Best Travel Shoes
Whenever I travel, I want to have the freedom to explore as much as possible on foot but I also don't want to look like a backpacker! I'm definitely the kind of traveler who over-stuffs the itinerary to see as much as possible and have gotten blood blisters and tired heels from wearing stylish shoes with little support.
Over time, I've gradually narrowed my search for walking shoes for travel that come in breathable fabric, have arch support and are stylish enough for photos!
If you've ever wanted to be able to go from sightseeing to a nice dinner without worrying whether your shoes are “dinner room” appropriate, this travel packing list is for you!
Below is a summary of the best women's shoes that blend comfort and style after years of traveling – without looking orthopedic.
Best Travel Shoes for Women
I generally pack 3 types of shoes when I travel:
- A pair of sneakers (for working out or all-day walking tours)
- A stylish but comfortable pair of flats or moccasins (for dinner and more casual days)
- An easy slip on pair of flip flops / sandals (for the beach or shower)
I am admittedly an over packer so… sometimes I pack multiple pairs of shoes from the 3 categories. The upside is I've tried and tested many different shoe brands over the years! I've organized my list of the best walking shoe options for travel according to the 3 categories above.
Quickly jump to
Comfortable Travel Shoes 2020 – Summary Comparison Chart
To summarize, here's a handy chart for the most comfortable travel shoes that don't break the bank and are still stylish. I've grouped the walking friendly shoes by type. Let me know if I've missed your favorite and I'll check them out!
Best Sneakers for Travel
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Stylish Walking Shoes
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Comfortable Travel Flats
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Most Comfortable Sandals
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Best Travel Sneakers
Sneakers are always a must have. For heavy walking days, uneven cobblestone streets or airport days, I like having a thick soled, extra comfortable and closed toe shoe. But, I don't necessarily want to look like I'm going to the gym!
Here are 5 stylish sneakers that are perfect for travel.
Cole Haan Tennis Sneaker
I love how retro these look! They come in neutral classic colors and also a huge range of pastel colors if you want something girlier.
The Cole Haan sneakers are incredibly lightweight and flexible. The foot bed has tons of cushion and support which is perfect for travel! I hate shoes that slip and slide but the heel and forefoot of these have rubber pods for great traction.
If you prefer, there's also a hybrid sneaker version.
The Tread is the perfect unisex sneaker.
Designed for any destination, these are extremely comfortable, 100% full grain leather sneakers. Their low profile makes them versatile enough to wear with any outfit and they come in a rainbow of colors to suit any preference.
And even more appealing, these are made with sustainability in mind. Everlane produces them with less waste, less energy and less virgin plastic and offsets the carbon emissions it couldn't eliminate.
If you want a chic, modern update to the traditional sneaker the Adidas Tubular is perfect. The thick soles provide excellent support for a full day of walking.
The Tubular line is so popular that Adidas makes these in a whole range of colors and styles. If you like to work out on vacation, these are perfect as they can double to wear to the gym!
I also have the Adidas Superstars, a classic white shoe that looks a bit more classic, as well as the Adidas Superstar Slip On, which I wore throughout my Europe cruise. These are a slimmer profile without shoe laces, so they're sleeker and easy to put on!
Adidas makes tons of comfortable shoes, no matter what look you're going for.
Want the perfect everyday sneaker?
Ecco's Soft 7 sneaker checks all the options. This family run Danish brand knows how to combine classic style, affordability and innovative technology.
With its monochrome cap toe, low profile and smooth leather upper, the Ecco sneaker is made from high quality, durable materials. The interior is removable and contains Ecco's signature comfort insole for long lasting support.
Best of all, this travel sneaker comes in every color under the sun! All the options are beautiful muted shades that won't clash with your clothes.
Clarks is a shoe brand that has long been synonymous with comfort.
I used to think of them as a ‘mom' brand, but lately they've come out with some sleek, stylish options like the Tri Spark sneaker!
With its sporty vibe, ultra light construction and minimalist silhouette, this sleek sneaker is perfect for travel. Inside, you'll find a foot shaped fit and responsive cushioning while rubber pods on the sole deliver grip and support.
Clarks makes this classic sneaker in a variety of shades. If you like a bit of height, this is the perfect travel shoe as it has a built in cushioned heel to make you look taller, without the pain of a stiletto!
The Palestra is the perfect sophisticated lace up sneaker.
With clean lines, a minimalist profile and a host of color options (plus leather and suede varieties) this is the kind of travel sneaker that works with even the dressiest outfit.
M. Gemi has long been one of our favorite brands. Solid Italian craftsmanship, genuine leather and hand stitched soles result in an extra comfortable sneaker that can handle all day walking and standing… and still look classy enough for dinner in Europe.
Stylish Walking Shoes
Sometimes you want the comfort of a sneaker, but you don't want a clunky athletic shoe. Gym sneakers can take up lots of room and who wants to constantly tie laces?
Enter a more streamlined, fashion sneaker. With their low profile, slip on style, these go with everything – from casual day outfits (jeans and a t-shirt) to a flowy dress for a nice dinner.
Here are 5 of our favorite comfortable slip-on travel shoes:
UGG Sammy Sneaker
If I could live in UGG shoes permanently, I would.
As it is, I already wear the moccasin for my commute to work and even inside the office. My coworkers made fun of me for an entire year but come December, they admitted they ordered them for Christmas – ha!
For spring and summer travel, I'm a huge fan of these comfy slip on sneakers. The uppers are made from a breathable knit fabric that let your feet breathe, and they come in a host of fun colors. Simple, chic and versatile enough to wear with jeans or skirts! They also come in a leather option.
If you have wide feet, you might prefer the UGG knit sneakers, which are a little more giving. UGG has really branched out from their core boot line into comfy flats and sandals and I'm all for their shoes, with are always lined with orthopedic-friendly cushioned soles!
Dr Scholl’s Slip On
In particular, I like the Scout slip on which fully covers your foot in a sleek neutral style.
The uppers are made of 100% leather and the anatomical foot bed is cushioned with Memory Fit foam to cushion every step.
Comfortable, lightweight and perfect for anyone who needs to stand all day. I really like the range of colors and textures too.
Skechers Breathe Easy Sneaker
The first time my mom called me to let me know she bought a pair of Skechers sneaker flats for our trip to Spain, I thought she was indulging in typical ‘mom fashion'.
Fast forward to our trip to Spain and my sneakers were pinching and too tight.. guess what, I ended up ‘borrowing' her Skechers for the rest of the trip!
Skechers just came out with this new sneaker that's an affordable dupe for the Adidas ultra boosts!
Toms Canvas Slip-On
It took about a day to break them in first but after, the soft fabric stretches to your feet. The foot bed has surprisingly more support than you'd expect with a cushy interior.
The only downside is that Toms are made of cloth and they can start to smell after extended use, so they may not last longer than a year or two if you wear them often. But they're cheap and easy to replace!
For a more long lasting option, I love this lightweight sneaker that's new for Spring – it's slimming with pretty suede uppers and a cushioned insole for arch support.
Toms also makes comfortable sandals – same comfort but these will let your feet breathe a bit more.
For a high quality slip on sneaker, the Olukai Pehuea is my top choice.
A premium brand based in Hawaii, Olukai makes shoes that focus on performance while leaving the smallest possible footprint on the planet. All of their shoes have anatomically contoured footbeds that make them incredibly comfortable and supportive, for long term wear.
I have both the covered Pehuea slip on and the Upena sandals, both of which are so comfortable. I wrote an in-depth shoe review here, but the main takeaway is that these are incredibly comfortable, straight out of the box. The Pehuea insoles can also be removed and machine washed, to keep them clean!
The rubber sole has grips too, so you won't slip and slide while walking.
Need comfortable shoes for Europe that look a little bit more put together?
Pick up a sturdy driving moc or loafer that will mold to your feet and be comfortable all day long. Plus, with these stylish flat and loafer options, you'll blend right in with the locals!
We're obsessed with comfortable flats – here are 5 of the best travel flats that are chic yet don't chafe.
Everlane Day Glove Flat
Looking for a comfortable ballet flat?
Check out Everlane's Day Glove which is made from butter soft leather. They're stylish, sleek and after a bit of breaking in, mold perfectly to your feet and are a dream to walk in.
Modern and sleek, the best part about these flats is that there's absolutely no toe cleavage – a pet peeve of mine!
I never thought I could wear a flat shoe and call them comfortable, but Everlane changed my mind. With a whopping 16 colors, you're bound to find the perfect shade!
In general, I go to Everlane for high quality basics. Although the prices can be higher than fast fashion brands, the material are worth it (these are Italian leather) and everything has lasted season after season. I wrote an in depth review of my favorite Everlane outfits here.
M.Gemi Felize Moccasin
I'm a huge fan of M. Gemi for their luxurious, Italian made shoes and accessible price points. They have a variety of moccasin shoe options each season – all of which are made from buttery soft leather and mold perfectly to your feet.
The best part is the huge range of colors they offer – everything from neutrals to pastels to fun bright colors for summer.
The signature Felize driving moccasins are high quality, sewn by hand in Tuscany and offered in suede uppers. If you want a more low-maintenance leather, check out the Pastoso shoe which comes in soft leather.
M. Gemi offers both free shipping + free returns.
Jack Rogers Taylor Loafer
For a softer, slightly cheaper option I would recommend Jack Rogers Loafers. I picked up a pair of these last fall and they're so comfortable.
Jack Rogers sizing can vary from shoe to shoe – I find that the loafers run slightly narrow but fit like a glove in my usual size.
In comparison to the M.Gemi, the Jack Rogers are softer while the M.Gemi are more durable. The Jack Rogers are great for casual wear and also for travel, but if you plan to walk on cobblestone / uneven streets, you may prefer a sneaker with more cushion.
The M. Gemi moccasins are more of a driving moc – with reinforced heels and grips on the bottom. They also feel stiffer and more durable. It just depends on what type of loafer you prefer!
I have a ton of Jack Rogers shoes – they make great, fun summer sandals and wedges and I would also recommend their suede scalloped flats if you want a prettier flat instead of a loafer. The flats are an affordable dupe for the classic Chloe flat and quite cushioned in the foot bed – for these I sized down half a size to a 6.5 as they run a tad large.
Vionic Minna Flat
I love the classic look of these Vionic leather flats.
Vionic is a go to for comfortable walking shoes and these ballet pumps have the same classic cushioned foot bed found in all their shoes.
Available in regular, narrow and wide sizes, the Minna flat is perfect for a leisurely day of sightseeing and a nice dinner out.
Madewell Frances Loafer
If you love androgynous footwear, this leather loafer is for you.
Both feminine and masculine at the same time, these flats are incredibly comfortable once you have a chance to wear them in.
Madewell makes these in a high quality leather that's not stiff – so break in time is minimal and they wear well over time.
The interior leather is really soft too! If you're in the market for insanely comfortable and chic loafers, pick up the Frances loafer ASAP.
You seriously can't go wrong with these – they're timeless!
Best Travel Sandals
In spring and summer, you're likely looking for cute and comfortable sandals! Here are some of our favorite travel sandals that don't chafe, pinch or blister your feet…and look gorgeous with skirts, dresses and every kind of outfit.
Plaka Flat Sandal
Plaka makes simple, chic rope sandals that are made from hand.
I love the design of the ropes and these work particularly well if you have wide or narrow feet, as the ropes are adjustable. They come with a cotton bag for storage and are super comfortable.
The rope is made of polyester while the soles are rubber. I think they're both simple enough to wear everyday yet dressier than a basic flip flop so they're versatile for travel!
I like the black rope option but there are colorful options too.
Best of all? They're extremely affordable!
UGG Kamile Sandal
I ordered these UGG Kamile Sandals for our trip to Europe and they were the perfect comfy sandal for weeks of walking on concrete, cobblestone and tile.
The leather straps are made from a soft, smooth leather and the foot bed is very slightly arched and quite comfortable. I didn't have any ‘breaking in' period and I like how easy they are to slip on (you don't have to do up the buckle each time).
They also run a bit wide, so if you have bunions or wide feet these may be the perfect travel sandals.
UGG also makes a sandal version here, which comes in leather, suede and metallic color options. Since I don't do well with slide on shoes, I opted for the strap across the bank.
I do wish the straps themselves were slightly thinner (like the Kari sandals) and that the sole wasn't white, but overall they're so comfortable I can't complain! If you like to pack light, I think these versatile travel sandals go with everything.
Blowfish Fisherman Sandal
These sandals are incredibly comfortable. The straps hit at just the right part of the feet so that if you have narrow or wide feet or even bunions, your toes won't feel smashed at all and can sit comfortably.
I like the criss cross detail to dress up the basic sandal and you can adjust the shoe with the buckle near the heel.
The foot bed is molded for your feet as well. Perhaps the only downside is that the shoe is made of synthetic leather but they're more affordable because of it.
Olukai Upena Sandal
For a sturdier strappy sandal, pick up the Olukai Upena.
With adjustable straps and a whole host of different colors, there's plenty of options for everyone. In particular, these sandals would hold up well to lots of walking – whether it be cobblestone streets or a moderate hike.
I wore them while walking from midtown Manhattan to the Lower East Side in the dead heat of summer and they were incredibly comfortable! They're also incredibly easy to pack as they don't take up any space and you don't have to worry about them getting crushed.
For more pictures, including how these shoes look on, you can read my in-depth Olukai review.
Beek Finch Sandal
It looks pretty on the feet and the asymmetrical strap keeps your foot firmly in place as you walk. The arch is molded for comfort too! I'm so tired of cute sandals with hard thin footbeds that feel like you're walking right on the ground.
The only thing is some people find the fit slightly off – I recommend ordering a couple sizes especially if you're in between sizes.
Soludos has captured the market for cute and affordable summer sandals and espadrilles.
I love the classic stripe prints they have and the quirky emoji flats. These are quite comfortable but not meant for all day walking, so I save them for more leisurely days. They look equally great with a sundress or shorts!
Quality wise, they're quite similar to Toms shoes. Every season they have new colors and fun shapes that make me want to get a new pair!
How to Pack Shoes for Travel
I always pack walking shoes for travel in my luggage in either a shoe dust bag or a plastic / canvas bag.
Shoes are worn in puddles, dirty streets and all over the place so I never want the soles to touch my clothes! I individually wrap each pair of shoes with the tops facing each other, soles out.
I recommend picking out your shoes first (before clothes and everything else) and laying them in the very bottom of your luggage.
Try to pack the shoes close to the bottom of the suitcase, near the luggage wheels. Generally I don't mind if sneakers or flip flops get crunched in transit as I prefer my clothes to be as wrinkle free as possible.
If you have a sandwich-construction suitcase, I keep shoes on the zippered off side with my toiletries and then clothes on the other half.
You can read more about my recommendations for best carry on luggage here.
Shop Comfortable Travel Shoe Brands
Read More in my travel packing checklist series:
The Most Comfortable Flats – great for work
The Best White Sneakers – that match any outfit
The Best Slip On Sneakers – casual, cute & comfy
The Best Slippers for Women
The Best Slippers for Men
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