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What is better for sightseeing - sandals with strap in the back or no?

What is better for sightseeing - sandals with strap in the back or no?

Mar 1st, 2010, 07:48 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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This is the Munro style that I have and it is well made and comfortable.

Luisah is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 07:54 AM
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I usually wear good walking shoes that are stylish enough. If I wear sandals, its always my ECCO pair. In a city I walk many, many miles each day and keep in mind that if your feet hurt it will ruin your trip.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 08:03 AM
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wow! lots of good suggestions! I am going to look up all these different shoe brands when I get home. Thanks to all.
JillDavis is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 08:58 AM
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If you want to get sandals, get the kind that acutally have a back on them, like a regular shoe. You don't need to take a zillion pairs of shoes, but it's good to take at least two so you can change from day to day.

You don't realize how much you walk, how long you are on your feet every day...concrete and cobblestone walk ways, marble floors in museums, all hard surfaces. You need support and if you don't have it, not only will your feet feel it, but your back and legs too.

Take some bandaids and mole skin with you just in case.
crefloors is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 09:09 AM
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Do you think the gel inserts are good too?
JillDavis is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 09:34 AM
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Hi Jill,
I would never consider shoes with anything on my heel- learnt that lesson in pain!
I have just ordered 4 pairs of FLYFLOT shoes especially for my upcoming trip to Paris & Canada. Some are sandal-type and some are clog-type. Both are equisite to wear. I bought them online directly from Shoe-shop.com
tod is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 09:42 AM
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Unfortunately, I just won't wear flats because I am 5 feet tall. haha. I am determined to find shoes with a little bit of height - can be small.
JillDavis is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 09:53 AM
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I have worn sandals for touring all day and have walked miles in them. You just have to get a good pair of heavy-duty walking sandals, that's all.

You cannot use shoes without a backstrap or some kind of closure for long distances, it just doesn't work physiologically. Try walking a mile in any kind of slide-in sandal and see. Your foot tries to "grip" the sole to avoid walking out of them, and this tires your foot and can't be done that well.

I have hiking sandals, I have sort of sneaker type shoes with a lot of holes in the side for ventilation and I don't know what you'd call them (they are Merrells, I like their shoes a lot), but they are very fashionable and I've gotten compliments on them in Europe, actually, from people on the street wanting to know what brand they are. For walking sandals with a cork sole, I like a pair I have by Ecco. I have some other heavier duty walking sandals I use even for light hiking, but I don't remember their name.

I do wear sandals without a back at night or during the day if I'm just going out nearby in the neighborhood, perhaps -- in the summer. I have some heavy-duty flipflops, some Merrell, some RocketDog with a very cushioned sole that takes a lot of waling on pavement and I take them in the summer as they do double-duty for what I wear in my hotel room. I do not own nor would I walk around much in those real cheap, flimsy flipflops that don't consist of much (well, some are not so cheap, but I'm thinking of ones that look like shower thongs). There are some very flimsy sandals like that, also, and I don't wear them. I have nicer, more substantial sandals or slides I wear in the evening that are leather and have a light rubber or synthetic sole.
Christina is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 10:02 AM
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FYI, these are the Merrell sneakers I wear, that have ventilation so are cooler in summer

My Ecco sandals with cork soles and nubuck straps are similar to this, but don't look quite so casual.
Christina is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 10:03 AM
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I am only 5'2" and wear all my shoes with a slight wedge.
Flat is no good for the posture or walking long distances.
All shoes are made of genuine leather uppers. I must say that in all of my 65 years I have yet to find more comfortable shoes! I actually don't know I have shoes on my feet!
tod is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 10:49 AM
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This thread is very funny. At first I thought the OP was extremely needy—is there a question that hasn't been asked? I'm waiting for the thread, "comfortable touring underwear," with lots of url links. All kidding aside, I realize there must be thousands of inexperienced tourists out there who have no clue what to wear on their feet in preparation for hours upon hours of walking on the ancient pavements awaiting them in Europe.

IMO, there's a HUGE difference between "locals who walk" and "tourists who tour." I think if you're a tourist (not in denial), who came to see all that you can see in a very limited amount of time, it's STUPID and SILLY to compare your footwear to the locals. I can assure you, very few locals are putting in 10 hours of walking a day. And if you look at the feet of working locals; museum guards, restaurant owners, waiters, etc., you will notice that NO ONE is wearing "fashionable" shoes.

IMO, "fashion" and "comfort" is almost always an oxymoron. OK, once in awhile you can get lucky. Or you're budget is generous and you can afford a very sturdy, comfortable, beautifully designed, casual shoe from Gucci, Todd's, Prada, Bruno Magli, etc.

I think straps and sandals are a very dangerous choice for a long day of walking, especially if you opt for an elevated wedgie or a delicate heel. It is so easy to twist your ankle on Europe's uneven streets, not only will you end up in the local emergency room, you may not be able to walk for the rest of your trip. Sandal straps, or straps of any kind, will invite blisters. Unless you have skin like an elephant, there is no way our feet can endure the constant rubbing and abrasion that is likely to occur after a long day of walking on uneven pavement.

This whole "Good lord, I would never be caught dead in sneakers BS" is nothing but American insecurity. Your bad haircut and gum chewing will call out your bad taste long before some local looks at your shoes.

What is a "sneaker" anyway? As far as I'm concerned, if it looks like a sneaker (or bowling shoe), smells like a sneaker, walks like a sneaker, and is as comfortable as a sneaker (or bowling shoe), then a sneaker it is. Europeans by the millions are wearing sneakers. Smart, savvy Americans should ignore the insecure.

Prada: http://www.bidkicks.com/productinfo.asp?id=2435
Gucci: http://www.bidkicks.com/productinfo.asp?id=3546
Botticelli: http://www.yoox.com/item/YOOX/BOTTIC...r_shoeswomen80
Dolce & Gabbana: http://www.raffaello-network.com/raf...78&rangeid=325
Fila: http://shop.fila.com/us/eng/women/shoes/detail/FW04417
Geox: http://www.shoes.com/Shopping/Produc...632&pg=5072074

And trust me, darlings, I hire a lot of young locals to help me when I'm shooting abroad. They all wear "sneakers" and they laugh at the foot-fetish-tourists who obsess over look-like-a-local footwear.

Obviously, if you have any fashionable self-respect, you don't want to wear these:
Crocs: http://nevernothingtowear.wordpress....-non-sequitor/
Wardrobe Maven: http://www.modcloth.com/store/ModClo...be+Maven+Shoes
Drew: http://www.footsmart.com/P-Drew-Wome...Ups-70249.aspx
PW Minor: http://www.footsmart.com/P-PW-Minor-...-Wn-83025.aspx

Speaking the local language is the best way to earn respect and good service from a local. Even then, you can't be surprised when someone snubs you. Every human is entitled to a bad day. When it comes to 10-hour touring days, I say wear comfortable shoes. If New Balance, Saucony, Nike, Geox, and Fila make your feet sing, I say wear them. Save that pair of Christian Louboutin for the short sprint to dinner and take care of your feet.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 10:56 AM
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"Unfortunately, I just won't wear flats because I am 5 feet tall. haha. I am determined to find shoes with a little bit of height - can be small."

That's silly IMO - how tall you are should have no bearing on what you wear for safety/comfortable walking. I'm just under 5' and do not wear heels on holiday.

I don't think anyone suggested non-supportive flats like ballerinas. Shoes w/ actual arch support is what you need. A 1" wedge heel w/ good support would be more comfortable for me than flat flats w/ a slick sole and no arch. But even a 'flat' flat w/ a good non-slip sole and arch support would be much better than those espadrilles. Even for someone who is height challenged.
janisj is online now  
Mar 1st, 2010, 10:56 AM
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A couple of questions:

What will you do for shoes when it rains (and it will)? Sandals arenlt very practical.

Streets are often coblestones and stairways in buildings are often hundreds of years old and uneven - how will you manage those with a strapless sandal?

How will you aovid stubbed toes and filthy feet?

IMHO if you can only walk in sandals find the sturdies onesyou can with the most support. If you can walk in a close shoe it's muchmore practical - less dirt and less chance of injury/tripping.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 11:03 AM
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I just had to check out the "don't wear" links. You must have searched Google for "ugliest shoes"
scatcat is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 11:31 AM
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"You must have searched Google for "ugliest shoes""

It's not that easy. I have tons of photographs with tourists in the pictures. Those "ugly" shoes are in abundance but to identify them, it helps to know the brand name. Lots of elderly Germans with ugly shoes in Rome.

I think when some people use the word "sneaker," they mean ugly. But then everyone's definition of an ugly sneaker will differ. There are so many styles to pick from.

Merrell is a very popular "walking shoe" brand in Italy. I think most of their styles are ugly and a lot of them look like sneakers. But Italians love them.

Like Janisj said, safety first, comfort first, style second.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 12:17 PM
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I don't have special tourist shoes....just what I wear normally.....
alihutch is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Hi JillDavis,
This is the link for the sandals I wore during our three month trip through Europe.

I purchased these sandals the year prior to our trip to see if they would be as comfortable as they looked. They were, so I purchased another pair in black.

We walked about 10 miles a day and I wore them nearly every day during our trip except for hiking in the alps and a couple 30 degree mornings in Italy at the end of our trip.

They have a Velcro ankle strap that adjusts and is extremely comfortable. I never once felt unsafe walking in them. I have severely twisted both ankles in the past so I am aware when my foot starts to wobble. Never had that problem with these sandals. Walked all over Paris, Venice, Rome, London numerous little towns with cobblestone etc. They look a little bit worn now but still in excellent shape. Plus they pack into such a little space.

Have a great trip,
michele_d is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 01:08 PM
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Wow, who would have though people are so passionate about this! haha.

Lots of good recommendations for different brands of walking shoes. I will be looking into them all. The originial question to this post was sandals with a strap in the back or no and I definitely think I will only be purchasing sandals with a back strap to them. Thanks again! As silly as people think it may be, I do not wear flats. So, perhaps I will find a 1 inch wedgie or some other shoe. It seems like from the many recommendations, that I can indeed get a little height and have comfort too! Can't wait to go through all of them.
JillDavis is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 03:36 PM
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"Europeans by the millions are wearing sneakers."

True. I saw many in Italy five years ago and a shoe shop window full of shoes like the Geoxx, Prada, etc. I don't know if they were designer shoes, but they were the style that NYCFoodSnob posted.
Luisah is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I think some sandal straps could cause blisters, of course, I have bought some that were not comfortable. But you can find some that are. The Ecco ones I have are completely comfortable because the strap behind your heel is padded and lined with a fabric material that won't chafe (really, it kind of looks like a polyester double-knit fabric). I think all the heavy-duty hiking sandals or walking sandals have something like that. It is adjustable with velcro, also.
Christina is offline  

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