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Thread: Choosing and packing shoes for travel

  1. #16
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    darbs, I just packed up a pair of the Merrell Barefoot Life Wonder Glove to send back to Zappo's. I wear a size 8 in the Pace Glove so I ordered an 8 in the Wonder Glove. Either it was half size too large, or the shoes just fit differently, but I could tell they weren't going to work for me. I wandered around town yesterday to see if I could find a pair of the Pure Gloves to try on, but I didn't have any luck. In the end, I ordered a pair of the Keen Sienna Mary Jane's in Khaki. They are fairly lightweight and look like they would go well with my mostly brown pants/skirts travel wardrobe. I'll post a review after I get a chance to try them out.

  2. #17
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    snowbot, I normally wear a 11 in my regular (non-barefoot) Merrells, but my Pure gloves are a size 10. Luckily there is 1 store here that carried them so I was able to try them on before ordering. I've tried on the Wonder Gloves too and am a 10 in those. I am NOT a 10 in the Pace Gloves though! They are tight across the top of my foot (a problem I run into with slip-on boots) so I'm thinking I'll need the wide in those. I want to check out New Balance's new line of barefoot runners first though just because their normal sneakers fit me really well.
    Those Keen's look nice. Let me know how you like them!

  3. #18
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    @darbs, when you try the NB Minimus, watch out in case there's a sort of "band" that wraps around the forefoot--which was the case when I bought my first pair back in early 2011. I'm not sure if the Minimus are still made this way, but if you've spent any time in barefoot shoes, it's likely that your forefoot will be too wide (and your toe splay too pronounced) to find them comfortable. At first when I was wearing Minimus, they were OK, but now after 1.5 years of wearing FiveFingers, the anatomy of my feet has changed enough that I find them pretty restrictive.

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    Badger, that is why I LOVE barefoot shoes! I have always had a wider toe box, but regular width heel so wide shoes tend to flop around in the back. I also have worn flip flops for so long that my toe splay is probably even more so than normal folks. Most barefoot shoes fit me really well since they are designed for the wider toe-box area and fit snug on the heel. I liked the FiveFingers, but my pinkie toes are fat and stubby and don't fit in them really well, hence the Merrells. I'll have to check out the Minimus. Thanks for the advice!

  5. #20
    Registered User peregrina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowbot View Post

    And speaking of expensive product habits other than Tom Bihn, I'm a big fan of Fluevog's. These were my most recent splurge.
    Oooo, fluevogs! I LOVE them! My recent splurge were these
    snowbot likes this.
    In our household: Black/Steel Aeronaut (with 2 large packing cubes and Absolute shoulder strap), Forest/Steel Aeronaut (1 large and 2 small packing cubes), Olive/Wasabi medium Cafe Bag, Linen/Olive Medium Cafe Bag, Cocoa/Cocoa/Wasabi Imago, Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Hemp Little Swift, Solar Shop Bag, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Black/Steel/Solar Smart Alec, Horizontal and Vertical Freudian Slips, TB Wallet, Hemp Little Swift, FOT pouch, Black/Olive ID

  6. #21
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darbs View Post
    Badger, that is why I LOVE barefoot shoes! I have always had a wider toe box, but regular width heel so wide shoes tend to flop around in the back. I also have worn flip flops for so long that my toe splay is probably even more so than normal folks. Most barefoot shoes fit me really well since they are designed for the wider toe-box area and fit snug on the heel. I liked the FiveFingers, but my pinkie toes are fat and stubby and don't fit in them really well, hence the Merrells. I'll have to check out the Minimus. Thanks for the advice!
    Just FYI, Vivobarefoots have honkin' huge toe boxes. I think they're fairly nice looking, but they're rather expensive and I'm not sure how long they'll hold up compared to a pair of Merrells.

    In my experience, with VFF it really depends on the model you get. Frankly, the Classics work best for me because I have a very "tall" foot (read: obnoxiously high arches and raised dorsal). With the velcro models, I can't really close them that well, although I have a pair of Sprints that I like. The most expensive pair I own (the TrekSports) give me the pinky-toe slippage you mentioned. I have high hopes for the stupidly-named SeeYa, but I may just end up sticking with Classics.

    For normal shoes, I really like Camper. I generally take a pair with me every time I go to Europe because they are great for walking long distances over cobbled streets and the like. When I fly, I try never to take more than two pairs of shoes, and prefer to get away with just one pair if I can. If I'm driving, I'll take every pair of shoes I own, and maybe buy some more en route just in case . . .

  7. #22
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    Badger, have you any specific Camper shoe recommendations? I checked out their website and it made me happy.

    I prefer to travel with a back-up pair of shoes. I have bad memories of a two-day work trip during which a strap on my one pair of shoes nearly broke. Because it was work, I didn't have time to try to find a replacement pair of shoes.

  8. #23
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peregrina View Post
    Oooo, fluevogs! I LOVE them! My recent splurge were these
    i love the Operettas! I don't have any yet because I don't live near a Fluevog store and haven't tried the style on, nor has my Fluevog pal. One of my friends is even more of a Fluevog Freak than me and her feet are just a little bit smaller than mine. In fact, I've scored two pairs of 'Vogs because she decided she'd bought them a half size too big.

  9. #24
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    @snowbot,

    I have a pair of Pelotas, the 1912 (which is like an oxford), and I'm planning on a pair of Peu for this fall. I've had other pairs in the past, too, but I can't remember their names. Most models come in unisex or M/W versions.

    I totally understand the need for backup shoes. It's just my fantasy to not need to pack lots of them. I generally do pack an extra pair of shoes when I go to conferences, since The Shoes in Which I Present Papers tend not to be that comfortable.

  10. #25
    Registered User lonestar6's Avatar
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    For vacation travel I take a pair of 'dress up' shoes (Black) a pair of walking shoes and then some sort of shower/lounging shoe. The last depends on space: it can be flip-flops if there is not much space, crocs if there is plenty of space or something in between. A small black hand bag and black belt finish it out. I have been looking at the small packing cube bag and sidekick with much interest. Anyone have an opinion on these?

  11. #26
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    The side effect is an excellent minimal purse. It also works great within other bags. I haven't tried it for formal settings though.
    Si non aptus in Peram, ego opus ad buy magis quisque.
    my bags: S, LS, KP, mg'11, S, LS, COW, MCB, LS, COW, LSB, SE, LSB, TT, SB, TSS4, PCSB, PCBP, SC, BB, BB, FoJ, RS, F.O.T., LSB, S25, K, LS, I w/AS, A, PP FJN, SE, 3-DC, MCB, PCBP, PCSB, CQPC, S19, LSB, SB, TT, WF, UT, LSB, CQPC, SE2, MCB, RiPad

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonestar6 View Post
    For vacation travel I take a pair of 'dress up' shoes (Black) a pair of walking shoes and then some sort of shower/lounging shoe. The last depends on space: it can be flip-flops if there is not much space, crocs if there is plenty of space or something in between. A small black hand bag and black belt finish it out. I have been looking at the small packing cube bag and sidekick with much interest. Anyone have an opinion on these?
    Two accessories that have worked for me:

    The Kit

    The Kit is a hand-held piece of portable architecture. It is a perfect evening and event bag as well as a minimalist everyday cluch.
    I used it at a semi formal wedding and a conference dinner.


    Packing Cube Shoulder Bag

    I used my Steel Packing Cube Shoulder Bag as an everyday inner pocket inside of my Swift, as a Packing Cube, as a casual and also semi formal Shoulder Bag at an evening dinner, it was dark, it worked.
    I had forgotten my Kit.
    Last edited by backpack; 06-22-2012 at 05:54 PM.

  13. #28
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    I said that I would provide an update on the shoe quest. The Keen Sienna was cuter on the screen than in person and the back of the heel didn't feel right on my foot. The smaller size in the Merrell Wonder Glove seemed too small. I guess I'm a 7.75 in that style. The one Camper Peu I could find was sort of a flat Mary Jane and while I liked the sole and style, it didn't look right with socks and I'm a big fan of socks.

    *sigh*

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowbot View Post
    I said that I would provide an update on the shoe quest. The Keen Sienna was cuter on the screen than in person and the back of the heel didn't feel right on my foot. The smaller size in the Merrell Wonder Glove seemed too small. I guess I'm a 7.75 in that style. The one Camper Peu I could find was sort of a flat Mary Jane and while I liked the sole and style, it didn't look right with socks and I'm a big fan of socks.

    *sigh*
    Maybe you should take a look at Home Page | Soft Star Shoes . They are made in Corvalis, OR and sold via the web site or the workshop/showroom only,

    They allow try out of their shoes on clear surfaces, not outdoor. Hmmm remind me of another company, which one could that be?

  15. #30
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowbot View Post
    I said that I would provide an update on the shoe quest. The Keen Sienna was cuter on the screen than in person and the back of the heel didn't feel right on my foot. The smaller size in the Merrell Wonder Glove seemed too small. I guess I'm a 7.75 in that style. The one Camper Peu I could find was sort of a flat Mary Jane and while I liked the sole and style, it didn't look right with socks and I'm a big fan of socks.

    *sigh*
    The Peu comes in a unisex style that is more like a lace-up. Since they are sold by European size rather than M/W size, you can get a fairly precise fit (for example, I am always a size 40 in Camper). You can buy them on Zappo's; for the unisex style, you may need to look on the men's Camper page.

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