It’s All About the Shoes


“With four pairs of shoes I can travel the world.”

Coco Chanel


It should probably come as no surprise that the Trip Advisor Forum is bursting with questions from women travelers about what to put on their feet.

Men, I’m guessing, find this a bit puzzling. For heaven’s sake, put on some Nikes and let’s go! But for women, it’s just not that simple. There are nuances when it comes to just the right shoes. After all, how many pairs are stacked in our closets, each with its own level of dress-up or dress-down, its own situational appropriateness? Really dressy, somewhat dressy, stilettos, kitten-heeled, just-for-work, just-for-weekends, peep-toes, loafers, Mary Janes, sandals, wedges, slides, low boots, tall boots… And this is just the black shoes, not the ones in other colors.

So, choosing just the right shoes for a month in Paris is no small task. Like Coco, I needed four pairs.

First of all, no gym shoes. Not the athletic type,  I’m not going to clomp around Paris, home of haute couture, in cross-trainers.

On the other end of the hell, no spectrum, anything with a heel. Sure, chic European women may stride along in their dizzingly-high Christian Louboutins, but let’s get real.

Hoping to find a pair of sandals and casual flats, I’ve combed the online pages of DSW, scoured their aisles, armed with this list of criteria.

Comfortable, really, really comfortable

Support so I can walk for miles


Reasonably priced

Not too frumpy

And, if possible, cute

Shouldn’t be a problem, right?

First, I bought a pair of black leather Merrell’s sandals. They weren’t ugly and nothing rubbed. So what’s the problem? Seems that soft leather can be too soft – and stretchy. The straps keep getting looser and looser, and I keep tightening them. Now, my toes are now dangling off the fronts of the footbed, and my heels still slap-slap-slap.

Next, I purchased a trendy-enough pair of Clark’s, fabric Mary Janes with a good, solid sole. They felt dandy when I tried them on in the store. The online reviews were fabulous. “I wore them all day on the first day and never had a problem! The most comfortable shoes in the whole wide world! They gave me blisters in three places. I’ve worked on breaking them in, and  now they’re wearable, just not for the long haul.

Now what? The hunt continued, and I’ve revisited my list of criteria. Cute would have to go. I’ve settled on these.

bmev   sandalsbzees

Coco, I shudder at what your reaction would be to this sad selection.

And, for that fourth pair? Gonna throw in a pair of ballet flats, too.











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