My Answer to “What Shoes Should I Bring?”

In the past when I traveled shoes always seem to take up way too much room in my luggage.  For years I thought there must be a better way and yet I continued to travel with more shoes than I wanted to carry and probably even more shoes that I really needed.  I don’t know why it took so long for me to find a solution to my problem, but since it took me time I’m going to assume others may be wondering how to solve this problem as well.

I’m not going to pretend that my solution will work for everyone.  I’m a bit of a casual traveler who enjoys lots of outdoor activities.  Others may prefer nights out on the town in a big city.  In that case, my plan may or may not work for you.

After many years of getting frustrated I have narrowed the shoes I travel with down to two.  My shoes of choice?…sandals and light-weight hiking shoes/boots.

My Sandals

Choosing the right pair of sandals is key to making this duo work.  I make sure my sandals are versatile enough for walking, water activities, and look good with a casual dress.  Over the years I’ve found a few pair that have worked for all of these things.

I previously traveled with these and while I really liked them, I wanted something a bit more supportive:

My current sandals are from Ahun (which I purchased from the Clymb website).  The soles are much more sturdy and I’ve worn them on walks up to about four miles.  I’m confident these will work really well.Ahun Sandals

My Light-Weight Hiking Shoes/Boots

Whereas my sandals needed to be versatile, my hiking shoes need to light-weight and comfortable.  I’ve gone back and forth between hiking shoes and boots.  Because of sheer size (and the amount of room available in my luggage) hiking shoes have always worked the best.  I’ve also gone back and forth in regards to water-proofing.  Right now, my shoes are water-proof which works when I’m at home in the Pacific Northwest as well as when I travel.  Water-proof hiking shoes weigh a bit more but in the long run dry feet make up the difference.  I also used to think the water-proofing would make my feet hotter, so far I’ve managed quite well.

Until recently I’ve been hiking with a pair of water-proof hiking shoes from North Face.  I loved them…they’ve been to Belize, Ecuador, and Peru with me.

But, I currently have Vasque hiking boots.  I’m still debating whether I will be taking these to Belize, New Zealand, and Australia with me.  They are water-proof and very light-weight, but they are boots and luggage space is valuable.  Regardless of whether or not I take these boots, I will be sticking with Vasque.  This brand has been so comfortable.

Vasque Hiking Boots

One Last Recommendation

I recommend buying hiking shoes/boots from REI.  I never know for certain until I get on a trail whether or not the shoes/boots will be the right fit and feel.  REI not only guarantees their products will last; they will also makes sure you get the right shoes/boots.

As for sandals they tend to be less expensive so, I find a couple brands I trust and then buy them on sale.