Shoes and Footwear
Last Updated: 7th May 2013
Shoes are important, to some people they are the only thing that matters and your choice of footwear when taking a tour is also important. It also matter what time of year you will be traveling as slushing around wearing flip-flops int he snow or ugg boots at a beach party isn’t much fun.
Contiki recommends taking three pairs of shoes on any given tour:
- 1 pair of comfortable, closed walking shoes suitable for outdoor activities.
- 1 pair of dressy going out shoes
- 1 pair of thongs, sandals or flip flops
Definitely take comfort over style when it comes to at least one pair of shoes. In the big cities like Paris, Rome, Sydney, Chicago, New York and Auckland you will do a lot of walking in a days sightseeing. Many tours also involve outdoor adventure activities where closed shoes are practical.
A pair of nice, going out shoes to match at least one set of going out clothes too is also advisable as on all tours you have the opportunity to attend evenings out. Open toed shoes or heals for women are fine.
Comfortable, easy to wear sandals, thongs or flip flops are also highly recommended.
At the least, one pair of walking shoes, some going out shoes and some flip flops should be enough, and if it’s not, Europe has some great shopping, North America has massive variety and shops are never out of reach in Australia and New Zealand. A nice pair of shoes from Italy, LA, New York or Chicago make a great, practical souvenir.
The same suggestions apply in winter, although most people will want to trade a pair of flip flops (which are also good for kicking around hotels) for a pair of waterproof shoes in places like Europe, New Zealand and parts of North America where it may snow. Snow and ice are cold and wet and when you are slushing around in cities where there has been fresh snow, waterproof shoes will save your feet from getting cold and wet from the melting snow.
Tour Manager Opinions
“Exploring the many destinations that Contiki passes through will often mean a fair amount of walking. I would definitely recommend comfortable shoes for any Contiki tour. However, thongs are a must for those lazy days on the coach. With that said, ‘practical’ footwear will only get you so far! There are nights on tour when we will be hitting the town and both men and women should bring a nice pair of shoes to ensure that they are able to gain entry to any spot on any given day!”
- Ellen Nowakowski, Tour Manager, USA
“Bring some comfortable walking shoes as well as shoes for going out that are comfortable for walking. Girls – stilletos and cobble stone streets are tough after a few cocktails!”
- Erin Robertson, Tour Manager, Europe
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Does anyone have any suggestions for waterproof shoes to wear while on my winter tour for Europe??
You advice us to carry 3 pairs of shoes when you are on a tour!!!! But I like your logic that is pretty smart idea. 1 pair for clothing 2 pair for running and 3rd is walking inside. Great idea. maid services in houston
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if you intend on act move flops that you wreak an redundant unite with you during that day. I walked finished Espana, Author, and Italia in leaf flops and poor two pairs of them. I was cosy but luckily I had a back-up yoke with me in my purse each case they poor
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Just wondering what sorta night time shoes we should wear for winter? i was thinking boots with pants? is that ok? sooo hard to make these decisions!
I am looking for suggestions on footwear for Egypt in January. Ofcourse sneakers but any recommendations for comfortable cuter looking shoes.
what would you guys recommend for scandinavia in july? not exactly heat wave weather, but not obvious boot weather either. i should also probably mention that after the tour we are going to iceland for a few nights. i’m thinking definitely comfy sneakers… but what else!?
so heels are a no? I thought of bringing a pair of boots for going out and to wear in the UK before heading of to my tour. Would it be a waste of space to bring the boots or be better to bring some flats and thongs?
wedges are definitely ok. pretty much every girl on my tour had a few pairs of heels/wedges. they definitely dont have to be closed toe. i would reccomend wedges over heels because sometimes walking on cobble stone is difficult even with a tiny heel because it gets caught in the cracks or you misstep on one of the rocks/bumps. if you really want to bring heels though, you should be able to manage fine, just be careful. id reccomend one pair of sneakers in case you want them for rainy days or long walking days. i mostly wore flip flops every day with only a couple exceptions. most other people seemed to wear flip flops too. one girl wore heels around the city a couple days. i would definitely NOT reccomend that. some cities like rome and paris entail a lot of walking and your feet will be pretty sore by the end of the day.
There is no way Im leaving for Europe without my UGG boots…
So wedges are alright? i was worried that our dressy shoes had to be closed toes or something. so if they are like heeled sandals then it will be alright for nights out?
I would say that if you plan on wearing flip flops that you bring an extra pair with you during that day. I walked through Spain, France, and Italy in flip flops and broke two pairs of them. I was comfortable but luckily I had a back-up pair with me in my purse each time they broke!
For ladies I would definitely recommend finding some slightly nicer than normal black flats. They are perfect for transitioning from day to night (which you’ll often do w/o a trip back to the hotel)... I bought some in Prague for super cheap and still wear them all the time!
Bring lots of socks, lots of walking makes your feet sweat, ugh!!!