Marco is a passionate travel blogger. Always in his luggage: a pair of Wildling shoes. In this guest article, he tells us how minimal shoes are the best way to wander around the world.
Hello dear Wildling Shoes Community!
I'm Marco, former sports student and for about 4 years, globetrotter and blogger at “German Blog Reisefroh”. I love being on the road and discovering new things – and here's what I particularly enjoy: the feeling of freedom. Getting out of the city, away from the hustle and bustle and just taking a breath! As it’s not only my head that wants to breathe deeply, but also my feet that want to enjoy this freedom, I always travel with a pair of minimal shoes in my luggage.
Walking in minimal shoes is one of the best ways for me to relax. Instead of rushing through the streets in a hurry, I automatically walk a little slower in barefoot shoes and perceive everything a bit more consciously: from the surface I'm walking on to the whole surrounding area. Minimal shoes help me to slow down in my day-to-day (travel) life and to focus on the many beautiful, small details all around me once again. On top of that, even on hot Greek summer days, my feet don’t sweat in airy Wildling shoes!
Unwinding for head and feet
Based on my travel experience, barefoot shoes are also ideal for being on the road for completely different reasons: they’re not only wonderfully light-weight, but because of the thin, flexible soles, they can also be easily stowed in a backpack. Then, as soon as it's time to get lost in the historic alleys of Dubrovnik, take a stroll through the spice market in Istanbul, or wander down the promenade at Lago di Como – that's when I free my feet from the trekking shoes and slip into my Wildling shoes. After only a few meters, I'm then automatically in vacation and relaxation mode. Now by saying "I", I mean both my head and my feet!
Image: Marco Schätzel
Tips for traveling in minimal shoes
With a travel backpack on my shoulders, I don't wear barefoot shoes and wouldn't necessarily recommend it, especially if you're a minimal shoe novice. The muscles and tendons of the leg, predominantly in the feet, are challenged more in minimal shoes than in conventional shoes. That’s how, in the long run, walking barefoot helps build healthy, strong foot muscles. However, carrying a 30 lbs backpack on your back and exploring downtown Paris in minimal shoes will probably put a lot of strain on your feet. Once the heavy backpack is discarded, nothing stands in the way of that liberating barefoot feeling!
My girlfriend for that matter doesn’t do it any differently. Our Wildling shoes got around quite a bit last year and they’re probably already looking forward to their next tour. Soon we’re off to Colombia once again – thinking of 90 degrees Farenheit in Santa Marta, the odds for even my barefoot sandals to end up in the backpack are pretty high. In that case my feet will be happy about the most air and toe freedom – and they’ll have earned it! They have carried me through many countries and continents in recent years and I would like to pay them back for this service. That’s why I treat my feet with a foot massage daily by running in barefoot shoes.
For those who have never run in minimal shoes, I warmly recommend this feeling from my own experience. And speaking of "warm": you can travel with minimal shoes in winter too. For instance, in lined winter minimal shoes you can stroll through snowy Sankt Moritz without any trouble. Because walking barefoot stimulates the circulation in your feet, your toes are more likely to stay warm.My recommendation: Enjoy the warm beams of sunshine and remember to give both your head and your feet a little break from time to time – ideally in Wildling shoes. ☺
Header Image: Marco Schätzel