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Dress shoe recommendation for the traveling gents...

We spent two weeks in Italy in October this year.
I bought a few different pairs of shoes leading up to the trip and ultimately decided to bring two pairs:
One pair of brown leather sneakers by Ecco and a pair of walnut brogue wingtips by Allen Edmonds.

The wingtips were from the "Road Warrior" series by Allen Edmonds. When packing for the trip, both pairs of shoes were still very new and a little stiff. I thought I'd wear the sneakers during the day and wear the dress shoes in the evenings.

As it turns out, I was completely wrong. After the first week of our two-week trip, I put the sneakers back in my suitcase and wore the dress shoes exclusively. Even when walking several miles a day, they were far more comfortable than the sneakers I brought.

I have other, more expensive, dress shoes from Allen Edmonds, but none of them are as comfortable as those in the Road Warrior collection. If you like dressing nice when you travel, give them a try. Your feet will thank you!!

Posted by
2749 posts

Another reminder to make sure whichever shoes you are taking to Europe are well broken in so you know that they will be comfortable. In 16 RS tours and trips to Europe I have never taken any dress shoes. One pair of Clarks Air Movers and one pair of sturdy sandals. The Clarks are no longer made in England and not available. Fortunately I was able to buy 3 pairs of them when I heard that they were going out of production in England. The Clarks do not have much, if any, of an interior arch, like so many Ecco shoes do, but they are form fitting like a glove.

Posted by
6536 posts

I wear a size 15 shoe, and my shoes are somewhat difficult to buy. I've got to where I just wear the same shoe year after year, and seldom even put my Johnston & Murphy dress shoes on. I wouldn't want to mess them up on a road trip to Europe either.
My day to day shoes are well broken in and they're just a cheap old pair of Docker boat shoes with a gel insert in them. I have 4 pairs of them right now. My work shoes are Merrills as they have a lug tread that allows me to not slip on the side of embankments.
I only carry the one pair of shoes on my international travel--the newest pair I've got.

Posted by
68 posts

Traveling light is definitely nice, but I do like to have the option of dressing up for a nice dinner or dressing down to kick around in the ruins, etc., so I always bring a pair of nicer shoes and a more casual pair.

Posted by
60 posts

For dressy casual and very comfortable, my husband loves his Samuel Hubbards. I've lost count how many pairs he has . . . Very comfortable, he says.

Posted by
1398 posts

SAS shoes look good and need no breaking in. Plus they are available in many sizes and widths. I have a friend that did an annual long walk ( 240 km I think ) and he took 3 pair to accommodate his feet swelling - 13, 14, and 15 !

Posted by
7735 posts

Felix, how stiff is the sole with the wingtips? My struggle is to find shoes with a good stiff sole, like good hiking boots have. I don't want a sole that's going to mold itself around whatever errant cobblestone or rock I happen to step on.

Posted by
631 posts

Michael - get thee down to the Danner store in Renton.

I wear Danner, Timberland, Cole Haan, and Mephisto for work depending on where I'm going to be. I've worn all of those walking thousands of miles on everything from concrete trade show floors to cobblestones in Europe. I fly in driving shoes or loafers, but serious walking demands a better shoe. Just picked up some Ariat boots that look like overbuilt "wallaby's" and after two weeks wear in the rain on the docks I think they're going to be my new work boots.

Posted by
68 posts


I'd say the soles on the AE Road Warrior series are like a medium athletic shoe.
They aren't as soft as the soles of my Brooks running shoes, but they aren't as stiff as my North Face hiking sneakers.
The more dressy wingtips (like the McAllister) are great looking shoes, but I wouldn't want to walk five miles in them.
With the Road Warriors, walking all day was a pleasure.


Posted by
101 posts

Michael, I would recommend taking a look at ECCO Track II Low. They have very supportive soles and heel counters, similar to hiking boots. They are usually the only shoes I bring on a trip. They work well for everything from walking around a city with cobblestone streets to almost any kind of hiking you're likely to do short of carrying a heavy backpack. Mine are black, and they look perfectly presentable for dressier occasions when they're polished. I much prefer them to other types of shoes with squishier soles.