Packing for an adventurous holiday is both exciting and difficult, especially when it comes to which shoes to take. Not only do they take up the most room in your backpack, they’re also usually heavier than any other item in your pack.
You’ll need the right footwear to traverse all types of terrain that you plan to encounter. Get it wrong and not only do you waste space in your backpack, you’ll risk blisters or worse, putting a damper on your vacation and travel memories. For example, if you’re going on a beach vacation and plan on exploring, a pair of supportive sandals might be your best bet. They can serve double duty and be good for hiking while keeping your feet cool near the ocean.
A little thought, preparation, and attention to travel shoe rules can make a big difference to your active vacation. In order to save on space and make sure you have the right shoes for your adventure abroad, follow the tips below.
Before You Pack Shoes
Before you start randomly throwing things into your backpack or suitcase, think about where you are headed. The climate, terrain, and activities you have planned should all inform your choice when it comes to packing shoes for your trip.
If you’re off on a hiking adventure in Nepal for instance, you’ll want some sturdy hiking boots that keep your feet warm and dry while standing up to some tough ground. On the other hand, if you’re heading off on a tropical scuba diving holiday, you’ll be more interested in shoes that keep your feet cool and comfortable and that can easily transition from beach to restaurant.
Have fashion take a backseat when choosing the shoes to pack, too. Comfort should be paramount here. If you have purchased new shoes for a particular activity, plan to break them in slowly before you leave.
You can do this by wearing them for a few hours each day for three weeks before you go. This will allow them to take on the shape of your foot and offer the best support. It will also give you a chance to find out if they’re as comfortable as you thought they’d be. Consider visiting your chiropractor before setting out. They can help you understand whether your newly broken-in shoes are allowing your feet to stay flexible and properly fitting your unique arch type.
When you’re halfway up a mountain, you want to be sure you have the proper footwear. Meeting with your chiropractor can help you be sure that you’ve chosen appropriate and comfortable shoes to support you on your journey.
Everyday Walking Shoes
It you are planning to do a lot of sightseeing, walking shoes will be the mainstay of your travel wardrobe and worn nearly every day. Choose shoes that are comfortable and match all of the outfits you have planned for your time away. Neutral colors can ensure they look good with a number of style choices.
If you’ll be pounding the pavements of New York, or exploring Ho Chi Minh City, a pair of comfortable and casual sneakers are the perfect choice. Shop for sneakers or loafers that provide support for the arches and additional cushioning for your soles. Doing so will keep you comfortable all day long while exploring museums, shops, and must-see sites of any city.
Boots or Sandals
Depending on the climate of where you are headed, low boots or sandals are a great option to include. If you plan to hike or go hill-walking, a pair of low hiking boots that provide support for feet and ankles are ideal. If you don’t already own a pair, shop around for hiking boots that provide a great fit and enough support. Be sure to take the time to get used to them before you leave on your trip.
For beach locations, sandals that can be worn when you are exploring rock pools or investigating shoreline creatures and coral during low tide are the best option. To keep your feet and toes protected, opt for more cover rather than less.
Some brands make special walking sandals that will allow your feet to breathe while still providing support for the sole and sufficient protection for your toes. These types of sandals keep you safe from stubbing toes on hidden rocks along beaches, or experiencing the pain of grazing feet on corals that can only be seen at low tides.
Something a Little Special
If you are planning a few nights out, you might be considering packing some heels or dress shoes. Resist the temptation to pack sky-high stilettos and opt for something that will be comfortable and complement more than one outfit. Wedges are more versatile and offer more support to feet than regular high-heels. This is due to the support given along the entire sole of your foot.
Remember that comfort and utility should win over fashion, even when packing for nights out abroad. A pair of shoes that cause you pain after half an hour aren’t the right choice. Instead, opt for a lower heel and soft leather uppers that move with changes to your feet and don’t put undue pressure on the toes or heel of the foot.