Help me clothe my feet!
January 4, 2013 8:10 PM   Subscribe

One week in Panama with one pair of shoes-but which ones?

I am going to Panama for a week in March and would like to bring just one pair of shoes. I am spending some time at the beach, Panama City, and (the tricky ones) hiking Volcan Baru, and running in the city. I would like them to be low-profile (not chunky) and breathable/sandal-y since it'll be warm, at least kind of chic-looking, less than $100, and they've gotta be available in women's 11. Is that possible?

I'm used to running in minimalist shoes and don't plan on going more than 4 or 5 miles. I'm also used to hiking in Chacos in pretty much every terrain in the continental US. It seems like Chacos would work for everything except running...?
posted by thewestinggame to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total)
You should really try to find room for a second pair. Alternating shoes gives your feet a break. Also, when one pair inevitably gets wet, you will want a dry pair to change into. Soggy shoes will make your trip miserable and shoes will be impossible to buy locally in your size (I am also a size 11 and have had to buy men's shoes when abroad).
posted by payoto at 8:16 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

I did 10 days in Costa Rica with just a pair of Chacos but if I did it again I would take a 2nd pair. Even quick drying shoes will be wet at some point when you don't want them to be. If you're used to minimal running shoes take some of those, they don't take up much space.
posted by ghharr at 8:53 PM on January 4, 2013

I have not been to Panama but I have lived happily in one pair of semi-casual sandals (eccos for years and when those perished, birkenstocks) for months on end both at home and traveling. You can run and hike easily in comfortable sandals- especially ones like the Chacos that have lots of straps so they do not flop around too much. Wet sandals dry really fast.
posted by steinwald at 8:59 PM on January 4, 2013

I trekked around China for a month with a pair of Keens something like these, but I really wouldn't do it again. They don't dry quickly and they have more places to rub on your feet than a traditional sandal, so it's easy to end up with hot spots/blisters. Whatever you end up doing, break in your new pair of shoes before you go or you will end up with very angry feet.

If I did it again, I would probably go with a pair of low profile running shoes and a comfortable pair of sandals.
posted by asphericalcow at 10:13 PM on January 4, 2013

Could you bring something like these espadrille things for the beach/sightseeing/not-physical/plane parts?
posted by mdonley at 3:32 AM on January 5, 2013

Would the Vivo Barefoot work? I wear them everywhere and get compliments. They're low-profile, breathable, you're already used to minimalist shoes, and they're around your price. I wear this style in a men's 42 which is larger than a women's 42 -- I know, I know, but that's what the sales clerk told me and I tried them both on and he was right -- and in American sizes I wear a woman's 10 1/2 or 11. If they're a tad too small in 42 you can take out the insole.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:00 PM on January 5, 2013

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