Top Nine Types of Shoes for Living as an Expat in Costa Rica

By: Carole Jean Connolly-Shaw

Shoes! I’m all about the shoes. It started with Bonnie in Brooklyn. We were best friends growing up in the projects in the 1950s. Post WWII, our families were struggling to build foundations for new starts. Money was scarce; our parents worked hard, yet, we were given weekly allowances, which we saved until we had enough to go shoe-shopping at E.J. Korvette’s bargain basement. We bought samples for a dollar; the jeweled shoes brought glamour and joy.

Over the years, I have continued my quest for unique shoes. When preparing to move to Costa Rica, I erroneously thought I was giving up the shoe thing. I gave most of them away and then started re-building when I realized my mistake. Starting with the least important, here are the nine essential types of shoes to include in a move to Costa Rica:

9. Crocs for gardening – I don’t garden, but if I did, I would want Crocs. They are ugly as sin, but a lot, really, a whole lot, of people like them. I like that my son went to school with the guy who invented them. While a student at University of Pennsylvania/Wharton School of Business, smart kids learn how to market stuff. Tyler’s classmate hit it right with Crocs. I would say, like most products in the world today, you can get a knock-off that will work, but the original is still the best. Bring your own Crocs from home. They will cost more here, and the quality may be inferior. Of course, here in Costa Rica, there are fabulous gardeners who work hard and well tending your garden. They know the terrain, weather conditions, and they do magic with a machete. Bring Crocs for your gardener. Mostly they prefer to wear boots in case a snake in the grass tries to bite them. Bring Crocs to wear in the garden while checking on your gardener’s work.

8. Hiking boots – Depending on the area, time of year, time of day, and weather conditions, I suggest full coverage when walking through tall grass, the favorite daytime habitat for snakes. There are several varieties of poisonous snakes in Costa Rica, the most deadly being the fer-de-lance or terciopolis. If you have a sturdy pair they can double for construction boots in case you decide to build your own house, or if you get lost while hiking, you can construct a shelter.

7. Rain boots – The rainy season is May through November. It can rain torrents for days on end. Gringos tend to have big feet compared to ticos, so bring your own rain boots. A funny thing happened at the Alajuela Feria the other day; a shoe vendor was hawking his wares, trying to entice us into his booth, where he had men’s shoes displayed on racks. I pointed at my husband’s feet, and explained that he wears a size thirteen. The Spanish speaking shoe vendor’s jaw dropped, then his face lit up as the two of us had a good laugh. I turned to Don and explained in English, and he joined in the laughter. Bring your own!

6. Cowboy Boots – these come in handy if you go horseback riding. I rubbed the skin off the inside of my calf a few years ago. A tico was riding his horse on the beach in Marbella. He saw me perk up at the sight of him galloping on the stretch of wide-open, deserted, smooth sand, and asked me if I wanted to ride. I did! Being an experienced rider, I jumped on the horse in my bathing suit and flip-flops without giving it a thought. The horse took off at a full gallop, and no amount of pulling back on the rope reins or shouting had any effect whatsoever. It occurred to me that he simply didn’t speak English, but at the time, my Spanish was lacking (as though that would have stopped him). I gave up and decided to just hang on, enjoy the ride, and wait for the horse to get tired. When we got back to the owner, I dismounted, thanked the smiling man profusely for the ride, and watched as he rode away in full control. It was only after he was out of sight that I dared look at my stinging legs. There was no skin left on the inside of my calves! It was worth it, even though it took months to heal. Next time? Boots!

Oh yeah. The other reason to bring cowboy boots is for the annual Atenas Chili Cook-off. My team, Roca Caliente, dresses the part; boots and cowboy hats!

5. Water shoes – If you are going swimming at a beach with a rocky entrance you will be happy you brought water shoes, especially if you just had a pedicure and your feet are extra sensitive. I didn’t have any once when visiting the luxurious Los Suenos Resort. I had been treated to the deluxe pedicure which includes a thorough treatment of sloughing off dead skin and getting down to the tender, pink layer. It wasn’t until I was in agony at the water’s edge of a Guanacaste beach the next day. The beach itself was made of coral and crunched up shells, and the inelegant entry I made into the water embarrassed me, not to mention sent shards of pain up my legs. Once in the water, I shouted to my companion to bring my flip-flops. I always thought water shoes were dorky and didn’t want to own any. I have changed my tune on that. Besides, they now come in colors such as hot pink, lime green, and electric blue. Dorky is the new cool!

4. Wedgies – Shoe people know what I’m talking about; especially “height-challenged” people. There are times when high heels are difficult, yet you need a shoe with height because otherwise your pants will drag on the ground.

3. Running Shoes – especially if you are actually a runner. There are running clubs all over the country; Hash House Harriers has a group in San Jose. My first and last experience with Hash House Harriers, “The Beer Drinking Club with a Running Problem”, was in Hawaii sometime in the 1970s. I was young, feisty, fit, and confident. Most of the club consisted of military guys stationed in Oahu. I was a flight attendant for Trans International Airlines, laying over on the way to the Philippines. I told Marc, who invited me on the run, the only thing I dreaded was coming in dead last. He assured me that I would. Determined to prove him wrong, I ran with all my might. As I stumbled over the finish line, I looked up at Marc: “Am I last?” Lips pursed, head bobbing slightly, he said: “Yup! Let’s go drink beer!” Forty years later, I have never again run with the Hash House Harriers, but I encourage you to!

2. Flip-flops – They come in many forms and can be worn to almost everything. Along with the “no shorts” rule in the city of San Jose, I tend to wear proper (closed) shoes in the city. Other than that, they can be worn anywhere, with any outfit. Stock up before coming, especially if your feet are on the larger side. My shoe arsenal has flat ones in a variety of colors, stacked ones with rhinestones for more formal occasions, sturdy ones for walking on rough terrain such as rocky roads, and gold lame with jewels for the holidays.

1. And the number one type of shoes to bring to Costa Rica: Stilettos! Huh? Really? And to think, I gave away dozens before moving to Costa Rica. I didn’t know. Before moving to Costa Rica as a full-time expat, I spent most of my time at the beach community of Nosara. The beach lifestyle is mostly barefoot; flip-flops are the shoe of choice, with the occasional donning of running shoes if you are going running on roads instead of barefoot at the beach.

My husband and I moved to Atenas, a Central Valley community not far from San Jose. On my first outing to the town, I saw women in dresses or nice jeans with blouses and on their feet - stilettos! My jaw dropped as I watched them maneuver the uneven sidewalks and streets riddled with potholes, cracked cement, tree roots, uneven brickwork, crazy staircases, wooden ramps, and the occasional horse-dung pile. I didn’t see myself going to that extreme, but certainly if we drove to a restaurant or house party, I could make it from the car to the destination, couldn’t I?

Determined to re-build my stiletto stash, I found a shoe boutique in town, purchased a modest pair, and made a dinner reservation at the nicest place in town. The gravel road leading to the restaurant was hazardous, so we made a plan: I carried a large purse which housed my lipstick and the shoes. I wore flip-flops to the edge of the smooth walkway leading to the restaurant. My husband, Don, promised to be Prince Charming and place the shoes on my feet before entering the restaurant. There were two problems: it was dark, and the never-been-worn shoes had four straps with tiny little holes for the prongs to fit into. They were factory tight. As dexterous as he is, he had trouble lining up the connections. He pulled out his iPhone, turned on the built-in flashlight which he handed to me to train on the straps. He donned his reading glasses, got down on bended knee, for better leverage, got those shoes buckled up, wiped the sweat off his brow, and off we went. We entered the dining room of what we were told was a five star restaurant, and saw that we were the only guests, other than the huge dog sleeping in the corner.

I proudly strutted to the table in my new shoes, crossed my legs with my foot sticking into the aisle to show off the ‘choos’, ordered a martini, and enjoyed the moment to the fullest. The dog perked up when he heard the “click-clack” coming across the tile floor; I‘m not sure he had heard that sound before. This was mostly a gringo place; most gringo expats do not wear stilettos. I have since discovered the tico places where my shoes and I fit right in. Next thing you know, I’ll be zip-lining in stilettos!

About the author

Expat Blog ListingCarole Jean Connolly-Shaw is an American expat living in Costa Rica. Blog description: Busted flat in California, two baby boomer newlyweds strike out for a new life in Costa Rica. Life as an expat as well as adventures in the many colorful careers of Carole Jean - stewardess, real estate agent, dancer.
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Contest Comments » There are 106 comments

Going Like Sixty wrote 10 years ago:

Hi Neighbor. Fun read... even for a guy who owns just two pairs of shoes and only wears flip flops. (But of course, I admire the stilletos everyday!)

Not Me! wrote 10 years ago:

Well, I don't know about you, but I refuse to wear stilettos no matter what country I'm in! Works for her, though.

Linda G wrote 10 years ago:

I signed up for your emails that come to my inbox when you post a blog. They are so entertaining and also informative. Keep them coming!

Michele Clutter wrote 10 years ago:

Comfort. I am for comfort, not glamour, so stilettos are completely out for me. Besides I have seen too many people with shattered ankles from just stepping off the curbs wrong in Costa Rica but good luck to you with them.

Patricia A Hanson wrote 10 years ago:

While I have an aversion to the 5+ inch stilettos the fashion and the orthopedic surgeon industries are promoting these days (43,000 fractures from high heels alone in 2012 including Lady GaGa); this girl can blog! Whether you are considering vacationing in Costa Rica or moving there .. or just want upbeat reflections of island life and love .. do follow Carol's capers! This expat blog is a must.

Jack wrote 10 years ago:

I love your shoes. They are always interesting. Never figure out how you can walk in stilettos. Sandals are all I can master. Keep up thegreat blogging.

Jen Seymour wrote 10 years ago:

Carole Jean - I love your blog, and same goes for this post as well! As you know, I've only been in Costa Rica for 6 months, but absolutely love it here. I don't read too many blogs, but I DO read yours! Excellent post on shoes…. although I personally have not gotten any stiletto's yet… maybe that day will come soon. :) Cheers & good luck on this contest!!

Marissa wrote 10 years ago:

Stilettos!! hahahhah you crazy girl! Some things never change :) xo

Colette wrote 10 years ago:

Your a brave woman to rock stilettos on those uneven sidewalks. Watch out for the snakes!

Jan Nicholas wrote 10 years ago:

THIS is one of the must fun and interesting blogs I follow. I think the woman writes with passion, humor and a deep sense of being connected to her expat community. It is fun to read. This blog is worth the win in your contest.

Miracle Max wrote 10 years ago:

A well written blog(and true love)is the greatest thing, in the world - except for a nice MLT- mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. There so perky, I love that. I also love reading Carole's Costa Rica Expat blog -- as you wish.

Jan Yatso wrote 10 years ago:

This blogger is entertaining, informative, and timely. I love the whole stiletto thing. i wouldn't be caught dead in them, but she can pull it off. Keep blogging, Carole Jean. love it!

Carol E. Sims wrote 10 years ago:

Carole Jean, reading your blog definitely puts a smile on my face. As far as the stilettos, I will get vicarious pleasure out of your wearing them and not me! I'm trying to stay upright and my days of high heels (not even stilettos!) are long gone. Keep the entertaining posts coming!

Bill Cahill wrote 10 years ago:

This is an excellent article, as are all Carle's articles, written from her unique perspective. Everybody should read these informative articles.

CMT wrote 10 years ago:

I also love 'choos'. Having lived in South America as a child, I heard it pronounced that way long before Jimmy's arrival on the market. Great reading!

DonJuan wrote 10 years ago:

Size 13? Yes, it is a challenge to find large shoes in Costa Rica. Having been to the Alajuela Feria, I can just see the shoe vendor's face when he looked at this guy's feet. These are things you don't think about when packing for Costa Rica. Very informative blog. And funny.

Webbed Feet wrote 10 years ago:

I agree about the water shoes. Original thinking about footwear. She deserves a prize just for this part. I never thought about water shoes.

Costa Ready wrote 10 years ago:

Magic with a machete is good. I heard people in Costa Rica walk around everywhere with machetes strapped to the their belts. This blogger is informative and entertaining. A winner!

Corinne Loveland wrote 10 years ago:

Such a clever structure for an essay! I enjoyed this a lot.

Ivo Henfling wrote 10 years ago:

I know a lot of expats in Costa Rica who blog well but Carole Jean will win this with her hands on her back. Carole is not only the most knowledgeable person about being an expat in Atenas, she write about it with more heart than anybody I know. Keep up the great work Carole!

Micki Price-Savage wrote 10 years ago:

Carole Jean, your blog is amazing! I look forward to reading them and know I'm going to learn something new and laugh along the way. I can't believe you still wear stilettos!

Jean Castle wrote 10 years ago:

Love this blogger! Unique way of looking at the world and her viewpoints always make me chuckle and leave a smile on my face!

Mary Citrano wrote 10 years ago:

I LOVE Carole's blog! It's just like she is right here telling her stories! As for shoes, although I like cute shoes, comfort is king! And I can't risk a broken ankle!!!

Mark wrote 10 years ago:

Hash House Harriers? Whoa, that brings back a lot of memories. I didn't know they were still in existence. Maybe because I continued with the beer drinking, but gave up the running part. I, too, am an expat living in Costa Rica. I don't own running shoes. Don't want them. I'm sticking with the flip-flops. I want to see this ziplining in stilettos stunt.Good blogger!

To ME, I agree with you on the standard Crocs are ugly but I think they have over 200 designs for women, men & kids now. Croc's aren't just for the garden!! Crocs is perfect for LOTS of things!! The old fashioned ones are GREAT to wear in the water!! They're great for Rainy/Muddy Season (as long as the grooves aren't worn down - then they're like ice skating)! They clean off REALLY easily/well! Your feet do NOT sweat or stink! They're great for people with funny shaped feet as there's a trick to "mold" them to your feet. They're INCREDIBLE for anyone with problems in their back, legs, hips, feet, ankles+!! (why do you think nursing & waiter associations approved them??!!) But for ME, MOST of all, my weak ankled feet in Crocs HUG the uneven sidewalks & dirt roads of Costa Rica. Before Crocs I was falling/spraining my ankles regularly!! Now - I just go down when I'm not walking & there's something sticking out of no where or a hole!! I did an article on them on my blog - http://

Costa Rica Boomer wrote 10 years ago:

This is hysterical! I like the part about the Crocs. Ugly as sin, indeed. And now, can you believe you can even get them at Multi-Plaza? Maybe if they come in HOT colors, you will get a pair. I love mine and I use them for everything, not just gardening. This blogger should win for originality!

Anne Ryan-Atkinson wrote 10 years ago:

Carole keep the reality and entertainment coming! It's wonderful to open the computer and there you are and I know I am in for a good laugh, great humour and YOUR very own perspective on life and the wonderful place that you live. You ARE a WINNER!

Geni Thomas wrote 10 years ago:

Love this blog by Carole! I have been following her and laughing and learning about her Costa Rican expat life. This particular blog is especially good for a couple of reasons. Her colorful descriptions and side stories are great visuals. The stilettos tale made perfect sense to me. I too would have worn stilettos to the restaurant having seen someone else pulling that off. And the running shoes - true story! That man was my husband Marc! Not only did Carole pull off the run, she brought along a sun dress to change into for the beer drinking fest afterwards with the Hash House Harriers, while everyone else sat in sweaty shorts. As to Crocs…ugh….

Isa wrote 10 years ago:

Have a daughter, niece and mom who are shoe women too! I love reading your adventures including the "stilettos". Glad to be able to share in some of them as well. You go, girlfriend!

Ben Howlett wrote 10 years ago:

Words spoken from a true expert on shoes! Your blogs are great and are such a treat to read! Keep up the hard work!

Steve Coan wrote 10 years ago:

Such a gifted writer. Now there's talent everyone can admire!

Robin wrote 10 years ago:

What a fun deviation from the normal blog about expat life. Who is this person?

Nicki Bagley wrote 10 years ago:

You have always been about the shoes and now you have a chance to share your shoe stories! Thanks for taking us on your journey in your new home.

Colette Reuter wrote 10 years ago:

I love reading Carole's blog. She not only writes with humor, she also writes from the perspective of one who really knows the country well. Keep blogging Carole Jean!

Nita Lundin wrote 10 years ago:

A great way to start each day! Keep it up and good luck!

Kathleen Moler wrote 10 years ago:

Carole is my most colorful, fun and vivacious friend. We have had so many laughs and I have enjoyed so many of her life stories. After encouraging Carole to write a book about her life, I can now save these very cleaverly written blogs. When I read this blog, many memories of Carole's stelettos come to memory. Although our shoe sizes are the same... Carole never borrowed my shoes and I cannot walk in hers. But, Carole can dance the Salsa like a professional in her flashy blue stelettos! Carole's writing style depicts the Carole I know to a "T"! The best blog I have ever followed! Good luck, Carole!

Cathy Ware wrote 10 years ago:

I am so very proud of you for pairing(!) down your shoe collection! Even though I know the Lucite stilettos are not an everyday choice, I hope you still have them. They too are award winners just like you! Keep on keeping on carrying the torch! Love all your fine writes.

Mary Mac wrote 10 years ago:

I agree about the water shoes. Original thinking about footwear. She deserves a prize just for this part. I never thought about water shoes. Love the visual about the horseback riding on the beach. She should win for being un-boring! Keep the blogs coming. i hope you win.

Sarge wrote 10 years ago:

Great post! You have a future as a blogger, indeed! Agree on your choices of footwear here in CR. Of course, no stilettos for me! I actually sold shoes at REI right after I left the military. It was my first "real" job in over 20 years, ha!

Marie Cubillas wrote 10 years ago:

Carole's blog is a must read! I LOVE reading it. It's the first email I open - it's 100% Carole...funny, heartwarming and thought provoking! Keep bringing Costa Rica and Carole to Santa Cruz!

Sally Bookman wrote 10 years ago:

Eggs and bacon, bread and jam, tea and toast and Carole and Stilettos! Just as a heart makes you think of love, those shiny, crazy, totally unwearable shoes on spikes make me think of Carole. Only she can wear them with such aplomb and then write about them in the sexiest way possible. Loving those blogs!

Gabriela wrote 10 years ago:

An amazing writer, entertainer and so much more! A happy gal and this is reflected in her all she does! Great Story and look forward to many more!

Mardi McRae wrote 10 years ago:

Great read Carole, I love it! And all about #4 and the artificial height!

Chelsea Howlett wrote 10 years ago:

This is the daughter speaking. She certainly isn't kidding about #1. There is evidence of stilettos all over our house. Being a military family we have moved from California to North Carolina to Washington State, all in 13 months and we have been toting 8 pairs of mom's stilettos on every move, which are to be stored for future visits or for our use if we so choose. My husband has chosen not to take her up the offer but I certainly have!

Laura McMurry wrote 10 years ago:

I look forward to each and every blog of yours. Thanks for sharing your fabulous adventures!

David Hilyard wrote 10 years ago:

I love Carole's stories! Always interesting and tinged with humor and fun! Can't wait for the next one!

Don Shaw wrote 10 years ago:

It's difficult to decide which I love more, the blog or the stilettos. They both bring me great joy and I imagine there is some blog writing being done in stilettos. Looking forward to the next "Caper"

Janet Serman wrote 10 years ago:

Love your blogs. They put a smile on my face whenever I get them. I, myself, am not a stiletto person, being 5 ft 9 in. in my bare feet and having had 3 back surgeries, but I admire anyone who can actually walk around in them. Loved that you had at least an appreciative audience of one after all the trouble getting your heels on before entering the restaurant. Keep the blogs coming. You really have a "way with words."

Suzette wrote 10 years ago:

Entertaining AND informative! I loved the "outline" style, each and every vignette highlighting a different aspect of your life in Costa Rica. Miami misses you and your boundless enthusiasm! Don is a true gentleman to get you up and on to those "Choos". No other audience required. Keep these beautiful stories coming!

Susan wrote 10 years ago:

Entertaining AND informative! I loved the "outline" style, each and every vignette highlighting a different aspect of your life in Costa Rica. Miami misses you and your boundless enthusiasm! Don is a true gentleman to get you up and on to those "Choos". No other audience required. Keep these beautiful stories coming!

Lynn Lindley wrote 10 years ago:

Cute post, but you won't find me in a pair of stilettos! Not at 61!

Barbara Townend wrote 10 years ago:

While I have trouble walking in flip flops I have seen Carole Jean strut her stuff through our office as though she were walking the runway. Always positive, always smiling and full of adventure. Who wouldn't enjoy her stories?

Brooke wrote 10 years ago:

Love it! As a fellow shoe aficionado, I can truly appreciate this. You'll never catch me in Crocs but a pair of stilettos is a must even in Atenas.

B Double TT wrote 10 years ago:

Now I can pack my "shoe" bag with confidence when I travel to Costa Rica!

Sheila Nelson wrote 10 years ago:

Hilarious! I'm a croc girl myself, and I do have a pair of hiking boots and I do get a large charge out of watching the beautiful women in their mile high shoes. However, I'm afraid I'd kill myself if I tried to sport a pair of stilettos! Thanks for a delightful blog!

Jeane Harper wrote 10 years ago:

Your blog reads just like you talk....its funny, down to earth, joyful and best 4qs9of all, it's Real. Thanks for that.

Paula wrote 10 years ago:

You give us entertaining reading that merges your upbringing, your working years, your new surroundings and the fun perspective that life has given you. Keep it up!

Colette Reuter wrote 10 years ago:

Not only is this a humorous and interesting blog, you can see that Carole Jean is knowledgeable about living in Costa Rica. Keep blogging Carole!

Judy Snow wrote 10 years ago:

Carole has always been colorful, fun and a little outrageous…her blog reflects all of that. Carole and stilettos were made for each other! Never doing anything unless she gives it 100 percent she has proven herself to be an exceptional writer-her blog is informative, humorous, reflective - I welcome her into my day via her blog and she never fails to put a smile on my face and bring warmth to my heart. This is a lady who is a SURVIVOR and has so much to share….hard to believe but, she is real and ONE OF A KIND….you will be entertained!!! LOVE learning about life in Costa Rica from one who lives it! I'm addicted to dark chocolate and your blog!

Paul Burri wrote 10 years ago:

I had no idea there was so much to say about shoes. If that blog is any indication of how many shoes Carol owns, I wonder if there is any room for his clothes.

Jean Cahill wrote 10 years ago:

Another great blog! I love reading your entertaining and informative stories. I especially like the way you always make them unique by sharing a little of your life story. However, while you look great in your stilettos, comfortable wins every time for me. Please keep sharing your "capers".

Tyler wrote 10 years ago:

Another great entry from a fantastic blogger! Always a informative and funny, and well-written to boot, Carole's Capers is a must-follow for anyone considering leaving the US for the "easy" life in the tropics, or really anyone who can appreciate a good story. Keep up the good work!

Justin W. wrote 10 years ago:

Great post! Now I partly understand the need women have for an excessive amount of shoes. You have made an argument for 10 pairs. It's the other 20 my wife have that take up valuable space.

Finch Eye wrote 10 years ago:

A fun and great blog, I like reading about your experiences in Costa Rica and learning more about the country in general. I also totally agree about the water shoes in the right situations...dorky is definitely the new cool! :)

Maria Sentry wrote 10 years ago:

Reading your blog makes me happy! Your writing captures your spirit which of course comes mainly from your shoes!! Keep up the great work!!

Alex wrote 10 years ago:

If Napoleon had only read Carol's blog, he would surely have smitten the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo! Don't be like Napoleon. Read Carol's amazing blog.

Stefanie B wrote 10 years ago:

I couldn't agree more! Every woman needs a good pair of stilettos no matter where she lives!

Jacquilina Sanders wrote 10 years ago:

Carole YOU are a true writer in the purest sense of the word! Your descriptive & emotional stance is so well taken& so colorful too! Your blogs are incredible and I think you should just make all of them into a BOOK for publishing.. The fer de lance story, the lemon merinque pie...Rockerfeller center in NY are so beautifully written You are a lady of grace & intelligence! Thank-you for your work keeping all of us informed of Costa Rica and its' habitat and your colorful life! Keep em' coming! You are simply the BEST girl! Thanks so much again! Xo Xo Xo

Sally wrote 10 years ago:

First, I must say I too think Crocs are perhaps the worst looking shoes out there! Now knowing they were created by one of Tyler's classmates could make me want to wear them, ( I hear they are very comfortable!). If anyone can pull off stilettos AND get a man on his hands and knees to place them on her feet; it is you!!! So look forward to catching up with you at the wedding. Until then, keep blogging, I'll be reading! My best…Sally

Joel S. wrote 10 years ago:

Practical fashion and words to live by. Throw in a good woman and I'm moving south too.

Judy Timson wrote 10 years ago:

I enjoy reading all of Carol's blog posts - her sense of humor is great!

Joni L wrote 10 years ago:

What about Keens? Those are the only shoes I wear!

Shymala Dason wrote 10 years ago:

What fun! The best part of this is that it's not about shoes at all, really, but about the process of figuring out how to be a stranger in a strange land. It's far easier to write 'seriously' about this than to find a fun, playing, moving metaphor that's also grounded and gets the story told. What's more grounded than shoes? And anyone who's lived in a country they didn't grow up in can totally understand what it really means to have to consciously think through everything, from the ground (shoes) up. Well done! This is a cool and unpretentious blog.

Russ Lowes wrote 10 years ago:

Carole is a great storyteller , her description of the Tico woman maneuvering through the most hazardous of conditions in high heels is almost unbelievable , even when you witness it yourself , this blog was thoroughly entertaining and full of sole ,kudos to you Carole , thanks for the laughter

Julianna Crisman wrote 10 years ago:

That's nuts! In my mind I figured you'd be living in flip flops--and frankly I thought of that as one of the perks of island life. No more heels. Upon further thought, Latin women are usually dressed to the nines. Makes sense now. All the best to you! Keep up the great blogging!

Loving Life wrote 10 years ago:

Hash House Harriers? Whoa, that brings back a lot of memories. I didn't know they were still in existence. Maybe because I continued with the beer drinking, but gave up the running part. I, too, am an expat living in Costa Rica. I don't own running shoes. Don't want them. I'm sticking with the flip-flops. I want to see this ziplining in stilettos stunt.Good blogger!

Don Savage wrote 10 years ago:

This is so really you. I still remember the Christmas fundraiser in Nosara well before you moved to CR where you took off a pair of stilettos and donated them to the charity auction. In rural Costa Rica they brought a high donation.

Thomas E wrote 10 years ago:

I love this blog, you learn something new every time your read it. I'm going to go find the nicest pair of stilettos in town, (I don't have ANY), pull out my tightest pair of jeans, and head on down to CR!

Marina wrote 10 years ago:

All your blogs are my Favorite, could not point to a single one, they make my day, am always bummed when I don’t get one………..keep em coming girl.

Rosemarie Ceraso wrote 10 years ago:

Well from one Bklyn girl to another - now both in Costa Rica - I agree. Next to my 3 pair flip flops, my water shoes and my anti snake boots, is my fav pair stilettos. You can take the girl out of Brooklyn - but you can't take Brooklyn out of the girl! Enjoyed your story -

David wrote 10 years ago:

There is something both brave and open about Lori. Something real. I'm a fan. She is a very human and vulnerable writer.

Barb Aira wrote 10 years ago:

Carole, your Blog is a "must read" for those of us who already live in this delightful Country, or for those who are considering Costa Rica as their new home. We all seem to have those "Perils of Pauline" days here sooner or later, but your wit and writing style enable me to either smile, or laugh right out loud as I visualize each new narrative. Continue "living the life" here and keep up the great work as you share your experiences with us--your readers!

Benjamin Franklin wrote 10 years ago:

"Carol's blog is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Me, founder of the University of Pennsylvania and world's first expat blogger

Isaac W. wrote 10 years ago:

This is just a wonderful idea. Im glad someone has the fortitude to take on such a wonderful path.

Suzie wrote 10 years ago:

Love it love it! I am so envious that you can wear the shoes!!! The Costa Rican women are incredibly elegant in their shoes 24/7 - no matter their circumstances or the day, the shoes say it all. Keep on being that inspiration!!!

Eli W wrote 10 years ago:

So if I ever bring another suitcase down is it gonna be stuffed with stilettos instead of plastic flamingos??

Rhonda Albom wrote 10 years ago:

Wonderful. I love your sense of humor, and your advice. I think I might stand alone on this one, but I love my crocs and don't find them ugly :) As for heels, stilettos, or any kind, they are not for me. I guess if I ever make it there, I will just stay with the other gringos in flats. Thanks for commenting on my post, otherwise I may not have found you.

Eric Mello wrote 10 years ago:

Great blog! Maybe theres a flip flop-stiletto to be made? It could be the next urban sombrero. Pura Vida!

Sara B wrote 10 years ago:

I was in stitches. Carole, you have a great way of entertaining with words and visuals. I just pictured a woman walking in the shoes from each category. It was a respite of fun.

I Am Trendy wrote 10 years ago:

Shoes? I mean Choos? You wrote an expat blog about choos. Well, of couse, you did. You've always been a shoe girl. i swear, you'll be wearing stilettos when you're 90. And doing the salsa. You and Tina Turner. You go, girl! Nice blog.

Somewhere In Costa Rica wrote 10 years ago:

I'm an expat living in Grecia, and I can't believe the ladies who wear the stilettos on the uneven streets and sidewalks. I suppose, if you want to fit in, you wear them, too. Not me. And you, Carole Jean will never pass for tica, in or out of stilettos. I like your style and sense of humor! Or are you not joking about wearing stilettos? Good luck in the contest!

Richard V. wrote 10 years ago:

I keep telling my wife that flip flops are the WORST things she could put her feet. Stilettos? Second worst. But darnit, the women in stilettos always turn a guy's head. And it's not always the shoes, but they help.

Duncan Phyfe wrote 10 years ago:

Bazinga! Glad you didn't recommend bare feet. I cringe when I hear or see somebody traipsing around in their bare feet... even at the beach there are critters that can give you a painful sting. Hope you win.

Tina Newton wrote 10 years ago:

Right on, Carole! So funny, but so, so true! Next, I want to see your comments on salsa-ing in those stilletos! Maybe we should try it in class....

Judi wrote 10 years ago:

Hi, fellow Atenas lady. My high heels were retired when I retired from EDS in Washington, D.C. (1987). My grandson calls me GaGa, so now I know one thing Lady GaGa and I have in common... Fractured bones, however, mine happened wearing Crocs. Too funny.

Pura Vida! wrote 10 years ago:

Carole writes the best ex-pat blog in THE UNIVERSE! Always fun, light, and entertaining, she weaves essential information in at the same time. Keep 'em coming, girl!

20501 wrote 10 years ago:

Pretty much everything has been said, so I'll just add my "you can say that again" to the long list of comments. You struck a nerve it seems.

Katy King wrote 10 years ago:

Carol, You make the whole experience seem like a great life adventure that I want to share with you. You take all of us along on your daily journey and we all talk about it among ourselves. How and what you are doing and where and what you are up to! So much fun. Katy

Lorna Honecker wrote 10 years ago:

Carole's writing is a delight to read! Entertaining, informative and humorous. She ought to write of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, glass she write at also that we can be the beneficiary of her musings. Hope she would be well deserved!!

Ryan wrote 10 years ago:

This is some good knowledge for a Costa Rica trip! Thanks.

Nancy wrote 10 years ago:

Carol, I too am a long lost Brooklyn girl! An expat of sorts myself - plucked from my cozy Brooklyn neighborhood and dropped in the trenches of suburbia! Somewhere along the way - kids playing dress up, field trips, or worst yet, indifference, my stilettos are nowhere to be found! But if you think stilettos are the number one shoe to bring to Costa Rica, well then, I will go out and buy another pair and give them a whirl. How hard can it be. . . right?

Toby Shaw wrote 10 years ago:

I have been following this blogger since she started blogging in July. I love the way she talks about things that happened in Costa Rica 20 years ago and compares with how it is today. What a difference 20 years makes. Keep blogging, Carole Jean, no matter what shoes you wear!

Lucas E. Rivera wrote 10 years ago:

This is a very interesting site. I agree the selection of the shoes are very important here. I would bring more running shoes, specially trail running shoes. My feet will be very happy.

Suzanne See Tai wrote 10 years ago:

Carole's blogs reflect her fun-loving, adventurous personality so well. They're interesting, light-hearted, and she finds the adventure in every experience.

Priscilla wrote 10 years ago:

Being a shoe girl myself, I agree. When I travel, I pack 2 outfits, all black, and a dozen pairs of shoes! Shoes make the woman. Love your blog. Keep them coming!

Shirley Lowes wrote 10 years ago:

This blogger, Carol has a beautifully funny way of noticing and commenting on the regular and irregular events we see every day here in Costa Rica. Keep it going Carol!

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