Best Travel Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Comfort
Your trip is planned and you have your itinerary, now it’s time to pack. Whether you are traveling by plane, train, or automobile you need to be comfortable. Since you will be on your feet from start to finish and you will want something to match your destination. You will not want to be limping along while trying to take in all the sights on your vacation. Not only can inadequate footwear be difficult, but the pain and discomfort they can cause may also prevent you from focusing on your trip.
Traveling in comfort is important for your overall well being, therefore, having a good supportive pair is key to having a great experience. If your feet are in pain then you will not enjoy yourself. Your feet are the base of your body so it is imperative to have a well fitting comfortable pair so you can fully enjoy your adventures.
There are a lot of different options on the market, and it can be overwhelming when trying to make a decision. To save you some time and headaches, we’ve put together a list of some of the best footwear for traveling. We also included a detailed breakdown of things you need to be mindful of when choosing the right pair for you, and an FAQ section with any additional information you may need.
- Converse All Star Low
- Vulcanized Outsole For Traction
- Moisture Wicking Insole
- Easy Spirit Traveltime
- Superior Arch Support
- EVA Foam Footbed
- Sanuk Chiba Sidewalk Surfer
- Antimicrobial Insole
- Padded EVA Footbed
Choose a pair that best suits you and you are halfway to having the best vacation. Most of all you will want to choose a travel shoe based on your individual needs. Ask yourself the following questions – Are you vacationing or taking a business trip? Are you a fashionista? Will you be on flat terrain or are you more adventurous? After taking these things into consideration you will be able to make sound choices. Wearing the wrong type of footwear can lead not only to discomfort but also to injury, for example, you wouldn’t want to wear stiletto heels on a safari or hiking boots to a gala in Paris. Knowing what you will be participating in will keep you ready for any and all adventures in comfort and style.
10 Best Travel Shoes
1. Converse All-Star Low
The comfortability can be attributed to the ortholite insole. The long-lasting cushioning is made to outlast any other. The high level of breathability wicks away moisture to keep your feet dry and odor free.
Vulcanized Outsole Traction
Having a vulcanized outsole makes the rubber of the Converse stronger than their rubber counterparts. While the bottom of the Chuck Taylor All Star is flat it has a non-slip sole to keep you from slipping and falling in all weather conditions. This traction pattern is unique to Converse.
Cost and Value
The cost of these is within the medium to high range depending on color and size. Consumer reviews place these at the top of the list for comfort, style, and dependability. Reviewers consistently state that how happy they are with the Converse Chuck.
Vulcanized Outsole For Traction
Breathable Canvas Design
Moisture Wicking Insole
2. Easy Spirit Traveltime
Unlike other designs that can force your feet to fit the shape of the shoe, the Traveltime Mule has a cushioned insole that will conform to your feet to provide you with all-day comfort. The insole is removable so that you can replace it with your favorite brand.
Its EVA footbed is an eco-friendly dense foam shock absorber that provides stability, balance, and comfort. This is what makes the clog comfortable even if you are on your feet all day.
Cost and Value
The cost is slightly high for a clog style. However, customer reviews show that these are a great choice for traveling, walking, and jobs that have you on your feet all day. Reviewers all agree that they are a durable long lasting shoe that provides superior comfort and support.
Good Arch Support
EVA Foam Footbed
Durable Leather Construction
3. Sanuk Chiba Sidewalk Surfer
Chiba Sidewalk Surfer’s footbed contains a microbe shield that stops bacterial growth and controls foot odor. This keeps them fresh, odor free, and clean on the inside during everyday wear.
Happy U Outsole
The Happy U Outsole of the Sidewalk Surfer slider leaves a unique pattern behind as you walk. The bottom of the outsole contains a happy face within a rectangle design.
Cost and Value
These are priced around average for their brand. Reviews show that customers love these shoes. They state these sliders have a comfy foam insole and a rubber outsole that has an average wear time of 3 years.
Padded EVA Foam Footbed
Little Break-In Required
4. TOMS Classic
The TOMS Classic are outfitted with antimicrobial sockliners that are designed to both wick moisture away from your skin and work to mitigate odor-causing bacteria and other unpleasantries. This is extra important in a style of shoe that is designed to be worn without socks and makes them a great choice for warmer weather and lots of walking.
When traveling, comfort is important. If you aren't comfortable, you won't get the most out of your trip, since you'll be distracted by your discomfort. This is where the molded insole comes in. It conforms to the shape of your foot to offer the right amount of support in the right places, so your feet will be comfortable even with lots of walking. If you find that you don't like the included insoles, don't fret; they are removable, so you can replace them with your insole of choice if necessary.
With some size and color options costing over $100, TOMS Classic are definitely higher up on the price scale. However, with that price you get the comfort and ease of movement you need for whatever you do. For every pair sold, TOMS will donate a pair of shoes to children in need, making them a purchase you can feel good about. They also come in a wide range of size and color options, making it easy to find the perfect style and fit for your needs.
Elastic Upper For A Secure Fit
Removable Molded Insole
EVA Rubber Outsole
Elastic Can Dig With Extended Wear
5. K-Swiss Classic
"Leather" and "breathable" typically are not words that go together, but K-Swiss has made it work. Using a thinner cut of leather for the lining, it's both durable and offers decent breathability in the context of leather, which normally lacks a bit in breathability. This allows for a comfortable fit that will keep your feet from feeling too hot.
The man-made outsole is outfitted with a herringbone tread pattern, allowing for the traction you need without being excessive. This allows a solid grip even on wet ground, so poor weather doesn't have to get in the way of your activities.
We would consider these to be mid-range in terms of price; not too expensive, but not by no means cheap either. The features these sneakers are outfitted with make them perfect for traveling, and a solid investment for years to come.
Herringbone Outsole For Traction
6. Adidas Cloudform QT
The Adidas Cloudform QT are made with comfort and long-distance walking in mind, featuring their Cloudform technology in three key places: the sockliner, midsole, and the outsole. The sockliner feels like walking on a cloud, making the name quite apt for the design. The midsole and outsole work together to provide additional instep support and shock absorption for all-day wear and all-day comfort.
While textile lining may seem insignificant on the surface, it's there for a reason. It works well to wick moisture away from your skin, keeping your feet dry even with all-day use. It also prevents excessive rubbing, which can lead to uncomfortable irritation and painful blistering.
Adidas products typically fetch a premium, though we would consider these runners to be mid-range in price. The features that are present provide a level of comfort that makes it well worth the investment, and when your feet are happy, you're happy.
Cloudform Technology Throughout
Lightweight Synthetic Construction
7. Nike Free 5.0
Nike’s Flywire technology contains filaments that are placed throughout like cables. These filaments work similar to a suspension bridge providing support exactly where it is needed. This is what provides the support you need precisely where you need it for outstanding comfort.
The Phylite midsole is what keeps the Nike Free so light you feel as if you are barefoot. It is a combination of rubber and Phylon that is used to combine the midsole and outsole into one unit.
Cost and Value
The price is mid-range to high for Nike. Customers rave about how it almost feels like you are not wearing anything on your feet they are so lightweight. Consumers also like the Flywire technology stating that it provides superior support. The Nike Free is great for traveling whether you are relaxing or going hiking.
Supportive Phylite Midsole
Breathable Mesh Outer
Durable No-Sew Overlays
Flywire Technology For Extra Comfort
Limited Long-Term Durability
8. Adidas Originals Stan Smith
These sneakers feature the Stan Smith logo on the tongue and heel. Stan Smith is a famous tennis player that become the world champion in 1972. Adidas then partnered with Stan to be the face of this iconic sneaker.
Rubber Pimple Grip
The rubber pimple grip sole of the Stan Smith sneaker provides supreme grip. So even if your plans include wet weather you can ensure good footing on any surface.
Cost and Value
Adidas Originals price is higher than your typical sneaker. Consumer reviews show proof that these sneakers have a comfortable fit. Its simple look and clean design will go with any outfit you choose to travel in.
Durable Leather Upper
Perforations For Airflow
Pimple Outsole Provides Traction
9. Danner Mountain Light Cascade
Made of a beautiful Sienna Cache leather, these boots both work well and look good. The leather allows for natural variations, and over time will show a beautiful patina effect for that vintage well-loved look. The leather is also made to be durable and water-resistant, so they will go as hard as you do.
The Danner Mountain Light Cascade Boots are specifically designed with the physiology of a woman's foot in mind. The wide toe section allows for a comfortable fit without being constricting. While these boots do not come with insoles, the wide platform allows them to work with your insole of choice for the right amount of comfort and support you need for your adventures.
Coming in just over $350, these are one of the most expensive products on our list. You get what you pay for, though; that $350 gets you a durable boot with a vintage look and perfectly tailored fit. While we wish a boot this expensive would come with an insole, this does allow you to use whatever insole will suit you best.
Wide Toe Section
Rubber Sole Provides Traction
Durable Leather Construction
Insole Not Included
10. Nike Juvenate
Nike's Juvenate is designed to wear with or without socks. Unlike other sneakers, the tongue of this one is fully attached to the upper. This allows for a secure fit with or without socks and minimizes uncomfortable rubbing.
Waffle Traction Pattern
Nike’s waffle pattern is similar to that of a waffle iron. It was designed to reduce the weight of the shoe and provide better traction. The pattern is large and deep providing superior traction on all surfaces.
Cost and Value
The price of the Nike Juvenate is in the medium priced range. There are numerous colors and sizes to choose from that will affect the end price. Customers have been overall thrilled with their purchase. Many of them repeat buyers in different colors. The Nike Juvenate is a great option if you're going to primarily be walking around.
Foam Cushion Insole
Waffle Patterned Outsole For Traction
Breathable Mesh Upper
No Tongue Design For Sockless Wear
You can travel in anying that you already own but you want to be comfortable on your vacation. You should choose something that fits your traveling needs. If you are going on a trip to Disneyland then you want a shoe for walking. If you are taking an adventurous trip then you want something that will perform. We covered 10 here so lets break them down.
The best options for an adventurous escape are a full tie design with good traction that will perform well on all terrains. Therefore, the Nike Free and the Nike Juvenate are both great choices. Especially since these are well known with great reviews.
Are you taking a trip to the beach or the lake? Then you will want something you can easily slip on and off and with a breathable top. Your best choices will probably be the Dreamcity water shoe, Sanuk sidewalk surfer, or Tiosebon’s walking shoe. They are both comfortable and breathable plus you can easily go from the water to downtown.
If you are vacationing where you will be doing a lot of walking on flat ground then the Traveltime Mule, Stan Smith sneaker, or the Kunsto casual loafers are great choices. They are comfortable for all day wear when you are expected to be walking most of the time.
If you are looking for fashion then the Superga and the Converse are great options. Whether you are wearing shorts, capris, pants, or jeans there is a color to match. Reviewers say that they are both comfortable and fashionable for traveling.
Consumer reviews show that these are the best, they have been rated as favorites by thousands of customers. They have also proven their performance and durability to withstand several vacations. All that’s left is to choose a pair to fit your destination and enjoy your trip!
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Travel Shoes
Comfort And Support
Foot health is important to your whole body. Your shoes are essential tools for your feet. If they do not fit properly or do not have the correct support it can affect the rest of your body. Not only can you possibly develop blisters and bunions you can develop leg and back pain. When it comes to comfort and support you need to spend some time thinking about your feet. Asking yourself some questions can lead you to the most comfortable models you have ever owned. Here are some good questions to start with:
- Do you suffer from any foot or ankle ailments such as:
- New injuries
- Old Injuries
- Do you need to wear a custom insert or orthotic? If so, is the insole of the shoe you want to purchase removable?
- Do your feet tend to be too hot or too cold?
- Are your feet exceptionally sweaty?
- Are your feet standard, narrow, or wide width?
- Do your feet swell requiring some stretch?
Cushioning and shock absorption help to keep you comfortable while liners help to keep your feet cool. There are many things to consider to ensure great fitting footwear that is versatile and look great. These questions can help lead you to the correct pair. Supporting high arches and weak ankles is exceptionally important but as we have noted knowing your feet is the most important thing you can do when making a decision.
Extra support and cushioning do tend to make them heavier. If you will be doing a lot of walking it is something to keep in mind. Something overly heavy can lead to leg fatigue and drain your energy overall. Lightweight options will help you go the extra mile but they may not keep your feet protected from the elements. This all leads back to knowing what surrounding you will be in and what types of activities you plan on participating in.
Again, depending on your destination and your itinerary you may need a variety of features in your footwear options. They can vary greatly when it comes to features and of course, what you will need is all up to you to decide. When hiking features like grip and traction will be imperative but when cruising the beach you won’t need those nearly as much as a highly breathable shoe. Let’s take a minute and look at some key features and what situations you will want them in.
- Grip and Traction-
Grip and traction are similar and in general help, you stay surefooted on less than stable terrains. It involves the pressure between your foot and the surfaces as well as the way the material of the outsole. Rubber provides excellent grip and tread patterns also play their part. If you plan on traveling to a colder climate, into the woods, or up the side of a mountain grip will be very important. Finding a pair that will allow you to breathe easy knowing your feet are firmly planted under you will not only set your mind at ease but also help you avoid sustaining serious injuries. You will want to take into account what you will be doing and what will be the best grip for that situation. Trail models will work great for muddy or slick surfaces, whereas, specialty boots made for snow and ice may be needed for your blustery treks. When you plan on attending the beach or a city for your vacation or traveling requirements, grip and traction may not be as important. This is mainly due to the terrain. It is important to note, slippery sidewalks or ice covered ones may require added grip and bite-in ability to ensure you are safe while walking. Checking the weather ahead of time can save you some trouble and ensure you avoid possible injuries that can occur if you slip and fall.
- Weight and Flexibility –
When thinking about the weight of your shoe, you should know that the impact it is going to have can be minimal for some and great for others. If you are planning on going for long runs or walks the weight of your shoes can really impact leg fatigue and overall comfort. So when going long distances you may want to consider a lighter weight travel shoe option. Choosing to do a lot of sightseeing may require a lot of walking and should be considered when thinking about weight. In addition, lightweight products tend to be more flexible which means they will move more easily with your feet and give you better comfort on long days. Flexibility allows it to really bend naturally with your feet. A stiff fit will restrict your movement and can lead to increased back, hip, leg, ankle, and foot pain. More flexibility does mean less stability and those combating injuries or weakness may need to sacrifice some flexibility for stability.
- Durability –
Durability is important regardless of buying specific footwear or just a pair of slippers for around the house. No one wants to spend money just to find that the product they purchased is falling apart more quickly than they expected. Deciding to buy a five dollar pair of flip-flops for the beach may be completely acceptable, knowing you will probably only get one trip out of them, however, if that same pair of flip-flops costs you thirty-five dollars you may not be so happy about such short wear time. In addition, when taking a more extreme adventure you want to make sure you are dealing with something strong that can keep your feet and toes protected. Durable Cowhide Leather would be smart in a situation where you may come in contact with stray branches or rocks. A great way to gain insight into overall durability is to read some of the customer reviews so you can get an idea of people’s actual experiences with them. You can get very honest information that will aid in your search.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I wear a slip-on or a tie shoe?
A: This depends on what your overall plans are. If you are taking a lake or beach trip then a slip-on would be more convenient. You can easily get in and out of your shoes effortlessly. You will be able to go from water to land in a moment. If you are going to be doing any kind of travel that may include unlevelled terrain then you will probably want a tie shoe. You will need to be sure that they will stay on and you will most likely want the extra support.
If you have difficulty tying shoes due to arthritis or other mobility issues, a slip-on may be ideal. You can also buy special laces that will turn almost anything into a slip-on.
Q: Leather, canvas, or mesh which is best?
A: It really depends on what your situation is going to be. What is most important for you? Do they need to be durable and extra protective or do they need to be lightweight, breathable, and flexible? Each situation may require something different or several pairs o ensure you have what you need.
- Leather will keep your feet warm and they are exceptionally durable. They are not as breathable as the others so if you are visiting a warm place then you will probably find that your feet will get overheated quickly. However, if you are visiting a cooler climate then you will find leather to be exceptionally comfortable.
- Canvas can be for both warm or cool climates. Canvas is breathable but still enclosed, unlike mesh. This is really a preference issue. Canvas can be waterproofed but typically does not come that way and will want to be avoided in wet, rainy, conditions.
- Mesh is for warmer climates. Since they have small holes all over the top of the shoes they are the most breathable out of the three. Some mesh models are made for water as they dry quickly and go easily from water to land.
Q: Should I get a pair with arch support?
A: If you are traveling to an area that you will be doing a lot of walking you will probably benefit with a pair of shoes with arch support. Also if you have worn something with a flat sole and found that it is uncomfortable or causes back pain then you definitely need a shoe with arch support. Different shoes come with varying levels of arch support, so be mindful of this and make sure you’re getting exactly the right support you need.
Q: Can’t I just wear my old shoes?
A: You sure can. But how old are they? Will they withstand your trip? Are they comfortable and supportive enough? If you answered yes to these questions then you can wear the ones you already have. If you answered no then you will want to look into a new pair. If heading to an area that is not your typical environment you may find your everyday shoes are not suitable. Spending the time to research what you will be doing and where you may be going is advantageous to have a great overall trip.
Q: What is the difference between non-skid and non-slip?
A: The words non-slip and non-skid are used interchangeably. They are essentially the same thing. The outsoles on non-skid and non-slip are normally made of a softer rubber compared to ones that are not non-skid or non-slip. However, it is important to remember that just because they say that they are skid or slip resistant you will not automatically be fallproof. They are designed to help keep you from falling on slippery surfaces but you will still need to use caution.
Q: Will any of these shoes stretch out with wear?
A: All shoes will stretch out a little bit to the width of your foot. If you have a narrow foot then the chances of them stretching too much will be slim. If you have a wide foot then yes they will probably stretch to your feet. If you have a wide foot you are better off going with something that offers wide width. If you find a pair that you really like and they do not offer wide width then go up one size.
Q: How many pairs should I take with me?
A: This depends on what your plans are. Are you sightseeing during the day and hitting the club at night? You need one comfortable pair for sightseeing and one pair for evenings out. Taking a trip to the lake or the beach? Then you will need a pair of water shoes and a pair for other outings. Depending on the variety of activities during your travel time you may need several pairs to spend the entire time comfortably.
Q: How far in advance should I order them?
A: You should order them at least two weeks before leaving. You need to make sure that they fit and are comfortable. You need time to wear them at least once. If they do not fit comfortably or you just don’t like them then you will need time to send them back and choose another pair. It is important to note, different brands use different materials, meaning you may need to take some extra time to break them in. Leather, for example, is stiffer and can require an extended break in period. You will want to plan accordingly to ensure you don’t get blisters and you can enjoy your trip.