The Best Sandals To Wear In Europe This Summer

I have written about which shoes are best to wear in Europe before. I wrote about the best summer shoes  and also about winter shoes to wear in Europe, both of which I will re-link at the bottom of this post. A series of events happened last week that made me decide to write a post about the best pair of sandals I have ever worn in Europe.

This is not a sponsored post. This post does contain affiliate links

Venice Grand Canal

My sandals in Venice in June 2017

I wore the same pair of sandals everyday in Europe last summer on my May/June Glam Italia Tours, I wore them half the time in Paris in September (I wore these Adidas sneakers the days I didn’t wear my sandals), and then I wore them every day for a month this past June on this year’s Glam Italia Tours.

Portofino Italy

June 2017 in Portofino Italy

A Confluence Of Events.

1. My week started with an email from one of my blog readers. She was in Florence and had been doing everything on the list from my 10 Things You Absolutely Must Do In Florence blog post. She was super excited about it all  and ended her email with “oh by the way, I got those Sofft sandals that you, and you’re right – they are the most comfortable shoes ever!”

2. Then when I was looking through my photos from Venice trying to find something to put in my Don’t Be A Tourist In Venice post I kept noticing my sandals in every photo that showed my feet.

3. Finally, I was scrolling through the notes on my phone and found a page where I had bee keeping a total of the steps and the flights of stairs I was doing each day in Italy. I was pretty wowed at just how many miles I walk on my tours, and more wowed that these shoes not only didn’t fall apart, but are still going strong!

Burano Island

Walking in Burano, Venice in my Sofft Mirabelle sandals, June 2018

Which Sandal Is It??

This is the sandal in question. It is the Mirabelle by Sofft. Here is the affiliate link: sandals page


Why Do I Love This Sandal?

So here is what I love about this sandal:

*It is unbelievably comfortable. If you have been to Europe before than you already know that you spend your days walking and walking, so you need a good cushy sole to not only protect your foot but also to cushion the pressure on your lower back. Also you are walking on cobble-stoned streets and uneven surfaces, both of which put extra hardship on both your feet and your shoes.

*It takes zero breaking in – the leather is super soft but still good and strong. No blisters, no rubbing, no hurting your feet, yet at the same time offering really great support. You can put the Sofft Mirabelle on straight out of the box and walk all day long with no problems at all.

* It goes with everything. My rule is only 3 pairs of shoes can go with me on a trip, which means I need shoes and sandals that can work with everything I am going to wear. I have the Mirabelle in the color pictured above which is called Luggage.

*It is well made. This sandal is really well made. Even with the non-stop walking up and down hills and the average of 25,000 steps per day, the sole hasn’t pulled apart, the sandal hasn’t ripped and it hasn’t lost its shape.

Shop Sofftshoe Site today!

Paris book stalls along Seine

Walking along the left bank in Paris in the 6th arrondissement. Sometime in 2017

So How Many Miles Have My Sofft Mirabelles Done?

This blew my mind! In 2017 my Sofft Mirabelle sandals did 3 Glam Italia Tours and two Glam Paris Tours. In Paris I wore them half the time on one tour and every day on the other.

Paris, Montmartre

Montmartre, Paris, sometime in 2017

In 2018 they have done two Glam Italia Tours.

I also wear them at home in Phoenix on photoshoots, commercials, ad campaigns, music videos and other long days when I am shooting in studios with concrete floors.

I haven’t kept track of the steps I do here in Phoenix each day but in Europe I am always keeping an eye on it.

In June 2018 on my Glam Italia Tours I walked 158 miles total. So that is about 79 miles per tour, give or take. (I have 2 days in between each tour, arrive 2 days before the tours start and stay on for a few days after they are over. I walk and walk all day long on these days, checking out new places and seeing new things).

Mirabelle by Sofft

Florence, 2017

Working with that average and adding in 3 Glam Italia Tours in 2017, that’s another 237 miles in Italy alone, without factoring in my Paris tours.

Just adding the Italy numbers that’s 395 miles!!! Put into perspective the distance from Phoenix to Los Angeles is 360 miles.

Piazza San Marco, Venice. June 2018

How many pairs of shoes do you own that could walk from Phoenix to L.A. and still keep going strong??

How Do You Keep The Soles White?

One of my friends turned me onto this cool trick. When soles are looking scuffed and dirty you can clean them back to nearly new by using a little bit of bathroom cleaner or Mr Clean and a cloth or rag. If you have a Mr Clean Magic Eraser handy that works brilliantly too. I don’t clean mine while I’m away, but when I get home they really need it.

I wish I knew someone at Sofft Shoes to show this to – they should be sponsoring  my tours! Or something. Maybe they should be sending me free shoes – none of which is happening by the way. But I do think that at more than 395 miles these sandals probably are the best value for money I have ever had. offers free shipping on all orders, easy returns, and free exchanges.
Chances are you won’t be putting your sandals through the hard work I put mine through, but regardless, these are a great buy!



Why You Should Travel On Your Birthday

barcelona fashion illustration

It’s December 17th, and today is my birthday.

A few years ago I decided I would always travel on my birthday. Partly because my birthday is the week before Christmas, a time when everyone is already busy and in the final run through the most expensive month of the year. Partly because your birthday is the day that you reset the clock for your personal new year ahead. So why not reset it somewhere fabulous?

I take some time out on my birthday to give thanks for the fantastic year I just had, or sometimes just for the fact that I survived the prior year unbroken. Then I map out some goals for the new birth year. What do I want to achieve? Where do I want to travel, what direction do I want my life to move forward in?

Most of us don’t really use our birthday as a celebration of self. (Going to a bar and spending a bunch of money to get hammered isn’t really a celebration of self.) I know I never used to, but now I do. I don’t ask friends to come hang out in some bar, instead I get on a plane and go somewhere.

This time I chose Barcelona, and instead of traveling alone one of my friends asked to join me. The birthday trip is different from other travel that I do. It’s not about running around the sites and the monuments, it’s very low key. I will be visiting art museums, eating paella and wandering through shopping streets, just soaking up life somewhere different.

 7 reasons why you should travel on your birthday.

It takes away birthday stress.

Birthdays can be stressful when you are having to plan a celebration or when you are hoping someone plans one for you. Instead you plan a trip earlier in the year, save for it and go experience something new.

caye caulkeer belize

Caye Caulker, Belize

It Lets You Create Incredible Memories

Whether you are creating memories lying on a beach somewhere beautiful, wandering the streets of an ancient town or hiking the hills of some exotic location you are building a set of super memories that are forever attached to your birthday.

caye caulker belize

It Makes You Look Forward To Your Birthday

When you are a child the countdown to your birthday is so exciting, you can hardly wait for it to arrive. As you get older there is a certain dread of each approaching birthday as it merely signifies getting even older.

When you attach a trip to your birthday you become that excited child again and your birthday becomes something exciting that you look forward to, whether you are flying somewhere exciting or driving to a B&B in the mountains with a stack of books and a bag full of snacks.

You Can Take Advantage Of Birthday Discounts

There are so many fantastic birthday discounts and surprises that you can take advantage of when you travel, from free hotel nights to airline upgrades to complimentary bottles of champagne. (and many, many more!) So why not take advantage of them??

Florence view

Florence Italy, December 17 2015

You Can Have Amazing Adventures

You can attach incredible adventures to your birthday. Maybe you go parasailing in the Greek Islands on your birthday, or ride camels in the desert in Dubai, go scuba diving or hot air ballooning – why not do something truly amazing on your birthday?

Cestius Pyramid, Rome

You Can Take Something Off Your Bucket List

Most of us have a bucket list of some sort. Why not use the year ahead to plan out doing something from that list on your birthday? What better excuse could you have to actually do something on the list, and what better time to do it?

Morocco has been on my bucket list for ages. I am already thinking about going there for my birthday next year. Why not?


Travel Birthdays Last Longer

Sure there is only one actual day, but you have built this entire trip around your birthday so your celebration starts on the way to the airport and ends when you land back home again. If you take all that time to celebrate yourself, to celebrate what makes you unique, to celebrate your hopes and dreams, to celebrate your accomplishments and failures (the celebration of which turns them into accomplishments) just think how fantastic the year ahead will be! Just imagine how great this is for your personal sense of positive self awareness…

We travel to meet new people. We travel to learn about different customs and cultures. We travel for the experience. Why not make your next birthday a traveling experience?

Conde Nast Traveler 20 Best Airlines In The World

I found this article, written by Tim Winship, on Smarter Travel.

I travel all the time and do multiple international flights per year, so when I saw the headline about the 20 best airlines in the world I had to check it out and see who made the top spots. Most international carriers do a completely average to below average job. Service is meh. Food is worse than meh. Comfort level in economy class is negligible. So when you board a flight on a really great international carrier you are aware of it on so many levels. And it is fantastic!

I was really excited to see my country’s airline making the top spot. If you ever get the opportunity you should take a flight on Air New Zealand. As far as flying experiences go, this airline just cannot be beaten. Of course I’m madly patriotic and super proud of Air New Zealand! They win so many awards every year, and its not hard to see why. But there are 19 more airlines on the list, so lets check them out:

The 20 Best Airlines In The World

Every year, Conde Nast Traveler gets a lot of mileage out of its Readers’ Choice Awards, slicing and dicing feedback from 300,000 travelers into a dizzying array of categories, sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories. Not only is there a ranking of the best cities in the world, there’s also a list of the best small cities in the U.S. The world’s best hotels are named, sure. But also the top 10 hotels in Europe, and in Northern Asia, and in Eastern Mexico, and in Florence.

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Let’s go right to the top of the taxonomic pyramid and see what the publication’s readers had to say about airlines, and not just regional airlines based east of the Mississippi with name begins with ‘S.’ We’re interested in the best of the best, no qualifiers: The World’s Best Airlines.

According to the travel-savvy group that comprises Conde Nast’s survey base, the world’s 20 best are as follows:

 air new zealand

Come fly the friendly skies

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. Singapore Airlines
  4. Emirates
  5. Swiss
  6. Virgin Australia
  7. Virgin Atlantic
  8. Asiana
  9. Aegean
  10. Cathay Pacific
  11. Korean Air
  12. Qantas
  13. All Nippon Airways (ANA)
  14. Finnair
  15. Turkish Airlines
  16. Etihad
  17. Japan Airlines
  18. EVA Air
  19. Lufthansa
  20. KLM

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And in the Best U.S. Airline category, readers voted as follows:

  1. Virgin America
  2. JetBlue
  3. Alaska Airlines
  4. Hawaiian Airlines
  5. Sun Country

There are no great surprises in the results of either ranking, although Singapore’s fall from its longtime perch atop the list is a reminder that airlines can’t rest on their laurels. The dominance of Asian and Middle Eastern carriers is the continuation of two established trends, the former of long standing, the latter more recent. If anything stood out from the results, it was the appearance on the World’s Best list of Aegean, the smallish Greek carrier. Among the domestic airlines, the only significant change was Southwest’s replacement in the fifth spot by Sun Country, the Minneapolis-based leisure carrier.

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