trip prep: comfy shoes

As you read this, we are just starting our adventure off in London. I’m so excited to see my friend, Kris! She’s picking us up from the airport and taking us to Downton Abbey. We are attempting to beat jet lag by ignoring it. That should work pretty well, right?

My recent trip to New York City reminded me how essential it is to have one or two great pairs of shoes while traveling. I thought I had taken some good ones with me – a broken-in pair of Bjorn mary janes, a comfortable pair of flats, and some canvas sneakers. I was fighting blisters by the first evening. The mary janes rubbed against my instep and at my toes while the flats and the sneakers had absolutely no arch support. Now I’m aware that every foot is different and some people are perfectly comfortable in wedges or boots or flats or moccasins, but this is also what made finding a great pair of shoes for the trip so difficult.

I did lots of searches for “the best shoe for traveling” or “most supportive shoes” or something else along that vein. I read all of the comments on this post by Cup of Jo about traveling shoes and wrote down brand names. I looked up the shoes I read about in a thread on a Rick Steve’s forum, but ultimately, I had to try on shoes for myself.

That is why Zappos – with its free shipping both ways – is so great. Over the next month, I ordered (and returned) seven pairs of shoes until I found the right ones.

As soon as I tried on these Ecco Chase Ties, I knew they were perfect. They were lightweight, very supportive, and super comfortable right from the start. Plus, I could wear them with pants or a skirt.

For a second pair, I picked up some TOMS. I was totally skeptical of TOMS, but I kept hearing how comfortable they were. I tried on some pink glitter ones at Nordstrom Rack just to see what the fuss was about and was surprised at how much I liked the fit. Of course, pink glitter shoes didn’t quite work with my wardrobe, so I ordered mine online. They are light and don’t take up too much room in my bag. I plan on wearing them on days when we aren’t walking quite as much.

In case you’re interested in the shoes that didn’t work for me:
  1. Privo by Clarks – P-Polar Bungee
  2. Privo by Clarks – P-Tequini
  3. Birkenstocks – London Clog
  4. Dansko – Professional Clog
  5. Propet – Maxigrip Oxford
  6. Keen – Santigold (not available on Zappos anymore)
  7. Keen – Clara Slip-on


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