Packing appropriate clothing is crucial for any trip, but many people fail to realize the importance of choosing the right shoes! Taking care of your feet during your travels can be stylish and also safeguard from blisters and sore feet.
Here are our best tips for choosing shoes that are fashionable yet practical for any kind of trip!
The Best Shoes For Every Type of Traveler
The Outdoor Explorer
Unless you’re embarking on an extreme hiking or mountain climbing challenge, you’ll probably want to skip packing traditional hiking boots. I’ve found a great alternative to bulky hiking shoes for trips where I know I’ll be hiking, but also have limited luggage space. These lightweight hiking shoes are perfect for even the most intense outdoor adventures and I usually end up wearing them on the plane to save space.
For a more lightweight option that will condense down in your suitcase easily, these Cross Trainers are comfortable and provide ample support for most hiking and outdoor activities.
For those outdoor trips that involve snow and ice, I find Sorrel boots extremely comfortable and they keep my feet warm no matter how cold it is outside.
The Lively Party-Goer
Some people revel in the daylight, and others really let loose at night; for those of you who choose to spend your vacations sleeping in and enjoying the local nightlife, choosing shoes appropriate for dress codes (but that also won’t kill your feet) can be a challenge.
My solution? A convertible day-to-night shoe, that can easily be dressed up or dressed down depending on the atmosphere. I typically choose block heel sandals or mules, preferably with a rubber sole for shock absorption. Keep the stilettos at home!
The Budget Traveler
Budget travelers will own up to cram-packing a single carry-on, just to avoid a checked baggage fee. I’ve found that when I have limited suitcase space, bringing one pair of all-in-one shoes will suffice for an entire trip.
Choose a pair that you can wear all day and night, to any activity (within reason), and with any outfit. With this, I’d recommend short/no heels but nothing overly casual; I’ve found ankle booties like these go with any outfit in any season. Soft suede and rubber sole are very forgiving on your feet, while a simple style and neutral color make them easy to pair with jeans, skirts, or even leggings!
I also have numerous pairs of inexpensive elastic sandals that in recent years have become my favorite because while they may be cheap in price, the thick elastic lasts forever and makes for super comfy traveling shoes.
The Laid-Back Beach-Goer
Let’s be real — no one wears name brand shoes to the beach. Even in the most glamorous destinations, you can be sure there won’t be a wedge-heel in sight. Though you may be tempted to buy that cheap rubber flip-flop in every color, I’d recommend choosing a durable leather or fabric sandal.
Rainbows might be the most recognizable and reputable leather flip-flop around (breaking them in before your trip is recommended), but other alternatives like Teva are typically just as durable and a bit more affordable. If you’re looking for a dressier option for nights out, a nice sandal with a platform sole can give the illusion of a heel but they’re as comfortable as a flat shoe!
The Cultural Enthusiast
The history buffs and cultural enthusiasts among us will know that classy, comfortable, and conservative footwear is a must for museums, mosques, and historical or religious sites. Stick with inconspicuous and simple footwear to stay on the safe side, foregoing inappropriate shoes for certain venues (this can go both ways, being too casual or too flashy).
The Travel Photographer
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a self-proclaimed Instagram protege, odds are you’re likely to go out of your way — or even off the beaten path — to capture the perfect photo! You don’t necessarily need to tout rugged athletic shoes everywhere you go, but choosing well-made sneakers that can handle a little dirt or water is important.
Tried and true Converse are sure to get you by no matter where your location, but I’ve found this leather version of retro PF Flyers to be much easier to care for. Simply wiping them down with a wet wipe or cloth makes for easy cleaning of mud and dirt, and tight-laced foot security ensures no rolled ankles!