It's every woman's dream: A vacation in Paris. You arrive at your hotel near the Champs-Élysées looking stunning in your 4-inch stilettos, tip the cabbie and discover to your horror that there is no elevator in your 19th century-era loft.
The agony of da feet
Your bunion is screaming already. With every move up the steep stairs to your luxury hotel room, your regret for not packing more comfortable shoes for your hammertoes begins to weigh heavier and heavier. This is a common dilemma with many jet-setting females. You are on a European vacation, you finally dropped those stubborn five pounds and you are ready to hit the streets in your fabulous new heels. However, walking along European streets is no picnic, even in flats. After many trips abroad, I can assure you that those charming cobblestone roads will do more damage to your feet than I even realized.
According to the Conde Nast Traveler, packing comfortable shoes is essential for any trip abroad. Many cities in Europe – like London, Paris and Rome – have ancient corridors, twists and turns and side streets that are only accessible on foot, so it is important to make sure that you aren't sore and pulpy by noon. Take it from the locals: In the movies, it may seem like all the ladies in Europe are wearing sky-high Louboutins to dinner. I know that in reality, these ladies understand that comfort is key when it comes to the heavy foot traffic in these cities.
Tips for not looking dowdy on vacation
You may be thinking, "Bunion-Ella, the last thing I want to look like in these posh, sophisticated cities is an average American in sneakers." Not to worry! There are ways to leave your foot pain stateside and blend in with an international crowd. Unless you plan on sitting in traffic in expensive cabs all night in throbbing pain, I would suggest leaving the heels at home. There are plenty of internationally-friendly and sharp-looking flats and boots with proper arch support that will keep away a bunion and allow you to traverse the globe in style.
If you already suffer from a bunion, don't let a fabulous trip abroad be out of your reach. There are plenty of orthotics and shoe inserts that fit into any style of shoe. These devices allow you to look and feel fabulous while traveling without your feet getting mangled from all the walking and stair climbing that you will certainly do in many European cities. Bon voyage, and don't forget your Bunion Aid.