I'm doing the RS Greece tour in September. When the description says to bring sturdy shoes, what exactly does that mean? I'd rather not have the weight of hiking shoes if they aren't necessary. Would a good sneaker be OK, or do some days really require more? Thanks--Ricka
You want to have firm soles because you will be walking on uneven ground and cobblestones. You can wear sneakers but your feet will ache in the evenings. My wife takes her hiking shoes but I just wear some leather shoes with a stiff sole. But you definitely don't want to wear sandals or high heeled shoes on cobblestone.
Forget a good sneaker. Cobblestones are brutal.
Not cheap but comfortable and durable, (mine are 8 years old and look fine) are the low cut Keen Targhee hiking boot. They are so light you won’t believe it. Love mine. Go to England with me every year and I often wear them in LA. Love the sturdiness.
Keen sandals like the Whisper and Newport also have a sturdy base. I hike in mine.
If there’s an REI where you live you could try a pair on.
Whatever you get, make sure your ankles are supported. I've never seen so many female tourists in wheelchairs, on crutches, with arms in slings or limping as I saw in Greece. I could only think they did not wear appropriate shoes for the varied and challenging terrain.
Some of the most surprising walking surfaces are on the Acropolis. The ancient marble is very slippery, whether wet or covered in dust. Except for a bit adjacent to one side of the Parthenon, and part of the walk up to the top of the hill, there is no surface that is flat and sidewalk-like. There are no handrails except for a narrow stairway to the side of that entry area. The rest of the ground is uneven dirt and rocks. It's very easy to slip or stumble or turn an ankle. Mycenae is a bit better, but Delphi is the same.
I did this tour with a Merrell sandal and a Merrell mary jane - good soles are the key. Rick Steves used to recommend a vibram sole. I distinctly remember the colorful sneakers of one tour member. The only person who had trouble was a tour member who’d bought a cute pair of sandals with slick soles - she slid down on one of the walks.
I did this tour with my gym shoes. They were an Abeo model. No problems. There's certainly no reason to wear hiking boots/shoes unless you have a specific problem.
I have traveled to Greece twice independently. When visiting the antiquities you need to wear sneakers as there are pieces of columns strewn about and other artifacts. You need to wear shoes with good support.
I wore Keen Rose there and in Spain.
I'm going in April and have done this tour before. I am bringing my New Balance (fresh foam??) and a pair of Keen Rose sandals for the reasons Claudia and Lo have given you. This is an awesome tour!
As others have emphasized, shoes with a good tread, support & sturdy base are needed. Uneven terrain and slippery surfaces are a challenge. Keens have an excellent tread & do well in Greece. Enjoy beautiful Greece!
I did this tour totally in athletic shoes and did fine. They do have good supportive soles that gripped walking surfaces well. This tour is VERY active, other tour members who had done the Sicily tour previously said this Greece tour was even more active. Enjoy every minute, Greece is absolutely amazing.
Thank you all. I have a pair of Keen Rose sandals and will take those, as well as my sturdier athletic/hiking shoes.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is bringing a pair of water shoes or booties. We did this tour last summer and stayed in several towns with the opportunity to go swimming. The beaches are rocky and it would be uncomfortable to go barefoot. I brought a pair of Aleader Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes; very light & easy to pack, comfortable enough on the stones, and durable enough to walk on the road to the beach from the hotels.
Thanks for the water shoe suggestion, too.