When it comes to traveling, I believe in traveling light. Traveling without excessive baggage when you have kids is a difficult task. Yet, it can be done. I recently took a trip to Southern California. It was my first vacation not having to pack baby gear in years. I was determined to pack light and carry my luggage on the plane.
I needed to select our attire wisely in order to take the bare minimum. We were going to be by the beach and be taking the kids to amusement parks. We would be getting sandy, dirty, and wet. After I selected clothing for me and the kids, I had to figure out what shoes to pack. For the kids, the choice was easy; Keens and Crocs. For me, that choice was a little more difficult.
I really wanted to bring two pairs of Birkenstocks because I knew that we would be on our feet most days. I was confident that Birkenstocks would provide me with all the support required for this trip. However, we would be getting wet at the beach and on some amusement park rides. For those of us Birk wearers, we know that Birkenstocks and water don’t mesh. When the Birkenstock footbed gets wet it gets slimy. In addition, getting Birkenstocks wet frequently can ruin the shoes.
I did not want to take a chance of ruining any of my beloved Birkenstocks by getting them wet. Fortunately, Birkenstock now makes a waterproof sandal in EVA material.
I found a pair of Birkenstock EVA’s for my husband, but I was unable to locate a pair for myself that fit. This is because Birkenstock EVA shoes are only sold in narrow width for women in the US.
Since I could not find the Birkenstock EVA shoe in a regular width, I tried a pair on in narrow width.
As I suspected, my foot was too wide for the narrow footbed. I am disappointed that Birkenstock is only offering this shoe in a narrow width in the US. I have a friend in Europe that recommended an online site that sells authentic Birkenstocks and ships them internationally from Germany. On this website, I found a pair of EVA material Gizeh’s, in regular width, and ordered them. Unfortunately, they did not arrive before my departure date and I had to pack a non Birkenstock pair of water shoes.
I decided to bring my Olukai Ohana’s as my waterproof sandals for this trip. My Birkenstock shoe of choice were my Mayari’s. I have worn my Mayari’s power walking up to 4+ miles at a time. I knew these would keep my feet feeling great. I was a little uncertain how the Olukai’s would treat my feet.
I wear the Olukai’s around the house and they provide me decent arch support for short periods of time. I was not sure how my feet would feel after spending hours walking in these shoes. Although the Olukai’s provided me arch support, they did not offer me metatarsal support. After the second full day on my feet in the Olukai’s, I started having foot pain. My feet yearned for the raised toe bar and the contoured footbed of my Birkenstocks.
I wore my Birkenstock Mayari’s for the remainder of my trip and avoided getting them wet. The Olukai’s worked out well for taking short walks on the beach or wearing around the house as a slipper. Yet, for a full day of walking, the Olukai’s were just not supportive enough for my needs.
Had I been able to locate a pair of regular width Birkenstock EVA’s before my vacation, I would have had happy feet all week long. My husband wore his EVA’s throughout our entire trip. Not once did he complain about foot pain, even after all the walking we did.
When I arrived home, my Birkenstock EVA Gizeh’s, in a regular width, had arrived.
I slipped them on my feet and they were amazing. No break in period was required. These will be prefect for my next beach adventure. (And for the next Giant’s game I attend!)
For future vacations, I plan to pack light again. However, I intend to pack heavy with Birkenstocks. I will avoid packing non Birkenstock shoes, in lieu of equipping myself with two pairs of Birks. This will ensure that my feet get all the support that they desire and make for an extra pleasurable vacation.
I like Olukai’s. I Love Birkenstocks!
NOTE: Are you curious what other non Birkenstock shoes that I wear? If so, read this blog.