Deciding what shoes to take on a trip is a challenge for most solo travelers. I will admit I am a shoe-a-holic who has an extremely difficult time choosing and limiting the shoes I bring on my trips. I love shoes and for those of you who have this issue, I know you can sympathize with my condition.
It’s Important to Have the Right Shoes
Throughout my more than 40 years of travel, I have learned the hard way which shoes work and which shoes don’t. Blisters, aching feet and an aching back can quickly put a damper on a trip. In the last 10 to 15 years there have been more and more shoe brands that focus on comfort which has made finding comfortable travel shoes a lot easier.
BUT, even with greater options for comfortable shoes options, I have found very few brands that I would consider stylish. Most are clunky, heavy and just sort of … unexciting. That’s fine for active or adventure travel that includes hiking, biking and mountain climbing, but for typical leisure travel, I prefer shoes that don’t make you stand out and look like a tourist.
I’ll never forget the time I was in Palm Beach, one of the most posh places in the US, when a well-dressed, classy lady complimented me on my shoes. She asked what brand they were and where I had bought them. I told her they were Aerosoles, and I think she was a little surprised by my answer. Many women don’t realize that Aerosoles has really made a significant effort to design comfortable, quality shoes that are actually stylish.
Stylish AND Comfortable Shoes
Originally, the casual, affordable comfort shoe was what Aerosoles was known for. Now the company offers many different styles and types of shoes such as sandals, boots, sneakers, wedges and yes, even pumps. The shoes are well designed and further enhanced by animal prints, colorful leathers, embroidered and embossed fabrics and more. I promise you, these shoes are actually cute.
The secret to this brand’s comfort construction lies in three elements: the diamond flex soles that distribute your weight out and evenly; the foam foot bed and heavily padded insoles; and the suede lining that makes the shoes breathable and super soft. A new comfort feature built into their shoes with heels is the “heel rest design” which distributes your body weight to the heel instead of the ball of the foot.
What shoes to wear in Italy
In three weeks, I will be taking a 10 day solo trip to Venice, Italy, one of the most fashionable, historic and exotic cities in Europe. Because this city has no cars and you must walk everywhere, I will be bringing two pair of flat shoes for my 8-10 hour walking days: a pair of black loafers and a pair of flat booties. For a dressier look, I selected a pair of 2” heeled, suede booties with a front zipper accent. Because it often rains in Venice in the fall causing slight flooding, I am taking a pair of man-made, water repellent 2” heel, knee-high boots.
Italians tend to be more traditional in their daily shoe selections. This is why I have chosen the loafer and simple bootie look for the day. Knee-high boots are a standard shoe selection throughout Europe and the heeled bootie is perfect for evenings.
I am a big proponent of dressing like a local when traveling solo. Not only is it respectful to the culture you are traveling to, this is a smart safety practice. Solo travelers should always strive to blend in with the locals because it helps prevent them from being a target of unsolicited problems such as a unwanted attention from strangers, theft, tourist scams, etc.
A couple of other travel shoe tips I adhere to are:
I get all of my suede and fabric shoes scotch guarded to prevent water damage and help my shoes last longer and keep their fresh look.
I try and buy all of my shoes on sale. Aerosoles has great sales throughout the year which I typically access on their website. The price range is between $25 to $150 max with most shoes being under $100.
I try and not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. I have bad feet and weak ankles, but if I change shoes daily, I keep my toes “on their toes” and they tend to feel better. Maybe this is just me, but it works.
Through the process of trial and error with buying other brands, Aerosoles have now become my go-to travel shoes. Comfortable, affordable and stylish, these shoes suit my taste, make me happy and keep my feet happy when traveling. Next time you are looking to buy shoes for an upcoming trip, give Aerosoles a try!
Enjoy this short video showcasing some of Aerosoles flats, and why they make your feet feel good!
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Author: Astrid Clements
Astrid Solo Travel Advisor CEO and founder, Astrid, has spent over 40 years traveling around the world. She is passionate about embracing the world’s diverse cultures and sharing with others the global need and personal benefit of cultural literacy. Her focus is on affordable luxury travel that is both substantive and fun! To read more about her and each one of our Solo Travel Advisors, head over to the About page!