Comfortable travel shoes can make or break your trip. How can you explore your destination on foot if you’re hampered by blisters and sore legs? Pack a pair of these good-looking and comfortable shoes and you’ll have one less thing to worry about on your vacation.
Nike Flex RN 2018
Nike’s Flex RN sneakers are my favorite running shoes, and I’ve discovered that they’re perfect for travel as well. The knit material means they have a slim profile that takes up less space in a suitcase than most sneakers. I got them in a versatile all-black color, so that I can wear them both for working out and for walking around. (Click here to see the men’s version.)
Merrell World Vue Lace
Merrell has taken the technology that makes a comfortable travel shoe from its hiking shoes and transferred it to their professional-looking World Vue Lace. Because these look like shoes that you’d wear to the office or an evening outing, no one would ever suspect that they are outfitted with trademarked antimicrobial agents to reduce odor, a contoured footbed for extra support, and a shock-resistant midsole. And if you’re heading somewhere rainy, they’re also available in a waterproof version.
You probably didn’t think it was possible, but Superga sneakers are super-trendy, unisex, and extra-comfortable travel shoes. They’re most commonly spotted in magazines and on the feet of fashionistas, yet they have everything that makes a sneaker good for walking (arch support, a solid sole, laces) and come in a wide variety of colors and styles.
Vivobarefoot uses a minimal sole on all their shoes, to better allow your feet freedom of movement that is healthier for you. For travelers, this means a lighter shoe that’s easier to pack, while still offering enough protection and support to walk long distances. Vivobarefoot’s Jing Jing flats is the brand’s most stylish shoe, with a ballet flat, slip-on design. For a more masculine shoe, the Slyde Leather has the same slip-on design in a loafer style.
adidas Cloudfoam Advantage Sneakers
Feel like you’re walking on clouds with adidas’ aptly named Cloudfoam Advantage Sneakers. These shoes feature a memory foam sockliner that molds to your foot for the ultimate in walking comfort. Get them in white to match everything, or opt for pink or green to add a pop of color to your travel wardrobe.
SAS Shoes Simone Italy Sandals
Planning a European vacation? Pack Simone Italy sandals from SAS Shoes. Handcrafted in Tuscany, Italy, you can trust that these shoemakers know a thing or two about walking on cobblestone streets. The small wedge heel is 1.50”, which offers a bit of lift without sacrificing comfort, and the adjustable ankle keeps the sandal secure around your feet.
In case you missed it, classic Keds have gotten a serious style upgrade. Check out the Keds Crashbacks, which are made from a soft leather that lends you a more polished look. These slip on and off easily, so you can glide through the airport security checkpoint on your way to the plane.
Teva Ember Moc
Those of us with frequently-cold feet have often wished we could wear something like sleeping bags on our feet, and Teva has made that dream come true, with their Ember Mocs. Billed as “part sneaker, part sleeping” bag, these are the ultimate comfortable travel shoes. They feel like slippers, but with a solid rubber outsole, they’re made for the outdoors. The Ember Mocs (available for men and women) are perfect for camping. When you’re ready to change out of your hiking boots, these will feel like sweet relief on your tired feet.
Birkenstock Arran Sneaker
Birkenstock is mainly known for their iconic sandal design—but did you know they also make equally comfortable shoes? Check out the Arran Sneaker (available in a women’s version and a men’s version), which has the same contoured cork footbed and arch support that make Birkenstock sandals so lovable.
More from SmarterTravel:
- SmarterTravel Shopping Guide
- 13 Best Summer Shoes for Travel
- 12 Amazing Waterproof Shoes for Spring Travel
Caroline Morse Teel thinks comfortable travel shoes can make or break a trip. Follow Caroline on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for photos from around the world.
Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.