Best Walking Shoes: 2009
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
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Merrells for life
I love my Merrells! I actually developed planters fasciitis on my first extended trip to Europe, so I was careful the next time. I took a month long backpacking trip through Eastern Europe with my Merrell Plaza Bandeau and never had any problems. They look nice enough to go anywhere you would like in Europe, but I also used them to hike!
Minneapolis, MN USA Thu 12/17/2009
Love my Dansko clogs and Smartwool socks
My Dansko clogs and shoes have served me well throughout my European travels. They offer all-day support on everything from cobblestones to concrete museum floors. They're also easy to slip on and off at the airport security lines. Paired with Smartwool socks, my Danskos are all I need.
Damascus, MD USA Mon 12/14/2009
zumfoot neman are incredibly comfortable -- you can get a customized footbed (for higher arch support if wanted/needed). Wore them exlusively for a 10-trip throughout the east coast. Walked many miles each day. They were WONDERFUL!
Corvalis, OR USA Tue 12/08/2009
Merrell for Me
I put a couple hundred miles on my Merrell's from REI over two weeks in Rome and Tuscany. I added a cushioned insole for added comfort. I still wear them most days at home. Whatever you do, make sure you follow Steve's advice and get a Vibram soled shoe. Cobblestone can be brutal.
Durham, NC USA Fri 12/04/2009
My black ECCO NEOFLEXOR provided comfort for my last two European trips (Scotland, London, Paris, Austria, Italy, and the French Rivera) including hiking the trails of the Cinque Terre.
Houston, Tx USA Fri 12/04/2009
Shoes for Travel
I like my Sketcher walking shoes from Fred Meyer.
Miami USA Thu 12/03/2009
My husband and I both bought Clarks shoes for our honeymoon in Italy and loved them. We walked and walked and walked and no pain! Best walking shoes by far.
Clinton Twp, MI USA Tue 12/01/2009
Kuru shoes have come up highly recommended on this thread a few times. We are spending 7 weeks in Europe this summer, but I'm suffering from plantar fasciitis this year. I need good shoes, so I surfed a while, found excellent feedback, and ordered 2 pair - one for outdoors and one for indoors on my hardwood floors. So far, they are exceptionally comfortable - no rubbed spots, lots of pain relief for my poor arches and heels, great for walking. Only downside is they are very hot and not breathable, making for very sweaty feet. This is in Canada in December. I'm a bit worried about wearing them in Italy in July! But for happy pain-free feet, I'll suffer some sweat (any maybe apply antiperspirant to my feet!) They are also a bit heavier than I'd hoped, but I'll wear them and pack the lightweight pair of Clark's, my other comfort shoes.
Calgary, AB Canada Tue 12/01/2009
Merrell for Him and Her
My husband and I were looking for a pair of all purpose walking shoes suitable for city and country on our recent trip to France. We found Merrell to be the right fit for us. Great looking, sporty and super supportive. We found them through a site called: http://MostComfortableShoes.com
Denver, Co USA Fri 11/20/2009
Another vote for ecco shoes
For our recent Paris trip, I bought two pairs of eccos...a comfortable (but sturdy) pair of leather slip-ons (which I wore through airport security to streamline things), and a pair of ecco trail shoes. And during 8 days of extensive walking and climbing, I switched them off, to keep my feet as happy as possible! Feet like variety, so I also switched off using either my custom orthotics as inserts or a pair of softer PolySorb inserts bought in an athletic store. And the PolySorbs worked better than the orthotics!
Winchesteer, MA USA Mon 11/16/2009
I purchase a pair of Naot slip-on shoes (Atlantic) for a three-week trip in Japan. They were truly a godsend. First, being able to slip them on and off was a huge plus in Japan. I still wear them regularly and they only get more comfortable with time. I can't directly address the other Naot lines, but the sole is incredible. It is the perfect balance of support and cushion and doesn't seem to be wearing out. I am planning another long trip to South America and will definitely look here first for a pair of comfortable walking sandals.
His Girl Friday
Sacramento, CA USA Mon 11/16/2009
My buddy! My best travel friend is my purple and gold trimmed nylon fast drying socks and undergarments. I got them at J.C. Penney...for $5 each. I'm so happppppppy. My best friends can travel with me
USA Sun 11/15/2009
I also take a pair of wool socks for emergencies.
Burbank, USA Tue 11/10/2009
My favorite shoes and socks
Keen Bronxes, and now my Keen Austins, have seen me well through several trips to Europe and Japan. They are extremely comfortable, durable walking shoes, have a trendy yet understated look that fits in in Europe, and they can JUST get by being worn with slacks and a sportcoat, but don't look overdressed for hiking.
I also highly recommend REI's merino light hiking socks. They keep your feet warm in winter, and yet I can still comfortably wear mine in Houston in August. You'll never get a blister with them on.
Houston, TX USA Tue 11/10/2009
I take one comfy pair of walking shoes, and cowboy boots for emergencies.
Burbank, USA Sat 11/07/2009
Most of my everyday shoes are Rockports, and have been for decades. Because I only travel with a single carry-on suitcase, my standard travel-shoe plan, for any length trip, is to wear one pair of Rockport walking shoes (light tan suede, which needs no polishing!), and pack one slightly lighter, trimmer pair of Rockports.
When matched with a cushiony pair of hiking socks, I can stand or walk all day... my legs usually give out before my feet do.
Ellenville, NY USA Sun 11/01/2009
Socks and slippers
Further to the previous, I used to wear thin socks because they took up less space and washed and dried quickly, but the lack of cushioning and support and wicking had me griping too soon. Now, I barely notice my feet at all, which is how it should be.
I have taken Tevas when water-rafting or similar use was expected, but it's amazing how that one extra pair throws the rest of my packing off. I recently bought some thin mesh-topped travel shoes that roll up tight (they have a "Z" on them) and seem to be multi-purpose (waders, slippers), so I may try them, but they lack any long-time standing or walking support.
Ellenville, NY USA Sun 11/01/2009
Two weeks in Ecco "Charm" shoes in Paris - exceptionally comfortable, easy to deal with shoe removal at airports, took a beating, and were great in the rain!
dallas, texas USA Fri 10/30/2009
I also have big feet with bunyons, and have some shoes specially made by a shoe maker. I have to use two doc. scholl's pads for sinky foot protection. My buddies will flee if I dont. They just love me! I have a pair made just for travels with extra cushion.
USA Thu 10/29/2009
With the help of this forum, I headed out today to try on some of the suggested shoes. In addition to several others, I tried on Mephisto, Keen and Naots. I ended up purchasing the NAOTS, as for my feet, they were the most comfy. Wearing them around the house, they feel like air and so far, no issues. My trip isn't for several months, but I think shoes are THE most important item of clothing as the comfort can make or break a trip...well not really "break" a trip, but surely make parts unpleasant. The Naots are reasonably priced too, which was a nice surprise. That said, I chose only on comfort and the technology used. I have a rebuilt knee and good shoes are of paramount importance.
Northern, CA USA Mon 10/26/2009
Answer to STINKY FEET
I have the worst stinky feet ever. My foot doctor recommended to buy Arrid Extra Dry deoderant spray and it has been a miracle answer for me. I no longer have stinky feet!!! Spray the bottoms of your feet each morning and you'll be fine the whole day - and no stinky feet OR shoes. Make sure it's ARRID EXTRA DRY.
Thousand Oaks, CA USA Mon 10/26/2009
My wife bought a pair of Vasque Breeze GTX XCR's for next weeks trip to Europe. We will let everyone know how they worked out.
CT, USA Thu 10/22/2009
You Get What You Pay For
I have been to Europe many times and have tried a variety of shoes. The BEST shoes I have ever had were purchased at store that specializes in running/walking shoes. They were not cheap BUT when my other traveling partners were foot sore and had bandaids on blisters, I was still going. There is not one make of shoe that will work for everyone - - - what works how the shoes fit your feetand the quality of the shoe.
Jackson, MA USA Wed 10/21/2009
Best Walking Shoes
I bought a pair of SAS shoes before our trip to Ireland. Wore them for 30 days with no blisters! They were great
Julian, NC USA Mon 10/19/2009
Best walking shoes
I'm a woman and for me, Mephisto hiking boots are hands-down the best, most comfortable footwear I've ever worn. I bought them for a solo six-and-a-half month backpacking trip through Europe and the Mideast. They didn't need any breaking-in time and the waterproof Gore-Tex lining was a foot saver. I'm on my second pair now, the Divas. I can't recommend them highly enough.
MN USA Mon 10/19/2009
OPEN TOE SHOES
I also have smelly feet syndrom. I wear open toed shoes to help with that problem. Rockport makes comfortable sandals that work well.
linda, USA Sun 10/18/2009
My best travel shoes are a pair of Keen maryjanes (style called Sydney). They're not the prettiest but they are all black and made of leather. I wear them with skirts or pants. They are *the* most comfortable shoe I've ever had, hands down. And they're as sturdy as anything. I've gone hiking, toured Europe for a summer from Slovenia up to Poland, and worn them through several northern Michigan winters with success.
Marquette, MI USA Sat 10/17/2009
Just returned from Spain and I wore NAOT's. They are made in Israel. They were awesome, no foot problems. I've worn Privo's before and my feet were in bad shape.
Everett, WA USA Thu 10/15/2009
Clark shoes and stiiiiiinnky feet
Whenever I travel, I take my Clark walking shoes. The angels can smell my feet clear in heaven and cry. They can really stink after a day's walking. I take Doctor Scholls foot pads and powder so fewer folks pass out from the awful smell. Happy walking to everyone else!
USA Sat 10/10/2009
Winter weather footwear
I see this forum mainly highlights shoes for Spring/Summer/Fall Europe, so I thought I would speak for us weirdos that like winter Europe travel.
I do not recommend Uggs. I went to Germany with them and experienced some pretty intense heel pain. Most likely from the lack of arch support. They were warm for my winter experience and they did hold up well in the rain. Heel pain made me say "never again".
Next year, I purchased a Sorel winter boot for my AMS/Bruges/Paris trip, the model was Shoe Angel (I think). Although warm and waterproof, was very heavy and not quite right to be a winter weather walking boot. It was way to heavy. It created some painful blisters as well. It may have been good for snowy weather function but not for city walking.
So this year, I was on a mission to find the perfect winter weather walking boot. I am going with Keen, model Palermo. I have not gone yet (Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Rothenberg vacay in Nov/Dec) but from what I can tell walking around home and cavorting around town, is that I think I found an ideal winter weather walking boot. Plus it is stylish. I will update this when I return in December. Hopefully with good feedback.
Gulfport, Florida USA Sat 10/10/2009
Best Walking Shoes
I got a pair of Keen "cross-trainers" from REI. They have tremendous arch support. I walked the cobbled sidewalks and streets from Rome to Portugal for two weeks with no problems (initial blistering as I didn't break them in sufficiently before the trip).
Portland, OR USA Mon 09/28/2009
ECCO SANDALS ROCK
I bought of pair of ECCO sandals for my two week trip in France & Italy and they were fabulous. Dillards carries them (which is a department store in the cincinnati area) but I know you can also find them online and at other stores. They are more expensive than I normally spend on shoes but if your trip is going to involve walking then the investment is worth it. I also took my favorite pair of gym shoes. Switching shoes every other day really helped avoid blisters. Keep some neosporin and bandaids in your day pack just in case...foot health can make or break your trip!
Fort Wright, KY USA Sun 09/27/2009
Uggs All the Way!
I'm on a 3 week holiday to the UK and my UGGS have kept my feet warm, dry, and comfortable and look like what women wear every day as opposed to athletic shoes or hiking style shoes/boots. If you're a big hiker or backpacking, these are probably not the shoes for you, but if you do a normal amount of travel walking (aka a lot) it's been great for normal sighseeing, walking tours, etc on paved and cobbled streets, and everything in between. I would also recommend the similarly styled EMU brand boots. While these two brands are fairly pricey, there's a huge difference btwn them look-alikes--trust me, I've tried many. This is my 1st trip EVER that I have worn comfortable shoes that lived up to their hype. They're not the prettiest, but they're functional and fashionable. For those of you taking trips to warmer climates, I also love TEVA flip flops and CLARKS sandals. Again, they fit the bill for comfort and fashion. They're also light and easy to pack. For my UK trip I wore my Uggs, packed a pair of Clarks sandals and a pair of "dressy" shoes--I've been prepared for anything and everything. Here's to hoping you all have happy traveling feet!
Astoria, NY USA Mon 09/21/2009
New Balance, not the Chinese made ones though
New Balance makes great walking shoes, but you have to pony up $120 for the top of the line American made ones. I still walk several miles a day in my 3.5 year old kick around pair. It is hard to find a better shoe than this. A lot of people like Chucks too, but I have wide feet and find them uncomfortable.
Louisville, KY USA Thu 09/17/2009
Eccos are Great
My husband bought Ecco Seawalkers and I bought Ecco Rotoruas for our two-week trip to France. They were terrific. We walked all over Paris, as well as some of the Burgundy countryside and the shoes were the most comfortable that we've owned. My husband also wore Tilly socks.
Lexington, MA USA Tue 09/15/2009
Crocs and Frye - who knew?
Summer in Rome walking for hours and hours, believe it or not, Crocs Sandals (not the bubble top style shoes). I didn't need socks, so no athlete's foot from the heat. I threw them in at the last minute because they weigh nothing, and I was the only one in the group not complaining about my feet. I usually wear my running shoes with custom $600 orthotics, but it was hot so I tried the Crocs - I was amazed. Wore them the whole trip and on to the beaches of Mykonos. Winter in Germany and Austria standing in semi outdoor hockey stadiums watching games my FRYE harness clogs and boots were perfect. Just enough protection from the cold with thick soles, and looked pretty cool. I wouldn't buy them new and go, however. These need to be broken in. My Privo's were too cold even just walking around town, and I got a blister on my achilles.
Vail, CO USA Tue 09/15/2009
Fit Flops All the Way
For my trip to England I bougt a pair of flip flops by the name brand of 'Fit Flop'. I wore them the entire 2 weeks and walked 6 hours a day I'm sure! No hot, sore feet or blisters. That's all I'm taking to Rome next July!
Vancouver, BC Canada Mon 09/07/2009
I was looking at some gorgeous Mephisto shoes at Nordstrom, then realized that they are made in France, where I was headed. I found that not only are Mephistos less expensive -even in Paris!- but I got a refund of the VAT. Mephisto has their own line of stores, with great selection. Ask about this if the store clerk doesn't bring it up. It's a hefty tax, and by filling out a simple form, my credit card was refunded promptly after I returned to the states. FYI: Mephisto is dedicated to good shoes and they will re-sole or repair your shoes for the life of the shoe. Not for free, but these are shoes made to last. Get the details for this from them.
Indianola, WA USA Mon 08/31/2009
My husband is a hiker and was wise enough to pack a blister kit on our three week Italy trip. There are little moleskin pads that you put on "hot spots" BEFORE you get a blister. These come in handy in summer if you are wearing sandals with no socks.
Minneapolis, MN USA Sun 08/30/2009
To all Crocs lovers
I know some people wonder if wearing Crocs is a faux pas in Europe. I've been living in Amsterdam for the last 3 months and let me tell you, tons of people are wearing Crocs, both tourists and locals. There are two Crocs stores and everyday I see several shopping bags from there. So don't worry about sticking out as an obvious American in your Crocs. They're everywhere now.
Portland, OR USA Thu 08/27/2009
Best Walking Shoes
Last month I bought a pair of Shape Ups by Sketcher and have to say they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. I walk and am on my feet for hours every day and these shoes are even wonderful on cobblestones. Have not received one blister and have worn them full time from day one. They have my vote for best shoe to wear in Europe.
Frankfurt, Germany Wed 08/26/2009
Great Walking Shoe for PF
I took Shelly's advice and purchased a pair of Kuru slipon shoes directly from their website (Kurufootwear.com). The shoes arrived yesterday and I haven't taken them off - except to sleep. I have plantar fasciitis and these are the first shoes that help. Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely wear them on our upcoming October trip to Sicily.
Mansfield, MA USA Tue 08/25/2009
i only ever take one pair of shoes...the ones i am wearing...i always wear hiking shoes...not boots...usually columbia...sturdy, comfortable, versatile...
cincinnati, ohio USA Tue 08/11/2009
Best Walking Shoes EVER!
The very best walking shoes I have ever worn are KURU Shoes. They offer 4 types of support and are the best shoe you will ever wear! I don't even want to take them off for bed! Would would love to hear from anyone that has them or wants to purchase a pair.
Casper, WY USA Mon 08/10/2009
Comfortable Women's Walking Shoes
For Women, Merrell walking shoes and Mephisto AllRounders - cute, stylish and ultra comfortable. These 2 pairs did the trick for me as I traveled through Turkey and Europe for 3 months this year. I found these at : MostComfortableShoes.com
St Paul, MN USA Sat 08/08/2009
Hands down the best pair of shoes are Keens. I just returned from two and half weeks in Europe and my Keens were excellent.
Cincinnati, OH USA Fri 08/07/2009
For those traveling with high-arched feet, I have found birkenstocks to be just the right remedy. In particular, the Papillo Gizeh model. I practically live in flip-flops year round (even occasionally in the snow) so these shoes are perfect for trekking european towns in. Birkies do well on cobblestone, which is essential. Keep in mind that you should always wear Birkenstocks for a few weeks before your trip. The warmth of your feet allows the shoe to be molded to the shape of your foot, making them extremely comfortable! Also, as a buying tip, you can usually find expensive Merrells, ECCOs, Birkenstocks, Danskos and other brands of walking shoes for MUCH cheaper on eBay. Happy walking!
WA USA Thu 08/06/2009
Best Walking shoes
I agree with all those Ecco lovers. I love hiking all day in my Ecco sandles with velcro to keep them on. I also love my winter Eccos slip ons. I am a 63 year old lady, out of shape, and can walk all day. I also love my Arcopedico "mary janes" with velcro strap. But my best HIKING BOOTS are 40 year old leather real hiking boots..over the years they have molded to my foot. In 100 degree weather, my feet are cool. Hiking to the top of the mt. they don't slip! And my most recent purchase: gold sandles by NAOT. Perfect high arch and sooooo comfortable.
THOUSAND OAKS, CA USA Wed 08/05/2009
walking and hiking shoes
I have worn Ecco track, walking shoes and ankle boots for the past 12yrs, i must have 10 pair and have yet to wear a pair out,Gortex and very easy on the feet and legs.I see Rick wears the same shoe..
Denver , co USA Sat 08/01/2009
Best Walking Shoes
The best walking shoes have been Danskos. I have sandals, loafers, and clogs and they are all comfortable and great for travel. Key is always to break them in before going on your trip.
Denver, CO USA Tue 07/21/2009
Hands down my Merrels. I had a very difficult time because, not to be vain, but I REFUSE to wear an ugly shoe. The Merrels were pink and brown and oh so comfortable. I also got a cute pair of berkinstocks. I took a pair of heels but wore them once and regretted it due to blisters.
San Antonio, TX USA Mon 07/20/2009
Try the ultra light END Stumptown 8.5oz.
I just picked up a pair of women's END Stumptowns and I LOVE them! They are made for trail running so have a nice grippy outsole for uneven streets. They come in some very stylish designs, and they're incredibly light - just 8.5 ozs. Almost feels like I have nothing on my feet. And very comfortable for spending a full day on my feet. Plus they're made from sustainable materials (END = Environmentally Neutral Design) so I feel good about where my money is going on these too.
Vancouver, WA USA Wed 07/08/2009
Merrell Chameleo II Stretch ... Hit the Gym
Just came back from a two week trip England, France, Switzerland and Italy with a pair of Merrell Chameleon II Stretch shoes. Hands down the best light hiking shoes I've ever owned. Feet in and out of shoes quickly with the cord lacing system. During the two weeks, my feet never got sweaty once. Very comfortable and durable. Worth every penny.
My advice for those who don't usually walk a lot. Hit the gym and work on your leg muscles before you leave for your trip. I play sports regularly but don't walk a lot. My first few days were rough because I walked practically from 10AM-10PM in London and Paris.
west staines massiv, DC USA Mon 07/06/2009
I bought some Privo's before traveling to Italy. They were heavy and my feet were aching after 1/2 day in Rome. I switched to my Teva's with socks. I haven't worn them (privo's) once since I returned.
Jacksonville, FL USA Sat 07/04/2009
Fit Flops are very comfy....can walk for long time w/ them....they run big so if you are 1/2 size you may have to go one size down.
phila, pa USA Wed 07/01/2009
On my 3 week trip to Scandinavia, I had researched the best shoes for walking and bought 2 pairs of skechers (the fashion athletic shoes) and by the 2nd day my feet were in bad shape-swollen and aching. I ended up buying a pair of flip flops in Stockholm (bought them for $30- the same kind they have at Walmart for $5!!). But they were worth every dollar- they ended up saving my feet.
Chicago, IL USA Sat 06/20/2009
I've been to Italy twice in the past two years, and each time I wore my Ecco loafers. The same two pairs. The same shoes that I wear to work almost every day.
I find these shoes to be more comfortable than sneakers; in fact more comfortable than any shoes I've owned. I walk miles in them when traveling and recommend them highly.
I know this sounds like a commercial, but I run a small computer systems company, unrlated to clothing or footwear in any way.
Columbus, OH USA Sat 06/20/2009
My standard travel walking (not hiking) shoes are Easy Spirit "Travel Time". I have found them quite comfy even after a long walk without socks. They've been all over Egypt, Kenya, London. Find them at easyspirit.com
Clay County, FL USA Tue 06/16/2009
Single best shoes for a dude.
I'm a guy. I took a pair of 55 USD clarks I bought at DSW. Being a guy I don't like bringing unnecessary things, so these shoes were great for walking all day in Rome, Paris, London, Pompeii. But they also looked nice enough to wear out to dinner in a fancy Parisian restaurant. I had a pair of dr. schols gel insoles I just left them inside my shoes. They went through 6 or so airports with no problems.
USA Sun 06/14/2009
My $30 pair of Avia walking shoes were very comfortable during a 3 week trip to Italy. And I did a lot of walking, including the 7 mile Cinque Terre hike. I truly believe that the Avias were as comfortable as the more expensive brands.
huntsville, tx USA Wed 06/10/2009
Merrell - No Break In
I just love my Merrell Jungle Moc's. Got them in Black, they went with just about anything from jeans to slacks and best of all kept my feet warm & dry during a November trip to Scotland. Picked them up several weeks before my trip to be sure they were broken in, and honestly --- no break in period. They were comfy from the moment I put them on.
Los Angeles, CA USA Tue 06/09/2009
Best Walking Shoes 2005
I took my Ecco, Dansko and Born clogs with me to Italy a couple of years ago, and all wore the bottom of my feet raw because of the friction when my feet slid. I had to buy an expensive but gorgeous pair of Karina's in Rome. Wear your clogs at home on a day you're doing a ton of running around town, to see if hours of sliding does to you what it did to me. I'd never worn them for hours of walking on end at home, and I was shocked they were so uncomfortable. Ironically, three years before, I'd worn a couple of pair of higher-heeled boot-cut slides around Italy for three weeks with no problems at all. Must have been the angle of the cut that kept my foot from sliding. For me, having a back to the shoe is something to keep in mind.
Richmond, VA USA Tue 06/09/2009
I take my L.L. Bean wool slippers on the plane trip. My feet arrive comfy and ready to walk.
Los Angeles, USA Tue 06/09/2009
Two brands I'd swear by
From recent experience I'd have to say that the two brands I'd go with for style, durability, and comfort are:
Ecco - for a more reserved yet progressive urban look. Good for city walks, museums, and depending on the particular style, a night out on the town.
Solomon - for a more aggressive and sporty look and use. Good for hiking, running, trail sports, and other more athletic uses.
San Leandro, CA USA Tue 06/09/2009
Keen leather sandles BLVD "Naples". No break in needed, worked perfectly for 11 days walking streets mostly, user has planter fasciitis and high arches - no pain with these shoes. Doesn't have the large rubber toe that most Keen's have. Wouldn't recommend for beach.
Milwaukee, wi USA Mon 06/08/2009
Mephisto Allrounder Women's Walking Shoes
I just purchased a pair of Mephisto Allrounder walking shoes - they were on the Top 10 Comfortable Walking Shoes List at: MostComfortableShoes.com These are perfect for my Italy vacation next month. I've worn them everyday, will probably buy a second pair.
Burlington, VT USA Sat 06/06/2009
Before I went to Italy, I got some pads for the bottom of my shoe. I think they were doctor scholes. Not sure. But anyway they were wonderful and I highly recomend them to anyone who will be doing a lot of walking. Also wear cumfy shoes to. It'll make it a lot beter.
Star, Idaho USA Wed 06/03/2009
Converse Are The Best Walking Shoes.
I went to Italy in late spring. I found that shoes such as Converse are good. My friend and eye both wore Converse the entire time with arch supports and were fine. Some of the people who wore new expensive hiking shoes, for example L.L Bean. They got awfull blisters and some even got holes in their shoes. Be sure to break your shoes in before the trip. If you wear shoes such as Converse be sure that your feet are the right shape and size. Also make sure that you get your shoes from a good store such as Journeys. Wear low socks instead of ankle socks which can fall down. Or high socks, they rub annoyingly as you walk along. We walked 7 miles a day and my shoes and feet were fine. (I'm not being sarcastic)
Boise, ID USA Wed 06/03/2009
I just returned from a month in Italy and I have to make a comment about shoes. My daughter and I both took a pair of J-41's, different styles, and we both had the straps on one of the shoes break half way through our trip. Fortunately we were able to find an absolutely wonderful shoe repairman who was able to fix them and return them to us in 2 days. Later I wore my pair at home and the strap on the other shoe broke. The shoes were wonderfully comfortable but I think for the price they should have held up a little better. We're glad we had backups!
Edmonds, WA USA Tue 06/02/2009
Just got back from Europe. Had a great time walking around Florence and the Tuscanny region. After that we jetted off to Athens. I am so glad that I had good shoes. It really helped my mental state to know that I was not only comfortable, but that I looked cool. I could tell by the look on the faces of European & Japanese tourists that they would like to get a pair so they could be as comfortable as me. I usually only feel this superior and smug when I am sipping my grande at Starbucks. They are called "walkabouts". They were $12.99 at Wal-Mart. K-Mart also has some similar ones for $10.99.
North Shore, MA USA Thu 05/28/2009
ECCO's Yucatan Sandal
I have had extremely bad problems with my left ankle for the past 5 years or so. My podiatrist keeps changing the diagnosis from "some kind of" tendonitis to arthritis and back again. I've tried every kind of shoe or sandal known to man/woman, and finally I've found the perfect shoe for me. It's an ECCO sandal -- not the walking shoe, although they do make an excellent walking shoe, I've been told, which Rick Steves takes to Europe with him. The model of the sandal is Yucatan Sandal. It is the only shoe I can wear (luckily I live in Florida), and I have four pair in different colors. A shoes salesperson in a local store, who has plantar fascitis (sp?), turned me on to them, and now I order them from Zappos.com. They have been a life saver for me. A bit expensive, but well worth it if you have foot problems.
Altamonte Springs, FL USA Thu 05/28/2009
I've got narrow feet and have had bouts of plantars in the past, and the Merrells and Keens just don't fit right. Most of my shoes now are eccos, but none meet my need for a single pair of traveling shoes.
Based on a recommendation below, I ordered a pair of Kuru shoes. Very comfortable out of the box, and true to size. After wearing them for a week, I have no hesitation in saying they will be the perfect travel shoe for me, stylish enough for the cafes in Paris and rugged enough for walking the trails of the Swiss Alps.
San Francisco, CA USA Mon 05/18/2009
I buy SAS shoes with laces (not the slip on type) and I replace the insoles with the best and thickest ones I can find. I have wide feet, so I often have to order my size and wait.
Santa Clara, Utah USA Sun 05/17/2009
Ladies--my shoes felt like slippers
Ladies, I just returned from my Italian trip with many hours of walking and can highly recommend the NAOT brand shoe in the KUMARA style. Google them and you can find them. I paired them with a WIGWAM sock with heal and ball of foot cushioning with the cool technology and it felt like I was wearing slippers! They come in white which looks like a sleek sneaker, or I got the black which had a more European look. They looked good in dressier pants or jeans. The white in particular I think would look good with capris and shorts too.
Sacramento, CA USA Mon 05/11/2009
I've purchased Keen Austin's with Montrail Enduro-Sole Inserts. They are without a doubt the most comfortable NON-TENNIS shoes I've ever worn.
However, just the Keen inserts were not impressive. The Montrail Enduro Sold inserts make a world of difference! I actually have been saying "WOW" quite a bit every time I wear them.
Denver, CO USA Mon 05/11/2009
best walking shoes
My favorite walking shoes (not hiking) are Reebok DMX max. I have 12 screws and several metal bits in my leg. These are the only shoes I have found that absorb enough shock to make it pleasant to walk!
Vero Beach, FL USA Sun 05/10/2009
I'm always on the prowl for comfortable shoes. I bought a pair of Wolky shoes a few weeks ago and I'm stunned at how comfortable and nicely ambiguous they are -- I could wear them with pants, skirts, shorts, whatever. I can wear them with or without socks (though I usually use footies). They are so comfortable and lightweight. I can walk for hours and stay on my feet all day without pain. I got them at a small shoestore in San Francisco so I don't know how ubiquitous they are elsewhere, but there is a website. I believe Wolky is a Dutch brand.
San Francisco, CA USA Sun 05/10/2009
My favorite shoes.
My hiking boots I got at REI make great all day comfy travel walking shoes. Also, take my Eddie Bauer favorite pair of comfy penny loafers for evenings out.
California, USA Thu 05/07/2009
Best Walking Shoes
Just bought a pair of black Ryka Versa Mary Jane's from Zappos. I've worn them for a couple of days and they're very comfortable - excellent arch support. I've had 2 pairs of Ryka walking shoes in the past and I love them.
Houston, TX USA Wed 05/06/2009
Merrell for casual walking
I'm a huge fan of Merrell sport shoes for both city and country walking. I wore a pair all over Italy two and a half years ago. Those shoes are still in decent shape, BTW, though a bit battered-looking, so I just bought another pair (my third) for an upcoming two-week trip to Scandinavia. I haven't tried any of their dressy-casual women's shoes, but that's because they make mostly Mary Janes, which I don't care for. If you like them, they might be worth a try.
Also, in Italy, I wore a moderately presentable pair of Teva sandals, both as hotter-weather shoes and as something that actually looked presentable under a skirt. They were comfortable, but Tevas tend to smell really ripe after a week or so of wear, and the only way to get them clean is to either scrub them hard in the shower or throw them into the washing machine.
Rochester, NY USA Wed 05/06/2009
I have recently purchased MBT and almost from the moment I put them on my back felt better. I suffer from relatively constant, lower-back pain and sore (arthretic) knees; however, these shoes have been a real god-send. HOWEVER, they are some of the ugliest shoes I have ever worn. There is also a period of adjustment needed. Given the novel sole technology, one's step needs to be relearned; it took me about two weeks before I began to adjust. They are expensive, but worth the $215 price tag.
Bellevue, WA USA Mon 05/04/2009
Lands end trekkers
I have horrible hard to fit feet with bunions. I recently bought a great looking (all kinds of colors) pair of Lands end TREKKERs (from internet)they have a hiking sole but weigh next to nothing, and best of all, a lot of mesh. They adjusted to my feet immediately. No break in time needed. They may not be suitable for hiking in wet or cold areas but for everything else they are great. Best of all they make my clunky size nines look like sevens and they are not expensive.
Vieques, PR USA Tue 04/28/2009
If you have problems with foot pain that a podiatrist diagnoses as plantar faciitis, you might ask your Dr. to prescribe Mobic so you can take it with you in case it flares up during your trip. I carry this medication with me in case it starts to bother me. It keeps me from getting a full blown case of it again. Works for me.
Crawfordsville, IN USA Tue 04/28/2009
shoes for narrow feet
Hi Mariann. I saw your post about shoes for narrow feet. I too have really narrow feet. Aravon shoes come in narrow widths. They are made by New Balance. They are very supportive. Zappos carries them, but not sure if they carry the narrow sizes. Usually the New Balance store will have them in stock. Hope this helps.
dallas, TX USA Fri 04/24/2009
I never had problems with my feet but after walking all day in Venice in flat, unsupportive (cute) sandals, I developed a plantar faciatis that took 6 months to heal after our trip. Next time I will stick to the comfort shoes suggested by others.
Napa, CA USA Tue 04/21/2009
most comfortable walking shoes
I have a pair of Kuru shoes that has a technology that they claim is the world's most anatomical midsole. Mine are probably some of the most comfortable and supportive shoes I've had. These shoes are perfect for travelling because they are supportive, and I can wear them all day long. Also, rubber has good traction, and the design is versatile and works with slacks or jeans.
USA Fri 04/17/2009
SAS shoes are the best - real leather, comfortable and you can get fitted for wider toes and narrow heel if you need that. Also come with removable insoles. Totally comfortable right away.
Staunton, VA USA Sun 04/12/2009
I walked Italy for two weeks and found these shoes made by clarks to be unbelievably light and comfortable. There cheaper than my ecco's and i like them much better1
philadelphia, pa USA Tue 04/07/2009
Need AAA leather support shoes
I have a narrow foot. I have to have AAA sometimes called slim. I prefer DREW leather shoes but they are no longer made. What would you suggest for a narrow foot?
Houston, TX USA Fri 04/03/2009
Looking good ladies!
If you want shoes that are dressy, stylish and comfortable to walk all day in, check out Fly (from London), Campers (Spain) Indigo (made by Clarks in England) and Naot (Israel).
Vancouver, BC Canada Thu 04/02/2009
I've tried on most brands of comfort shoes at the store. They're comfortable! I decided to stick with my trusty favorite pair of tennis shoes for travels...ADIDAS! :)
California, USA Wed 04/01/2009
best walking shoes Merrells
Merrells are the way to go, the clogs are great!!! If you have a wide foot/bone spur problem these are great! Variety of colors. I am on my 3rd pair! I wear them out, only thing I can wear!!
upstate ny, USA Sun 03/29/2009
Try a Finn. A Chiropractor told me about the shoes when I was having some back problems and they have helped a great deal. They cost less than a Mephisto, offer more support, have a better foot bed and can be reconditioned to come back as good as new for only $125 US. Wearing synthetics in European Cities makes Americans stick out like a sore thumb and I don't want to look like a hiker at a big city restaurant, so a leather shoe is the most versitile. Out of the light weight hiking boots, training shoes, Aldens, Mephisto's, etc., the Finn shoes are the ones I want grab first when heading out the door. They can handle the cobblestones and allow me to walk and stand all day.
Madison, WI USA Wed 03/25/2009
Best Walking Shoes
My husband and I are preparing for our first trip to England and Italy and both of us purchased Merrell's- I wore mine to work today, wore them all day and they are wonderfully comfortable and supportive. I also bought a pair of Softwalks- Mary Jane Style- and they are great too.
Pekin, IL USA Wed 03/25/2009
On and off the beaten path...or sidewalk
For those wanting to occasionally get off the sidewalk, North Face Ultra 104 Gore-Tex Trail Runner...love the shoe! Can adapt lacing very easily to change from sidewalk strolling to off-the-beaten-path hiking and still have great support, VERY comfy, almost feels like a Keene sandal/shoe but with more support/protection, especially in less-than-ideal weather (thanks to the goretex, never had wet feet in the rain!).
Kennewick, WA USA Mon 03/23/2009
Crocs really look horrid against European scenery. If you can, do what I was told... buy a European pair at the end of each trip in Europe to wear at home and on the next trip. Arche is a French favorite. Danish Ecco, English Clarkes, etc.
London, UK uk Tue 03/17/2009
I learned cowboy boots do not make good walking shoes on trips. I've found the Rockport brand of shoe's to be very comfortable and stylish. I take one pair of them, and I'm set. Plus some rubber sandals.
California, USA Sat 03/07/2009
Merrell's were the best for me
I recently returned from 10-days in Rome. I wore my Merrell Air Cushioned shoes while I was there. Best. Shoe. Ever!
Needless to say that I highly recommend these shoes! They're worth a look.
NY USA Tue 03/03/2009
walking shoes by Merrell
I recently purchased a pair of Merrell Siren from a Top 10 Comfortable Walking Shoes Recommendation. They have been super with no break-in time required. see http://www.mostcomfortableshoes.com/top-10-comfortable-walking-shoes/
Boston, MA USA Mon 03/02/2009
Online European Birkenstock Outlet
Birkenstock fans may be interested in the Jestel Birkenstock online store in Europe. They carry the complete European line of Birks at great prices and with excellent service. When the regular Milano sandal was not available in my size, they substituted the top-of-the-line "Exquisite" version. http://www.jestelkg.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=BirkJ
Knoxville , TN USA Fri 02/27/2009
Custom Orthotics at Costco
Costco has started selling custom orthotics for $89. In the Seattle area, you can find them at the Woodinville warehouse. They're coming to the Seattle Costco on 4th Avenue soon. Unbelievable deal.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 02/23/2009
Mephisto walking shoes
After having foot surgery five years ago my orthopedic surgeon recommended Mephisto shoes [a French company]. I buy them when I visit Paris [usually the store in the Latin Quarter] as they are almost 50% less than the same shoes in the US and they have styles and colors not available in the states. London prices are similar to US prices so maybe the cheaper prices are only available in France. They are great walking shoes.
Unionville, PA USA Sat 02/07/2009
Top 10 Walking Shoes
I just saw that Most Comfortable Shoes dot com released their Top 10 comfortable walking shoes list for 2009. I think I'll try the Merrell's that they recommend. http://www.mostcomfortableshoes.com/top-10-comfortable-walking-shoes/
maplewood, nj USA Fri 02/06/2009
NAOT & Birkenstock essential info
Depending on your feet, the footbed arch may hurt at first. Like physiotherapy, it really does try to 're-train' your foot to function better, correcting poor joint and muscle habits. Some people like me quickly get used to the footbeds by wearing them a bit at a time. Never have my feet and walking posture felt more healthy & energized.
New sandals may chafe toes due to the sharp inside edges of the thick leather straps. The straps do soften up with wearing. But for now, file any sharp inside edges lightly with emery board. Moisturize feet and carry a bandaid or two if traveling with a brand new pair.
Toronto, ONT USA Fri 02/06/2009
Just a reminder to posters . . .
PLEASE include the model name of the shoe you are recommending in addition to the brand. It doesn't help much to read 'My Keens were great' or 'ECCOs all the way' without knowing which Keens or ECCOS you are talking about. Thanks!
Ellicott City, MD USA Tue 01/27/2009
I just got back from Italy and was so pleased with my Merrill Gortex Vibram waterproof hiking shoes. I was concerned about shoes before I left because of the rain that Italy can get in January. My shoes served me well, kept my feet comfortable, warm and dry!
Anaheim Hills, Ca USA Mon 01/26/2009
Best walking shoes
Go to a specialty store that focuses only on walking & running shoes. Most people buy running shoes over walking because they are lighter & how more support for your arch.
chicago, il USA Thu 01/22/2009
AJM, if you purchased your Terrain Janes at Sears, they were probably a Lands' End shoe, not an LL Bean shoe.
Des Moines, IA USA Sun 01/04/2009
LL Bean's Terrain Jane's
LL Bean Terrain Jane's! I just returned from 2 weeks in Spain and these shoes were GREAT! Spain has very uneven cobblestones and pebbles and I was so pleased with my Terrain Jane's. I purchased them at Sears for just under $40.
MN USA Fri 01/02/2009
Keens were great. We spent 2+weeks in Greece, and I wore Keens every day. Lots of trails and walking. Getting then wet is no problem.
Bellevue, WA USA Thu 01/01/2009