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  1. #1


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    When you are looking for comfortable walking shoes, do you go for those butt-ugly ones that your parents might have worn, way back in the olden days...OR, do you look for lovely luscious ones like these ones that I'm currently salivating over?? Not likely to buy them, though...my pocketbook would scream at paying $345US/$381CAN! Oh, well, my trusty GEOX are going to have to do for now!

    Oh, yes...and then there's this pair...

    "When it comes to all of those new gorgeous shoes out there, here's my rule...if they follow you home, you can keep them!"
    ~ Author unknown
    Brenda
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Florence.pulling.a.Wendy.2jpg.jpg  

  2. #2


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    These are my "Body Shoe" black walking shoes (the new pair I am keeping to take to Italy.) They are A$120 but I got them on sale for A$80. I wear the older pair, still black, to work, and will take the oldest pair (a third pair!)for the Cinque Terre walk and will throw them out afterwards.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails new.jpg  

  3. #3


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    Brenda, if it's any comfort, just because they're really stylin and expensive doesn't mean it will fit your foot. On the other hand, I don't have any qualms paying for a quaility shoe. I'm on my feet most of the day and it's essential to have a shoe that is supportive and comfortable. And if it's not too ugly that's a plus too. I own many, many pairs of Mephistos. Have you looked on Zappo's? They have some designer shoes. And also Nordstroms. Eluxury also has sales from time to time.

    Ginger

  4. #4


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    When you are looking for comfortable walking shoes, do you go for those butt-ugly ones that your parents might have worn, way back in the olden days...OR, do you look for lovely luscious ones
    Brenda, I am constantly searching for beeyooteefull walking shoes but I always end up with black nubuck SAS Freetimes. For my feet, they are the most comfortable.... and, they're not that ugly either (just a little bit ugly )

  5. #5
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    Brenda--
    those are both fabulous looking comfortable shoes. But too expensive for me

    I like Merrels and love my Naot Kayla sandals.

    jan

  6. #6
    Jan, Just in case you change your mind,
    the Tods shoe outlet is less than 100 Km from Ascoli Piceno.

    TOD´S OUTLET
    134 Corso Garibaldi (località CASETTE D´ETE),
    SANT´ELPIDIO A MARE, Ascoli Piceno
    Telefono: 0734 / 871671 -
    Orari: DAL LUNEDI AL SABATO ORARIO CONTINUATO 10.00/.19.30
    IL VERO OUTLET DEI MARCHI: - DIEGO DELLA VALLE - TOD´S - HOGAN - FAY oltre 3000 mq di calzature abbigliamento e pelletteria al 40% off

  7. #7


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    I love these shoes! There is an outlet for Tod's in Italy? How totally cool is that? Jan, take Nancy's information and go!

    My Pillar to Post House Inspector guy was in my office on Friday, and he was wearing the coolest pair of shoes...a lot like the Tod's that I love. He's had them for over 10 years and says they are the most comfortable shoes in the world. No idea where you could get them now, as he hasn't seen them on the market for ages.

    I'm not adverse to paying good $$$ for good shoes, as I have a difficult time finding size 10 - 10 1/2, with a 2A toe-4A heel combination. So, if I find shoes that fit even just OK, I buy them, no matter what. I have a feeling that these Tod's shoes would fit totally and exquisitely perfect! THEN, they'd likely follow me home, and I'd HAVE to keep them!

    "Men aren't the only ones who need something beautiful to hang on their arm!" ~ from the Franco Sarto website, talking about handbags!
    Brenda

  8. #8
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    I have a pair of Tod's loafers I bought at Selfriges (on sale) a few years ago. They were a little expensive even on sale, but I haven't regretted the purchase for a minute. They still look brand new - if I amortize the cost over the years of wear they were actually not expensive at all!

    I am quite certain that Terry would not see it that way....so it is a good thing we will not be close to the Tod's outlet in Italy.

  9. #9
    I always thought that Tod's were American but the Della Valle family (Tod's shoes) have been making shoes in Le Marche for several generations.

    The brand name Tod's,however,was chosen from a Boston telephone book. Moreabout the Tod's shoe factory in LeMarche.

  10. #10

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    I have about six pairs of Tod's (I have shoe issues ). I've had great luck at the Tod's outlet in The Mall in Tuscany. Last Fall, they had a few shelves of shoes marked down to 60 euros a pair. But I find that their classic driving shoe, with the pebbled sole, is comfortable to wear but not that comfortable if you'll be walking for hours.

    My favorite shoes for walking on European cobblestone streets are Prada Sport. They're too expensive here in the U.S. but at the outlet, I've bought them for as little as 100 euros. They have thick rubber soles that provide a good cushion and they make a size 36 1/2 that fits me perfectly.

    SAS also makes nice shoes that are comfortable for walking, and they're more moderately priced than Prada or Tod's.

  11. #11


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    I always tend to wind up with some kind of Clarks or German shoes such as Rohde or Rieker. I mostly wear skirts and dresses while travelling on semi-business, semi-research, semi-fun, so nix the real sneaker type shoes. The sleek ones in the first post look too narrow for my feet (the opposite of BGE; more or less 7 wide, aka square, though my heel is much narrower).

    I am currently wearing a pretty pair of Clarks sandals (mules, with a bit of a thick heel) that are about the most comfy things I've ever had, and not too ugly for Italy, that I bought on sale half price, but the shop no longer had the serial number for this particular shoe.

    Wish I could find Mephistos on sale. Don't do the order thing; too many expensive disappointments. Have any slowtravellers found good stocks of them in France?

    I have lawyer friends who live (and plead) in Mephistos but my vie d'artiste is more precarious - would love to find a good deal!

  12. #12
    I am a big Mephistos fan (I may have mentioned this here a few thousand times ), and I like their combination of comfort and style.

    But I just bought a pair of Geox in Montalcino (where some people buy wine). They are part of the "Respira" line, and are a white and silver lace-up shoe with some pizzazz in the heel. I started wearing them as soon as I tried them on. The model is called "glam", I think, and is not available here in the US. The shoe itself cost 90 Euros, and is made in China.

    I felt perfectly stylish wearing them in the towns of southern Tuscany, as many of the younger women were wearing similar shoes . Would I wear them in Florence or Rome? Probably not.

    M

  13. #13


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    Mephistoes, rarely if ever, go on sale. Zappo's sometimes has style's in off sizes and weird colors on sale, and my local shoe guy sometimes has discontinued shoes on sale but the most popular styles such as the Helen never go on sale. I did see some bargins on ebay though.

    Ginger

  14. #14


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    I'm with Annie here. My SAS Freetimes are about as styling (but comfortable) I'm going to be getting.

    Besides, I thought comfortable stylish walking shoes was an oxymoron.

  15. #15


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    A convert!
    Way to go, Marian!
    You just bought the most comfortable shoe in the world, IMHO!

    I bought my first pair in Florence, when I had bloodied my toes and heels with NOT-comfortable walking shoes, and I tell ya, I put those babies on in the store around noon, walked out the door and walked for the rest of the day with NO pain.

    Marian, I wore my GEOX everywhere in Florence and also in Paris and never felt uncomfortable with them. I was in such heaven with feet that didn't hurt, and in shoes that looked great besides...perfect!

    GEOX are amazing.
    Lightweight, soft on the feet, a great shaped heel with tons of support...perfection in a shoe!
    Are yours like mine in the photo at the top of this topic? Wait, I just found them on the GEOX website...very cool shoes!

    Debra, check these out! These are good lookin' and comfortable also! Niiiice combination! Here
    are the next ones I want...mmmm, lime green! Look at the last pair on the page... H-O-T!

    "A man hasn't got a corner on virtue just because his shoes are shined." ~ Anne Petry
    Brenda

  16. #16


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    I have been looking for months (actually years) for some good comfortable shoes. I have a high arch, have had plantar fasciitis, have very narrow feet and long toes. I would say that I definitely have shoe issues.

    I have tried Clarks, Rockports, Eccos, Naots, and many other brands recommended for comfort. I live in my Chacos all year round (even have walked all over Italy in them) but really need other types of shoes. I have always hated wearing closed shoes and cannot walk in even the slightest heel and so it has always been impossible for me to find these type of shoes for a trip or to wear with a nice outfit. I end up buying a pair, lugging them with me, never wearing them, and eventually donating them to Goodwill. I often order shoes from Zappos but usually end up returning them (although I recently found a great pair of Keens clogs at Zappos that I have kept).

    This afternoon, I walked out of Nordstrom's with 2 pairs of shoes!!! That for me is a tremendously successful day. I found the most comfortable Merrel shoes. I think they are pretty hip and more fashionable than the typical walking shoe. They are called Merrell 'Water Pro Ultra Sport' Active Shoe . I have not tested them out on a long walk yet, but HOPE they work out. They feel like I am walking on a cloud and they seem to have great support. Also, much of the material is mesh which is good for hot weather. I also found a pretty nice pair of Munro ‘Bahama’ Sandals . I don't think I could do a lot of walking in these shoes, but at least I could use them for a dressy occasion where minimal walking is necessary. They are very comfortable also and don't slip all around like most dressy sandals do for me. An expensive day, but if I added up all the shoes I only wore once or twice and then gave away, hopefully they will be worth the investment if they work out.

    I am still in search of that nice closed dressy shoe but it doesn't look like I will find it for this trip. Perhaps I will be lucky in Italy? I will have to check out the Geox shoes. Are they good for narrow feet?

  17. #17


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    I guess to answer the original question, I go more for comfort but am still striving for some style.

  18. #18


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    Speaking of shoes, I bought my first pair of earth shoes from J. Jill. These are the pair I bought in yellow. They feature "negative" heel technology and among the claims they make is the following

    "Burn Calories, Build Endurance." "Correct prosture and eliminate back pain." " Burn more calories by walking on a 3.7 degree incline." And the clincher "Walk away cellulite with every step."

    Has anyone else had a pair of these??

    Ginger

  19. #19
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    I spend 5-6 hours a day on my feet, and have found the Softwalk brand works well for me. Amazing cushioning. Even the heeled dress shoes are comfortable!
    Amy in MA
    Destination Anywhere

    "A traveler without knowledge is a bird without wings."--Sa'di, Gulistan (1258)

  20. #20


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    Narrow feet? Yep, I have a 2A toe-4A heel, size 10 - 10 1/2....that's long and narrow as you can get, I think! Geox are perfect for me. They make the walking shoes that I love but there are some other really cool looking GEOX shoes as well. It depends on which country you live in, as to which shoes are available...I checked out the GEOX website, but found more selection going on Zappo's, Tony's and other shoe sites.

    Take a look at this site, if you love funky shoes! I just found this while looking for GEOX this morning!

    Shopping tip: You can get shoes for 85 cents at the bowling alley. ~Author Unknown
    Brenda

  21. #21
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    Take a look at this site, if you love funky shoes!
    Brenda, John Fluevog started out in Vancouver (with Peter Fox, also of shoe fame).

    Years ago his shoes weren't funky. His basic boots and jeans (not his!) were the university uniform when Nikki was at UBC. Great for poor university students as they lasted for years!

    There is a Fluevog store on Granville. Add it to you list of things to do/see in Vancouver!

  22. #22


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    Hey Brenda I found these on ebay.

    Ginger

  23. #23


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    Or how about these?

    Ginger

  24. #24


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    What was called The Foot Shop, is now called Ron White - The Foot shop, and they have GEOX, and a ton of other high-end brands. I think they are one of the better stores in Toronto to buy shoes from because their sales staff are willing to take a lot of time to make sure that you are really comfortable. They have one of those "machines" (for lack of a better term) where they assess where you pressure points are and how much weight/pressure you put on each foot. They seem to know which brands are more likely to work for which people on the basis of this assessment.

    http://www.ronwhite.ca/instore_collections06.html

    I am past the point of caring how much shoes cost. My comfort, combined with the capacity to spend a lot of time on my feet and live every moment of the day/evening, is well worth whatever it costs.

    On the subject of Tod's, they are comfy, but they really don't provide great foot support. They are good for pavement, but are not meant for walking through fields or mud or any other off-track walking.

    Ditto Puma, which are just adorable and really fashionable, but I think that everyone would agree that they are for non-walkers (or as they say here, for people who want to look like they are walkers, but really aren't).

    I am willing to wear white (or whitish) walking shoes in a North American context, but I always insist on a black pair for Europe -- which, in a pinch, might be shoes that I could also wear with pants out to dinner when my feet are unwilling to be stuffed into something slightly more elegant. It depends upon what you are wearing (and the type of restaurant), but it is amazing what you can get away with if your shoes are simply black and un-noticeable.

  25. #25


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    I go for comfort in walking shoes. Currently using Ecco. I agree with Marion about black shoes - if you wear them with nice black pants, they really aren't that bad for dinner out. I also just bought some nicer looking TEVAs for walking around Madrid this summer. For evening, I've got some comfy open toed leather shoes with a not too high heel. They actually pack in a fairly small space.

  26. #26
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    Here's a vote for the SAS Freetime lace-ups. I just walked for five weeks in my "mocha" (light tan) pair--cobble stones or paving stones, rain or sun, daytime or evening. I also had a pair of New Balance walking shoes, but the SAS shoes were the all-day winner. I replaced the SAS insole with a foam insole.

    I also have a pair of SAS sandals in both black and brown, and I love them. The sandals were good indoor slippers on all of those tiled floors in Italy.

    Charity

  27. #27

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    As an aside, I ordered two pairs of shoes to try out from Zappos and two from Nordstroms...My foot is wide and it's just miserable to have shoes that are too tight or pinch. I'll let you know which ones I keep.

    Jennifer

  28. #28


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    Originally posted by Charity B.:
    Here's a vote for the SAS Freetime lace-ups.
    Charity
    Now they also have a "Viva" slip-on that the SAS store told me were the same as Freetime, but without the laceup.

    They look just a little nicer with black pants in the evening.

    They don't come in nubuck though.
    I bought a pair in black leather (which I wouldn't like in the lace up style as it definitely would be high up on the dork scale), but it looks okay in the Viva style.

    And I have major feet problems, starting with very narrow feet, which is why Ecco doesn't work for me.

  29. #29


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    It's sooo interesting how everyone has a specific favorite, always a little different from everyone else's! There's a barrel full of proof for you that we are all created unique, individual and different from anyone else on the planet!

    Today, I'm doing yard work in a $3.99US pair of high platform wedgies with a black rubber sole about 4" thick, and held in place on my feet by 9 crisscrossing lime green straps that run from side to side, overlapping each other! THESE are the most comfortable pair of shoes that I own!

    I bought the little suckers in Ross (similar to Winners) in Honolulu, about 5 years ago, and have worn them LOTS since. NO sign of wear on them, and they fit perfectly! Just shows to go ya that you don't have to spend your life savings to get a great fitting pair of shoes!

    Are they butt-ugly? um, kinda...sorta...but they feeeel gooood!

    I used to work with 45 other staff members in a K - 6 school. One of the teachers wore the ugliest shoes I've ever seen...not one or two pairs, but ALL of them! Every day, another pair of grotesque shoes! We often wondered out loud where the hell she was finding so many pairs of uggies. Most of them were Tender Tootsies, in the days when that brand was really squat, flat, wide and thick-soled. No one ever asked her about them, it was just a quiet wondering among the other staff members.

    I saw her downtown the other day, and she was wearing...you guessed it...uggies! Some things never change!

    Auntie Brenda's Law of Shoes #1:
    "If the shoe fits, it's ugly!"
    Brenda

  30. #30

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    JUST GOT MY NEW GEOX SHOES FROM ZAPPOS TODAY!
    Here is a link to the ones I ordered:
    http://www.zappos.com/n/p/product_id/7224289.html
    I love them! Light-weight, sleek look, these will be going with me to Europe this fall...
    The other pair of Geox that I ordered didn't fit at all. They're going back!

    Jennifer

  31. #31

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    Hi Ginger,

    I have a pair of the J Jill sandles. I got a blister under the knot when I was breaking them in, but now they are very comfortable. I like the way they have molded to my foot.
    Zoecat

  32. #32


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    Zoe,

    I only got a blister on one foot under the knot. What I want to know is if your sevelte and if you have any cellulite?

    Ginger

  33. #33


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    Hmmmmm, here's an interesting site...it shows you how to lace your runner or any lace-up shoe, depending on what foot problem you have. Very cool!

    I found it here...along with some pretty great information on selecting good walking shoes.

    "If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk." ~ Raymond Inmon
    Brenda

  34. #34

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    It's Clark's for me - all the way - everytime. On our trip in May, I wore black Mary Jane's on the plane in case my feet needed some extra room overnight. I do think they run a bit wide.

    I also took a pair of Clark's mule sandals (?) and I alternated between the pair. I threw in a pair of I Love Comfort (Sears) that I've walked in for years. But I prefer the Clark's everytime.

    I have never even had a blister with this combo. And we walk a lot. The Mary Jane's are dressy enough to go with any pants or skirts and casual enough for capris. And I used the sandals for slippers and for walking too.

    If you haven't tried Clark's - you might want to give them a try. Since I am Brahmama Budget, I always wait until they are on sale!

  35. #35

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    Luscious must be a relative term.

  36. #36
    Hmmm. Maybe I need to start a "Comfortable MEN'S shoes" thread? Because I need the advice, although I'm leaning toward trying to find SAS in Baltimore.
    Thanks!
    Bucky "Trying To Slow Down" Edgett

  37. #37


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    Bucky, try on a few pairs of GEOX!
    Really, they are amazing!
    In fact I'm sitting in the lobby of my Vancouver hotel as we speak, and my GEOX are on my happy little feet, as I'm about to set out for a long, long walk through Stanley Park, along the seawall.

    I don't think there's a huge difference between companies that make comfortable shoes for men and women, as these companies make both...
    Birkenstock shoes
    Clarks shoes
    Dansko shoes
    Easy spirit shoes
    ECCO shoes
    Mephisto shoes
    NAOT shoes
    New balance shoes
    Rockport shoes
    Rieker shoes
    Geox shoes
    Beautifeel shoes
    La Canadienne shoes
    Dunham shoes
    Finn comfort shoes
    Florsheim shoes
    Josef seibel shoes
    Romika shoes
    Sperry shoes
    Timberland shoes
    Trotters shoes
    Bostonian shoes
    UGG shoes
    Rohde shoes
    ...cut and pasted from Walking on a Cloud site.

    Luscious must be a relative term.
    Karen, do you mean relative to comfort in walking shoes? I often think that comfortable, luscious walking shoes would be an impossibility! They are either comfortable OR luscious! The rare exception when they are both might be the pair of Tod's or the lime green GEOX that I posted links to, when I began this thread!

    "A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank." ~ Author Unknown
    Brenda

  38. #38


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    Nordstrom carries GEOX also. (Smallish selection). This is all I buy for my kids when I am in Italy because they are great! OK, I bought a few pair for myself also!

  39. #39


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    Oh, I definitely prefer comfortable ugly to comfortable stunning!

    I happen to currently be debating sending my Ugglies [Uggs boots] over with my travel books for my trip this fall. (Talk about squat, flat, and wide, Brenda ;^) They're literally all wear at home when it's too cool for sandals, and I'm trying to decide how much I care if Parisians or Italians find them uncool. Same with my new Florida Birkenstocks: total comfort, narrower straps than regular Birkies and almost look fem, but still Birkenstocks!

    Without a doubt, the most comfortable walking shoe I ever had for Europe was a Mephisto fisherman sandal--it's very hard to find now--whose name I forgot. (They do seem to still make them for men, Bucky.) I wore out a black pair, which is hard to do with Mephistos, and am going to have a brown pair I bought several years ago dyed black for the next trip.

    Ok, so how embarrassed would you be wearing Uggs or Birkenstocks in Paris or Florence (with longish dresses/skirts)???

    Karen
    Karen's Travel Photos
    France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, California and Gardens

  40. #40


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    Ok, so how embarrassed would you be wearing Uggs or Birkenstocks in Paris or Florence (with longish dresses/skirts)???
    Embarassed? Not one bit.

    There comes a point in life for some of us when our arches fall, we get heel spurs, our feet are wide to start with, and we end up wearing orthotics. At that point it's goodbye fashion from the knees down.

    In the summer, the dressiest I get is a Mephisto sandal (the Mobilis line has a removable cork bed that you can replace with your orthotics). When it's too cold for sandals, I wear a black, lace up shoe similar to an oxford, made by Munro. It's sturdy, lightweight and super comfy for my foot type.

    I may get mistaken for a nun occasionally but there are worse things in life.

  41. #41


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    Munro makes very comfortable and stylish shoes. I bought the "Kate" model in both black and brown. It's a lace-up leather shoe with a suede plug in the front on the vamp. Also had the "Verona" that had a fabric rather than suede plug. I wouldn't wear these with skirts but with a black pant suit, definitely.

  42. #42

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    Where to find SAS Free Times? I can't seem to locate them except on Ebay.

  43. #43


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    Where to find SAS Free Times?
    Hi Carol, SAS shoes are carried in some "comfort" shoe type stores. The easiest way to find one near you is to call SAS shoes.

    They have an excellent customer service department. When I was having trouble finding a pair of black nubuck SAS Freetimes in my size, they not only found me a nearby location that had them in stock but the location turned out to be their outlet store in the Tanger Outlet Center in Riverhead, New York. I was able to save at least $20 on the pair I purchased.

  44. #44

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    After trying several pairs of Geox and Ecco, I decided on three pairs, one is the Merrell black suede "Moc", with a very rounded toe area, and two pairs of Naturalizers, one in black and one in brown. They all felt like I was walking on air.

    Jennifer

  45. #45


    Slow Traveler

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    525
    Check out these for chic comfort! I may not be able to wait till Paris to buy a pair, heaven help me.

    Karen
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Arche_Shoes.jpg  
    Karen's Travel Photos
    France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, California and Gardens

  46. #46

    Traveler

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    31
    Karen,

    May I ask who make those black slides? I like the heel lip.

    Thanks,
    Cathy

  47. #47


    Slow Traveler

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Fairfax, CA
    Posts
    525
    They're by a French company, Arche.

    Karen
    Karen's Travel Photos
    France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, California and Gardens

  48. #48

    Traveler

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    31
    Thanks Karen. I noticed a nice selection of Arche on Zappos.com even a similar pair with a backstrap.

    Cathy

  49. #49

    Slow Traveler

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Delray Beach, Florida (Paradise)
    Posts
    324
    Tod's? At $345? Forget it until we conquer world hunger! The Pumas are too ugly at any price. I wear Merrells. Not the WaterPro, which is too ugly, but there are both sandals and closed styles available at $80 to $100 without shopping too hard - my favorites are closed, pull-on ankle high shoes that look like - well,they look like the Tod's in BGE's first posting, only they're $250 cheaper. I have bunions, funky-angled toes, arch issues, and these are super-comfy.

  50. #50
    Loie and I had a chance to pop in an SAS store here in Baltimore, although it had just closed and we didn't try any on. I was disappointed to see logos stamped on the soles and uppers of the men's shoes. To my eye, that degrades them from a category of "ugly but reasonably formal" to "just ugly." That's a shame.
    Thanks!
    Bucky "Trying To Slow Down" Edgett

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