Wednesday, June 2, 2010

J-41™ Adventures in Vallarta - by Travel Blogger Kate Rambles

What a gal needs when navigating the rough terrain of a foreign port is a decent pair of shoes. I was set to find out if my bumble-bee, J-41™ Intrepids were up to the task.

For years I’ve tried to come up with shoes that are good for airplane travel; i.e. easy on/easy off, yet something that is supportive and does not slip off while one wrestles with baggage and treks through miles of airport terminals. My Intrepids did the trick; they easily flipped off and on going through security and once again when I was on the plane.

Sure, they worked well cruising the urban streets of California, where the sidewalks and streets generally aren’t too bad, but how would they do on the cobblestoned streets of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? The answer: amazing. In fact it wasn’t until I stupidly stepped out one evening in thin flip-flops, (grimacing with every step and praying to Aztec gods that I wouldn’t break an ankle), that I could fully gage the extent of comfort and support afforded by my J-41™’s. Not only that, they are so light on the feet that I’m not even aware of their solid foundation.

In the mornings I like to walk down to the shore and stroll along the water’s edge. The Intrepids handled the sand with ease before I kicked them off. (Walking in sand barefoot will remain preferable to walking in even the best shoe). Leaving the beach and returning to the pavement I simply stepped right back into them without having to sit in gunk to tie and untie shoelaces.

I climbed up 100 steps to get a look at Elizabeth Taylor’s house high on the hill overlooking the Bay of Bandeiras. My feet didn’t register any complaints going up and I felt secure negotiating the steep, cobblestone streets on my way back down the hill.
In the Vallarta Botanical Gardens I confidently hiked up and down narrow, often damp trails, feeling at one with the earth. My Intrepids were so quiet and unobtrusive that I barely disturbed the birds and lizards along the way.

On most days I put in at least four hours of walking. The third day I was here I discovered something astonishing; even in this tropical heat and humidity, and even when not wearing socks, my feet never sweat in these shoes!

I still have lots more to explore so will Adventure On with my trusty J-41™’s.

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