What Is It: The Arcopedico Classic L2 Ballerina, a slip-on shoe.
Price and Where to Buy: $79 from Arcopedico’s website.
Pros: The shoes (especially the basic black ones) can easily pass as regular ballerina flats, but they also offer arch support, special uppers that shape to your foot, and removable cushioned insoles. I tested these shoes out with six hours of walking in Washington, D.C. At the end of the day, I didn’t have any of the leg fatigue that regular flats or flip-flops would cause, or any blisters. Plus, I love that these shoes are made of vegan materials that are easy to wipe down. Extra bonus: The slip-on design is perfect for flying through airport security.
Cons: The PVC non-slip sole is practical, but squeaks on tiled floor (this may go away after the bottom is more worn in). Color choice is limited (the L2 only comes in black or bronze, although other colors are available in other styles), but the basic black is best for blending in.
How it Rates:
- Usefulness: 10/10. It’s the eternal traveler’s dilemma—do you pack shoes that are comfortable for all the walking you’ll be doing, or do you pack fashionable shoes that won’t scream “tourist”? The Arcopedico Classic L2 let you have both—they’re comfortable for all-day walking, but go with pretty much any outfit.
- Portability: 10/10. The Arcopedico Classic L2 Ballerinas fold and squish to be easily packable. They’re also really lightweight for such a sturdy shoe—you could throw these in a purse as a back-up for heels on a night out.
- Value: 8/10. The price tag seems high, but it’s really not that expensive for well-made shoes.
- Durability: 10/10. The outside of the shoe is made of Lytech and a PVC sole, and is very durable and easy to clean. Inside is soft and cushioned, and both the lining and the removable inside seem very well-made and durable.
- Cool Factor: 8/10. I’m a shoe snob. Would I wear these on a hot date? No. Would I wear these when I plan on walking around Paris for an entire day? Yes.
Final Verdict: If you don’t care what you look like on the road, you could wear your bright white tennis shoes, and be just as comfortable. If you like to look somewhat like a local on the road, but do a lot of walking while traveling, these shoes are definitely worth it.
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