Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Traveling Shoes: Style vs. Comfort

So, we're officially counting down the days until we leave on our Europe trip! And there's a lot of things to get done in preparation: the most important of those being what I am going to pack.

You see, we are technically "backpacking," so luggage space is limited. I prefer to overpack, because after all, you never know what situation you'll be in! My biggest problem is overpacking on shoes. Basically, even for a weekend trip, I bring at least three pairs of shoes.

Normally, I would just bite the bullet and pack one pair of shoes and call it good: but I feel even more pressure to look good considering that I'm going to be in Europe, more specifically, Paris, where I don't want to look like a filthy backpacker wearing nasty chacos in all of her photos. It can't happen, people.

So the question is, what are some good walking shoes that are still cute? I have a few options, and I really want to choose from my own closet, because any money spent on shoes is less money to buy new stuff in Europe.

I figure I need to minimize the pairs of shoes I bring to three. Maybe more if it turns out I have more room, which I doubt. So, I need your help! Based on your walking and style experiences which shoes are the "must pack"?
 Left: The Toms, a so called traveler favorite. But do they really last you a big long day of walking? Not to mention, they kind of smell after a while. Hmm.

Right: The Sperry Topsiders. I wore these hiking in Zion's for a day, and they held up pretty good, and they're all the rage, but I still worry they look too masculine.
Left: the Reef flipflops. I know from experience that these are good walking shoes, but I don't want to look like a beach bum.

Middle: the Keds. A classic. I like mine, but I haven't experienced wearing and walking in them all day.

Right: The Salt Water sandals. I love these, and I have worn them all day in NYC, so I think they'll serve me well, I hope.


Anyway, any helpful tips or info is greatly appreciated! Basically, I just don't want to resort to wearing my gym shoes, like my mom suggested that I do. Barf. I might as well throw on a fanny pack and a visor.

Thanks for your help!
Love, Annie

21 comments:

  1. I look at so many of my china pics and cringe at my shoes and outfits. Gag. I vote keds and saltwaters. Either can look chic with some crops and a cute blouse!

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  2. You're crazy. 3/4 of the people you see in Europe are going to be wearing Chacos. I guarantee it. And TOMS. Pretty much just those. Which is exactly what I wear when I go. Problem with TOMS: they are history once you get them wet. As in, soaked through. Which will probably happen. It rains a lot in Europe. You've seen Romanian summers. They're torrential. I ended up chucking mine after wearing them for 3 weeks because they never dry out and smell like death. And I bought Ked-type shoes. But TOMS are definitely comfortable enough for walking all over the place all day.

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  3. Holli, you and I are so on the same page. that's totally what i'v been leaning towards. and i do the exact same thing about my outfits/shoes from china and i justify it by being all "it was china! we were out in the rice patties!" i won't have that excuse in europe ha ha.

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  4. I vote sperrys and salt water sandals. When I was in London, I bought a pair of Clarks - red ballet flats - and wore them almost everywhere and they were the most comfortable pair of shoes I had (including some EXPENSIVE shoes my mother so kindly purchased for me at Nordstrom before I left). Now that I think about it, I SHOULD have packed them for this summer, but I dumbly did not and went with a pair of wedges (wtf?!) instead. Do not wear jeans and sneakers. #1 way that Europeans can pick out Americans.

    Also, the most stylish person I know wore some Sperrys the whole time we were in London. They are my go-to shoe for comfort, walking, hiking, sports playing, etc.

    Also, I packed a LOT of skirts and dresses and I think that made me a +1 to the countries I visited (at least I like to think so). Plus, you can mix and match skirts and dresses a LOT of ways...

    I'm totally jealous and dying to see your pics!

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  5. I would say try out the keds for a day in DC and see how they feel. If they are a go, I would pack the keds and the salt water sandals. I've heard peeps say TOMS give them achilles problems if worn extensively.

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  6. I think it's always smarter to take shoes that cover your feet and in at least some small way provide arch support because of how dirty and bumpy the streets of Europe are. It's like they've got 900 years of gunk on their cobblestones. I'd suggest only one pair of sandals, probably the salt water sandals because you won't lose one running for a bus or in a crowd. I vote the TOMS because they are easy to squish down while packing, the Keds (if they're well worn) and the salt waters.

    I'm super jealous! Have so much fun.

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  7. I have never worn a fanny pack and visor.
    From mom

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  9. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again.
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  13. how did the keds work out for you? im hoping those will be my go-to europe pair for this summer :) thanks

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    1. Sorry for such a late response, but here's a response in the comment below.

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  14. I was curious too on the Keds - planning on leaving in 45 days for a river cruise thru Europe with walking around old towns and etc….wanting to take my keds with me.

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    1. to be honest with you, the keds were the worst out of the options. Maybe it's just my feet, since I have heard others rave about keds, but they tore up my heel and it was painful and not fun. They were broken in, and I even tried them again on a trip to tokyo but had the same problem. Not a fan of keds.

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