Ladies, let’s talk about shoes. Fellas don’t leave me just yet this concerns you as well, plus I promise no Blahnik or Louboutin talk (ladies are you impressed I know them?).
Mostly I’m concerned about you. You flew many miles and spent tons of money to come visit us in Costa Rica. You’re probably packing cameras, iPhones or iPads worth hundreds or thousands of dollars so you can capture great memories of all those places you spent hours meticulously researching, and yet despite all this research your main shoe choices seem to be flip-flops.
I’m going to go ahead and assume this is some sort of information black hole that even Google can’t penetrate because I can’t conceive that if you’d done your research you would do this consciously. So I’m here to help you out. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against flip-flops, in fact I’m wearing some as I write, they just make terrible travel footwear, especially in Costa Rica.
Since you’ve done your research you know we have some infrastructure issues, mostly regarding terrible roads. A logical extension would be that if the roads are bad than the sidewalks are as well. Yep. Awful. Missing manhole covers, missing paving stones, sudden level changes or just the absence of sidewalks all together are routine sites in any town in Costa Rica. All these things could potentially lead to bodily harm or at the very least toe-ily harm, especially when you’re busy looking up at every corner for a street sign that isn’t there to guide you to your hotel.
Then there’s the rain. Ewe. There’s nothing quite as foul as getting caught in the rain in the city in open toed shoes. Remember those infrastructure problems—not just sidewalks and roads, but often waste-water and rain water issues too. Eeeewe! Since most of the worst flip-flop offenders seem to come during North-American summer please take into account that it’s rainy season for us ’round here. You’re much better using those waterproof shoes you wear in winter or hiking or when it rains there.
Also Jimmy Buffet warned us against flip-flop-failure related injuries while drinking in paradise back in the late ’70′s (kids Google Margaritaville Lyrics) so we really should heed a wise man’s advice and wear shoes that are less prone to sudden failure. College kids I’m talking to you. Parents, I’ll take the time your kids are using to Google Jimmy Buffet to remind you our legal drinking age is 18, sorry.
Ok the ranting is over. You may pack your flip-flops, just don’t use them as you walk-around shoes. You can use them on or around most of our beaches, as was intended by the flip-flop deity. Of course you may want to just go barefoot, as I prefer, in the sand. If you are on a plane, a bus, sidewalk, zip-line or volcano you really should have something more substantial. You can compromise with a set of all-terrain sandals, but I still recommend something with a toe guard (Keen & Teva make some really nice ones) for hiking and urban environments.
Now that you are properly prepped in the way of footwear I’ll leave you with some other travel tidbits. You will pleasantly surprised to find out that unlike some other Latin-American destinations our water is very drinkable so there’s no need to worry about that. Bring your own sunblock because it’s crazy expensive here. Bring a good hat and sunglasses. Someone please tell what else you guys are carrying in those backpacks? If you are planning on spending time in the central valley or the mountains you will be plenty comfortable in jeans year round, they are also much more socially acceptable than shorts, particularly for men.
Finally, you can get flip-flops just about anywhere, including most grocery stores, just in case you should find yourself making an impromptu Margaritaville fan video for Youtube.