Walking in a Winter Wonderland...
Your fearless tour expert here with some sage advice for the upcoming holidays and winter travel season:
If you're planning on doing a lot of heavy walking in areas that are prone to snow and ice, here's one excellent, time-tested solution for you:
Buy golf shoes - the spikeless kind.
They are designed for grass and sand which can be wet. You don't have to spray-treat your shoes and deal with that sort of hassle.
2. Better traction for snow and icy surfaces.
The teeth on the soles of golf shoes are excellent for walking on snowy surfaces - where standard shoes become nothing less than ice skates.
3. Comfortable for lots of walking.
These shoes are designed for people who are on their feet. They offer excellent support and don't require the "breaking in" that a lot of heavier and uncomfortable boots do. A trip is no fun if you have blisters after Day One, right? :)
4. More versatile for dress than hiking boot.
That's right, gang. You can go casual in jeans with them while walking around - and they can even pass for casual dress with a proper pair of slacks. Hiking boots don't have this versatility.
I've tested this theory out to great success in Bavaria. And last year, after outfitting a client with such shoes before a 21-day tour in Europe during heavy winter storms, I forgot to follow my own advice. We attended the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, and while my client's toes stayed toasty and dry, mine were soon cold and wet from all of the snow and sludge on the streets. Two days later, I came down with a nasty cold... He didn't. There you have it.
The pair I just purchased for an upcoming 18-day tour through Bavaria, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.