Traveling alone can sometimes make you feel like a crazy person. In solitary times, you begin to embody Tom Hanks’ character from the movie Cast Away: you talk to yourself, make friends with passing birds, and hum while countless strangers wonder if you’re lonely or schizophrenic. I’m not sure if what I’m about to admit to you is completely batty or not, but lately I have fallen in love. With my shoes. I mean, it’s probably crazy, but if you think of it, shoes are your most loyal travel companions. At this point, I think I’ll follow Tom’s lead and name my shoes–not “Wilson”–but “Clark”.
I bought Clarks sandals at DSW in my last days in America. There were hundreds of walking shoes to chose from, so I spent over an hour trying on pair after pair. As a 23 year-old woman, I naturally gravitated toward more fashionable sandals, but the soles did not cut it. Over time, my choices had progressively thicker soles and uglier aesthetics. After I had worked through dozens of shoes, it took a lot of humility to even consider trying on a pair of Clarks. I had heard women gush about how durable and comfortable these shoes are; however, these women were almost always far older or frumpier than I like to think I am. I had almost settled on a different pair of shoes when I tried on the Clarks, and I couldn’t deny that they fit like a glove.
Despite their ugly, brown leather straps and Velcro—that’s right, Velcro—I bought the shoes with no more hesitation. After all, I am traveling alone, so what does it matter what my feet look like? I started wearing them that night to break them in, even though it was date night and my boyfriend may have had second thoughts about his romantic interest in me…
After weeks of traveling, I cannot say enough about these shoes. Honestly, before anyone travels, they must go out and buy the perfect pair of walking shoes, and they should be Clarks. I’ve done everything with them: climbed to the top of Sacre Coeur in Paris, hiked up a mountain in Interlaken, roamed Roma, explored the mountainsides of Cinque Terre, and worn them into the rocky beaches of the Mediterranean. They’re both breezy and rugged. The shoes, although even less attractive than before, have held up like champs. I brought my favorite pair of tennis shoes with me (complete with custom-made orthotic inserts) but I haven’t worn them yet. They are far less comfortable than Clark.
My sandals are, in short, truly all-purpose shoes. …Well, maybe not entirely. To the makers of Clarks: make the ultimate travel shoe that is also cute enough to be bar-worthy, please!