Find the best walking shoes for travel, including sandals, sneakers, and running shoes 👟👟 Shop the top pairs for all-day comfort and sightseeing
When wanderlust comes calling, having the proper pair of shoes is essential. The best shoes for traveling keep your feet happy and healthy no matter how much walking you have. From cobblestone strolls across Europe to rugged jungle treks in Asia and everywhere in between, your kicks can make or break your vacation.
This comprehensive guide dives into the top footwear picks for globe-trotting based on expert recommendations and real user reviews. Learn the factors to evaluate when choosing travel shoes. Discover the leading brands and styles in every category—from airport-friendly clogs to waterproof hiking boots perfect for winter getaways. Avoid sore feet and embrace true comfort and versatility with this roundup of the ideal travel shoes to step out in style on your next adventure.
Best Shoes for Travel: What to Consider
With travel shoes, one pair definitely doesn’t fit all. Your specific needs and preferences determine the right footwear. Key considerations include:
Primary Use Case
Will you mostly hike remote trails or conquer urban sightseeing? Relax beachside or bar-hop cobblestone streets? The activities you plan to do most dictate ideal performance features.
Destination Terrain & Weather
Muddy jungle treks and snow-capped mountains call for waterproof hiking shoes. Sunny sandy shores beg for breezy sandals. Consider seasonal temps and traction requirements too.
Even the comfiest shoes lose their edge if you feel sloppy wearing them. Choose versatile kicks like leather sneakers that mix into both casual sightseeing and dressier dinners out.
Weight & Packability
Bulky boots eat up precious suitcase space. Opt for shoes with removable inserts, collapsible heels, and lightweight materials that won’t weigh you down.
With frequent security removals, shoes tend to wear down faster during travel. Save top dollar picks for home. Quality affordable styles better suit extensive vacation use.
Anatomical fit, cushioning, support and walkability differentiate all-day comfort shoes from flatter, faster fashion pairs that won’t treat your feet so kindly.
Best Sneakers for Travel
Nothing beats the versatility of a trusty pair of sneakers. From city strolls to coffee shop hopping and park picnics, sneakers transition seamlessly with your on-the-go plans. Pack a pair that goes the distance in supreme comfort without sacrificing style points to take you from planes to museums and beyond.
Best for Walking: Allbirds Tree Runners
The innovative comfort company Allbirds offers the ideal travel sneakers. The knit Tree Runners flex naturally with the foot for mile after blissful mile. Strategic cushioning absorbs impact while the breezy eucalyptus tree fiber controls moisture and heat. Wear them just about anywhere thanks to the low-key styling in neutral hues from off-white to black. Pack them flat or stuff with socks to save precious suitcase space.
Best Stylish Sneakers: New Balance 574 Core
The OG dad shoe gets a style upgrade with the New Balance 574 Core sneakers. The classic suede and mesh combo pairs effortlessly with everything from leggings to boho dresses. An ENCAP midsole cushions every step while the lightweight, flexible construction keeps you moving with joy. The timeless colors and silhouette work in virtually any setting across ages making them ideal travel buddies.
Best Slip-On Sneakers: On Cloud 5
On Cloud 5 Forget fussing with laces when you can just slide your feet into these innovative lace-less On Cloud 5 sneakers. The clever lacing system integrated into the knit upper “hugs” feet securely sans ties. Ultra-cushiony CloudTec soles absorb shock and return energy with each footfall while the grippy bottoms provide assured traction across varied terrain. With over a dozen color combos, you can coordinate easily with any travel outfit.
Best Leather Sneakers: Cole Haan’s GrandPro Rally Court
When you seek sneakers a cut above basic, turn to Cole Haan’s leather GrandPro Rally Court lace-ups. Contrasting trim pops against rich leather hues like black, burgundy and chestnut brown. The Grand.ØS contoured footbed cradles arches in pillowy comfort with ample forefoot flexibility for stride. Durable rubber soles ensure steady traction whether you’re touring museums or strolling to dinner. The upscale sporty vibe works as well with jeans as dresses or trousers making them ideal travel fare.
Best Comfort Sneakers: Hoka Clifton 9
Running shoe company Hoka specializes in maximum cushioning including with their award-winning Clifton style. Editors love the Clifton 9 for its plush comfort that relieves pain while still keeping feet stable and supported. The updated midsole geometry improves smooth heel to toe transitions while the breathable mesh upper encourages airflow to keep feet cool. Both stylish and functional, you may not want to take these comfy kicks off.
Best Budget Sneakers: Adidas Grand Court
Adidas Grand Court Just because you score a great deal on airfare doesn’t mean you must splurge on shoes. Grab the iconic Adidas Grand Court sneakers for as little as $55. The simple white leather style goes with everything and transitions effortlessly from planes to panoramas to picnic lunches and café wine stops–no outfit change required. Cloudfoam cushioning pampers hardworking feet all day long. When shoes get dirty, just toss them in the wash to keep your budget (and conscience) clear.
Best Sandals for Travel
Few styles scream vacation louder than carefree sandals. From beach jaunts to poolside cocktails and sightseeing city streets, a quality travel sandal holds its own across travel scenarios. Ideal pairs mold to your feet, support arches, stand up to elements and transition seamlessly with sundresses to shorts and swimwear for versatile warm weather wanderings.
Best Sport Sandals: Chaco Z/Cloud Sport Sandals
The experts and adventurers agree: for rugged performance and comfort, you can’t beat Chaco. The Z/Cloud sandals specifically designed for women combine the customized fit of a Z strap with ultra-cushiony, responsive Chaco Cloud footbeds. The super-grippy sole and lateral stability of the sporty sandal conquer trails and water crossings while the adjustable jacquard webbing ensures a secure, chafe-free fit. Plus, fun patterns like pineapple pink and turquoise take you from riverside to restaurants in style.
Best Hiking Sandals: Teva Universal Trail Sandals
Hit the trail in comfort with Teva’s sporty sandals designed specifically for light to medium intensity hiking. Foot-conforming straps cradle your feet securely while the padded heel cup prevents annoying rubbing. Shoc Pad technology in the midsole absorbs impacts from varied terrain as the sturdy Spider rubber outsole supplies traction across wet or uneven surfaces. For further functionality, the Universal Trail offers a removable mushroom-shaped EVA foam footbed for extra arch support when you need it.
Best Leather Sandals: Naot Kayla
Transition effortlessly from daytime adventuring to evenings out with Naot’s sleek strappy Kayla sandals. Contoured anatomical cork and latex footbeds covered in suede naturally mold to your feet for custom comfort with arch support. The gathered toe strap allows toes to spread naturally as you walk while the wide double buckled strap across the instep prevents blister-causing slippage. Dress them up with flowy skirts or rock casually with cutoffs—either way feet stay happy hour after hour.
Best Water Sandals: Merrell Hydro Moc Sandal
Explore waterfalls, traverse streams and hike to glorious vistas without worrying about soggy shoes in Merrell’s Hydro Moc sandals. These legends have been around since 1993 thanks to their ingenious lugged sole that sheds water and debris quickly while providing shock absorbing comfort and traction on slick terrain. Breathable mesh uppers feature integrated nylon webbing for secure lockdown adjusted to your ideal fit. When things heat up, just hop in a lake or hose them off to keep your adventure cool.
More Comfortable Shoes for Travel
When you’ll be on your feet all day exploring new destinations, comfort reigns supreme. From cushy sandals to slip-ons and flexible sneakers, these travel shoes pamper hardworking feet across the miles while matching seamlessly with vacation-ready outfits.
Best Support Sandals: Birkenstock Arizona
No list of comfortable travel shoes is complete without the iconic contoured cork Birkenstock sandal. The sturdy rubber Arizona slide cradle arches and toes in natural alignment with deep heel cups that prevent slippage as you walk. Buckled straps sport laidback style that works at campsites and sidewalk cafes. Over time the suede footbed actually molds perfectly to your feet. While breaking them takes some time, fans swear enduring that period leads to the most comfortable sandals ever.
Best Slip-On Shoe: Vionic Tide II Toe Post Sandal
If your dogs could use a break, slip them into Vionic’s podiatrist-designed recovery slide. A cushiony EVA midsole softens steps while a microfiber footbed supports arches to gently realign feet. Deep heel cups prevent the back from dragging with each step sparing ankles and knees over-rotation. Cool cutouts let breezes in as the rubber outsole supplies reliable traction poolside and beyond. Adjustable stretch straps allow for swelling on hot days. Say “ahhh” as compression massages away pain.
Best Walking Shoes: Brooks Addiction Walker Suede
Serious walkers prefer the Brooks Addiction Walker for its smooth, stable ride mile after mile. Ideal for travel, full grain leather construction resists water so feet stay dry traipsing through European rain or tropical storms. The Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar provides holistic pronation control from heel to toe for foot-guiding stability. Strategic cushioning softens landings without bulk for cloud-like comfort ideal for hard city sidewalks and cobblestone streets. With travel, you’ll log extra miles every day making these shoes perfect companions.
Best Flats: Rothy’s The Point
When your travel plans involve dressier occasions, stash a pair of Rothy’s washable flats. Their chic pointed toe slips easily into suitcases and transitions outfit seamlessly from daytime casual to evening elegant. The stretchy knit sculpted upper conforms smoothly to feet and the cushioned insole provides shock absorption. Durable rubber soles ensure reliable traction on slick museum floors. Made from recycled plastic water bottles with 3D knitting technology, they’re a feel good sustainable choice all around. Over a dozen neutral and vivid shades means you can coordinate with any outfit.
Most Durable Shoes: Blundstone 500 Series
Blundstone’s Original 500 series boots earned their stellar reputation by lasting years of rough wear across the Australian outback. Their stiff leather construction protects feet from stubbed toes while the breathable Cambrelle lining and cushioned footbed keep you comfy walking for hours. The slip-resistant polyurethane outsole grips reliably on slick streets. For added weatherproofing, select the water-resistant suede option. The pull tab allows these booties to slide on and off with ease making them ideal for transiting airports en route to your destination. The stylish silhouette works across seasons in both cities and countryside.
Best Waterproof Hiking Boots: Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex Hiking Boots
The last thing you want out in nature is wet feet. Salomon’s Quest 4 waterproof hiking boots ensure feet stay warm and dry thanks to a durable waterproof Gore-Tex liner and padded Sensifit collar that seals out moisture. Their proprietary cushioning technology softens impact over rocks and roots with a flexible yet supportive chassis ideal for light to moderate day hikes. Hardy winter travelers select these boots for snowy treks but they perform equally well in fall and spring rains. Multiple toe caps protect against painful stubbed toes so you can keep eyes glued to stunning vistas without distraction.
Effortless Blister Prevention: Compeed Blister Cushions
Even with ideal travel shoes, excessive walking can still cause painful blisters. Avoid spending vacation laid up with sore feet by packing Compeed’s preventative Blister Cushion spray bandages. At the first sign of hotspot irritation, apply these discreet hydrocolloid pads which conform to your skin for targeted cushioning. They absorb friction and moisture helping hardworking feet tolerate extended activity comfortably. For added protection, spray blistered areas with Compeed Anti Blister Spray to reduce rubbing and speed healing beneath bandages.
Stay Sure-Footed: Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats
Visiting cold weather destinations during winter months brings added challenges like packed snow and ice underfoot. Instead of busting your butt, strap on Yaktrax ice grippers over your shoes for slip-proof traction. These affordable traction devices feature stainless steel coils and rubber cleats that bite securely into slippery surfaces. The adjustable strap design stretches to fit your shoes snugly while leaving heels open for a more natural, comfortable walking motion. Don them over sneakers or waterproof hiking boots to fearlessly brave snow, sleet and icy sidewalks hands-free with confidence.
Packing Multiple Shoes
Vacations often involve an array of environments and activities requiring specialized footwear by day. Pack strategically by following these expert tips:
Choose a Primary Closed-Toe Shoe
Make one versatile sneaker or walking shoe your staple for most sightseeing, shopping and casual wear. Prioritize all-day comfort, support and walkability with options quick to slide on and off.
Consider Climate Conditions
If cold weather dominates your trip, make room for insulated waterproof styles to access frozen landscapes comfortably without soggy feet. In hot humid destinations focus on sandals and highly breathable mesh designs that release excess internal heat.
Factor Weight and Space
If you travel as minimalist, it demands compact packing so select lightweight styles that pack down small like those with collapsible heels or removable footbeds. Soft sidesd luggage squeezes more flexibility from fixed dimensions especially when you roll versus fold shoes.
Add Specialty Secondary Shoes
Carry a second set of shoes to swap throughout days as needs and outings change. Cushy flip flops give sweaty feet needed breathers. Post hike, dry trail runners revive soggy boots. Flats or heels transition day looks to dinner sophistication or nights out dancing.
Choose versatile shoe styles that multitask well saving precious luggage real estate for souvenirs. For example, water sandals work swimming, wear post-pool and for sightseeing. Hiking shoes perform off trail yet still look decent enough for casual meals out at restaurants after.
Buy Replacements En Route
It’s perfectly acceptable to purchase new shoes once on location if current ones prove uncomfortable or unsuited to unforeseen activities or terrain. Discard worn out pairs locally to free up luggage space for treasures discovered during your voyage sans footwear regret.
When your vacation plans involve logging miles on trails, only proper footwear will do. Ideal hiking shoes and boots provide waterproofing for unpredictable weather, traction across varied surfaces, protection from stubbed toes and torqued ankles and reliable stability mile after uneven mile. Lightweight styles work brilliantly for short day hikes while more supportive boots with stiff midsoles ensure ankles and arches don’t succumb to fatigue during extended treks. Additionally, the right hiking footwear offers breathability to keep your feet comfortable, preventing overheating and blisters. Whether traversing rocky mountain paths or navigating muddy trails, a well-designed pair of hiking shoes becomes an essential companion, allowing you to focus on the breathtaking scenery and the joy of the journey rather than worrying about foot discomfort. Investing in high-quality hiking footwear is an investment in the overall enjoyment and success of your outdoor adventure, providing the confidence and durability needed to conquer any terrain with ease.