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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not posted in quite some time…mostly due to a sporting clays addiction and work that has not slowed since Covid. I do however still watch some threads.

My wife and I are planning our first trip to Europe in late April/early May with stops in Paris, Caanes, and Barcelona. I am fortunate enough to have relatives in the perfume business in Grasse so they will host us in Caanes.

I never have nor will buy into the “ casual” trends of recent years so most days I would be wearing chinos, a button down, and casual blazer (or some type of weatherproof coat depending on the weather).

I do however need to pinpoint no more than 2 pairs of comfortable shoes to rotate. I am about to order a pair of shoebank AE Chelsea boots…if they don’t work I will try Meermin. I would waterproof these for potential wet weather.

Anyone have suggestions on non-sneaker casual shoes that are good for being on your feet all day?

Also suggestions on a stylish backpack rather than prototypical North Face hiking back for day excursions.

Thanks and glad to see the forum still plugging along.


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I dressed in the same way when we visited Paris in 2019. We spent most of our time in the 1st so even with a tie I felt under dressed. I wore a pair of AE Wilberts or Bentons most of the time.

I found a lot of the parks to have walkways made of fine gravel or sand. The Tuileries was the worst, it was so dusty. So Paris can be tough on shoes.
 

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If you are a clays shooter, you probably recognize the name Gokey. I have a pair of Gokey oxfords which I have had for several years and they are sturdy enough to wear on rough streets, yet would suit to wear with a blazer and khakis. Gokey was bought from Orvis several years ago and the oxfords have been redesigned to include a removable insole and a softer sole which makes walking on rougher surfaces a bit easier.
 

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Spent a few weeks in Barcelona, London, and Paris in late 2019, found that Clarks Desert boots worked well for me, easy to travel in, good for the trains, walking around all day, but the only issue was that the weather can be very different from place to place...London (rainy), Paris (muggy), and Barcelona could be a little hot. As mentioned earlier Paris can be hard on shoes....not a flat surface in the whole town.

As for backpack, I would suggest maybe seeing if you can do without, for the reason that some of those cities (Barcelona in particular) are notoriously bad for pickpocket/thieves (Paris, Barcelona #1 and #2 in the world).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I am looking into having a tailor see an additional pocket sewn in the trouser with Velcro for that specific purpose.

The backpack is mostly as a personal item plus one carry on…I am trying not to check a back because I will be lugging my wife’s checked bag.


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When traveling in Europe, I wear the traditional Alden leather dress shoes, usually with the double leather soles as they give me the support I need when walking a lot. I can walk all day in them and never get tired. I also carry a pair of blucher style moccasins in my suitcase, but I only use them for the pool and beach.
 

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Just returned from a four week trip in Europe, mostly Italy and France. My footwear of choice while there were my Red Wing Heritage 1907s. Those kept my feet comfortable even though we walked for hours most days in all kinds of terrain and weather. I brought along other shoes but kept going back to my Red Wings.
 

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An alternative to Gokey's would be Russell Moccasins who also make a clay shooter's model. Every pair I have ever bought from them has felt broken in from the first moment. Expensive? Well, yeah. They're custom fitted, very durable and just the ticket for walking around all day no matter what surface you're on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
An alternative to Gokey's would be Russell Moccasins who also make a clay shooter's model. Every pair I have ever bought from them has felt broken in from the first moment. Expensive? Well, yeah. They're custom fitted, very durable and just the ticket for walking around all day no matter what surface you're on.
I just read on their website that the new price for any custom will START at $1,500. I wish I would have ordered more a few years ago, they have my foot measurements. I have a boot but it’s too heavy


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I just read on their website that the new price for any custom will START at $1,500. I wish I would have ordered more a few years ago, they have my foot measurements. I have a boot but it’s too heavy


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I saw that, too. Ouch! I have a good number of Russell's and was hoping to get another pair but it's looking like I may have to switch my custom to Redwing or Gokey's. Their cobblers must have taken one hellova hit from COVID if the wait time had gotten to 15 months. Phew!
 

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I saw that, too. Ouch! I have a good number of Russell's and was hoping to get another pair but it's looking like I may have to switch my custom to Redwing or Gokey's. Their cobblers must have taken one hellova hit from COVID if the wait time had gotten to 15 months. Phew!
I suspect they don’t have the volume to offset cost increases, and probably were making little money on the customs before Covid.


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