How to Pick a Great Shoe for Travel

Looking to travel this spring?

I bet you’re excited about your vacation, away from all the soreness and fatigue of long working hours.

But, choose your travel shoes carefully, because if you don’t, you might as well be begging for the very fatigue you’re escaping!

Fortunately, to help you decide which shoes you should be taking for the getaway, we’ve compiled this quick guide that should answer all your questions.

  1. Match the shoe with the activity

If you’re going traveling, you already have a fair idea of the things to do once you reach your destination. And why you should pack the appropriate pair.

If you plan to stay outdoors and participate in adventure activities (say, hiking), choose boots designed specifically for the activity.

Similarly, if you plan to walk on paved paths a lot (think Paris), then choose a light, fashionable shoe (some comfy flat shoes come to mind). The point is, don’t go hiking with a sandal and walking with a Woodland shoe!

Here is a great post with some tips to figure out if the shoe will be comfy.

  1. Test their fit

It’s important to test whether a shoe fits well and has proper support especially if you plan to walk a lot.

To test their fit, place yourself on a downward-angled path and stomp your feet (you may even jump). If the shoes let your feet slide forwards more than you’d like, they don’t fit well.

To test their support, bend the shoe from the toe region upwards. If it bends at the ball of the foot, it has a good fit. If it bends at some random point, walk away.

  1. Make sure they’re not too heavy

Unless you wish to be Bear Grylls, excessively heavy shoes are a big no-no. They will tire you out prematurely, make your feet sore and ruin the travel experience (flat shoes are great for weight as they have thin soles and are light).

If you plan to walk a lot, get yourself a pair of light sneakers or running shoes (even flat travel shoes will do). Check them for fit and support as detailed above and have fun walking!

Should adventurous activities take your fancy, you could do with slightly heavy boots. They will protect the soles of your feet from potentially dangerous stuff on the ground, e.g. thorns, nails, etc.

  1. Balance utility over style

It’s important to balance utility and style, and a mismatch will leave you either embarrassed or injured.

Following up on the first point, decide what you’ll be wearing the shoes for. If you’ll be attending any formal/semi-formal events on your vacation, something like a pair of moccasins will fit the bill.

If you plan to trek, hike, camp, etc., then most probably you’re not concerned with being in vogue, so buy the most utilitarian shoe possible, and this brings us neatly to our final point.


  1. Price

Perhaps the most important deciding factor of all, this will undoubtedly influence your decision the most.

Decide if the shoe you’re buying is for traveling specifically or for general usage. If it’s the former, maybe you can scrimp a little. However, if you’re going to wear the pair every day, we recommend you splurge a little and get a high-quality pair from a reputed brand.

If you are planning on traveling with only one bag and need to limit your shoe choices, this post will help you find the perfect pair to take along.

Ready to buy yet?

Picking the right shoe for traveling is kind of an art. And hopefully, it got a little easier to master with this guide. There is a multitude of factors to take into consideration, but with a bit of shop-hunting, you should be able to find your ideal pair.

Happy traveling!