Shoes on, shoes off. On, Off. Bend over (not my most attractive pose), unlace, dance around on one foot trying to off the athletic shoes. On, off. Find a curb to sit gracelessly to re-buckle the sandals.
Such was the scene whenever, wherever my travels took me no-shoe zones. Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples, Mosques, madrassas, private homes, even some restaurants. A typical tourist day in Asia offered an exhausting, and sometimes embarrassing round of shoe shenanigans.
That is until, two weeks before a trip to India, I walked into my local Any Mountain store looking for bug spray and saw my dream shoe perched on the sale table. In my size.
With wide feet, high arches and a bad back, I am difficult to fit. Truly comfortable walking shoes are rarer than four-leaf clovers.
“Buying shoes two weeks a trip is nuts,” I told myself. And clogs to boot. You’ll be sorry….”
But I bought them anyway and now I can’t live without them. The are called Merrell Encore Breeze.
Features: Cool mesh exterior that’s surprisingly easy to brush clean. A half-back – enough to keep me from sliding out – but low enough to step in and out with ease. Removable insoles; I wear them with my own custom orthotics. And best of all, a rugged sole almost like a hiking shoe gives me confidence on rough terrain and slippery steps. And they’re roomy enough to fit wider feet (like mine) comfortably.
The come in a range of colors from beige to navy to back and grey.
After a day of temple-climbing and cave crawling they are as comfortable as house-shoes.
The Merrell Encore Breeze is widely available at Zappos, Nordstrom, Amazon.com, REI and others.