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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Shoes in Great Britain by Kali on 7 April 2003 5:25am
Hey, new person here....Hello everyone!

Anyway, I'm going to the U.K. next month, and I heard that wearing sneakers in Britain will instantly mark me as an Ugly American. Is this true?

....Wow, now that I've typed it, this question seems pretty silly. :) But I worry about these kinds of things. Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Re: Shoes in Great Britain by MissTrixiB on 7 April 2003 5:40am
Actually...it's NOT a silly question. More and more people are wearing 'trainers' there now, but make sure they aren't like your basic athletic shoe. I wore some comfy dress shoes and some nice trainers. Some night clubs won't allow you in if you're not wearing the proper shoes (you can pick up a copy of 'Time Out' at Marks and Spencer....that'll give you the low down on things to do, dress codes etc...). The cobble stones can be pretty rough if you don't have the right shoes. I usually get Aersoles....they have some nice dressy styles, but are very comfy as well. Really utilize the Underground and don't be afraid to walk places. There are some really glorious walks there. If you're staying for a week, get the week long tube pass for both zones 1 & 2. I pick mine up right at Victoria Station...just go to a picture booth there for your photo. It'll save you quite a bit of money and will be well worth it. Enjoy!
Re: Shoes in Great Britain by JK on 7 April 2003 5:49am
If you walk down any high street in England, I`d say that the overwhelming majority of teens to people in their mid-20`s will be wearing trainers as we call them. Failing that, it`ll be designer shoes or boots. As MissTrixiB said though, if you wish to do the whole clubbing thing, then go for the latter .
Re: Shoes in Great Britain by JK on 7 April 2003 6:01am
Just one other thing if you wish to remain fairly inconspicuous over here - be mindful of the level at which you`re conversing. That`s one thing that invariably gives an American away here and its highly noticeable if you`re perusing the delights of a museum or gallery for instance.

Another thing - although the Underground is a handy way of getting about town, it also has its downsides. There are scores of pickpockets and refugees who`ll rob you blind, so its only prudent to be cautious of your valuables.
Re: Shoes in Great Britain by MissTrixiB on 7 April 2003 6:09am
Oh yes! Thank you for mentioning the voice level. We came across a couple of situations where we were embarrassed to admit being from The States because of other tourists behavior. I'm from an area of the country where we tend to be a bit more low key (for the most part). My husband and I were mistaken for either being European or Canadian (once we spoke).
Another good tip-Pick up the guides Cheap Sleeps in London and The Irreverant Guide to London. Both are wonderful and Cheap Sleeps has many good tips on how to 'blend in'.
(should we start our own guide JK?)
Re: Shoes in Great Britain by Layla on 7 April 2003 11:03am
in Ireland we call trainers "runners" - and I think that Americans that are a bit older instantly stand out as they always have really white ones. Also you can spot an American a mile away as they are more tanned usually and the older generation wears more trendy clothes than Europeans do I think! Of course JK is right - part of the stereoptpye of an American is that he is very loud and talks about very personal things in a very loud voice. Of course this is just a stereotype and I've met lots of quiet ones! So don't worry!
Re: Shoes in Great Britain by fattcslim on 7 April 2003 2:42pm
i must be a ugly american as well then kali, i wear trainers all the time, why worry about what people think anyway, enjoy your visit to our loverly yet cold an wet country
Re: Shoes in Great Britain by Kali on 8 April 2003 9:08am
Thanks for the advice everyone!!


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