Thursday, April 7, 2011


As you may have guessed by now, I'm a shoe junkie. It's not just for their aesthetic value but also because they are my best travel companion (don't tell my suitcase and handbag... or my husband). I think of my shoes like my travel bags, invest in goodies and they will repay you in reliability, comfort and style (and compliments!). Imagine walking around a beautiful city and all you can think about is the blister rubbing raw on your heel. As one that learned the hard way, I know that when my feet are uncomfortable, I'm whiny. And my traveling companions find me unpleasant. Not to mention I can not enjoy the destination I spend so much money, time, and energy on trying to see. Here is my advise for having happy, stylish feet on your travels:


1. Don't break in your new shoes on your vacation. I would say this is a given but I would be ignoring all the times I and people I know have attempted to do this. It seems tempting to buy new shoes for that upcoming trip to Paris. However, I've wasted hours trying to find another new pair of shoes to replace the ones I'm wearing so my feet will stop hurting and then I'm caught in a never ending circle of aching feet and wasted time and money. But Jamie you love shoe shopping, you say. Shopping for pleasure or discovering an unexpected  treat while you are exploring are completely different situations than being on a mission to find flipflops in a city you are unfamiliar with. You will likely not find them.

2. Sightseeing is not a race. There isn't a prize for the first one to finish. You should pace yourself. Since I live in a city, in my daily life I generally do a lot of walking, so when I vacation in another city my body does not go into shock after walking for several hours at a time. I know how long I can go before I need a coffee, bathroom, or sitting break. If you live in the suburbs and don't walk that much, then take your time on vacation. You'll end up exhausted, sore and burnt out on the first night if you try to have a marathon day. So if I'm tired or my feet hurt, I'll spontaneously slip into a bar or cafe and use it as an excuse to try some local fair and do some people watching.

3. Switch it up. Bring more than one pair of shoes with you. Your feet are less likely to tire and get sore if you go between a few pairs. Depending on the length of my trip, I'll bring anywhere from 2 - 4 pairs of shoes.

4. Don't settle for "walking shoes". This one might seem counterintuative but I hate wearing tennis shoes or any shoe designated as a "walking shoe". (side note: for everyone outside of the South: the term 'tennis shoes' is used to describe an athletic shoe aka sneakers; not shoes made for tennis. I did not know there was a difference until I left the South. See what travel does for you? Anyways, I digress). Tennis shoes don't look great with my non-sporty style and I don't like wearing socks. So my go to travel shoes of choice are my Minnitonka Moccasins. I have several pairs and love them all. I wear them on my walking commute. I've worn them to Paris, Dublin, Boston, Florida and even on an outdoorsy trip. Their slightly preppy, slightly old school style makes them very versitile. I wear them with dresses, pants, shorts, day or night, hot or cold. I'm obssessed with my Moccasins.

But I don't have a one track mind, I also love my Madewell Brogues and my Marc by Marc Jacobs ballet flats (both pictured above).

Do you have any favorite travel shoes?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, death to tennis shoes! I bought a pair of Tom's that are pretty comfy, and that is the closest I will get to wearing "walking shoes." I think wearing bad shoes ruins an outfit, and I always want to look cute when I travel.


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