I did a study abroad in Europe… but my feet didn’t quite like it. That’s when I learned the importance of good travel shoes… and good friends!
Back then, although I’d done my fair share of traveling, I was still a novice in all things travel packing. I was excited to see all the romantic places I’d seen in the movies. And talk about movies, I also wanted to look just like the dreamy characters that frequented such places. For this reason, my packing strategy was all fairy-tale-chic (or at least my deranged version of it). It included sparkly flats and cute lace tops and flowery headbands (yes, I know, what was I thinking?).
Needless to say, it was a bad idea. At first it was all nice and dandy. I walked with fresh feet through the streets of Barcelona. My shoes took me to the likes of La Rambla, La Pedrera, Barri Gotic, Barceloneta, and La Sagrada Familia. It was going well.
But then came Paris. So much walking! It was with much shame and embarrassment that I resolved to wear flip flops to Versailles! The horror!
The real trouble came in Neuschwanstein, the beautiful castle that is rumored to have inspired Disney’s Cinderella castle. This was it. I had reserved what I had dubbed as my “Cinderella Flats” for this event! I was so excited! Little did I know that I had to walk for hours just to get to the castle. “It’s ok! I can do it!” I kept telling myself. My travel companions were very supportive, walking slow when it seemed my feet would give up on me.
The shoes were killing me in every area possible! The back of my feet, the sides of my feet, my poor little toes, the sole of my feet. It was incredible! These shoes may have been designed to keep in a display box and never be worn!
At the end of our Neuschwanstein hike, my feet were so swollen and hurt, I could barely walk. I had two travel companions and one of them wanted so desperately to go to the Hofbrauhaus in Munich and meet up with some guys. I wanted so badly for us all to have every experience we’d envisioned for the trip, that I came very close to giving in and continuing on my trek to losing my feet.
Fortunately, my other travel companion gave me a reality check. “You can’t even walk!” she said. I barely knew this girl before embarking on this trip with her, but today she is one of my best friends! You know you’ve found a good one when she saves you from yourself… now if only I can have her pick my shoes next time. Needless to say, the grand majority of those pairs of shoes ended up in a trash can somewhere between Salzburg and Venice.
I have yet to learn my shoe lesson. But I am making an effort. Here are a few links comfy travel shoes to give a try and the bloggers who recommend them:
- Tieks by Gavrieli, these are foldable flats. Recommended by Legal Nomads;
- Toms, I actually bought a pair on my trip to Portland and they have been pretty comfy. Recommended by Travel Fashion Girl;
Do you have travel shoes you swear by? Do share!