Holidos and don’ts: does the shoe fit?

No, it’s not an excuse to show off my sarong. Although!

No, the prep notes are clear to anyone who goes out to the Maldives… it’s a sandy island so don’t wear stilettos. Flat shoes or flip-flops please.

But, of course, some just didn’t listen, putting fashion sense before common sense.

So buckle up, here’s your guide to what to wear, and where, around the world.

On the beaches

Sounds obvious doesn’t it?

It has to be flip-flops.

Yes, but what do you do when you want to go for a swim and have to step out on the warm sand.

I’m reminded of the day off we took after 30 days working in Boston to spend at the beach in Manchester, New Hampshire, only to then burn our feet.

Why not go for rubber beach shoes instead?

They’re actually quite stylish now, not just those opaque ones we remember from our childhood. Visit http://www.amazon.co.uk.

Walking around town

We all love to shop (or is that just The Scary One)?

But don’t fall for that old adage about breaking in a pair of shoes.

You might be dying to try on those killer heels, Mediterranean leather shoes or designer trainers, but you’ll end up dying with pain.

The Son and Heir has great memories from his first trip to New York but while he might have chosen to forget that he had to limp around Manhattan the rest of us get shivers thinking back on it.

Liking Hiking

My Donegal Uncle Danny, who emigrated to New York, always insisted that there were only two lessons in life.

Good shoes and a good bed… you’ll spend half your life on your feet and the other half in your bed!

The best boots I have on my shoe rack are my North Face hiking ones.

At not much more than €100 nearly four years ago they have walked me 100kms along the Camino, and the same along the Via Francigena into Rome.

Who am I kidding? It was more like 250kms… I kept getting lost!

But they will be on my feet when I set out on another trek, this time in Tenerife in September. Visit http://www.53degreesnorth.ie. Or http://www.thegreatoutdoors.ie.

Your shoe salesman

Travel writing’s gain is shoe salesmen’s loss.

My first job when I was at school was as a shoe salesman.

Where I learned among other things that customers don’t like getting two left shoes, two different style of shoes or two different-sized shoes.

You’ll know this anyway but a quick reminder:

Ireland and UK: 6,7,8,9,10 etc.

European; 38,39,40,41,42 etc.


And I’ll leave you with one for the road from a sign outside a shoe shop:

Buy one, get one free.

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