Addicted to novelty since 2001

My Hot Climate Shoe Crisis

I once scanned a piece of bread and posted it to this blog (can’t find that post right now), so this isn’t the most trivial post I’ve ever written. It surely ranks in the top five, though.

In a couple of months, I’m going to Malta. Malta is hot. I need shoes appropriate for the climate. Here are a few things I know or suspect about Malta:

  • The Maltese don’t wear jeans.
  • The Maltese rarely wear shorts-they’re for the gym, the beach or the swimming pool.

Keeping these factors in mind, I’m likely to be wearing a lot of light trousers. Possibly even, if there’s no one about, some man capris.

Some facts about my shoe-wearing habits:

  • I’ve never gone in for sandals.
  • I think sneakers are for the gym and jogging.

Yet, I need some comfortable, breathable shoes that don’t offend the locals. Do you see my quandary?

Normally I’d just wait until I got to Malta and buy shoes there. There are two reasons to buy before I leave:

  1. More variety–the island we’re living on only has 30,000 people.
  2. The Maltese are the smallest people in Europe (the average man is 5’7″), and I have size 11 (44-45 in European shoe sizes) feet. My options may be further reduced.

What’s a slightly-fashion conscious man to do?

UPDATE: Tim writes to send this recommendation, which looks like it might be a satisfactory compromise between comfort, fashion and breathability. What do you think?

11 Responses to “My Hot Climate Shoe Crisis”

  1. Gwen

    First two ideas to come to mind are those leather-strap sandals for men or Tevas. Then the idea of Crocs floated to mind because they are all the rage here. =S

    Then Nike, Puma, Adidas, you-name-it, have “urban sneaks” or whatever hip thing they want to call them with mesh windows for breathability. Which finally reminds me of Keds-style shoes (like in white). Should go nice with the breezy light-coloured (linen) trousers I’d imagine you’d wear often.

  2. Katie

    As another taller person who lived in Malta for a year, I do advise you to buy shoes before you go. Malta has very little variety/availability, and prices are more expensive than in the US. Also, the closest other landmass is Sicily, but people are not tall there either.

    Shipping to Malta is expensive, plus you have to go to the main post office in Malta to receive your packages (where they will then search through your mail). Luckily, they no longer confiscate chocolate bars.

    Some things to remember: you’re right to forgo sneakers. Europeans rarely wear them and they will instantly brand you as an American. Same thing will happen with white socks. Also an American thing.

    Malta gets very hot in the summer (up to 45 degrees c., so I would recommend bringing linen clothing. You will have trouble buying it there if you’re taller.

    Another thing to think about is that Malta will potentially be raining when you come. When it rains, it pours, so don’t take only porous shoes unless you want soggy feet. However, I was just there and the winter has been very mild this year. Only rained once during my stay.

    Good luck, let me know if you have any more questions.

  3. Jen

    I think your spam filter ate my last comment (it was url heavy), however I do like Tim’s suggestion.

    You could also try looking for dock shoes (Tommy Bahama is a favourite line of mine for that kind of thing) – they’re generally nice looking, vented, and have sock lining, to make going sockless less painful should you choose to do so.

  4. James

    I think you can’t beat Birkenstocks.

    I know it’s painfully granola to think about, but when were we travelling through Greece and Turkey, and any time I’ve been in a hot place for a long time, I’ve worn my Birks the whole time.

    The more you wear them, the more comfortable they get. They float. They don’t stink because the footbed is made of cork. You can walk flats and hills all day long. You can replace the soles when they wear out – because you love th em and wear them all the time.

    The only hazard is that you have to watch getting the tops of your feet sunburned.

  5. Mike

    You might check out Keens as well. They have a number of stealth-sandal styles that give you the openness and coolness of sandals without the look.

  6. MaltaGirl

    We do SO wear jeans! And shorts. For guys, the younger they are, the longer and the baggier, in both cases. Tim’s shoes look like a good choice, and I’ve seen guys here wearing similar. In my personal opinion, comfort and breathability are exactly what you need, so something like that is a good choice.

  7. Lee

    Sachi loved, loved, loved her Keens on our trip. They held up through the whole year and she still wears them.

  8. Malta

    If you hane so many bloody complaints about Malta , DO NOT COME !!!!! we don’t need any more turists, the maltese do wear jeans !!!!! and shorts, To Katie if u know where to look around you will find where to shop from..

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