A great vacation shoe should be comfortable, versatile, durable, convenient and of course, stylish. We have fifteen options from flats to sneaks that will have you sight-seeing in style.
COMFORT IS KEY
A comfortable shoe is essential for long hours of walking and exploring. Look for shoes with cushioning, arch support, and a good fit. Consider features like padded insoles, breathable materials, and adjustable closures to ensure a comfortable experience throughout your travels. Here are three of our favorites…
If you’re an UGG lover, then you know this brand specializes in comfort. You’re also aware they’re fantastically comfortable in colder weather. Warmer climes? Not so much. The UGG Goldenstar Heritage Braid Sandals has the soft suede upper and cushioned platform sole you know and love, just redesigned into a very cool looking, walking sandal. The velcro straps make for easy on and off and the earthy textile pattern is unique and fun.
Looking for something a bit more sleek and minimal that’s still amazingly comfortable all day? How about a shoe that’s made to absorb 37% more impact than your regular footwear? OOFOS specializes in creating recovery sandals and shoes for professional and non-professional athletes who push their feet to the limit. Plush cushioning and arch-cradling flexibility give amazing comfort below while the 4-way stretch mesh upper conforms to your foot, keeping it in place without rubbing or feeling constrained.
OOFOS, OOmg Low in White/Gray $139.95
Depending on your destination and the activities of the day, you may prefer a more classically casual styled shoe. The Cushion Coast by Reef (yes, as in the comfy sandal brand) starts with a lightweight, breathable upper with an easy on and easy off stretch lace system, then adds a ridiculously comfortable Memory Foam Sockliner and cushy EVA outsole. Put that all together and then offer it in twelve color options, and this is a shoe ready for travel.
Opting for shoes that can be worn in various settings and with different outfits is a smart move. Versatile shoes can save space in your luggage and eliminate the need to pack multiple pairs. Choose a style that can be dressed up or down, such as a classic sneaker, ballet flats, or sandals with a neutral color palette. Here are three amazing multi-taskers you’ll love…
Starting with these coffee-colored cuties by Nina. The sleek silhouette and wide straps make them perfect for daytime shorts, while the rich brown crochet detailing elevates them to easily pair with your dinner dress.
Nina, Union in Walnut $19.99
For those times you don’t want to wear a sandal, a stylish sneaker is a great choice. With its timeless design and silhouette, these court shoes by K-Swiss feature modern comfort upgrades including a cushy Smartfoam Strobel board, a long lasting Ortholite sock liner, a new lightweight rubber compound, and a moisture wicking lining. They come in several color options, but we’re vibing on this clean white version with just a touch of on-trend animal print.
K-Swiss, Court Pro II $45 (on Sale NOW from $60)
A packed travel schedule may have you bouncing from location to location. Having a comfy, long-lasting shoe that works for dressier places but can still take on Rome’s Spanish Steps is what Clark’s Cora Isis collection is all about. The upper is premium leather in a ballet flat style, while in the midsole, the brand’s moulded Ultimate Comfort PU foam footbed made to keep the spring in your step all day long. Add to that a lightweight, grippy and flexible outsole and you have a great traveling companion fit for your feet.
Clarks, Cora Iris in Red $48.99
Travel shoes should be built to withstand the rigors of different terrains and weather conditions. Look for high-quality materials and solid construction that can endure walking on uneven surfaces, rainy days, or rough trails. Reinforced soles, sturdy stitching, and water-resistant features are beneficial for long-lasting durability. Here are three strong showings for when you really want to pound the pavement…
This slip-on by Dansko has just about everything you could want in a durable walking shoe. From its lightweight, slip-resistant rubber outsole to its durable waterproof leathers, it also contains a triple-density EVA footbed for superior cushioning and a shock-absorbing midsole for all-day comfort. This shoe is so good, it carries the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) seal of approval. Shoes that receive this approval have undergone rigorous testing of their foot health, foot care, safety, and overall benefits.
Craving a sandal that can endure rigorous, all day walking but is still stylish enough to wear out to dinner? Chaco’s Townes midform sandal has a smooth and elegant silhouette that packs a contoured footbed with a cushioned stacked midsole ready for all day wear. Big bonus, it’s rubber sole is non-marking, so no danger of scuffing floors, and delivers superior wet and dry traction.
Chaco, Townes Midform Sandal $114.95
The Beek brand will be the first to tell you that they don’t do ‘fast fashion’ shoes. Their Puffin travel bootie is perhaps their best case in point. It’s handmade with double-soft, vegetable-tanned leather and fully leather lined. The construction is “deconstructed”, meaning there are no stiff areas (no stiff heel or toe), so no rubbing or chafing. The all-leather sole, with a molded arch for extra comfort, quickly custom forms to your feet. Their motto: footwear is meant to be in your closet for a lifetime. Wear them forever, they only get better.
LIGHTWEIGHT & PACKABLE
Considering the weight restrictions and limited space when traveling, choose shoes that are lightweight and easily packable. Lightweight shoes will reduce fatigue during extended periods of walking, while packable options can fit neatly into your suitcase or carry-on bag without taking up too much space. Here are three that understood the assignment completely…
With the tagline “a shoe so light, a butterfly could steal it” you can guess why we chose Hey Dude’s the Wendy as the first option for a lightweight travel shoe. It also happens to be their best seller (so maybe we’re on to something here). This washed canvas cream version can literally go with anything in your casual wardrobe, and with a comfy foam insole and substantial foam outer sole it feels as good as it looks.
Next up, we are loving the color pop of Clark’s Breeze Emily walking flats. With its ultra-soft, impact-absorbing foam footbed, all day walking really is a breeze. What’s also a breeze? The perforated design lets the air in and keeps your feet comfortable even in the steamiest tropical setting. We love the casual silhouette that lends itself easily to shorts, trousers, skirts or your fav flowy dress. Poppy red not your thing? They have seven other color options to choose from.
Traveling to some serious “more hiking than walking” destinations, but not so keen on carrying around a pair of hefty hiking boots? Let us introduce you to Palladium’s Pampa Travel Lite. As the name implies, this is a fully functioning, durable-as-heck hiking boot that weighs the same as most sneakers. The ultra-lightweight design is achieved courtesy of a packable nylon upper and a Lite Tech EVA outsole. It even sports a fast lacing system, so it can be easy on and off. All that and it’s one stylish looking boot…no wonder it’s a celeb favorite at music festivals.
SLIP-ON OR EASY CLOSURE
Convenience is key when it comes to travel footwear. Slip-on shoes or those with easy closure mechanisms like elastic bands or Velcro straps allow for quick and hassle-free wearing and removal, especially during airport security checks or when you’re on the go. Avoid shoes with complex lacing systems or multiple buckles. Here are three options that won’t slow you down…
These pull on espadrille sandals by Nina are as easy to slip in as out, thanks to the comfy stretch elastic back & instep strap. The lightweight flexible jute bottom with grippy soles keep you moving in stride from baggage check to the beach.
If you crave the look of a classic b&w sneaker, but the lacing and re-lacing not so much, the Sport Inclusion Too by Billy Footwear is definitely for you. All the comfort and style of your favorite kicks, these have an easy zip on/off right up top that make them a total no-muss no-fuss choice.
Can we just say how stylish this slip-on from M. Gemi’s Cerchio collection is? Made of handwoven Italian Nappa leather with a super-lightweight EVA rubber sole bottom for maximum flexibility and comfort. A wonderful investment piece for the seasoned traveler who’s looking for an elegant, durable shoes that will stay with you for many trips to come.