Rewind the clock to the beginning of my career, where I was promoting products about as far away from technology as you could get. I started in the agency world and we were known for crisis communications, retail and healthcare, so in addition to companies like McDonald’s and Bausch & Lomb, we represented Rockport Shoes although I wasn’t on the team. The Rockport team loved the shoes and wore them with pride and not just because they were a client. Bottom line, they were known for comfort back then and they continue to be known for comfort today.
One of the things I’ve noticed in footwear in recent years, particularly sneakers and running shoes, is how screeching bright the colors are – neon pinks mixed with oranges, florescent greens, turquoise and hell, why throw in a little red for good measure. Unless you’re a teenager, there’s no chance in hell that they’re going to go with an outfit. You could argue that when you exercise, you don’t really care about whether your exercise shoes match your outfit, but as a traveler who has limited space in their bag on the road, you need to pack as few pairs of shoes you can get away with, with the idea that one pair can use for 4 or 5 different scenarios, not one.
Walking shoes need to not only be practical and comfortable for a traveler, but serve those multiple purposes that come up when you’re on the road: walking the city all day or taking in a hike and then in the evening, being able to use that same pair of shoes for a casual meal. Depending on the culture, you may want to be a bit more subdued, choosing boots or shoes that are understated rather than shout and make noise.
We got a couple of pairs of Rockports on for testing, largely for our cross country trip earlier this year. While you can afford to pack more pairs of shoes in a car, you still need to be practical. The hikes we were planning weren’t extensive — we had bikes with us too of course — and camping was not part of the game plan, since it wasn’t that kind of trip. In the evening, we were planning on more fine dining than not being serial foodies and when we were going through more arid areas of the country, we wanted shoes that could easily slip on and off.
A variation of what Anthony wore most of the time was the Ledge Hill Too Plaintoe Oxford. The leather is soft and while it is designed to be more of a dress shoe, it’s easy to clean and maintain and also comfortable enough to wear during the day for long city and town walks. The EVA outsole and midsole provide shock absorption to help reduce foot and leg fatigue during long days, without adding excess weight. An anti-microbial liner keeps feet dry, cool, and odor-free.
One of the great things about Rockport is that their shoes are VERY cushioned using ADIPRENE by Adidas Sport Technology, which is a key reason why you want to wear your Rockports every day. While brown pretty much goes with everything, they come in a variety of colors, another great benefit with going Rockport – they’re creative in their color choices and realize the whole world doesn’t live in only black or brown.
Both of his pairs had more support for the ankles because of how much walking we were planning to do at various stops – this allows for extra support and decreases the risk of ankle sprains or sore legs. Below is his pair after a lot of wear and you can see how well the leather wears in, giving it that slightly antiquated soft leather look that goes well with a pair of jeans as well as pair of casual dress pants.
The other pair was even more casual, making it a better choice with jeans while looking chic along the way. Look how great they look after being worn in and this pair also made it through some muddy trails.
Personally I found the men’s collection to be more extensive and diverse, with tons of stylish but also comfortable options, from running shoes and walking shoes to casual and dress shoes, all of them boasting the same level of comfort as the last one. Take a look at this Path to Greatness Chukka shoe, where classic meets modern comfort with full grain leathers and suedes. It has a sponge EVA footbed with Memory Foam for added cushioning, which comforms to the shape of the foot for a more personalized fit – love it.
Their Dewix linings help keep your feet dry, a godsend when you’re in wetter climates. It’s a great option when you want to go from work to play in a casual style and typical of Rockport, they have a variety of rich, versatile colors to choose from — I personally love the Glacier color shown below.
A completely waterproof option is the RocSports Lite ZoneCush Mudguard. It may look like classic lace-up style, but this durable men’s shoe gives you all the style and comfort you need. Outside, the rugged rubber outsole helps provide a sturdy grip to a variety of surfaces. Inside, the dual-density IMEVA midsole helps provide lightweight shock-absorption to help reduce foot and leg fatigue. For a more personalized fit, the sponge EVA footbed will hug your foot and conforms like it is made just for you. Like so many of the others, the Dewix anti-microbial lining helps keep moisture and foot odor at bay.
For women, this Lorraine II Lite Chelsea boot offers the style you crave with waterproof shoe technology you need to keep the elements at bay. Constructed with Rockport’s Hydro-Shield drainage system and waterproofing materials, your feet are sure to be kept dry in wet weather, a great plus for travelers who are passing through divers climates. This comfortable and waterproof women’s shoe features a rubber outsole to give you a durable grip on a variety of surfaces, while an elastic shaft helps provide a smooth, personalized fit. Like the others, it is infused with ADIPRENE by Adidas Sport Technology for added comfort. Rubber outsole helps provide a durable grip on a variety of surfaces.
A favorite of mine although I don’t have a pair, is the Tristina Chelsea. I love this boot mainly for its flexibility, the fact that it will go with everything (casual dressy and casual with jeans) and it’s deep rich brown color.
The Tristina Chelsea is not only stylish, but believe it or not, it’s waterproof. The boot combines a rubber outsole that helps provide a steady grip on a variety of surfaces, with their Hydro-Shield drainage system. Available in a vareity of colors, this leather boot won’t just keep you dry, it will keep you looking good as well, which is one of its biggest pluses in additon to Rockport’s known functionality and comfort (also infused with ADIPRENE by Adidas Sport Technology for that fabulous extra cushioning that you get with Rockport shoes).