Whether it be a romantic seaside escape or an energetic tour of Europe, walking is a huge part of travel. Unfortunately, if you don’t bring the right shoes, you’ll most likely spend the rest of your trip regretting it. This is why the most important part of packing for a trip is finding the right shoes.
We have been talking to podiatrists to find out their advice on how to find the perfect shoes for travel and ways in which you can wear them as comfortably as possible.
Always break new shoes in
Queen Elizabeth II employs someone to break her shoes in, ensuring that Her Majesty’s footwear is at its utmost comfortable state for her to walk around in. However, podiatrist Dr. Jacqueline Sutera agrees it’s never a good idea to wait until the day of a vacation to wear new shoes for the first time.
So how can you break a new pair of shoes without pain? Bustle suggests using some tools like a shoe shaper with a few socks layered on to fit into your shoes at night. Make sure you wear thick socks, as it will give you an extra protective layer between your skin and the painful culprits that are new shoes.
Pick footwear with straps/laces
Dr. Hiren Patel tells us to avoid slip-on shoes like ballet flats and anything with a strap or laces. Make sure your shoes have a sufficiently thick sole and have something to keep them in place at all times. Don’t be tempted by anything that looks like it is easy to put on and off because though it might save you time, it will only bring you discomfort in the long run.
Don’t ever wear flip-flops for an extended period of time when walking or even standing. Dr. Melamed explains that flip-flops “afford little to no structure or stability.” If you want open shoes, always go for sandals with arch support – go for Taos’ arch support sandals or Birkenstock, which are made in a more comfort-conscious manner.
Pack a choice of shoes
Though packing light is an important factor during a trip, packing an extra pair of shoes may significantly affect your foot comfort during your stay. You don’t want to be stuck inside because of terrible foot pain, so go the extra mile and pack a choice of footwear appropriate for different activities: comfortable walking shoes, evening shoes, and beachwear. Wearing the same shoes throughout the day can be a bad idea.
Don’t be afraid of add-ons
There are many ways to customize shoes without spending an astronomical sum of money. For example, get gel pads for a washable, reusable, and more hygienic option than fabric pads. You can also buy custom orthotics to help you ease into a corrected posture which will diminish the stress put on your feet when they carry the weight of your body all day.