The 3 BEST Shoes for Travel

By Talia.

There are so many YouTube videos and blog posts online about the best shoes for travel for both men and women, and I don't pretend to know everything. BUT, I have experience and feet and I think those are enough to have a valid opinion on footwear. So read on if you also have feet and a desire to travel!
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 NOTE: If you'd rather watch a short video than read all these words, scroll to the bottom of this post! 

I'm fairly picky when it comes to shoes. I like having shoes that suit the purpose for which I need them. A classy pair of black heels for a date, a funky peep-toe flat for a summer outing, comfy slip-on shoes for work (seriously the most comfy shoes for teachers!). I need to know exactly what the activity or day will entail so I know which shoes to wear. For me, the correct shoe choice is extremely important.

It's no real surprise, then, that choosing shoes for a year-long trip was almost stress inducing. There were so many factors to consider: size, weight, comfort, versatility. Making a wrong choice would be inconvenient at best, extremely painful and expensive at worst. No pressure, right?

The key to choosing the right travel shoes is using what you already know you like and don't like in shoes. If you wear flip-flops a lot, that's a no-brainer. I don't like wearing them very often because they feel like take a lot of toe strength to keep them on my feet. That's no fun when you're walking 10 miles a day. So I knew those were out. But I needed a hot-climate-comfortable-durable sandal type shoe.

I also knew from our last trip that having one semi-nice pair of shoes is important to me feeling like I don't actually look like I've been traveling for months and maybe haven't had a proper shower in the past 4 days.  So I needed a versatile "nice" pair.

Furthermore, unlike our last trip, we would be changing up climates as we traversed more of the globe in this single trip. We would be in Russia and China in late autumn, so a pair of shoes suitable for colder weather, but not ONLY cold weather. In other words, no big heavy winter boots, nothing fur-lined.

So I was looking at 3 pairs of shoes. Anything more than that would be dead weight. I pondered and chose, and re-chose, and pondered some more. Here are my 3 Best Travel Shoe Choices:

3. Basic Black Mid-Calf Boots

I love black boots. And fortunately, I already had a pair that was worn in, super comfortable, and surprisingly light. These boots go with leggings and worked perfectly in Europe when it was chillier at night. They're easy to dress up and wear with most things and they definitely fulfilled all of my requirements.

Sadly, my beloved boots did not make it through our Mongolia tour.  After wearing them fairly steadily for 3 months, the soles had worn thin and we had not anticipated the tour at all and were not quite prepared for the weather. The boots did great...until the snow came. Then my feet got wet and cold and I knew I wouldn't be able to keep wearing them. I eventually had to give in and buy a pair of more winter-ready boots from a local market. I tossed my black boots as they were scuffed and cracked. Also, I never was able to get rid of the sand that invaded them while climbing the dunes.  You can watch that adventure below:

When we leave China, where winter is in full swing, I"ll ditch the winter boots and replace them with black mid-calves as we get closer to riding motorcycles.  To get the ones pictured above, click here.

2. Crocs Ballet Flats

Ok, just hear me out. Yes, I know they are Crocs. I get it. Crocs are terrible and gross, right? And only sad people with foot problems wear them?


These shoes are marvelous. I cannot rave enough about these shoes. They are comfortable; they are durable; they are so incredibly light-weight; they are waterproof and easy to clean. AND they don't look awful. If you're not looking up close you wouldn't know that they're made of that strange rubbery material.

I've worn these with leggings. I've worn them with shorts. I even wore them with an evening gown on our Transatlantic Cruise, which you can see here.

I got to be all fancy and not a soul realized I was wearing the Nickelback of shoe brands. Praise be.

Get these marvelous, versatile, perfect travel shoes here.

1. Keen Venice Sandals

These are by far my favorite shoes for travel. I bought a pair before our last trip 5 years ago and fell immediately in love. We were traveling mostly in warm weather so I wore them nearly every day. These shoes are immediately comfortable and require no breaking-in phase. They are tight yet roomy and spacious, which is really good for wider feet like mine. They are waterproof which makes them great shoes to wear in rainy places. I also wear them when swimming in places with questionable underwater floors, like waterfalls and lakes.  You can go straight from hiking into the water and back out without ever worrying about carrying around wet shoes or ruining your hiking boots.

These shoes, clearly, are not the most stylish and aren't really suitable for European cities where you might feel out of place. That's what the Crocs and boots are for. But these are the perfect shoes for places like Southeast Asia where it's hot and wet. They are casual, comfy, and not too heavy.

I had to buy a new pair of these for this trip because after 5 years of constant wear (yes, I wore them when I wasn't traveling, because what are casual Fridays for if not the most comfortable shoes in the world?) they were falling apart. They were still wearable, but I didn't think they would last another long trip, so I replaced them with the exact same model.   Get them here.

I am pretty confident that I have made the best shoe choices possible for this year long America-to-Australia trip. However, I could be wrong! What do you think?

Drop us a comment and let us know what YOUR travel shoe choices are or if you think you'll give mine a try!

Watch the vid:

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