Talk of The Town: May 2024

Supermodel, You Better Walk!

RuPaul’s 1993 hit actually admonished listeners to work, but with warmer temperatures finally here, now is the time to hit the runway—or the path, or the pavement, or wherever you like to walk! So this month, Talk of the Town is talking about walking, from the best shoes to the best walking and hiking trails around the world.

It’s All About The Feet

Although walking doesn’t require expensive equipment, investing in a good pair of shoes will make your walks safer and more comfortable. And, if your walking tends to the supermodel-esque with some twirling and sashaying, we have stylish options as well. Here’s our curated list of the best shoes for walking.

The Hoka Clifton 9 is the Best Overall Shoe from Runner’s World. They like the cushioning, light weight, and overall design—but caution that it’s not a good pick for overpronators. Their Best Value pick for 2024 is the Asics GT-1000 11, cited for its durable cushioning and midsole support.

BBC Countryfile selected the Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX as their Best Walking Shoe. They fault the shoe’s style (RuPaul, take note!), but laud its flexibility, grip, comfort, and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane.

For style that goes from pounding pavement to after-work dining, New York Magazine recommends the affordable VenusCelia Comfort Walking Flat Loafers for women and the splurge-worthy Wolf & Shepherd Monaco Loafers for men.

If you’re more of a hiker than a walker, the Merrell Moab 3 is top-rated by many, including Outdoor Living magazine that selected the shoe as its Most Comfortable Hiking Shoe. The Moab 3 also comes as a midrise boot with waterproof Gore-Tex membrane.

Walking To See The World

Tracing its history to medieval times, the Camino de Santiago is a network of roads and paths that all lead to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. Historically a pilgrimage route, it now attracts people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds. One of the most traveled routes is the Camino Frances that stretches from France across the Iberian Peninsula to Santiago de Compostela. The last 65 miles is the most popular section; starting in Sarria and winding its way through charming villages amidst the gently rolling hills of Galicia, this route usually takes 5 to 7 days to walk.

Around the world and here in the USA, there are many other paths awaiting discovery. Here are some to spark your wanderlust:

  • Encompassing a 3 to 5-day hike at elevations close to 14,000 feet, Peru’s Inca Trail ends on a high note—with a spectacular bird’s eye view of Machu Picchu from the ancient Royal Sun Gate! A number of outfitters offer guided trips with porters to carry all your gear and equipment.
  • Traversing France, Italy and Switzerland, the 103-mile Tour du Mont Blanc promises breathtaking Alpine vistas as you circumnavigate the highest mountain in the French Alps. Starting and ending in the popular ski resort of Chamonix, the various trails that make up the circuit originated as old shepherd paths. It generally takes 7 to 11 days to complete, and en route accommodations must be booked in advance. With more than 30,000 feet in elevation gain and loss, the route requires good physical fitness, but it is possible to hike gentler, shorter sections of the circuit.
    Farther to get to but easier to do, the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Trail in Sydney, Australia is a gorgeous 3.5-mile walk with beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs, and cafes to stop in along the way. Although it can be completed in two hours, why not make it a full day to enjoy a swim at each of the beaches en route!
  • The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island pre-dates by centuries the wealthy industrialists who built their 19th-century mansions on the island. Now designated a National Recreation Trail, the 3.5-mile trail offers unforgettable views of the rocky New England coast.

Embrace Your Inner Supermodel

There are moments in life when you may want to heed RuPaul’s advice—and just strut your stuff! When your inner diva is calling to get out, here’s some inspiration from actors who worked it onscreen.

Although she nearly face-plants, Sandra Bullock’s emergence after her makeover in Miss Congeniality is bold, sassy and powerful. A bit more low-key, Anne Hathaway’s post-makeover, on-the-way-to-work walk in The Devil Wears Prada exudes a similar confidence.

And who can forget the opening from Saturday Night Fever as John Travolta swaggers his way to the paint store where he works? Though others might question his weekday life and living at home, he is purpose, coolness and self-control personified. Although there may be an element of self-parody, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson projected the same confidence when they hit the catwalk as their Zoolander alter-egos at Paris Fashion Week in 2015.

In full drag and thigh-high, stiletto-heeled red boots, Chiwetel Ejiofor saunters onto the Milan runway in the 2005 film Kinky Boots. Belting out These Boots Are Made For Walkin’, he invites his fellow cabaret dancers (turned footwear models) onto the catwalk to save the day—and the shoe factory.

So what’s the common element for all these spectacular runway-style walks? Confidence, purpose, and being true-to-yourself. Of course, sunglasses, fabulous footwear, and the right soundtrack can only help!

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