If you could take ONE pair of men's shoes...
I know that some of this comes down to physical differences, but I'm wondering if people have a strong preference for a single pair of shoes while traveling (let's assume city travel and not mountain climbing). I want to just wear one pair of shoes and not pack any other pair, so they need to be something comfortable for walking all day, nice looking enough to wear to at least a fairly nice restaurant, and can handle rainy seasons (i.e. not get so soaked that I would need them to dry for a day). Not like I'm getting greedy or anything, but one pair of shoes to fit all my needs would certainly make packing light easier. Any suggestions for this confused male (not to be redundant). Thanks.
Maybe not as dressy as you need, but heck-a-comfortable for walking:
I seem to find these cheap on Sierra Trading Post quite often.
Two summers ago I spent a month in Montreal, walking six to 15 miles every day in my swank Camper shoes: not supportive enough and I think I (temporarily) messed up my feet.
I too have quested after the Holy Grail of one-shoe-does-it-all, but alas I pretty much always carry a pair of dressier shoes and wear something like the above Lowa shoes (or Chaco sandals in the summer) for everything else.
I travel wearing Holey Prolines in black or Ecco Seawalkers , top-notch walking shoe.
Last edited by PM4HIRE; 07-30-2008 at 03:02 PM.
I have a slightly different approach - I pack a pair of plain black ballet slippers to do service as spare shoes and dressy, covered toe shoes. They're very small and light, fairly cheap and not all that durable, but for the little time that I actually wear them they last me several years. My normal every-day shoe is a Birkenstock sandal - if it's cold I add a pair of socks.
I don't know if this would work for blokes, however!
Note: these are really ballet slippers from a specialty ballet shop (and correctly fitted) - not just Jiffy slippers which are horribly uncomfortable, bulky and look awful!
I am on this quest right now. I have a trip next week and I need the ultimate solution so I can travel light.
I am trying to focus on the day hiker category. I think a good day hiker will cover any trail walking I do, which might be moderate but not enough to justify a full hiking boot. But it can't be a slipper or flip flop because it has to provide support. I want something that is also going to pass for a semi dress shoe, or good enough to not get me kicked out. This isn't too hard as many are decent.
The problem is that I'd also like it to be cool so I can wear it in the summer. It would be great if it looked good with shorts too. That is the real killer as most of what I find looks dorky with shorts.
I had some decent day hikers from LL Bean but they were gray and I think you need basic brown or maybe even black to cover all situations.
I should point out that it sucks to be a jogger when you travel. The good news is your "gear" isn't very complicated or robust, but you end up having to take running shoes on every trip. Running shoes take a good beating so they aren't always very attractive. Not to mention if you sweat like me they can get smelly. But I always have to bring them to train or run a local race while on vacation. If I didn't have to bring those my packing would be easier I think.
Last edited by pretzelb; 07-31-2008 at 12:42 PM.
My job is casual enough that I can get away with a single pair of tennis shoes. (Not actually made for tennis, but that's the generic term I've used for sneakers since I was a kid.)
Unfortunately, as a runner, I always have to pack a separate pair of running shoes. I could find a pair that looks nice enough to work in, but they often start the day somewhat smelly and sweaty, and that's not how I like to show up for work.
I'm trying to compromise and at least settle on a pair of running shoes that take up a minimal amount of space when packed in my Aeronaut.
Most comfortable shoes I've ever owned are mion clogs. I'm not sure they're as dressy as you need but they do come in black. I wear them daily and I've worn mine in every kind of weather the Northwest offers. They stay on my feet- which most clogs don't- and I've worn them for long walks and light hikes.
I recently bought a pair of Ahnu shoes http://www.ahnufootwear.com/landscape/men/tamalpais/ that aren't too bad. They are more of a sandal though. The good part is they are very ventilated which is key in the hot climate areas. But you can't get good support or a tight fit. There is a model that might provide a better fit http://www.ahnufootwear.com/landscape/men/lodi/ but I still think they can't hold up to a decent day hiker. The colors are at least somewhat tame so you can probably get by using them for dinner out. One thing I hate these days is finding a good day hiker only to have to turn it down because they felt the need to put splashes of orange or neon yellow in the shoe.
I used to swear by Dunham (now a division of New Balance). Great support, hiker technology, and smart enough to get by in business casual situations. Sadly, my favourite pair has now been discontinued, but there are still some choices.
If you do resign yourself to carrying a 2d pair, closed-toe sandals can look fairly dressy, and will probably both be more comfortable and weigh less than a pair of conventional dressier shoes. They also might let your travel weight budget save the minor price of a few pairs of socks
My last trip through Central Europe, I had a $30ish pair of Sketchers walking shoes (slip -ons in brown) I have been using them practically daily for three years and they are still holding strong. I got them at a "Rack Room" in my local mall.
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