Thursday, June 12, 2008

Walking Shoes for Ascending the Sacred Way at Delphi

On my trip to Greece my old shoes started to fall apart. Uncertain of the quality of the bewildering array of shoes on offer in an unfamiliar city, I ended up with a pair of Scholl Professionals from the local apothecary (chemist). These are black leather walking shoes have worked very well.

The Professionals are designed by Scholl for health professionals who who need to stand up all day. Usually they are sold in white for nurses, but they are also available in black, which I purchased. They resemble a sports shoe, with a flat sole (no heel), a long tongue (long lace up area) and large arch support inside. The shoes weigh much less than ordinary dress shoes and very much less than walking boots.

When I tried them on it was more like putting on a pair of sox, than shoes. They felt comfortable immediately, unlike shoes which need time to soften and shape to the foot. I was worried that this lightweight construction might result in the shoes falling apart quickly or not being protective or supportive (I have flat feet and need orthopedic supports). But the flat sole and long lace up area results in a firm fit which supports my feet. The soles have proved to have enough grip for climbing slippery marble at the Athens Acropolis. The leather has proved strong enough to withstand sharp rocks on the island of Crete.

Unlike a sports shoe, the Professionals have no logos, stripes or other adornment on them. They were respectable enough to wear out to the Opera in Athens, for a performance of Turandot and I will be wearing them with a suit to a wedding in northern Greece.

The Professionals have only a thin sole and I am not sure how long this will last. But in the few weeks I have had them they have withstood the equivalent of several months of normal use in visiting numerous sights of Greece, with little sign of wear. Also as they have a simple flat sole, it should be possible to have them resoled, which can't be done with some elaborately shaped sports shoe soles.

The shoes are not perfect. I would prefer some heel, to make them less subject to slipping. These are not suitable for trekking in rugged conditions, or for use in very wet conditions. The leather is covered with more stitching than a normal shoe. This presumably provides the comfortable fit, but is something which might wear and make them less durable. But overall I would recommend the Scholl Professional to those needing to do a lot of standing or walking, as a sightseeing tourist does.

ps: I couldn't find the Scholl's Professionals on Scholl seem to sell different shoes in different counties. The closest similar show I could find was a New Balance Men's MW576 Walking Shoe.

Labels: ,


Blogger geo said...

They sound like posh Dunlop volleys!

June 12, 2008 9:11 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link or bookmark with Digg,, Newsvine or News Feed

<< Home