Feet don't travel well

At least, walkers' feet don't. For the most part, this comes down to footwear. In desert climes, sandals are the obvious choice for daytime walking. (They're fine for night walks too, except that they're banned from most bars, limiting your choice of destinations). You may well think that acclimatising your feet to five or ten mile desert hikes would prepare them for anything. You'd be wrong though. The heels and soles may indeed become as tough as shoeleather, but the tops of the toes, the instep, the nameless inner and outer 'flanks' and the back heel, which, sandalled, touch nothing but fresh air and dust, remain as soft as a soft thing of your choice preferably not involving babies. This wouldn't matter if you never ventured to the frozen north and the lands of proper shoes. That's when you are reminded that the only comfortable walking shoes are ones that you've lived in for weeks, ones that have exhausted their repertoire of nipping, pinching, chafing and crushing. The only alternative is to stick with the sandals and put up with the frostbite. On balance, it could be the right thing to do.


  1. Hah! I was recently asked why I was wearing sandals. It was in a diner in North Carolina, and the temperature outside was around 26F according to the car's dashboard.

    "Because you won't let me in with bare feet."

  2. You were lucky to be let in even with sandals. In Qatar it's often a turning away offence!


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