Summer travel can present a unique set of challenges, not the least of which is figuring out what footwear to pack. If you’re going no further than the local beach or lake to catch some hammock time, a comfortable pair of sandals should do it. But if your vacation plans include sightseeing, public transit, dining out, etc., keeping your feet happy in the heat requires some planning.
What To Pack? My Footwear Guidelines
- When planning your travel wardrobe, always start with the shoes.
- Whatever footwear you choose should fit snugly, without being tight. If your feet slide around too much in your shoes, your legs will tire more easily, and you might be more likely to trip or stumble. But you don’t want them so snug that they can’t accommodate some heat-related swelling.
- You’ll want enough thickness and cushioning in the soles to maintain comfort when walking on a variety of surfaces. And pavement gets hot…a thicker sole provides a little more insulation.
- Shoes with good arch support will allow you to spend more time on your feet in comfort. And flats aren’t necessarily best; I find a low heel most comfortable for all-day walking.
- If your feet are prone to swelling, look for styles that allow adjustment. Buckles, laces, even velcro can allow you to adjust the fit for maximum comfort throughout the day.
- Unless you have a genuinely format event to attend, leave the heels and dressy shoes at home.
- Look for styles that fit into your definition of “smart casual” and can go from day to evening. These will be most versatile.
- Wear any shoes you plan to pack for extended periods before you go. Be sure there are no areas that pinch or rub. Sometimes even well-worn-in shoes may create “hot spots” over time.
3 Styles of Footwear For Summer Travel
While you do want comfortable and supportive shoes, you don’t want anything that’s going to look too heavy for lightweight summer clothing. Or cause your feet to swelter. (For sneakers and other closed shoes, I find a pair of no-show socks in moisture-wicking fabric keeps my feet cool and comfortable.) If you will be visiting sites or locations that require regular removal of shoes, a style that slips on and off easily may be beneficial.
Above: those Eileen Fisher “Sport” shoes have become my go-to travel sandals.
Some people don’t like to travel with sandals, but in warm weather they’re a must for me. Look for supportive soles, adjustable straps and a look that appeals to you. In very humid climates, you may find a nubuck or fabric insole is more comfortable than a smooth one.
I generally prefer slip-on styles, but if your feet tend to swell or you have other fit issues, you may find laces a better choice. The old “rule” about not wearing sneakers in Europe no longer holds, just steer toward more sleek styles.
Loafers and Mary Janes
Probably the easiest styles to transition from day-to-evening. Look for sufficient padding and support.
What shoes are your “go-to’s” for warm weather travel?
I have ruined my feet by wearing inexpensive high heels everyday, all day when I was younger so now I am forced to wear shoes that accommodate my orthotics/wide width. For long term walking (feel need to justify the unattractive choices here…): My choices are the Brooks Addiction 12 with custom orthotics or Birkenstock Arizona with soft footbed. If there are any other options your readers can offer, I would be thrilled to find something more stylish…there are VERY few attractive shoes that have removable insoles, strong arch support and come in wide width… For work (mainly at a desk) or dinner out I can wear Munro, Fidji (if I can find them…Nordstroms now sells very few and Zappos discontinued them), Earth brand and sometimes Dansko if not too clunky looking.
I am in the same boat, Nancy. I also must wear custom orthotics and require a shoe with a removable insole and wider toe box. It’s so hard to find stylish shoes that fit properly! For long-term walking, I am stuck in my Sauconys for sure. For less intensive outings, I love my Aravon sandals, which have removable insoles deep enough to hide my orthotics and keep them from falling out. I have had some luck with Wolky, Allegria (clunky but I prefer their cushioning to Dansko), and Naot (sometimes, but their sizing seems to vary a lot). I was pleased to find recently that the Keen Elsa white cloth tennis shoes have unusually deep removable insoles, and I now like to wear these shoes with casual dresses. If I need to dress up, I skip my orthotics for a short period and wear Vionic flats that I modify with stick-on metatarsal pads ordered from Amazon. I hope this information might help. Best of luck!
Amy, we must have been typing at the same time. I see you also mentioned Vionics. I find that many, if not most, Vionics shoes are very stylish. For me the wedges give adequate support as well. I also use a stick-on support pad on some pairs.
Thanks, Susan! Sounds like I’ll need to try those wedges…
Merril makes soft sole clogs, including some very cute Mary Jane styles. All of the have removable insert insoles and accommodate my orthotics nicely. My feet aren’t ruined but my low back (specifically my SI joint) gives me fits if I’m on my feet all day without my orthotics.
Not sure if you can get German brands where you live, but I swear by them. I have similar foot issues to you and usually buy Gabor or Ara shoes. They come in standard width, slightly wider (which they call G) or quite a bit wider (H). Some have removable insoles that you can replace with your own. On the whole they’re very stylish. I’ve just received a new pair of Ara shoes today actually!
I am so excited to be able to suggest one brand to those of you with arch, ankle and other foot issues. I also suggest that Susan feature this brand in her recommendations. The brand is Vionic. Vionic shoes are specifically made for problem feet and strive to bring the ankle back into a natural alignment. I too have been wearing orthotics for two years for ankle tendonitis. I thought as you did that I would be resigned forever to my Brooks Launch shoes.
I first tried the simple flip-flop with an arch support and many pairs of Vionic sandals, boots, and wedges later, With the exception of my Brooks, I won’t wear any other shoe. I am particularly fond of an attractive leather tennis shoe which I ordered a half size larger that my normal size to accommodate my orthotics, I do the same for very fashionable Vionic boots. For summer, the sandals won’t accommodate my orthotics, but I find there is enough support to wear them temporarily for a fashionable change and to the beach. I have found that very few stores carry the entire Vionic line, but if you order them from their on-line store, they have a generous wear and return policy.
Thanks, Susan! I’ve actually included Vionic shoes in some of the widgets below. Nordstrom has a pretty good selection too, and free shipping and returns. http://bit.ly/2thaZMc
Yes, I am so sorry that I didn’t see those before I commented, but it gave me a chance to sing Vionic’s praises. Actually I have the wedge version of the cork sandals without the back-strap.
No problem! I’ve heard lots of good things about this brand. 🙂
Everyone’s feet are different. I love them but I can’t wear Dansko at all because they aren’t wide enough to accommodate my instep. But for years I worked 12 hour shifts as an RN in Brooks Ariel in an 11 B width, (YES, a B) until they changed the design.:( They were so supportive, I didn’t need my custom orthotics. Good thing I’m retired because I haven’t found anything that will replace them. I’m thinking about giving the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 a try this winter. Walking in Paris, I wore a lace-up leather shoe by Aravon (a New Balance company) in 10.5 EE, the Farren. It’s much more supportive than any other non-athletic shoe I’ve worn–including a couple of styles by Munro–and I’ve tried quite a few! It even fits my orthotic. With my luck, they’ll discontinue it. For sandals, I’ve come to rely on two brands but my feet are so picky that I can only wear one style each. In Fitflops I can wear the Kys slide. Their other sandals are either too wide or too narrow. The Kys is just right in a 9 M. I love the microwobble board sole. Fortunately, they are supportive enough that I don’t need an orthotic because they don’t accommodate one. They are dressy enough to wear in a nice restaurant or to a wedding. Every time I spot a pair on sale, I buy them. I have a couple of spares stockpiled in case they’re discontinued again the way they were a few years back (shudders at the thought). The other shoe I love is pretty pricey for me, at $215. However, the Finn Comfort Jamaica is worth every penny. The sandal is made in Germany and as far as I can tell, is virtually indestructible. You can even replace the cork insoles. I tried this sandal because the reviews said it ran wide and they were right. In this shoe I wear a 41, which Zappos says is equivalent to a 10.5-11. I could probably manage with a 40 for length but my instep needs the 41. Because the straps are velcro, they can be loosened when my feet swell in the summertime. And since the insole is removable, it will accommodate a full length orthotic–but I’ve never had to use mine because they provide enough support without it!
I agree that the Aravon Farren is as supportive as an athletic shoe, great for hard-core walking in Europe. While not much to look at, the black nubuck can work with jeans or black pants. I also hope they won’t be discontinued.
Mephisto Allrounders have a removable insole and come in several attractive styles. You can buy them in the US, ororder them online from France at a great price (and the sales start this week).
I can recommend Bzees shoes for casual day wear- I have 5 pair (!) that have seen me though 10 plus mile days in Europe and Asia- most recent trip was with their boat shoes (no socks!) all day- big plus they are waterproof and machine washable.
I highly recommend these SM wake sneakers from Kmart. I wore them all over Italy for two weeks. Comfortable, breathable, and inexpensive. You can wear a low cute sock or no socks. I also have wide feet and they fit comfortably straight from the box. They are now the shoes I commute in. I bought them in both grey and blush.
@ Marie I’m using your suggestion and ordered a Blush and Black pair (plus a set of underwear for DH) to reach the free shipping quota. Hoping they will work for a September,16 day Baltic cruise with shore excursions in every port.
I find that if I am planning to do lots of walking in warm weather I have to wear a shoe that can be worn with socks (and boy, do I hate wearing socks!) otherwise my feet perspire and move around, resulting in painful blisters. It has taken a few of these incidents for me to learn my lesson!
I too hate wearing socks, so I wear Geox flats and runners that ‘breath’. No socks needed! My feet do not perspire in them even in 30C heat walking the streets of Beijing.
I hate socks, too! I’ll do just about anything to avoid them.
Well-designed and well-fitting slides (with a bit of a heel) are one answer- something about the physics of your foot pushing forward and fitting snugly in the front half of the shoe means no rubbing. I found that out by accident when I bought a cute slide with a bit of a heel that ended up better for walking that my designated flat walking shoes.
I also rotate through Toms and Sketchers, you don’t need socks with them and they don’t take up much room in your bag, but they don’t offer much support.
My go to travel shoes for Europe for almost twenty years have been the San Miguel Allende sandals. I have two colors, beige and black, and wear them for sightseeing and then dinner. Love the low heel. http://www.milagrosparati.com/shoes/san_miguel/shoes/original.jpg
I love a brand called Naot. Not the most stylish shoes, but very very comfortable. Also, my trusty Mephisto fisherman sandals have taken me all over the world in the summertime. When it comes to footwear when traveling, comfort is the main concern.
I also like Naot but they only offer one (or perhaps 2) wide widths and one is a cute sling back flat that I wore several years ago…unfortunately my feet can no longer wear flats. Sometimes I feel like I am the only person in the world that has such fussy feet. I have found you really get what you pay for quality wise..so yes there are i.e. Vionic but there just isn’t enough arch support, same with Clarks…I want good leather shoes and would be willing to pay for them but if I go to brands like Paul Green, not avail. in Wide…so hoping there may be brands out there I am not aware of…fingers crossed
Nancy, have you tried Munro? They offer most of their styles in wide widths.
One of my favorite brands with wonderful cushioning and arch support is the Israeli brand, Beautifeel. They are super comfortable, expensive, and worth stalking on ebay or elsewhere. They rarely go on sale, as the price is set by the company–I even asked. Give them a try.
I discovered Beautifeel also! Pricey but I have made so many expensive mistakes and still have
had trouble. I walked miles in hot Paris with no trouble and they were cute too! Try the web site
JustOurShoes.com. They do have sales and lots of choices.
Any suggestions for long city walks in rainy weather?
I’ve had great luck with Aquatalia shoes and boots…even some of their lighter ankle boots are comfortable even in warm conditions.
Thank you, I’ll check these out!
This is also my travel conundrum. I have shoes and boots for every travel situation except rainy summer days in a city. I just bought a pair of Alegria Playa sandals for this purpose. My daughter thinks they are hideous, but they work for me.
Thanks for the tip!
Teva sandals, made for water, are perfect for me, and the model I have has a really good defined arch.
I bought Dansko Lola booties for Ireland in late August. I replace the insoles with my running orthotics. I’ve worn them a few times in the rain and I think they’ll do the trick.
Crocs (!) make wedge heel sandals that are not half bad and withstand all weather. “Patricia” is one model I saw on the U.S. site. Also ‘classic slide,’ and ‘Sanrah.’ I bought a different pair – which I can’t find now on line – a couple of years ago at a street market in France and really, you can hardly tell they’re rubber. All right, YOU can tell, but I can’t. Comfortable, arch support, rainproof, 30 euros or something like that in dollars.
When I was in Paris this Spring, I took Ecco and Arche slip ons. After day 3, my feet were swollen and blistered. I stopped by the nearest Monoprix and picked up a pair of Vejas sneakers (one size larger to accommodate my foot woes). The next day, we toured Versailles,and everyone (except for a few women over 50) wore sneakers. The 20 and understand wore Nike and Addidas. Their elders opted for stylish sneakers in gold, silver or other metallics.
The cobblestones of Versailles show no mercy! That day trip is the ultimate test of travel shoes . . . A thicker sole helps with the stones, arch support is a NECESSITY. You’ll want to wander every magnificent inch, so be prepared! I love Vionic. Their new expanded styles are super!
L’Amour des Pieds https://lamourdespieds.com/#!/product/BRENN-SDSCA/
I found some really cute Ecco sneakers (with laces in multiple colors) on Zappos and also Nordstrom. They have removable insoles, although the insoles allow me to walk a lot farther without pain.
I have those Eileen Fisher sandals and LOVE them. And I have some older colorful Naots (Matai) in green and orange that I wear barefoot in summer and have walked miles in while on vacation. They have removable insoles that I’ve also replaced when they get too worn.
I just returned from a week in Nice, Portofino and Milan, accompanying my husband on a business trip…I wore Steve Madden slip on sneakers on the plane, brought Josef Seibel lace up metallic sneakers, Kork-Ease (low) platform sandals and a pair of black Ara pumps…never wore the pumps or the LBD (better safe than sorry!) Rotated the sneakers in the day and wore the sandals at night. I think my travel wardrobe worked well – and I carried on! Because we were in 3 different hotels, I could have brought half the clothes. I use “PEDG International Viva” insoles when I can. They are thin and fit in a lot of my shoes…Everyone, old and young wore spanking white Stan Smith or Adidas sneakers…I did notice that…
I love the New Zealand brand, Ziera. https://zierashoes.com/us Their footwear has taken me all over the world with no problems. Many of the styles have removable insoles to accommodate an orthotic.
You must check out this brand called Rothy’s! They are super chic and comfortable and are made out of recycled plastic water bottles. Totally washable and come in two styles the “flat” and the “point”. I prefer the point – they look as chic as my designer flats and there are so many cute colors and designs. They are as comfortable as a sneaker but look like a stylish ballet flat.
I wear a regular width shoe, but my feet are a tad narrow, so I find most European brands too wide. Ecco is my default choice because they seem to run narrow. On a recent trip to Ireland and France, I took a pair of Ecco Chase sneakers and Naot Kirei mary jane’s. I took out the insole of the Ecco sneakers and added an insole from a pair of Asics sneakers and a Birkenstock “blue” 3/4 casual arch support orthotic. In the Naot mary jane’s, I added a narrow version of the Birkenstock orthotic. The Birkenstock orthotic is meant to go on top of the existing insole and adds great arch support. I found my narrow orthotic at theinsolestore.com; you might find the regular at a good shoe store. I think they run true to size.
I love Ecco Chase sneakers too!
I could climb mountains in Ana-tech shoes. They are made in California.
Offer many color options and have a bit of a heel. More sleek than Danskos. Lighter and for me more comfortable. I have called them with a rush order and a different choice of leather and they were happy to accommodate. I wish more stores would carry them.
Those look pretty good. Would you say they run true to size?
Yes… I wear a 8 1/2 to 9
I order size 40
Also they have an incredible removable leather insole.
I will use their insoles in my other shoes
I have even found inexpensive Ana-tech eBay auctions and bought them just for the insole.
All day wear over uneven cobblestones and my feet are happy!!
I’m surprised no one has mentioned Mephisto. They provide great support and are super comfortable for long days of walking. I love mine.
I mentioned Mephisto above. My Mephisto fisherman sandals are wonderful. Lots of support. I had them resoled. They have gone with me everywhere!
Over a year ago I tore a tendon in my left foot. Even though it eventually healed, I must wear orthotics and shoes with lots of support designed to provide stability. I wear a narrow width, which makes the situation even worse. I wear sneakers most of the time, and New Balance 990s work perfectly. Wearing them makes my damaged foot feel perfectly normal. I’m now exploring SAS shoes, which are available on Zappos. Much as I would like to be able to wear less clunky looking shoes, I focus on being grateful that I can walk.
I recently discovered the Abeo footwear brand. They have many cute, comfortable, and supportive options with built-in orthotics based on your foot needs ( I get metatarsal support footbed). I have very narrow, bony feet, so I am limited to styles with multiple strap adjustment options, but they have even more stylish options if your foot is a bit less narrow. I walked all over Boston (such a great walking city) and wear them for my daily 3-4 mile walks here in Chicago. Also got a great cork bed style with a platform for shopping, going out, etc.
Love, love my Paul Greens. They are my go to travel shoes.
I was waiting for someone to praise Paul Green. If I could only own shoes from a single maker, it would be Paul Green.
My left foot especially is a mess — broke several bones in a motorcycle accident, now riddled with arthritis. I needed waterproof light short boots for a trip to Portland earlier this year. After some research, I bought a pair of these: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B002HFFZC4/ref=twister_B002FTLMAQ?_encoding=UTF8&th=1 Arcopedico is a brand made in Portugal.
When I got the boots, I was skeptical; they seemed so light and flimsy. They are not leather, but some sort of synthetic material. But they turned out to be amazing. I walked for days, in the rain, keeping up with my 25-year-old son. We even did some waterfall hiking…splashing and walking over rocks. The boots still look brand new. They clean up with a damp cloth.
You can pull the insoles out and put in an orthotic if you need to. They pack beautifully because they are lightweight and flexible. I recommend wearing a high-ish sock as the zipper may rub against your skin, which I found irritating.
I have not worn (and have not even heard of) many of the brands described above, although commenters response about them are certainly enthusiastic.
The summer shoe I find lately is most comfortable, light and stable in all kinds of situations is the lowly Skecher. Here’s the model I wear most often
I wish that some of you who might have also worn this Skecher model could compare its utility to the faves you mentioned above (or to others). I’d really appreciate your input, since I’m always seeking a better model.
I love my Skechers and their memory foam! That’s my latest favorite transit shoe, they feel like slippers.
I just got back from 18 days in the UK and Paris. The weather ranged from chilly and rainy to full sun with record setting high temperatures. I have multiple foot problems, so finding a comfortable walking shoe has been a nightmare. I had just bought the Skechers Go Step Marina and threw them in my suitcase as a back-up pair of sneakers, just in case. I lived in those shoes! They have a boat shoe design with a sneaker insole and tread. They are lace-ups, so I could relax the fit as my feet swelled up during the day. They looked super cute with both jeans and capris. I wore them for sight-seeing as well as to the theater. I’m so glad I threw them in my suitcase!
I love Skechers! Like you, I threw a pair of them (Skechers Performance GO Step) into my suitcase just in case. I went to Cape Cod and although I also brought sandals and a dress flat I ended up wearing the Skechers the whole time (the Cape is very casual). I just got back from Mesa Verde National Park and wore them there, too. This style wouldn’t make it to the theatre, but I find them comfortable and supportive for most activities, and well-priced.
Thanks, Kimberly and Denise for your Skechers reviews. Really appreciate it.
We travel frequently and I love the Eileen Fisher Sport as well!
The breathable knitted Zerogrand oxfords from Cole Haan just saved my feet in the Paris heat. https://www.colehaan.com/womens-zerogrand-stitchlite-wingtip-oxford-black-knit-ivory/W06723.html?dwvar_W06723_color=Black%20Knit-Ivory
Those look really cute! Will have to swing by my local Cole Haan store and give them a try…
I’ve had the fall version of these for a couple of years in a grey, very soft and light suede. 5 stars!!! Check the reviews though, I seem to remember they run a little small…
Me too, wore them the whole time!
Susan, Thank you for devoting a post to the topic of comfortable summer footwear. It’s not easy to find stylish shoes to accommodate tricky feet. The information and recommendations provided by you and your readers will be extremely helpful as I search for my next pair!
Very timely post for me; just got back from 2 weeks in Germany, Netherlands, & England. Footwear was definitely inadequate! I wore Naturalizer sandals, which are comfy, but not sturdy enough for cobblestones. The new Sperrys I brought turned out to be less comfortable than I had expected…I think they’ve cut corners on their shoes lately & they are just not as good as my old ones. Am going to NY for a few days next week, so today picked up a pair of Clarks slip-on sneakers, in perforated metallic leather. They seem to be nice & cushiony, but unfortunately you can’t really tell until you’ve walked in them for a while…..
Jill Ann, Take a look at Naot shoes. I wear the Mary Jane style when I really want to be able to walk for miles.
There is a great product you can get at the drugstore called “Band-Aid Friction Blister Block.” It comes in a stick and you rub it anywhere on your foot where you shoes might rub. I think it’s a miracle product and always travel with it. Since it’s a stick, it can go in your carry-on.
Ooooh. Thanks…definitely going to get this and try it. I’m finding summer to be a challenge and want to make sure I have solved this specific problem by the time we go to Italy this fall.
This post came at the perfect time. I’m planning a trip to London and Paris in August and going crazy trying to figure out which shoes to bring. I have a torn ankle tendon and need supportive stability shoes to prevent overpronation. My normal New Balance sneakers look like Frankenstein feet, so I’m trying to find shoes that will look somewhat attractive with slim fit pants and even skirts but not give me blisters….Appreciate all the recs. Dansko and Munro have worked for me in the past but I will look into some of these other options. Merci bien, Susan!
Thank you everyone! I have some shopping to do for my poor aching feet!
Shoes are such a challenge for me because I have a narrow foot. Typically I need an AA. (I’m often told by a salesperson, “these run narrow,” and 9 times out of 10, they don’t work.) I need a true narrow. I’ve tried pretty much every style of Munro America and they just don’t work for my feet. Donald Pliner and Stuart Weitzman work, but they are very pricey and don’t really have the styles I look for when traveling. One shoe I swear by, that fits because it ties, is the Fly London Ylfa. They have a very thick rubber sole and I’ve walked around cities for 3 days with these on my feet. The challenge for travel is that they’re heavy, so I usually wear them on the plane. I own three pair: blue, black and gold metallic. Love them. Fly London has tons of styles, most with that very thick rubber sole.
If Fly London ran wider I would def. buy them…so stylish, rubber soles as you said and not super pricey (compared to Munro, Memphisto, Paul Green, etc).
Check out Taos–sneakers, sandals, good arch support, stylish and Cloud–great cushioning and style. Taosfootwear.com and cloud-foot ware.com websites
Lots of great suggestions in the comments. I also love my Cole Haan Zero Grand oxfords. They wear like sneakers, but look like a dressier oxford. Cole Haan online usuall has many styles on sale. I have them in a beautiful blue metallic. They do run narrow, but I ordered my regular size in a W width. On the more casual side, but still offering great arch support, are BluKick slip-ons. The insole is removable, but I like the one that is original to the shoe. Plus, most have really cool designs on the heel and there is a wonderful image on the sole. I own 3 pair and my husband has one, too. The price is also very reasonable. Finally, oluKai thong sandals. I wear these everywhere I can get away with a thong shoe. Zappos has many styles, but I like the simple leather. http://www.zappos.com/p/olukai-wana-dark-java-dark-java/product/8452446/color/150930
I also love Naot for comfort and Aquatalia for waterproofing and style,
In quickly scanning all the comments above I don’t think anyone has mentioned the Geox sandals. I have always had trouble with my feet: lots of blisters/warts etc. on the bottom. So, thanks to my wonderful podiatrist working with me for the past two months to get rid of them, completely, I also bought these:
Can’t begin to tell you how comfortable they are!!! Just back from two weeks in England: garden tour in Cotswolds, and then many days in London. These shoes were fabulous and so good looking. I do not like closed toe sneakers of any kind, so these were perfect for me!
I agree on sandals. At least for an option for airing out your feet between other shoes.
I love my Sketcher Go Walks. They look a lot like espadrilles, but more cushioned. I wore a brand-new pair around NYC and got no blisters. That is miraculous, considering my bizarro feet.
I, too, wore inexpensive ugly Skechers in NYC a few weeks ago and they saved my life. My expensive Cole Haans left me with terrible blisters and I’ve yet to “break in” the Birks I bought specifically bought for that trip.
I think my white ones are kind of cute! Not ugly! But I bought the same model in black and those definitely are hideous–big regrets.
Hi Susan. Living in subtropical qld and travelling extensively in Asia, i live in ‘walking’ sandals most of the year. My aa-b feet love adjustable styles in naot, merrell and trader jacks (which i think is spanish). For plane travel, and any sightseeing days where i must have enclosed shoes, i wear lightweight geox maryjanes bought in france. Sadly these have been walked to death so i am on the hunt for a replacement. Will check out recommendatios above although limited brand choice in Aus . Thanks for the earlier tip on aquatalia boots for wet weather – will be in UK in December so have just invested in a pair. Wearing them in now and have high hopes for all day walking comfort.
After some online research today, I found a local Abeo stockist…happy surprise as I’m a way from a large city…a quick trip to be digitally fitted and I now own a pair of ‘Brynn’ sandals.. multi adjust so I’m hoping they prove as comfortable for extended walking as they do at first try on…will report back. Thanks Mary for the tip, and Susan for inviting the conversation. Still hunting for that Mary Jane replacement though!
Update. After wearing for a few weeks, happy to report that the abeos are super comfortable for extended wear. The adjustable straps also mean they can accommodate swelling in super hot weather. No rubbing. Aquatalia boots are another great find. Still hunting for Mary Janes…
An update from a discovery yesterday…the Naot Bloom collection …. the width says medium with removable insoles…BUT…my wide width orthotics fit in them and the soles are sturdy, the shoes stylish…ordered 1 pair from Amazon and 1 from Nordstroms…fingers crossed they work..not cheap but if I can do long distance walking in them…worth their weight in gold! So far the old shoes that meet this criteria is Brooks Addiction athletic shoes and Birkenstock Arizonas. As I said for some reason altho my orthotic fits in Munro brand shoes, I can wear to work or short term errand tasks but not day long city walking.
I’m adding two bits of advice, learned the hard way:
1. Sandals: always get a back-strap model (like those Sue has shown); those without pose hazards on buses and in subways- other places, too. That also rules out mules.
2. If you find a great walking sandal or shoe and possibly can (even if it seems a weird way to spend money), buy two pairs, break both in and take them! You do not need lots of different shoes but you do need to give shoes a break. And if you find ones that really fit it’s so much more efficient to buy two pairs.
I love mules/slides for travel – but they have to fit well enough that they can’t be easily kicked off.
Back straps bother me, they never sit right on the back of my foot.
I, too, love Birkenstocks! I like the Gizeh & nor discontinued Sparta. I buy my Birks slightly used (which sometimes means they’re virtually brand new) on Ebay ( I try really hard to avoid buying new for environmental and animal rights reasons). I’ve alsdo had good luck with some Merrell sandals, and Keen makes a ballet flat w/ a wide toe box. I now refuse to wear anything but a wide toe-box because we women deform our feet by squishing them into an unnaturally tapered shape.
Also Ecco has a nice metallic sandal that’s comfy fora special night going out
But really, in Europe, I find nice Birks worked fine for evenings at a good restaurant!
I have overpronation issues and normally wear Danskos at home, but was preparing for a 2 week European trip this summer, and most Danskos are so clunky I didn’t want to pack them. Then I discovered Abeo sandals (thanks to this blog)! They come in various footbeds based on your special foot needs. I found a pair for overpronators. They were comfy right out of the box and I wore them day and night for 5 solid days in Europe with nary a blister. Highly recommend! Along with those, I also took a pair of Dansko “tennis shoes” (leather) that were my second-most-comfortable shoes in Europe. Ironically, the Saucony’s that I wear all the time at home killed my feet after a few hours in Europe.