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Choosing and packing shoes for travel

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  • Ca1i
    replied
    For a casual minimalist shoe that emphasizes natural foot shape I can recommend the Lems Primal 2. They really do allow your toes to move around while avoiding the paddle shape shoe that soft star has. They also have a *slightly* more padded footbed. (I SO wanted to love soft star. I really like all the colors and customizations, not to mention the ethos, but on my feet they looked pretty homely.) I've also tried the Lems Mariner, but didn't care for it.

    I sometimes take the new Kigo Leon shoes which are also slightly paddle shaped and have a very thin footbed. (I have their drive shoes too but they aren't foot shaped.) They are OK, but I still think the Lems Primal 2 were a better purchase. Just wish they had more everyday styles that don't look like sneakers for women. I don't wear the MaryJane style shoes, so I can't comment on those.

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  • Hanaper
    replied
    Originally posted by Badger View Post
    In my experience, with VFF it really depends on the model you get. Frankly, the Classics work best for me because I have a very "tall" foot (read: obnoxiously high arches and raised dorsal). With the velcro models, I can't really close them that well, although I have a pair of Sprints that I like. The most expensive pair I own (the TrekSports) give me the pinky-toe slippage you mentioned. I have high hopes for the stupidly-named SeeYa, but I may just end up sticking with Classics.
    Replying to a comment from two years ago to say "Yes, that", and "There's now a choice of lace-up VFFs which I can get to behave nicely over my high arch and vamp".

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  • TILLY
    replied
    Whenever you are travelling abroad keep two pair of shoes along with you, one should be trendy and other for hiking and check the size thoroughly before keeping shoes with you either they are fit with socks so that you may not get fatigue during traveling. Black road boots are best for travelling purpose they are made of leather and help a lot if you are intended to do hiking.

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  • flaneuse
    replied
    Thanks NWhikergal! Those are pretty much the same reasons I picked the MGT footbed too--I envision using them for wading after the kids in water parks/fountains/streams/lakes and during the summer it tends to have sudden downpours here. I am reassured to hear that they are not causing any irritation for you and I can't wait to get mine in! I ordered the tech strap too

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  • NWhikergal
    replied
    Originally posted by flaneuse View Post
    @Dorayme I will have to check out the Xeros. Hopefully I'll get the lunas in a week and a half or so, and can start testing them out.

    @NWhikergal cool! Did you get the MGT footbed or the leather? I decided to go with the MGT but I'm slightly concerned about some of the reviews that say that material has causes hot spots/blisters. I'm hoping it won't be the case for me.
    I did get the MGT footbed, and I have not found it irritating at all so far, though it has only been highs of around 75 here in Seattle rather than extreme heat (if that makes a difference?). I also got the tech strap for a bit of extra security, and I am glad I did. I was a little concerned about a review I read mentioning possible blisters with that footbed, but since I was really interested in using them with water potentially, I figured I would give it a try anyway. So far I have probably only walked 10 miles or so in the sandals, so not far, but I have not had any discomfort. The only thing that took a few minutes was figuring out my preferred strap adjustment.

    Good luck! I will be curious to hear your impressions.

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  • flaneuse
    replied
    @Dorayme I will have to check out the Xeros. Hopefully I'll get the lunas in a week and a half or so, and can start testing them out.

    @NWhikergal cool! Did you get the MGT footbed or the leather? I decided to go with the MGT but I'm slightly concerned about some of the reviews that say that material has causes hot spots/blisters. I'm hoping it won't be the case for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • NWhikergal
    replied
    Originally posted by flaneuse View Post
    I ordered a pair of Luna Mono sandals today after realizing that, although I love them, the SoftStar Ballerines are not really the best choice for chasing kids around a park with fountains, LOL. But, they are way more comfortabl than the one pair of flip flops I have, so, didn't have much of a choice. I'm also looking forward to trying them out on some hikes this summer.
    I just got some Luna Mono sandals at their Seattle factory a week ago, and they are amazingly comfortable so far. I have not used minimalist footwear extensively, so I am easing into using them, but I wore them for several miles of walking and my feet felt great. I am looking forward to using them as general purpose sandals, plus they may be one of my luxury items as lightweight camp shoes/water crossing shoes for long backpacking trips.

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  • dorayme
    replied
    Originally posted by flaneuse View Post
    I ordered a pair of Luna Mono sandals today after realizing that, although I love them, the SoftStar Ballerines are not really the best choice for chasing kids around a park with fountains, LOL. But, they are way more comfortabl than the one pair of flip flops I have, so, didn't have much of a choice. I'm also looking forward to trying them out on some hikes this summer.
    I'm curious to know what you think on these too. I use Xero Sensory Multi shoes or Soft Star Ramblers sans sheepskin innersoles for summer recreating. And my Sseko Sandals, Ballerines, Soltice Sandals and Merry Janes for times when I want to be dressier.

    I just saw Xero has a new shoe, the Amuri Cloud. I am curious to try a pair of these in the future, but I'm not loving any of the color choices (too bad they don't have a Black/Purple offering). I wish I could combine the style and fun of Sskeo Designs with a minimalist sole. That would be my dream summer shoe. I thought about just punching more holes in a pair of Xero DIY, but I would only be able to use the cords, not ribbons or ties. . .

    Leave a comment:


  • flaneuse
    replied
    I ordered a pair of Luna Mono sandals today after realizing that, although I love them, the SoftStar Ballerines are not really the best choice for chasing kids around a park with fountains, LOL. But, they are way more comfortabl than the one pair of flip flops I have, so, didn't have much of a choice. I'm also looking forward to trying them out on some hikes this summer.

    Leave a comment:


  • sheeshoo
    replied
    It's fun to see this thread resurrected. I love shoes and that's usually the thing I have the hardest time limiting myself on. I want comfort and style.

    I saw earlier in the thread that some people have mentioned loving their Keen Newport H2s. I had these for many years but fairly recently "upgraded" to the KEEN Whispers. They are much lighter weight and a little less bulky. They smoosh pretty flat for a pack and work for a lot of warmer (and wet) terrain. I also like that there is neoprene around the ankle, so instant wearability and nor rubbing for blisters. They were perfect for a ton of different outdoor activities in Costa Rica this year.

    When I travel for business or don't mind a little bulk in my bag for heels, the Fluevog Hopeful Luxon is hands down the most comfortable pair of heels I own. I can walk all day in these even with problem, arthritic feet. Plus they have fun colors and styling. They are expensive but have been worth every penny (especially when you can find them on sale).

    For flip-flops, another shoe that's worth the slightly higher price is the Teva Mush. They are so comfortable and durable.

    And when I need a shoe that's cute enough for dinner but also one I can do a lot of walking and standing in, I usually wear (and wear on the plane because they're a little bulky) the Dansko Sam.

    For trainers, I like lightweight, but my feet need more than what a lot of the barefoot styles offer. I generally take a (now discontinued) pair of Nike Free 5.0s or Brooks Pure Connect. Both are very lightweight, give me the support I need, dry out quickly when they get wet, provide a lot of breathability, and are quite squishable to fit in a bag easily.

    Generally I take my flip-flops and then 1-2 other pairs. For business travel, I may sneak in a 3rd pair since I don't need as many clothes and have room and weight-space.

    Leave a comment:


  • scribe
    replied
    I love Vivo Barefoots! I have a pair of Lucy Lites (more like normal sneakers than high-performance running shoes) that I wear regularly in spring/summer when it's a bit too rainy for sandals, and a pair of black Mary Janes that are perfect for travel, as they fasten with velcro and can be slipped off in a trice. I might have to get their Gobi ladies' desert boot for winter - I have a pair of Doc Martens faux motorcycle boots, but they rub on my calves unless I wear long socks with them.

    My favourite non-minimalist (and totally non-sport!) brand is Josef Siebel, as they make lots of near-flat designs that are pretty without being OTT "girly" - my all-time favourites are a pair of dark blue leather slip-ons with a punched-out daisy-pattern all over the upper, which makes them nice and cool for summer wear. They're a good alternative to the MJs for that reason, but are starting to wear out

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  • Amy
    replied
    I just found this thread and have enjoyed reading everyone's shoe recommendations for travel, and wanted to tell you about my favorite minimalist travel shoes for those of you looking for another option.

    (Background: I love minimalist running and have been doing it for 4 years with no injuries. It took about 6 months to slowly transition, but my legs, feet, and knees feel so much better than they used to in thick-soled running shoes. I got a knee injury which is what made me switch to minimalist shoes in the first place. The biggest downside to wearing minimalist shoes all the time is that your feet get spoiled by the freedom and comfort, and start screaming if you try to cram them into heels or tight toe boxes. I find raised heels of any height virtually intolerable now. They make my whole body ache.)

    I recently took a 2-week trip to France and my indispensable travel shoes were the Vivo Barefoot Evo IIs. They're my go-to shoes for any trip that requires closed-toed shoes. They are "hydrophobic" (water resistant, clean off easily), have a reasonable tread on the bottom which made them good for street running or offroad hiking, they are dark blue so they blend in with my jeans when sight-seeing or going to a restaurant (they don't look as obviously American or sneaker-like). Plus, they're small and form-fitting to your foot, they pack down to nothing, and they are blissfully comfortable like slippers, and they make your foot look smaller than traditional shoes. They have an inner lining which made them warm enough to wear in cold climates, but I've even worn them running in Dallas in the summer, and found them no hotter than any other shoes.

    I also like that they're made of vegan and recycled materials. The honeycomb top is made of recycled water bottles. The sole is only 4mm thick.

    Here's the style/color I have:
    Vivo Barefoot Women's Evo II Shoe - at Moosejaw.com

    All that said, if you're not already accustomed to minimalist shoes, you may not find them as comfortable as cushioned shoes. If you have some sort of foot condition (bunions, overlapping toes, plantar fasciitis), you may not even have the option to go minimalist. But my husband, daughter, son-in-law and I all wore different versions of Vivo shoes while we were there, walking many miles a day, hiking, etc. It's a great brand, and they all rave about them. My husband owns only 2 pairs of shoes now, both from Vivo.

    But I don't use them in really hot climates. I'm going to Phoenix soon for a shorter trip, and will bring only my Xero huaraches for running/walking, and black leather flip-flops to wear as my "nice shoes."

    Another shoe recommendation, a favorite of my daughter-in-laws, are the Merrell Vapor Gloves. They have thin, porous uppers, and feel very close to socks. I don't wear them in the rain or mud since they feel more fragile, so I tend to use them indoors as house shoes, at the gym, or for occasional dry-condition road runs. They feel like you have nothing at all on your feet. I got mine in black so they're not as conspicuous (I wear then to work a lot.) These crush down even smaller than the Vivo's, and I can fit my size 10s in the bottom pocket of my Synapse 19 along with running skirt and shirt, with no problem. They take up less room than most flip-flops and are more flexible.

    Here are the ones I have: Women's MERRELL Vapor Glove Running Shoe Black Shoes.com

    Leave a comment:


  • atarango1
    replied
    Thanks for all the advice Badger.
    I bought a pair of soft star shoes, the Merry Janes in silver and at first I was like, hmm. But it feels kind of neat to be able to feel the ground.
    Unfortunately because of my car accident I have been on crutches for two weeks and now a cane and I can't walk right, so now is not the time to begin retraining my feet to the new shoes, but I hope once my knee is healed (bone bruises, a torn ligament,nothing serious. Just bothersome and slightly painful) that I can work on the barefoot shoes. The best thing about the soft stars is that they are so light, it's like wearing nothing!

    Leave a comment:


  • monkeylady
    replied
    I limit myself to 2 prs. Of shoes. I always wear my Vasco trail shoes on the plane and take leather Teva sandals (OK for long walks, a dressier look, and submersible) as we predominantly travel to hot humid places. To the occasional trips to cooler climes, it's the trail shoes again but with Naot cross straps (just fine for dressier look and long walks, with or without socks).

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  • Badger
    replied
    @atarango1: sucks about the PF. And worse: who gives a shot without warning? Jeez.

    As for retraining, what I would suggest is to start indoors with your new minimalist shoes. Put them on at work (assuming you're inside and sitting for at least some part of the day) and go barefoot or in socks at home. If you get SoftStars, you will definitely feel the floor, and it is possible that you may begin forefoot-stepping naturally. If you don't, you may have to consciously tell yourself to step toes-first rather than heel first. I'd suggest doing this for a week and seeing how your feet feel. Then, if the weather allows, take some walks in your shoes. It may be best to start out on grass, since it's a much more forgiving surface than pavement. I think even 10-15 minutes of walking a day can be helpful. You will gradually build muscle in your calves and feet, and your toes will begin to splay more naturally to get a grip on the ground. As your feet get stronger, you can wear your new shoes longer, and gradually move away from the others.

    NB: you may need to exercise a lot of patience during this process. Danskos/Birks have a ton of support and really immobilize the foot, so it could take some time before you feel like your feet have adjusted and your gait recalibrates. However, once this process happens, I think you could switch to normal shoes for a period of time and then back to minimalist footwear without much of a readjustment process. After a long midwestern winter, it only takes my feet a few days to feel normal again in fivefingers or zero-drop zori/flipflops. Hope this helps, and that relief is forthcoming!

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