Hitting the roads or the skies soon and need to be comfortable? It’s a problem that we all face: what shoes are we going to wear for all of that long, arduous travel time. Whether it’s your first time traveling or just the latest trip, you may have figured out by now that you need to have a pair of shoes that are comfortable and decently supportive and protective to you. Leaving your feet exposed isn’t the best policy in the slightest, even if the temptation is there for you to try it. Today, we’ll be taking a look at everything you need to know about travel shoes. Following our buying guide, we will also be taking a look at the best and most popular pairs out there on the market, all in a bid to help you stay safe and feel the best you can while you are getting to where you are going!
Top Travel Shoes Comparison Chart
|Product||Material||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Tiosebon Women’s Athletic Casual Shoes||Textile||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|2. Zhuanglin Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Shoes||Fabric||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|3. Skechers Women’s Go Walk Joy Walking Shoes||Textile||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|4. FitKicks Live Well Women’s Foldable Shoes||Synthetic||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|5. OluKai Nohea Men’s Mesh Shoes||Leather||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|6. Kunsto Women’s Genuine Leather Comfort Flats||Leather||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|7. Joomra Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Shoes||Synthetic||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|8. Belilent Quick Drying Unisex Water Shoes||Mesh||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|9. Shoes 18 Women’s Foldable Ballet Flats||Cotton||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|10. Toms Women’s Del Rey Sneakers||Cotton||$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|11. Astral Men’s Loyak Minimalist Sneakers||Canvas||$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
Travel Shoes Buying Guide
Why Travel Shoes?
A lot of people will be wondering why they would want a pair of shoes that are specifically for traveling. This is a valid question to have, and the answer ultimately is going to consist of a few parts. No matter which type of traveling you do, we’ll get to that in a moment, you need to have these things, or at least a majority of them, in order to get through your day as well as you can:
– Something lightweight
– Something plush and comfortable
– Something that will protect you
These three things are not suggestions, but they are essential in most cases. Even a good, lightweight pair of tennis shoes are going to feel VERY heavy on you after a few hours with them on. The same goes for other types of shoes, too. Since you are spending the majority of your time sitting down, you don’t need much support, therefore you don’t need something that weighs a ton of weight in order to keep you safe. This also helps contribute to the comfort you’ll experience. Even still, it’s important to have some comfort as well. If the shoes hurt, even if they are light, you won’t be wearing them for very long at all and they may cause you blisters or the such. Lastly, you absolutely have to have something that is going to protect you, especially if you are traveling in a public place. Objects on the ground can harm you, whether it’s through being stepped on or kicked. And you can get sick. Not to mention it’s just dirty. So, staying covered while having something comfy and light is very much what you want to shoot for and why you need a pair of travel shoes.
Breaking Down Your Travel Type
The way in which you travel is going to have a whole lot to say about what kind of shoes you need to be wearing and taking with you as you go. If you find yourself traveling via airplane, you are going to have a different mindset, or at least should than if you are going to be riding in a car. So, here are some of the things to think after in relation to this as you find the right fit for you.
Flying is something that a lot of us take for granted, but it’s not without its hassles and hardships. One of the problems, when you fly, is having to figure out how much you can carry with you. If you want to save as much money as possible, you will want to only have your carry on bag with you. A smart traveler will have at least two pairs of shoes, with one of them being on you and the other being in your bag. The shoes to be placed in the bag, obviously, are going to have to be light enough and small enough to fit in there without taking up too much room from the other essentials you need to have. This is why there are some foldable options available for you that the market has devised. So, have a strategy on a plane. If you are flying you might want to have your ‘heavy-duty’ shoes on as you board and then you can take out a pair of foldable shoes and wear them while onboard. It’s up to you, but you definitely want to keep yourself safe.
When it comes to cars, we also tend to forget a few things. As stated before, shoes can get super heavy over time. If you’ve ever driven over a couple of hours with shoes or boots on, you will know this to be the case. The fact you can’t move around much also makes this a stiffening experience and one that you aren’t too keen on partaking in. A lot of people make the simple alteration of kicking off their shoes. This, however, is very dangerous and highly discouraged. Your foot can slip off and you’ll have no grip. Plus, in some states, this action is illegal anyway. Having something very light, whether it’s slip on or something else, is a good call for driving or riding in a car.
Buses, Boats and Trains
Buses, boats, and trains can be lumped into one category, seeing as how each are just about almost always going to be public transportation. Like with airplanes, the number one thing you are going to want to make sure of is that you are protected. With so many people around, you do not want to get sick, so you need to have something on. You may or may not be on their that long, and you may or may not have a limit to how much you can bring, but you have got to stay safe. Having a very light pair of shoes to wear is a nice touch that will keep you happy and comfy while you ride and waste away a few hours before arriving at your destination.
The other factor that you have to consider is that of walking around. Some trips are going to require you to do a ton of walking. And that might end up being before you even get to where you are headed. If that’s the case, then you are going to be looking for something a bit different. Yes, you still want comfort, that much is certain and is not a negotiable item. And you still want to have something lightweight, too. But you’ve got to have a bit more support and protection. So, if walking is going to be a major part of getting you there or a big part of the action after you have arrived, then you need to look at something a bit more heavy duty.
Looks Aren’t Everything
We know, believe us, we know. Nobody wants to look like a dork or feel like they stand out for the wrong reasons. None of us want to have shoes that look terrible. With that said, we don’t recommend picking a pair of shoes based off of looks, especially when it relates to traveling. This is a sure fire recipe for disaster. Instead, what you should do is look for comfort and function and then work your way backwards to finding something stylish. After you have found something that meets your criteria, you can then key in on what kind of looks it is that you want. Blisters can and will keep you sidelined for days on end if you allow them to take place, so those are not worth any amount of great fashion, by any means.
Women’s vs Men’s
We all know that women buy the majority of shoes, so it’s only natural that this list is going to include more women’s shoes than men’s. With that said, though, there are still plenty of options for men, so you should also be on the lookout for something. As a general rule, men do need more protection and support than women, so their shoes are usually going to be a little heavier. This does not mean you can’t find a relatively lightweight pair, it just means you might have to look a tad bit harder. There are also some unisex choices as well, with these running at a more neutral size and support level.
Types of Shoes For Travel
There are tons of different types of shoes that you could wear for travel, but here is a quick look at some of the better choices. Just because you don’t see a type you like doesn’t mean it can’t be used or used well for that matter, but it’s just not on the top of the list.
Sneakers are always going to be a good choice for travel because they are super versatile. You can wear them to exercise in or just to head to the store. They go just as well with blue jeans as they do with shorts. They are open to so many options that it’s hard to overlook them. They’re also pretty supportive and protective, so that’s a major plus for them, too. For our purposes today, we are going to be lumping the likes of tennis shoes, running shoes, walking shoes, and anything that is athletic- whether serious or just casual- into this category.
Flats are many a lady’s favorite type of shoe, and it is easy to see why. They are cute and fashionable yet they can go with so many types of clothing that it’s not hard to mix and match with them. They are also very light and are low to the ground, giving you a lot of comfort and flexibility. They don’t have as much support, but they are still a big favorite for many.
Slip ons could technically take the form of any number of shoe types, but this type is nonetheless going to get a mention here. Slip ons are super easy to get on and off, and they are light in weight and offer just enough protection. Some of the slip ons are truly slip ons and amount to basically being like a pair of socks, such is their effectiveness. It’s low on support, but they protect you just enough and offer absurd comfort.
Flip Flops and Sandals
If you take a gander at Google when you type in “travel shoes” you’ll get a number of results that say that flip flops and sandals are the go-to choice. But we would throw in a word or two of caution there. Sure, you are going to be comfortable and you won’t ever have to worry about breathability, but they just do not have a whole ton of protection to them. They are much easier to slip out of and all but the best are not supportive for long days. Not to mention that they are only great for warm weather. Riding in a plane can be cold, and you won’t have any warmth with them. This is one you need to be wary of and really consider the pros and cons. Because of these reasons, we haven’t placed any on our list below.
Low Profile Heels
Heels are not a good idea for traveling in most cases, but if you have a low profile pair- rather than high heels- you can get away with it. They aren’t all that bulky, even if they are heavier than most above, and they can offer a bit more support in some cases. Plus, they are a bit more stylish, so that’s something you may feel is too good to pass up on!
Boots also deserve a mention here, even if they are not the best possible choice in most cases. If you are going to be in a cooler climate, this is a decent pick. Or if you just want maximum protection. Plus, they are great for matching with all kinds of looks, so that’s sure to make you quite happy!
Don’t Forget Socks
Speaking of blisters, one of the main reasons those awful gremlins form in the first place is due to not having the proper kind of socks on. Even with a pair of awesome shoes, a bad pair of socks can bring you down a couple of pegs really quickly. All too often you see people spend tons of money on shoes only to see them fail to even consider their socks. Not only do good socks work to prevent you from getting blisters, but they also contribute to your overall comfort and will make your feet smell much better than a poor pair would have done.
Some of us will find ourselves in a bit of quandary in this situation. Yes, we want to pick something that is light and protective, and comfortable, too, but we also need support. Maybe we have flat feet or high arches, or you’ve just had a long history of foot pain. Picking a lighter pair of shoes, unfortunately, does correspond in most, if not all, cases to having less support. If this is something you have experienced and you feel you need additional support, then you should turn toward an insert to replace the insoles you have. Not only do they make them more comfortable to the touch sometimes, but they also give you the support and cushion that you desperately need. Remember, you should watch for pairs to have removable insoles, otherwise you will end up wasting you time with this and still won’t be all that comfy.
Where You’re Headed
One of the biggest parts of picking out the right shoes for travel is going to be evaluating where you are headed. If you know that you are going to Antarctica, then you will naturally dress much differently than you would if you are going on a jungle safari. For one, you will need warm clothes, while the other would necessitate much cooler clothes. This includes your shoes, too. If you are going to be participating in a lot of walking on sketchy surfaces, then you will need a pair of shoes that has some tread to them so that you have some traction and can scale it without getting injured.
Looking For Versatility
Another thing that you have to keep your eye out for is versatility. Having a pair of shoes that are light, comfortable, and protective for you in the environment you are headed into is vital, but you also need to make sure you have a pair that are versatile as well. This is particularly going to be the scenario if you are limited in what you can bring. If you are only able to bring two pairs of shoes with you, you will need those two pairs to look good in a number of settings. This way, you can mix and match them with your clothes and not stand out too badly. While style is not the main thing, as we have talked about, we still don’t enjoy being ridiculed by others. So, it’s a good idea to look for versatile shoes that can be worn with all kinds of outfits, especially if you find yourself limited due to how much you are allowed to carry along with you.
In our reviews below, you are going to see a few pairs that are going to be labeled as ‘water’ shoes. This might be a bit confusing to you, but these are there for a very good reason. As we talked about above, you need shoes that are versatile in various settings in order to help you get through your trip. Water shoes qualify for a number of reasons. First of all, you can get them a little bit wet. If you’re headed to a theme park, or you are going somewhere near water, they are going to hold up very well. Many water shoes will drain in a flash. This means they are light, since they have to be, otherwise the materials would soak up all of the water. Water shoes, because they drain, are also breathable, meaning you get plenty of airflow, which is great for physical activity. They keep you cool, so that’s a big check mark. Then, you have the fact that they are going to have some tread to them on the bottoms as well. This is a must have if you’re near water or traversing up rocks or the like. Many of them even look and feel like regular tennis shoes, too, which is great and helps when you try to mix and match your wardrobe. For all of those reasons, and even more, you water shoes are a more than decent call for you to make for travel shoes.
Finding the Right Fit
Regardless of the type of shoes you are going to be wearing, you have to make sure you have the right fit to them. This is an issue as old as the hills you may find yourself climbing while on your trip. No one has ever found comfort in a pair of shoes that did not fit them. Not true comfort at least. Sure, you may have grinned and bore through it like a champ, but they didn’t exactly represent a comfortable experience, did they? Here are some things to do if you are buying online, as most of you are, so that you don’t make a big mistake and end up hating your shoes.
– Check sizing charts. This is massive because many of the brands are not going to be able to be found in stores and may not be available for you to try on. They also could be brands that are going to appeal to folks in a wide array of countries. Furthermore, not all shoes are magically going to fit into your ‘size,’ seeing as how the standards are not always as set in stone as they may seem. If you need to, measure your foot with measuring tape just to double check that they line up. Also, pay attention to reviews and literature released by the sellers themselves. They could indicate whether to go up or down a size.
– Account for swelling. This is often the problem you see when someone complains about their shoes not being the right size. It’s all about swelling. As you exercise, or even progress through your day, your feet and ankles will swell to a bigger size than when you rolled out of bed. Failing to account for this can lead you to awful pains and aches, and that’s obviously something you’ll want to avoid. Also, your feet will swell on a plane as well, or from a lack of activity at some points, so that’s of interest to you, too, and all the more reason to think about this.
– Return policies should be looked over. If you are buying online, it’s likely because you don’t want to take the time to go to the store. That’s fine and dandy, but the issue with this is that returns become a pain. Sometimes you might end up buying from a company from overseas and this causes a long delay in shipping back a poorly fit item. To avoid this, look at the return policies that they offer and where they are from. If you have never tried a pair of shoes from that manufacturer, it’s very wise to ensure that they offer free returns. This way, you don’t have to deal with the shoes hurting or just basically throwing that money away.
– Balance width and length out. All too many times we will hear about shoes being too big or small or too narrow. The answer for many is to go up or down a size, but this is often not the appropriate way to deal with it. By doing so, you can throw off the length of the shoes, and then you’re left with another problem to solve. So, to keep it short and sweet: make sure you have both the length and the width down. If one isn’t right, then you may just have to turn toward an entirely different product that better suits you and your feet.
Brands and Price
When it comes to travel shoes, there are few things that you should know in regards to brands and the price you pay. Brands do matter, but they don’t play nearly as big of a role here, nor should they. What you are looking for is very simple and non specific. That helps lower the cost and it also means that you don’t have to go with a brand that is known for something more tailored to the individual. This leads to some very good news in that the price you pay is generally going to be pretty low compared to tennis or running shoes, or anything else of the like. While it’s nice to see a brand you trust, you should not put stock in them being great for travel just because of the brand. If anything, if you do go by brand, look at how well they are known for comfort and travel types of shoes. As great as the shoe giants are at making shoes, it’s very difficult for them to be perfect at every single niche of the industry. Therefore, you can take a step back and save some money by giving someone new a chance in this case.
The Top 11 Travel Shoes of 2019 Reviews
Tiosebon Women’s Athletic Casual Shoes
Kicking off our list here is a great looking yet simple pair of slip on sneakers that would be awesome for walking in. Made with mesh all the way around them as well as flyknit, these are going to be super breathable and ultra comfortable due to their lightweight and flexibility. With a multitude of colors to pick from, you’ll not be disappointed with the ability to match to your clothes. The traction offers slip resistance, while the heel has some thickness to it to make walks easier by applying less pressure upon the heels. They don’t have a big name or reputation to them, but they are great for traveling and walking in and that also makes them a bit cheaper. On thing to make sure of is to size up if you have longer nails!
- Very breathable
- Extremely comfy and flexible
- Lots of colors
- Might need to size up a tad
Zhuanglin Men’s Quick Drying Aqua Shoes
Next up is a very versatile pair of shoes for men that can help them get through all kinds of activity while on a trip. These are made first and foremost for the water, utilizing a ton of holes to let water out. This also helps them be super breathable when you are not in the water, making them ideal for outdoor use on warm days. This also, though, helps cut down the weight of them, which makes them ideal for sitting and traveling on your feet. They come in a few different colors and even have a midsole that bounces back to help you absorb shocks as you walk. So these aren’t just covers for your feet alone! The sockliner is truly resistant to water, drying them quickly as well as comforting you tremendously well.
- Springy midsole
- Breathable and drains very well
- Light and freeing
Skechers Women’s Go Walk Joy Walking Shoes
Skechers is very much known for their comfortable shoes, and these are an example of that. These shoes are made to be slipped on and are mainly for walking. But with that being said, they are super light, comfy, breathable, and a breeze to wear while sitting and standing, too. Thanks to the prevalence of mesh all over, they will be light and allow airflow to get in and around easily. The heel uses their very responsive 5Gen cushioning, which is great for giving you long lasting support. The insole also supplies this, giving you a ton of rebound as you walk from one place to the next. They’ve also got some very snazzy colors to choose from, so that’s never going to let you down. The price is higher than most will be on the rest of the list, so that’s a possible strike against them.
- Brand known for their comfort
- Light and breathable thanks to mesh
- Cushioned inside and out
- Runs a little more expensive
FitKicks Live Well Women’s Foldable Shoes
If you are looking for something that is much less high profile than the ones we have seen so far, then these are the way to go. These are like socks for your feet but with a twist. Socks don’t do so well in the water, but these will! They can get wet and they have a rubber sole, helping you to get traction where a sock would not be able to do so. They may be like a barefoot design, but they are still going to offer that extra protection that you do not get if you have nothing on, so these are a wise choice if you want to go very minimal. They also have a ton of vibrant colors to pick from and are at a very affordable price, helping you to make your decision just that much more. Oh, and they can be folded, too, which makes them great for boarding flights and saving space.
- Super easy to store
- Like wearing a pair of socks
- Can get wet but has traction
OluKai Nohea Men’s Mesh Shoes
Here is a really nice pair of shoes for men that are going to be on the move and want to have some protection while still be free and comfortable. These shoes are made out of leather but are laced with mesh to make them super breathable. This combination makes them more durable than most on the list so far, so they can go above and beyond your travel needs, too. The footbed contains PU and is extremely soft as a result. On the outsoles, they are flexible and will not leave marks, all the while keeping you grounded and giving you a ton of traction. They are also super easy to get on and off, as they are slip ons. The main detraction here is the huge price you have to pay for them, as they do go further than most of the travel shoes on our list do.
- Very durable pair of shoes
- Stylish and more formal
- Flexible and breathable
- Very high price relative to the rest
Kunsto Women’s Genuine Leather Comfort Flats
Next up is something a bit different as it is a pair of flats that are basically fused with heels. The platforms are just a quarter of an inch off the ground, so it isn’t much, but it does help to take a little pressure off the heels and spine, too. They are made out of leather, so they will have that very fashionable look to them and will be very comfortable. They won’t be as breathable as many we have seen so far, but that is the trade off for a lack of mesh and ventilation. That does make these more durable, though, so that’s helpful. They’re also very, very affordable for this material, so that makes them desirable, along with them being flats and being light, making them a good, low priced pair of shoes for traveling.
- Very durable
- Supreme comfort
- Super affordable
- Not all that breathable
Joomra Women’s Minimalist Trail Running Shoes
While these are technically made with the intention of running in mind, they can also be used for a lot of other settings due to their makeup. These minimalist shoes are built to be low to the ground to encourage a more natural range of motion to make your feet stronger. That doesn’t mean they don’t have protection, though, as they have toe guards to them and have rubber soles to keep you on your feet. With a flyknit closure and an abundance of mesh, they are very breathable as well. Though they aren’t necessarily water shoes, you could even see them doing well there. They do stand out quite a lot, so they wouldn’t be the most versatile but would nonetheless be great for walking around, hiking, running, or traveling by yourself in.
- Very little weight to them
- Flyknit and mesh make them super flexible
- Extreme breathability
- Not the most versatile
Belilent Quick Drying Unisex Water Shoes
If you want a pair of shoes that will help you blend in a bit more than the previous pair, then these could be the way to go. These look like regular old tennis shoes, but they go further than that to give you the ability to go into the water with them. On top of that, they have a pull tab heel and a bungee cord lace system to make them easy to get on and off, making them ideal for comfort and adjustments to be made. With a quick drying system inside once they do get wet and cushioning, too, they are able to pad you in and out of the water. With an anti-slip thick rubber sole, they will keep you on your feet and protect from trash and the like. They even have a springy midsole that will help you as you walk.
- Breathable and good in the water
- Very versatile
Shoes 18 Women’s Foldable Ballet Flats
If it’s just something simple, quick, and painless that you want, then these could be just the ticket you are looking for. These shoes aren’t so much shoes as they are a mix of socks and shoes. These flats are made for ballet and will basically just cover your feet through a long ride or flight. Plus, they are great for replacing those high heel should you get uncomfortable and need to put them on in an instant. Because of the cotton, they stretch out easily and are super comfy, even if they can get a little warm. It’s not as if you will be doing a ton of walking with them, hopefully, so that should be just fine. They are extremely affordable, and just a good, foldable choice that’s going to take up very little room.
- Folds and takes up little space
- Mixture between shoes and socks
- Comfy and flexible
- Not best for lots of walking
Toms Women’s Del Rey Sneakers
Toms are some of the more desirable shoes out there, and this pair is one of their more comfortable and stylish options. These are made from cotton, which help them expand to where you need them to while being decently breathable. Thanks to a slight platform, you will have pressure taken off the back and heels. These slip ons are easy to get on and off and will hardly make you feel as if you have shoes on at all due to their minimal approach. The elastic goring used to construct them not only cushions you but also helps to keep you in place while being quite durable at the same time. These are quite expensive in many cases, so that is the biggest strike against this pair.
- Matches nearly anything in your wardrobe
- Strong, durable elastic goring
- Comfy and stylish
- Very expensive for some
Astral Men’s Loyak Minimalist Sneakers
Up next is pair of shoes for men that will help you get through all kinds of obstacles. These minimalist shoes have the appearance of tennis shoes at first glance, but they can and will do so much more. For starters, they can help you in the water and also on a boat, keeping you on your feet while not ruining them. Thanks to a lot of mesh and drainage holes, they release water well, all the while the canvas up top repels water from them. The midsoles are surprisingly thick for the type of shoes they are, adding to the support and making lots of walking in them possible to do. The bottoms are ‘siped,’ which is a pattern that boat shoes have used for years in order to keep people on their feet. They’re just a great, lightweight option that also happens to be very breathable! The main negative is that they are quite expensive, so that’s a bummer for some and will prove to be overkill.
- Great around and in water
- Super lightweight
- Versatile for all types of clothes
- Runs very expensive
Conclusion And Final Travel Shoes Recommendations
Finding a pair of shoes to travel in is not all that much like anything you can do. Sometimes the shoes you’d like to wear are too big and heavy. Even if you wanted to take them off for a little while, you wouldn’t have anywhere to put them. Or you are just mainly concerned with comfort and not feeling like you have bricks on your feet. If you’ve ever spent hours and hours on end traveling, you’ll know this all too well. What you need is something light and comfy, and a pair that keeps your feet covered. That’s all you need, even if it’s tough to find them because of the plethora of choices available at your fingertips. After our guide and reviews today, you’ll find it so much easier to find what you want and need. Good luck on your travels!
FAQ’s About Travel Shoes
Should and How Do I Break In My Shoes?
Yes, you definitely should do so well before you embark upon your journey. Even if you feel like the shoes are comfortable enough or that reviews say that they were great right out of the box, you should still assume that they are not good enough to be worn right away. This is just a good practice that will get your feet ready. If you don’t get used to the shoes and then throw them on, it’s a case of sinking or swimming. You may absolutely hurt for a day- or even a week- and that’s just not a good way to enjoy a vacation or time away at all. Wear them around the house a bit, take them out shopping, or something. Just make sure you work your way up the ladder, rather than putting them on for the first time when you need to wear them. It’s just a bad, bad idea!
How Long Will My Travel Shoes Last?
In all honesty, most travel shoes are not built with durability in mind. Most of the time, the main thing at foot is going to be making them light and comfortable, while being supportive. The more durable you get, the heavier they tend to be, or the higher the price is. This does not mean you can’t get a lot of use out of your travel shoes, though. It just means that you have to be wise with how and when you wear them. Constant use is also going to erode them faster, as will wearing them roughly or improperly.
How Many Pairs of Shoes Do I Need?
This depends on the length of the trip and what you will be doing while there, as well as how much you can bring with you. At minimum, you need to be bringing at least two pairs. What you have on plus something that is possibly very portable. Outside of that, it’s up to you. If you’re driving, then you can afford to bring much more. If you are flying, maybe not so much. Depending on the kinds of things you will be doing, you may only need two pairs. The less you have, also, the more you’ll want them to be versatile. You will not want to pick something that only goes with one outfit if you have just two pairs!