The biggest travel puzzle in my mind is shoes. Most people suggest going on big trips (backpacking through Europe for example) with one or two pairs of shoes. Even then, you want those shoes to be as light and compact as possible.
I consider myself pretty fashionable and pretty adventurous. Two fairly opposite venues for shoe fashion and functionality are hiking and going out to a fancy dinner. These are the polar opposites I imagine when considering various shoe solutions for travel.
These are the approaches I’ve considered so far:
If you can, the easiest bet will be to find shoes you can do everything in. A pair of high quality combat boots might be able to bridge the gap. Although they are expensive, it seems like Frye Erin Lug Boots (for warmer seasons) and Frye Valerie Boots (in colder climates), might be the most versatile. I chose these specific ones, because the hefty handmade soles on them are likely to hold up and support your foot long term—and I learned the hard way in Cuzco, Peru, that boots without traction can be no fun when you’re climbing up hills and over cobblestones.
Multiple lightweight options
Sandals with straps that lay flat can give you another outfit option while taking up very little extra space. Most pairs of Toms or converse will also lay fairly flat.
Outfits for your shoes
I was asking friends for pointers on shoe solutions, when someone said it sounds like I need shoe outfits. While it’s kind of a silly idea, there are a few options out there. Leg warmers, knit cuffs and boot covers can add versatility to a pair of boots. Try Etsy for some nice knit “shoe outifts.” Although the keyword “boot covers” will yield more results there.
If anyone wants to design something that could cover my hiking boots for a night out on the town, you would make my day.
Actual convertible shoes
They do exist. Nat 2 makes a few different sneakers that can be modified pretty drastically. One goes from a sneaker into a sandal!
Rock the hiking boots
I managed to make an outfit with one of my favorite dresses and my hiking boots. The trick is to balance it out with chunkier, more rugged pieces on top. You may be able to find some vintage hiking boots on eBay for extra flair.
For more fashion inspiration, check out Ren Rong on Flickr. She shows off a lot of funky styles for all occasions with some pretty sturdy boots.
Travel Boots: Andy Matias via Flickr
Backpacker in sandals: Antoine K via Flickr
Boots with Leg Warmers: Joan!ta via Flickr
Nat 2 Transforming Shoe: Design BoomAdd a comment