Treat Your Feet: the Best Shoes for Travel Posted September 13, 2017
When exploring a new location, you’re usually on your feet for a good portion of the day. And experienced travelers know that having the right footwear can make the difference between a memorable journey and a sore-footed slog. With the wide array of comfort and walking shoes on the market today, you can travel in comfort no matter where your journeys take you. Below, we break down a few of the more popular categories of travel footwear, and offer some recommendations on our favorite shoes. Remember, though: whatever type of shoes you select for your travels, be sure to break them in before taking off.
- Walking Shoes – When you plan travel to an urban setting – a tour of European city/s, for instance – and want shoes that don’t sacrifice style for comfort, walking shoes are a great option. A casual look, typically with leather uppers, makes these suitable for a night out, while durable construction, cushioning, and good traction earn these shoes their name. Some of our favorite examples come from Naot, Cole Haan, Dr. Scholls, and Everlane, while other popular brands include ECCO, Sebago, Born, Dansko, Mephisto, and Clarks.
- Boots – For any trip that involves walking on trails or off-road terrain, boots offer the support and sturdiness your feet need. Their lightweight build gives them the versatility for use on the trail or in town, and they come in different cuts: low- (or shoe-cut), mid-, and high-cut for optimal ankle protection. We love the Merrell Solo boots for their sporty, sneaker-inspired look, as well as the KEEN Arroyo slip-ons for their breathability and support. Other brands receiving votes: CAT Footwear, Columbia, Patagonia Footwear, LOWA, Scarpa, and Timberland.
- Sneakers – Designed for active wear, sneakers are a viable choice for any trip that will involve you being on your feet on relatively smooth surfaces for lengthy periods. Though sneakers once identified you as a tourist, many brands now offer comfortable, understated options. Running shoes are well-cushioned to absorb the impact from repeated heel strikes and therefore comfortable for extensive walking. A more robust version of a running shoe, cross-trainers provide additional support and cushioning and offer a sturdier outsole. New Balance’s low-profile 555s are a great choice, and the adizero Adios Stella McCartney sneakers are top of the line. More sneaker options include Nike, Reebok, Asics, New Balance, Saucony, Montrail, ECCO, and The North Face.
- Sandals – Whether you’re headed to tropical climes; prefer to let your feet breathe; or may need to frequently remove your shoes when entering temples, sandals are an excellent option. Chaco makes a wonderful travel sandal that offers support and style, while Atelje offers a light, cushioned option. Other popular brands include Birkenstock, Columbia, ECCO, Teva, and Dansko.
When you’re strolling the streets of Paris, navigating Macchu Picchu, or exploring the forest in Glacier National Park, you need the proper footwear. We hope this breakdown gets you off on the right foot on your next shoe shopping trip!
Photo via Flickr