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Walking Shoes for Southern Italy- Puglia, Amalfi Coast, Matera etc

Walking Shoes for Southern Italy- Puglia, Amalfi Coast, Matera etc

Old Aug 16th, 2013, 11:22 AM
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Walking Shoes for Southern Italy- Puglia, Amalfi Coast, Matera etc

Our trip to Puglia and the Amfalfi Coast is fast approaching- my hubs and I both need to shop for walking suitable walking shoes while we still have time to break them in. Suggestions? I searched and found some old topics on the subject. Last trip, I brought a good pair of Ecco Mary Jane-style walking shoes, which worked out great for casual and transitioned for dress, but the soles were thin and I could actually feel the cobblestones through them. Assuming the weather will still be warm during September, my casual boots may not be needed, and are perhaps be too heavy to pack, but I could wear them for the flight. Is September weather cool enough for boots? Also, we're staying in a cave hotel, so not sure if flip flops will work for navigating the floors. Input welcomed for both the hubs and I.
Thanks
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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We were there last year in early October, the weather was still warm, not hot, just pleasantly warm. Not boot weather. I wouldn't take boots in September.
I think my husband had some smart looking Geox sneakers for walking and a smart casual pair of Geox loafers for dinner etc. I like their shoes, very comfortable.

I had a pair of Geox ballet flats which have more support and cushioning than the usual ballet flats plus some comfortable sneakers for walking which fit my orthotics. I can also fit them into the ballet flats, a big plus. I had a few other pairs of shoes but no flip flops. I don't find those very practical/comfortable other than at the beach. And in a cave hotel I would be nervous about slipping everywhere in them.

Sometimes if I find the soles of my shoes feel too thin for cobblestones it helps to put in one of those Dr.Scholl or the like, gel sole for extra comfort.

I hope you have a great trip!
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Ok, I am completely the shoe gal. For travel, like you said you cannot have 'soft' on the outersole, that must be very firm for the cobblestones. I have had: Ecco, Dansko, Born, Rockport, Mephisto, Arche, New Balance ballets, BUT hands down, the new Clark Wave is just stupendous. Am taking the sandals to Switzerland, but the sneaker style is really cute and very young & stylish. (The other Clark lines are not, sorry). The bottom sole propels you forward. I do not travel with sneakers but do have a pair of NorthFace Gortex hikers/sneakers, so they're coming along too. The New Balance ballets will be relegated to walks to dinner only, no arch support. For Italy in September, I'd leave the boots & flipflops home. We were in Italy two Septembers ago, and it was 95 in Venice & Verona! Enjoy!
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 03:22 PM
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Boots will definitely be too warm and flip/flop sandals are fatal in the areas you will be in. You can easily trip, stub your toe, turn an ankle, they will be useless on cobblestones and uneven pavement.

You really need comfy walking shoes - and unless you have something with a gigantic sole - you will be able to feel the cobblestones.
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 04:55 PM
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I bought GoWalk by Skeecher for $50.00 before I went to France this summer. I wasn't sure I was going to take them but so glad I did. Used as slippers, pool shoes, and walked on pavement, dirt and cobblestones for six weeks and my feet never hurt. Not the most attractive shoe, but with what everyone else was wearing, felt right at home. And they weigh nothing. I also put orthotics in the shoes and wore them barefooted every day with no blisters. The only problem is, they don't last long. The little do-dads on the sole wear down, but who cares if you never experience any foot pain.
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 05:30 PM
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I was in those places in Mid Sept thru beginning of Oct and the weather was warm to hot. I would buy a pair of sandals that are supportive with a firm sole so you will not feel the cobblestones. Mephisto, Ecco and Naot all have sandals that would fit the bill.
We stayed in a cave hotel in matera and the floors were perfectly normal. don't recall what they were made of but no problem walking in the cave/room.
Have a great trip...Matera was fascinating and Puglia a great area.
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 05:49 PM
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I'm investigating this too, must say, Birkenstock sandals, for me, a style like Arizona, is my go to summer walking travel shoe. They provide decent traction as rubber soles under a cork bed. I never get sore, but they dont fit everyone. If I need closed toe, I don't have an answer.

Am looking at boots for a winter trip and hear Merrell, Mephisto, Clark, Ecco ( which has some great boots)...I found a website, thewalkingcomanydotcom, and there is a ton there.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 06:32 PM
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Sketchers Go Walks were my go to shoe on our trip this summer! Same with my mom and daughter. I can't even begin to tell you just how many people we saw wearing various styles of them as well, all through Italy, and the other countries we visited.

They are by far the most comfortable shoe I've worn and as mentioned above, they may not be incredibly stylish, they can be pretty versatile! I brought two pair - one in gray and another in black. The black ones I even wore with some dresses and pants for a bit of a "dressier" look at times.

They're also super light weight as far as packing. Definitely would recommend them!
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 02:13 AM
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You will certainly see boots in September on the local women, but I would not take them with me on a trip to this area at that time.

As I recall, the floors in our cave room (Locanda San Martino) were large blocks of distressed (forget the actual term, but the stone is flecked with shallow cavities) marble.

More than the street surfaces, the steps in Matera can be daunting for anyone with limited mobility.

I do not remember any cobblestones in Matera or in any of the towns mentioned.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 05:01 AM
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Will be in Italy sept 15-28 and also worried about shoes. I have 2 pair of naot sandals....one black, one neutral, but no good closed shoes option except for an easy spirit maryjane type. Are the sandals going to work for weather and dirt? I've read that the streets can be very dusty. Any suggestions appreciated.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 05:26 AM
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Where in Italy will you be? I have worn sandals as much as possible and have never had a problem. If my feet got dusty I would wash them off. I also don't recall being anywhere in Italy where it was terribly dirty. I have not been in NItaly that time of year, so can't comment on the weather there.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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Thanks all for your replies! Last night we visited a few local shops. Hubs wound up with a pair of simple Clark's wave that he found very comfortable despite issues attributed to running, so thank YOU Alice. Found our way to the walking store too-so far I haven't found anything. Living in a warm climate, I am not used to wearing completely enclosed shoes unless they're gym shoes,, so I need to check out some of your sandal suggestions. Re the cave floors- we're staying at Sextantio Grotte, which I hear has uneven stone floors in the cave rooms. And darn, boots are my go- to shoe once Fall hits!

Are shorts for men acceptable in Puglia?
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 08:14 AM
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I am not a fashion guy, comfort for me. In all my trips to Italy, France, and Spain I have had only New Balance (994 or the current version) tennies. These shoes are comfortable, not hot, and dry quickly if they get wet. I buy black and use them for my night time shoe as well as my daytime walker.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 09:00 AM
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How well will sandals work in the rain? Very unlikely you will be there for a couple of weeks with NO rain!!
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 09:07 AM
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I live in Merrell's. Winter, summer, spring and autumn. They fit my footbed perfectly. Clogs don't provide support, however. Sandals are amazing.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 10:11 AM
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Well, we were in that area for 3 weeks and didn't have a drop of rain.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 05:23 AM
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Have been wearing new Merrill Kamori Emme Mary Jane- style walking shoes, which I think will work well. Also bringing two pair of sandals, and cannot survive without at least one pair of Yellow Box flip flops, which will be my "slippers".

Willperson- my husband usually does that sane thing- black tennis shoes that transition for evening!

I wouldn't mind a little rain for atmospheric photos, but hope there won't be a lot of it!
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 05:38 AM
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I would recommend at least two pairs of good comfortable walking sandals, one that can be worn with dressier clothes if you are planning on getting dressed up during your trip. I took a pair of Naots and a pair of Clark Wave sandals and interchanged them from day to day. Both were great on the cobblestones of Rome and Florence as well as in Cinque Terre and we did lots of walking!! At the last minute I packed a pair of Mephisto maryjane style flats but didn't wear them at all....I should have gone with my packing list and left them at home!!!

DH had a pair of Ecco sandals and wore his Merrill walking shoes on the plane etc and had no complaints about his feet the whole trip!!
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 07:30 AM
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Will you be doing any of the hiking paths while on the AC? I am normally one to wear good quality walking sandals or casual tennis shoes when hiking, but this was the first time I wished I had brought real hiking shoes or boots. Maybe it's age... (We even tried to buy some hiking shoes and could not find any in Salerno.) Disregard if you are not much of a hiker, but I wanted to mention.
For towns, it's whatever works for your feet.
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Old Sep 5th, 2013, 08:06 AM
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I've got Merrill trail runners that were great through all the parks we visited in the US Southwest (Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, etc) as well as Italy (Rome, Ostia Antica, CT) And a pair of Merrill sandals that have been extraordinary as well.
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