs of Dansko's from them for about $50 each. I love them. http://www.sierratradingpost.com/
Tacoma, WA USA Mon 04/25/2005
Best Walking Shoes
My husband and I are about to take our first trip to England. I've read on a number of the Graffiti Wall posts that wearing white tennis/walking shoes brands one as being, heaven forbit, an AMERICAN! I'd like to know what's wrong with that? Besides, I've had foot surgery on both feet a few years back and my WHITE Ecco Mobiles (they don't come in any other color anyway) fit comfortably, support my feet and are much lighter weight than many other brands.
Jacksonville, FL USA Sun 04/24/2005
I loved the leather Ecco sneakers that I bought for Italy. They have great arch support, comfy soles, and cushy padding around the heel. They look similar to the sneakers being worn by the Italian youth, except they are all black. They also had no laces to come undone. They didn't leak once in torrential rain. They also have a removable/replaceable insole.
Ecco Ladies 30763
I heard some people asking about their Addidas. I have a pair that I love. However, for long walking they are not very good. They don't have great arch support. The inside is a terry cloth material, which can make your feet hot and sweaty. Not a good idea if you have any foot problems (athletes foot).
Austin, TX USA Sat 04/23/2005
Suggestions for Clarks
My husband and I will be traveling to Europe for a month this September. I need some suggestions for good walking shoes. I have recently tried on some styles from Clarks and liked them. I have not yet bought any; I wanted to get some feedback from anyone who wore Clarks as to what styles worked well. Any suggestions?
Santa Rosa, CA USA Sat 04/23/2005
Cheap Dansko Site
Due to all the rave reviews posted here, I just bought a pair of cute Danskos online. I got Lillians in black so that I could wear them day into evening. They are the most stylish ones I could find while still being practical. I shopped around and couldn't find anything cheap, so I went to Google and typed in dansko+lillian and got a couple of links at the top of the page with discount codes. I ended up buying them at www.clogscentral.com (even though they're sandals) with a 15% discount, no sales tax and free shipping. They ended up costing $89. From what I could tell, they had the entire Dansko line for sale. I think the discount code was "spring15" but they may change it...if you google the brand, it should pop right up.
Oak Park, IL USA Fri 04/22/2005
18 year old in OR
Ok I completely understand you dilemma. I am a shoe freak and finding stylish shoes that are not going kill your feet is hard.
I would check out Camper. They are a little pricey but I took a pair to Italy a few years ago and they worked out great! They come in lots of colors and styles some better then others for lots of walking. I still have them and they are going to England next month with me.
Columbus, OH USA Wed 04/20/2005
I've tried them all, and I keep coming back to Danskos (except when I can find a pair of Mephistoes for under $80, nearly impossible). The "Golden Gate" line of Danskos, including the Lita sandal recommended below, is stylish, comfortable, and very walkable. They are not clogs---the sole is a bit wider, for easier walking on cobblestones. The uppers come in many styles, but the soles are all the same, so once you know your size, you can order them online. If Sierra Trading Post doesn't have what you want, try www.danskooutlet.com; they have seconds and closeouts for $69 or so.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 04/15/2005
Dansko all the way - pricey, but a solid investment in comfort, style, and versatility. They're Danish, so you need not worry about fitting in, the shoes are already European :) !
Troy, MI USA Fri 04/15/2005
I took my UGGS with me to Italy and France and they really worked great. I have the Ultras that have arch support, but the previous poster is correct; the classic ones have no arch support whatsoever and could really kill your feet after just an hour of walking. You could also consider getting an insert to put inside. I loved mine on the plane to and fro, and since we were there mid-January, they made the difference for my feet never getting cold. Frankly, I did see some Italian men wearing UGGS, but no women in either Italy or France. But hopefully, your UGGS are black and not the tan color. They would certainly stick out like a sore thumb. But go for it on the plane. They were also great to slip on first thing in the am to go out and get pastries and watch the sun come up in Paris, Florence and Rome!
Plano, TX USA Thu 04/14/2005
Dansko and Merrell
Dansko Lita Sandals are fantastic...they're stylish (1" heel) and comfortable, perfect for walking around museums all day and strolling by fountains at night. I got them on sierratradingpost.com for $55. My other favorite, more casual, shoes are Merrell Jungle Mocs. Like walking on a cloud. A cloud with arch support. Both of these shoes help greatly with my hallux limitus as well as lower back pain. I sound so old...am only 31. Just goes to show you're never too young to get out of those pinching high heels and into ergonomic shoes that won't cause problems later on!
Chicago, IL USA Thu 04/14/2005
UGGS in France
The only issue would be actually using the Uggs to walk any distance as there is absolutely NO arch support. They are house slippers! Great for the plane, and for the hotel, but I'm not sure they would be great on the street for touring. Not that the French would think you were strange - it's more about your comfort. Of couse if the French women can walk in high heels all day....!! Final answer - do what makes you comfortable. They will be bulky to pack- but if you are wearing them on the plane, you don't have to pack them!
USA Wed 04/13/2005
Uggs in France
How silly will I look wearing Ugg Boots throughout France and four days in Paris in November 2005? Has anyone ever taken them on a trip to Europe? Do French people actually wear them? I would like to wear them on the plane because they are easy on and off, but don't want to look like a fool!
Norfolk, VA USA Wed 04/13/2005
18 year old in OR
Any shoes you now wear and are comfortable are fine. Why stress? Who cares? you are the one wearing them. Just make sure they are broken in. Why take advise from a bunch of old fuddy-duddies that don't know what 18 year old kids wear on their feet? Any brand that looks cool to you, and you can walk in for days on end should be fine.
USA Mon 04/11/2005
To the 18-year-old in OR: Adidas should be fine, stylewise, but you might want to spend a day playing tourist in your hometown and walk all day in them to see if they're supportive enough. If not, just take out the insole, replace them with a pair of Superfeet insoles, see if that doesn't work better. Also, if you want to consider a new pair of shoes, Keen brand is pretty cool, especially the Keen Bronx. Check it out at www.zappos.com.
USA Sun 04/10/2005
Hello. I am an 18-year-old who will be traveling to Europe this summer for one month. I plan on doing a LOT of walking. I want a pari of shoes that will not only keep me comfortable, but also look somewhat cool. Can anyone help me out? I don't mean to be rude, but most of the shoes mentioned on here are just ugly, giant hiking boots. how do adidas fare? Thanks.
OR USA Sun 04/10/2005
I have Finn Comfort sandals that are backless and they are very comfortable but for a lot of walking on trips I use my Ecco Raptors. They are awsome. I hear they have been discontinued which makes me really sad.
Valrico, fl USA Sat 04/09/2005
Last night I found my Europe shoes at Sole Outdoors. They are Columbia Pile Trooper mocs in a light brown color. Got 'em for $39 bucks. They feel great and now I have two months to break 'em in. http://tinyurl.com/3r7o2
Chicago, USA Sat 04/09/2005
What about Finn Comfort? I have really high arches and am concerned about foot pain while on our upcoming trip to Italy. I went to the local European shoe store here in Austin and was shown Finn Vaaasa's as a good option for me. They can build up the arch support especially for my feet. I'm wondering what experience others have with these shoes. Thanks!
Austin, TX USA Tue 04/05/2005
Support for Euro Style Sneakers
Many of the Euro Style sneakers look great but provide feet with very little support. However, using an insert such as "Super Feet" (they are almost orthodic-like) can help a lot. Clearly it is not a perfect solution, but for me it wards off a lot of sore feet/ankle/knee problems. Where I live Super Feet can be bought at any athletic store.
Vancouver, BC V7H 1X4 Tue 04/05/2005
comfy sandal-Easy Spirit
Just back from 2 wks in Europe and used my new but broken in easy spirit sandal w/ back. Looks and feels just like a Merrell sandals and 50% less in cost. I do not have box for the name.With or without socks it was a success no blisters.
Ca USA Sat 04/02/2005
Arcopedico and Cole Haan
Costa Mesa, ca USA Wed 03/30/2005
I just returned from Italy where a lot of walking on cobble stone type surfaces occured. I was very comfortable in a pair of Aerosoles which have a deep rubber sole. The toes were wide enough to not cramp or rub my my feet. Since I have a high arch, I bought a pair a half size larger and placed Dr Scholl's inserts in them. They could not have worked better for me. I agree that a second pair of shoes is beneficial just to rub different portions of your feet. I like closed toed shoes so as not to suffer from a stubbed toe or dirty/gritty feet while in the rain.
USA Sun 03/27/2005
Jeff, as long as the shoes fit you well, and you have them worn them to break them in before your trip, you should be fine. I'd recommend taking a 2nd pair of shoes. it's nice to give your feet a break - either a pair of nice sandals, or a different pair of shoes will help your feet feel better on your trip. Dunham is a well known brand, and should offer good support.
USA Sun 03/27/2005
I saw Crocs in Sportmart--About $20. They are lightweight plastic-like material and come in a variety of colors. I can think of at least three reasons to take sandals as well as a regular walking shoe. l)to look dressier for "going out" 2)to rest the feet after walking miles on pavement 3)to give shoes a chance to dry-out after getting damp from sweat. I routinely carry an extra pair of inserts for my walking shoes: orthotics and Superfeet are interchanged when I think of it. Sandals are handy for those trips to the bathroom at night, too. And they feel cool when worn sockless--a relief in hot weather. A man wearing fishermen's sandals looks "more European." Etc...
USA Fri 03/25/2005
Crocs are so very comfortable. You can buy them online. They are extremely light weight and are very good on my feet. I have a big bunion and they don't hurt me. I wore them all over New York. You can get the Highland model which is more closed or the beach model which has more ventilation
Atlanta, GA USA Thu 03/24/2005
You CAN go with just one pair of shoes
Actually, my husband spent four weeks in Germany with only one pair of shoes, which were (naturally) the ones he wore on the plane. We went during the fall, and we walked a great deal, including some hiking. His shoes are black Ecco oxfords with a waterproof membrane and lug soles. They looked fine for all activities and they're very comfortable. I think this feat of the feet is easier for men, though I haven't yet given up hope of finding a pair of sturdy, waterproof walking shoes that I can wear for all activities, from hiking in the Taunus to attending church. Till then, I wear shoes similar to the ones he has, and carry a very lightweight pair of flats, Ecco Eternelles (now, alas, discontinued).
Santa Rosa, CA USA Wed 03/23/2005
walking shoes - sandals vs shoes
NO ONE in their right mind would go to Europe with only one pair of shoes. A closed toe and a sandal are a fantastic combination for a variety of hiking/walking anywhere in the world.
The discussions on this board attest to that. Women are grand shoppers. They ask questions and try shoes on, break them in, and are prepared for any development. I believe you came in late to the discussion about sandals and jumped to conclusions. The discussion has been about which sandal would be best for walking in Europe - in addition to other footwear that should be in the carryon (suitcase). The most mentioned brands are Merrell, Keen, Chaco, Mephisto, Dansko...then Rockport and others. All these companies make very good footwear. The comfort depends on the wearer. If they have problem with their feet, then one company may be better than another. If the person has true medical issues with their feet, they've already been to the doctor and have orthotics to deal with too. First time travelers are asking what kind of footwear to wear.. and the best answer is - the shoe that feels the most comfortable to you, that you can spend an entire day walking comfortably in and looks fine with a variety of clothing situations.
USA Mon 03/21/2005
My other Shoes are Sandals
Bring sandals for occasional, change-of-pace wear. Some sandals look nice enough to dress up your outfit a little. Some have some sort of arch support; try a few before buying. The Mephistos have good arch support.
USA Sat 03/19/2005
Go for Keen or Chaco. Read the comments below on this wall and you will see these are the two most talked about, and comfortable sandals for walking. Check out REI or your local shoe store. Both offer fantastic footbeds with heel support and arch support. There are several models of Keen that work as sandals, but give your foot more coverage. Chaco has come out with new leather sandals, as well as their webbed ones. Definately go for a style with a heel strap - you don't want to loose a shoe running for a train, or hiking up a hill!
Centennial, CO USA Sat 03/19/2005
I've been very pleased with my Mephisto sandals. They have "shock absorbing system--anatomic footbed." I don't know the name for the model, but the number inside is 2 15114 053 (size 39). It has open toes, a wide strap around the front, and a strap around the heel. I can walk several miles in them--and they look good, too. Good luck.
USA Fri 03/18/2005
Chaco's and Keen's
My first choice now would be Chaco Z2 sandals and the Keen Bronx shoe. The Bronx shoe comes in different dark colors and has a rubber toe for protection. It looks like a sneaker and is made of leather. Even the footbed has a leather covering that keeps the perspiration at bay so your feet don't feel slimey when not wearing socks like I do when traveling. A great shoe to wear around Europe.
USA Thu 03/17/2005
Birks & Danskos - redux
Others may like them, but for me, Birks are only OK. They've never been my favorites - not enough thickness in the sole to shield my feet from the cobblestones, and don't allow for enough rocking motion when I walk. Plus, I'm not too sold on their looks. I have a pair of Naot sandals whose footbeds are sort of like the Birks but are more comfy and stylish for me. I also like Dansko sandals for city walking. They don't get loose in the ankles if you buy the kind with back straps. I like the ones in their Golden Gate collection (which have a lower and more stable base than their clog base), and wore the Lolita model around quite a bit during a trip to Italy and France. I don't think those are heavy.
If you're going to do some hiking in addition to city walking, though, I'd suggest looking at Chaco's (especially the Terrano outsole), which have Vibram lug soles, great arch support and look pretty good. As for New Balance, I took a pair of very supportive ones to Europe and they were my main walking shoe - worked really well. But the best thing for you to do would be to go to a shoe store and try some on and see what works for you.
USA Wed 03/16/2005
Birks & Danskos
I have a pair of Birks (the kind with the two straps across the foot). They are very comfortable, but do take some getting used to. So be sure to break them in before you go.I love my Danskos but would not recommend them for travel - the only reason is that they are a fairly heavy shoe. Walking around in them all day your feet may get more tired than if you were wearing more light weight shoes. Also - they'd be heavy in your back pack.
Portland, OR USA Wed 03/16/2005
I prefer open toe sandals for travel to Europe, but decided to go for a closed toe shoe for our trip to Ireland last year. I was very happy with the Merrell Primo Breeze Slide - it looks like the popular clog style shoe but is VERY lightweight. It also has a slightly higher back than some clog slides so it fit pretty snugly on my heel. It was surprisingly comfortable for travel on city streets and even on trails (except for true hiking trails up & down mountains).
Atlanta, GA USA Wed 03/16/2005
Pumas are great looking they just have no support and are not the most comfortable for walking around in all day. If you want stylish and comfort check out Merrells Sestra shoe. I am ordering it for my trip to France, Germany, Switzerland this summer. I found mine at Nordstrom.com.
TX USA Mon 03/14/2005
Sneakers are cool
I'm not sure about the older ones, but younger Europeans (under 35) are wearing sneakers like crazy this season. If you want to blend in, wear Campers, Puma or vintage Asics. Try to find shoes that are light-weight, not bulky and not white.
Chicago, IL USA Sun 03/13/2005
I see a LOT of Europeans in the US wearing Puma footwear....and I saw a lot last trip to Italy in 2004. I'd say you will be fine with these....just make sure they are comfortable for being on your feet all day as a tourist....some of these "tennis"/"gym" shoes don't offer any arch support - it's all for looks. I'd say you will fit in wearing this European brand in Paris. - Just skip the sweatsuit! : > )
USA Sun 03/13/2005
I bought some Joseph Seibel walking boots for a trip to very cold Austria and Germany over Christmas. I have never spent so much money on a pair of footwear ($165) but they were worth every penny. Very comfortable, warm and light. Every time I go to Europe I take two pairs of shoes and only end up wearing one, my Joseph boots were it!
Kelso, WA USA Thu 03/10/2005
I accidentally hit the button before adding my comments... My Merrells (Jungle Oxford) are the most comfortable and light shoes for walking. I bought them 4 years ago at REI and thought they were a little pricey. Actually, they're worth every penny. I'm about to take them on my 3rd European trip! I frequently wear them when I'm not travelling. They've lasted for a long time and are still as comfortable. Highly recommend these!
CA USA Sat 03/05/2005
Best walking show is presto
The best traveling shows are the Nike Presto running shows. Although, they are not durable and probably will only last a few months in extreme use, I brought them to Hawaii for 3 weeks a did several hikes. They are very lightweight and extremely extremely comfortable. Consider bringing them alone or as a compliment to a more sturdy show. Feel like walking on sponges, can walk forever.
Seattle, WA USA Fri 03/04/2005
I just got a pair of Sofft "Viola" clog/mules which conform well to the soles of my feet and don't slip around even going uphill. They would be completely appropriate for any kind of city wear from pants to dresses. I haven't travelled in them yet but have stood for five hours straight, dishing up food in a soup kitchen in them and that's a pretty good length of time for me. I have a wide forefoot, high arches and neuroma's in both feet. We're on our way to Rome in two weeks and I think they will be wonderful for that trip. I'm taking boots, too, though because it has been raining and is quite cold there just now.
Spokane Washington USA, WA USA Wed 03/02/2005
Ladies- I'm a very young 32 and want to be fashionable when I go to Italy. Today I went and tried on some amazing cute sandals. Amazing because when I put them on, I didn't want to take them off. My feet were in heaven! These are cute too. Dansko Arabella. Check it out online first.
San Diego, CA USA Mon 02/28/2005
Yeah, Blundstone boots are truly THE most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. In fact, I own two pairs! I've worn them around Europe 3x, and continue to wear them even while cooking in the kitchen where they really show.
USA Mon 02/28/2005
Comfy and classic
In addition to Dansko, which I love,I also have several pairs of Ecco walking shoes that offer fabulous comfort and are stylish. I'm able to switch from jeans to black evening slacks with the same pair of Ecco shoes without feeling style consicous.
Los Angeles, CA USA Sat 02/26/2005
Check out Dansko. a bit pricey, but great comfort, no break in period, and you can find them dressy enough for night time. There are several styles to choose from. check on ebay for great prices, or find in your local shoe/department stores.
USA Wed 02/23/2005
Merrells & Birkenstocks
Wow, this post is right up my alley. I'm 30 years old with the unfortunate problem of having a pinched nerve in my left foot - comfortable walking shoes are a *must* for me. After ruining my foot wearing the wrong shoes, I learned that I needed non-flexible soles on my shoes.
Last Spring when we went to Holland, Belgium, Germany & Austria, I brought two pairs of shoes: a pair of Merrell's (Jungle Primo style) and a pair of Birkenstocks (not the most attractive but can't be beat for comfort in their arch support). I wore the Merrells when it rained, or when we hiked in the mountains, and the Birks during "street" days.
Believe me when I saw I have terrible feet, but with those two pairs of shoes I was able to make it through 10+hours of walking per day!
Prior Lake, MN USA Tue 02/22/2005
Black Clark's flats for women :)
I just bought a pair of Clarks, after obeying everyone's recommendations and I am SOOO happy! They are black "dressier" flats, with a criss cross design on the top, and can be worn with a skirt or dressier pants, and are small and flat so I can easily pack them in my bag! I am so happy I bought these... I have been wearing them around here and I feel like I'm not even wearing shoes! They are the Poe style, and they have not given me any blisters or tired feet at all. I'm 20 years old so I definitely want something to wear that is age appropriate, but these are totally appropriate for any age! Can't wait for my trip :)
Hillsboro, OR USA Mon 02/21/2005
On a recent trip to Paris, I wore brand new Danskos (Jocelyn model). My husband thought I was craaazy to wear new shoes, but, my feet were happy!One an earlier trip to England, I wore Hush Puppies which were comfortable, but, very slippery on wet, stone sidewalks.
Portland, OR USA Sun 02/20/2005
I love the Diesel brand athletic looking shoe. It is very light, flexible, and fashionable too. I usually replace the insoles for a more cushy fit. No break-in period is necessary. They feel like a comfy pair of slippers with support.
Fountain Valley, CA USA Thu 02/17/2005
After reading evrey "post" I could find, I ordered a pair of Hotter's and a dressy pair of Clarke's. Wowie! The Hotter's are the most comfortable shoes I've ever tried right out of the box. They are a Mary Jane style, so I will be able to wear them with a dress, too.
Frankfort, KY USA Tue 02/15/2005
Best Walking shoes
I have had the best luck with Mephisto's - the sandel style where you have a loop for your big toe. Also Clark's. There is a website www.footsmart.com where you can get many of the brands others have mentioned and in wider than M widths as well as specialty socks. I have arthritis but take a two week "walking tour" every year in Europe and properly fitting shoes make all the difference!
Richmond, VA USA Mon 02/14/2005
When I travelled to Italy last year, my B?rn mules were wonderful! I prefer backless shoes as I have a spur on the back of one heel and the rubbing of shoes with backs of backstraps is painful. One does have to be cautious when wearing backless shoes as hills are a bit difficult and rocks do sometimes get into your shoe, but for overall comfort and support, the B?rn's were by far more comfy! My Nike's were just a space hog and did not withstand the foot pounding test.
Norman, OK USA Sat 02/12/2005
Last summer I wore a pair or Ecco Cosmo II sandals to Europe. I also had a pair of black walking shoes, but wore the sandals most of the time. They were very comfortable and a lot cooler than the walking shoes.
Elliot Lake, ON Canada Tue 02/08/2005
Best Walking Shoes
I have tried Birkenstocks, Ecco, and Mephisto - all based on favorable opinions on this board. My favorite is the Birkenstocks - even the dressy ones that I use for work are very comfortable.
Chicago, IL USA Mon 02/07/2005
Shoes for 20 year olds
Megan, I work on a University campus and I see the twenty-something girls and guys wearing the Merrell Jungle Mocs all the time. These are also my favorite. They go with everything and I like them better than tennis shoes. I have worn mine to three Europe trips and usually wear them to work 2 - 3 times a week and have never been dissapointed.
Dallas, tx USA Mon 02/07/2005
Best Walking Shoes
Lands-end all weather mocs. Toured France for two weeks in late October, walked everywhere. I took both my Ecco lace ups and my lands end all weather mocs. I was disappointed with the eccos. The soles did not seem to stand up to the cobblestone walks and my feet would hurt after a long day with no support. The lands end mocs were a life saver. Comfortable, dry and sturdy with thick tread sole. Well priced for the comfort.
Detroit, MI USA Mon 02/07/2005
Ecco Soft - this walker's dream
Spent just over 4 weeks in Great Britain and France last Sept/Oct - in one pair of shoes! Ecco Soft, about $100, that I'd had for at least a year before this trip. They are light, have held up very well as work shoes (cashier in a bookstore - on concrete floors), and for walking they have been sublime. Work equally well as day or evening dress shoes.
As a former plantar fasciatis patient, I'm VERY fussy about what I put my feet into; there is no way I want to go through that again... I had orthotics for both feet, and they fit perfectly into the Eccos. Walked all over London and Paris, travelled by train everywhere, toured Leeds castle and various museums, caught a West End show, did genealogy research (cemetery hunts)on the Isle of Wight ... you name it, I did it.
Aside from one issue with socks that were too thin, I had no troubles with my feet. When I go back this August, I'll be wearing some comfy Smart Wool socks, with the same pair of Eccos!
Getting the right socks is JUST as important as finding the right socks. Whatever you propose to wear, be sure you've spent time in both the shoes and socks so that you KNOW they are going to be comfortable and not cause blisters. The time invested in doing this will pay off handsomely.
Wichita, KS USA Sun 02/06/2005
1803 & Seibel Shoes
I present seminars as part of my job - it makes for LONG days (10+hours) on my feet. I wear either 1803 or Joseph Seibel shoes, and highly recommend both brands. Comfortable, lightweight.
Canterbury, NH USA Thu 02/03/2005
Best Walking Shoes
I have worn Merrell walking shoes on all of my trips to Europe (3 so far!). They do not look like sneakers but feel just as comfortable. They have traction and are made from many different materials so you could get leather, canvas or water proof suede.
Boston, MA USA Sun 01/30/2005
SAS walking shoes
I love my SAS Free Time walking shoes. Very lightweight and comfortable and fit my orhtotic. Just spent 3 weeks walking around Europe with no problems. I would highly recommend them.
Katy, TX USA Sun 01/30/2005
K-Mart Suede Step-In
Believe it or not K-Mart Water Resistant Suede Step-Ins are the most comfortable walking shoe I have ever worn - and I have bunions! They sell for $14.95 and I got a pair for myself, each of my 2 daughters, and even a pair for my 10-year-old son when K-Mart had their 'Buy One Get One at Half Price' sale. We spent 2 1/2 weeks in December doing A LOT of walking throughout the UK and Dublin and no one had blisters or even tired feet. My husband bought a pair of Dockers walking shoes at Kohl's and he said they were great, too. Great Tip: if you do get blisters Duct Tape works GREAT! My daughter spilled hot tea on her bare foot so we used Vaseline, a small pad and Duct tape and she was able to walk all day without any trouble. And believe me, she has a very low threshold for pain. My husband also used Duct tape on his foot after he stubbed his toe, and again, no problems whatsoever.
Hudson, OH USA Mon 01/24/2005
I just spent 2 weeks in Spain and wore my HiTec Altitude waterproof hiking boots (great bargain) for the entire trip. I wore them in case it rained, which it did not, instead of my trusty New Balance walking shoes. My concern was how my gimpy left knee would hold up. Well, with the addition of new New Balance "Lunaris Ultra Pillow" inserts (only $10), plus my reliable Smart Wool hiker socks, my knee gave me no problems as I hiked to my heart's content, up and down stairs and elevations. My knee actually feels better now than before I left so maybe my New Balance walkers are not so trusty. I've been wearing my HiTecs since and all is well with my knee.
Madison, WI USA Sat 01/22/2005
Wolkys + SmartWool socks
I have a pair of well-broken-in Wolky maryjanes that worked like a dream through three weeks in northern Europe, with SmartWool socks. I was able to forget about my feet (I've had foot problems for years) and enjoy my trip.
Bobbi Dykema Katsanis
Seattle, WA USA Fri 01/21/2005
Lowas and Mephistos
I have found the nirvana that is Mephisto, high prices and all. However, our local running shop recommended I buy Lowa from Germany to help me on cobblestones and for long days on that stone tile that's everywhere in museums, etc. since I have had fascitis once. It was true. All over Paris and Italy and I felt nary a cobblestone. Tons of padding and waffle sole that keeps you out of puddles. They are, however, the ugliest shoes in existence.
Bellingham, WA USA Thu 01/20/2005
The best shoes
If your traveling or not, I have to agree with Natalie....get yourself a pair of Dansko clogs. They look great with anything and are super wonderfully comfortable! They also come in many cool colors. Order on Ebay for great savings!
Chicago, IL USA Wed 01/12/2005
Best Walking Shoes
The Ecco Gore-Tex. Had to get back to DC to find them, waterproof, comfortable and being black, could pass for "dress-up" in the evening. For three weeks, it was these and Lowa GoreTex hiking boots. Warm, dry and comfortable, hiking in the rain in Bordeaux, Cherbourg, Mortain and Dover.
San Antonio, TX USA Sun 01/09/2005
New Balance 746
Just returned from a 12 day trip to Italy. I got New Balance 746 a few weeks before the trip - enough to break them in - and with 5 - 10 miles of walking a day, the shoes were great and very comfortable. This was the only pair of shoes I took and they even survived the acqua alta in Venice.
Atlanta, GA USA Sun 01/09/2005
best walking shoe
I got fit into New Balance, with 3/4 arch cork support inserts. Necessary after moving to Boston without a car. It's less the brand than being fit properly, having someone who knows what to look for see you walk, and knowing what brand goes with what foot, and gait best. I'm a wide pronator (!) so got put in the right shoe for me. Please consider seeing a podiatrist if over the counter inserts and good shoes still leave you with sore feet. Few of us can wear flip flops around Rome.
Boston, MA USA Sun 01/09/2005
as a non-driver, i spend a lot of time walking. i walk to work every day.the shoes that i am wearing now are merrell air cushions. ecco walkers have also been a favourite, as have heavy duty prospectors. the prospectors were not attractive, but waterproof and amazingly well made. rockports are not bad either. when you are not in a hurry to take the shoes off at the end of a long day of walking, that is the best sign of a good walking shoe. the merrells are my favourites these days. also i wonderful addition to a walker's footware for slippery and icy weather are the 'spiky plus' by conti tech. slip on spikes mounted on a stretchy rubber base. terrific! takes the worry out of walking in slippery conditions. posties wear them. easy to slip on any shoes and easy to take off as well.
walking in vancouver
vancouver, bc canada Sun 01/09/2005
The best are hush puppies, they never have cause any problem, the worst are those z-coils they are a gimick at best.
albuquerque, nm USA Fri 01/07/2005
DANSKO Clogs with backs for women and men. You will not be sorry!!!! They are the best shoes for your knees and lower back.
New York, NY USA Mon 01/03/2005