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.
Throughout my more than 35 years of travel, I have learned the hard way about which shoes work and which shoes don’t work. Blisters, aching feet and backs can put a damper on a trip fast. In the last 10 to 15 years there have been more and more shoe brands that focus on comfort that has made finding comfortable travel shoes a lot easier.
But even with the proliferation of comfort shoe options, I have found few brands that I would consider stylish. Most are clunky, heavy and look like comfort shoes. That’s great for adventure or action travel such as 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 shared they were Aerosoles, which are widely available at most large malls or online. I think she was a little surprised by my answer. Many women don’t realize that Aerosoles has really focused on creating stylish, trendy shoes that are focused on quality and comfort for the last four to five years. Gone are the days of boring shoes by Aerosoles.
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 pumps, boots, sandals, wedges and walking shoes. A variety of materials and fabrics are used to enhance the various shoe designs. Animal prints, colorful leathers, embroidered fabrics and embossed man-made materials are a few examples of the many styles you can now find.
The secret to this brand’s comfort construction lies in three elements: the diamond flex soles that distributes your weight out and evenly; the foam foot bed and heavily padded insoles; and the suede shoe 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.
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 with a gunmetal horse bit detail 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 suede bootie look for the day. Knee high boots are a standard shoe selection throughout Europe and the trendy heel bootie for evenings, I think will look just right, not to much and not too little style to be appropriately dressed for fancier surroundings.
I am a big proponent of dressing like a local when traveling solo. Not only is this dress style 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 which 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, www.aerosole.com. The price range is between $25-$150 tops with most shoes being under $100.
- I try and not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Because I have bad feet, if I change shoes daily, I rarely suffer from extreme foot fatigue.
Through the process of trial and error with buying other brands, Aerosoles have now become my go to travel shoes. Comfortable, affordable and always 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. I just bet you will get hooked on this wonderful, quality brand as I have.
As always, I welcome any comments or questions on my blog posts or anything you might want to know about how to make solo travel fun and exciting.
Enjoy this short video showcasing some of Aerosoles latest shoe offerings.