Since the 17 Day tour covers a wide range of territory, I need advice on shoes. Are the Dolomites trails easy walking or do I need a heavy covered shoe? I'm trying to travel with only two pairs of shoes, one being a versatile sandal and the other a covered shoe. Any advice will be appreciated! Thanks!
For hiking you will want a sturdy shoe with a lug sole, as on hiking shoes. Merrell's makes a number of styles that could fill the bill. They make many low top shoes and some are a solid color, so you can wear them anywhere. You can wear your sandals for dressier situations and for just giving your feet a rest from the shoes. This is the way I travel.
I would also recommend shoes by Keen. http://www.keenfootwear.com/
They are rugged and functional, yet I think they are still cute and you're not lugging around huge hiking boots. You can wear them practically anywhere. I absolutely adore my Keens. They are not heavy (easy to pack and haul around when not wearing them) and they have durable metal clasps for the shoelaces. Besides that, they feel good on my feet and they make me want to be active.
So that's my spiel. :-)
I have taken this same trip and I took a pair of New Balance running/walking shoes and a pair of SAS sandles. These worked fine for everywhere we went. I know you will enjoy the trip.
My Keen "sandals" hiking shoes are great. I haven't been to the Dolomites, but were told these shoes were for hiking. Very comfortable and airy. I loved them when we were in Italy.
Don't forget good socks. My favorites are Smartwool; you can order directly from gheir website for the best selelction. I particularly like the adrenaline light micro style---low-cut but w/ a "lip" at the heel so they don't slide down---almost invisible w/ Keen sandals or their Mary Janes but good w/ walking shoes also.
I had a road tested if you will pair of shoes turn on me and I got the worst blister I have ever had and was forced to baby it for days.
Just make sure your shoes are broken in some.
I walk better for long periods of time with a lace, closed shoe.
I like Merrell & Keen - for Sandals Teva or Keen
Have a great trip
I wore Merrell light hiking boots (high-tops) on my first Euro trip, and Keen shoes (Briggs or similar model) on my second. Both were fine for urban walking. On my upcoming trip I'm doing the Camino pilgrimage in Spain. Since the Camino path covers various types of terrain, I got a pair of Lowa Renegade III hiking boots.
You may wish to consider adding arch supports as well (the ones that come w/the shoes/boots are usually kind of lame - no pun intended). I use Superfeet in my footwear.
I bought all three pairs at REI, along w/the Superfeet inserts (my go-to store for travel stuff). Good luck!
Earth shoes. Took two pairs, one Earth Sandals and One Earth Regular covered toe. Did not need anything heavy, but did not get to the Dolomites because of heavy rain that day. Shoot!
I tell you these shoes are all I wear and I used to be a shoe "horse".