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The Best Travel Shoe for Every Type of Trip, Tested and Reviewed

Travel often demands long hours on your feet and many miles of walking, making the right pair of shoes essential. Uncomfortable or ill-fitting footwear can lead to blisters and aching feet, cutting your adventures short and sending you back to your hotel room earlier than desired. However, you still want shoes that are stylish enough to wear confidently while exploring fashionable cities.

As a team of seasoned globetrotters who have collectively logged hundreds of thousands of miles, we’ve learned through years of trial and error what to look for in the perfect travel shoe. Whether you’re embarking on a city break, hitting the trails, or doing a little bit of everything, we’ve done the legwork (pun intended) to bring you a comprehensive guide to the best travel shoes for every type of journey. 

From packable sneakers to lightweight hiking shoes, we’ve curated recommendations for the best travel shoes for every type of trip.

The Best Shoes for Packing Light: Rothy’s The Braid Driver & The Driving Loafer

When it comes to packing carry-on only, there’s no better shoe brand than Rothy’s. This travel-friendly company makes its shoes out of an ultra-soft and lightweight fabric made from recycled plastic water bottles. This results in footwear that can pack flat, and is even machine washable (so you can have shoes that look new for every trip.)


Our favorite Rothy shoes are the Men’s Driving Loafer and the Women’s Braid Driver, both slip-on styles that are great for flying through airport security. The knit construction means these shoes are ready to go out of the box (no break-in period required). They also feature removable cushioned inserts for extra support.

The Best Shoes for Trips to Europe: Nisolo Women’s Dari Commuter Boot & Red Wing Men’s Weekender Chukka

European fashion can feel intimidating to visitors, but you’ll be well prepared if you pack Nisolo’s Women’s Dari Commuter Boot or Red Wing’s Weekender Chukka. These boots are miraculously stylish and comfortable and can handle uneven cobblestone streets and walking for hours. 


The Dari Commuter Boot adds just the right amount of height to look polished, featuring a stable 2.5” block heel topped with a slip-resistant heel cap.

Red Wing

Men will want to pack Red Wing’s Weekender Chukka for European trips. These casual boots provide all-day comfort and support and can be worn with khakis or jeans. Don’t worry about breaking in these chukkas, as our tester verifies that they can be worn for miles straight out of the box, thanks to the high-quality leather and lightweight, flexible stichdown construction. 

The chukkas can be worn with or without socks, depending on your fashion vibe for the day. Our tester also raved about the outsole, made from raw plantation rubber, which he said offered firm footing and slip-resistance even in wet weather. Bonus: these boots are resolable, making them a lifetime shoe. 

The Best Travel Dress Shoes: Beckett Simonon Anders Split Toe Derbies & Vionic Chardonnay Heeled Sandals

When you want to go out to a nice dinner on vacation but still want to be able to walk there, a good pair of dress shoes is needed. Travel dress shoes should be multi-purpose (you don’t want to waste suitcase space on something you’ll only wear once during your trip) and comfortable for standing and walking. 


We always pack Vionic’s Chardonnay Heeled Sandals, which have a low enough block heel to be comfortable. The sandals’ adjustable hook-and-loop closure ensures a perfect fit, so they are never too tight or too loose. 

Beckett Simonon

Beckett Simonon’s Anders Split Toe Derbies are our favorite travel dress shoes for men. These calfskin leather derbies are just as comfortable as sneakers but look dapper for dinner or a business trip. Our tester especially loved the leather-lined insoles, which adapt to the wearer’s feet for a custom-fit footbed.

The Best All-Around Walking Shoes for Travel: New Balance Unisex T500

Who would have thought that athletic sneakers would become fashionable? These days, you’ll see chunky white sneakers on the feet of the young and stylish. For a pair that toes the line between comfort and chic, we like New Balance’s T500 unisex sneakers.

These tennis shoes feature a perforated toebox for extra breathability and a durable suede and nubuck construction. The white color will go with anything, and the understated design helps these shoes remain timelessly stylish. 

The Best Shoe for Hiking Trips: Merrell Speed Eco Waterproof & Merrell Antora 3 Mid Waterproof

You can get away with a good trail shoe for most hiking trips instead of a bulkier boot. We like Merrell’s Speed Eco shoes, which come in versions designed for men and women. These lightweight hiking shoes are completely waterproof but still breathable enough for hot days. 


If you’ll be wearing these shoes every day of your trip, you’ll be happy to hear they’re treated with Merrell’s trademarked Cleansport NXT, which helps prevent odors. Opt for one of the more subtle colors, and you can also wear the Speed Ecos around town.

Merrell Antora 3 Mid Waterproof

If you prefer the ankle support of a boot, but still want a sneaker-like comfort, pack Merrell’s Antora 3 Mid Waterproof boots. These lightweight boots weigh just around 10 ounces per shoe, and our tester swears they felt just like her most comfortable sneakers, even at the end of a day-long hike.

Despite the boots’ light weight, they still manage to pack in lots of essential features, including a waterproof membrane, Vibram sole, and a rock plate for extra protection.

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We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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