What shoes/footwear do you pack?

I’m thinking through what I’m going to bring for footwear. I’d like to limit it to two pairs – one in my bag, one on me. We’re going to be in tropical/beach areas, but also cities. I’d like to be able to look presentable when needed, but also reasonable for non-urban areas, too.

Considering my existing Nike sneakers plus these sneaker/boot hybrid things by Reef – the Reef Spinaker: http://www.zappos.com/reef-spiniker-mid-nb-resrv-collection-black-tan

They seem super lightweight and comfortable (I tried them on at REI the other day). Has anyone else tried them out?

I have a pair of Skechers GoWalk 2 shoes. They’re slip ons and they’re super comfortable. I also brought a pair of dress shoes, because the first leg of my trip was actually doing serious business. However, now that I’m back in nomad mode, I hardly ever wear them.

Those Sketchers look awesome. I’ll have to check them out next time I’m in a town with one of their stores.
Thanks for posting.
My casual shoes are slip-on Cushe slippers - super comfortable but I’d never walk all day in them

Yeah, I love them. I think I walk funny, because my toes end up loosening the stitching in the front. Have to get them repaired intermittently, but otherwise they are great.

I have this issue with many shoes, though, so probably not a Skechers issue.

I’m a HUGE fan of barefoot running sandals and wear these 95% of the time while traveling. My favorites are the Luna Monos.


I’m also a fan of barefoot shoes and wear Merrell running shoes during the day and Vivobarefoot RA II Classic’s for business, which you can luckily get on Amazon during winter too!

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@micha Those Vivobarefoot shoes look awesome – hard to tell from the photo, do they feel more like sneakers or dress shoes comfort-wise?

@DanielGenser They look even better in real! Here are a few more photos, much better than on Amazon. Honestly they are my favorite business shoes ever. Super comfy, durable and lightweight. I can easily wear them all day, and I hate normal dress shoes :smile:. Hope that helps.

Just found this, nice solution for travel boots! http://www.lemsshoes.com/Mens-Boulder-Boot-Amber-Blue_p_120.html
Did someone use boots?

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Those look pretty sweet. Love the Vivobarefoot’s, too.

I traveled a lot with my casual skateshoes, then turned to nike air, they can be pretty light and small
But if the weather is sunny, yeah flipflops or sandals all the way:)

considering the bamboo shoes, actually I love this brand.

Pretty sure @grado’s link is full-on spam…

My Lems Boulder Boots arrived from the US this week, been rocking them out today and so far very happy.

I also got a pair of Primal 2 (also by Lems) for when I want something a bit more lightweight than a boot.

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I love (LOVE) my Palladium canvas boots. They’re tough, comfortable for cruising cities, crushing mountain trails, and chasing down buses, and light enough to pack alongside my (new favorite) pair of Teva Universal sandals. Unless I’m packing something more formal, this is all I really ever use. - even when I’m presented with a full closet at home.

Wakai’s (casual) and Nike Free’s 3.0’s (sports). Both fold down / pack very well.

I’ve also considered buying the Luna sandals ( but I’ll probably just get something similar made in Thailand/Vietnam for like 20% of the price (I’m not spending $100+ on minimalist slippers)

But yeah, I’m a big fan of the concept, since regular flip-flops are ruining your feet/ankle mobility and, as such, set people up for knee/hip/low back problems down the line.

Another vote here for Vivobarefoots, though I’ve found the glue on them is sub par after a couple years of near constant wear.

They are like wearing slippers, super comfy if you’re into barefoot shoes.

I’ve got a pair of the Freud’s which I use as my day to day casual shoes. In my pre-nomad days I wore a pair of Ra’s to work every day, never had an issue with them and they were the most comfortable office shoes I’d ever had.

In my recent tour of SE Asia I took a pair of Ultra’s (the older ones with the removable liner) which are great as a versatile waterproof shoe. The foam used is good for heavier bouts of walking on cement.

Outside of that I also packed some basic haviannas flip flops.

A general foreword on shoes: IMHO one doesn’t need more than 3 maybe 4 pair of shoes, including sandals, even when you don’t travel. For traveling maximum 2 is always enough.

In the past few years there are two type of shoes that I really liked… One is the Adidas trekking shoes. They’re good for walking, all purpose road shoes, and if you, like me, enjoy trekking, they’ll be very handy. Another brand I like is Keen. I like shoes that last and are reliable, these two have met all expectations.

When I was first packing for my travels, my main shoe criteria was simple: YOU CAN ONLY BRING ONE PAIR! This meant that the same pair had to be usable for walking, hiking, lounging, and even fancy restaurants if needed.

There are a few companies that make shoes that look like classic leather Oxfords on the outside but feel like sneakers on the inside. I’ve had some success with Ecco, particularly the Atlantas. Other brands frequently mentioned in this category include Rockport and the Cole Haans with Nike soles.

The cliche, shoes make the man (or woman) is true.

Asia or travel to other parts of the world is mostly, not that much different.

I see lots of people miscalculating and making mistakes with shoe choice.

Yes, if you are going to be living at the beach and that’s it, throw some sandals in a bag and call it a day. Maybe workout shoes, which I would.

However, if you are going to be mostly living in cities then make sure you bring proper footwear.

For one, in cities like Bangkok and Saigon, and other Southeast Asian cities, your shoes will get absolutely filthy and destroyed. And yes, there are people around to help you clean them, but they will get destroyed and fall apart.

Therefore, for this reason, I am not a fan of these dual purpose shoes that look like orthopedic shoes anyhow.

Shit gets destroyed fast. Especially if you ride motorbikes around in the city.

The other big reason.

If you don’t want to look like Jesus’ brother rolling into a nightclub or nice restaurant, well, you’re in a city, and you should expect to be dressed for a city.

Finally, if you’re a big foot like me (US12) - you can really be screwed in places like Southeast Asia.

In Saigon, it is nearly, 100% impossible for me to get any kind of shoes. There is a place that does custom men’s lace ups for my size, but it’s expensive and takes two months.

Bangkok is a little better, and has gotten better over the last 3 or 4 years, but expect a very limited range.

Thus, you’ll get to Southeast Asia and be stuck if you’re a big foot.

My advice if you want to be in and mostly live in cities, suck it up, and bring a reasonable range of shoes. Sneakers, lace ups, work out shoes and flips flops at a minimum.

If they get irritating and clunky, you can always chuck em or give em away.

Once you’re here. Good luck. Your options will be very limited.

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