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How Do I Choose the Best Travel Shoes?

By K. K. Lowen
Updated May 17, 2024
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When selecting the best travel shoes, there are many considerations that can factor into your decision. It is essential to take your time when choosing your shoes because appropriate footwear can be one of the most important travel items. Finding shoes that are comfortable and designed to handle the conditions to which you will be exposing them while traveling are two of the most important factors.

One of the fundamental things to consider before purchasing travel shoes is what kind of traveling you will be doing. If you will be doing a great amount of walking, purchasing shoes designed to support the foot over long periods of use is a good idea. Many people choose footwear designed for running or walking for travel, but if you intend to hike or take part in other activities, you may find another type of footwear more appropriate.

Choosing travel shoes that are the most comfortable for you can be one of the most significant factors. Depending on how long you will be traveling, you may want to choose travel shoes that provide the greatest amount of support to avoid discomfort. Additionally, some people like to wear orthopedic shoes when traveling.

Some people choose not to use shoes with laces when traveling because of the potential difficulty in easily and quickly finding replacement laces during travel. Shoelaces can break, and it can be very inconvenient to stop and find new ones. If you want to use lace-up shoes for travel, it may be a good idea to bring along replacement laces.

Weather conditions may vary greatly, depending on where you are traveling. Many people like to utilize waterproof shoes to avoid the inconvenience of the feet and footwear becoming wet. If you are taking a trip to a hot location, you may want to choose shoes with ventilation.

Some people like to bring more than one pair of travel shoes when they go on a trip. If you are traveling by airplane, space limitations may prevent you from doing this, but if you are traveling by automobile or ship, you may have a greater amount of space. Bringing along additional shoes can be very useful on trips in which you know you are going to be experiencing different situations that call for specific footwear. For example, some people bring along hiking boots if they know they are going to be trekking outdoors. Others prefer to bring a pair of walking shoes as well as sandals or boots.

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Discussion Comments
By cloudel — On Nov 17, 2011

I traveled to the Gulf coast in the middle of July, so I knew to expect hot weather. I packed several types of flip-flops for different occasions.

When walking on the sand for miles, my feet can get really sore if they don't have support. I found some flip-flops with thick soles and arch supports, and I used these while beachcombing.

I had another lightweight pair just for wearing from the hotel down to the shoreline. These were a light pink color, so they didn't absorb too much heat from the sun. Black flip-flops can get so hot they become unbearable, so I didn't bring any of those.

I brought a dressy pair of flip-flops for eating out and going to clubs. They had a slight heel, and they were made of a shiny material. They looked good with my halter dresses.

By OeKc05 — On Nov 16, 2011

I went to Seattle last year to visit family. They had warned me about the nearly constant rainy weather, so I knew to pack some rain boots.

I also knew that we would likely be going out to eat at a nice restaurant, so I packed some dress shoes as well. I made sure not to take my suede pumps, though, because I know that rain can ruin that material. I didn't bring any open-toed shoes, either, because I hate the feeling of having water trapped around my feet.

I went shopping before the trip and found a cute pair of hot pink polka-dot rain boots. I wore them a lot while I was out there, and they are durable enough to last a long time. I'm sure I will take them with me every time I go for a visit.

By seag47 — On Nov 15, 2011

@Oceana – I think that anyone traveling in spring or fall should come as prepared as you did. Those are the most wildly unpredictable months anywhere weatherwise, and if you only take one pair of shoes on a trip, you will likely end up having to buy another while you are on vacation.

I went with some friends to a cabin in the woods on spring break. I thought that hiking shoes were all I would need, because it was still pretty chilly outdoors in March.

We had a hot spell while we were there, and all of my friends had brought sandals. I was miserable in my warm shoes. I had to walk to and from the lake barefoot across sharp rocks.

Now, I always bring several types of shoes, no matter what time of year I go on vacation. I often go to remote locations with no stores around, so I couldn't buy an extra pair if I needed them.

By Oceana — On Nov 15, 2011

I recently took a trip to upstate New York. I knew that it would be an eighteen hour drive, so I made sure to wear shoes that wouldn't slip on the gas pedal. I wore sneakers with a good grip, and they were also comfortable enough so that I could wear them the entire way.

I knew that since we were going up there in the early fall, the weather would vary a lot. I took a pair of warm boots, some tennis shoes for walking, and some flip-flops in case a warm, sunny day should occur.

I ended up using all of the shoes I brought. I went from fuzzy boots one day to flip flops the next. The weather was very unpredictable up there, but I was well prepared for whatever it threw my way.

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