|Subject: Re: comfortable shoes|
I have had experience with Rockport, Ecco and Mephisto. Rockports are extremely comfortable, but tend to wear out faster that the others. Eccos are more durable. I prefer Mephistos, made in France, but they are expensive in the US, even on the Internet at susposedly discount prices. I found my Mephistos, bought in Andorra, would be about twice as expensive on the Net. However, a friend of a friend owns a shoe store and he offered me Mephistos at the European price. That means that the US mark-up is very high. I would refrain from buying any shoe on the Internet especially Mephistos. The problem is that they are not consistently sized. I have a size 12 foot. My Mephisto walking shoes are a 12; my Mephisto loafers are 10 1/2. Both fit perfectly. Shoes are something that you really must try before you buy.
Since walking is a big part of the travel experience, the other thing one might consider is orthotics. Some can be bought over the counter such as Superfeet and the gel inserts available at any drug store. They can make a difference in any shoe. I have a friend whose feet were terribly maimed as a result of being captured by the other side in a UN police action. Every day was a challenge for him, but when gel foot beds were introduced, his walks were immediately made more bearable. Skiers know the advantage of orthotics; most of us buy them for our boots.
Tom still walking in Carlisle.