In the past, I wrote about some of my best walking shoes for travel, including my trusty Dansko sneakers and sandals, Clark flip flops, and Sperry Topsiders. While those shoes are all great, mine are getting a little worn after walking around Spain, Canada, and countless other places. So I have spent the recent months trying to find the most comfortable walking shoes for travel.
I did some SERIOUS searching — from combing the malls, outlets and shoe discount stores like DSW, to outdoor specialists like REI and LL Bean, to scrolling through page after page on Zappos and other websites — and this is what we came up with. They have all been tested and wear comfortably with no rubbing or discomfort.
Most Comfortable Walking Shoes for Travel
But first let’s talk a moment about shoe strategy. One thing about comfortable walking shoes for vacation is that they are heavy and weigh down the luggage. And the more shoes you need, the closer to your 50 lb. max you’ll come. So here is what I keep in mind while packing:
- Wear my heaviest shoes on the plane
- Coordinate my evening outfits so that I only need one or at most two pairs of fairly comfortable sandals (this may vary depending on the type of vacation like a cruise vs. a trek around Europe)
- Include one pair of closed-toe shoes if we’ll be doing any hiking or walks through ancient ruins
- Buy shoes in neutral colors — this is easy for me since I always gravitate toward those colors anyway
Just remember that everyone is different. My recommendations below work great for our feet, but we all tried on dozens of others shoes to find the ones that really were the best fit for us. I’ve compromised in the past on shoes that were almost right (they were comfortable but didn’t come in half sizes so that arch support didn’t hit in quite the right spot) and this time I really wanted to get it right. Hopefully these suggestions are a good starting point in your search for comfortable walking shoes.
Comfortable Walking Shoes for Women
Note: This post contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase I may earn a small commission. I received a complimentary pair of Wiivv sandals for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.
I have fairly flat feet so if I wear a pair of shoes without adequate arch support, my feet and back will hurt after a while. Yet sometimes finding a pair with the arch in the right spot and height for my foot is challenging. Wiivv offers custom-design sandals to solve this problem! With their innovative software, you just take a few pictures of your feet using the Wiivv app and shortly a pair of custom-designed sandals is on your doorstep. You can customize the strap color and the arch color, but the real magic is in the insole. Each sandal is fitted with a custom insole made exactly for your foot (it even has your name on it!) When mine first arrived, they were a little stiff and squeaky, but wearing them around the house broken them in and now I love the comfort and support.
Last year when I was headed to Ireland, I decided to invest in a good pair of waterproof boots. I didn’t really want to walk around in rainboots all day, since those tend to not give my feet a lot of support. But I also knew that my leather fashion boots weren’t going to cut it. Instead, I found this great pair of Ariat waterproof riding boots that looked stylish and kept my feet warm and dry. I ended up wearing these the whole time I was in Ireland and London, and they were my go to all winter at home as well. They were expensive but worth the investment, especially if you get get a Zappos sale.
I initially bought my Merrell waterproof hiking boots for our trip to Iceland and I’ve since worn them back to Iceland, all over various National Parks, and on our recent trip to Alaska. They are very comfortable, even after our strenuous four-hour hike in Alaska. And there have been so many times that I’ve been happy for the mid-height ankle support and waterproofing.
After years of hearing bloggers rave about Tieks foldable ballet flats, I finally broke down and splurged on two pairs. There are so many colors to choose from it is hard to decide on just one! I really do find them comfortable and spent full days wandering around Lisbon in them. Plus, I can’t get over how convenient it is to fold them up and put them in my carry on. It makes traveling light SO much easier!
These are not sexy but they are oh so comfortable. And seriously, can’t you see me climbing around the ruins of Pompeii or hiking the Trail of the Gods in these? I love the arch support (in just the right place, finally!) but I also like that they are ultra-adjustable with velcro adjustments across the toe, around the heel, and across the ankle. One tip our sales person told me was to start adjusting at the toe and work your way back, and then readjust as necessary and only loosen one strap to take them on and off during the day.
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Photo credit: The awesome picture of Mt Baker framed by some tired feet is courtesy of Missy Leone via Flickr Creative Commons.