Replies: 15 - Last Post: Aug 19, 2012 3:24 PM Last Post By: Cecilia
Jul 28, 2012 1:38 AM
Jul 28, 2012 6:34 AM
Jul 28, 2012 7:06 AM
2I bring the same footwear everywhere.
If I'm just going low and hot,a pair of sports sandals.You can walk in them comfortably,use them on the beach,even in the shower.....
If I'm going high and/or doing serious trekking,I add a pair of hiking/treking shoes.Along with the sports sandals.
Those 2 pairs of shoes do me for every trip,in every continent...from a short trip to a year or two.
Jul 28, 2012 8:14 AM
Jul 28, 2012 8:34 AM
4Depends what your doing, rainforest and jungle hikes can require waterproof trek shoes, or even capped toed, as well as many volcanoes are sharp slippery and jagged rocks....
For most, Teva trek sandal will suffice, but for rocky or very long all day hikes, hiking steep inclines, waterfalls and mountain trails, a more sturdy and protective shoe more important.
Flip Flops are best just for the beach and bumming around.
Jul 28, 2012 11:53 AM
5It is a matter of opinion. My opinion is that those sports/trekking sandals that everyone wears look really dorky.
I just take a pair of sneakers and a pair of flip-flops. The sneakers for running, hiking, and wearing on travel days and when in big cities. Otherwise, flip-flops for everyday wear, walking around town etc.
I do a lot of hiking/trekking and sneakers are fine for all of that, even climbing volcanoes, in my opinion no need to take an extra pair of heavy hiking shoes.
Jul 28, 2012 5:41 PM
Jul 30, 2012 6:56 AM
7Since I like to pack light, I wear a pair of comfortable dress shoes and bring a pair of beach thongs. Trainers/sneakers are OK for many outdoor activities but aren't always respected in nice restaurants or other upscale venues. Perhaps I am a bit stuffy, but I don't like to visit a family home for dinner wearing sneakers. If you are just hanging around backpackers, it will be fine but many Central Americans disdain the dirty, left over "hippie" look. Good grooming opens a lot of otherwise closed doors, too. It may be in vogue not to shave or cut your hair in some circles, thought of as disgusting in others. The once American idea of instant informality has now often become the European idea but still isn't as widely accepted everywhere in Central America. Even in New York, where it is expected you will refer to a customer as "Hi yer Billy!" I refused to do this instead saying "Good Morning, Mr. Perez".
The down side of only having dress shoes and beach thongs would be if you go hiking. I did a volcano hike once and only had dress shoes to wear....later paying the price. Wearing them to do this wasn't something I planned on.
So depending on your lifestyle, either a pair of sneakers or a pair of comfortable dress shoes plus beach thongs would get my vote.
Edited by: RobertoGustavo
Aug 18, 2012 3:38 PM
8As for looking dorky or not dressed-up enough... that's just silly. Who cares if useful shoes might look a bit dorky to some fashionistas? Travelling is not a fashion show. And no matter what you wear, you will still look like a silly westerner in the eyes of Central Americans, just because of your haircut, your clumsy way of walking as compared to their movements, and because you don't wear pink sparkly tight tops like the ladies there, or the right brand of jeans like the men, etc.
I have stayed in people's homes, and/or gone out to nightclubs with them, some of them really rich and posh people, but never have they minded my sneakers. I apologized for them but they always said there was no need at all and it was fine. (And I am sure it was!) Obviously they understand that I am not going to lug around any dress shoes on a backpacking trip!
And it's a bit condescending to think they are so ignorant as to think that people from other countries have the exact same sense of style as they have. They get enough TV-programmes from the US and other countries to know that people can look different.
Anyway, bring shoes that fit the activities you plan on doing. If you're just staying in the cities and will visit markets and museums, sneakers and flip flops will be fine. If you want to climb a volcano, some (higher, climbing) shoes with anckle support might be better but that is also a matter of personal taste (some people prefer sneakers / sandals for hiking). Tevas come in handy for all kinds of situations and you can even use them in the sea (rocky sea bottoms / beaches with lots of crabs).
If worst comes to worst you can even buy cheap sneakers at a market (I bought a pair for US$4 at León market in Nicaragua, to go volcano boarding with, because the shoes are your break and steering device, half the soles were gone afterwards).
Aug 18, 2012 4:19 PM
Aug 18, 2012 5:58 PM
10Yes, and we can see some people don't care about how they look or how they dress entering someone's home. To each her own, I guess. A "silly westerner (?) in the eyes of Central Americans" it was stated, indeed.
Dressing cleanly and as nice as you can afford is a sign of respect in Latin America if you are invited to someone's home for dinner or other social functions. If someone shows up at my home looking like they were just pulled from the sewer, there wouldn't be a second invitation unless they were there to fix my toilet.
Aug 19, 2012 1:49 AM
11Dressing cleanly and as nice as you can afford is a sign of respect in Latin America if you are invited to someone's home for dinner or other social functions.
Who says you can't do that with your travel clothes and sneakers? Of course you are not going to hike a volcano, not shower or wash the mud off your shoes, and then go to someone's home.
I have stayed with a Mexican, Peruvians and with Nicaraguans and they wore sneakers themselves. Yes, the super rich one living in a villa, too.
If someone shows up at my home looking like they were just pulled from the sewer, there wouldn't be a second invitation unless they were there to fix my toilet.
Now you're being silly again. There is a WORLD of difference between 'wearing sneakers because it is ridiculous to carry dress shoes on a backpacking trip' and 'looking like you were pulled from the sewer'.
Do you think someone would invite a traveller in the first place if they were so picky?
A "silly westerner (?) in the eyes of Central Americans" it was stated, indeed.
Keep on dreaming that you don't look / move like one, dress shoes or not... unless you are a Central American. (I'm starting to wonder what else you bring... office pants? A suit and tie? An iron?)
A friend of mine has been living in Peru for over 16 years, wears skirts and heels, but is still 'that Dutch lady'.
Anyway, original poster, up to you to decide whether you bring dress shoes or not ;-)
This whole discussion reminds me of the group of Japanese who were dropped of on a volcano rim on Java by helicopter, wobbling about on the uneven terrain on their dress shoes and high heels, almost falling into the crater. :-) Now to me, that is dorky.
Aug 19, 2012 6:20 AM
12I am on my latest visit here in CA and I must say the old idea of the 'well dressed local' has become rarer and rarer.
Anyone local aged under 30 or so seems to be wearing the standard American 'uniform'.....sneakers,jeans,t-shirt and baseball cap.If they are male.
The older generation will be the last that still wears shoes,a shirt and a proper hat ;-)
Aug 19, 2012 11:56 AM
13@RobertoGustavo, so in your eyes anyone who wears sneakers (and is otherwise clean and well taken care of), looks like a hobo or a left-over hippie or a sewer rat. The world must be a terrible place for you.
You have no idea what I wear while travelling (apart from my clean sneakers) or while at home, so how can you declare that I do not care?
Really, the latinos aren't as ignorant and narrow-minded as you claim they are. They understand perfectly well that a traveller doesn't carry high heels in her backpack.
Edited by: Cecilia
Aug 19, 2012 3:03 PM
14I have never claimed Latinos are "ignorant and narrow minded". That is YOU speaking. Your words alone. I am Latino and like to dress flashy. My choice. I am saying is that if backpackers look very much the dirty leftover hippie type, they might encounter more difficulties (such as drug searches) starting with entering a country at the airport. The same thing many travel guidebooks say. And as far as my comments on what YOU wear (since you have declared others "dorky" after saying it was silly to do so)...I clicked on your webpage to your photos.
Have a nice day in your sunny homeland in The Netherlands.
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