Love Your Feet

We’ve all done it, worn shoes on vacation only to end up with horrible cramps, blisters, cuts, bruises, you know the drill. For some reason, and I suppose I will be stereotypical here and call out the ladies, many of us seem to lose our minds when it comes to packing footwear.

Guilty as charged, of course. Like a madwoman I have gone on trips with a single pair of flip flops, when they were the last thing I needed, or at the other end of the spectrum, I’ve shoved 5 pairs of shoes into a bag, wearing only one, and hauling around seven extra pounds of cork espadrilles.

All my life I have been a serious over-packer. It is a very dangerous disease that only recently have I been striving to overcome. I am like a boy scout clothes horse, I pack for every occasion, what if it’s hot, or freezing, or snowing, or a flood happens, or I have black pants and a brown skirt, of course I can’t go anywhere without my sandals, snowboots, yaktrax, flippers, sensible flats and cute wedges!

On my trip to Williamsburg, thinking I was a rock star I packed only one pair of shoes, besides the pair I wore down, flip flops. My mind was fogged by the fact that it was still just barely hitting the 40s in Boston while it was a tropical 65 in Virginia. About 2 hours into our romp of Colonial Williamsburg I was dying, my tendonitis sprung up and I had to hit both the asprin and the local beers hard for the rest of the week to ease the pain. Coupled with the fact my only other pair of shoes were brown driving mocs (which worked perfectly with my black themed outfits), I was sunk.

Never again!

My next trip, to the UK, has already got the packing monster slashing around in my brain. I will be sensible and efficient, dammit! Since I was going to be hiking for much of my trip, I at first was going to bring my Merrell boots (love, love, love them!), but, no offense Merrell, I am trying to avoid that backpacker in shorts with wool socks and a fanny pack look. And since I am so very cool and hip I went on the prowl for something I could hike in but wouldn’t scream tourist you know besides my general attitude, demeanor, outfit and accent.

Enter REI, now we all know how much I love the Garage Sale, and since I am nothing if not an honest blogger, I followed my own advice and was able to score myself the perfect pair of shoes for my trip, the Vasque Blur SL Gore-Tex, $29 bucks, boom!

There are a few awesome things going on here, one is that Vasque is a fantastic quality brand, two the shoes are marketed as trail runners, so they have deep treads, three they are sprinkled with gore-tex so that means in the potential never ending drizzle I might find up in the hills, my footsies will be dry, and four they actually look pretty good. I find most gore-tex shoes to look like monstrosities ugly mossy green and brown, but these are pretty low profile. I had to size down and get the men’s, not my first choice, but I have been wearing them for over a week since (espeically since it’s done nothing but rain in Rhode Island) and haven’t hit a drop inside the shoe, a blister, or even a hotspot, so I’m sold.

Efficient packer, here I come!

I know there are a lot of you out there like me, who over think it all, but next time you are going on a trip if you swerve a little bit more towards comfort, and especially footwear that can serve a dual purpose you’re feet will thank you! Of course, I still toss in a pair of wedges wherever I go, just in case….

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  • Spot on! I’m so with you on this…LOL, I tend to overpack too, and it’s not just with shoes! I tend to bring extra shirts/pants/tops which I may not wear but to fulfil my worries of in case. Shoes are one of the most important; simply because like you said, they are the ones carrying us on our feet most of the time and it’s good to have comfortable ones, although you may think in terms of trend and also style. Like, what if you end up at a restaurant, or if it goes with that top? Or what if the first pair gets wet/worn out? Yeah, it’s good to be prepared…whenever I plan to bring only one pair of shoes, I ended up tossing another pair in and maybe, just that one more pair of wedges/sandals….you know, just IN CASE:)

    • Liz

      I completely agree! Damn us girls always so concerned with matching! I’m hoping some day I can become an efficient traveler, that might be a post far off in the future….

      Very cool pictures of the Giant Buddha on your post, I have to get to Asia at some point!

  • Shoes are so important when traveling. I struggled with this when I packed for a yearlong trip through Latin America. Not much room in my 45-liter pack!

    I settled on running shoes, gore-tex hiking boots, sturdy Keen shoes, and my comfy Teva flip-flops. I still felt like I was packing too much, but I had to be prepared for all of the environments I would encounter.

    Great tips. I think shoes are more important than clothes because they are often harder to buy in many parts of the world.

    • Liz

      That’s actually a great point, a lot of times I don’t worry so much about the clothes because I know I can buy a cheap tee or skirt anyplace, but it’s hard to know what you’re getting on the road with shoes, espeically in terms of being able to break them in. I always like to be prepared too, but working on finding dual purpose footwear to lighten the load a bit!