I’ve spent more than my fair share of time searching for the best walking shoes. I bought many different pairs before I found the best ones. It seemed like every time I bought new shows, I almost instantly regretted the purchase for one reason or another. They were too wide for my feet, they didn’t have enough arch support, they rubbed on my heels… You name it, I’ve had a pair of shoes that fit the bill.
That’s why I took so much time and energy creating this post. Through all the years of trials – many band-aids and blisters later – I’ve finally got a good handle on what makes the best walking shoes for travel, and I know where to find them.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes for travel, make sure you keep reading to find out what the best rated walking shoes are for almost every situation. I won’t leave any one hanging. If you have wide feet, narrow feet, need extra arch support, are struggling with plantar fasciitis, I’ve researched and found the best pair of shoes for your situation.
What Are The Best Walking Shoes for Travel?
In case you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to read all of our reviews below, here is a chart containing all of our top pick shoes in each category. We hope you’ll stick around and read our full reviews below, but you can trust that we only added the best shoes to the list.
How to Find the Most Comfortable Walking Shoes
There isn’t one shoe that will fit everyone. There are too many different types of feet out there to be able to please them all with one type or style of shoe. So it’s very important, when looking for the right pair of walking shoes for you, that you understand your feet and what they need in a shoe.
The size of your foot is the most important criteria to know before purchasing a shoe. I bet it’s been a really long time since you’ve set your foot on one of those foot measurers at the shoe store and seen what your actual size is. You’d be amazed to see that your foot can actually change size and shape over the years, whether it be from an injury, pregnancy, or gaining and losing weight. It’s important to have your foot measured regularly, so you’re buying the right size shoe.
If you don’t want to go into a store to have this done (because most of us order our shoes online these days!), you can buy a foot measuring device for home. They’re cheap and easy to use. It will tell you the length and width of your foot. Unfortunately, most shoes does mention width so you have to try them on to be sure. That’s why I always buy on Amazon now, because most shoe sellers allow free returns and exchanges. To save time, if I think I’m going to be between sizes, I just order both and return the ones that don’t fit.
Another important thing to consider is the purpose of the shoes. When I say travel, obviously I expect you’re going to take them on a trip with you. But what kind of a trip is it? Will you be mainly walking around town? Will you be doing adventure activities? Will you be spending most of your time hiking? These are all important questions to consider before purchasing. Like I mentioned before, there’s no one shoe that can fit every purpose. That’s fine if you don’t mind taking a few pairs of shoes with you. But for travelers who pack light, it’s really important to find a good all-purpose shoe.
This is the one I have the most trouble with. When we travel, I mostly need a pair of shoes that I can wear during the day to walk around town, but that will also fit in well when I put on a dress and go out for dinner later on. Is there really a pair of shoes that can cover me in both situations? Think about what situation(s) you’ll be needing these shoes for. Will it be dressy, casual, or both?
If you’ve got a specific foot type or foot issue that you know you need to accommodate, it can be very difficult to find the right shoe. For instance, if you’re trying to find the best walking shoes for flat feet or the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, which I myself suffer from, you’ll need to dive a little bit more into the descriptions and reviews of the shoes you want to buy to make sure they meet you needs. Oftentimes, an insole insert will suit you best for these specific needs.
It will be easier to find an insole for your shoes than finding the right walking shoes with arch support. Although there certainly are some good, supportive walking shoes out there, buying a shoe with the support already built in can cause other problems, like back, knee and foot pain, if you don’t need that type of support.
Superfeet are my favorite inserts for different issues you may be facing. They have an insole for every situation. For instance:
- Support for flat feet: Superfeet Black
- Support for neutral feet: Superfeet Blue
- Support for high arches: Superfeet Green
Best Walking Shoes for Travel 2018
In this category, we list the best men’s walking shoes 2018 and the best women’s walking shoes 2018, in as many different categories as we think are useful. You might be looking for something super casual, or something built to weather the elements. Whatever your needs are, you’ll find it here.
Best Casual Mens Walking Shoes
New Balance is one of the top and trusted shoe brands. Once you find a pair of New Balance that you like, you don’t usually go back to looking for a different brand. These 877s are great for walking because of their superb cushioning and flexible, breathable material. Even the tongue and collar are padded.
New Balance utilizes two types of innovation in their shoes to make them especially comfortable. One is called Abzorbs, which is a rubber content that absorbs impact and increases cushioning in the midsole. The other is Walking Strike Path technology that helps stabilize your foot as you walk.
These 877s are much more casual looking and lightweight than the popular 577s. There’s plenty of room in the toe box, even if you have a wide foot, because of the mesh material, which is flexible. You also won’t have to worry about your feet getting hot and sweaty in these shoes because the mesh is breathable.
Pros: Comfort padding, rubber soles, breathable
★Check prices and read more reviews for the New Balance Mens 877s
Vans are another line of casual men’s walking shoes that are both sporty and fashionable. They’re a good combination shoe to wear all day when traveling, because they are comfortable for long periods of time. A questions we hear a lot is Are Van’s Comfortable? Our answer is that yes, Van’s are comfortable. Nick has a pair and likes them a lot. The Atwood shoe has laces and they also have Vans Classic Slipons, so you can decide which type you like best.
Both are made with canvas and have a sturdy rubber sole. The canvas upper makes them not quite as breathable as the New Balance – keep that in mind if you have naturally sweaty feet. They have a padded footbed for extra comfort and good shock absorption. The tongue and collar are padded. The rubber sole provides good grip and doesn’t slip easily on slick or wet surfaces. They come in dozens of colors.
The only issue with these shoes is that they are very casual, so you can’t wear them with nicer clothing and get away with it. For those of us who are light packers, this usually means you’ll have to pack two pairs of shoes.
Check out the entire line of Van’s Men’s Shoes.
Pros: Comfortable for long periods of walking, rubber soles, breathable
★Check prices and read more reviews for the Van’s Atwood Shoe
You really can’t find any lighter weight shoes than these. Nick has been wearing the Skechers Go Walk shoes for years, because they are the most comfortable pair of shoes to wear for long periods of walking. A lot of the benefit of these shoes is in the fact that they are incredibly light weight, so they feel like walking around with clouds attached to your feet. You might think that means they must lack in support and features, but it doesn’t.
You may wonder what is the difference between Go Walk 3 and 4. There isn’t a huge difference in the main features of the shoe, but they do look a bit more stylish and nice. The 3s are all mesh. The 4s add a bit of style, which makes them look less meshy (for lack of a better word). The sole of the shoe also underwent a makeover – the 4s don’t have the Goga pillar sole, which gave the 3s a more sporty look, and also squeak pretty loudly on certain flooring.
Their lighweight design also means they are very easy to pack. They don’t take up much space in a bag, and aren’t heavy to carry around, which is a huge benefit of these over other shoes.
Pros: Extremely lightweight, comfortable and airy
★Check prices and read more reviews for the Skechers Go Walk 4
Best Casual Womens Walking Shoes
I’ve always been a big fan of Skechers Breathe Easy shoes for women. They are sporty enough to provide good comfort and protection to your feet while walking, even in slippery conditions. But they are fashionable enough to wear with casual clothing and still look nice – better than typical sneakers. I’ve worn different variations of these shoes for years and have never had a problem with any of them.
While so many pairs of shoes hurt my feet after a few miles or tear up the back of my heal when I walk, these Skechers shoes have never done that. They are the most comfortable walking shoes I’ve ever had. I can walk for up to 5 mile in these shoes before I even realize it, because my feet don’t hurt.
As mentioned, there are many different variations of these casual Skechers walking shoes, so you might want to have a look at all of them to decide which ones you like best. All Skechers Fashion Sneakers.
Pros: Comfortable for long periods of walking, breathable, stylish
★Check prices and read more reviews for the Skechers Moneybags
One of the most comfortable pair of walking shoes I’ve ever owned is a pair of Skechers Go Walk. The comfort comes from the fact that they are incredibly lightweight walking shoes, and that they are made with an extra cushioning in the step. It feels like you’re walking on a cloud. They are also slip on walking shoes, which I love. Why bother with shoelaces!
To add to the comfort, there’s memory foam padding around the heel and a stabilizing heel cup so your heel won’t be coming in and out of the shoe with each step. This is especially important if shoes often rub against the back of your heel and cause blisters. The way the sole is constructed, there is a lot of flexibility in the shoe, so your walking isn’t impeded by an inflexible rubber sole. These shoes also come in an array of different colors and even materials, so if you don’t like the look of mesh, you can go with canvas instead.
Pros: Comfortable for long periods of walking, breathable, stylish
★Check prices and read more reviews for the Skechers Performance Go Walk 3 Slip Ons
If you’ve never tried a pair of crocs, maybe now is the time. These Kadee ballet flats are highly rated. They are a new slimmer design and very lightweight. I wouldn’t necessarily wear them if there’s any rain in the forecast, since they have an opening in the heel, like sandals. But they would make a great pair of summer shoes. They have good good arch support and can be worn all day, in case you’re worried they might become uncomfortable. Plus they can easily be washed, which is a big plus for me. You might find that you need to order a size smaller than you typically wear. And be aware that you can’t store these anywhere that’s hot. Some people have had an issue with them shrinking (very strange).
PRO TIP: If the heel ends up rubbing on these shoes, or any others, I recommend trying these foot pedals to the back of the shoe. These have been a lifesaver for me. They pad the indention of the back of the shoe so your heel fits into it better and does rub. These prevented me from throwing out so many pairs of shoes that rubbed on my ankle.
Pros: Look nice, good arch support, can be washed
★Check prices and read more reviews for the Crocs Kadee Ballet Flats
Hiking Shoes for Men / Hiking Shoes for Women
Hiking shoes can obviously be worn for more than just going on long hikes in the forest. They can be useful in many different situations. Usually they are fairly rugged and have more protection for your foot against things like sprains, punctures and even rain and snow. Do notice that these are still considered walking shoes, not hiking boots. That’s a whole different beast.
I know tons of travelers who own these shoes. Nick and I both have a pair. They’ve come in handy more than a few times, and they are incredibly comfortable, offer great support for your foot and have breathable mesh panels so your feet don’t get too hot on long walks. We took the Merrell Moab Ventilator shoes on our trip to Cappadoccia in Turkey and they were the only shoes we needed. As you might know about that area, it’s a rugged, desert terrain with lots of loose rocks on the trails.
The vibram sole on these shoes helps keep even footing, even in these conditions. They’re perfect for day hikes and those times when you need versatility – spending half the day hiking, half the day wandering through town. If you’re looking for waterproof walking shoes, Merrell also makes a Waterproof version of this shoe (like the ones in the image).
The Salomon hiking shoes are very similar in appearance to the Merrells. They have a breathable upper fabric to allow your feet to breath and they also have a sturdy protective rubber toe guard. The sole is a thick rubber. They are built with a Sensifit technology that allows the shoe to grip around your foot for added stability and a better fit. I like the way they cradle the foot and make it feel like an effortless stride when you’re walking, even on uneven terrain. The insole provides good cushioning and arch support. There’s plenty of space in the foot of the shoe for when you want to/need to wear thicker socks.
⇒ Read reviews and check current prices for the Salomon Men's hiking shoe ⇒ Read reviews and check current prices for the Salomon Women's hiking shoe
Best Women’s Travel Sandals & Flip Flops
This is one of my favorite pairs of women’s walking sandals. One of the hardest things about finding the right travel sandals for me is that most of them just don’t go with everything, and then I end up needing to have two different pairs – one that goes with my casual daywear, and one that I can wear with a dress or out to a restaurant. These look nice enough and are streamlined enough to wear with a skirt or dress without looking frumpy or discordant (depending on which color you get, obviously). The black ones really can be worn with many different things.
They have pretty good traction, as well, which makes them great for light hiking. They can be washed without ruining them, in case they get dirty.
Pros: Comfortable and stylish, come in many different colors, good traction
★Check prices and read more reviews for the Keen Women’s Rose Sandals
Clarks is a trusted brand for women’s footwear and they live up to that standard with these flip flops. I’ve often had trouble finding a pair of flip flops that doesn’t rub between my toes as I walk, or cause a blister along the top of my foot. This pair has an adjustable top strap, so you can fit it to your own foot. They have a comfortable and flexible sole. They don’t have much in the way of arch support though, if that’s a concern for you. They also run rather narrow, so won’t suit wide feet. These come in a variety of colors, so you can mix and match.
Pros: Very comfortable, non-slip, adjustable strap
★Check prices and read more reviews for the Clarks Women’s Brinkley Jazz Flip Flops
Best Men’s Travel Sandals & Flip Flops
I’ve always found it difficult to find good-looking men’s sandals that don’t evoke thoughts of older men wearing them with white socks and fanny packs. But it is possible to find. Below are two of our favorites. Both are from good, solid brands. They can be worn in any casual setting.
These are pretty much the classic sporty men’s sandal that you see everyone wearing. They’re pretty minimalist in terms of design. The straps are thin and soft material, so they won’t chafe or rub against your foot. They utilize a rugged durabrasion rubber sole that is very durable and have a good grip. They also provide some arch support. Due to that, the shoe feels a little narrow because the foot bed contours around the foot. If your feet are prone to sweating, these are good option due to the anti-microbial surface, that can also be washed very easily.
We’ve also been hearing that the Teva Men’s Terra FI 4 is slightly better than the Hurricane XL, because the strap and the padding has been improved, but we haven’t had a chance to try them for ourselves yet.
Pros: Sporty, thin straps, soft material.
★Check prices and read more reviews for the Teva Men’s Hurricane XLT Sandal
These flip flops are a good choice, especially if you don’t like having the strap that goes around your foot with sandals. They will hold up for a long time. And they have a nicer look to them than most flip flops that are a little too casual for wearing when your’e not on the beach. They are quick-drying. And they have arch support.
They also have shock absorption with a molded EVA foam footbed and 360 degree heel airbag enclosed in soft polyurethane. All those fancy words to say that the foot bed is well padded and will provide comfort for your foot while standing or walking for long periods of time.
What’s the best part? There’s a bottle opener embedded in the sole. They are a little on the heavy side, and the wider strap can lead to more sweating of the foot.
Pros: Comfortable for long periods of walking, breathable, stylish
★Check prices and read more reviews for the Reef Men’s Fanning
I hope you’re able to find the best walking shoes for travel in this bunch, that suits your style. We’ve bought so many shoes over the years and these ones are always the ones we come back to, again and again. If you have a pair of shoes you love that isn’t on our list, please share it with us in the comments. We always love to hear what else is out there.