Travel Shoes: Second Round Casting Call

Super comfortable oxfords from L'Amour des Pieds. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

While researching last week’s post on Spring travel footwear, a couple of pairs caught my eye and I ordered them to try on.

Funky Style, Maximum Comfort

The first pair (above) is from L’Amour des Pieds, and these are now on my short list for our trip to France. They are lightweight, incredibly comfortable, and funky-cute. They’re very cushioned and have great arch support. This style is available in 4 colors/finishes, though I love this metallic best. And the interior lining is a soft leather. They’re even comfortable without socks, though I always recommend some type of hosiery or shoe liner when traveling, to minimize hot spots and wick moisture.

Travel shoes contender: burgundy patent loafers from Paul Green. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

These loafers from Paul Green are also high on the comfort scale, and have a Funky Chic appeal. This simple style (which looks surprisingly sleek rendered in patent leather) is currently 32% off. That patent leather is soft too. The “bordo” (burgundy) patent is a nice alternative to black.

Patent leather penny loafer from Paul Green. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

And here’s a similar penny loafer style, currently 40% off.

Thicker-soled styles (sometimes referred to as “creepers”) and flatter platform styles have been trending for the last couple of seasons. While I don’t recommend a high platform for travel shoes, a little extra bit of thickness in the sole (and even a lug sole) can add comfort and cushioning.

embellished grey suede loafer. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

A little less clunky looking, but still with a substantial sole, this embellished slip-on comes in 3 colors/finishes. I like the grey suede for spring/summer. I haven’t tried these on yet, but intend to.

New for Spring, Birkenstock Arizona in textured metallic. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

 

 

And I know Birkenstocks divide the masses, but these are funky fun with the textured metallic straps. I have not traveled with these “Arizona” sandals, but I know people who do and swear by them. I can attest to the comfort and durability of this particular style. In my experience, the “narrow” size range is a better fit for even medium-to-wide feet. This finish is also offered in the popular “Gizeh” style.

What are your footwear comfort priorities?

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38 Comments

  1. Ruth Sklar
    February 19, 2018 / 7:24 am

    Speaking of comfortable shoes, I bought a pair of leopard sneakers with a thicker sole at Bensimon in the 4th in Paris. They have an arch support also. They are great and funky for walking! If they are still there, you might want to try them on!

    • Susan B
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 7:27 am

      I’ll make a point of it, thanks!!

  2. Robin
    February 19, 2018 / 8:11 am

    FYI . . . I tried the Peter Thomas Roth sunscreen. The 2 issues I had with this product: I could not see if there was any sunscreen actually being applied; I could not put the lid back on over the brush bristles without issue.

    • Susan B
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 8:51 am

      Hi Robin, I can understand the concern as to whether enough sunscreen has been applied. I tend to use products like this as a supplement to my regular (liquid) sunscreen application. As to the issue of re-capping, there should be a little knob on the bottom of the tube that you can pull down to retract the brush head before replacing the cap.

  3. Jane2
    February 19, 2018 / 8:11 am

    Hah! You are correct about Birkenstocks, which violate my first footwear rule that shoes do not have to be utilitarian looking to be comfortable.

    My shoe travel rules are:
    a) take shoes you’ve worn and know they work (for me, that’s Mephisto usually);
    b) ignore all comments that people will know you’re a tourist by your footwear – believe me, they’ll figure it out other ways, and why spend thousands of dollars on a trip to worry about people you’ll never see again; and
    c) take Glide, a clear, odorless roll-on product used by runners to eliminate chafing. I apply it in the spots likely to rub (between the toes, ball/side of feet) and I never have an issue. It’s a genius product.

    • Catherine
      February 19, 2018 / 8:25 am

      I second your endorsement of Glide. I generally use it when I’m wearing closed-toed ballet flats around town and a liner would peek through. It is also small, and could easily be tucked in a small purse while traveling if you were out all day and felt the need to reapply it.

    • Denise
      February 19, 2018 / 8:53 am

      I’m going to check out Glide as a possiblity if something occurs.

    • February 19, 2018 / 10:26 am

      I also love Glide for all of these reasons. Hadn’t thought about using it in my shoes. Thanks.

    • February 20, 2018 / 6:21 pm

      Oh, you tempt me. So many great choices. I can’t buy anything until my broken foot heals. I have no idea what will fit me. But I’d love those first ones. I’m now concerned about high rise shoes. I fell off my clogs and worry I’ll twist or fall off those high rise shoes as cool as they are. Love your finds. Great taste.

  4. Lynn
    February 19, 2018 / 9:24 am

    Hi Sue, I can’t get enough of ideas for comfortable but attractive shoes. Thanks for all of yours. I’ve been reading about the Everlane Every Day Heel. it may not be good for serious travel walking, but it looks like it might be perfect for a business casual environment and business travel. Have you tried it? Also, i love the idea of brush on sunscreen for touchups, etc. ColorScience has something similar (but better, in my opinion) to the Peter Roth. It is a lot more expensive, tho.

  5. sophia montgomery
    February 19, 2018 / 9:27 am

    Wearing now a pair of Lori Goldstein “sneaker” slip ons that are so comfortable and fashionable, I get compliments all the time. Love the ones you are showcasing!

  6. Lyn
    February 19, 2018 / 9:32 am

    There are walk-all-day shoes and out-to-dinner shoes. The ultimate would be one shoe that does both. After a foot injury, I put arch support and comfort first. I have some Clarks Wave Mary Janes that come close, but with their round toe, they feel a little clunky to me. And at 67, am I too old for Mary Janes?

    • Angela
      February 19, 2018 / 10:37 am

      I really can’t come to terms with the design of these shoes. They remind me too much of my childhood footwear which I rebelled against as clunky and old fashioned. As with clothes, shoes that look fashionable on 20 somethings look old lady on 60 somethings. So they are a big no for me.

    • Susan B
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 10:40 am

      Hi Lyn, I find that my Aquatalia ankle boots are the perfect all-day-then-out-to-dinner shoes. As to the Mary Janes, it’s really more about style than age. If they appeal to you and suit your style, by all means wear them.

    • Jane2
      February 19, 2018 / 11:29 am

      I’m a woman of a Certain Age, and I like Mary Janes. I agree that the Clarks are very round in the toe, and I didn’t care for them. Go a french shop like mephisto-shop.com, and look up ballerinas (even the name is better than Mary Jane!) for a more sophisticated look.

  7. Mary Alice McLoughlin
    February 19, 2018 / 10:17 am

    I was a Birkenstock hater for years, until I actually tried on a pair. Now I have 3 pairs of Arizona sandals and I wouldn’t dream of traveling in warm weather without them. I actually find them cute and funky, a lot younger looking than some of the other “comfort” brands.

    • amidprivilege
      February 19, 2018 / 10:57 am

      I feel the same way. I think it all depends on the clothes you wear – right? If you dress a little edgily, then Birks look edgy. If you dress more cozily, they can look dowdy.

    • Cindy Finch
      February 19, 2018 / 1:07 pm

      I’m also of the opinion that Birks can look as funky as is required depending on your outfit and your attitude. Best footwear for warm weather walking.
      Love for your blog Susan.
      CindyF

  8. Kathleen
    February 19, 2018 / 11:10 am

    Those metallic shoes are amazing! Just ordered a pair — have a long trip planned for the summer and have been actively searching for the perfect shoe.

  9. Melissa O’Neill
    February 19, 2018 / 12:08 pm

    La Roche Posay do a great spray-on SPF50 in a purse size. It works over make-up and doesn’t sting at all.

  10. Karen
    February 19, 2018 / 12:27 pm

    I use Bobbi Brown SPF 50 Protective Face Base daily as a moisturizer prior to applying any makeup. It tends to be a tad greasy as opposed to chalky like so many other sunscreen products, but my sensitive skin has not suffered any breakouts. I am very fair and spend the winter months in FL. I have been very pleased with the level of sun protection.

  11. Lisa
    February 19, 2018 / 12:40 pm

    Hi Susan, Received my Paul Green shoes and unfortunately not enough arch support and a little too flat so back they go. I’ve had some luck with Eileen Fisher shoes for comfort but really don’t like the open toe ones that are now being offered. My old ballerina toes are a mess and not worth viewing. Too many years squeezing my feet in those toe shoes I’m afraid. So, back to the drawing board I go. Looking for a closed toe shoe or sneaker with some height and decent arch support.

    • Susan B
      Author
      February 19, 2018 / 12:49 pm

      Hi Lisa, that’s a shame. Have you tried any Vionic shoes? They tend to get very high marks for arch support.

      • Lisa
        February 20, 2018 / 9:07 am

        I know! So disappointed. Hard to find shoes that accomodate my wide foot and high arch. My arches are so high they sometimes come right out of high heeled shoes. I have good luck with New Balance Fresh Foam sneakers but would love a comfortable non sneaker shoe to wear with cropped jeans. I used to wear Dansko clogs but my feet supinate from my high arches and I was falling over! Will definitely check out the Vionic and thanks for responding!

  12. Darling Lily
    February 19, 2018 / 1:13 pm

    I confess that the idea of negotiating all the, er, cadeaux des chiens in Paris leaves me highly reluctant to wear any sort of shoe that exposes any skin whatsoever whilst in the City of Light.

    I salute you brave, sandal-wearing souls, and stick with loafers in France.

  13. February 19, 2018 / 2:01 pm

    I have foot difficulties severe enough that I had to retire early so my priorities are to protect my feet and keep the problems from turning into worse problems. At home, I either wear Brooks running shoes, or Finn Comfort sandals, or Fitflop sandals. The last time we visited Paris, I took four pairs of shoes but I mostly wore black leather Aravon Farrens. They’re really comfortable and have great arch support. With a closed shoe, I have to wear a wider width and something that laces. I have a high instep so slip-ons never fit. Stylish? That hasn’t entered the equation for the past 30 years.

  14. Patricia
    February 19, 2018 / 3:14 pm

    Love those metallic sneakers!

    I forgot my usual face sunscreen when I visited Hawaii last year, so I grabbed Banana Boat Sport Faces 50 clear zinc sunscreen at an ABC store. Love it. It is pretty clear for a zinc sunscreen, and isn’t real greasy. I tend to have sensitive skin but this doesn’t bother me at all. I had trouble finding it in stores on the mainland, but found it online (Amazon, I think).

  15. MJ
    February 19, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    Loved the metallic shoes so bought them through your link in the hope that you will get some benefit from my following your advice. Thanks!

  16. Eileen
    February 20, 2018 / 6:53 am

    ECCO lace up leather tennis shoe with removable inserts took me through Italy. They look somewhat like converse sneakers, which I can’t wear, I’m allergic to latex/ rubber. I also have luck with Monroe , Clark’s, and Lamour des peds.

  17. Susan
    February 21, 2018 / 7:02 am

    I found that Paris is too cold in May for open toes.Sneakers and boots were perfect

    • Susan B
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 7:34 am

      I agree that’s usually the case, however I have been there during a Spring heat wave and was glad to have packed a pair of sandals. When we were in Italy in late May a few years ago, it was quite hot and I wore sandals every day.

  18. February 21, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    As always, your shoe recommendations are perfect! Can you tell me if the 1st pair (the metallic ones) have a removable insole? There’s no mention of it on the Nordstrom site and I need to be able to wear my orthotics. Thanks so much!

    • Susan B
      Author
      February 21, 2018 / 2:46 pm

      Hi Margy, thanks! I’m wearing them right now and just checked…yes! The insole lifts right out.

      • February 22, 2018 / 7:19 am

        Wonderful! Thank you for checking. Into my basket they go!

  19. February 23, 2018 / 2:58 am

    Hmm… wearing flat shoes for nearly two months now, has giving me such a longing for high heels, I cannot even consider flat shoes anymore, no matter how comfortable. Although I do like the patent leather burgundy Paul Greens.
    Greetje

  20. Jean
    February 24, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    How would you care for the metallic L’Amour des Pieds to protect and maintain the finish? Thanks.

    • Susan B
      Author
      February 24, 2018 / 2:26 pm

      Hi Jean, they’re leather and the finish seems to be hardy. They aren’t prone to scuffing, and I just did a thumbnail scratch test which left no mark. That said I probably wouldn’t wear them in a deluge. I’d clean with a soft damp cloth.

  21. March 11, 2018 / 10:12 am

    Late comment on the L’Amour des Pieds. Purchased a pair. Not clunky or thick looking. Cute and trendy alternative to walking sneakers. I have plantar fasciitis that I keep at bay by careful heel height choices and stretching so I cant wear flat shoes. These have a 16mm “drop” so the stress on my Achilles’ tendon isn’t aggravated. Be aware, however, these are oddly narrow across the forefoot and somewhat wide at the ankle. They will head off to Ireland and England with me in May.

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