Have wandered through these forums but can't really find the info I'm looking for so here goes:
I'm planning to go off around the world over 1-2 years, taking stints in SE Asia, India, China, Europe, Middle East & Central/South America, roughly in that order. Aiming more for summer/surrounding months - maybe some winter but certainly no freezing winters. Variety of things like beaches, city exploring, basic treks (eg Nepal) but nothing that would require hiking boots. Also sampling the nightlife in various places & would need to look at least presentable in some cases I am sure (eg religious places, some museums, certain occasions). Have been through Europe a lot so far but other locations not yet (hence the trip) so don't know if/when shoes would be needed over presentable looking sandals in those other places. Am also planning to only take carry-on luggage so space/weight is an issue (meaning I am not taking 3 pairs of footwear).
A couple of different schools of thought I have seen:
1. Take good versatile sandals (eg stylish, hard-wearing, ok to run in/get wet) & a pair of thongs (flip flops) & buy a cheap pair of shoes if/when needed (eg nightlife in europe... & others?) then ditch/sell/trade them afterwards.
2. Take good versatile pair of shoes (same criteria as sandals above) & pair of thongs. This would also require packing a few pairs of socks.
3. Anything else you can suggest...
So basically - what is your experience? What would you recommend? Any comments are welcome - thanks
No ideas? Ohhh come on - some of you must have worn footwear
You can get these fold up pumps really pretty i take them with me on a nite out if the footsy's are sore heres the website www.redfootrevolution.co.uk. THese would be handy if heading out for the nite and they fold up into a bag cud easily be thrown into the rucksack - dont take up much room. Thats what i will be doing when I go travelling in OCtober.
Shoes are pretty personal, I would say a pair of closed shoes such as trail runners or the like and a pair of thongs. It depends what you want to be doing. If, like you say, you want to be trekking in Nepal I think its obvious you would need closed shoes. But if your just doing short day walks a good pair of walking sandals might be ok. If you plan on staying around the beaches or cities then sandals are definitely fine. I would think (just a guess) that sandals would be ok in most situations (religious places, museums ect). Also whatever you are comfortable in, I wear closed shoes most of the time normally so always travel with them and I never wear heels so I also travel with flats that dont take up much space/weight. Definitely take a pair of socks to wear at night or in bed.
All that said, where ever you are you can usually buy something cheap for what you need. If you have feet on the large side of average dont rely on getting anything east of Germany or in Asia/middle east.
With travelling for 1-2 years I would say it is a safe bet that you'll be shoe-shopping at least once. I would suggest you start out with one pair of shoes, either with trainers or sandals (whatever works best on your first destinations) and buy on the road.
If you go to Greece buy some Greek leather sandals, they are supposed to last a lifetime.
Sandals I'm not an expert on. I just buy comfy ones (any make). As far as trainers for walking/hiking, I'm a great fan of Hi-Tech footwear. It's a long way from being the most expensive, is very light and so extremely comfortable for short and long distances. I have two pairs that have been loyal to me for many years. They are so hard wearing and robust.