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Sneakers or hiking shoes


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We are looking forward to our Danube River cruise. We will start with a pre cruise extension in Prague and then visit Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Krems, Vienna, and Budapest. I have read that many of the towns and cities have cobblestone streets and we expect to do a lot of walking. Would we better off wearing hiking shoes or are sneakers sufficient? We would like to pack as lightly as possible.

 

Thanks.

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Guess it depends on your feet. I wouldn't bring my hiking boots but my feet don't like "running" shoes (unless I'm on the treadmill) and prefer a nice hiking shoe. Though right now I have a German goretex "walking" shoe. There's a lot of overlap in the names and what that actually means when you look at a shoe - you could post a shoe photo and get at least 4 different names for it here, right? 

 

I would recommend wearing something comfortable FOR YOUR FEET, for walking on uneven and hard surfaces and for as long as you expect to be walking. When I'm on vacation, I walk a LOT. Others do a quick walking tour and then they're done. You probably want a pretty thick sole. You probably want decent arch & side support. Probably don't need so much ankle support. Unless that's what YOUR ankle needs 😉

 

(also, I happen to own various options because I use various options - I would never recommend going out and buying a single use item for vacation when you already own something you could use!)

Edited by Hoyaheel
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I think a lot depends on your feet and your sneakers. I used my light weight skechers  that are super comfortable but ended up being way too flexible on the rough cobblestones of Prague. My feet really hurt by the end of the day. Next trip I brought a stiffer walking shoe that did much better. Lesson learned. DH wore an “off road” running shoe both times and was perfectly comfortable. Just make sure whatever you take has a thicker and fairly stiff sole. 

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As a local, sneakers will do just fine.

 

Hiking boots could be helpful in getting from the floor back to the table in a beer garden or wine tasting in the Wachau.🍻🍷

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I did the same cruise and found my Vionic walking shoes were perfect. They are very light weight and much like Sketchers, but with a little thicker sole. But I did also wear my Sketcher sandals for a change and my feet were great!

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I have done this cruise more than once. Sneakers are fine if it stays dry, not so if you get sudden rain. I wear my light weight 'Firefly' walking boots.

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I bring Brooks Ghost GTX athletic shoes.

 

They are athletic shoes made of GOR-TEX so if it rains, they stay dry. They don't feel any different than any other athletic shoes. Not sure if you have ever tried Brooks but for me, they are the most comfortable athletic shoes out there. Well, technically they are running shoes but I don't run. They run about $150 - I keep them for rainy days and vacations (when I only bring 1 pair of athletic shoes).

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I wear Merrill gore-tex hiking shoes.  They have the last that fits my feet.  Tried Salomon [top rated on a hiking shoe website] but they just don't fit me.  So the best answer is to visit an outfitter like REI and try them on.  But definitely get Gore-tex!

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We're big fans of goretex over here, as I mention repeatedly, but I know it can be expensive and if it's not something you're going to really use all the time.....Use a silicone waterproofing spray! I use it for a couple pairs of leather shoes & boots I like to travel with - just clean & spray once a year and it holds up well for an occasional light rain. Of course when I travel to wet places/during wet times, I bring goretex because I have it - but if you have hiking shoes or sneakers or just a cute ankle boot that isn't goretex but you still want to travel with it - buy the $4 spray and give it a go 😉

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14 minutes ago, Hoyaheel said:

We're big fans of goretex over here, as I mention repeatedly, but I know it can be expensive and if it's not something you're going to really use all the time.....Use a silicone waterproofing spray! I use it for a couple pairs of leather shoes & boots I like to travel with - just clean & spray once a year and it holds up well for an occasional light rain. Of course when I travel to wet places/during wet times, I bring goretex because I have it - but if you have hiking shoes or sneakers or just a cute ankle boot that isn't goretex but you still want to travel with it - buy the $4 spray and give it a go 😉

I use my Gore-tex all the time. We have 3 rain storms coming up in the next week so I will be wearing those athletic shoes as opposed to my other ones. They are very handy! I don't know who doesn't live where it doesn't rain sometimes.

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It's not so much the top being waterproof [ I'm also a fan of Silicone Spray] but having a good grip on wet polished cobbles and sandstone or going through 4" of water pouring down the streets.

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3 hours ago, MikeBR said:

It's not so much the top being waterproof [ I'm also a fan of Silicone Spray] but having a good grip on wet polished cobbles and sandstone or going through 4" of water pouring down the streets.

 

But I suspect that neither you nor I have any "cute ankle boots."  So this is a thread that we must tread lightly in [pun intended :classic_wink:]

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Agree that anything with good support would do fine.  As to getting shoes you may not wear much in your "regular" life, I've found I've slowly accumulated a travel wardrobe that is different from my daily wardrobe, but perfect for our travel style.  This includes a pair of Keen waterproof hiking shoes.  I almost never wear them at home, but they've done several trips around Europe and Canada.

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12 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

But I suspect that neither you nor I have any "cute ankle boots."  So this is a thread that we must tread lightly in [pun intended :classic_wink:]

 

I know you're joking BUT my husband has some very lovely goretex Ecco chukka style boots that are comfortable and nicer/dressier than a standard hiking boot - he loves them for travel! It's not a super thick sole but it does have treads and is great in the rain, and he's worn them happily/successfully on cobblestones 😉

 

https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/1734990?cm_mmc=feeds-_-adlucent-_-connexity-_-pla&utm_source=adlucent&utm_medium=feeds&utm_content=connexity&utm_campaign=pla&utm_channel=shopping_acq_p&sid=972538&kwid=kwid&gclid=15547309832902537170810070302008005&color=02178MOCHA

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Hoyaheel, those boots are cool! But I'm too cheap to spend that much on myself...😄

 

I have two cheap pairs of Skechers that I take on almost every vacation. They are good enough to wear to dinner with casual dressy clothing, but tough enough for moderate hiking. I have climbed steep rocky trails in Ecuador, tromped through rain forests in Madagascar, rock hopped across streams in Australia, and worn them for 35,000+ step crazy touring days in Prague. They have good traction and the soles are thick enough that the cobblestones are not a problem at all.

 

I find them to be as comfortable as a sneaker, but they don't look like sneakers. They are lightweight and have a fairly low profile so they pack easily (if I bother to take more than one pair). They come in varying shades of brown and black, and numerous different styles, so availability is always changing. Depending on whether I'm going with a mostly-black wardrobe, or another color scheme, I take one pair or the other - sometimes both.

 

They are super comfortable and I can put them on right out of the box and go for a 4-5 mile walk without any issues, though I always test them at home first. Here is an example of this type of shoe. 

64276_CDB.jpg

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My husband has some similar to that as well in a skecher- they are ok for short walks for him, but not for lengthy walking (or, the other thing he needs good shoes for - standing on concrete all day working a trade show 😉 )  Just this past year, he's also learned what a really good innersole can do.....

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11 hours ago, ljandgb said:

Agree that anything with good support would do fine.  As to getting shoes you may not wear much in your "regular" life, I've found I've slowly accumulated a travel wardrobe that is different from my daily wardrobe, but perfect for our travel style.  This includes a pair of Keen waterproof hiking shoes.  I almost never wear them at home, but they've done several trips around Europe and Canada.

I also have a pair of Keen waterproof hiking boots. I wear the when I have to shovel show and walk across campus with 10" of snow. It doesn't go on trips with me though. Sort of funny - we use the for opposite things.

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If we’re still talking shoes 🤣 I wear Fitflop sneakers (they don’t make my favorite style any longer) but I do have a pair of Ecco Soft 7 black leather Gore-tex that have become my new favorites.  I need lots of arch support and these work for me.  I wore them in Germany in February in rain, snow and ice and they’ll be my main walking shoes for a trip next week.  If my feet hurt I’m not a happy camper!

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