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.