Shoes, glorious shoes!  What woman amongst us does not have a completely illicit love affair with shoes?  Well we have to reign in some of this frivolity when selecting shoes for travel.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find a stiletto that allows me to trek endlessly down cobblestone streets.   There lies the dilemma of finding a shoe that is both fashionable and comfortable.

After several trips to Europe and a tremendous amount of walking I realize that I would rather have a comfortable shoe than a fashionable one.  Gasp!  Your shoe selection really makes or breaks your trip, after all who wants to be debilitated by blisters and sore feet.  We must sacrifice a bit of fashion for comfort.

I know that in the past comfort shoes have tended to look a little matronly but most have moved past that with secondary lines that incorporate a bit more style.  Now will Anna Wintour be sporting Dansko Professional Clogs anytime soon?  Well no, not unless she’s sous cheffing at Balthazar.  But still the rest of us will need to decide for ourselves how far to lean on the fashion – function continuum.

Take solace in knowing that a chic travel wardrobe can balance or mask our functional footwear.  Finding the perfect travel shoe is a personal decision and all I can do is provide a few guidelines and suggestion that will help you on your own personal quest of marrying fashion and function.

If you just can’t bring yourself to buy a proper walking shoe you can get away with bringing a fashion tennis shoe or trainer.  Europeans do wear these sleeker looking versions of tennis shoes.  They come in a variety of colors and styles ranging from dark neutrals to shocking yellow.  A trainer with as many features that are found in a good walking shoe is your best option.

If you have packed light you can afford to indulge and pack an extra pair of shoes.  That’s just if you absolutely can’t live without a cute pair of shoes.  A pair of comfy ballet flats serves more purposes than a pair of pointy, toed high heels.  Ballet flats look dressy and can be worn comfortably longer than high heels.  If you insist on heels keep your walking to a minimum so that you don’t tear up your feet for the next days walking.  It’s definitely not necessary to bring a dressy pair of shoes and up to your personal preference.  I’ve found that unless you’re going to a nightclub or fancy restaurant your walking shoes are perfectly acceptable to wear most places, especially because the rest of your ensemble is so chic.

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