Clothes Make The Vacation

What could possibly be interesting about a thread in which travelers talk about their favorite walking shoes?

Sure, we all want good walking shoes. Shoes that don’t bring us to our knees on our first full day walking around New York City, Rome, Paris, Hong Kong or wherever your travels might take you. But an entire thread on the topic? Is that really necessary?

If for no other reason than the thread topic inspired this post by anita1956, the answer is a resounding YES.

Oh, how I fretted over finding the perfect stylish walking shoes for our trip to Italy last year. I was sure if I wore my standard tennis shoes for walking every Italian in the country would mock and ridicule my uncultured, American ways. … In the end I packed 2 pairs of these “stylish” shoes and then tossed in my old low profile Nike gray/black sneakers.


At the end of nearly five weeks of travel I had walked dozens of miles through Rome, walked through countless towns throughout Tuscany, hiked from sea level to Ravello on the Amalfi Coast and lost count of all the Cathedral, Duomo, and Tower steps I climbed, all in that old pair of sneakers.


Of course, even though those sneakers are now too worn and pathetic to wear, I’m never going to be able to bring myself to tossing them out because every time I see them, I remember climbing the Duomo in Florence, walking through the back streets of Monti, hiking up those wicked stone steps under Ravello, climbing up Montalcino in the morning mist for our first espresso of the day, walking around the Palio in Siena, drudging over the narrow foot bridge into Civita Di Bagnoregio at dusk in pouring rain…


All that to say, I have little to contribute to help you in your search for comfortable walking shoes but just know that whatever shoes you find, you just might have to keep them for the rest of your life.

Several other posters in the thread do offer specific suggestions as to which shoes worked well for them, and that’s great. But I just love this post by anita.

But then I’m likely drawn to her way of thinking because it closely aligns with mine. I have a habit of purchasing wearable items during my travels, something I need – a knit cap if the weather is cool, sunglasses, maybe a pair of gloves – nothing fancy and something that I will continue to use when I get back home. I find these make the best souvenirs because every time you put them on you are reminded of a very specific moment of your vacation.

If you have an upcoming trip that promises a lot of walking, head on over to the thread. And if you too are in the habit of keeping wearable souvenirs, please post about your favorite item(s), and why they are your favorites, in the comments section below.

Image by cocoparisienne. CC0 1.0.



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