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Christmas Market Womans Shoes HELP!

We will ne going to Christmas Markets in Dec in Germany, France and Austria. I have very problematic feet - need lots of cushioning, regular heel, very wide toe box. Does anyone have any shoes/boots they love for cobblestones and possible snow. I can wear wool socks. I am at my wits end and I am sure Amazon and Zappos officially hate me. I wear Birkenstocks sandals most of my life but those soles are not cushy enough for all day walking.

Posted by
319 posts

Have you looked at FitFlops? The soles of their closed shoes and boots have varying degrees of cushiness. I too have sensitive, broad feet with plantar fasciitis, and have worn them almost exclusively for years. I have had to return a few styles, though, because of seams on the front that make toe box too tight, but their styles do vary

Posted by
681 posts

My go-to shoes for winter walking (for biking & walking on cobblestones, snowy & rainy pathways in Sweden) are Merrell Moab Waterproof boots, they also come in wide. If you're using orthotics, you should buy 1/2 a size up, my thick cushioned orthotics fit. And I guess I would ask if you're not wearing orthotics, despite the cost I would seriously consider it. I wouldn't wear anything except boots for the trip you're describing, good luck!

Posted by
697 posts

Have you tried any Keen shoes? They typically have a very wide toe box, many styles to choose from.

I haven’t looked at their website recently, but I have owned (and still wear) many pairs of Kaci slip ones over the years. They are super comfortable, water resistant, and look fine with casual pants. I have worn them as my primary shoe for walking in Switzerland as well as other vacations featuring cobblestones. I also have a grubby pair that are my barn shoes, and they do great in muck and mud. They’d be good in a little bit of slush/snow, but check out different styles too if you need something taller or want more insulation.

Posted by
285 posts

Check out TopoAthletic. I have very wide feet. I sometimes order the men's shoes because they are wider. They have a good size chart that tells you the exact witdth for the forefoot and midfoot and conversion between men's and women's sizes.

Posted by
2087 posts

What about Blundstones? Our daughter and sons gf wore those exclusively last December when we were in Germany/Austria for the Christmas Markets. I wore my Dromedaris boots. I like these because they have a nice cozy lining, so help keep my feet warm. Plus they are super easy to get on/off as they have a zipper on the inside of the ankle. They are super comfy for me for all day.

Posted by
2793 posts

Another vote for FitFlops. I have both their sandals and thongs. They are cushy and provide arch support. I’ve had three neuroma surgeries, a broken foot and torn tendon. I can walk 6+ miles in the sandals. My friend who has worse and wider feet than mine wears FitFlop shoes and sandals. They are comfortable but the sizing (width) is inconsistent. Definitely try them on.

Posted by
2332 posts

We are doing a Christmas market trip also. I am bringing these boots, which are my everyday winter boots at home:

I have wide feet, and these are soooo comfortable.

I’m also bringing Merrell waterproof hiking boots. If you have an REI store near you, I suggest going to try a bunch of boots.

Posted by
1661 posts

I have the same type of feet, with the added issues of having very small feet and a very high instep. My favourite shoes for the type of weather you mention are what I call "shoebooties." I currently have a pair that are Clark's Wavewalks, and a pair that are Legero. Legero are my favourite, but they're hard to find in North America. I actually got my first pair in Vienna, when my feet were bothering me so much, I desperately needed a new pair of shoes. They were expensive, but they last and last.

Both of my shoebooties, as well as my original pair of Legero sneakers, have Gortex, so they are good for wet weather.

My Clark shoebooties are something like these:

My Legero shoebooties are something like these:

Years ago, I had a pair of Merrels that I loved, but since then, I find they put too much pressure on the top of my foot. YMMV.

Another brand that almost invariably fits me well--so much so that I have no hesitation about ordering them online--is Porto-fino. Not sure if you have them in the US. They are pricey, but I always buy from the clearance list or through the "Elite" club which has mostly size 37 samples (my size) and some 36s and 38s, in case any of those are your sizes.

Edited to add that if I'm not worried about style, sometimes I buy boys' shoes. Boys' shoes usually fit wider than women's do. My hiking boots are a boys' size (with the added bonus that they were cheaper in kids' sizes).

Posted by
5573 posts

Do you have an REI near you? If so, go in and try on some pairs. Trailrunners or a hiking shoes might be a good choice.

A walking buddy of mine has been raving about the shoes she got from this company. I have no personal experience with them.

Posted by
1236 posts

I wear Keen sandals in summer, but for winter, gee, for 20+ years, I have worn Merrell Jungle Mocs. They are slip-ons and have a nice rugged, thick sole. I wore these to my last Christmas market trip in Dec 2019 to Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna, and they did the trick - only shoe I needed. Yep, Zappos carries them. I think on the Merrell site, you may find some with built-in ice grip, but I did not really need it for my trip. Oh, and I climbed the hill to Neuschwanstein in them, so plenty grippy.

Posted by
10245 posts

It's not just the cushioning, but in Germany and Austria, a little bit in France, warmth is very important, too. The wool socks are good, but you may need a sock liner or sheepskin inserts, too. The cold can shoot right up through the shoe soles.

Posted by
3157 posts

I’m thinking I might bring these with me on my winter trip.

That way any boot can grip if there is snow and ice.
There are different brands, this is just one version.
You have to take them off indoors if you don’t want to fall on a slick tile floor.

I have some Merrell Jungle Mocs too that I’ve worn each winter for 19 years…they haven’t worn out yet!
They are like little tractors on slippery surfaces.
They are fairly warm too.

Posted by
10261 posts

I’m going to Christmas Markets this year. I won’t wear shoes that aren’t comfortable and I’m worried about staying warm. I have plantar fasciitis and a wide toe box. Last year I suffered on a springtime 6 week trip with the plantar fasciitis, so before my 10 week fall trip I switched out one pair of shoes for a pair of Ecco soft 7 sneakers. The PF didn’t affect me at all. After planning the trip for December I found a pair of Ecco soft 7 waterproof booties. They seem to be comfortable, though it has been too hot to try them much. I’ll start wearing them around the house with wool socks soon, but I expect they will be as comfortable as my sneakers.

Bets, thank you for mentioning sheepskin inserts. I’m going to get some.

Posted by
2749 posts

Sounds a little like , my foot I have a very wide toebox and my heel is not as wide. . My best shoes are Munro’s that I get at Zappos or Nordstroms. They’re not cheap, but I can walk all over Europe in them

Posted by
14058 posts

@ SJ, a few years ago I changed from YakTrax to Kahtoola Nanospikes. They grip better in snow and ice and come up higher over the toe so don't slip off as easily. I was always having trouble with YakTrax popping off especially in deep snow. I do not think the OP will be in that kind of conditions BUT if someone is going to buy new, I'd vote for the Kahtoola's.

BTW, I'd read somewhere that the Kahtoola brand is now owned by YakTrax. The kind of YakTrax that I didn't get good wear out of were the kind with the coil grippers on the bottom.

Posted by
3157 posts

Thanks Pam.
I’ve just looked in my “winter” drawer to see that I have two different kinds.
Neither are YaKTrax, but one has little spikes and that’s what I’ll take.
The coiled ones act as roller skates on smooth surfaces! 😱🤣
Hopefully I won’t need them at all.

Posted by
441 posts

I am also going to Christmas markets this year. I have a pair of Sorel boots (Explorer II) that are very warm and comfortable. My only frustration with them is that the sizing was off last year and it was tricky to figure out my size. I am hoping they fixed the sizing this year. I also found a pair of Blundstones on sale at REI. They seem very comfortable but it’s just now cooling off so I can start breaking them in soon.

Andrea- I really like those Ecco boots!

Posted by
497 posts

This thread is still open so thought I would bump because I am in same predicament but with slight variations. I have a narrow heal, thin feet with high arch and wider toe box. I live in SoCal and own zero cold weather boots. I do have dress boots but completely impractical. When in UK last time was cold and nasty weather (but no accumulation of snow) I wore my fully enclosed platform leather Birkenstocks with two pairs of socks. They kept my feet dry and are good for walking, especially as I can put a Superfeet orthotic in them. However need something that will keep my feet not just dry but WARM, and are good for walking. Used to have snow boots years ago but too clunky to consider that type,of brand again. I looked at the Cougars someone mentioned but some of the reviews said they did NOT keep the person’s feet warm. Sorrels seem way too heavy and clunky. Chelsea type boots, since I have a narrow heel, can slide on steps. Any other thoughts? TIA

Posted by
2 posts

We went in December for 9 days. I wore Merrell Moab insulated 200 hiking boots. They had a Vibram sole which was very helpful with the ice and snow. I had Atrex insoles. I have never been happier. This combo was perfect. I wore Alpaca socks and my feet were never cold. I will now wear them whenever I need comfortable waking/hiking shoes. They were perfect on the cobblestones. We walked about 7 1/2 miles a day.