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More shoe discussion...

As I didn't want to hijack Lauren H's topic, I am adding this one. I usually take one pair of shoes to Europe; i.e., something like Clark's unstructured shoe (leather uppers, cushiony sole). They look nice, not too sporty. However, I am going on the RS Greece tour soon so I'm thinking differently. I usually travel independently so if there was a horrendously rainy day, I'd adjust my type of activity. However, I assume, if we are scheduled to see ruins on a mountainside we will see them regardless of the weather. Thus, shoes might get absolutely soaked and a second pair will be needed. In Lauren H's post I see comments about having nice looking shoes for dinner, etc. Is there a restaurant that won't let me in because of my shoes? I am a little paranoid about this because in Boston, a Jazz place, early in the evening, in the 90's, I was not allowed in due to my commuting sneakers to listen to a jazz pianist...in spite of my VERY nice business attire...(I have not yet recovered from the insult) and they were willing to let me in once they found out we knew the premier people, but I was uncomfortable and left extremely early. Apparently, people wearing sneakers in the 90s were hoodlums... Ok, so I digressed, again. Anyway, I'm thinking my most wonderfully comfortable gym shoes, (black with slight silver stripe...not too gymish but still, Abeos I think,) which have really nice/deep traction on the sole will be warn on the plane. My second pair is a pair of Clarks, dark brown hiking sneakers, which I would use more outdoors/in the hills than in the town, but either would suffice. I really hate to take two pairs but I think it is necessary for an organized tour. Also, I don't want to slip on the marble or uneven walkways so taking better traction shoes than usual.

Anyway, do I need nicer shoes for restaurants/evenings? (I'm sure there is no one to vouch for me and indicate I'm not pond scum in Greece to get me in.)

Posted by
2716 posts

In Greece no. I often saw flip flops on both men and women, and all sorts of sneakers.

Posted by
2532 posts

We just wore comfortable shoes. I never pack an extra pair...but do include sandals.

Posted by
23473 posts

This is one of the reason that we always wear waterproof (not water resistant because that means nothing) shoes. Wet shoes create lots of problems other than just drying them out. They can get stiffer, smaller, and less comfortable when finally dried.

Posted by
2768 posts

I would think only a 5 star formal restaurant would care, as long as the shoes aren't caked with mud that will dirty the restaurant. I doubt you go to a place like that on tour.

That said, if you care you could bring one pair of good traction hiking type shoes then the Clarks unstructured you like for your solo travel - if those work most of the time on your other trips then they will be good on this tour too.

So hiking shoe for rain/hiking/other difficult situations and a multi-purpose shoe for town touring and dinner.

Posted by
34 posts

I live in London and when family comes to visit, we often do a lot of walking during the day and have a nice meal in the evening.

I wear light hiking shoes (we do a lot of walking) and keep a pair of lightweight flats in my bag along with a light cardigan to be sure I'm restaurant-ready. As long as my trousers are comfortable for walking and appropriate for dining, I'm good to go.

This has worked with restaurants across London, including a meal at the Shard (they've got a dress code).

Even when I haven't changed shoes, I've never had a problem in Europe and I'm a typical PNW girl (dress for the weather and for comfort, not for fashion).

Ok, I did have one problem when I was in my 20s and I tried to go to a club in London with a friend and I had (gasp) open-toed shoes (the horror). We were turned away before we even got to the door but that was probably for the best.

Posted by
2252 posts

Hello, Hoodlum! I guess I'm one also as I wore sneakers in the 90s, too. Only kidding....When we were on this tour (October) I took what I normally take for shoes on tours- a pair of closed toe Keens (wore the on plane) and a pair of Teva sandals. The only really big city we were in was Athens and truly, no one really looked at your feet. Up thread a bit, good advice to just be sure your shoes won't be tracking in mud or be overly dirty. I can't imagine any of the places we were in wouldn't let you in with the Clarks you already have. That said, I would highly recommend you do take two pairs of shoes as in case of rain you will want the wet pair to dry and a dry pair to wear. And yes, the tour scheduled activities happen rain or shine!

Posted by
2230 posts

We always use waterproof shoe spray on our shoes before we got to Europe (prefer Cadillac brand). I take two pairs of shoes (oxfords and walking sandals, basically), but my husband takes only one pair. We've had very good luck with the shoe spray (which we also use on our backpack luggage, umbrellas, jackets and so forth.

Posted by
3265 posts

Thanks Everyone. I'm leaning away from my Unstructured Clarks because my feet have fallen in love with my gym/running shoes...but I'll consider them instead of my hiking sneakers.

Andi, Thanks. That's exactly what I wanted to hear. I'm going rough I think. Just read the Assassins of Athens so maybe I'll fit right in with the other hoodlums.

Posted by
2238 posts

We did this tour three years ago. You'll be fine with whatever you choose. Unless you choose a fancy restaurant when you're choosing your own restaurant, you're with "Rick". What I mean is that you're part of a group reservation, the owners managers know your guide and they are thrilled to have you. No one will be checking your footwear; they'll be too busy welcoming you. Several times we were in an area/room to ourselves. When Greece was undergoing their economic crisis, RS kept bringing tour groups and helped these people survive. People were so gracious and helpful wherever we went.

Posted by
208 posts

After being in torrential rains last year in Athens, I was soooooo happy that my shoes had nylon "uppers" (not leather). They were Vionics Active Walkers (Sunset model), which were Mary Janes on an athletic shoe sole. Loved them.

After they were soaked -- back in the hotel room I removed the insoles, blotted them inside and out with towels, then used the hair dryer on/inside them. It dried them out in short order, and they were comfortable (and dry) to wear for dinner.

If my footwear is going to be limited, then they must dry quickly. Finding attractive water-PROOF shoes is a) difficult, and b) I find a bit too hot/bulky. Just my opinion! We tend to travel in October.

Cheers,
Vivian

Posted by
3265 posts

vfyorkem, So you only took one pair of shoes to Greece. I think the whole tour and shoes with good grid directions has made me overly paranoid. My shoes always have good rubber type soles, so maybe I will revert to my usual one pair of shoes...sure would help on weight.

Posted by
208 posts

No, Wray, I essentially took two pairs -- my Vionics Mary Janes and also a pair of Teva sandals ("Tirra" model).

I say "essentially", because I was on a Med cruise, so I also had a dressy evening sandal that I wore every evening on board, to dinner.

We had warm ports (Rhodes), but started in Venice (stayed 4 nights pre-cruise), and ended in Athens (stayed 3 nights post-cruise). A lot of temperature variation.

We're going on our 8th cruise this October (within 4 years), and it will be our 4th Mediterranean. In all our travels, we haven't checked a bag (and we've always been within the airlines' carry-on limits) since 1998. :-)

We've been able to cruise (Celebrity cruise line) very successfully (meaning, we can still look dressed up for dinner), but I must say that if we weren't cruising, it would be SO MUCH EASIER! LOL. There are definitely things we take now that we wouldn't if we were travelling independently or, especially on a RS tour, where I assume everyone would be boasting about how little they packed! LOL. Things like those dressy sandals! Believe me -- cruises seem to attract the biggest packers! We roll our eyes and feel soooooo liberated!

Posted by
3265 posts

Yeah, OK. I had rethought the one shoe again. Presently, I'm thinking a Clark's hiking sneaker and Clark's unstructured, which would be packed.

Posted by
3 posts

Get what ever shoes you can comfortably Hike and walk all day. Over here there is also an additional optional called ballerina flats that are now also sold in clubs for after when the heels are killing. Nice thing is that they Vang even fit in your purse so handy for a more discreet appearance