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 Experience RN 8
Nike’s Flex Experience RN 8 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 I can wear them both for working out and for walking around.
Merrell World Vue Oxford
Merrell has taken the technology that makes a comfortable travel shoe from its hiking shoes and transferred it to its professional-looking World Vue Oxford. 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.
Clarks Gracelin Wind
Ballet flats tend not to be supportive enough to wear for travel, but the Gracelin Wind flats from Clarks have a padded footbed for all-day comfort. They can be dressed up or down so you can wear them during the day or for dinner out.
Allbirds Wool Runners
Feel like you’re walking on clouds with a SmarterTravel favorite, Allbirds Wool Runners, available in men’s and women’s sizes. These shoes feature a merino wool liner for moisture wicking and odor reduction. Get them in white to match everything, or opt for pink or green to add a pop of color to your travel wardrobe.
SAS Simone Italy Sandals
Planning a European vacation? Pack the Simone Italy sandals, handcrafted in Tuscany, Italy—so 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 soft leather that lends you a 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 its 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.
Nisolo Sedona Travel Derby
If you’re looking for comfortable travel shoes that are also easy to pack, try the Sedona Travel Derby from Nisolo. These ultra-light shoes collapse completely so they take up barely any space in your suitcase, and they’re made of comfy and attractive suede. They come in a variety of colors to match any outfit.
For more options, see The 11 Best Slip-On Shoes for Travel.
What to Pack on Your Next Trip
Women's Cute Shoe-less Outfit with Leggings
More from SmarterTravel:
- The Best New Travel Shoes for Men
- 7 Smart Tips for Packing Shoes and Boots
- We Wore These Shoes for 100 Miles to Find the Best Ones
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.