When your luggage space is limited, you won’t have the luxury of bringing a bazillion pairs of shoes (although some people still like to try!). It’s important to bring shoes that you will realistically wear, and shoes that won’t kill your feet. I brought five pairs of shoes with me: one pair of black boots, two pairs of canvas sneakers, two pairs of sandals, and one set of indoor slippers. By the end, I’d tossed all but the boots and one pair of Keds before coming home. The problem wasn’t that my shoes were cheap and broke too quickly, or that I didn’t want them anymore. The issue was that I’d worn them out over the years and final months (which was part of my packing plan: to bring some shoes almost at their end so that I could then toss them to free up space and weight).
I cannot stress enough that a comfortable pair of everyday walking shoes is essential. Your feet won’t hurt after all the walking you’re sure to do, and you won’t have to worry about selecting shoes for the day depending on your level of activity.
I recommend bringing a pair of boots for the following reasons:
- To keep your feet warmer especially if you’re traveling to a place with a climate colder than you’re used to
- To save you the hassle of bringing rain boots since they shouldn’t get soaked like canvas shoes (make sure to protect your boots beforehand if you’ll be somewhere wet)
- To safely store some cash while traveling (yes I kept my extra money in my boots on travel days, and even small amounts on regular days)
- To stay cute while traveling :) You can dress boots up or down, yadda yadda… boots help to minimize the guesswork for an outfit if you’re lazy or fashion-challenged such as myself, heh.
I lucked out and found an amazing pair of ECCO boots for half off on Black Friday last year. They were my first pair of leather boots, and after shopping this year on Black Friday, I’ve decided that no boot I’ve found for the price compared! :(
This is the ECCO “Saunter” boot, a similar style to mine (if not the same but an updated version):
I wore these boots about 90% of the days I was abroad. I could — and did — walk in them for 8-10 hours every day, and with the exception of the initial wearing-in process and aching from a sudden burst of non-stop activity, my feet never hurt. I wore these out so much that the insole is coming off inside and the heel is worn down, and I’ve been meaning to get them fixed. I was going to toss them at the end as well to make more room but I’m SO glad I didn’t; writing this post made me realize how much I loved (and still do) these boots.
Do your feet a favor and treat them nicely with comfortable shoes!