I will be there the first week of august. Stressing about shoes and whether I should invest in waterproof shoes or boots ?
I have never found waterproof shoes as comfortable as my regular walking shoes. What I have done, even for Scotland, is to apply waterproof spray to my favorite walking shoes.
Have a great trip!
I don't know where you live, but chances are, unless you're from the Desert Southwest, you will probably encounter as much rain in your home state as you will in Scotland.
If you're going to be mainly in the cities and towns, there's no need to get anything waterproof. However, if you're going to be tramping about the Highlands, you may want to invest in something waterproof for when you step on really soggy ground. Best thing to do, if you have room in your suitcase, is to pack a lightweight pair of footwear as a backup in case your regular shoes get waterlogged.
Be advised that there is no such thing as a "waterproof" shoe. Even the best shoes tend to leak. The only thing that will keep your feet completely dry is a pair of welly boots, preferably the green ones. They are available at most outdoor shops in Scotland, particularly the Green Welly shop in Tyndrum.
Best wishes for your travels!
"If it wisnae for your wellies, where would you be?
You'd be in the hospital or infirmary
Cause you'd have a dose of the flu or even pleurisy
If you didnae have your feet in your wellies"
The Welly Boot Song, by Billy Connolly
I have waterproof shoes that are the same brand as my usual trail shoes and they are comfortable. (Altra Lone Peak trail shoes)
Are you going to be doing a lot of hiking? If you are just doing general sightseeing I'd say not needed.
I will add that I have never been wetter in my life than a trip out to Iona on a June day. I would have love to have had rain pants but I'd only have needed them for the one day.
I have a couple of pair of waterproof shoes that are among my most comfortable shoes ever. One is a Clark's Wave Walk shoe with Gortex, and the others are Legero shoes with Gortex. Legero are hard to find in North America, though.
Anyway, these are my go-to shoes for travel, because they can handle anything.
I have Allbird Mizzles. Love them for damp/cold/rain. They look like a running shoe. I got them in a dark gray and they go well with most things. I got them for travel and find that I wear them fairly often now at home. My son and daughter-in-law live in Seattle and they love the Mizzles for their often wet weather.
When I go somewhere likely to rain, I also bring my rain pants. They tuck into a pocket and compact very small.
I also suggest Smartwool socks or some type of "performance" socks. Wet cotton socks smell and take a long time to dry.
I wear Clarks Wave Andes waterproof walking shoes. I originally bought them for a trip to Iceland several years ago and have used them for every trip I’ve taken since, irregardless of expected weather. It’s nice not to have to worry about your shoes getting wet and needing to dry. I usually only bring one other pair of flats for dinners out in the evenings.
I love my Dansko Paisley shoes. They are waterproof (gortex), and proved way more comfortable for walking all day on a recent trip to Washington, DC than my regular shoes I walk in every morning at home. I also think they would be great for walking on cobblestones/uneven surfaces as they have a solid sole.
As some of the other posters mentioned, it depends on where you'll be, and what you'll be doing. We had a lot of rain our first day in Edinburgh, but the rest of the time in the city was clear, so waterproof shoes weren't a necessity there. I wore my Skechers GoWalks, which I had sprayed with Scotchgard, and they stayed reasonably dry. When we did get a little too wet, we just ducked into a pub for lunch. I wore the Skechers for most of our 14 days in the U.K. (11 in Scotland and 3 in London), and they were fine for almost everything.
However, on our 3-Island Tour of Mull, Staffa and Iona, it rained the entire time, and between the boat ride (hello, Atlantic swell!) and walking around on Iona in the rain, I was thankful for my Keen waterproof hiking shoes. On our first day on Skye, we had a heavy drizzle, so I wore my Keens, and even though we spent a lot of time walking around outside, including over an hour in the Dunvegan Castle gardens, my feet stayed dry. The next day we did a lot of hiking, and even though it wasn't raining, everything was still pretty muddy, so I stuck with the Keens, and I was very thankful to have them.
I have been having this same dilemma. @padams - did it take a while to break in your Dansko Paisley shoes? I got some but they've rubbed my heel quite a bit on the few walks I've done around my home. I just got some Danner Mountain 600 waterproof boots to try. They are insulated so may be good for cold days. They might be overkill for Scotland in September but I know from previous travels that happy feet = happy trip. :-)
@Michelle, if your heel is slipping you might try an alternate lacing method. Take a look at the 1st example of alternate lacing with the lace threaded thru a loop at the top. I was having some issues a few shoes back and this worked really well.
@Michelle, I did not have trouble breaking in the Danskos. I do tend to wear think stocks with them, so perhaps that helps.
Water proof shoes. Haven’t heard this question for…..
Truth is that waterproof shoes only work if water is not deep enough for the shoes. If water gets in a waterproof shoe, it cannot get out. Neither can sweaty feet dry out.
As someone who hikes and simply wades through streams, I do not use waterproof shoes.
Thank you @Pam for that awesome article on different ways to lace shoes, this is something I had never thought about! Thanks @padams, I am going to also try thicker socks. I did wear my new Danner boots when walking my dog last night and looked rather ridiculous in the Arizona heat wearing shorts and boots but they were very comfortable. :-)