Smart Shoes

27.September 2013

Our Journey

Something that is nearly as personal to travellers as their choice of underwear is what you take to put on your feet. Shoes are probably the single largest item that goes into the bag and can lead to all kinds of packing list headaches. The packing list and lessons learned from our RTW showed we can be slow learners sometimes, like carrying those cute shoes for 6 months without wearing them once. Shoes are difficult to balance, something for the beach, something that can dress up sometimes, something sturdy for walking and hiking and what about trying to stay in shape with some running. There is a minimum of 4 shoes each right there. That is half of the backpack.

Photo Credit: mfhiatt

What are the essentials? A good pair of walking shoes will be your best friend. Travelling will inspire the staunchest of couch potatoes to take a few steps. It is best if you have comfortable pair with you. One of the first compromises to face is whether these should also double as the going out shoes. Aggressive hiking shoes may not look good with a sun dress but something that is a little stylish and functional could be just what you need.

Photo Credit: pieter.morlion

In a compromise between hiking shoes and athletic shoes we have picked trail runners as a crossover for any aggressive activity. We have the lightweight and breathable support needed for running and workouts. We also have traction for heading off the trail. These are not waterproof and have no insulation because we are planning on being in warm climates for the near future. Not a cushy as road runners that I’m use to, but that is the nature of compromises.

The ultimate and must have for everyone travelling? Flip-flops! After a few days anywhere in Southeast Asia it is quickly apparent that these are the most versatile shoes you could own. Hiking, check, out for dinner, check, rain-storm, check, beach, check. Best thing is they are light, take little room and they are cheap. Something goes wrong, chuck them and get another pair from any beach vendor around the world. In a pinch, it is okay to ignore Jason and wear some socks too if it is a little chilly.

Photo Credit: hillary h

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