How to select the right shoes for travel
The importance of choosing the right shoes to wear on a trip is something I cannot stress enough. Until my recent trip to Brazil, every one of my trips involved some kind of battle with my feet because my shoes were not living up to the job of all the walking that comes with traveling — even though I thought I’d selected great, comfortable shoes.
If you’re not sure how much walking you’ll really be doing (or are in denial about it), allow me to provide some perspective: On most of my trips, it is not at all uncommon for me to walk 5 to 10 miles per day (10 miles in a single day!). Walking is almost inevitable in many places around the world. In addition to the fact that many popular tourist destinations are either compact, walkable cities, explorable ruins or geological treasures that involve a lot of hiking, it’s simply one of the best ways to experience your surroundings in an authentic way.
All that walking is quite a shock to your system, and your feet, if you don’t walk that much at home (and if you don’t live in NYC, you probably don’t). Shoes you may consider very comfortable at home, even trainers and workout shoes, can give you an injury when worn that long. I once took a very comfortable pair of boots with me on a trip to Berlin. Halfway through the first day, I seriously regretted that decision. The lack of proper arch support (despite preemptive Dr. Scholl’s inserts) injured the side of my foot and ankle. And we’re not even talking about a sudden injury like an ankle twist (though I’ve had my fair share of those, too) — it was the repetitive impact of my foot with the ground that was to blame. Those boots went into the trash can as soon as I got back to the hostel.
Note: In 2014, I wrote a weekly blog series on budget travel for eHow. This post is from that series, so you'll have to head over to their site to read it in full. Thanks for reading!