It’s critical to choose the right pair of travel shoes, but it can be a challenge to find the absolute best pair for your needs. You want a pair of kicks that are not only comfortable, but functional, stylish and affordable to boot (pun intended).
I’ve traveled all over the world, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you need a good pair of shoes on your feet. I’ve tried dozens of different shoes, and the best ones manage to balance comfort, style, quality, and affordability.
For those traveling away from home, particularly on an airplane, luggage space is often very limited, making the right travel shoes that much more important. You need something versatile that you can wear in many situations, and if you plan on packing them, every ounce and inch counts.
I’ve listed the 10 best travel shoes I’ve found from years of real-world experience. I’ll break down the pros, cons, and features of each so you can find the best one for you.
- Best Travel Shoes Overall: Vessi Everyday Sneakers
- Best Travel Shoes for Men: Tropicfeel Canyon
- Best Travel Shoes for Women: Allbirds Tree Dashers
- Best Walking Shoes for Travel: Kizik Athens
- Best Shoes for Travel in Europe: Wolf and Shepherd SupremeKnit Trainer
- Best Waterproof Travel Shoes: Vessi Stormburst
- Best Travel Running Shoes: Altra Torin 5 Luxe
- Best Leather Travel Shoe: Sumuel Hubbard Flight
- Best Travel Boot: Amberjack Chelsea Boot
- Best Shoe for Air Travel: Suav’s The Barton
1. Vessi Everyday Sneakers: Best Travel Shoes Overall
The Vessi Everyday sneakers are the best walking shoes for travel if you’re looking for shoes that can do it all. These sneakers are super versatile and can easily be your go-to shoe for trips that involve a little bit of everything: hiking, walking, camping, you name it.
The Vessi Everyday sneakers are made from breathable knit fabric to keep you cool. One major bonus is that the material is 100% waterproof, too. I love that the waterproofing comes from the fabric itself instead of a coating, as waterproof coatings tend to wash off over the years.
The herringbone grip on the sole will keep you grounded and keep you from slipping on smooth surfaces like river rocks. The knit is also warm enough to keep your toes from getting too cold if you plan to be in cold conditions.
I love that Vessi sneakers come with antibacterial insoles. Insoles are a fantastic addition in general because they provide additional comfort. But these insoles also come with a built-in anti-odor layer to keep your shoes smelling fresh even after getting damp and sweaty on a long day out walking or exercising.
The insoles also mold and contour to your feet for added comfort, and you can remove them quickly and pop them in the washing machine when need be.
Vegan buyers will be glad to know that the Vessi Everyday Sneakers are made entirely from vegan materials. Vessi even uses water-based adhesives rather than chemicals, which is undoubtedly a plus where the environment is concerned.
These shoes stand out as an amazing, comfortable, and vegan option for the eco-minded buyer. If you’re expecting to meet wet conditions, you should have no problem parting with your dollars for these everyday sneakers.
Click here for my full Vessi shoes review.
- Antibacterial insoles to reduce odor, sweat, and funk on hot days or after a long workout
- Machine washable insoles are comfortable and lightweight
- Ultra-lightweight soles with herringbone grip to keep you from slipping on smooth surfaces
- 100% waterproof to wear in damp or wet conditions
- Made from vegan materials; 100% animal-free
Vessi Everyday Sneakers Specs:
|Dyma-tex, a patented knit fabric
|Ultra-lightweight (Exact weight not listed)
2. Tropicfeel Canyon: Best Travel Shoes for Men
The Tropicfeel Canyon are versatile shoes for the traveler on the go and come in a range of different stylish colors. These include black, grey, green, yellow, and blue options for both men and women.
While the sneakers aren’t entirely waterproof, they are quick-drying for use in wet conditions and are suitable for walking, hiking, and everyday use. If you do get your shoes wet, at least you know they won’t be wet for long.
The sleek design of the Tropicfeel Canyon Shoes makes these a fashionable choice for the day-to-day. Added features like quick-drying technology ramp up functionality, too. Essentially, you get all the technical benefits of hiking shoes on top of the comfort of sports shoes.
Made with sustainably sourced materials, each pair of Tropicfeel Canyon sneakers uses eight recycled plastic bottles in the production process. Sustainability is one of the brand’s leading design principles. So, these are a good choice for the eco-conscious traveler who wants to support brands aligned with their own principles of sustainability.
The shoes come with something called an Agion treatment. This is a life-long treatment that prevents odor and funk, keeping your shoes fresh after a long, sweaty day. This is an excellent feature if you prefer to wear your shoes without socks. Plus, the sneakers are slip-on to make getting ready for the day that much easier.
I love that the Tropicfeel Canyon shoes have sprint laces with a shoe-tightening mechanism. The mechanism will help wearers adjust the sizing accordingly to get the perfect fit and keep the shoes’ tongues from slipping out of place. The insoles also come with a layer of non-slip rubber, which should help give wearers decent grip on any slippery terrains.
- Agion treatment for durability and to minimize odor from stinky feet
- Made with sustainable materials and ethically conscious production methods
- Lightweight for long-distance travel
- Breathable to keep your feet cool on hot days
- Shoe-tightening mechanism keeps the shoes’ tongues from slipping
- Not ideal for cold weather or damp conditions
- May take a few wears to break the shoes in fully before they feel comfortable
- Not 100% waterproof
Tropicfeel Canyon Shoes Specs:
|Recycled polyester and recycled EVA
3. Allbirds Tree Dashers: Best Travel Shoes for Women
The Allbirds Tree Dashers are technically running shoes. But, for women on the move, all of the features that make these kicks great for long-distance runs also transfer to sightseeing for long hours. The shoes were engineered for performance, but they also make stylish walking shoes for travel.
The Tree Dashers come with a removable sock liner contoured to your feet for your comfort. They also add flexibility and arch support to the already comfy shoes. The liners will keep your arches from aching after a long day and reduce your chances of suffering from lower back pain.
The natural materials are also cool and breathable, helping minimize odor, sweat, and funk after long hours of wear. The fact that these shoes are machine washable is also a big bonus if you don’t have the time to get them cleaned or scrub them yourself. You can simply chuck them in the wash on a short cycle, and you’re good to go.
When it comes to sustainability, Allbirds have made every effort to be eco-conscious in making the Tree Dashers. The uppers are made from FSC Certified material made from eucalyptus trees, and the midsoles are made with the world’s first carbon-negative EVA.
For those who aren’t familiar, FSC certification means that the trees used in the making of the materials come from a forest managed under strict environmental standards. This is to ensure the production doesn’t support any deforestation efforts that could harm the environment.
These shoes are also lightweight, which means they won’t put too much of a dent in your limited luggage space for overseas travel. In my opinion, the Tree Dashers rank highly in terms of ethical production, stylishness, and comfort. However, they are neither waterproof nor cheap.
- Breathable fabric helps to minimize odor
- Dual-density midsoles
- Durable and breathable material to keep your feet cool
- Machine washable and easy to clean
- Lightweight and flexible
- Decent grip but can be slippery on wet surfaces
Allbirds Tree Dashers Specs:
|TENCEL Lyocell (eucalyptus tree fiber)
4. Kizik Athens: Best Walking Shoes for Travel
If you’re going to be walking a lot on your travels, it’s absolutely essential to choose a shoe that’s up to the task. Nothing takes the fun out of a day of travel quite like sore, aching feet from bad shoes.
Walking shoes for travel need to be comfortable, lightweight, and breathable.
The Kizik Athens is a fantastic choice for a travel shoe if you know you’ll be on your feet a lot. The plush cushioning underfoot and breathable mesh upper make this a shoe that feels good for all-day wear.
These shoes are built on thick soles that provide a nice cushioned footbed to keep your feet comfortable even when you’re walking all day. Kizik uses their proprietary “Rabbit Foam” in the midsole, and it is seriously cushy.
The most innovative feature of this shoe is Kizik’s patented spring-back heel. These shoes are designed to let you step in without untying the laces. Instead of crushing the heel fabric (like would happen on most shoes), it springs back up, holding your foot snugly in place. It’s super convenient to just step in and not worry about bending over to tie laces or adjust the heel.
The uppers on these walking shoes are made with a one-piece knit fabric. It’s very breathable, comfy, and stylish. I also love that you get a wide range of fun colors to choose from. The only complaint with the style of these shoes is that the spring-back heel design looks a bit funky.
Overall, the Kizik Athens is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for the most comfortable walking shoes for travel.
- Lots of cushion for all-day comfort
- Spring-back heel makes them easy to put on hands free
- Short break-in period
- Stylish casual shoes
- Tons of colors to choose from
- The spring-back heel looks a bit odd
- Durability could be better
Kizik Athens Specs:
|Proprietary EVA-blend foam, polypropylene
5. Wolf and Shepherd SupremeKnit Trainer: Best Shoes for Travel in Europe
If you’re traveling to Europe, expect to spend a lot of time on your feet. Whether you’re going to Rome or London, you’ll probably be getting around a lot by train, bus, or just plain old walking, and cobblestone streets can really take a toll on your feet.
That means your shoe choice is more important than ever.
When I travel to Europe, I also generally try to avoid looking like an American tourist as much as possible. Can you wear your neon orange tennis shoes to travel in Europe? Sure, but expect to stand out like a sore thumb.
The Wolf and Shepherd SupremeKnit Trainer strikes a fantastic balance between all-day comfort and sophisticated, understated design.
These Portuguese-made sneakers are built with premium materials and excellent craftsmanship. The upper is made with 100% cotton melange with Italian Leather trim detailing. These shoes look and feel high-end, and with the understated color options, you’ll fit right in on European streets.
The cotton upper is very breathable and keeps your feet cool, but it isn’t great for wet, cold weather. It’s. For a winter in London, you’ll probably want a warmer shoe made with either water-resistant or quick-drying materials.
One thing to be aware of is that these shoes have a pretty narrow, pointed toebox. If you know you have wider feet or like a more roomy fit, I’d look for something different.
- Sophisticated, understated styling
- Great all-day comfort
- Ultra-breathable upper for warm weather
- Premium materials including Italian full-grain leather trim
- Works as a running shoe or everyday walking shoe
- Very expensive
- Narrow fit
- Not good for cold, wet weather
Wolf and Shepherd SupremeKnit Trainer Specs:
|Cotton, Italian Leather, and TPU
6. Vessi Stormburst: Best Waterproof Travel Shoes
If you’re heading to a cold, wet destination, it’s a good idea to get travel shoes that are waterproof and more protective than your typical sneakers.
The Vessi Stormburst is designed to merge the comfort and style of travel shoes with the protection and grip of lightweight hiking shoes. While I personally wouldn’t pick them as a dedicated trail shoe, they excel as travel walking shoes for wet climates or adventuring farther from the beaten path.
The highlight of these shoes is definitely the waterproof performance. They use Vessi’s Dyma-tex waterproof membrane, which does a fantastic job at keeping moisture out while still offering decent breathability.
These shoes also have a soft, sock-like ankle collar that extends the protection up your ankle. I’ve used other shoes with waterproof construction and a low-top design, and water always seemed to get in through the top. The ankle collar on the Vessi Stormburst makes these travel shoes much better at keeping your feet totally dry.
The Vessi Stormburst also comes with improved grip and support. I definitely wouldn’t choose them for trail use over hiking boots or trail running shoes, but the slightly more aggressive tread gives a confidence boost when you’re walking over wet, muddy, or icy streets.
These definitely are the best travel shoes if you’re going somewhere cold and wet and want to make sure your feet stay comfy and dry.
- Fully waterproof
- Upgraded protection with toe bumpers and ankle collar
- Great grip with the lugged rubber outsole
- Very comfortable walking shoes
- Not everyone will love the ankle collar
Vessi Stormburst Specs:
|Synthetic stretch knit with TPU overlays
7. Altra Torin 5 Luxe: Best Travel Running Shoe
Going on a run straight from the hotel is one of my favorite ways to experience a new city when I’m traveling.
While I love bringing my running shoes along on trips, sometimes it isn’t easy to make room in my bag for an extra pair of shoes. I personally prefer to bring only one pair of shoes whenever possible, so I like to look for running shoes that can double as my main kicks when traveling.
The Altra Torin 5 Luxe is based on Altra’s award-winning Torin road running shoe, but with a stylish and comfortable knit upper that doesn’t just look like a running shoe.
This shoe starts with Altra’s signature “FootShape” design, which features a wide toe box so your forefoot has plenty of room to spread out. Trust me when I say this makes a massive difference in terms of comfort compared to most running shoes. It also works great for keeping your feet comfy on long flights.
What makes this shoe stand out from other Altra running shoes is the unique 3D-knit upper. This upper is ultra-breathable and comfortable, making it perfect for long days while traveling.
The Torin Luxe is a capable running shoe that looks good enough to wear around town and is comfy enough to wear on long-haul international flights.
- Super comfortable with wide toe box
- Versatile enough to use for running or everyday wear
- More stylish than most running shoes
- Doesn’t have good arch support and heel support (if that’s something you need)
- Less durable than some running shoes
Altra Torin 5 Luxe Specs:
|Dyma-tex, a patented knit fabric
|Ultra-lightweight (Exact weight not listed)
8. Samuel Hubbard Flight: Best Leather Travel Shoe
For me, there’s nothing quite like a high-quality leather shoe. Leather is durable, water-resistant, and comfortable, and it has a timeless style that’s hard to beat. I love that leather shoes can look better over time as you wear them in.
The Samuel Hubbard Flight combines premium leather craftsmanship with a simple sneaker style. It’s a super versatile shoe that’s easy to dress up for a night out or dress down for just hanging out. You can wear it with almost anything.
I personally love shoes that can fill multiple uses, and these stylish shoes hit a great sweet spot for me between dress shoes and athletic shoes.
These are also very comfortable shoes, with a soft sock-like liner, a lightweight and flexible sole, and nice heel cushioning. This is great for travel when you may be on your feet all day, and your shoes can be make or break when it comes to enjoying your trip.
One thing to be aware of is that leather does require more care than synthetic materials.
These are definitely the best travel shoes for anyone who likes high-quality leather craftsmanship in a casual sneaker style.
- Timeless casual style
- Great all-day comfort
- Premium leather materials
- Less breathable than fabric shoes
- Requires more care
Samuel Hubbard Flight Specs:
|Premium imported leather
9. Amberjack Chelsea Boot: Best Travel Boot
There’s nothing quite like a high-quality dress boot for helping you look and feel your best. The Amberjack Chelsea is a modern take on the classic Chelsea design, with durable materials, functional design, heat-moldable arch support, and fantastic comfort.
The outside of these shoes is made with a durable, soft, and water-resistant Italian suede leather that is designed to perform well and look better in all conditions. These aren’t fully waterproof boots, but they do a great job at repelling weather from unexpected downpours or walking through wet streets. I personally love suede for shoes because it’s easier to keep looking good over time and doesn’t show scuffs and scratches.
Inside, your feet will be wrapped in a super soft sheepskin lining. The lining feels really comfortable and it’s been laser perforated to increase breathability. While that sounds great in theory, I still found these boots to be much less breathable than most (which is to be expected with leather boots). I think these are great for cool, wet weather, but I’d probably look for something else for warmer months.
These are definitely more dress shoes than hiking boots, so if you’ll be heading off the beaten path on your adventures, you’ll want something a bit more rugged.
- Timeless style
- Made in Portugal with premium Italian leather
- Not the best for warmer weather
Amberjack Chelsea Boot Specs:
|Premium imported leather
10. SUAVS Zilker: Best Shoe for Air Travel
I don’t know about you, but one of the hardest things while flying is keeping my feet comfortable. Walking and standing on concrete floors in airports makes them sore, and then sitting for hours in an airplane seat makes them swell up uncomfortably.
I’ve found that the right shoes can make a huge difference in my comfort during air travel. I need something that is soft, roomy, and breathable, while providing good cushion for those hours standing in lines.
The SUAVS The Zilker is a fantastic shoe that’s designed specifically with travel in mind. It is super lightweight, flexible, and very comfy—perfect for long days spent traveling.
The highlight of this shoe for me is the one-piece knit upper. It is made from a super breathable material that has a bit of stretch, making it very comfortable. Since it doesn’t have any stitching, I’ve found that I’m much less likely to get blisters.
The breathability means your feet don’t get sweaty after wearing them for hours. Bonus? These are machine washable, so it’s easy to get rid of any
Even though they have laces, these shoes are also designed to be super easy to slip on and off. This saves a lot of hassle when you have to take off your shoes going through airport security.
One thing these shoes don’t have is substantial arch support. That’s a plus for me personally, but some people may prefer having more support underfoot.
- Super lightweight
- Very affordable
- Comfy one-piece knit upper
- Less supportive than other shoes
SUAVS Zilker Specs:
Best Way to Pack Shoes for Travel
Shoes are odd-shaped objects, and packing them in your suitcase can be a challenge. Here are some of my top tips
- Stuff socks or other small items inside your shoes. This serves two purposes: it saves space, and it keeps your shoes from being crushed out of shape.
- Use a dedicated shoe bag. A simple shoe bag keeps your shoes separate from your packed clothing and helps with organization.
- Pack the soles toward the bottom or side of your suitcase. I’ve found this is the most space-efficient method.
- Maybe only bring one pair of shoes. Do you really need multiple pairs? Whenever possible I like to have one versatile pair that I can wear for everything on my trip. I’ll sometimes toss a pair of flip flops in if I really want options (and those take up much less space).
How to Choose the Best Travel Shoes
There is a wide range of footwear that can fall into the category of travel shoes, from a sturdy hiking shoe to stylish sneakers to flip flops. Picking new shoes for travel is highly personal, and the wrong shoes can honestly ruin a trip (seriously).
The best travel shoes should hit a balance of style, comfort, and functionality, and it’s going to be different for everyone. Here is a guide for the top things you need to consider as you shop.
Comfortability is without a doubt one of the most important decision-making factors when it comes to buying the best sneakers or shoes for travel. Look out for molded insoles that will give you added arch support, as well as the right incline for you. Some people prefer a flat-form design, while others like a raised heel with a sloping sole.
One thing people often forget to look up is the narrowness of the fit. If you have pretty broad or wide feet, be sure to check if the shoes you’re planning on buying have a narrow fit. Getting too narrow a shoe can lead to foot pain and back pain. It’s always a good idea to compare the measurements of the shoes with your own favorite pair before making any decisions on which shoes to buy.
My biggest recommendation is to try shoes on in person whenever possible. Most good online sellers offer a generous return policy so you can try the fit before you’re committed to keeping them forever.
Sure, you can travel with a big pair of hiking boots, and they’ll do a great job of supporting and cushioning your feet, but do you want to look like that much of a tourist?
Style is a matter of personal taste, naturally, but there’s a lot to consider when buying the right style of travel shoes for your needs. If you go for a sneaker design, you may be short-changing yourself on aspects of functionality, as these styles tend to be more focused on aesthetic value than a particular function or need. That said, every pair of shoes is entirely different, so read the product descriptions carefully before you make any purchase decisions.
Cross-training and running shoes are generally good styles to check out, as these shoes focus on comfort, performance, breathability, and speed. You may not be going for any long runs when you’re traveling, but comfort is a bonus no matter what the situation is. Running shoes also tend to come with a host of incredible features (more on that later), making them ideal for a good pair of travel shoes.
Color is also a factor when choosing the right style for you, particularly if you’re going for fashion. If you don’t like the particular style you’re looking at, check if the brand offers the same shoe in different colors.
As mentioned before, travelers tend to have limited luggage space and can’t afford to pack three or four pairs of shoes for different scenarios. This is especially true if you’re going backcountry hiking, camping, or backpacking when every ounce is more weight on your back. It’s important to figure out exactly how much room you have and consider if your travel shoes of choice are too bulky to make the cut.
Check the product descriptions for the weight in ounces, or look out for shoes that advertise themselves as lightweight. Some customer reviews also reveal how much the shoes weigh if the product descriptions leave it out.
That said, if you’re someone who prefers a thick-soled pair of shoes, you may be willing to go more on the heavy or bulky side with the shoes you buy.
Never buy a pair of shoes without reading up on its list of features. You may be distracted by the look of a shoe and the price, but remember that it’s all the minor features that distinguish an acceptable pair of shoes from a fantastic pair. The more useful the features are to you, the more willing you’ll be to part with your precious dollars.
If you’re planning on using your travel shoes in wet or rainy conditions, be sure to check if the material they’re made from is waterproof. 100% waterproof is always much appreciated, but may be hard to find if you have a restricted budget.
As mentioned, waterproof coatings tend to rub off over the years. So, look out for shoes that are made from waterproof fabrics instead. These will be waterproof for longer and give you more bang for your buck.
If you can’t afford waterproof kicks, try going for ones made with quick-drying fabric. These will get wet, of course, but at least you know they have the technology to help them dry faster. Another important factor for wet conditions is the grip on the soles. You want to ensure that the soles aren’t going to be slippery and have a decent grip on smooth terrains.
Regardless of the weather conditions you’re planning to be in, quick-drying fabrics are a good choice as they keep your shoes from getting clogged with sweat and becoming smelly all the time. The more breathable the fabric, the better. Remember, you’ll be wearing your travel shoes for hours on end, so breathability is critical. This is especially the case if you’re prone to stinky feet.
Travel shoe brands often distinguish themselves from the competition using innovative technology in the mid or insoles. Some soles are made of a memory foam material that molds to your foot with extra comfort, which is a huge help if you struggle with painful arches or bad ankle support. If this sounds like you, look out for brace support in the shoe design, too, as this can help with back pain and foot pain.
Some insoles are removable; others aren’t. You’ll want to take a careful look at the design of the insoles, their thickness, and whether or not they’re machine washable. The care guidelines on travel shoes can sometimes be a dealbreaker for buyers. So, read up on if you need to handwash your kicks of choice and how hard they are to maintain over the years.
Finally, some travel shoes come with antimicrobial technology in the soles to minimize odor and funk. If you’re planning on using the sneakers for training and walking purposes, this is a good feature to look out for. If you’re wearing the shoes every day, you don’t want the extra hassle of having smelly shoes to contend with.
In conjunction with the issue of weight and space, versatility is an important factor to consider before buying any pair of good travel shoes. Why pack separate running, hiking, and water shoes when you can buy one pair of sneakers that suits multiple situations? This is why cross-training and running shoes are often the wisest picks for travelers; you can easily transition between activities in them.
The style also has a lot to do with the versatility of travel shoes. Some travelers want their shoes to be sporty and functional but not so unattractive that they’d look out of place wearing them in a coffee shop or a museum. If the style is a big factor for you, you’ll want to make sure the shoes you buy are attractive to your eyes but that they also meet all of your requirements for functionality.
Ethical and Socially Conscious Production
In this day and age, one of the common distinguishing factors between shoe brands is their set of design principles. Buyers don’t just want functional and comfortable shoes; they want to support a brand that aligns with their own values.
If it’s important to you that your gear was made in a social and ethically conscious manner, dive into the finer details of the makeup of your prospective travel shoes. You can check if they’re made from renewable materials or recycled fabrics and do some research on whether or not the fabrics used are certified by an environmental board of some kind.
You can also research the company itself and how the brand incorporates sustainability into its shoe designs and production process. Many buyers want to know that the brand they are supporting uses ethical design practices with a focus on socially conscious standards in the workforce. If this sounds like you, you can read up on the brand’s mission statement and find out if the brand is ethical enough for your tastes.
Final Thoughts on the Best Shoes for Travel
There are countless travel shoes, running shoes, and everyday sneakers out there for you to choose from. If you’re looking for a comfortable pair of high-quality travel shoes to take with you on vacation, you’re bound to find something to suit your taste on this list. We’ve covered multiple different styles of shoes for different purposes, which should help you find the best shoes for travel for your specific set of needs.
Next time you’re unsure of how to choose the right pair, you can turn to this detailed buying to help you make savvy, informed, and wise buying decisions. If you keep all the buying points in mind as you browse your different options, you’ll have no problem finding a quality pair of travel shoes for your next adventure.
If you need more inspiration on travel, travel gear, and choosing the right clothing and accessories for your next trip, you can read up on some of our useful posts below. Click on the links below for access to more helpful resources like this post.