Best Travel Shoes of 2018

It’s relatively easy to push through minor medical issues like a runny nose, a sore back, a headache, or a cough and cold when you are traveling – but once your feet start to hurt (and we mean once your feet REALLY start to hurt) there isn’t anything else you will want to do nothing else other than kickback, relax, and hole up in your hotel.

The military is known for spending a tremendous amount of money on high-quality boots, making sure they are soldiers have high-quality socks (and plenty of them), and understanding that every military marches on their feet and on their stomach.

As a traveler, you’re going to spend just as much time on your feet and need to be sure that you are doing everything you can to protect them while you are on the go.

Finding the perfect travel shoes will go a long way towards making sure that your “dogs aren’t barking” at the end of every major excursion!

What to look for in the best travel shoes

All of the best travel shoes have a number of different things in common, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • They are manufactured out of high-end construction materials that aren’t going to deteriorate or fall apart on a trip
  • They have been sized perfectly to fit your feet snugly without a lot of wiggle room but without choking off your feet, either
  • They provide some protection against everything that Mother Nature may decide to throw at you, with a basic level of waterproofing and protection you can rely on in a rainstorm
  • They are relatively lightweight but durable enough to handle paths that might be “off the beaten track”
  • They should be designed in a way that allows you to wear them with pretty much any outfit you have, helping you to cut down on the clutter of your travel bags or suitcases

… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Obviously, there are a handful of other things you’ll need to look for in the best to travel shoes today, but the quick list of top options we highlight below should give you plenty of options to pick and choose from. You can’t go wrong with any of the shoes we list below!

  Comparison

1 Xero Shoes Casual Canvas Barefoot-Inspired Shoe

Shoes that mimicked barefoot walking or incredibly popular just a few short years ago, but the popularity has tapered off of as far as your more casual shoe purchasers are concerned.

Travelers, however, haven’t stopped falling in love with everything that barefoot inspired shoes bring to the table. Almost always lightweight, incredibly durable, and utilizing the kinds of construction materials you need to depend on in nearly any travel situation, shoes like these are going to protect your feet while on the go without taking up a lot of space in your bag or weighing you down at the same time.

These shoes in particular feature a simple, straightforward, and minimalist design aesthetic and quality construction materials that not only support your feet while you are out and about but also work well with nearly any outfit or clothing choice you could decide to make. They may not be suited for a black-tie appearance, but in almost all other circumstances – from semi formal right down to the most casual – they will get the job done.

These shoes leverage a rubber sole that is going to provide some protection and shock absorption, but for the most part these shoes are lightweight, thin as can be without being fragile, and really strive to “readjust” each footfall so that you more closely mimic your biomechanics and the barefoot walking that we adapted to in the first place.

These shoes also happen to be 100% canvas on the upper, which is certainly vegan and vegetarian friendly for those that want to support manufacturers that do not use animal products.

2 Softwalk Women's Napa Ballet Flat

Utilizing leather and synthetic materials, as well as a proprietary synthetic sole that helps to protect your feet while providing extra comfort at the same time, these travel shoes are amongst the very best of the best available on the market today and you’ll notice this to be true the moment that you slip them on.

Super lightweight, very compact (they can even be folded up for easy storage), it’s amazing that these shoes are as durable as they are but that’s because of the quality materials used throughout in the smart reinforced stitching across all areas of the shoe pattern.

Understanding that most people that travel are going to be wearing shoes for a pretty large chunk of time each day, these shoes also feature 100% antimicrobial brushed suede microfiber linings throughout. This makes these shoes perfect for folks that want to wear them in warmer climates with no socks, without having to worry about whether or not their shoes are going to stink because of how much time they spend in them.

The low-profile of the footbed gives just enough arch support without ever becoming too pronounced. This profile was taken advantage of to support those that have to walk at least a couple of hours each day (as most travelers will), supporting your feet so that they do not feel worn out and tired any sooner than absolutely necessary.

Available in a couple of different colorways, each of which are two-tone but subtle and understated without ever looking too flashy or too ostentatious, these shoes are going to look great with any of your travel outfits. The slip on nature of the shoes guarantees you can get into and out of them at the airport fast (especially useful when you’re dealing with TSA lines and security checkpoints), and you can even pop them in a traditional washing machine and give them a good scrub if they become dirty while you are on an adventure.

3 Jambu Women's Blossom Encore Mary Jane Flat

This shoe brand has always been popular with global travelers, and it’s easy to see why!

Essentially “overbuilt” sandals, these shoes are perfect for those traveling to warmer weather destinations and climates, providing you with the kind of protection that traditional sandals never could without forcing you to wear a completely enclosed shoe that would cause discomfort at the same time.

Utilizing a variety of different synthetic and natural materials, including high quality rubber soles, microfiber lining on the inside, and nubuck leather throughout – with reinforced stitching across the board – these are probably the toughest “sandals” you’ll ever come across.

Rugged enough to be worn in any urban situation delicate enough and responsive enough to tackle a beachside or mountain excursion as well, your feet are going to be pampered from the moment that you slide these shoes on until the moment that you slide them off.

A quality memory foam insole cushions and cradles your foot with every step, and while you probably aren’t going to want to wear these shoes during any athletic endeavors (outside of golf, maybe – if you could get away with wearing them at a country club, anyway) you’ll probably never deal with sore feet ever again from walking around while you take in the sights on your travels.

The crisscrossing pattern of these shoes allows for plenty of support, and if you choose the right size (the manufacturer says they size true, but some customers recommend going a half size down) you won’t ever have to worry about them slipping or sloshing around on your feet.

Maybe not formal enough to wear in semi formal events or occasions, these shoes are compact and portable enough that you can stow them away in your travel bag while wearing another pair of the best travel shoes for those kinds of situations, only breaking these out when you need to beat the heat.

4 Nufoot Betsy Lou Fuzzies Women's Shoes, Best Foldable & Flexible Flats, Slipper Socks, Travel Slippers & Exercise Shoes, Dance Shoes, Yoga Socks, House Shoes, Indoor Slippers, Black, Medium

At first glance, these travel shoes look like a little more than heavy-duty ballet slippers or overbuilt socks – and that’s probably the best way to describe them!

Amongst the very best travel shoes, these options stand apart from the rest of the pack because of how lightweight they are, because of how comfortable they are, and because of how well they work in climates that have weather that remains relatively nice and warm for the majority of the year (or at least when you anticipate visiting).

Ridiculously inexpensive, you’ll be able to pick up these travel shoes for a song and they are so compact and so lightweight that you will be able to fold them right up and slide them into your travel back without chewing up any precious real estate. They are only going to take up a little bit more room than a pair of socks!

Still designs with a protective outer sole, grippy material on the very bottom of the shoe so that you can comfortably navigate most any terrain without slipping and sliding, and hugging your feet to protect it from dirt, debris, and abrasions, these shoes aren’t waterproof or weatherproof but are maybe the best thing you could wear on an airplane or lounging around in a hotel room.

Really best suited for urban environments, these shoes are the kind of travel shoes you’ll want to backup in reserve while carrying a set of heavier duty shoes – or loading these into your bag while you wear your other travel shoes, knowing that you’ll always have dependable backups ready to deploy in almost any situation.a

5 FitKicks MEN's Active Lifestyle Footwear

You shouldn’t feel embarrassed if, on your first inspection of these travel shoes, you thought they were nothing more than rubberized socks – because that’s exactly what they look like!

Incredibly thin, these shoes are made completely out of polyester on the outer sole and upper of the shoes but feature a rubber sole on the bottom of the shoes to protect your feet while you are walking around while traveling.

Taking the barefoot and minimalist approach to footwear very, very seriously, these shoes aren’t ever going to leave you feeling as though your feet are overprotected or overburdened.

Ideal for warm weather trips and adventures where you don’t think you’ll find yourself adventuring too far out of the city limits, these aren’t the kinds of shoes you never want to wear hiking or while playing sports but are perfect for more casual excursions to take in a local art gallery or visit some of the best dining options in whatever global destination you find yourself visiting.

Well-made, sized to fit your foot exactly like a sock would, it’s probably best that you purchase a half size – and sometimes a full-size – smaller than you would have with traditional shoes. You want a real nice snug and tight fit with these shoes, that’s for sure!

You’ll probably want to keep these travel shoes in your bag while you travel, wearing heavier duty shoes to protect you from anything that Mother Nature might throw your way. These are great backup shoes!

Conclusion

At the end of the day, any of the shoes that we highlighted above represent some of the very best of the best travel shoes available and you really can’t go wrong with any of them (or any combination of them, as the case may be).

All of the shoes above are reviewed highly for their overall comfort, they are design and engineering, the quality materials that they use throughout, as well as their lightweight features and packability.

These aren’t construction boots by any stretch of the imagination, and aren’t going to protect your feet the way that some of the more “armored up” shoes might, but they are going to make your life as a traveler a whole lot easier by guaranteeing that you’re prepared for 99.99% of all footwear situations you might come across on your adventures.

Finding the best travel shoes for your specific needs is always going to be a personal process, but hopefully you’re able to utilize the inside information that we’ve highlighted above to help point you in the right direction going forward!


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