Hi, we're excited about our first European trip in late March to Paris. I have picky feet and finally found some Brooks tennis shoes that I can wear all day. They seem to have a very breathable top and I'm concerned about rain. Do you think I should buy galoshes/overshoes? Or just try to apply water repellent? Thanks!
Before others freak like I was about to over the term "tennis shoes", it looks as if Brooks shoes are pretty structured and have cushy soles: Brooks shoes.
Sorry that I don't know what to suggest about waterproofing vs. overshoes.
I'd do several things, none of which involve galoshes. First off, I'd have a second pair of some type of comfortable pair of shoes ready as my second pair of shoes to take. Then I'd look at the 10 day forecast a few days before departure to decide if I'd waterproof either or both pair of shoes.
We went to Ireland in June of last year and I bought my first pair of sneaker type shoes. I had both that pair and my ankle boots waterproofed. That worked just fine for me for rainy days.
I own a pair of Brooks trail runners that are water repellent (they come that way), and they work quite well in light rain. I haven’t had them out in pouring rain. Look at the Adrenaline and Cascadia styles. I’m having a hard time picturing galoshes going over tennis shoes and working out very well—remember traction and stability are as important as water repellency As mentioned, I would take two pair of walking shoes so that you have a spare pair.
Wow, I'm receiving great advice and I really appreciate everyone's contributions. You are really helping me to have a great experience on our upcoming trip.
Of many trips to Europe and despite experiencing heavy rainfall at times while walking, hiking and biking, I can't recall a single situation my average feet were soaked and needed special attention. My footwear is either a rugged trail running shoe (often called tennis shoes despite being inappropriate for that sport) or low cut hiking boots. Both lack special water resistant linings and exterior coatings. Footwear is then matched with high quality soft merino wool socks. Extra socks are in my kit along with sandals to pad about at the end of a long day. Galoshes and overshoes? Ha! In short, are you overthinking a possible problem?
I think best advice is to just have two pairs of shoes , it's actually better for feet to alternate shoes anyways .
I travel a fair bit ( right now we are in sweltering Costa Rica ) and I've never owned or brought galoshes or boots anywhere
My feet have never advised me that two pairs of shoes are required for travel and that I must alternate between them. However, a clear message, that orthotics are required, was sent and acted upon. Listen to your feet.
I'm in Bruce's camp. If I were taking a trip that involved few changes of hotel, I would take a second pair of shoes. I'm not going to carry a rarely-worn second pair through 20-30 hotel changes. In the past, when I had two pairs with me, the more comfortable one (usually less stylish but with thick soles) got worn nearly all the time.
I take one pair of shoes, usually leather, but sometimes gym shoes. I've never had soaked feet in any of my travels...that I can recall, and that includes rainy Paris. I do have flip flops for the hotel room and shower. If the top of my shoes did get wet, I'd run the hairdryer on them and let them sit overnight. During the day, I think I would just change my socks. I traveled on the RS tour with two pairs of shoes...I don't know why, and I found them superfluous and just something extra to carry around.
Depending on the time of year, I may or may not pack extra footwear. If it's hot, I am almost always wearing sandals, but pack Blundstones in case of rain. If I know it's not sandal weather, I just take my Blundstones, but they are super comfortable and waterproof and I can wear them 12 hrs a day, day after day, with no problem (I've worn them thru the worst wet slushy messy weather and never had a leak). My husband always takes a second pair. Repellant may or may not work, depending on how breathable they are (are they mesh on top or leather?). Personally, if they weren't waterproof, I'd take a second pair...hopefully you can find something just as comfortable and make sure to break them in!
We always bring our running shoes for running on the fitness center treadmills, or aerobic workouts in the fitness center at our resort and power walking around the resort.Tennis shoes would be entirely suitable for playing tennis, but really not needed for much else.
I'm printing everyone's suggestions and will come up with a plan. We still have some time before we leave so I appreciate everyone's input now. Thanks! My Brooks are broken in and wonderful for wearing all day so they'll go for sure. I'm glad the galoshes idea wasn't supported since it would be a hassle and I, too, was concerned about traction. I'll share this information with my husband and we'll plan on happy feet in Paris!
Some nuanced difference between walking and running shoes by New Balance:
At first glance, walking and running seem very similar. But when you
look closely at the two activities and the demands they place on your
feet and your footwear, the two are really quite different.
As you walk, the body's weight is distributed more evenly on the foot
than when you run. When walking, your weight rolls from the heel,
through the ball and continues to the toe in one foot after the other.
This gentler, rocking-chair like motion requires your feet to absorb
the shock of only 1-2x your body weight with each step. And, during
walking there are points where both feet are firmly on the ground,
Walking shoes are designed with the specific body mechanics and strike
path of walking in mind. They are constructed to be more flexible
through the ball of the foot to allow a greater range of motion
through the roll of the forefoot. They also have greater arch support
to protect where the force is heaviest on the foot....
And then there are cross-trainers:
The sole of a cross-trainer is wide and stable, often expanding beyond
the width of the upper port of the shoe. This width provides more
support for lateral movement that you engage in with these shoes. Runners rarely make the sharp cuts and lateral movements that are
standard on the basketball court or a dance class, for example. In
addition, the tread on running shoes is smooth, which provides less
traction, but because runners are essentially moving straight ahead,
traction is rarely an issue.
And trail running shoes vs hiking shoes:
...customers today seem to have a thing for trail runners. Some are
obsessed with their light weight; others love how comfortable they
feel right out of the box, while the more fashion conscious might
prefer the wide range of designs and colors. No one choice is right
for all, though, and boots still have much to offer
Folks, I think some of you are taking the term « tennis shoes » literally. In some parts of the U.S. it’s a catch-all term for athletic shoe just like « Coke » is a catch-all term for all soft drinks.
Good luck with the shoes, parisbound!
I will second, third the recommendations on the two pairs of shoes to walk in. There is something about changing shoes that gives your feet a break. I am a runner, have ran with Brooks - they are good shoes. For our next trip, in May, I plan on bringing a very good pair of running shoes that I will wear for walking as well as running. Then I will bring a pair of light hikers, possibly water repellant - think Keen or Merrill. If there is room, I will throw in some sandals that can be put with a skirt or hold up to some walking as well when the thermometer climbs. Brooks does make waterproof running shoes you might look into. If Brooks fit your feet well then other models likely will too. Definitely though have two pairs of shoes that are comfortable.