Walking Shoes | Sandals and other shoes for Travel
Walking shoes, a really comfy pair, are one of the most important things to pack for a trip.
Or, for that matter, to wear any time you want to get out and about even when you are at home.
But when traveling, comfy feet are happy feet! When your feet hurt, or your shoes rub and pinch, you're not a happy camper.
And it's even less fun to have sore feet when you are half a world away from home!
Put some time into finding good walking shoes so you can go hiking and sightseeing in comfort. And leave dressy shoes, heels at home.
Good Walking Shoes, Hiking Shoes
It takes time to find good walking and hiking shoes that you like, and that perform the way you want, but this is time well spent. I find the MBT brand of walking shoes works well for me, and I wear them on every trip. I have the basic model, with a great sole that doesn't slip on wet rocks or icy sidewalks. (See on Amazon: MBT Men)
I bought my first pair in early 2006 at a Canada retail store distributor, and found that the mens size fit my foot better than the womens. I also got the second pair from the same source, as at that time, Amazon was unable to ship these shoes outside the USA.
But in 2013, when I needed my third pair, I again checked Amazon and found that MBTs could now be shipped to Canada, with duty prepaid. To be sure of the fit, I bought the exact same style that I already had. While Amazon would of course allow returns, the Canada duty fee was not refundable.
On a trip to Portugal's Algarve, I wore a new pair of hiking shoes that acted much like ice skates on wet cobblestones. That was not the best time to discover that quirk. So whatever pair of walking shoes you plan to take on your trip, do try them out first on a variety of surfaces and conditions.
How Many Pairs of walking Shoes, Sandals to Pack for a TripTwo Pairs: That's it. Total. Packing only two or perhaps three pairs of shoes for a trip is really difficult for many people (Ladies!), but shoes take up a lot of room in your luggage. And you can only wear one pair at a time. So choose wisely.
- pack one pair good walking shoes with laces, suitable for walking or hiking. Lace-up shoes are easier to adjust should your feet swell in the heat or in flight. Walking / hiking shoes usually weigh more than sandals and flats, so wear them while in transit so they won't be taking up room in your suitcase, or increasing the weight of your checked bag.
- pack one pair dress shoes for when you will not be walking far, like when going to dinner or a business meeting. Slip-on sandals with low heels, or flats take up little suitcase space, and double as slippers. Make sure sandals and flats are light weight for checked luggage limits.
- Okay, maybe three pairs of shoes, if the third type is a rubber or plastic thong or similar shoe to wear around the swimming pool or in the public showers, or wear as slippers in your hotel room.
Sports Sandals alternative to walking shoesSport Sandals, or hiking sandals can be used in place of walking shoes if you prefer a more open, cooler shoe. But there's a caveat depending on your destination:
- Just once find your feet awash in sewage (YUCK) or who knows what during a sudden rainstorm when gutters overflow in places like Haiti, or find yourself trying to avoid leeches in the rainforest in Borneo, and you'll forevermore wear a full walking shoe, and save your sandals for the beach.
High heels are not walking shoes:Unless you are at a resort with minimal walking, or on a business trip, leave your high heels at home and wear good walking shoes instead. You need sure, comfy footing.
[Explain to your high heels that you are leaving them at home because you love them too much to risk damaging them on rough foreign cobblestones and broken tiles, and promise to wear them just as soon as you get back! ]
Even on a business trip, when you plan to be in meetings all week and not likely to be doing any walking, jogging, or sightseeing, your itinerary may change, and you'll be prepared. Try for one or two pairs of flats plus a pair of walking shoes.
Hiking, Walking Shoes, Sneakers Need SocksWhat kind of socks you pack to wear with your walking shoes depends on where you are going, and if the weather will be hot or chilly. In hot and humid climates, heavy socks can feel like space heaters!
If you will be in a Cold Climate: Thicker, warmer socks. Washable wool is a great choice, if you can wear wool. Check them out as the processing may have removed the allergen.
Heavy wool socks can be bulky and take up a lot of room in your suitcase or pack, so if space is an issue, then wear a pair and pack a spare.
You'll likely only need 2 or perhaps 3 pairs of socks for most trips, no matter how long you are on the road. If you are wearing winter boots or hiking boots, you're not as likely to be sweating, or walking around in dirt, and so warm winter socks tend not to get as dirty as fast as light athletic or summer socks.
If You will be in a Warm Climate: Lighter weight cotton, cotton blends, sports socks. If you will be in a hot, humid climate, you need the thinnest pairs of socks you can find.
Summer socks usually need to be washed after each wearing, but since they are so much less bulky than winter socks, you can tuck 7 pairs into a pouch in your suitcase. Pack a pair in your carry-on, too, just in case your checked bag goes astray.See pictures, prices, styles of some travel socks for women, and travel socks for men on Amazon. Note that some are labeled 'compression'.
TIP Launder socks with shampoo -- great for removing body oils. Or carry small packs of powdered detergent.
TIP Socks are easy to pack, if they are nice, tidy summer-weight socks. Just tuck them into corners of your suitcase, inside your shoes or bras, or the bottom of your backpack.