I recently took a trip to New Orleans… in July—true story. Now if you've ever been to New Orleans in July, you'll probably never forget the intensity of the humidity. And if you haven't yet visited New Orleans (or anywhere else with a subtropical humid climate) in the dog days of summer, I'd recommend mentally and sartorially preparing yourself, and I'm here to help with that. I'll admit that I'm actually from Louisiana but haven't lived there for over a decade. Regardless, I should've known better than to pack only one type of shoe style for my trip: loafers. That's right—I packed three pairs of loafers for my two-day trip and immediately discovered they were the worst shoes to pack for a summer trip.
I assumed that since I'd be walking a good bit, loafers were a sensible shoe style to pack, especially since I don't love wearing sandals on city streets. But it was a short time into my first day that I realized I probably wasn't going to make it through to the evening in these shoes. The problem was that loafers are a fairly structured pair of shoes, so the leather is typically thick and stiff. And since it was so hot and sticky in The Big Easy, the friction of the loafers against my skin lead to massive blisters in just a few hours. I'll spare you the gory details, but by late afternoon, I was limping around the French Quarter and was forced to fold the backs of my shoes down until I could hobble back to my hotel's front desk in search of bandages and blister remedies.
That said, I'm not implicating that sandals are the only shoe style that you should pack on summer trips. Sneakers, mules, ankle boots, and flats made of soft materials are also perfectly fine. Just take my advice and do a test run on a hot day before committing to filling your precious luggage space with the wrong type of footwear.
With that, read on to shop stylish shoes that will serve you well on summer trips.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.