From classic canvas slip-ons to luxury leather bit loafers, these are the travel shoes we swear by.

By Travel + Leisure Staff
June 18, 2019
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Courtesy of Retailers

When traveling, no article of clothing can hold you back quite like uncomfortable or inappropriate footwear can. Sure, an exposed clavicle or a pair of too-tight leggings can bar you from certain experiences, but shoes that destroy your feet will banish you to your hotel room — fast. When your itinerary includes lots and lots of walking, travel shoes leave no room for compromise.

To help you find the perfect pair, we asked our editors to share their personal must-packs and found travel shoe picks that have withstood the packed museums of Paris, bustling sidewalks of Berlin, and remote trails of the Andes.

You’ll find our favorite stylish flats, comfy sneakers, sturdy sandals, versatile boots, and even a few pairs of travel-friendly heels. And here’s a fun game: Count how many times we mention the merits of a shoe that slips easily off and on at airport security. Next to comfort, it’s without a doubt our favorite footwear attribute.

Cole Haan Tali Bow Ballet Flat

Courtesy of Cole Haan

"When I’m traveling, I’m always apprehensive about sticking out as a tourist. So before a trip to Paris, I went on a shoe-shopping tear, determined to find a pair that was comfortable and durable enough to stand up to miles of wandering, but still look polished. These ballet flats from Cole Haan hit the mark: they're versatile, break in easily, and don’t make my feet ache after a day of sightseeing. And with a little waterproofing spray, mine are still going strong after two years of near-constant abuse." – Lila Battis, Associate Editor

To buy: colehaan.com, $120 (originally $150)

Free People Royale Flat

Courtesy of Zappos

"These flats are a go-to when I pack for a trip. Although the shape makes them unique, they're neutral enough to work with so many different outfits, from jeans to dresses. It helps that they come with that worn-in look, so you don't have to worry about getting them dirty when exploring a new city. Plus, they're super comfortable — they're sturdier than the typical flat, and they give you closed-toe coverage, but the cut-out lets your feet breathe." – Nina Ruggiero, Senior Digital Editor

To buy: zappos.com, $198

Adidas Samba Sneakers

Courtesy of Zappos

"I've been a loyal Samba-wearer for nearly a decade now and have yet to be anything less than impressed with the pairs I've bought. They're durable, affordable, and incredibly comfortable, and they're the first thing I set aside to bring on a trip. Whether I'm headed to Europe to stroll through the city streets, or to South America for more arduous exploring, Adidas Sambas are always on my feet." – Sean Flynn, Digital Operations Editor

To buy: zappos.com, $198

Lowa Tibet Backpacking Boots

Courtesy of Zappos

"Every time I go hiking, I feel renewed gratefulness for these incredible boots. I give them the highest marks for comfort, traction, ankle support, water resistance, and aesthetic. I've worn them everywhere from the Andes to Crete to the streets of New York City, and since it appears that they will last forever, I expect them to carry me to many more destinations in the years to come." – Jesse Ashlock, Executive Director

To buy: zappos.com, $395

Adidas Originals Superstar

Courtesy of Zappos

"I always pack too many shoes — and then find myself wearing these sneakers for most of the trip. They're comfortable, stylish enough (the title of my future memoir), and even though they're laced, there's enough give that I can slip them on and off at airport security." – Jessica Plautz, Deputy Digital Editor

To buy: zappos.com, $80

Teva Hurricane XLT2

Courtesy of Zappos

"Is there really anything better than a good Teva? The brand has adorned my dirty, mosquito-bitten feet during childhood sleepaway camps; protected my soles through countless desert hikes and canoe trips; supported my arches while wandering ancient neighborhoods and cobblestone cities; and certainly looked fly with denim shorts and a white tee in the sticky Brooklyn summer. Their latest model is the sturdiest, comfiest, and most unironically utilitarian-chic yet." —Hannah Walhout, Assistant Editor

To buy: zappos.com, $70

Toms Classics

Courtesy of Zappos

"I love classic Toms for travel. They’re cushioned enough for a day’s worth of city exploring, very lightweight, and easy to pack. I find the flexible soles of the classic Alpargatas style to be especially comfortable if I'm stuck in the driver’s seat on a road trip. Bonus: They come in a wide range of colors, from versatile neutrals to charming prints (if, like me, the rest of what you pack skews monochrome and you need a fun accessory for your feet)." —Skye Senterfeit, Photo Editor

To buy: zappos.com, $37

Sam Edelman Penny 2 Wide Calf

   
Courtesy of Zappos

"I swear by these boots for daily life, but they come in especially clutch when I'm traveling. I can walk around in them for hours on end without my feet getting achy, and since they're easily dressed up or down, I can get away with packing fewer pairs of shoes. One caveat: The boots ding going through metal detectors at the airport, so you do have to remove them. But even with that annoyance, they've remained my go-to cold-weather travel shoes for four years running. For warmer climates, I'm also a massive fan of the black patent-leather–toed Fraley ballet flats ($100) — so much so that when I wore holes in my first pair, I tracked down a new-with-tags pair on eBay because I couldn't find them anywhere else." —Sarah Bruning, Senior Editor

To buy: zappos.com, $150

Rancourt & Co. Baxter Ranger

Courtesy of Rancourt & Co.

"I wear this shoe pretty much every day from April to November. Rancourt is an online-only Maine company that makes handcrafted footwear, and their styles range from business dress to full-on weekend-by-the-lake preppy. The Baxter Ranger moccasin has a little more aesthetic heft than the typical moccasin, and because it has a substantial inner sole you can walk in it easily for long stretches. In time it molds to your foot and becomes as comfortable as your favorite slipper." —Peter Terzian, Articles Editor

To buy: rancourtandcompany.com, $305

Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

Courtesy of Nordstrom

"These classic sneakers are the workhorse of my travel ensemble. The low-profile shape look great with casual pants and flowy dresses alike, and despite being leather, they keep your feet amazingly dry in the rain — no soggy socks here! — and somehow don't get ruined when you're caught in a downpour. They're also perfectly comfortable for several hours of walking in all types of settings, from the cobblestoned streets of Lisbon (thank you sturdy, rubber soles) to the bustling street markets of Asia (where close-toed shoes are preferred for avoiding questionable wetness and getting your feet trampled). Another bonus is the affordable price tag: after constant use you won't feel bad having to replace them once they start to look a little too worn." —Karen I. Chen, Editorial Producer

To buy: nordstrom.com, $80

Crocs Swiftwater Sandal

Courtesy of Zappos

"My family and I tend to walk for hours on end when we go away. Before or after these long days on our feet, we undoubtedly are at the hotel pool or beach. Crocs for the kids and I seem like a good way to have comfortable footwear on han that serve dry and wet settings (and don't weigh much in our luggage)." — Devin Traineau, Associate Photo Editor

To buy: zappos.com, $31

Vans Classic Sneaker

Courtesy of Nordstrom

"These are easily the most versatile shoes in my wardrobe. They provide enough support and comfort for long days of walking, but pair well with a dressier outfit for dinner and drinks. In fact, I'm wearing them now as I type this at work. These slip-ons really do it all!" — Abigail Williams, Senior Audience Engagement Editor

To buy: nordstrom.com, $60

Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Suede Sandal

Courtesy of Nordstrom

"I am a die-hard Birkenstock fan (no matter what my fiance says about them). They are incredibly comfortable and versatile. They look equally cute with leggings, jeans, or a dress." — Erin Lengas, Editorial Operations Associate

To buy: nordstrom.com, $135

Rag & Bone Rb Army Low Sneaker

Courtesy of Rag & Bone

"These leather low tops are super helpful for transitioning from day to night, and I have no trouble pairing them with anything in my suitcase — whether it's my proudly shlubby airplane uniform of leggings and a sweatshirt, or a maxi dress and big earrings for a late dinner (when I'm trying to look cute and attract a foreign paramour). The leather doesn't get grody like white canvas sneakers usually do, and once you wear them in, they'll be some of the most comfortable shoes you own." — Hannah Walhout, Assistant Editor

To buy: nordstrom.com, $250

Havaianas Women's Luna Flip Flop Sandal

Courtesy of Amazon

"For those trips when I intend to do little else but lie on the sand or by the pool, there's no other shoe I rely on more to take me from beach to outdoor shower to happy hour at the oceanside bar. These are also extremely durable flip-flops; I've had the same pair of Havaianas for seven years and they're still in great shape." — Karen I. Chen, Editorial Producer

To buy: amazon.com, $30

Outdoor Voices Women's OV Clifton Sneakers

Courtesy of Outdoor Voices

"I honestly never thought I’d hop on the 'dad sneaker' trend, but for these I’ll make an exception. Outdoor Voices’ Clifton sneakers have so much midsole support, I actually bounce when I walk in them. OV teamed up with HOKA ONE ONE, a brand known for their super-cushioned but lightweight running shoes, and these are a perfect example of what they do best. I’ve taken them running in LA and hiking in New Zealand, and my feet, which are flat and prone to soreness, felt ready for more. Other shoppers agree — they have a 4.9 rating out of 5 on OV’s website — and I have to admit, they are kind of cute for everyday wear." — Nina Ruggiero, Senior Digital Editor

To buy: outdoorvoices.com, $140

Olukai 'Upena' Flat Sandal

Courtesy of Nordstrom

"By far my favorite pair of sandals for walking, this Olukai pair has seen the sandy beaches of Costa Rica, the cobblestone streets of San Miguel de Allende, the coastal trails of Menorca, and the inside of my suitcase — many, many times. They have a just-right amount of arch support and are equally as comfy for a light hike as they are for a day of market hopping. The adjustable straps also keep your feet from sliding around, which is what usually annoys me most about sandals. I've also had my pair for a few years and they still look pretty new!" — Richelle Szypulski, Senior Associate Editor

To buy: nordstrom.com, $90

Mobs 'Tread Low' Sneaker

Courtesy of Mobs

"These sneakers are both stylish and comfortable, and make it possible to pack a total of just two pairs of shoes (some flat dressy shoes for nice dinners) for an entire trip. The EVA midsole is great for comfort and support, and I've worn these on walking tours and they still look new." — Jessica Plautz, Deputy Digital Editor

To buy: modsdesign.com, $175

Hermés 'Volo' Sneaker

Courtesy of Hermés

“I’m on a plane sometimes eight times a month, and usually have to roll in right from a red eye to a work event. Which is why I like to invest in one incredibly chic pair of sneakers, so that I can just get up and go. This set from Hermés combines functionality with high-fashion. I love that they are a little bit less sneaker, and more boot, with just the slightest of cushion to keep you happy while strolling through the airport and to your next meeting.” — Jacqueline Gifford, Editor-in-chief

To buy: hermes.com, $900

Cole Haan GrandPro Tennis Sneaker

Courtesy of Cole Haan

“Regardless of how many styles I try to sneak into my suitcase, there's no travel shoe I end up wearing more often than sneakers — especially when they achieve the delicate balance between comfort and style, a feat Cole Haan is almost unfairly good at. The brand sent me these featherlight tennis shoes to test back in 2017 and they've since become one of my most packed pairs. They weigh about as much as an iPhone and the knit uppers are super breathable, making them perfect for summer travel.” — Richelle Szypulski, Senior Associate Editor

To buy: colehaan.com, $90 (originally $110)

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