So I will be backpacking in Europe (all the typical stops, including London) this January and February and am trying to figure out what shoes to buy. I live in south georgia (which is in far SE US), and I literally wear flip flops until late November at which time I throw on some sneakers so I have NO experience with warm shoes. I definitely would not want straight hiking boots as I really feel uncomfortable in anything that heavy, I was wondering what are some good brands for warm combo walking/hiking shoes that are not too heavy but will keep my feet warm and dry. Any advice would be great, cost is an issue. I wear a US size 8 if that is at ALL relevant. As always, any advice will be appreciated.
I suggest getting some warm wool socks and taking your normal sneakers along. Then go shoe shopping in Europe.
Same with jackets etc. A t-shirt and two sweaters over each other and then a rain jacket on top. Much more practical. I like the brands Ecco and Rieker for shoes and the homebrands from the German shoe retail chain Deichmann. If you are going to Germany note that Germany has a big sale of winter clothing stuff from the middle of January on.
Tip: Try to be in Cologne from Jan 30th to Feb 6th. It is Carneval (Mardi Gras) then and thousands will be partying in the streets. But book your accomodation ASAP.
Some shoe-styles I like:
Budget around 100 EUR for the shoes and a similar amount for the cloak or jacket.
I live on an Caribbean Island and have also no t many clothings for cold climate.
for my Antarctic trip I bought all my stuff like trekking shoes,sneakers,jacket...at e-bay.You have ebay also in the US.
There you can find everything extreme cheep.Look by Ski,snowboarding,hiking and you may find the perfekt outfit for your trip.
Err... for a backpacking trip around Europe good comfortable shoes are essential. I would not recommend buying shoes online, much less getting them on ebay. It really is the best option to buy them in a shop, as you need to be absolutely sure they fit.
You don't need shoes that are super-warm, they can even be totally unlined. What you need is 1) waterproof and 2) boots or ankle-boots to keep the wind away.
Hiking boots are usually the best option, as many Europeans wear them as winter shoes to break them in for their summer hiking trips. Lighter hiking shoes are hiking sneakers, but these are not an option for your trip as these are not boots.
If you have some well-broken into basketball shoes that are comfortable, you might want to take those. Note that they make you stick out, only poor people and American tourists wear those nowadays as winter gear. Plus they might not be water-proof.
If you do feel the need to order online, take a look at these:
Since I can safely assume you'll only be hitting the cities in Europe, I suggest looking at the Trotter's Blast, Naturalizer Snug or the Sporto Ella. With Zappo's you can always return them at no extra cost if they do not fit.
If for some reasons however you intend to go snowshoe hiking during your trip to Europe, you won't get around buying decent and heavy water-proof hiking boots.
Hi Molly, I would hit the R.E.I., EMS or a DSW and just start trying on hybrid sneaker/hiking shoes that have ankle support and see what feels the most comfortable. Personally, I like Asolos the best, but I wear a narrow size 8 and they are the only ones that fit me well. I live in my birks most of the year otherwise, but always travel with Asolo hiking shoes or boots. I have both. I've bought them through Sierra Trading Post, which always has good prices. You can also check out footwise.com for good comfortable options. Good luck and happy travels! Holly
As an Australian unused to cold weather, the first time I was in Europe in the winter I couldn't believe how the cold came up from the ground into my feet! I would say your shoes need to have heavy soles, or alternatively, I found putting sheepskin inserts into the bottom of my shoes useful.