Easy, merino wool! I bought one pair of long and three pairs of short ankle socks. Considering a person is likely to be wearing flip-flops a lot of the time four pairs of socks is more than ample, three would do just fine. I upgraded my socks, still merino wool, just more suitable for the travelling I do. My trip to South Africa, Portugal and Spain in mid-Summer was very hot and I did a lot of walking, about 10 km on average per day so my upgraded ankle socks are Smartwool Men’s PhD Run Ultra Light, WOW, they are super comfortable and thinner than my previous pairs. I’m keeping the old pairs, like I’ve said a few times I’m a merino wool convert and now advocate!
You need shoes that are comfortable to walk in…….a lot of walking! My suggestion is buy something you know and if you are trying out something new (brand or type), take them for a long walk before heading off travelling. Tip – put your rucksack/bag on when you take them for your test walk. Walking with a load on your back can drastically changes the feel of a shoe.
I’m a little biased when it comes to shoes, Salomon is my preference (I also like Asolo; they’re extremely tough and comfortable. I’ve worn them in hot summers and -38 degrees), I’ve had many pairs over the years both walking and hiking (in hot weather and snow) so I trust them and they fit my feet well. It’s my personal preference however I’m always on the lookout for what’s new and within the market there is a lot of strong competition. My walking shoes don’t have laces; they have the built-in draw-string mechanism. The mechanism has never failed me so creating a DIY fix should it break out in the middle of nowhere…..I hope I do not need to find out, they do fit quite snug even when loose. When travelling plan, plan, plan but in reality, you cannot plan for all eventualities, worst case scenario, you buy a new pair when next possible.
…..and of course a pair or flip-flops! Strong likelihood they won’t last, that’s ok, buy a new pair wherever you are.
If you take a look at my previously used gear I have some of the products I’ve stopped using, upgraded from or replaced with something more suitable: