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Best Walking Shoes for Family Vacations

The first time I really thought about what shoes to bring on vacation was my first trip to Paris in 2002.  After all, I was going to Paris! I didn’t want to look like the typical American with sneakers, jeans and a fanny pack.

Since all the museums were on strike that trip and my husband was working, I spent the days hanging out in parks and walking all over the city exploring.  Despite my lack of French, I felt that I did a good enough job blending in to be hit on by a couple of French guys that were surprised to find out I was an American (or so they seemed, could be just a French pick up line.) However, I definitely paid the price of walking around town in my high heeled boots.  I could barely hobble back to the hotel to soak my bleeding feet.

From that point on, I’ve been on a mission to find the best walking shoes for travel that offered a bit more fashion than running shoes.

Best Walking Shoes for Travel

Comfortable walking shoes from Best Walking Shoes for Family Vacations

1. Dansko — Dansko is known for their comfort.  The floral sneakers at the top of this post carried me around Barcelona, Montreal, and many other places. They are cute enough to pair with a skirt, shorts, or pants; but offer the same comfort of a running shoe.

I also have a pair of limited edition Dansko clogs that I wear with jeans and pants, as well as black sandals.  They aren’t strappy and sexy, but they are oh so comfortable for going out to dinner and navigating old town cobblestone streets in heels and a skirt. The solid heel means I won’t twist my ankle or fall on my face, the straps don’t cut into the foot and the cushioned bottom is like an air pillow.  Perfect for tired feet after walking all day.

2.  Clarks — If you took a look in my closet, you would see that I have a long relationship with Clarks shoes.  Maybe it is the outlet nearby but more likely, the comfort.  Yes, I do put comfort over fashion any day. After all, I work from home, who am I trying to impress, my cat? The shoes I have used the most on trips (mostly because I tend to vacation in the summer), are my Clark flip flops, which are perfect with shorts, skirts or pants.

3.  Sperry — I know that Sperry Top-siders are the new, old thing.  The trend that came back around with a seemingly endless variety of colors and patterns.  But I will say that they are pretty cute.  And comfortable.  When I want a closed-toe shoe that looks good with shorts, capris, or pants, I really like my Sperry’s.  They are well padded and treated me well walking the streets of Toronto this summer.Wiivv custom insoles

4. Wiivv — I was recently sent a pair of Wiivv custom insoles to review. This is the perfect way to turn any shoes into a custom, comfortable walking shoe. Wiivv has a unique technology that basically allows you to take pictures of your feet with their app and they will then create custom insoles (or sandals) designed specifically for you. Just remove the factory insoles and install the Wiivv custom insoles. They take a few days to break in, but then you know that your feet are getting the support they really need.

So what about you? What shoes do you find most comfortable for family vacations that require a lot of walking? Update: New for 2014, more comfortable walking shoes for travel!

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