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The Best Travel Shoes for Travel 2021

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Your vacation plans are sorted and booked, and now comes the task of packing your bags. When you're packing for a trip, do you pick shoes that could be problematic on long walking days? Or do you even consider shoes specifically for walking? We've all been guilty at least once or twice where we packed the wrong shoes and ended up with blisters and aching feet. After years of travel experience, I considered myself an expert on what shoes were best for my type of travel. However, on my recent trips packing the wrong shoes for walking was precisely what I did!

Firstly, taking five pairs of shoes vs. three on a trip was a first for me, but I'll blame it on the pandemic. Europe wasn't yet open to Americans and many other countries, so I used the traveling window to explore parts of the Caribbean I had not yet visited. So my first trip of 2021 was to San Juan, Puerto Rico (PR). Then La Ramona, Dominican Republic, and I did not expect to do as much walking as during my visit to Madrid, Spain, or even Chefchaouen (Blue City), Morocco. I can walk upwards of 5-12 miles a day, and sure at the end of the day, my feet are tired, but they didn't hurt, and yes, there's a difference.

Walking may be one of the best things you can do when visiting a new destination—but picking out a shoe to do it can be another story. There are many options available, and it's easy to either get caught up in the bells and whistles of it all. Or thinking the shoes you wear walking around in your everyday life are suitable for walking during travel.

The shoes that did not work for me on trips to the Caribbean are the following:

My Steve Madden white slides do not have any cushion, so I thought they were suitable for walking around the hotel's pool area. But I was proven wrong because I could barely walk around, even for a short distance, before they began cutting into the sides of my feet.

Chuck Taylor All-Star Converse will not be my first choice of footwear if I know I will be spending a lot of time standing or walking. To put it simply, they offer no cushion or support, therefore not making them my favorite shoe when I have walking in my itinerary.

The Dr. Martens Sandals were initially designed as therapeutic shoes, appear to be good quality, and are visually pleasing. Thus I thought they would be perfect for walking around in San Juan, PR. But they were not, and my big toe was very sensitive for the rest of my trip because of the constant rubbing. The other downside to Dr Martens is they are heavy. So if you do carry-on only on the plane, they would have to be your airport shoes. Therefore, these are not my ideal shoes for the best travel shoes.

Comfortable travel shoes allow my feet a full range of motion. They have the right amount of flexible soles. They are wide enough to let all of my toes movement comfortably without causing calluses. None of the toes I brought with me on travel were ill-fitting because they wear perfectly for my everyday life. Still, for the "endless" walking on vacation, they are not ideal in my experience.

My alternative travel shoes are Teva and Vans, and thankfully there are many styles and colors to go with any outfit.

The Teva Original Universal has the perfect amount of cushion, making it an effortless style to wear on long walking days during your travels. Pair them with a casual outfit to a fun dress, and I am cute and comfortable despite the opinion of my millennial son.

Vans aren't known for their fashionable style (debatable) but ask anyone if they are perfect walking shoes, and you'll get a resounding yes 9 out of 10 responses. They have proven to me time and time again to be ideal for lots of walking. They are surprisingly supportive and comfortable and easy to wear. If you're bold, they can be worn for a night out, along with some accessories and a smile.

Before you take off with your cute shoes for travel, know what type of traveler you are and your activities. I enjoy being stylish just as much as the next woman, but being comfortable is first and foremost. Who cares how good your pumps look when you are limping along a cobblestone street in Rome, Italy? On the opposite end of the spectrum, how far do you think you can walk in ballerina-style shoes? There is just so much to see; I can't stop myself when visiting a new destination, and being comfortable is vital.

Finally, here are my thoughts for good travel shoes:

  • Think practically.

  • Keep things like the weather at your chosen destination in mind.

  • Shoes for activities, like extended walking pack travel-friendly varieties.

Remember, comfortable feet are happy feet.

Packing tip: Use shoe bags like those made by Eagle Greek to protect your clothes from the dirt on your shoes.

what are your go-to travel shoes?


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-Happy Travels-


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