The Importance of Good Travel Shoes… And Good Friends

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?).

Life is My Oyster - NeuschwansteinI mean, can you blame a girl? I was promised the Eiffel Tower, the Seine River, beautiful mansions and fortresses… I was lured by a fairy tale castle for goodness sake!

Life is My Oyster - Eiffel TowerNeedless 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.

Life is My Oyster - La Sagrada Familia

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!

Culprit Shoes Pictured Here

Culprit Shoes Pictured Here

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.

Me and My Best Friend

Me and My Best Friend

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:

  1. Tieks by Gavrieli, these are foldable flats. Recommended by Legal Nomads;
  2. 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!

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  1. I have to agree with you, good travel shoes and great company makes a difference. I have done my share of travel and I always were my Sneakers that are made for long distance walking. People use to think I was crazy but when your about to be a tourist to far and away places you need to make sure that your fee are taken care of, so that you can enjoy the places instead of worrying about the blisters on your feet.

  2. VERY good to know. I don’t travel much but when I do I’m such a horrible traveler that I throw in my regular shoes. You should definitely look at your itinerary and the distances before packing for a place you’ve never been before.

  3. Oh yes, I have learned the hard way that good travel shoes are soooo important! I have gotten blisters on so many trips that I am unfortunately “known” for being a poor traveler as a result. Also good friends are too! I love this post.

  4. I have yet to find that perfect pair of travel shoes. I get blisters so easily. I’ll have to try out Toms. I’ve heard great things from a lot of people. Those fold-able flats seem super convenient too!

  5. I love when we travel and get to explore on foot, you can see so much more that way. Good shoes are a must have, I can’t tell you how many times I have worn the wrong shoes and had horrific blisters. Even better when you can explore with good friends.

  6. Great post.. bring a good pair of travel shoes. I’ve gotten blisters during trips and it ruined my whole trips.. Actually my son got blisters in Hawaii.. I had to carry him around

  7. I’ve had experiences like that as well! Sometimes fashion just isn’t practical! I’m so glad you were able to make an amazing friend out of the ordeal! <3

  8. What a cute post! I actually don’t do much travelling, unfortunately, but when I do, I go with my husband so I always have the perfect travel companion! And for shoes, well, that depends on which beach I can talk him into taking me to 😉

  9. Couldn’t have summed this up better! I am all about traveling comfortably and with folks who you get along with. Just because you’re friends in real life doesn’t mean you are good travel companions.

  10. I did a study abroad in Italy a few years ago and I was out exploring Florence when my sandals snapped. I had to shuffle my broken shoe across the ground for a mile before stumbling across a mocc shop. Comfy travel shoes are a MUST!

  11. I agree! I had experienced this, my shoes broke when we were touring Malaysia and it did spoiled the entire trip! Good thing i had with me the best travel buddy ever!

  12. Great Post ! You value something the most when you miss it. An Appropriate shoe is a must for every trip. Depending upon the kind of your trip/destination.

  13. yess! the what to wear when travelling dilemma. i used toms for my trip around japan and lately a combination of boots, nice sneakers and dressy flats for my most recent trips. i always pack a comfy pair of flip flops in case of blisters!


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