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Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

Atlanta, GA
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36 posts
8 reviews
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Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

I am going to New Orleans with my husband and friends for New Years and the Sugar Bowl. Everyone I talk to keeps telling me to make sure I wear shoes I expect to get ruined. I have been to New Orleans before (although probably 5 years ago), and I do not remember the streets being that dirty. Are people just exaggerating, or are the streets so dirty that I will need throw away shoes for the trip?

Cleveland, Ohio
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338 posts
15 reviews
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1. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

The streets aren't really THAT horrible. The issue in the quarter (and forgive me because it may be everywhere else in new orleans too) is that they use hoses to clean off the sidewalk which makes it smell pretty rank and there is usually "garbage juice" everywhere.

The best footwear I have found is at payless. The link may work, but they were wedges like this, but more athletic. They were comfy, moderately stylish, and I didn't worry about then being ruined.

http://www.payless.com/store/product/detail.jsp?skuId=074000050&productId=66384&subCatId=cat10275&catId=cat10088&lotId=074000&catdisplayName=Womens+

I wouldn't rule out flip flops...but I don't know if I personally would wear them

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483 posts
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2. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

I walk in the Quarter almost every day and the only thing I worry about is turning my ankle on the uneven sidewalks...NO clogs! But, I have never had to throw away shoes because of rankness.

Early morning they do hose the sidewalks and the street cleaners clean the streets but that does not mean you have to step in puddles. Now all that said, late night Bourbon Street is not my scene, I would rather be on Frenchmen Street early for some great music.

College Station...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
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13,150 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

My pre-Katrina advice was similar to that of your friends. However, during our 2010 Mardi Gras and Halloween visits, which included peak crowd period walks down Bourbon Street and miles of other French Quarter walking, my wife and I noticed little street soiling on our shoes. Although it has been somewhat of a political football, after hearing post-Katrinathe City potential vistor fears of filth, the Citty has made a sincere and succesful effort to clean the street trash and nasty sludge. Also, post-Katrina street and sidewalk improvements have decresed some, but not all, of the standing water problems.

All that being said, you will be dealing with old, uneven and sometimes crowded sidewalks. Wear durable and comfortable (senseable) shoes that can stand up to a little steping on and dampness. If you do NOLA right, you will be on your feet a lot.

Moncton, Canada
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6,479 posts
48 reviews
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4. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

The only thing you have to worry about is comfort. Chances are you'll be doing a lot!!! of walking, and the sidewalks are uneven and cracked, but besides that, you have nothing to worry about. There is some horse/mule poop on the streets themselves from the carriage rides, but they are easily avoidable!! :)

Cliff Island, Maine
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3,437 posts
35 reviews
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5. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

Ruined shoes? i've been going to the French Quarter for years and have never had any shoes ruined. I always wear comfortable sneakers and have never had an issue.

Tucson, Arizona
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1,675 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

Sneakers or comfortable walking shoes are fine. As others have mentioned, pay attention to where you are walking as I've found myself almost falling (sober), when not looking for uneven cracks, chunks and upheavals in the sidewalks.

My major concern, more than the streets, are hotel room floors, especially if you are in a walk-up or on a low story. Some hotels may not clean their carpets for a long spell, so I always make sure to have socks or flip flops on at ALL times while in my room to keep the shoe-tracked-in street grunge off of ME.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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530 posts
142 reviews
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7. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

Just bring shoes you wear all the time; comfortable ones that your feet are use to :)

AR
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3,633 posts
9 reviews
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8. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

I live in the Quarter and wear any type of shoe I please depending on the occasion: Sandals, boots, heels, loafers, etc. When I used to visit though, I always brought 3-4 different pairs of shoes and changed often to let my feet rest from the pressure points of one pair. I have literally walked some of my shoes to death, ( and still do...it is a walking kind of place)but have never ruined a pair just from casual wear in the Quarter.

AR
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3,633 posts
9 reviews
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9. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

p.s. I live on Bourbon St. and do stay out late!

New Orleans...
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2,281 posts
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10. Re: Proper Footwear for the French Quarter

A "ruined pair of shoes" is sorta true at Mardi Gras IF you're hanging out on Bourbon Street all day on Fat Tuesday. Otherwise, it's just another "urban legend" floating around out there.