Shoes for travel - are shoemakers daft?

Apr 10th, 2005, 07:46 AM
  #1  
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Shoes for travel - are shoemakers daft?

I'm going to central Europe in July, and am facing the same dilemma I face every trip: what shoes to bring! I like to pack light and for shoes I plan on wearing a pair of light, well-broken-in hiking shoes (not boots). They're not particularly attractive, but they aren't terrible either and they're great for walking all day (but they'd be too embarrassing to wear with shorts). And I'm also going to bring a pair of sandals that will be comfortable for walking, which I can wear with shorts and slightly more dressed up pants. I just bought a pair of black Easy Spirit sandals which look quite nice and are very comfortable. The footbed is suede (which I love), BUT they sewed/glued an oval piece of leather in the middle of the heel! Do shoemakers NOT HAVE FEET OR WHAT? Why on earth would ANYONE think such a thing would be comfortable? It adds a noticeable bulge and you can FEEL the edge of the leather! I guess the only thing stupider is the fact that I bought them! Ok, I bought them with the intention of cutting out the patch - and I did - but there's this foam-like stuff under the leather that I'm now scraping out. It will probably take 20 minutes or so. So... I don't exactly have a question! Just wanted to share my experiences - and frustrations - with finding those "perfect" travel shoes. Why can't shoemakers get it in their heads that women would like comfortable walking shoes that are also reasonably fashionable? Anyone share my frustration? And what shoes do you take along on a touring trip to Europe? (My July trip will be a little over 2 weeks - Vienna, Krakow, Prague, Budapest!)
Would love to hear thoughts. (I know shoes have been written about before, but who gets tired of shoe discussions?)
Karen
althom1122 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 07:59 AM
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If traveling in the summer months, I take my trusty walking shoes (which I end up wearing most of the time during the day when touring.) I also bring along my comfortable Birkenstock sandals. I don't wear them all day, but in the evenings it feels really good to slip them on.
Kayb95 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 08:43 AM
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hi
Yes, women's shoes are a ridiculous topic which men must be tired of reading about, but it's not just we women who make them ridiculous, it's also the manufacturers.
They put an extra piece of leather in yours which was sure to rub. You were in a sense lucky in noticing this problem before the trip and trying to fix it--too often I don't become aware of the heel-rubbing problem until I've walked a mile or so in them and I've developed a blister. Other pet peeves:
buckles or studs that protrude through the shoe to rub against your foot;
shoes supposedly geared to comfort and support that have some
elaine is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 08:45 AM
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hi
Yes, women's shoes are a ridiculous topic which men must be tired of reading about, but it's not just we women who make them ridiculous, it's also the manufacturers.
They put an extra piece of leather in yours which was sure to rub. You were in a sense lucky in noticing this problem before the trip and trying to fix it--too often I don't become aware of the heel-rubbing problem until I've walked a mile or so in them and I've developed a blister. I try them on in the store, I walk around in them at home, and these sneaky problems don't appear until I am really depending on the shoes. Other pet peeves:
buckles or studs that protrude through the shoe to rub against your foot;
shoes supposedly geared to comfort and support that have some unfinished seam inside that creates more blisters, sandals whose crosspieces slice right into the base of my toes when I walk, etc

Women often have to choose between practicality and fashion in shoes, so I bring at least one clunky pair (often wear one pair, pack one) for daytime walking and a nicer pair for evenings. But when the clunky pairs betray me, I really think I've been had.
elaine is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 08:52 AM
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Hi
I wanted to refer you also to this recent thread on sandals

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34590355

I bought two pairs of the Born Riche sandals referenced in the thread (bought on line.) Just walking in my neighborhood yesterday, one pair did indeed feel like walking on pillows and mattresses. But as comfortable as they are, they are slides, which take additional effort and concentration to wear, at least they do for me. I'd wear them on short walks or during evenings, but I can't see relying on them for hours of serious touring on cobblestoned streets. But then, I'm not
French or Italian.
elaine is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 09:57 AM
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These are the sandals I bought - you can see the leather patch in the heel.
(I hope an Easy Spirit shoe designer sees this post!)
Anyone else have any other stupid shoe stories?

http://www.easyspirit.com/s?namespac...10102&cid=1094

althom1122 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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I, too, bought a pair of Born sandals, Serenity, for a trip to Russia in June. They were the most comfortable shoes that I tried on while in the store. I wore them to work the other day, and, like althom1122, I found that the footbed was very annoying/uncomfortable. They had sewn a different piece of leather into it. Maybe they thought it looked nice, design-wise, but comfort-wise it's not nice.
Yeah, one wonders about designers/manufacturers - it's almost impossible to find a shoe/sandal that isn't a slide - and then try to find a a shoulder handbag that doesn't have a short strap !!! I'm now looking at a Marc Jacobs bag that has an extendable/adjustable strap but am reluctant to buy it online because it doesn't say just how long the strap might be ! I may just go to a consignment store to find the type of bag I want. And, forget about a leather-lined bag. You won't find that for ANY price.
Bedar is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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I threw some sandals into the sea in San Remo because of that horrible tag sewn into the bottom of the heel pad.

Have you noticed they have them sewn into bedroom slippers too? Seems like they go out of their way to make comfortable shoes unwearable.

Conspiracy or ignorance?
SeaUrchin is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 10:24 AM
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Conspiracy - they want us to have to buy another pair.
Bedar is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 10:30 AM
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This is a general tip for sandal wearing while traveling (this will not fix bad sandals of course).

I take a couple pair of thin, colored or printed slip-on cotton socks. The kind that barely come to your ankle. These look OK with sandals and really help with the 'rub' to avoid blisters.

And no I'm not talking bright white or black socks pulled up tight on your shins with birkenstocks.
suze is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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Besides socks, some hosiery manufacturers are now making half-versions of what I used to call 'peds'. These cover either just the front half of the foot, good when wearing mules or clogs, or else just the center of the foot,good for some slides that have wide crosspieces.
I'm not sure what these thingies are consistently called, I found them once by googling foot covers, or something odd like that.

I also now don't only travel with bandaids in my purse, I also travel with some sticky-backed moleskin that I can apply to the inside of shoes if needed.
elaine is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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althom, I hope you write to Easy Spirit directly--maybe they'll listen.
elaine is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 11:01 AM
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I've seen a lot of shoes that have these labels that rub or other things that stick into your feet and make them uncomfortable. I think it is partly a matter of ignorance and partly a matter of not really caring. I suspect the designers who create these shoes are just designing from style and never wear them, and I'll bet Easy Spirit never bothers to really test the products. I don't think these manufacturers really care that much if their shoes are comfortable, they are just trying to sell shoes to people who haven't bought them before and don't think of these things. I don't think it is to sell another pair because after you have a bad experience, you might be less likely to buy that brand again (I know I would).

I agree with the idea that slides often are not comfortable for all-day walking. I have a couple pair of sandals that really are because they aren't slides -- they have straps over the instep and around the ankle. YOu can find sandals like that which stay on better. I have a couple pair by Ecco and Munro that are like that, and I've seen other brands liks SAS. I don't think Easy Spirit products are really that top-notch for what they purport to be, but many others like them.


My Ecco and Munro sandals are casual (the Ecco are black with a cork sole) but look okay with dressier pants or possibly a skirt if not really dressy. Neither is as casual as those Teva sandals that have patterned straps and look okay only with really casual clothes.
Christina is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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I have a pair of Easy Spirit black suede 3 strap sandals that I liked and used successfully for Europe last summer. They weren't too expensive, also weren't all that well made, so only lasted a single season. But I was happy with them overall.

I've had good luck with Merrell's & Ecco, not with Munro & Mephisto (neither fit me for some reason). I saw in TravelSmith that Teva has a couple styles of MUCH better looking dressier/comfort sandals this season.
suze is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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I'm a huge fan of Dansko sandals. One problem they have, though, is not coming in half-sizes. I fall inbetween and have to make do with a slightly larger shoe. They're also not the greatest on cobblestones. Okay, so, maybe they'd suck in Europe. But they're awesome in American cities.
booklady is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 11:51 AM
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I have seen those "sandle socks", for lack of a better term, in several stores lately. Mervyns, Kohls, Macy's...I thought they were stupid but now I see the point and they might help with parts of the sandle rubbing. I can't remember what they are called either but if you look in the sock department of most stores, I think you'll find them.
crefloors is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Karen,
That's funny... not funny, ha ha, but funny peculiar. I just walked out in the living room to show my husband how Clark's shoes had sewn a patch onto the heel of the, otherwise comfortable, suede foot beds of my new sandals.

Sandy
sandypaws3 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Karen,
I've been having a foot problem lately, and I had to buy a shoe with a wide toe box to accomodate it. I've had SAS before, and I really didn't like them that much, but they do have a round, rather than oval toe, so thought I'd try them again. They've changed the design, and they're much better -- arch support and and more padding inside or something. We went to Bruges, and I walked on cobblestones with no pain. The first time we went to Belgium, was to Brussels, and I wore the older model of SAS, walking on their cobblestones. It was like someone took hammers to the soles of my feet. I can't say the SAS are really stylish looking, but they're not bad for a walking shoe. I bought black nu-buck, and I love them! I have ECCO and Mephisto, and these are by far the most comfortable shoes I own.

Sandy
sandypaws3 is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Whether it's a travel shoe or just any shoe, I don't understand the need for some of the things they sew into them! Scrathy sewn in labels ,extra stitiching , padds..they are all bothersome!

And let's not forget those horrible toe seams on socks! Even if you find a pr. of comfortable shoes, that lumpy toeseam will rub a great blister!
jody is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 12:37 PM
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Jody,
I empathize with your dislike of seams in socks. I'm diabetic, and so I really have to watch my feet. Gold toes are supposed to be good socks, but their seams give me blisters, so I solve the problem by turning them inside out. It looks a little odd, but better than blisters.

When we were in Paris, I needed to buy some socks, as I didn't like the ones in our local department store. They were expensive, but no toe seams. I wish I'd bought more than 2 pair, but I went looking and found what I hope are the same socks online. The brand is Falke Family, and I think they're made in Germany. I ordered two pair from www.figleaves.com

http://makeashorterlink.com/?S3B522CDA

The socks in the picture look like the socks I bought in Galleries Lafayette, and if they are, I'm ordering several more pair, as it's so hard to find socks without a seam in them.

Sandy
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