Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Advice Needed: Stylish Walking Shoes for Europe

I don't know if I've mentioned this on the blog yet, but I'm in the midst of planning a six-week backpacking trip across Europe with my sister, brother and boyfriend this summer. (Eep!) I've been searching for the perfect pair of shoes to wear on this trip: A pair that matches everything, isn't too bulky to pack and will keep my feet comfortable even after walking down cobblestone streets for hours on end each day. I then realized I have the perfect people at my disposal to help me with this conundrum: my loyal readers! I know many of you are avid travelers, because that's probably what attracted me to your blog in the first place, so I would appreciate any tips or insight you have! I've highlighted a few options below, but I'm definitely open to suggestions.

Photo of Prague by Tambako by Jaguar; design by Megan


1. My sister found these suede Oxfords on the Anthropologie website. I questioned their comfort for long walking days, but reviews are positive. They would also match everything. The $98 price tag is pretty off-putting, however.

2. Flats are easy to pack, but I'm worried about how the soles of my feet will feel after a day of exploring a new city. I already own flats very similar to this Target pair, but I would probably want to buy a different pair that would match more outfits.

3. Sperry top siders are my top contender right now, simply because I already own a pair and I know they are super comfortable. They won't look as good with a dress, though, and I plan on packing mostly sundresses because they won't take up much room in my backpack.

4. TOMS are also super comfortable, but I'm afraid they'll make my backpack smell. Yeck. Also, I only own a silver glittery pair, so I would have to buy another pair that would be more appropriate for multiple outfits.

So, what do you think? Do you have any suggestions for comfortable yet stylish walking shoes?

13 comments:

Lisa said...

I've worn Sperries with dresses before. Never bothered me. And they are kind of ugly, but have you looked at Croc ballet flats?

Sweet Green Tangerine said...

What! WHERE in Europe are you going?? If you are going anywhere near Munich or Prague, you need to email me! I'm going to be living so close to there!
About the shoes, I've been thinking the same thing. TOMS are good, BUT they don't have great traction or support, which might be a problem on cobblestone. I like Sperries and I'm thinking about getting a pair. They go with dresses and shorts.

Andi said...

6 weeks in Europe sounds amazing! When I was there (oh, about 8 years ago), I got some "dressier" tennis shoes. I think they were Skechers, and they were perfect for wearing with jeans, skirts, etc. I just wore the really low cut socks, so they didn't show at all.

If you go with flats, I would recommend splurging a little on a pair with thicker soles and more cushioning and support. OR if you go with a cheaper pair, look at getting some insoles to make them more comfortable!

Good luck! I can't wait to hear all about your adventures!

Ashley @ ThisUnscriptedLife said...

How exciting! I don't have any shoe advice...
I wish I did! Have an awesome time! I can't wait to see photos and hear about your adventure.

angieeatspeace said...

6 weeks in Europe!!! I don't have enough !!!!!! for how exciting it is!

I spent 3.5 weeks in Spain & Portugal last year, and I came back limping because I wore flat shoes.

My vote is for #3, they look like they have the most support.

angieeatspeace said...

Oh, and I don't know how stylish they may be, but birkenstocks are super comfortable for lots of walking. I really wish I would have had some before I went.

angieeatspeace said...

Hi Megan,
You can always email me at angieeatspeace at gmail.
I am so excited you are going to Spain & Portugal, let me know if you have any questions or want recommendations.

Ech and Will said...

Are you coming to Italy? I live an hour from Venice if you want to meet!

Whitney said...

NO YOU HADN'T MENTIONED THAT!! That's so exciting! I basically live in my TOMS but they aren't great for support. Honestly, I'd go look at the shoe section with the orthopedic shoes. They actually do have some pretty cute ones! I did it today :]

Jane Adensam said...

Out of those options I would go with the Sperry's. I think the others won't hold up as well to tons of walking. If you want comfortable walking shoes I definitely suggest Clark's. They aren't known for being very cute, but they are so amazingly comfortable and are build to last. Plus, they are trying to get more fashionable. I actually really like this pair and think they would be adorable with a dress. http://www.clarksusa.com/eng/product/plush_bea/61124

Carenpants said...

Sounds so fun! I would definitely go with the TOMS. I do understand your concern about the smell. Maybe stick some dryer sheets inside them and keep them in a plastic trash bag? I always try to let mine "air out" whenever possible and that seems to help. They're perfect with jeans or shorts and they are more breathable than flats or Sperry's. Can't wait to hear more about this trip!

Erin said...

Look, I love Toms as much as the next person, but for the love of cheese don't wear them for walking around Europe for 6 weeks. Trust me. Keens, Chacos, Doc Martens, and Merrells are your best bet. Yes, they are more expensive, but they are worth it for a trip like this, and last way longer (I've got a trusty pair of Docs I've trekked across Europe that I've had since 2005).

Foot Solution said...

@Carenpants: You are absolutely right and yes it will be fun :)

Walking Athletic Shoes