Best Shoes for Travel [what to pack for your next trip]

DO YOU HAVE TROUBLE DECIDING WHICH SHOES TO PACK FOR TRAVEL?

Here we are going to talk about three types of footwear that should get you through most of your travels, or even for everyday footwear and comfort. Even if you don’t travel, it is important to take care of your feet!

Upon my return from a six-month stay in Mexico, a friend presented me with a calendar that featured shoes – 365 pairs of shoes. The reason for the ‘shoe’ calendar is that she knows I like to collect shoe and hat items. Note: I do not collect shoes to wear, just different collectibles.

This got me thinking about shoes when travelling and how they can be a royal pain. Guys, you probably throw in a pair of sandals, running shoes and – maybe – a pair of dress shoes. But ladies, how do you choose between your half a dozen pairs of sandals, those cute Jimmy Choos, or your designer running shoes? Not easy, is it! After all, we know different outfits call for different footwear.

The more I travel, the more stuff I want to leave behind, tired of lugging suitcases crammed with clothes and footwear, not only taking up valuable space but racking up the limited number of pounds we are allowed to carry. These days, I am all about travelling lightly and I am sure you are too!

You wouldn’t think these would be such hard questions. Are you going to the beach? Are you backpacking across Europe? Are you hiking? This should really narrow it down, right? Of course, it should! But wait…what about the evenings? Going to dinner? Attending events? See, it starts to get complicated. You not only want comfort, but you want some style.

Let’s Start With Some Basics

For me, most of my travelling involves a beach somewhere. The good news is that even if I am going out in the evening, it is usually a casual gathering, ie. local restaurant or some local event – no need to dress in killer (and I mean that literally) shoes, especially if the event involves a lot of standing or mingling.

So I am going to suggest only 3 pieces of footwear for you. What? Only three? I can see you shaking your heads already. Just a quick note here…if you need special shoes due to foot/feet problems, then you should pack what you need to make your trip comfortable.

As noted before, men are happy with a pair of running shoes and sandals in most cases. Of course, they should also be aware of the comfort and make sure they fit properly. For example, my husband likes a sandal that actually has a covered toe part. We are including some comfortable walking shoes, exercise sneakers, and sandals for the men so please read on.

The Three I Suggest Are:

  1. Walking shoes
  2. Exercise sneakers – a lightweight pair is good for packing
  3. Sandals – with or without a heel (again, depending on the occasion)

Remember, these are just guidelines. If you are going on a hiking trip, then you are probably going to pack a pair of hiking boots.

Comfortable Walking Shoes

Whether you are going to be hanging around an airport waiting for your plane or travelling miles and miles in your car, you want your feet to be comfortable.

Bearing in mind that you want comfort as well as style, let’s look at some tips on picking out good footwear.

  • Believe it or not, your foot actually expands during the day. Dr. John P. Fritz, Podiatric Physician & Surgeon, recommends the evening is best.

  • Take a tracing of your foot with you – shoes should not be shorter or narrower than your tracing.
  • If your footwear includes socks, then bring a pair similar to what you will be wearing. For sandals, this won’t be necessary (unless you’re one of those people who wear socks with sandals and in that case, we won’t go there).
  • Try and find a salesperson to help you by measuring your feet. Even though you may have done this a year or so ago, it is always wise to do this every time as our feet change as we get older and a lot of us have one foot larger than the other. Not only that but like me, you may also develop a bunion that has to be taken into consideration when trying on footwear.
  • Next, stand in the shoes, pressing gently on the top making sure you have space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe (about ½”).
  • Walk around a bit to see how they feel – because of my bunion, I have to be careful that the shoe/sandal doesn’t scrape and hurt.
  • Don’t worry if you have a ‘wide’ foot. Ask the salesperson if they carry footwear that are extra wide. You might have to shop around to find a pair.
  • Take note of how they feel. Do they have a sturdy sole with cushioning to prevent pain from sharp objects such as stones, pebbles, or sticks?

There are some keynote differences between running shoes and walking shoes, the main one being walking shoes are stiff and don’t flex well so are not suitable for runners or for those that fitness walk. However, fitness walkers and runners can usually find a running shoe that will accommodate both.

Comfortable Exercise Sneakers

When travelling, I like to take advantage of exercising if at all possible. Cross trainers are good for walking, exercising in the gym, or touring around. However, if your trip is for a particular purpose, say running a marathon, then, of course, you will want to pack the proper footwear.

In addition to proper fitting as noted in the Comfortable Walking Shoe section, some other tips to look for in an exercise sneaker are:

  • Lightweight – essential when packing in your luggage
  • A supportive shoe with a leather upper (durability)  – if your feet sweat, look for something with breathable material
  • Proper traction
  • Flexible midsole
  • Extra heel support
  • Check out popular brands for reviews

A Comfortable Daytime/Evening Sandal

Quality comfortable sandals are important. Try to stay away from the flimsy flip-flops (I have been guilty of buying those, especially when in a hurry – my feet don’t thank me for this). Remember, if you are packing one good pair of sandals, it is worth your while to splurge a little.

Some tips to keep in mind when buying sandals:

  • Arch support (the bump in the centre of the insole) – This helps to maintain better alignment. A thicker sole, especially beneath the heel, is better than a totally flat one.
  • Bottoms – should be firm but flexible and provide some traction.
  • A little heel height is OK – Wedges are perfect because they give a little height but can be used to dress up an outfit; the chunky heel is steadier and easier to walk with than skinny heels.
  • Type of material – non-porous is best so they don’t hold water.
  • Straps – A sandal with a back or ankle strap will provide more support and keep your feet from sliding or trying to grip the shoe so it doesn’t fall off. Constantly gripping the shoe can cause bunions or hammertoes. Wider straps will provide more stability and prevent blisters.

Improper sandals can lead to foot, knee, and ankle pain as well as plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the fibrous tissue along the bottom of the foot that connects your heel bone to your toes) which can cause severe heel pain.

Now for the fun part – SHOPPING!

WOMEN’S WALKING SHOES

VIONIC WOMEN’S WALKER

If you are looking for a sporty look as well as comfort, the Vionic Women’s Walker is recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, M. D. and features Orthaheel technology for support and stability.

Vionic Women's WalkerFEATURES:
*Racing-stripe lace anchors for a sporty and classy look
*Orthaheel technology for support, relief and stability
*Removable contoured insole with arch support
*Recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D.
*Leather and synthetic upper

OLUKAI PEHUEA SLIP ON

Slip into casual comfort with these classic breathable shoes featuring elastic goring at vamp and a removable dual-density footbed.

 

Olukai Pehuea Slip On FEATURES:
*Versatile Drop-In Heel for functionality
*Elastic goring at vamp
*Breathable mesh upper
*Textile upper and lining/rubber sole
*Removable dual-density footbed

 

MEN’S WALKING SHOES

NEW BALANCE 990V5

New Balance 990V5 offers all-day comfort and a perfect blend of cushioning and stability with a stylish look.

New Balance 990v5FEATURES
* midsole cushioning, lightweight foam & durable polyurethane for all-day support
*Dual-density collar foam offers support and comfort for ankles
*From a  premium collection made in the U. S.
*Blown rubber outsole

 

NEW BALANCE MEN’S 847v4 Walking Shoe

The 847c4 fitness walking shoe offers a TRUFUSE midsole, delivering premium cushioning for a responsive, comfortable feel.

Mens New Balance ShoeFEATURES
*Rollbar stability post for rear-foot enhanced support
*Mesh upper for a lightweight feel
*Full rubber outsole for traction
*TPU heel insert for added support

 

WOMEN’S EXERCISE SNEAKERS

NIKE METCON 5 TRAINING SHOE

Who says you can’t have it all? Whether you are looking for speed, optimal form for squats, or durability, the Nike Metcon 5 is a stylish shoe that you will be proud to own.

Nike Metcon Training Shoe FEATURES
*Optional Hyperlift insert under the heel – great for squats
*Stability, cushioning and uninhibited range of motion
*removable cushioned insole
*Flywire cables integrate with laces for secure, flexible lockdown at the midfoot

NEW BALANCE MINIMUS TR TRAINER

Up your training with the Minimus TR. Offers a more natural fit with reliable traction and ground feel to maintain a natural stance during strength training.

Woman's running shoe, black and pinkFEATURES
*Mesh upper designed for a lightweight feel and enhanced airflow
*TPU-infused design for exceptional durability
*Minimus construction and premium liners allow for a sock-free training session
*Midfoot rubber rope wrap adds targeted durability and grip

 

MEN’S EXERCISE SNEAKERS

NIKE REACT METCON MEN’S TRAINING SHOE

The Nike React Metcon training shoe is designed to meet the demands of any rigorous cross-training.

Nike React Metcon Training Shoe (Men) FEATURES
*Stability, cushioning, and wide range of motions
*Pull-on sock upper with toggled drawstring
*Flyknit upper for a fit that is comfortable and dynamic
*Textile and synthetic upper and lining/rubber sole
*Multi-directional traction

NO LONGER AVAILABLE. SHOP FOR SIMILAR PRODUCTS!

 

NEW BALANCE MEN’S FRESH FOAM CROSS-TRAINER

You can be confident wearing the Fresh Foam Cross TR with its dynamic support and multi-directional traction. This could become your new go-to training shoe!

Men's Fresh Foam Cross TRFEATURES
*Fresh foam midsole cushioning
*Multi-directional traction
*Knit/Synthetic upper structure
*Lightweight rubber outsole
*TPU External Heel Stabilizer

 

WOMEN’S SANDALS

CLARKS®MARITSA LARA SLINGBACK SANDAL

These beautiful sandals come with cross straps to shape the front of a comfortable slingback sandal ramped up slightly on a retro-inspired rocker platform with a grippy rubber tread. Excellent reviews.

Clarks® Maritsa Lara Slingback Sandal (Women) _ NordstromFEATURES
*OrthoLite® cushioned footbed
*3” Wedge heel
*Adjustable slingback strap with hook-and-loop closure
*Leather upper and lining/synthetic sole
*Available in 5 beautiful colours

 

OLUKAI OHANA SANDAL

These beach-ready flip flops are handcrafted with a water-resistant strap and quick dry-lining. With 1500 reviews, you can’t go wrong.

FEATURES
*Lugged treads
with wet/dry traction
*Water-resistant strap
*Quick-dry lining
*Molded anatomical EVA midsole with ICEVA drop-in footbed
*Synthetic upper/textile lining/rubber sole
*Variety of colours and sizes

 

MEN’S SANDALS

ECCO ‘YUCATAN’ SANDAL

Very comfortable sport sandal, lined with neoprene for a secure fit and polyurethane sole which offers durable comfort and support. Excellent reviews.

ECCO 'Yucatan' Sandal (Men) _ NordstromFEATURES
*Lined with neoprene for a secure fit
*Polyurethane sole for durable comfort and support
*Seal of Acceptance by American Podiatric Medical Association
*Adjustable hook-and-loop closures at toe, instep and ankle
*Leather and textile upper

OLIKAI OHANA FLIP FLOP

Not only are these sandals classy looking for the beach, but they also offer comfort with a cushioned anatomical footbed. Easy to care for, these sandals have excellent reviews.

OluKai 'Ohana' Flip Flop (Men)

FEATURES
*Cushioned anatomical footbed
*Machine washed for easy care
*Synthetic upper/textile lining
*Rubber sole

 

BONUS:

We are sneaking in a couple of boots just in case you like to top off your outfit with a pair of boots instead of sandals.

WOMEN’S BLONDO VALLI 2.0 WATERPROOF BOOTIE

A Nordstrom exclusive, these stylish boots have been updated to ensure comfort and flexibility for year-round wear.

Blondo Valli 2.0 Waterproof Bootie (Women)FEATURES
*2” heel
*4” inch shaft
*Side zip closure; elastic gore inset
*Removable cushioned insole
*Leather upper/textile lining/rubber sole

 

MEN’S TIMBERLAND PORT UNION WATERPROOF CHUKKA BOOT

Great for summer wear, these waterproof boots are not only stylish but offer SensorFlex and an OrthoLite® footbed for comfort.

 

Timberland Port Union Waterproof Chukka Boot (Men) FEATURES
*
Waterproof Construction and leather
*SensorFlex and OrthoLite® footbed for comfort
Lace-up style
*Leather upper and lining
*Rubber sole

Note: In most cases, these shoes can be shipped to Canada, U. S., and Mexico.

Final Thoughts

I think you can agree that it is important to buy proper footwear and be kind to your feet. Sizing and quality are important but you don’t have to break the bank to get them. The bottom line is that you want the best shoe that you can wear all day or evening in comfort and style. Even if you have to splurge a little, you will be glad you did.

What shoes have you packed for your trips? Were you happy or would you have done something differently? We would love to hear your comments.

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I love to travel and my biggest regret is that I waited so long to do it, thinking I just couldn’t afford it. I have had some crazy fun, met some amazing people, and had some scary moments such as getting locked in a shower at a campsite. For our trip to Mexico, we were able to save money by house sitting, which was something completely new to us. If this is something that interests you, then check out TrustedHousesitters or HouseSitMexico. We hope you visit often.

6 thoughts on “Best Shoes for Travel [what to pack for your next trip]”

  1. As someone who travels regularly, I can say that I totally agree with you on the three pairs of shoe thing. When I was younger I would take probably 6 pairs and they were all the cutest shoes and sandals I have. Well, a lot of the best things to do is take a walk around the city or town you’re visiting and doing activities right? Well, that’s hard to do in heels or sandals. Also, you’ll be thanking yourself for the subtracted weight of your suitcase!

    Reply
    • Yes, like you, I too used to pack whatever I thought I needed which was too much in most cases. Packing lighter is definitely smarter!

      Reply
  2. Hello there thanks for the review it was really helpful. When you are going to be traveling you want to find the best travel shoes that are comfortable and still be fashionable at the same time. If you can find a shoe that works for both walking and running, try to pack just the one for both. For me I prefer packing up a few snickers when travelling 

    Reply
    • It does make sense if you are planning to do both running and walking to find a pair that will address both. It helps to cut down on the excess luggage problem as well.

      Reply
  3. hello dear, thanks for sharing such amazing post with us, i was actually doing some recommendations when i saw your post on Best Shoes for Travel,thanks alot dear i also want to thank you for the hard work you put into bringing these website together, your choice of words and writing skills is really amazing, and the description of each words you shared makes it easier for the readers to form n opinion, i already saved thee page so as to come back for future reference

    Reply
    • I am glad you found this article useful and plan to use it for future reference. Finding the right footwear to pack for travelling can be daunting unless you know exactly what to look for when buying.

      Reply

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