One (1) pair of shoes, really?
IS this a trick question?
I usually take one pair of good walking shoes that are black and can be worn dressed up a little.
My wife always takes at least two. The advantage she has is that hers aren't the size of clown shoes like mine (14) and they don't take up as much room.
I always get by with one pair. BUT I take two interchangeable inter soles and change daily so that the shoe stays dry. Leaves room so I can carry my wife's extra shoes.
My first 2 trips I "wanted" to bring 2 pair, but after packing my backpack I gave in and got by with one pair of brown leather walking/hiking shoes.
I've been agonizing over this same question as we usually travel very casually, but I'm going on my first RS tour, and was worried all the other women will "dress" for dinner. I called and talked to the tour department the other day, and was reassured that casual is really fine. So I'm going with my one pair again. Gotta save room for the 30 guidebooks!
Ron, I have a great idea!! Add a clip for a luggage strap to the toe and heel of one of your size 14 shoes, and it becomes a handy day pack.
That packing list reminds me of when our sons went to football camp. The first year, we packed EVERYTHING on the list and they came home and had worn almost NOTHING! The next year we had them pack themselves. They told me they turned the underwear inside out to get two pairs from one, and if they swam in it under their shorts, it was considered clean and could be worn again and again! So much for packing light!
I would never take just one pair of shoes,, ok, so I am female,,but even my hubby brings two pairs,, and his shoes take 1/2 a suitcase.
Somewhere warm, he take runners and walking sandals, ( not flops) , somewhere city,, runners and shoes. Its good for feet to change off shoes if possible.
I always pack light , and find it is easy for me to take three pairs. I wear the biggest heaviest ones(usually runners) , bring comfy but casual walking sandals, and dressy sandals or pumps .
Note,, do you wear the same pair of footwear everyday for two weeks at home??
It seems that when I travel and walk alot even my most comfortable practical pair of shoes end up bothering some part of my foot eventually. I always bring 2-3 pairs and as it's generally summer the second doesn't take too much more room. Plus the second looks nicer for evening which in Italy definitely looks better. Way easier for guys.
One good pair of well worn in walking shoes. Black so I can wear them out at night. I bring along a few "odor eaters" and change these out every few days to keep the shoes "smelling fresh" or close enough. I also bring a sample size container of foot powder. Sprinkle just a bit on your feet in the morning and they will stay dry and odor free.
For a starter, I'd take at least one pair for EACH of you :-)
Yes, it is really easy to carry a 9 lb backpack, but how much time are you actually going to be carrying your luggage? I would rather take more stuff and be more comfortable. I hate hand washing, so I take clothes for a week, then find a washer & dryer and I'm ready for another week.
Shoes - it is harder for women, because a really comfortable walking shoe is rarely (if ever???) suitable for dressing up. Nor have I found walking sandals that are both. So I end up packing at least 2 prs, but my feet need as much pampering as I can give them on sightseeing trips! Ballet slippers are very popular in Paris but much of Italy is cobblestones and may not be as comfy as a shoe with a thicker sole.
You are going in warm weather, take sandals and shoes.
I have learned my lesson regarding shoes the hard way or should I say the sore way! Getting ready to be in Italy this October, no matter how comfortable shoes are when you try them on after walking most of the day my feet hurt. I walk at home in the evenings and wearing shoes to see how I can manage, I've also purchased a couple of pairs of slide on sandals and will carry them in my bag just in case I need to change off.
I also take one pair of decent looking, well worn in shoes. But it really depends on what your shoe needs are for the trip. If you have specific needs for shoes like sandals or dancing shoes, then take them.
I always pack a second pair of shoes.
In addition to comfortable walking shoes, I always take a pair of sandals. I have a pair that is comfortable enough for a mile or so of walking. I also use them as slippers around my room and down to breakfast. I shopped around until I found a pair that had good arch support and a heel strap that is covered in soft leather and won't raise blisters. I try to save these sandals for special occasions and for European trips, so they will wear for a long time.
I just learned a new trick and it works. On areas of my feet where I tend to get blisters before heading out,I roll a clear gel deoderant and let dry before putting on shoes. It has helped me many times in not getting blisters.
The one (1) pair of shoes question stems from a different psychology than what I normally possess -- Only 1 pair of shoes! We are going to Italy for 15 days: Milan for 4 days (F1 race, historic downtown sites), Vernazza for 3 days (our honeymoon), Florence for 3 days (art), Tuscany/Umbria for 3 days (hill towns) and Rome for 2 days (Vatican, St. Peters, Coliseum, Pantheon), and two very long plane rides.
I am thinking about taking either a pair of RS Ecco's or Teva day hikers (both are brown) as my main shoes, AND a pair of gray mesh-type shoes as my second, backup pair. In summary, 2 pairs of shoes. However, after reading the comments above, I might be able to take only 1 pair of shoes! BTW, this is Kent - The other one :)
You know, they DO have shoe stores in Europe...if you should happen to need another pair. The shoes that we have purchased in Europe seem to be some of the most comfortable that we've ever had. Don't know why - but they were.
While I have thought about buying some items in Italy, I have not thought about buying any of my mainstays there (e.g., shoes). But there are 2 other considerations: I am more worried about size and weight of a second pair of shoes, so it really doesn't matter where I buy them. Secondly, we don't want to spend our time in Italy looking for things that we can get at home -- We want to spend our time looking at the sites. Now, if they really do have better shoes over there, well then, that's a different story ...
If you are going to be in Florence, finding a place to buy shoes won't be difficult at all as leather is one of their specialties and stores with leather goods abound. Shoes would be a nice souvenir from there. In fact, one of the women I traveled with last year bought a pair of boots and a pair of shoes in Florence.
Bring a pair and a spare! Your feet will welcome the change, and what if (heavens forbid) it rains and your only shoes get soaked and squishy?
The two pairs of sensible shoes that I brought last time didn't work at all. Although they were well broken in--and I'm no stranger to brisk constitutionals--after three days of hiking around Rome, my toes blistered and I couldn't force my swollen feet into my shoes. I wore my husband's sandals for our final day in Rome, and I bought a pair of lovely, larger-than-usual sandals in Florence.
Am bringing more resilient sandals and sneakers this time--and hoping for the best, but ready to buy new!
yes only one pair...it's been years and years since i ever took an extra...i always just wear a pair of hiking shoes...rugged...comfortable...versatile...
Two pair, boat shoes and really nice healed leather, comfy, lace up dress shoes. I trade them off to work different parts of the foot - I'm shy over 50. Don't know if I can fully explain how messed up your feet are going to get if you want to walk allot. The excitement is going to push you to over do it with the walking unless you are a seasoned hiker. Bring band-aids? Wife and I bloodied our feet both trips. I made the mistake of taking the boat shoes to Paestum two years ago thinking they would be like rock climbing shoes. Oh My, I think the damage is permanent...
I got a sample of this stuff a couple of years ago when I purchased some socks from a running store. It is a skin lubricant called BodyGlide. Apparently popular with runners out there for preventing rubbing, chafing and blisters. It worked well for lots of walking.
The only time I've taken more than one pair of shoes to Europe was when I was doing mountain hiking that required good hiking boots. Other than that I've gotten along with one pair. They are good New Balance walking shoes suitable for almost any circumstances. On my September trip I'm also taking a pair of easy-to-pack Teva Sandals. I can walk long distances in them as well as wear them to scoot to the bathroom when we have a shared bath.
For those that have responded to the question...all but one of the males takes one pair. All but two of the females take more than one pair.
One other little trick I use when I go buy my "travel" shoes...buy them later in the day andtake a walk before going into the store. Your feet will slightly swell so you'll buy shoes that fit your "swollen" feet rather than trying to get your swollen feet into smaller shoes that fit when your feet weren't swollen. (I hope this makes sense.)
I like to have two pairs of shoes for walking and one pair for relaxing in the room. My feet, hips, back, and knees need to change up to stay comfortable. And when I travel, walking is a big part of the plan (always is - that's how you get the most of any visit), I take one Advil in the morning and one at night. It's my secret weapon!
Two RS tours. One carry-on bag, one small backpack. Three pair shoes each time. Black Easy Spirit comfortable walking, black Keen mules, black Ecco sandals. Happy feet. Happy traveler.
OOH, I'm ready to plan another trip.
Note,, if you have big feet.. good luck finding shoes in Europe,, my hubby would never just be able to pick up his size 13s anywhere. And even as a woman,, if you feet are bigger then size 9s,, you will have fun.. Sure, you will find shoes, but they will be expensive.. I noticed the name brands in Europe were more expensive then the same shoes at home .
Do men really wear lace up shoes with shorts,, um,, I don't think that is a good look,, or maybe its a generational thing,..no shorts over 50 ??
On the oher hand, Matthew said he takes only one pair , hiking boots,, now those may be comfy,, but out to a fancy dinner in them.. NOT saying he is doing anything wrong,, but , I am pointing out that we all have different interests and styles of travel , and that is bound to influence what we bring.
Frank II notes that men mostly take 1 pair, and women mostly take 2. While vanity and fashion certainly play a part in that, it's also a comment on the comfort and sturdiness of the shoes. Usually men's shoes are built better. Sure, we women have put fashion first too often, but there is a very big difference in construction.
Now, don't get me started on the shallow pockets in women's pants!
We were there in September/October and I took a really comfy pair of sandals, a "loafer" type shoe, and a dressier pair of heels. And then bought another pair there because it rained and neither of my walking shoes would work for that! (slippery soles....)
I have been traveling to europe for almost 40 years, and lived in Italy for several years after I got out of college. If the weather permits I wear shorts. The only pair of shoes I take are the ones I am wearing - always some type of tennis shoe (New Balance at the moment). We are leaving for 6 weeks in Tuscany and Liguria on September 1st and I will be wearing the same New Balance shoes that I have been wearing at home. Of course my wife will be taking 2 or 3 pairs of shoes. My unsolicited tip on restaurants is, if the menu is in English - find another restaurant.
I'm just going to second the Body Glide. Works like a charm.
I spray my feet and shoes with aerosol deodorant too. Great trick that I learned from a Disney tour guide.
Great discussion. (Taking notes here!)