Boring (not necessarily) but Practical (always)
This seems rather obvious but let’s get one thing straight—we’re talking sensible shoes; not sneakers, not flip-flops, not tennis shoes, or even rubber shoes, and definitely not Crocs. When traveling in foreign countries, nothing says U.S. tourist like sneakers or running shoes. Of course, here in the U.S. people wear sneakers everywhere. We wear them so often that restaurants and clubs have to set dress codes so we remember to wear shoes when we go out on the town. The thing is, in other countries it is customary to dress appropriately for your surroundings and the activity you’re doing. That means you wear; running shoes for running, a sensible walking shoe for walking, and dress shoe for dinner out.
Now—as fellow travelers, we understand that you can’t always bring as many shoes as you want. However, there is a middle ground. We like the Austin by Keen (pictured below). It is comfortable enough to walk around in all day but still dressy enough for a casual dinner. The best part is that you won’t get pegged as a tourist as soon as you walk in the door.
Camper and OluKai brands also make similar shoes that provide all-day comfort without making you look like you’re getting ready for a ToughMudder. The point is to blend in and make yourself at home in a foreign country. Most of all, you want to avoid making yourself a target for dubious minded folks. When in doubt, do what the locals do, dress like the locals dress, and always wear a sensible shoe.