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Best Women's Walking Shoe

Traveling to Germany in September. Need help/ recommendations on best women's walking shoe. Thanks!

Posted by
760 posts

Oh, I see you found this forum. Ignore my previous post. My mention of Bernie Mevs still stands, though, definitely through September. For more rugged conditions, I wear Keen H2O sandals. I wear them up till cold weather in Pennsylvania. I have travelled with both of these shoes.

Debbie

Posted by
3931 posts

Becky, I love my SAS shoes. It's hard for me to find shoes that fit - I wear 11W - so it's a bonus that many of their styles are excellent for walking. They're all I wear anymore.

Posted by
7109 posts

I wear the same shoes on a trip as I do at home for every day wear and for walking 10+ mi a day...
Birkenstock Mayori sandals, Dansko clogs or New Balance walking tennis shoe.

Oh, I forgot my Tevas... amazing for walking.

Teva Terra-Float Knit Universal

Posted by
2081 posts

I'm a big fan of Ecco Soft 7 sneaker/oxfords, great color choices and very cute and comfy right out of the box. Also Finn Comfort Ikebukuro and Soho sneakers. Can't mention shoes without socks--I like Smartwool and Wrightsocks--the dual-layer really does guard against blisters. For no-show I like Bombas.

Posted by
5238 posts

Becky, whatever shoes you walk in now may be the BEST shoes to use in September -- because they already fit your feet, no break-in needed. I like Ahnu, Ecco, Clark, SAS, Keen sandals, even the Fila sneakers I got at Costco for $20.

Posted by
2 posts

Just got back from 12 days in Italy. We walked at least 12,000 steps a day. After the first night I walked into Footlocker and bought a pair of New Balance tennis shoes. Similar to a pair I already own. Important tip. Take what you already wear to walk, a lot. If you aren't used to walking around in ballet flats or any other shoe without socks, don't do it. I saw a lot of women with huge blisters on their heals and they bent the back of the shoe down and were destroying their shoes. Don't do an all leather shoe in the heat either. I tried my SAS all leather walking shoe- NOPE! It's hot, you walk a lot and it just isn't worth the pain. I saw many band-aids, medical wrap, and even people limping. Don't risk your beautiful vacation on your feet.

Posted by
30 posts

Just did 14 days in France-up and out and walking for 9 plus hours every day. I retired due to severe plantar fasciitis and was very worried that Europe and it's cobblestones would be a painful experience. Then I found Vionic shoes (available online) and they have SAVED me! I bought two different styles-one a sneaker type and the other a slip-on loafer style. Well, I did not even THINK of my feet one single time during my entire trip. These shoes are just fantastic! I ended up wearing the slip ons most of the time. Vionic gives you 30 days to try the shoes and return them for a full refund if they don't work for you. I purchased mine and wore them for 8 weeks prior to my trip. The other thing I absolutely love is that you can buy cute styles, so you won't have to sacrifice style for comfort. My slip ons are a rockin' snakeskin pattern. My traveling friend tried them and did not like them, but with the 30 day return policy, I absolutely think they are worth a try. I am sold on these shoes and they are the only brand I wear now. If only they had made a work shoe, I woundn't have had to retire!

Posted by
60 posts

I agree with 'transplanted' about the Vionics. While people with very flat feet might find them uncomfortable, they are a lifesaver for me. I have to wear orthotics for my very high arches. The Vionics have a higher arch than most shoes have, so I can walk around in them all day without ending up with screaming low back pain & leg pain for days afterward, nor will they triggering another plantar fasciitis attack. They are the only sandals I can wear for good arch support.

Posted by
33 posts

I just returned from the Heart of Italy trip, plus 8 extra days on our own, and loved my Keen Rose sandals! I wore them every day and never had any issues with them. As a matter of fact, I'm still wearing them in the cold Chicago weather!

Posted by
433 posts

One of the major minimalist review sites recently published enthusiastic support for the Skechers GoWalk 4 travel shoe. Apparently the sole and toe box have been redesigned. Our local Skechers store has hundreds of shoes on the wall (who knew?) but they don’t carry the travel-specific version of the GoWalk 4 series. Had to order online.

Posted by
2 posts

I have suffered from plantar fasciitis and other foot ailments for years. I had the Sketchers Go Walk, and they didn't have enough structure to support my feet well for long walking and they led to foot pain. I am absolutely sold on the New Balance leather walkers or 900 series athletic shoes. The leather walkers look nice enough to wear with dressy slacks or shorts. And Keen sandals, which have good arch support, supportive structure, and the straps are lined with a soft fabric for no rubbing or blisters. I found a neutral coffee-color instead of the bright colored sandals. And like other posters have emphasized, break in your shoes at home. A lot.

Posted by
1383 posts

I have settled on Skechers. Slip-ons. But the most important thing for me is to have a (nearly) new pair for each 1, or maybe 2, trips. I wear them a few times to break them in.

I used to bring 2 pairs of shoes, so that if one pair became uncomfortable I could switch to another. With a nearly new pair of Skechers, I no longer bring the 2nd pair of shoes. (Though I do still bring a pair of flip-flops or sandals.)

Posted by
1869 posts

I have good support from Asic's, ECCO 7's, Naot Sandals, & Keens.

Posted by
3931 posts

For those of you who wear Keens - how's the width? I just checked out the website, and am pleased to see they have shoes in sizes 11 and sometimes 12, but there only seems to be one width available. I wear an 11W in SAS; the regular width doesn't make it for me. (My dad used to tell me and my sister that we should throw out the shoes, and wear the boxes. Ouch! Note to parents: your teen daughters do not find this funny.)

Posted by
134 posts

I also have a wide foot - 9W and as I get older tending towards WW. While Keens are wider than some shoes they are not wide enough for me even when I was a true W. My favorite walking shoes for Europe are SAS Pampa which have so far been very successful on 2 14-day trips with extensive walking. At home, I wear Birkenstock Miyari which I love but they don't have enough padding for uneven cobblestones.

Posted by
97 posts

For lots of walking, I have discovered Abeo shoes with insoles specific to your foot shape. My feet are a little wider than medium width, but too narrow for wide shoes to work. In particular, I have a high arch and need a wide toe box. It can be a challenge! The Abeo "Brynn" sandal has turned out to be perfect for me. It has three adjustable straps allowing me to adjust when my feet inevitably swell at the end of the day or in the heat. They're leather, but survived a summer flash flood. They look dressy enough for dinners out, yet casual enough to go to the beach. Already I've worn out one pair and have purchased two more. On our Heart of Italy tour last spring, they were champs. I alternated them with two other pairs of shoes: Josef Seibel "Caspian" sneakers and Munro "Pia" Mary Janes, both of which I wore with socks. (Yes, I know Rick says two pairs of shoes are enough!) I found my feet were happiest if I changed shoes before dinner and wore a different main pair the next day. Another tip: I used "Glide" stick (Marathon runners use it to prevent chafing.) on my feet every day to prevent blisters. Lots of miles - no blisters!

Posted by
3931 posts

Thanks, Carol F. I wear SAS almost exclusively, but wear sandals only around the house. My DH can wear sandals for long walks, but I always seem to get stuff - dirt, sand, gravel, twigs - caught in them.

Posted by
914 posts

As you will see everyone has a favorite shoe. The best is what is comfortable for you. I just found Ryka sports shoes at DSW. They are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. Made on a woman’s last so narrow heel with wider toe. I’m also a big fan of Alegria Essence.
After 3 foot surgeries and a broken foot, my feet are very picky. They don’t like seams, straps or anything to put pressure on my toes or toe joints.
At home I live in FitFlops. On my upcoming Italy tour I am also taking a pair of FitFlop Sandals to give my toes a break. FitFlops have good arch support but I don’t want to be walking miles in them.

Posted by
308 posts

My main shoe for most travel conditions is a Keen sandal. I used them for city walking and mountain hiking on the RS Alpine Europe tour last year. I walked 18 miles in them one day with no blisters. Even on rainy days they were great because they dry so quickly. I also bring a pair of Tieks ballet flats for evening walks to dinner and bus/train rides. I wouldn't recommend walking miles and miles in Tieks but I do feel a little fancier for a bit.

When I travel in the winter I wear what I wear at home: Blundstones leather boots (recommended on this forum).

Posted by
15 posts

It's hard to recommend shoes since people have different feet, walking styles, body shape and weight, style preferences and so on.

For me, I like a light weight shoe that's roomy in the toe and, super cushiony and minimal heel lift. I've had plantar fasciitis in the past and, unlike many people, found that the highly structured "supportive" footwear is the worst thing for this, not the best. Lately I've been wearing Van's Atwood sneakers or Keen Clearwater CNX sandals.

But as the saying goes, YMMV.

Posted by
3931 posts

I'm trying a new model of SAS this year: It's called "Step Out." https://www.sasshoes.com/womens-step-out/2620.html

It's a Mary Jane type with a curved sole, wider toe box, and velcro strap. The first time I wore it I thought it wasn't going to work, but I've been wearing them every other day, walking a couple of miles, and I think they're going to be fine. A change from my normal "Take Time" model. https://www.sasshoes.com/womens-taketime/1690.html

The new ones are more rigid that the Take Time, and that had me worried. But I think they'll be going on our next tour.

Posted by
106 posts

For lots of walking in my city and in Europe, I love Merrell Jungle Mocs. They are slip ons, so I am not constantly tying my shoes. However, the Merrell Jungle Mocs are too hot for warm weather. I can wear my ASICS or other running shoes, but have to keep tying them since they all come untied a lot. I need to find a warm weather slip on that has super thick soles like the Merrell Jungle Moc.