When I spent five months in Asia in late-2010 there was one set of items in my packing list that went through more torture than any other. Not my shirts, pants, or even my expensive and fragile electronics.
The items in my packing list that went through the most torment were simply my walking shoes and flip flops.
From long hikes in the mud, the flip flops being stolen by a dog on a beach in Thailand, to an immeasurable number of puddles and miles walked, my shoes were really put to the test. What else goes through such wear and tear when walking more than a thousand miles over the course five months? Nothing we know of.
So when we began putting together our packing list for our upcoming 14-18 month trip around the world we knew that having the right pair of shoes was going to be the most crucial decision we would make. After all, if I walked over a thousand miles on a five month trip, an adventure three times as long is going to provide three times more wear and tear to whatever goes on our feet.
Obviously, we didn't take our shoe choice lightly.