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Shoes For Best of Eastern France Tour

I'll be doing the Best of Eastern France Tour May 6-19. Since this covers a lot of territory and some changes in weather/altitude, I'm not sure how many pairs of shoes to take. I wouldn't be surprised if we go from rain to the Alps to sunny (hopefully) Provence. Any suggestions? I'd like to take sandals and a pair of light hikers, but not sure which ones. Thanks.

Posted by
698 posts

I am very fond of my Merrell Moab hikers....they are lightweight and waterproof.

Posted by
489 posts

I've been on a couple of tours and I know after a good bit of walking during the day, I need a different pair of shoes for the evening.
I used Sarah's hints and weigh everything to decide on 3 things.. comfort, weight and comfort. We were in Provence last July and there are many hilly cities. So I would definitely take a pair with good walking ability and good tread. (I'm going to look into the hikers others are raving about for our fall trip to Ireland and Scotland.
But I have taken a good pair of sharp sneakers (I like Taos) they have great arch support. Then I would take another comfortable and walking sharp looking shoe like a sketchers (however i usually need to add an insert for arch support. I also take a pair of sandals (must be light weight). I usually wear one and pack 2, but I just found a cute pair of flats that have great tread and are light weight.
On a tour you will want to keep your suitcase weight down, because you're the one hauling it around and possibly up stairs.
Sarah (tour guide with RS) has some good youtube videos for women packing. I also like her idea on purchasing shoes that have insoles that can be removed. If they get soaked, taking out the insoles will allow them to dry better. I left a pair of clarks in Croatia a couple of years ago because my shoes were soaked while touring Plitvice Lakes National park.

Posted by
380 posts

I did this tour in the fall and had one pair of walking/hiking sandals and one pair of lightweight walking shoes. (Bzees are my new favorite shoe. The Lakeside model I prefer is being phased out so I buy a pair whenever/wherever I find them. https://www.steinmart.com/product/lakeside+slip-on+sneaker+5753561.do ) There is no reason for heavy-duty hiking shoes on this tour, but you will definitely want shoes with traction and comfort.
My Costco currently has a ballet-style Skecher comfort shoe as well as some Khombu walking sandals. For under $50 you can have all the shoes will you need for this tour. https://www.costco.com/womens-footwear.html

Posted by
19170 posts

People are different (I'm klutzy) and people's feet are different (I'm prone to sprained ankles). I've learned that I must have supportive lace-up shoes. Although it would be handy to have a second pair, easier to put on, to wear to breakfast or just down the street a block or two, I am no longer willing to add that much bulk and weight to my suitcase. If I were a beach-lover, I'd obviously have to pack some sort of beach shoes.

When you're on your feet a lot, you will very much appreciate a shoe with a cushy sole. A hard-rubber sole may be grippy (essential on wet cobblestones) but hard on your back if you do a great deal of walking.

I encountered much more heavy rain in southern France last May than I did in Normandy and England last August-September. Most days had at least some clouds that made me think it might rain, though it didn't do that terribly often.

Posted by
2486 posts

Hopefully you have the shoes you need in your closet. Buying new ones give you only 6 weeks to break them in, exchange if they don’t fit, etc. We did the Loire and South of France a few years ago. It rained every day but two. We lived in our athletic shoes and sandals. The athletic shoes sorta dried out overnight. I brought a pair of Ecco’s for wearing to restaurants but got very little use out of them as I did not want to ruin them. After a few days I did not care what I wore on my feet for dining out, but sure glad we had athletic shoes and sandals.

Posted by
2788 posts

Check out the "Best Walking Shoes for Travel" elsewhere on this forum.

Posted by
1608 posts

I try to stick with brands that I do well with and then find something in their line that fits my need. So, what brands do you favor on a regular basis? Our RS Eastern France was in August and I would say something with good tread is paramount. There were a fair number of hikers in our group when we went to Chamonix and a variety of hikes. I was glad to have shoes with good tread for the Haut-Koenigsburgh Castle as well as our hotel in Vaison la Romaine. I took a pair of Sofft sandals, a pair of what are technically Adidas water shoes (soft on top with excellent tread) and a pair of foldable flats.

Loved this tour