The Most Comfortable Travel Shoes for Men

The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is our top pick.

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Aside from your passport, a comfortable pair of shoes might be the most important thing you bring on your travels. You’re not going to be able to explore the Colosseum, Angkor Wat, or Machu Picchu very well without good footwear, and a ratty pair you’ve been wearing for decades probably won’t cut it. According to Mark Mendeszoon, a foot and ankle surgeon with 27 years of experience, most men who travel should look for shoes that provide adequate comfort, as well as support. “The most important things to look into when buying shoes to travel is that they fit properly not only in length but in width, and that they have the appropriate amount of support for the arch and cushioning for shock absorption,” he said.

From eco-friendly runners to laceless slip-ons that feel like you’re walking on a cloud, we rounded up the best shoes that are both comfortable and great for travel. For the best of the best, we have to hand it to Allbirds for their light-yet-plush running shoes, Tree Dasher 2, which recently got an upgrade with improved sole grip. But our roundup includes plenty more quality men’s shoes to wear around the world.

Best Overall: Allbirds Men's Tree Dasher 2

Allbirds Men's Tree Dasher 2

Allbirds

Why We Love It: They feel like you’re walking on a cloud and were recently upgraded with improved grip.

What to Consider: At 10.3 ounces, they’re not the lightest option.

Despite being specifically designed for running, Allbirds’ Tree Dasher 2 is actually a versatile shoe you can easily use for walking around on your travels, too. Allbirds became famous for their Merino wool upper, but the Tree Dasher 2 uses wool only in the heel cup and eucalyptus tree fiber for the rest of the upper, which is cooler, more breathable, and more suitable for warmer temperatures. The foam sole might just be one of the cushiest on the market, and it’s made with sustainable sugarcane. I personally own a pair of the original Tree Dashers and couldn’t get over how comfortable they were the first time I tried them on.

In terms of style, it doesn’t get much better looking for a running sneaker than these. I have the natural black version and I feel as confident wearing them on a run as I do to a restaurant or bar. 

Price at time of publish: $135

Sizes: 8-14‎ | Material: Eucalyptus tree fiber upper, sugarcane-based foam midsole, natural rubber outsole

Best Budget: Skechers Men's Gowalk 5

Skechers Men's Gowalk 5

Amazon

Why We Love It: They’re comfortable, lightweight shoes at an amazing price.

What to Consider: They look like dad sneakers, and not in a hip way.

These Skechers are extremely comfortable for the price. The insole is made of a bouncy, moisture-wicking Goga mat technology — think yoga mat-level comfort — stacked on top of a sturdy, synthetic dual-density outsole. The upper is comfy as well, with a padded tongue and collar. And, at 7.25 ounces per shoe, they’re some of the lightest shoes we’ve seen.

Price at time of publish: $60

Sizes: 7-15 including extra wide options | Material: Knit mesh upper, synthetic sole

Best Arch-support: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Amazon

Why We Love It: They’re a comfortable pair of shoes you can wear all day, even if you have flat feet or high arches.

What to Consider: They’re stiffer and heavier than other shoes.

Brooks has long been the go-to for people looking for arch support. This classic model, which has been updated with a refreshed, colorful look, is an ideal shoe for light runs as well as travel. Brooks’ GuideRails technology corrects for overpronation in all directions, so they’re ideal for people with flat feet, raised arches, or those suffering from plantar fasciitis. These shoes are also quite stiff, which is what you want if you need a supportive shoe.

Price at time of publish: $140

Sizes: 7-15 in narrow, wide, and ultra-wide sizes | Material: Synthetic fabric upper, rubber sole

Best Sandal: ECCO Men's Sandals Multisport Outdoor Shoes

ECCO Men's Sandals Multisport Outdoor Shoes

Amazon

Why We Love It: They’re arguably the comfiest sandals on the market, and they have great ankle support, too.

What to Consider: They’re not built for water.

Ranked as one of the best sandals for men in our recent roundup, these Eccos are very comfortable, with a soft microfiber bed that molds to your foot. They’re specially designed for long-distance hikes and below the footbed is a sturdy rubber sole with excellent traction so you’re less likely to slip. Up top, straps made of leather and textile hold your feet in tight and go higher up the leg to prevent dreaded rolled-ankle accidents.

Price at time of publish: $132

Sizes: 6-16.5 | Material: Leather and textile upper, EVA footbed, rubber sole

Most Eco-friendly: Native Shoes Jefferson Bloom

Native Shoes Jefferson Bloom

Amazon

Why We Love It: They’re comfy and more environmentally friendly than your typical pair of sneakers.

What to Consider: They aren’t as supportive as a lace-up shoe, so only wear them for short walks.

If you don’t mind standing out in a crowd, go for these sneakers that are comfortable and eco-conscious. The Native Jefferson Blooms are made with a mixture of algae and Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA), so each pair saves about 20 gallons of filtered water and 15 balloons of carbon dioxide, according to the company. Similar to Crocs, they feel great on the feet (though they do take some breaking in), and they come in funky colors as well as a range of sizes so the whole fam can match.

Price at time of publish: $55

Sizes:‎ 3-13 | Material: EVA partly made from algae

Best Loafer: Cole Haan Howland Penny Loafer

Cole Haan Howland Penny Loafer

Amazon

Why We Love It: They’re like slippers, but classier.

What to Consider: There is not much arch support offered with this pair.

Just slip these stylish all-leather loafers from Cole Haan on and go. They’re made with soft, pebbled calfskin and mold to your foot so they’ll only get comfier with time. The textured-rubber, driving-shoe-inspired sole has a sleek look and rides up the back of the heel so you don’t wear them out as quickly.

Note: Sizing runs small for this style, so order a half-size up.

Price at time of publish: $148

Sizes: 7-13 | Material: Leather upper, rubber sole

Best Sneaker: Adidas Ultraboost 22

Adidas Ultraboost 22

Amazon

Why We Love It: They’re ultra-stylish and offer cloud-like comfort.

What to Consider: They can be difficult to get on.

Sure, they look super cool and come in more than 30 colors, but have you tried these on? The Adidas Ultraboost 22 are a dream to wear, with responsive cushioning and extra stiffness in the midfoot and forefoot to give added oomph when you run. But don’t let runner-geared marketing deter you if you just want to walk in them. These are great for traveling or even a short hike as the traction is solid.

An added bonus is that the shoe’s upper is made with at least 50 percent ocean plastic from waste intercepted on beaches, coastal communities, and shorelines, and the other 50 percent is recycled polyester.

Price at time of publish: $190

Sizes: 4-18 | Material: Reused ocean plastic waste and recycled polyester upper, rubber sole.

Best Lightweight: Allbirds Men's Tree Runners

Allbirds Men's Tree Runners

Allbirds

Why We Love It: They’re lightweight and stylish.

What to Consider: Despite the name, they aren’t built for long runs.

A lighter and breezier option compared to the Tree Dashers, these Allbirds are perfect for prancing around town in comfort. They’re made with eucalyptus tree fiber and have a sugarcane foam midsole, as well as a castor bean insole that’s cushy and reduces odors. They also have ZQ Merino wool in the heel, which provides added cushioning, moisture-wicking capabilities, and odor reduction.

Price at time of publish: $105

Sizes: Full sizes 8-14‎ | Material: Eucalyptus tree fiber upper, sugarcane foam sole

Best Casual: New Balance 237v1

New Balance 237v1

New Balance

Why We Love It: They boast great traction, plenty of cushioning, and a sturdy build.

What to Consider: These have a sporty, retro look which make them less versatile than other pairs on this list.

Despite their appearance, these shoes weren’t last updated in the 1970s. They're actually a contemporary take on classic styles, gathering together features from different New Balance models and sprinkling in modern upgrades. The result is a very cool-looking and comfortable sneaker, with a thick sole that extends past the heel and plenty of cushion inside. The herringbone sole is another great touch, as it adds traction.

Price at time of publish: $80

Sizes:‎ 4-12, full sizes 13-17 | Material: Suede and mesh upper, EVA midsole, rubber outsole

Best for Hiking: Hoka Speedgoat 5

Hoka Speedgoat 5

Courtesy of Zappos

Why We Love It: They’re arguably the cushiest hiking shoes around, and they’re lightweight, too.

What to Consider: They’re not as durable as leather-covered hikers.

Hoka makes some of the best running shoes on the market, and their Speedgoat has become one of the most beloved models on the trail-running scene. The newest model blends the best of the best of previous models, combining comfort and support with an updated Vibram Megagrip outsole for extra traction and a lighter EVA midsole. So, why is this a good travel shoe, too? Because it’s also versatile, allowing you to go straight to sightseeing from a hike, and they’re light enough to throw in your bag at 10.5 ounces for a men’s size 10.

Price at time of publish: $155

Sizes:‎ 7-14 | Material: Mesh upper, EVA midsole, rubber outsole

Best Water-friendly: Tropicfeel Monsoon

Tropicfeel Monsoon

Tropicfeel

Why We Love It: They’re versatile, high-quality water shoes that look like regular sneakers.

What to Consider: They aren’t great for running or long hikes.

If you want to go from the trail to the lake or boardwalk to beach, Tropicfeel makes a water shoe that allows you to do so all day long. The Monsoon is lightweight, breathable, and has good traction for light hikes. An added feature to the classic Canyon model (which I’ve owned and loved), is a sturdy heel cup that adds support.

Wear them with or without socks and, if they get smelly, just toss them in the washing machine (but not the dryer).

Price at time of publish: $129

Sizes: 6-12.5 | Material: Recycled polyester upper, recycled EVA outsole

Best Waterproof: Vessi Men's Everyday Move Sneakers

Vessi Men's Everyday Move Sneakers

Vessi

Why We Love It: They’re lightweight, stylish, and totally waterproof.

What to Consider: Waterproof shoes tend to dry slower if water gets inside.

On the flip side of the coin, Vessi makes outstanding waterproof shoes that are surprisingly light and breathable. The Everyday Move model is the most sporty of the bunch, so they’re built for running but you can just as easily make them your do-it-all travel shoes for walking around rainy cities like Seattle or Glasgow.

The upper is made with Vessi’s proprietary Dyma-tex — a material made with tiny pores that are too small for water droplets to get through. And the sole is cloudlike, with plenty of grip on the bottom for off-road adventures.

Price at time of publish: $140

Sizes: Full sizes 6-13 | Material: Knit polyurethane Dyma-tex, rubber sole

Tips for Buying Comfortable Travel Shoes

Think about warmth and breathability

You’re not going to want to take sandals to the Arctic nor heavy boots to the beach, so think about where you like to travel before deciding what shoes you want to get. The same goes for breathability. “Breathability is important because if your foot does not have the ability to exchange air, it can get very moist and cause skin problems such as fungal skin conditions [like] athlete’s foot,” said Mendeszoon.

Consider cushioning

Comfort is all about cushioning, though it can understandably get confusing with all the different materials being used to make soles these days, especially with environmental consciousness now in the mix. “Shoes can use foam, air pockets, or gels, but the main thing you want is for your sole to have shock absorption and stress reduction,” Mendeszoon said.

Know that you’re not limited to sneakers

Sure, they might not offer as much foot support, but depending on where you’re traveling and how much walking you’re doing, a good pair of sandals or slip-ons can be more comfortable than a running shoe. In a perfect world, you’ll want a casual shoe that you can slip on or strap up, in addition to a more supportive shoe for longer days on your feet.

Remember packability

Opt for lightweight shoes over boots if you’re concerned about luggage weight. When it comes to travel with a carry-on or small bag, pick trail runners over hiking boots to maximize space. Keep in mind you can always wear your bulkiest pair on the way to and from your destination, too.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How should I pack shoes?

    Give them a good cleaning and then fill them with small clothing like socks or underwear to keep their shape. Then wrap the shoes in a cloth or plastic bag and either put them sole-first against the wall of your suitcase or stuff them where they best fit in your bag.

  • How should I clean travel shoes on the go?

    Gently hand wash them rather than using the washing machine and never use the dryer. If they’re really dirty, throw them in a light spin wash cycle and let them air dry. Don’t forget to take out the insoles as they can shrink or lose their cushion in the wash.

  • How do you know it’s time to replace your shoes?

    As a general rule of thumb, shoes can last for an average of 500 miles. If you haven’t been clocking your miles, Mendeszoon recommends a “taco test” for telling if it’s time. “This is when you take off your shoe and fold it and, if it folds in half very easily and doesn’t spring back, that means the shoe has passed its prime,” he said. Another way is to check if the traction on the bottom is worn down to the midsole. If so, it’s time for a new pair.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this article, writer Joel Balsam, a frequent traveler who has visited more than 50 countries, reviewed and selected from the industry’s best options, and spoke with an experienced foot and ankle surgeon for additional advice.


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