TV Fashion: Samantha Brown of The Travel Channel
Footwear for on-the-go
As host of various travel guides, Brown finds herself in the enviable position of having to dress for virtually every type of event and climate - from black-tie parties on luxurious cruise ships to traversing some of the world's most remote beaches. And while we're sure she'd rather we focus on her ability to dress elegantly even after a long day's journey, we've decided to focus on her choice of footwear in the sand - flip-flops and sandals.
Though not particularly sophisticated, flip-flops are the perfect footwear for warm-weather travel. They're comfortable, simple and stylish and take up virtually no room in your suitcase. Brown makes them work in every setting, whether it be wandering the streets of Rio de Janeiro or walking the thong-laden beaches of Ipanema. They're the next best thing to being barefoot.For the uninitiated - that means anyone who's never met a Nike they didn't like - a sandal traditionally has a strap securing the sole to your ankle, while a flip-flop is totally dependent on the lone strip of fabric, leather or rubber nestled between your big toe and its immediate neighbor, which then splits off and is connected to the midsole. The latter works for casual meandering, but it's totally useless if the terrain becomes challenging - or if there is the chance, like Jimmy Buffett, that you'll step on a pop top.
A great source for all things flip-flop and sandals is www.flipfloptrunkshow.com. With styles ranging from $10 to $400, its selection is amazingly varied but always stylish. It carries everything from beautifully simple Matt Bernson dupioni silk sandals for $125 to glitzy, crystal-laden Mystique Bauble sandals for $165. Most - even the cheapies - can be paired with evening wear if you plan to stroll the sand at midnight.But when you plan to hike off the beaten path - as Brown often does - take along sport sandals, a fairly recent addition to the field of footwear. Made of modern tech-supported materials, sport sandals - like those from Teva - feature soles similar to those of hiking boots but with uppers made of nylon and rubber, making them capable of handling treks through rivers, streams, mud and whatever else Mother Nature puts in your path.
Though frighteningly unstylish, they tend to be amazingly comfortable and sturdy and keep your feet cool and sun-kissed. Women's styles like Pretty Rugged 2, which retail for $70, or the very aggressive Karnali Wraptor at $100, with its toe protection and quick-release buckles, work well for climbing mountains and walking all over travel agents - something our girl knows a little about.