Hey, just wondering what boots do you like for early spring travel? I figure that now is the time to start looking for deals on boots. What do you like for keeping your feet warm in, say April, for perhaps some rain and temps in the 50's?
I live in my Blundstone boots from about mid-Oct until it's hot enough to live in sandals. Unless we have snow higher than my ankles, I wear them all winter, with a warmer sock, never had cold feet and I've walked thru the worst wet slushy messes and have never had wet feet (I'm on my 3rd pair). The go with me on holiday every time.
BUT - they are pull on, so if you have wider feet or a high arch, they may not be for you. And they take a little breaking in - you have to make sure you don't get them too small or too big. I bought a pair a half size too small because it was a discontinued style and they were on sale - I thought - oh, they'll be fine. After wearing them about 9-10 times for a half hour or so, I conceded that they just weren't going to work. (Luckily, I sold them on ebay and got about 75% of what I paid for them).
I sold shoes for 12 yrs and when we first started with Blundstone, I didn't get the big deal. They sold like crazy. Then after a few years I got a pair - never looking back. And personally, they look great with jeans, don't look too bad with a dressier pant (but not super dressy) and gals even wear them with long (and shorter) skirts (I wouldn't but I don't do skirts anymore).
I've got horrible feet so default to athletic shoes for everything. Last March and April I spent 3 weeks in Paris and on Rick's Belgium and Holland tour. I did fine with Altra Lone Peak RSM low cut athletic shoes. (RSM - Rain, Snow, Mud and they are waterproof)
It was not all that cold to me altho in Paris the locals were still wearing their wool coats and wintry type scarves while I had on 2 long sleeve layers and a down vest. The highs were probably in the 50's. There was a lot of wind. I didn't feel I needed boots to keep my feet warm but I would look for a thicker sole to keep your foot up off the cold pavement. Even with an athletic shoe you've got your foot more insulated from the ground than with a leather shoe with a thin sole.
To me, any shoe that has built in "waterproofiness" with some kind of membrane fabric like gortex or whatever they use on the RSM's are going to be warmer as they don't really breathe.
Where are you traveling to?
I’ve had good luck with Clarks boots for years. I have them “waterproofed” before leaving the store and have never had a issue with damp shoes for urban wet and cold walking. That said I’m going to be in Tasmania this winter and I see Bluntstone is manufactured there so maybe I’ll buy, but not break in, a pair there... Thanks for the idea Nicole.
I've traveled in EUROPE late March and early April and wore my athletic shoes, which I had sprayed with waterproofing. My feet stayed dry and warm.
Mona...I’m not sure if Blundstone is still made there. They used to be, but a few years before I stopped selling (2011) they were making them in Vietnam or somewhere like that. I thought the quality of the leather seemed less (a bit stiffer) but I still find them to be quite comfy and they generally last me about 3-4 yrs even wearing them 8 mos or the year. I’ll have to check the info on my boot and see where it was made, perhaps they’ve taken production back there.
Edit to add...yes, mine were made in Vietnam
Pam, I’m looking at Venice and the Veneto and Slovenia. Blundstones are an option. I was thinking of something a little classier than my normal waterproof athletic shoes. Thanks for all your ideas.
For Venice and the Veneto you'll not really need anything very warm, I wouldn't think. No idea about Slovenia.
I'll also add that even though I had waterproof shoes for both my March/April trips and my recent Sept/Oct trip where I had a LOT of rain at no time did I experience enough wetness that I needed the waterproof feature. The only time on my travels I've every really needed it was a walking tour in England in the Fall where we were out on country trails every day and experienced wet and mud.
TBH, I'd forget "classy" and go with what your feet will do well in for 6-8 miles a day! However, it's your trip not mine, so do what makes you and your feet happy, lol!
So true, Pam. I am the practical one that usually is very casually dressed. Yet, I see pics of people living in these areas always looking well put together and they are always walking everywhere and would like to do that too. Being a Californian, I live in flip flops and Ecco tennies. My boots are "vanity" boots- cute ones to wear out for dinner. Would like some walkable, not too sporty, practical leather boots (not lined-don't need winter boots). I could always buy boots there but I wear a size 42 (so hard to find) and don't want to break in shoes on a trip.
I'm amazed (but really shouldn't be considering I know how many we sold) by how popular Blunds are. I was at a craft expo today and was sitting waiting for my husband. There were 6 people in line waiting for food and three of them had on Blunds. Also recalling a photo on twitter of a house party in Halifax - the person thought it was funny to take a snapshot of the footwear - 8 of the 10 were Blunds...lol.
My go-to travel boot (and otherwise, I LOVE these boots!) is the Vicar by Pikolinos--try Zappos, Amazon or Nordstrom. They are a Spanish brand, very sturdy yet lightweight leather, side-zip with functional laces, and the most comfy gel insole ever. I bought them on a whim this spring and wore them every day on my trip to the Baltics, 14 days of 8-10 miles walking and my feet were blissfully happy, and they suit my personal style to a T so yes, I now have them in 3 colors. They also come in an oxford style.
I respond to these shoe/boot questions ad nauseam, I'm sure. That's largely because my choices aren't exactly the same as many others.
I've made the mistake of trying to be fashionable in France and of wearing low profile Saucony running shoes in Italy. Now I only wear comfortable-out-of-the-box ankle supporting lace-up boots on my trips. Warm and dry is good, but my boots are more for miles of walking and hours of standing.
I take a 2nd pair of shoes to change into at the end of the day if needed, but that need is rare. That 2nd pair always has an enclosed toe. The last thing I need is to stub a toe on a cobblestone.
Below are my current options. All are size 9.5 or 10 and waterproof. They seem to breathe fine for me, but that may have something to do with the fiber content of the Sockwell Circulator socks I wear with them. I've tried many brands of support socks to improve stamina for those long days on my feet, and many different styles of Sockwells but these and these work best for me.
I wore Tevas like these (only 10 medium, not wide) in Portugal and Spain last June. I didn't encounter any wet challenges on that trip, but the ankle support protected me from a sprain or worse on some tree root heaved paving. They ended up being the only shoes I wore because the high level of salt in the food caused my feet to swell so much that I couldn't put my 2nd pair on. Oddly, I matched the soles of these up with those of the size 10 Abeos below and the Tevas are much longer. These Tevas are 12 oz per boot. Yes, I weigh everthing!
I bought these size 10 Abeos for my Ireland trip in May, 2020. At 10 oz per boot, they are the lightest boots I own. Abeo makes shoes with different kinds of footbeds to suit your feet. They also have orthotics which are sized by walking and standing on a magic surface. One thing my vain self likes about these boots is that they make my feet look small(er). I also like that they lace up and have a zipper, but having not yet worn them in wet conditions I'm a little concerned that the facing under the zipper won't prevent leaks.
The last time I wore these size 9.5 Ahnus was to Scandinavia in the summer of 2018. They are higher up on the ankle and gave me a bit of discomfort if I laced them up too tight. I hadn't experienced that before. They are my heaviest boots at 14 oz per boot, but they also make my feet look smaller. In 2014 I wore them in heavy rain in Italy and Greece with no leaks, even when I went through fast runoff and puddles. I wore gray ones just like them in 2016 on a trip to the UK with worse weather, sideways rain, wet grass and mud puddles. No leaks and warm and dry feet then, too.
Everybody's feet are different and I hope you find something that works for you. These days I'd never choose fashion over comfort and I'd never buy any shoes that I'd have to break in.
As someone who has plantar fasciitis, I adore Vionic boots. Vionic shoes take a little time to break in and will feel odd at first but they're very supportive and easy to walk in. I average about 8 to 12 miles a day when traveling and mostly wear Vionic or Keen boots. They have some cute ankle boots that are super comfortable and weather-resistant (I won't travel anymore without water-resistant shoes). Aquatalia also makes beautiful boots but they tend to run narrow and short. For 50's you really shouldn't need anything very warm.
Just coming back to let you know what I got. I found a waterproof boot from Chaco's on sale and I liked the brown ones so much, I also got the black ones too. https://www.chacos.com/US/en/sierra-waterproof/30460W.html?icid=search_suggested_products
I haven't worn them in warm weather yet, but the 40's and 50's are comfy and not sweaty. I put my orthotic in them too. I do need to wear a thick sock since I have a narrowish foot, but I really like these. Thanks for all your ideas!
I love my Blundtsones! I have a very high arch, so just went up a half size to be able to get my foot into them. No break in period was needed for me. They are going to Iceland with me on our upcoming trip.
I also love my Dromedaris boots in red. They are SO comfy! When I first bought them, I took them on a trip to Europe for 2 weeks the day after I bought them, and they were amazing. I wore them everyday except one. I also just took them to Europe the other week and they were the only shoes I wore. They are great in the cold and rain.