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.
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….