I’m from Hawaii and visit home often, so I often have to pack shoes for a tropical vacation.
Here’s your list:
- 1 pair of sandels
- 1 pair of nicer sandels, for nicer meals/events
- 1 pair walking shoes
- 1 pair of shoes for wearing in the water
There is some redundancy here. Either 1 and 2 or 1 and 4 can be the same pair. I recommend buying rubber or some other water-wearable footwear, such as flip flops, and double it as everyday casual footwear and water shoes. Bonus: the easy slip-off, slip-on nature of flip flops makes for quicker airport security screening.
What is the likely frequency of a nicer meal/event? One every day or two? You may be overestimating the frequency of these events. Keep in mind too that people in tropical places tend to be a bit more, uh, flexible in terms of fancy footwear requirements, especially from tourists.
Same for the walking shoes – are you planning a lot of walking or hiking? If you are, then definitely bring them, but if they are more of a just-in-case thing, leave them at home. I personally would only bring them if I planned either a LOT of walking, or hiking on slippery/uneven terrain.
I usually take 2 pairs, and one is always flip flops. Never go barefoot.