Many years ago as a single man, I learned the quickest way to a traveling girl’s heart was through her feet. After a long day of trade show work, a modest foot rub can make anyone’s heart swoon. Hours standing in uncomfortable shoes quickly turns into days and weeks as schedules unfold, and your feet usually bear the brunt of it. Since most companies are moving into a business casual environment, this means you don’t have to wear high heels, narrow wingtips, or other unsupportive or painful footwear. Here are some tips to helping your feet feel great at the end of a travel day, even if the rest of you is ready for bed.
- Start with great socks. Good supportive socks are a must for a long day. Fortunately, good quality athletic support socks come in a variety of colors and you can get a great pair that matches your Dockers! Look in sporting goods stores or hiking stores.
- Changes in altitude and pressure can cause your hands and feet to swell a bit. High levels of sodium in food can do it too. Have a can of bloody-mary mix on an airplane sometime, then try to take your wedding ring off when you land… I rest my case. When your feet are in a tight pair of lace-up shoes, this swelling can be very uncomfortable. Look for a nice supportive pair of leather top slip on shoes. If you look carefully enough, you’ll find a pair that is supportive and a bit roomy to boot (no pun intended). This will also help you sail through the security line quicker.
- When you find a good pair of shoes, you may want to think about replacing the insole before you break them in. Even expensive shoes skimp on the insoles. For about $40, you can get a spectacular pair of insoles with excellent arch support, carbon fiber midsoles, and padding that won’t wear out on you. These make a great pair of shoes that much better!
- Many shoe companies are taking the hint and their selection of casual dress shoes is getting wider. I always look for a pair of brown shoes with black trim, or black shoes with brown trim, so I can wear the same pair regardless of my choice of belt or trousers. When you have an awesome pair of shoes that you can comfortably stand in all day, you really don’t want to switch to a new pair on a given day. Besides, it’s a lot easier to travel with one pair than with several.
What do *I* wear? The Keen footwear company makes a shoe called the Bandon. I’ve worn this shoe through 20 different states now, and counting. I’ve walked for many blocks through Manhattan, through rain, sun, snow, and ice, and I’ve even walked some of the trails in Palo Duro Canyon, Texas in these shoes. It seems like I clean them, and they look brand new. They may not be to your taste, but you’ll get an idea of the style and type of shoe I’m talking about.