When it comes time to choose your travel shoes, we all know that sneakers are a comfortable and easy standard. But sometimes you want to amp up the style factor when you visit new destinations for a night on the town, or simply a for more fashion-forward look, and the humble sneaker just won't cut it.
We asked Dr. Ami Sheth, a foot and ankle specialist in Los Gatos, California and a spokeswoman for the American Podiatric Medical Association, to weigh in on the travel shoe debate. Her answer for feeling both dressed-up and comfortable? The wedge.
“People always say to me, ‘I don’t want to wear sneakers because they make me feel like I’m a tourist,'” said Sheth. “Well, you are a tourist. But if you want to dress up a little more, I would say that my blanket statement is to wear something stable anytime you’re putting mileage on your foot.” While she doesn’t recommend wearing them all the time, “wedges are still the best if you’re going for a dressier shoe. It’s a better option than a stiletto or a pump as long as it's not too high and has a slight pitch.”
Other features to look for? “Some level of adaptability,” she said, referring to straps that can be adjusted to ensure a snug fit. Sheth prefers wedges that come up around the ankle, as well, “because they’re more protective,” and she suggests some insole padding.
Important point: “I tell everybody to test-drive the shoes before taking them on the road, and if they’re not comfortable, do not take them on the trip,” she said. And, finally, Sheth added that you won't want to take on any serious mileage without the proper footwear. “If you’re walking 10 miles, get a big handbag and when you arrive at the venue where you need to shine, swap out your sneakers for wedges,” she said.
Here, 17 pairs of comfortable wedges that look as good as they feel.