Packing for a trip can be hard….so many clothes, so little space. Especially as airlines get more and more strict about baggage weights and allowances. My biggest struggle is looking cute, but still being dressed practically. And really, the biggest concern about practicality of your outfit traveling is footwear. Generally you’re walking A TON on holiday in Europe. I mean, there are times you’re on a beach, or hiking and need specific footwear for that, or it’s a million degrees and you want sandals, but generally speaking, the wrong footwear can really ruin your trip and comfort is key on your travels.
Even now on trips to Paris, where my main goal is to relax, soak it up, drink wine and eat cheese, I end up walking a ton. Doesn’t matter that I’m not darting about trying to see all the biggest tourist attractions. It’s just a big city and in big cities you walk a lot. There are trips where you won’t walk as much though. Our trip to Croatia isn’t very walking heavy: the cities are small, we’re doing outdoorsy things 4 days (hiking/kayaking/cycling) where I’ll wear running shoes, but otherwise I brought sandals and Tieks. But think about if you go somewhere like Rome for the first time- you’ll be walking everywhere trying to make the most of your trip and see everything! It’s a big city with a lot of proper “sights” to see.
While I yearn to look cool and not touristy and bring all my fabulous shoes, they aren’t the most practical. Especially in the fall and spring when I prefer to do most of my travels. Fabulous shoes:
- Aren’t always the most comfortable.
- Cost more, which is worthy of consideration with lost luggage, hotel theft, and the fact you’re bringing less shoes, if you encounter some unexpected weather and ruin fabulous suede oxfords in rain…it sucks.
- Can take up more space. I would love to wear riding boots in my euro adventures but they are so big…and then there’s the possibility of swollen calves and not even fitting in big ole’ boots.
And thus, you need cool trainers- that aren’t for working out. Because even cool booties tend to hurt after 10 miles of walking uphill in Edinburgh in a day. Running shoes are too sporty and stupidly colored. Cons aren’t my thing and don’t offer enough support. Sandals don’t offer enough padding for lots of walking. I’m not a Toms person so I have no idea about them. Sperry’s make my toes grip at every step and then cramp up. Ballet flats might go the blister route and pairs like Tory Burch Reva’s don’t offer enough support (although Tieks give it a great shot and they do tend to make it on all my trips, maybe a review on that…). But that’s why I have 2 pairs of my go-to travel trainers- both Nikes.
Why two pairs? Because I’m a nazi about black and brown. While some rare occasions work where you’re mixing black and brown. Most times you’re not and you shouldn’t. And a brown purse should never be worn with black shoes in my book….but I am also not a minimalist traveler or packer…or minimalist anything if I’m being perfectly honest with myself.
Two trainers I totally recommend for travel:
Nike Internationalist GPX Grey & Black are the ones I have but they have great colors and patterns being released all the time.
Nike Women’s Pre Montreal Vintage Racer Beige to go with everything, but notice the sole isn’t white, it’s off white…must keep in mind white will get wickedly dirty.
I have to say I love the Internationalists the most. Not only is the pattern great (they are actually men’s shoes for some reason), but they are the most comfortable pair of trainers to walk about in. The Montreal Vintage Racers are cool, but a little thinner soled and their tread is a bit nubbier which I don’t think is as comfortable. But they’re both solid shoes.
I used to travel in Nike frees and then not need socks, but the problem with that is your feet and then your shoes stink like all get out. I’d recommend getting some no-show socks to absorb sweat but not be seen, and you can wear these shoes with anything and still look cool: shorts, jeans, even a skirt or dress if you style it right.
If you’re a person who travels a lot but is sidelined the second day with blisters and sore feet, it’s time to up your shoe game with some comfortable but wicked cool trainers. Where do I get all my cool trainers? This random, german website I found: 43einhalb! The shipping fees suck, but they are super prompt and helpful with every order (and send you poprocks gum!). I also am a big fan of Asphalt Gold’s website but have yet to order from them. They both have great instagram feed that leaves me lusting over shoes way too much…currently negotiating these beauties with myself.