Do you see yourself in a bathing suit on a magnificent white beach or walking on a sunny hillside among olive trees or in a city while slaloming through tourists?
All good, to each his own. Now lower your gaze: what shoes are you wearing?
Shoes are a sore point when you lay all your clothes on the bed before you pack them. When you have already thought out all the looks and only the footwear is missing, but in that same suitcase there is no more room, and despair sets in.
They are bulky, it is true, but they are essential. They have to look good, or at least pretty, but they also have to be comfortable. Possibly suitable for every situation, because when you travel you have no way to change. You need hiking ones, but you don’t want to disfigure yourself if you go out at night.
The point is clear: choosing which shoes to pack is one of the most difficult tasks before you leave.
What criteria to use?
It is not enough to take the path of compromise between comfort and aesthetics. Not just any sneaker will do. The risk of such a strategy is to find oneself with shattered feet halfway through the first day of vacation and still be inadequate for various situations. Better to make some specific considerations.
First among them: evaluate the destination. If you are expecting a week among the mountains is one thing; if you are aiming for art cities is another; if, lucky you, a desert island awaits you… what are you worrying about, you don’t need shoes.
After that, the minimum requirements that a shoe should have in order to be functional for a trip must be considered. To do this, we take help from a brand that is an expert in this field and has made versatility its boast: Vans.
The Van Doren Rubber Company, better known as Vans, began as a skate shoe factory in 1966 in the United States. The skateboarder walks a lot, plays sports, generally spends whole days out of the house, and is attentive to design and originality. From this brand DNA came the VANS MTE™ line designed precisely for the traveler, for those who, as the claim goes, want to “live their adventures outdoors, rain or shine”.
From the cornerstones on which this line of footwear rests, we take our cue to identify some important points to keep in mind when buying a “travel shoe“.
– Maximum protection in all weather conditions by using membranes to protect the foot from weather unknowns. Be careful, however, not to compromise breathability.
– Thermal insulation for the best management of heat and cold
– Maximum grip for unpredictable terrain, so pay attention to sole and tread compounds.
– Ventilation and breathability, mesh or knit uppers could be a winner. They are breathable and dry quickly.
If I think of a shoe that could fulfill the previous requirements and in addition add extreme lightness (which when traveling never hurts), excellent foot grip and cushioning, then I envision a trail running shoe. You may think it’s overkill but think of a black Salomon Speedcross: it may not be perfect for the fancy dinner at the resort, but in almost all other occasions of use it works wonders and provides you with a versatility of performance that is hard to match.
Also interesting are those designs intended specifically to be multifunctional and trendy. As an example, I choose Tropicfeel, which comes to life after enjoying enormous success during a crowdfunding campaign.
A sneaker designed to be worn around the clock, made to travel from home to the city, or to outdoor destinations. It is suitable for all terrains and can even soak in water and dry quickly, thanks to its drainage holes and fabric upper. It is worn like an athletic shoe, but if desired folds down at the heel to fit as a slip-on.
Foot comfort and protection are provided by a 3D double cushioning for the insole, to the heel padding and toe reinforcement. Two additional small touches that do no harm are also well thought out: they are odorless, thanks to antibacterial material treatments, and the lacing system is quick and easy.
They present, finally, the ultimate advantage: the collapsible heel and super light materials make them easy to slip into the famous suitcase, already super full, that looks at us and dares us to close it.
All that remains is to choose the right shoes and hit the road.
Have a great trip!
You may also be interested in the following articles:
Your running shoes are a ball and chain. Meaning they might be comfortable, but slow you down compared to solutions that include a carbon fiber midsole. How so? Let’s find out qualities and performance of this material created to improve running shoes.
How many types of soles exist? What uses are shoe soles intended for? Let’s find out