I like traveling light, carry on only. Traveling with one pair of shoes is great but unrealistic; two pairs might be ideal; three is still doable. With four pairs, I think I could do it all, but that seems excessive for packing "light." For three summer weeks in Switzerland, which involved city sightseeing and long, technical hikes in the alps, I brought three pairs: hiking/walking sandals (also can be used in showers/bathrooms instead of flip flops), comfy/cute sneakers (for sightseeing), and hiking boots (a must for me in the Alps!). It rained quite a bit, so I ended up wearing the waterproof hiking boots for sightseeing in cities instead of sneakers as planned.
My question is this: What is your opinion of the ideal combination of two or three pairs of shoes for the UK and Ireland in the summer? We'll be doing sightseeing, short hikes and lots and lots of walking, from London and Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands and Ireland's west coast. We're not into fancy restaurants or nightlife, so I won't need to dress up. ("If I can't wear sneakers and jeans, I'm not going!")
A pair of hiking shoes is a must. I'm thinking something lightweight yet waterproof that are sort of a running shoe - hiking boot hybrid, like Keen Terradora or Ahnu Sugarpine both of which I think would be less clunky looking than my trusty hiking boots for sightseeing in cities.
My choices for a second and maybe even third pair are these:
Teva sneakers - very comfy and got me all over Switzerland, but canvas and therefore not waterproof. At home, I live in these sneakers spring through fall!
Teva ankle boots - a more style-conscious option for sightseeing in rainy cities and towns - waterproof, comfy for walking all day, rugged enough for hiking.... but a little on the heavy side. At home, I wear these everyday in the winter (also fall and spring).
Hiking sandals - for warm days, though I'm not a huge sandal wearer (my feet are always cold!) But I have been thankful to have them for sketchy showers and unexpectedly hot days. Would it be foolish to travel in the summer without any type of sandal?
What combination of the above do you recommend? Thanks!