A quality pair of walking shoes definitely need to make their way into your travel bag, no matter where you’re going in the world. From sneakers to flats to a comfy pair of boots, walking shoes are an essential part of a nomad’s everyday.
10 best walking shoes for travel
While we love exploring new cities on foot, we really don’t love reaching for the box of bandaids after a long day of exploring. If that’s a familiar story for you, as well, you know comfort is a must when it comes to travel shoes — but you also want to look good while you're checking out the sights or enjoying the local cuisine. The good news is, you really can have it all!
We’ve made a list of the ten best walking shoes that are breathable, supportive, and still stylish enough to appear in all of your fabulous photos.
The Allbirds brand consistently delivers soft, lightweight designs to meet all of your travel needs. This particular style is made from wool, which may sound like an interesting choice, but there are actually a lot of benefits to using such a premium, natural material. Not only are these merino runners super comfortable and completely breathable, but you can actually wear them without socks since the wool wicks moisture and minimizes odors — how cool is that?
These days, customers are asking for more sustainable options, and companies like Soludos are listening. Last summer, Soludos debuted the Yebo, a stylish, vegan sneaker made from plant-based leather and recycled materials. While other vegan fabrics often use harmful synthetics, this shoe’s upper leather is produced in Italy using an innovative, non-edible corn (you read that right). We love cute kicks with an eco-friendly twist!
For centuries, Turkish artisans have been handcrafting gorgeous leather shoes, called charik. The founders of Charix were drawn to these minimal, timeless designs, but opted to elevate them with a modern touch. Their leather slip-ons include a memory-foam insole, non-skid outsole, contoured heel, and soft stitching details. As avid travelers themselves, the Charix team guarantees these will become your go-to shoe for every kind of adventure.
Thanks to its groundbreaking advertising campaign during the 1960s, SeaVees is credited with transforming the sneaker from a gym shoe to a casual shoe. Inspired by the Huntington Beach Surf Club, the Middie is a slip-on sneaker made from durable suede, matching leather, and a cotton canvas lining. It features a contoured footbed with extra heel-strike cushion, which means you’ll enjoy all the comfort of a sneaker, but with the sophistication of dressier footwear.
Ecco’s Soft 7 has been a favorite among travelers for some time now, and for good reason — its ample arch support and high-quality feel comes packaged in a simple, Scandinavian style. This sneaker’s low profile, comfort insole, and smooth leather upper wonderfully pairs a classic aesthetic with innovative design. And with more than twenty colors and patterns to choose from, you’re sure to find a shade that’ll compliment your closet.
Price: from $79.99
To create the Sedona, Nisolo combined soft suede with an XL Extralight® sole (translating to the *perfect* travel companion). It's three times lighter than your average shoe, and weighs less than one pound per pair — kind of amazing, right? In addition, the Sedona was constructed to be completely collapsible, so you can easily pack them on your next trip without taking up space or weighing you down. This level of comfort and functionality is certainly hard to beat!
If you’re a fan of Rothy’s chic flats, you’ll love this lightweight slip-on that gives you comfort straight out of the box. The upper on Rothy’s sneaker is made from the same upcycled material as their flats, but features a studier sole for more support during a long day on the go. As an added bonus, both the sneaker and its removable insole are machine-washable! There’s plenty of great colors to choose from, but we’re a *little* partial to this Camo Cat look ourselves.
If you need a nice pair of boots to take with you on your travels, we strongly suggest this option from Børn. The Cove boot has waterproof suede and water-resistant lining, meaning it’s ready to take you on any and all excursions your heart desires. These are top notch shoes that truly feel as good as they look; their artistic touches, thoughtful craftsmanship, and exceptional materials are sure to satisfy the demands of your busy and beautiful nomadic lifestyle.
According to Everlane, this is a shoe that ‘fits like a glove — and hustles all damn day.’ The Day Glove is made of buttery soft leather that molds to your foot for a perfect, custom fit. And with practical features like a back pull tab, side vents, rubber sole, and cushioned insole, this shoe is truly up for anything. Wear these flats with jeans, skirts, business attire, and beyond, and enjoy all that suitcase space you save with this classy pair that can easily switch from day to night.
Rens is on a mission to make eco-friendly shoes that are both stylish and affordable. All of their dyes, materials, and adhesives are 100% vegan — in fact, this company created the world's first sneaker made from coffee and recycled plastic. Talk about innovation! Shopping with Rens means not having to sacrifice on style, versatility, or sustainability, because each pair is design-driven and feature-rich, with a focus on the environment to boot.
- Superga 2750 COTU Classic Sneaker (Price: $65.00)
- Sorel Out ‘N About Sneaker (Price: from $60.00)
- Madewell Sidewalk Slip-Ons in Recycled Canvas (Price: $58.00)
- Birkenstock Bend Leather Sneaker (Price: $150.00)
FAQs about walking shoes
How do I choose a good walking shoe?
A good walking shoe is snug everywhere, tight nowhere, and offers enough room to wiggle your toes. If you can’t try on the shoes in person, be sure to read a handful of customer reviews to get a good sense of whether to size up, size down, or purchase a pair that’s true to size.
What are the best lightweight walking shoes?
Allbirds has some of the best, most lightweight shoes on the market right now. Whether you go for their running shoes, everyday sneakers, slip-ons, or flats, each of Allbirds styles has been sustainably designed with your ultimate comfort in mind.
What are the best shoes for walking around Europe?
If you’re planning a trip to Europe, you really can’t go wrong with this elegant Charix Slip-On, or the ever-popular Ecco Soft 7 Sneaker. And if you’re traveling during the spring or summer months, make sure to take a pair of cute sandals with you, as well.