If you’re on social media… strike that, you’re definitely on social media… chances are you come across a substantial number of posts every day that are homage to wanderlust. Heck, every other picture on Instagram is about travel (the others are about food). And for a good reason too. Like someone wise once anonymously said, travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. If you’re bitten by the travel bug too, you know how important it is to keep track of the best travel shoes available. Besides your backpack, your shoes are probably the most important thing while on the go. The best traveling shoes are durable, comfortable and reliable enough to (literally) take you places without falling apart.
However, the best travel shoes are not the “sole” (you should be pretty used to this pun thing by now) domain of backpackers. Even in everyday life, we need travel shoes all the time. If you have a long commute to work, or if your job entails walking around running errands a lot, this list is relevant to you as well. In my opinion, the best travel shoes are a successful marriage between work shoes and sports shoes. Work shoes for the durability and ruggedness, sports shoes for the comfort. I’ve used this criterion to pick the best travel shoes women should consider owning.
Best travel shoes at a glance
- KEEN Women’s Presidio Shoe: Leather-made sporty oxford shoes that are sturdy yet comfortable.
- Ahnu Women’s Taraval Walking Shoe: Light lace-up sporty travel shoes that look good too.
- ALEADER Women’s Quick Drying Aqua Water Shoes: As the name goes, quick-drying lightweight lace-up shoes ideal for use in wet conditions.
- TOMS Women’s Classics Birch Multi Rainbows Loafer: Cute-looking classic loafers that fit comfortably and add color to your outfit.
- Xero Shoes Barefoot-inspired Sports Sandals – Women’s Z-Trail: Zero-drop open toe sandals that are versatile in use.
Best travel shoes – detailed review
Picking up on the durability criterion discussed above, Keen makes a good impression simply by way of reputation. It is a brand best known for its utility shoes so it is small wonder that their travel shoes are made for the long haul. The Women’s Presidio Shoe follows the sporty oxford design scheme with a laced-up leather and mesh upper and rubber sole.
It is waterproof, which is an often overlooked feature in travel shoes although it seems like the most obvious thing to have. Because if you’re going to be traveling in them, they’re likely to see a lot of varied conditions. This feature makes the shoes easier to clean and maintain.
They also have what they call the “Cleansport NXT” feature that controls odor, which is helpful because travel shoes tend to get sweaty a lot. The “cushioned footbed” however, isn’t as supportive as you might think, and additional supportive insoles may be required if you have problematic feet.
Keen is a trusted name in the area of utility shoe-making; the Women’s Presidio does command that authority.
The waterproof feature is always a welcome bonus when it comes to travel shoes.
Lace up design makes the fit snug.
Rubber sole provides good grip for trekking and traveling in wet conditions.
It has an odor control feature which is helpful in case of travel shoes.
Didn’t like that:
Very little arch support available; customization required in terms of insoles.
These shoes tend to run too wide for some women so checking for measurements before buying is advised.
Walking shoes should be well researched enough to carry a design that is both sturdy as well as lightweight. These Ahnu shoes successfully achieve that balance. Even with the leather, fabric and suede design, these shoes aren’t too heavy to lug around. Yet the upper is tough enough to take to your hiking expeditions to the mountains or on a simple walk around the town.
The leather is waterproof and holds off rain and snow to a decent capacity. However, most shoes in this price range won’t be waterproof enough to dunk your feet in ankle deep water for prolonged periods, so that waterproof testing method will definitely fail (in case you were planning on swimming in these shoes or crossing oceans!).
The slip-resistant feature on the outsole is quite good (as should be in case of walking shoes) and won’t disappoint on that front. However, the arch support provided, again, is only alright for women with normal feet and will be a disappointment for those with flat feet. They come in 6 basic color options so these shoes are an overall good buy for basic yet high performing travel shoes.
Lightweight walking shoes good for long hiking distances.
Lace up shoe design for better fit and grip.
Slip resistant rubber outsole offers decent traction on water and snow.
Has a mesh lining that is helpful with sweat-induced odor control.
The leather and textile design with padded collar fits well without being too wide or too narrow on most foot shapes.
The arch support, while okay for normal feet, isn’t great enough to provide comfort to flat feet or feet with other problems.
Remember when I talked about swimming in your travel shoes? Well, lucky you, it doesn’t seem like a far flung idea anymore, and these shoes are made to do that job. These ALEADER shoes take the next spot in our list of best travel shoes women should own because of several reasons.
First off, these are wicker light shoes that won’t add tons of weight to your feet that some hiking shoes are guilty of, thereby making them extremely comfortable to wear. Next and probably the most important reason in this context: they are made specifically for the purpose of getting drenched! Be informed though, these are not water proof or water resistant shoes. Rather, they feature a quick drying technology. The shoes are made of a mesh fabric upper and rubber outsole with holes. These two features combined make it easier for water to drain out of them as well as let air circulate well so the shoes can dry off much faster than other leather-made shoes.
They are also really good looking in terms of design and there’s a wide range of colors to choose from. However the downside is that these super light shoes compromise a bit on the durability and longevity. Prolonged usage on rugged terrains or during intense activities like long runs will lower their shelf life.
Extremely lightweight shoes made for the purpose of athletic adventures.
Created out of mesh specifically for use in wet conditions; dries superfast.
When wet, they don’t pull at the soles or make squishing sounds.
Fit is comfortable enough to wear for prolonged periods.
Great design and variety of color options.
An affordable option of footwear for the travel purposes.
Not super durable; won’t hold up with jogging or running.
Sometimes us girls just can’t make up our minds as to whether we want to protect our feet or dress up our feet. Guess what? We don’t have to choose (yep, sometimes life is sweet like that)! And frankly, we don’t always need to look like sport junkies in our hardcore sporty travel shoes. The best shoes for traveling can also play the role of adding a fun element to your outfit when the design is this cute.
Made of canvas and textile lining into a classic loafer design, these shoes are comfortable and easy to wear and take off, thanks to the elastic V panel. There is also decent arch support provided from the latex and suede cushioned footbed.
However, one of the best reasons to buy your first (or next) pair of Toms is the philanthropic opportunity that comes with it. Toms pledges to give away a new pair of shoes to a needy child with every purchase to make. Shopping can’t get any better than this!
Cute design! The fashionista in you will be happy.
Classic loafers that go with most everything.
Very light and comfortable on the feet.
Elastic V-panel makes wearing and taking off of shoes easier than lace up designs.
As with loafers, choosing the right size is of paramount importance as they could run small or large with the slightest size difference.
Any discussion on the best shoes for travel won’t be over without talking about at least one pair of open toe sandals. Because as much as dexterous closed shoes are, they can’t beat the comfort open toe sandals provide. Xero shoes have built the reputation of being the leaders on that front. These Z-Trails are so minimalistically designed that you’d almost feel like you’re barefoot, which is why the name.
The USP of these sandals is the zero-drop design that means there is no drop from the heel to the ball of your foot, subscribing to the belief that your feet are naturally zero-drop, and hence this design naturally facilitates good posture. These shoes are also extremely light and comfortable to wear, so you can take them on a variety of activities like kayaking to hiking to just a holiday at the beach. It is a clean design that looks good with your casual clothes.
However, these shoes, while water resistant, pose the problem of sliding off of your feet when they are wet. This could be partially caused due to the heel cup design, so there’s a slight hitch there. But overall, these sandals provide a great value for the money spent and are not just easy to wear but are easy to pack as well, making them travel-friendly in more ways than one.
Open toe sandals for maximum breathability of feet.
Zero drop sole design that helps with posture.
Multifunctional; apt for usage for a variety of different activities.
Easy to wash and maintain.
Feet slide forward when sandals are wet.
The heel cup might cause slight discomfort.
That concludes my list of the best travel shoes women should have in their travel bags, but if you think I missed out on any, do not hesitate to add so in the comment section below. Or just share any crazy travel stories no one else is listening to. I’ll listen, I’m a kind “sole” (ok sorry, bye).