September 25, 2023


For splendid leisure

28 Best Walking Shoes for Travel (2022): Sneakers, Boots, Flats, and Slip-Ons We’d Wear All Day

9 min read
Condé Nast Traveler

Finding the best walking shoes for travel can be tough. You want something comfortable enough to get you through a full day of wandering around, but not so comfortable that it screams “I’m a tourist!” And since nobody wants to tote around a bag (checked or otherwise) filled with shoes, the ones that do make the packing list cut need to be versatile enough to wear with multiple outfits. 

Since a bad pair of shoes can ruin an otherwise lovely travel day, we asked editors to share their tried-and-true kicks, so you don’t have to take a gamble on whether they’ll actually be comfortable or not. Whether you’re looking for sneakers, boots, flats, or sandals, we have recommendations for you. Below, nearly 30 of our favorite high-quality, easy-to-pack walking shoes for travel—all cushy, supportive, and versatile—that will take you just about anywhere.

This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date. Additional reporting by Elaheh Nozari and Andrea Whittle.

Boots and clogs

Blondo Elvina waterproof bootie

Former Condé Nast Traveler editor Meredith Carey wears these waterproof Blondo boots almost all winter long, and brings them along on any fall and winter trips. “They look and feel like leather but I can wear them in snow and rain—I don’t have to worry about my shoes surviving when I’m tromping around day-to-day in New York or a new city,” she says. They come in a host of color options, from black to brown leather to snakeskin.

Vagabond Shoemakers Cosmo 2.0 Chelsea boots

Traveler senior editor Megan Spurrell is a fan of Vagabond’s lug sole boots, and recommends a style with a wider toe for maximum comfort on long days of walking. Best for city trips, these Chelsea boots are on the bulkier side, so wear them through security to cut down on suitcase weight.

Frye Melissa Chelsea booties

Spurrell has waxed poetic about Frye’s Melissa Chelsea boots before: they’re her go-to for any city trip. They look good with jeans, leggings, or dresses, pack down well, and over time, have become as comfortable as sneakers. Plus, they last for years and are sturdy enough to navigate cobblestone streets. What more could you want?

Clarks Desert Boots

We love the rugged silhouette of Desert Boots, which have the versatility of a sneaker but clean lines of an ankle boot. They’re comfortable in a variety of climates, making them great for both humid summer temperatures and freezing winter ones. Just stay away from rain—the suede exterior doesn’t mix well with water.

Dansko XP 2.0

Sure, they’re not the most fashionable shoes in the world, but chefs and nurses swear by Danskos for a reason. The XPs are the absolute best, most supportive shoe if you’re on your feet all day, with the kind of arch support and structure that a sneaker just won’t give you. These are ideal for when you’re not necessarily walking long distances, but doing a lot of standing—think a trip to The Louvre in Paris or the Prado Museum in Madrid.


Allbirds Plant Pacers

A good basic white sneaker goes a long way, and this new style from Allbirds is one of Traveler senior commerce editor Madison Flager’s favorites. It was comfortable straight out of the box, and has enough lift and support for all day wear. The plastic-free alternative leather is made out of natural rubber, plant oils, and agricultural byproducts, making it a better buy for the environment, too.

Reebok Club C 85 Model vintage shoes

A clean white sneaker is an essential on every packing list, and this vintage Reebok style (another favorite of Spurrell’s) goes with nearly any outfit. 

Allbirds Wool Runners

Flager packs a pair of Allbirds on most every vacation for their versatility and true all-day comfort. When it’s not the Plant Pacers, it’s these Wool Runners (Allbirds’ very first shoe), which comes in a half dozen colorways and just as many limited-edition hues. Like all of the brand’s shoes, they are machine washable, which means lighter colors are easy to keep looking new.

Suav The Zilker Gum

Suav shoes pass an important travel-friendly test: They are comfortable on the first wear, no break-in time needed. They’re also super lightweight and flexible, so you can pack them down into any size, and are breathable, with a sweat-wicking fabric for those who prefer to go sock-less. As a bonus, the company makes shoes in a particularly eco-friendly way: Each pair is digitally knitted out piece by piece using recycled water bottles, reducing material waste during the production process.

Superga Cotu Classic

Supergas are a happy medium for when you can’t quite make your outfit work with a full-on pair of running shoes, but you know you’ll need something solid and comfy for a full day on pavement. They come in every color and fabric imaginable (Velvet! Suede! Metallic leather!) and work with just about any look you can think of.

Adidas Stan Smith sneaker

There’s a reason why the Adidas Stan Smith has evolved from a tennis shoe to a streetwear classic (and can be found on multiple editors’ shoe racks): They’re too comfortable to ever want to take off. If you’re going on a short trip and only have room for one pair of shoes, wear these—they can handle anything from a day of sightseeing to an impromptu hike, are easy to slide on and off at airport security, and will make you look chic, without sacrificing an ounce of comfort.

Athletic shoes

Salomon Speedcross 5

Editorial assistant Charlie Hobbs wears these shoes everywhere: “To the gym, to the park, to the rave—I sometimes have to remind myself that I own other shoes. You don’t have to tie them, just pull a cord [to secure them]. They are so comfortable and easy.”

Arc’teryx Konseal FL 2 shoe

Associate editor Scott Bay is a fan of this Arc’teryx hiker: “To me, it’s technical enough to tackle any moderate hike, while being super comfortable all day, and I have been known to wear them to nice restaurants or shows.” Other perks: They last forever and you can throw them in the wash when they’re in need of a polish.

Veja Marlin V-Knit Nero Prime

Named after one of the fastest, most athletic fishes in the ocean, the Marlin is Veja’s follow-up to the Condor running shoe, and is designed as another performance shoe made for longer runs on roads and in parks. It’s also just a good everyday walking shoe, which makes it a good dual-purpose option to bring on trips when you plan to get some runs in but only want to pack one sneaker—the colorway above is neutral enough to wear throughout the day.

Brooks Adrenaline Gts 22 (D)

Brooks makes great running shoes, but even if you’re not logging miles, the supportive sneaker will come in handy on vacation. Executive editor Erin Florio says these Brooks “are so comfy and useful for everything, from hikes to long days walking in the cities.”

Merrell Moab 3

Known as the most popular hiking shoe in the world—more than 25 million pairs have been sold since it debuted 15 years ago—Flager was excited to put the new third generation model of the Merrell Moab to the test. “I brought them along on a recent trip to Iceland, which involved some moderate hikes and city walks on wet roads; the shoe held up nicely on both occasions. The shoes have great traction, fit comfortably, and didn’t take up tons of room in my carry-on—I can see why they’re so beloved.”

Allbirds Tree Dashers

Allbirds’ sneakers are known for being comfortable, but the Tree Dashers—the brand’s first pair made specifically for runners—ups the ante. The thick sole will cushion your feet on the longest of days spent exploring, and if you are someone who jogs on vacation, you can pack one less pair of shoes to do so.

Slip-ons and loafers

Cole Hahn Grand Ambition slip-on loafer

This black and white Cole Hahn shoe toes the line between loafer and sneaker perfectly—it’s nice enough to wear into the office after hopping off a plane, but casual (and comfortable) enough to wear during a day of sightseeing. If you own enough basic black, you can get the pair with an off-white, gold, or silver leather top, too. Either way, the shoe is made for long days: There’s traction on the bottom to keep you from slipping on smooth museum floors, footbeds meant to mold to your feet, and cushioned padding on the heel to prevent rubbing.

Merrell Antora Sneaker Moc

With the weight of a sneaker but the traction of a snow shoe, these Merrell Mocs offer the best of both worlds. Slip these on for a walk around your winter cabin or ski town, and know your feet will stay nice and warm.

Tod’s Gommino driving shoes

Tod’s is known for making some of the most comfortable shoes you can find, and these suede driving shoes are no exception. The rubber pebble outsole will hold up to most city streets, while the leather interior and hand-stitching make it clear that these are carefully made—and worth the more expensive price tag. Each pair comes with a suitcase-friendly dust bag, too.

Lattelier Women’s Chain penny leather loafers

Associate commerce editor Meaghan Kenny likes to incorporate these chic black loafers into fall outfits that require a stylish shoe when she wants something more comfortable than a heeled bootie. “They pair well with everything—jeans, slacks, dresses, tights—and don’t kill my feet after hours wearing them. The style of the shoe is chunky so it gives the appearance of a slight heel without sacrificing comfort. I’ll be wearing these to work, on business trips, and to any other fall outings.”


Arizona Birko-Flor Birkenstocks

Wearing sandals for an extended period of time can be tricky, but former Traveler editor Sarah Ratner swears by good ol’ fashioned Birks, with their suede-covered cork-latex footbed that practically molds to your feet over time. The Arizona slides come in every color under the sun and can be purchased in regular or narrow sizes to better fit your feet. Plus, they’re easy to match with almost any outfit.

Teva Universal Trail Sandals

Tevas are the kind of shoe that once you own a pair, you’re a fan for life. They’ll come in handy on so many occasions—light hikes through Arizona (find more intense hiking shoes here), sightseeing through dusty roads in Israel, swimming in rocky reservoirs in Austin. The trail sandals have a bit more arch support than the classic style, meaning they’ll be even more comfortable both in cities and on trails.

Birkenstock Arizona Big Buckle

Another Birkenstock option with a ringing endorsement: The Arizona Big Buckle style. “I am very loyal to my Birkenstocks,” says articles director Lale Arikoglu. “I walked 10 miles in one day in Barcelona in them and they never rubbed.” 

Teva Midform Universal Sandals

Another favorite of Spurrell’s, these Tevas are slightly less grippy than the ones above, but are still plenty comfortable for all-day wear. Spurrell has worn them on bike rides, long walks, beach days, and out to dinner in New York—proof of their range, and value on your packing list.

Flats and slingbacks

Mara Bini Sling

Features and franchises editor Betsy Blumenthal is not the sneaker type, even for multi-hour walking excursions. She looks for something more polished, ideally with a heel. “I’ve clocked hundreds of miles in the heeled Mara Bini sandals I bought last March for my birthday, and I loved them so much that I’ve since picked up two more pairs from the designer, including these prim but practical blush and ivory sling sandals. They’re comfortable but beautiful, and go with everything; I trucked around Manhattan in them, from a day at the office to a night at the U.S. Open, with lots of subway trekking in between, and never felt so much as a pinch.”

Birdies The Starling flats

It can be nice to have a good pair of flats tucked away in your suitcase for a fancy dinner or evening stroll after a long day in sneakers, especially given how easy they are to pack. We like Birdies’ The Starling flats, meant to be a modern take on the classic smoking slipper. They’re built to last, and to keep your feet comfortable: Inside, there’s seven-layer cushioned footbed with elevated arch support, plus a little extra cushion in the heel to prevent it from rubbing. Order them in suede, faux fur, or velvet fabrics.

Rothy’s The Point flats

While Rothy’s makes a classic ballet flat, too, we love the more sophisticated look of the Point Flat. Available in dozens of colors from Flame, a bright orange-red, to Maritime Navy and Turquoise Melange, there’s a hue for every kind of traveler and outfit. All of Rothy’s shoes are made out of recycled plastic, and cut using the same technology as Suav, meaning there’s less waste throughout production. The shoes are also wildly comfortable, without the normal break-in time most flats need, thanks to the machine-washable knit material.

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