We asked experts—the spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) as well as the team physician for the Chicago Bulls, White Sox, and Joffrey Ballet—about shoes that are good for your feet. Here’s what shoes they recommend you pack on your next walking-intensive trip.
“Healthy travel shoes should have arch support, a thicker sole, and shock absorption. A breathable fabric is a bonus. Sneakers should be your go-to when traveling. A casual sneaker should do the trick without weighing down your bags,” says APMA Podiatrist and spokesperson Dr. Priya Parthasarathy.
“If you have to do open-toed, avoid flip-flops and do a more supportive sandal. Something thicker, with arch support and a depression in the heel. My favorite sandals for travel are Birkenstocks.”
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Dr. Priya Parthasarathy tells travelers to look for the following when shoe shopping:
- The shoe should not be able to fold completely in half.
- You should have some flexibility in the toes but you should not be able to have the front of the shoe touch the back of the shoe.
- It should also have a firm heel cup and should not collapse when you squeeze it.
- A bonus is a removable arch support which will allow you to slide your orthotics or additional arch support in if needed.
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Dr. Kamran S. Hamid, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon for Midwest Orthopedics at Rush and team physician for the Chicago Bulls, White Sox, and Joffrey Ballet also weighed in.
“In general, the best shoes for traveling are those that have adequate support and are comfortable. Hoka shoes are a newer brand that are tremendously light while still providing great support and cushioning. Additionally, they have a slight curvature in the front and back of the shoe which takes some stress off of the middle of the foot for long periods of walking. These are great shoes for long-distance runners that we have repurposed for patients with foot/ankle arthritis or pain.”
If you’re looking for a podiatrist-approved shoe, Dr. Parthasarathy recommends the following:
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Caroline Morse Teel tries to wear shoes that are good for her feet. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for style and travel photos from around the world.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2019. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.