Essential Footwear | Comfortable Shoes Small Group Tour

What you don’t want is aching feet!

Are your shoes made for walking?

It is essential to have comfortable footwear on your tour, as most  Small Group Tours involve quiet a bit  of walking. A small group tour is usually from 10-16 days duration. Walking is the best way to explore new places, meet the locals and be involved in the culture of the country you are visiting.  Your shoes need to provide good cushioned support for your feet.  Most Asian and European countries have cobbled and paved streets. The cobblestone and paved streets become very hard on your feet after you’ve been walking for a good few hours sightseeing.

Paved Streets Beijing-China. Comfortable footwear essential on small group tours

Paved Streets-Beijing-China. Comfortable footwear essential on small group tour

Buy footwear you consider will be comfortable, at least four weeks before your planned trip. Then, go for regular walks each day to break them in and test them out. It is essential that your footwear is comfortable and gives good  foot and ankle support.

Your motto should always be Travel Light, only essential  footwear on a Small Group Tour.

Since you need to travel light on any overseas trip, it is a good idea to limit your footwear to no more than two pair of shoes. If you encounter wet weather you will need a second pair of shoes. A second pair of shoes is also good to have to change into at the end of a long day.

Joggers are great footwear, in the fact that most give really good support, however they can be bulky to carry and take up much more room than  normal shoes. If you search around you will find other shoes that also offer good foot support and comfort. From my experience on a  small group tour,  I suggest you take only one pair of joggers and than another type of shoe which still gives good support. This is to  provide a change if needed, and also a more  suitable footwear for visiting a museum, dinner or evening entertainment.

Stone-Pathway-on-route-to-Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces China

Stone-Pathway-on-route-to-the Dragons Backbone Rice Terraces China

When packing, another essential item is a large sealed plastic bag for your footwear, just in case  your shoes get wet or muddy, and you have to move on the next day. You don’t want your footwear contaminating other clean/dry items in your suitcase. I find the outside compartment of your luggage is the best place for carrying joggers or shoes. If they are wet or muddy, place them in the sealed plastic bag inside this compartment. Wear your heaviest article of footwear on the plane, on the day you leave to join up with your small group tour. Essential, yes, this means less weight in your luggage.

Cobblestones-and-paved-footpaths Heidelburg Germany

Cobblestones-and-paved-footpaths Heidelberg Germany

When packing to return home after your overseas trip,  shoes can come in handy to pack small souvenir items in and avoid that wasted space inside each shoe!  I always maintain each time I head of on  a small group tour, that I will not buy any souvenirs, but I always seem to manage to come home with heaps. It is so hard to resist creative items from another culture, and my grandchildren just love these unusual little gifts.

Happy holidaying. Please leave a comment if you find these tips useful, or a query if I can help you with anything else in preparation for a small group tour or overseas trip.



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  1. because life is too short to use bad footwear, CMIIW

  2. I took my friend on a walking tour one time and she thought fashion was more important over comfort for the tour. I warned her, but her feet told the story after with blisters. Comfortability and support is important and you touched on great points. It also puts a toll on your back when you don’t wear the right shoes!

    • I guess your friend has learned the hard way, but she will know better for her next walking tour. Poor footwear certainly plays havoc with your back and knees if your doing a lot of walking.Your comments are really appreciated. Thanks so much.

  3. Having two pairs of shoes is essential; not only since one might get wet, but also if either shoe is “off” a little (meaning it rubs a particular spot oddly or your foot has created impressions in it that may be unhealthy) that you have another pair of shoes that will not have the same problem. So, if you are walking on a tour for almost 2 weeks (when you’ll really notice the pitfalls in your shoes), foot discomforts will not develop!

    Great advice! I hope a lot of travelers read this post because it is important for them to think about when packing for a tour.

    • Hi Susanne, I always recommend that would be travelers have their shoes “worn in” before they go of on a tour, to ensure foot comfort. Thanks for dropping by. Lyn

  4. I’d have to say spot on with the article title – I remember walking round Las Vegas on holiday and had to put up the white flag when my feet got so stressed. The pair of ‘training shoes’ I was wearing didn’t support my arches at all so had to go to the nearest shoe shop and throw the ones I was wearing away (even though I’d bought them especially for the trip!). Thankfully I was able to get some shoes with proper arch support so was able to enjoy the rest of the walk around the city. There’s nothing less forgiving than concrete on badly supported feet!

    • Hi Karen, Having just returned from a two week trip in Cambodia and done a few 450 steps up some very steep inclines to Temples and Stupas, and down again, I’m so grateful for the good support my walking shoes provide. Thanks for your comments. Lyn

  5. For sure. I for one, wear sneakers or maybe even sandals when going on a tour. I just wear clothes that I am most comfortable in, because we will be wearing them on for a while and I wouldn’t want to be whining all day because of achy feet or whatever discomfort there may be.

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