So you’ve decided to put on your metaphorical walking shoes and travel the Globe? But what about your literal walking shoes? For some travellers, footwear is an afterthought, but few items you’re taking with you will make as much difference to your comfort as you travel, so it’s important to choose well. Here are some hints and tips to get you started.
Heading for the sun?
If you’re going somewhere hot, then you may be tempted to pack a pair of cheap flip flops or ballet flats, but these are not generally the best choice. They are usually slippy and don’t give your feet much support or protection from things you might step on. Instead choose a pair of sandals which offer good grip and good arch support.
Going walking or trekking?
If you are going to be doing more than a small amount of walking on your trip, then the importance of decent hiking shoes or boots which support your ankles well cannot be overemphasized. If you sprain your ankle when far from home or from your hotel, you may be in real trouble. Don’t neglect to wear them in before you leave though, or you may be in for blisters.
Unfortunately, one of the most important characteristics for travelling footwear is one of the hardest to try out before you go. Check out online reviews to see how long-lasting others have found any styles you’re considering.
When you’re travelling, space is at a premium, so you might want to consider taking just one pair of footwear. If that’s the case, you want something hardwearing and suitable for all the climates, and ideally not too unattractive either. A pair of tough hiking sandals may be a good choice.
Various brands of folding shoe are also now available. These are not recommended as your main pair, but they are very handy and convenient if you want to take a spare for emergencies.
If you’re going somewhere rainy, look out for properly waterproof shoes, boots or sandals that are also breathable. It might also be a good idea to invest in a small bottle of proofing treatment that will help keep the water out.
Value for money
If you’re travelling on a budget, don’t forget that value for money isn’t the same as cheapness! There’s no point in buying a super cheap pair that will fall apart within hours of getting off the plane. Having said that, you don’t need to spend a fortune either. The key is to think carefully about what qualities you need in your footwear, find the least expensive pair that has them, and check out the reviews.