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Close up of a person's legs and feet as they walk through the airport pulling a yellow suitcase
Monster Ztudio | Adobe Stock

How to Make Your Shoes More Comfortable for Travel

Travel often involves walking (and standing) much more than you typically do at home. Packing the right footwear can make all the difference in your comfort as you tread new paths abroad. If there’s no money in your budget to buy new shoes for your trip, and the ones you own aren’t quite as comfortable as you’d like, here are some ways to make the footwear you already own more comfortable. 

Add Insoles

Close up of person testing out insoles for their running sneakers
Goffkein | Adobe Stock

Wish your shoes had a bit more support? Add an orthotic insole to increase your favorite footwear’s ergonomic factor. Vionic’s Slim Fit Insoles are podiatrist-designed and an affordable alternative to custom-made orthotics. 

The slender insoles are designed to fit in all types of shoes, from flats to heels, and help realign the foot to its natural position. The insoles add extra support and shock absorption that can help reduce pain and fatigue. 

Shoe Stretchers

Brown loafers with shoe stretchers inside
Volodymyr Herasymov | Adobe Stock

Hanging on to an old pair of boots that are just a bit too tight? A shoe stretcher can add enough room to make them the perfect fit. Shoe stretchers can make footwear slightly longer and wider in the toe box, but don’t expect them to add an entire size or two.

Heel Grips

Person rubbing painful blister on heels from ballet flat shoes
Andrey Popov | Adobe Stock

If you have shoes that are too loose and rub at your heels causing blisters, try using a pair of heel grips. These inexpensive soft gel inserts stick to the back of your shoe, filling in any extra space and helping to prevent friction. 

How to Pick the Best Footwear for Travel

If you’re shopping for new shoes for your next trip, there are a few crucial things to look for. Dr. Alissa Kuizinas, DPM, tells SmarterTravel, “The most important aspects of footwear for travel are the shape and flexibility of the sole of the shoe and the shape of the toe box.” Dr. Kuizinas recommends choosing footwear that “either have a flexible sole and bend easily, especially at the ball of the foot, or are stiffer soled but provide a rocker effect in the forefoot.”

Make sure shoes have plenty of room in the toe before buying. According to Dr. Kuizinas, “The toe box shape is also very important as most shoes are far too narrow in the toe box, causing less efficient walking, which can lead to muscle fatigue, stiffness, and ultimately issues like plantar fasciitis. It is best to look for a wide toe box shape that fans out a bit towards the end of the shoe rather than tapering.”

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