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Maggie Jun 29th, 1998 11:56 PM

What are your favorite shoes for walking while traveling?
I know everyone's feet are different but I would like your opinion on what shoes have been kindest to your feet while traveling through Europe, etc. <BR>Have the extra dollars for Mephistos, Eccos, etc. been worth it? My feet need a little extra comfort these days it seems. What are your recommendations?

Donna Jun 30th, 1998 12:53 AM

Easy spirits (runner type or other lace-up styles)..haven't tried the dressier versions. As well as white, they come in grey/beige and black colours for fall and winter. I could walk forever in them and they don't require 'breaking in'. There are Easy Spirit stores in many malls. Last month my husband tried on the equivalent in the Easy Spirit mens' walking/running styles and found them so cushy yet supoortive he bought 3 pairs. He said they were much more comfortable that the Rockport styles he has always worn. Unfortunately the mens' lines are being discontinued ...the staff told us because Easy Spirits are marketed towards women, very few men ever knew they existed and would not have known to look inside the store. One might still be able to find some mens' shoes; they were all sale-priced to clear.

Monica Jun 30th, 1998 06:08 AM

I also wear Easy Spirit shoes. Beige; lace up. VERY comfortable and though they are not dressy, they look much better than sneekers.

Christina Jun 30th, 1998 06:15 AM

I did love Eccos untill I bought one pair of <BR>Ecco Shape-womens collection. They were looking <BR>good but were horrible to use ! So avoid Ecco Shape <BR>but for example Ecco Relax has allways been worth <BR>it's price.

anne Jun 30th, 1998 06:44 AM

I have been really happy with aerosoles - usually buy a pair before going and use them for a while, then walk 'em to death on a trip! In addition to comfort, they can be dressy and stylish too.

Joann Jun 30th, 1998 07:34 AM

You did not say whether price or fashion were issues with you. In March, I flew to Italy for two weeks - on the plane and for the entire two weeks except one day that it rained heavily, I wore a pair of Gucci boots ($425) - black - just over the ankle and with a fairly low heel. I have narrow feet and wear a very lightweight pair of socks underneath. I was in total comfort the entire time and I walked incredible distances. This is a much better look than athletic shoes - everything from jeans to nice suits. I took a pair of running shoes but wore them only on the day it rained.

Cheryl Z. Jun 30th, 1998 11:09 AM

<BR>WoW! Is that really $425.00 listed above, or maybe a typo?? Oh well, for me, I agree about the aerosoles, especially since they can double for dress up if need be. But now I will be looking for the Easy Spirit and Eccos mentioned - thanks, ladies.

Maggie Jun 30th, 1998 12:42 PM

To answer Joann's question, my first and foremost concern is comfort -- all day, walking all over comfort. Thanks for the ideas so far.

Joanna Jun 30th, 1998 04:41 PM

My last two trips o/s I wore Saucony joggers which were very comfy, but easy to get dirty because they are white. When I go to Scandinavia later this year I have decided to wear a pair of Rockport black nubuck laceups that I've had for about two years. They still look good and are comfy to walk around in for a day here, so hope they'll do the distance o/s. Being black and nubuck they can go from night to day without me needing to "dress up" shoe-wise. <BR>

JOAN DOYLE Jun 30th, 1998 06:37 PM

Let me add one more vote for Easy Spirit walking shoes. Since I usually travel in November or December I take a pair of black oxfords with Velcro fasteners. They are suitable for all but the dressiest occasion and I find them VERY comfortable. They (Easy Spirit)also make a very comfortable mid-heel calf dress shoe and I usually take a pair of those for dressier occasions as well. All are priced under $100 and though the more costly footwear mentioned above may be nice, I find Easy Spirit just right. Happy trails! Joan

Dayle Jun 30th, 1998 08:11 PM

I took a pair of black Munro ankle high lace up low heel boots and walked in them for two weeks. This was in March and they worked well in the snow up in Cortina and all the way to Amalfi. Just bought a second pair because they are so comfortable. Nordstrom's has them, I don't know where else. Have fun! <BR>

caryn Jul 1st, 1998 02:53 PM

I bring sandals and sneakers on my trip because that is what I wear here at home. My sandals are flat and extremely comfortable. They are not Tevas or that type of sandal but regular shoes. I wear my sneakers on days I might hike. I actually bring my sneakers more out of a sense of obligation than actually needing to wear them. However, if you are concerned with fitting in with the locals and not looking like an American tourist, do not wear sneakers, and if you do, do not wear white socks. These are a definite give away. In my opinion, Europeans are far better dressed than we are. Of course, they are not walking around for ten hours that day.

Donna Jul 1st, 1998 03:10 PM

My absolute favorites are Reebock "Walkers". Come in white, beige and black. Incredibly comfortable - like walking on pillows. Great for tourist attractions and museums (essential actually) and for walking all over. Definitely agree that something dressier is better for restaurants and going out in the evening. For those occasions, I like Easy Spirit flats and low heeled pumps. Very plain, but very comfortable. I also have a pair of Naturalizers that look good and carry me for miles. I like Aerosoles for local travelling, but find the soles are too thin for lots and lots of walking, especially if the street/sidewalks are cobblestone or brick, or even those miles and miles of exhibits in museums. Be advised that, after walking all day (even in your most comfortable shoes),you'll want something almost as comfortable in the evening. I found that after changing to my most comfortable "evening" low heeled pumps, my feet weren't up to much strolling.

Marcia Jul 1st, 1998 03:54 PM

Easy Spirits Warning: If you weigh much over 125 pounds (women) think twice. The pair I wore to Hong Kong last april, and around a vacation lake near my home last June have cost me hundreds and hundreds of dollars in doctor bills and physical therapy bills. They failed to support me properly, even with custom orthotics, and I have a badly strained fascia (connects your heel to your toes). Two of the doctors said they have had other patients with the same problem, same shoe. They are not built for us taller larger folks. <BR> My personal favorites, beside New Balance running shoes (tacky, but they work), are SAS shoes, which come in flat heel and low heel, lace up, but a little dressy, and usually in a range of basic colors. Also made for men, and not wildly expensive. <BR> Happy walking.

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Jul 1st, 1998 05:34 PM

My wife, Susan, swears by her Easy Spirits. But, <BR>once again we have a Mars and Venus thing here. <BR>The answer for the weaker sex is not the same. <BR>For you guys that walk those same cobbled streets, <BR>I highly suggest the ROCKPORT PROWALKERS--call them <BR>the Easy Spirit for guys.

Polina Jul 2nd, 1998 08:18 AM

My husband and I just returned from a 4 week trip to Europe. I wore a pair of Nine West "Cloud Nine" soled sandsals. They were great! The Cloud Nine soles were indeed like walking on a cloud. The support was great, as well. I always have problems finding adequate support in the arch, but these were great! The Cloud Nine soles come on several different styles. If I was to do it again, I would take the sandals and another pair or Cloud Nine soled-shoes such as a closed-toe loafer for the rainier days. You can find Nine West stores in many malls as well as large department stores. It's worth trying them on.

Nancy Wilson Jul 2nd, 1998 10:53 AM

Just returned from three weeks in Europe. I wore Mephistos sandels. I didn't want to spend that much money $150.00 but my husband I glad I did. They were wonderful. My husband wore blck tennis shoes and his feet were very warm. I only took the sandals for day and black tennis shoes for night, it was perfect. <BR>

Bee Jul 2nd, 1998 08:56 PM

Just got back from Italy. I brought Aerosoles and Reeboks (yes, I did bring white athletic shoes which labeled me as a "tourist") which were comfy and practical.

JChaney Jul 3rd, 1998 05:37 PM

I have had very good luck with SAS shoes. I just returned from 3 weeks in Europe and I only took dark SAS shoes - 2 pair of walking shoes and 1 pair of flats. We walked long distances and I was always comfortable. I saw lots of black walking shoes but white sneakers were not popular.

Sandy Jul 3rd, 1998 06:53 PM

Another vote for SAS over Easy Spirits. I think they support my foot a lot better. For a break from tie shoes, Teva has a wonderful new performance-walking sandal for women, called the Circuit. Very light weight, cool, yet great support. If you can't find them in stores, they have a web site at or call 800-367-8382.

Isabel Jul 3rd, 1998 09:23 PM

What about shoes for the rain? Can anyone recommend comfortable walking shoes that are also waterproof and yet not too hot?

Emily Copeman Jul 4th, 1998 12:56 PM

Although it depends on whether you are looking for total comfort, total style, or a combination of both, open-toed all-terrain sandals are always your best buy. Birkenstocks range from $85-$50. They are nice for walking on dirt roads and in small villages, but tend to wear out easily. if you are looking for strong-soled shoes for traveling on foot in a big city, Tevas are a slightly more affordable and much more comfortable shoe. With Tevas, which range from $65-$30 (for the real ones of course), you don't have to worry about rapid wearing out, and they won't slip off your feet because of the ankle straps. I would reccomend those especially for traveling in a place with cobblestones etc. Good Luck!

Gigi Jul 4th, 1998 04:46 PM

I was fretted like crazy over what shoes to take on my last trip because sore feet just make me miserable, but I like to dress neat and not touristy so I didn't want to wear tennies. I bought a pair of Ariat boots and wore them every day for a week and my feet felt great. They are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. These are black, low (just above the ankle) and look like jodhpur boots with a little capped toe. They are waterproof leather and have a wonderful cushion-y insole and supported arch. Ariat riding boots are designed by women for womens feet so they are wider where you need it and narrow where you need it. E-mail me if you want suggestions for where to find them.

Judy Jul 4th, 1998 04:48 PM

I also like SAS shoes. The lace-up style is best for me. I prefer beige because it's a neutral, go with everything color. Some of the other styles don't fit me right because I have a narrow foot. I also bring a pair of ROCKPORT sandals - the only sandals I wear. I discovered that my black pair is great - day use I go barefoot. At night I use a pair of black hose which gives a dressy look and have found that I don't have to bring any other dress shoes. <BR>

bulgert Jul 7th, 1998 04:10 AM

After traveling in France and Switzerland last summer and then Wales and London this summer the best piece of advice I can give you is leave the tennis shoes at home. Or only pull them out when you are hiking. The difference in service and treatment is unbelievable. My friend wore nice white walking shoes & she would be ignored. I wore my aresole and easy spirit sandals as much as possible and had no problems. Do consider the weather and find something comfortable for the rain. Last year in Provence I was able to wear my sandals in the rain. This year in Wales I was forced to put my running shoes on as it was 50 degrees and pouring. <BR>

Karen Jul 7th, 1998 09:47 AM

I couldn't travel without my Ecco "Soft" models. They look good, not like athletic shoes; they come in black, bone, brown nubuck, etc. They are SO lightweight that I never feel as if I'm dragging, despite walking miles through Provence and and the sidewalks of London (plus the second pair weighs so little in my suitcase). Easy Spirits, Reeboks and Mephistos don't fit me and I am thrilled to have found these Eccos!

kam Jul 7th, 1998 12:05 PM

Just to add one more to the mix, Nordstroms makes their own shoes---cushioned sandal which are wonderfully comfy as we as Easy Spirit "clones"---I always take one pair low heels in black and one pair black sandals. I also think it helps to change your shoes periodically to give your feel a change. <BR>

Leslie Mehren Jul 7th, 1998 05:27 PM

Here is my vote for Ariat shoes and boots - absolutely the best I've tried, and I love to walk long distances. The sandals look like real shoes, not funky earth-mama type gear, and the leather is very good quality. I wore these all over France last year, and walk in them around San Francisco all the time. Never a blister or an ache from them! I bought mine at Nordstrom in SF. All of the shoes have the same last and heel as their original riding boots, so you can also ride horses in them if the urge strikes you!

Julie Jul 7th, 1998 05:56 PM

Just a note for those who might be purchasing Easy Spirit shoes in the near future. There is a national sale going on, officially starting July 10, but some stores are holding them for you now and you get the sale price on the 10th. I tried several styles on and really liked the one called "Mach I", it comes in 2 colors; white with grey sole or black leather. <BR>

Michele Jul 7th, 1998 05:58 PM

I just returned from a self-guided tour that began in Geneva and ended in Rome (June 17-July 4). I wore Tevas nubuck suede "Crossover" fisherman style sandal that gave me good support yet were still light and airy in the God-awful swealtering heat!

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