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Flip flops are cute for the beach, but not much else for a serious traveler.  I recommend that before you go on vacation, make sure you have a plan for your shoe game.

If you’ve read my post about Cobblestones and the American Girl [link], you know that cobblestones will most assuredly tear up one’s heels.  Not only do you risk scraping and breaking your Loubotins, but you risk the danger of falling and injuring yourself as well.  (Make sure you always purchase travel protection [insert link]).  It’s important that women pick out comfortable (and cute!) shoes to wear while traveling abroad.

Men just because 95% of you don’t wear high heels doesn’t mean that this post doesn’t apply to you.  Forget about wearing your 10 year old Converse that you wear everywhere because that’s what you always wear.  Put some thought into taking care of your feet since you’ll likely be doing a great deal of walking.

Packing experts recommend that you pack no more than three pairs of shoes total, and that you wear the bulkiest pair on the plane rides to and from your destination.  This is solid advice.

Depending on where you’re going, really nice dress shoes may be appropriate.  I highly doubt it, though, because you won’t be getting invited to the palace for dinner no matter how cute you think you are.  That’s one pair.

A pair of flip flops that can double as both shower shoes and slippers, depending on the level of accommodation you have, isn’t a bad idea.  Plus, flip flops on long plane or tour bus rides are very comfortable.  Unless the air conditioning is set on polar, in which case your feet will freeze.  That’s a second pair.

choose wiselyFor the third pair, choose carefully.  The third pair can be comfortable sneakers, or casual hiking/shoe boots, that can withstand a ton of walking.  It can be a pair of flats for a woman.  Sports flats are a good idea, and can go from casual to sporty if the look is right.  Another idea is a very comfortable pair of loafers for both men and women.

I had to purchase a pair of shoes in Vegas a couple of years ago because I hadn’t followed my own advice.  I left home and my shoe game was not on point. I lucked up on a pair of Clark’s loafers that cost $75.  Paying $75 for shoes may have been a pricey necessity in Las Vegas, but those shoes more than quadrupled their value when I wore them all over Italy.  They were much more comfortable than the sneakers, or the sports flats, that I brought along.

The  bottom line is “test-drive” the shoes that you want to take with you on vacation. Nothing is worse than really sore feet, or swollen ankles, because your shoe game is off. Pick a Saturday and run all of your errands in them.  Or, break them in at an amusement park.  If after 12 hours of constantly wearing the same shoes your feet feel okay, then those shoes may be a winner.  If not, leave them at home.  Your feet, ankles, back, and legs will thank you later.