There’s a certain chunky euro-style of shoe I’ve become fond of. They’re popular in the alpine nations and Germany, and sometimes in Holland. They’re a little orthopedic looking, but with some flair, the kind of thing you might see worn by someone who’s trying to spark up their hospital scrubs. Think Birkenstocks, the closed toe variety, or your classic Dutch clog. Here’s the thing – shoes like this were made for walking in, for spending hours on your feet in, and that makes them work well for travelers.
Alegria shoes have all those qualities; they make shoes that are designed to be worn all day while keeping your feet comfortable. They have a thick spongy but not too soft sole that’s got a little bit of a rock too it, similar to that used by the Masai balance shoes or Sketcher’s fitness shoe, but not as extreme. They have that slightly duck web shape to the footbed that’s mirrors the shape of your foot. And they come in a whole array of styles from very plain to somewhat outrageous.Shoes are my weakness – they’re my packing struggle every single time. I like versatility in my gear, but shoes, well, there are great mary-janes out there, but sometimes they’re too sporty for dress. There are little tiny fold-up shoes, but they’re not comfortable enough for me. And I still think about what shoes I’m going to wear to the airport and what I’ll want on the plane. I like shoes that are easy to get in and out of, not too heavy, and have some personal style.
Alegria clogs are great airplane shoes – they meet all my requirements. I think they’d be great shoes for cruisers too, and for the kinds of long drives when you kick off your shoes in the passenger seat but put them back on to go grab a diner breakfast. The clog and shoe lines are all built on the same basic footbed, so you get that comfortable walking shoe base with a wild variety of uppers.
The look isn’t going to be for everyone. They’re bulky and kind of blocky, you have to be into that kind of style. But if you do like the look, your feet will be quite comfortable for many, many, many hours. They run just a tiny bit small so if you think you’re going to wear them with big wooly socks, get a half size larger.
Alegria clogs are about $110; the closed toe styles are priced a little bit higher. Buy them online directly from Alegria.
[Image credit: Alegria]