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As every globe-trotter knows, finding a pair of shoes that’s both comfortable enough to scale 90-degree hills in Lisbon and also chic enough to dance until dawn in Barcelona can be a challenge. Luckily, seasoned travelers have done the research for you— and have the blisters to prove it. Here are their picks for the world’s most comfy travel shoes that pack compactly, soften your step and look nice, too. 

RELATED: 5 packing tips you haven’t heard 100 times before, from full-time travelers

Aerosoles You Betcha Flats

According to: Vanessa Jeswani, co-founder of Nomad Lane,  a travel accessories brand. Jeswani has visited more than 30 countries.

Why they’re great: “This shoe is perfect for walking around any major city, followed by drinks at a chic bar. These loafers, especially the metallic and white models, dress up any outfit without sacrificing comfort. I’ve taken my shoes all over Europe, Asia and the U.S. I actually purchased a second pair after wearing mine out!”

La Manual Alpargatera or Un Pie en Versailles

According to: Krista Canfield McNish, founder of FoodWaterShoes, and a nomad who has explored 10 countries over the past 10 months, including Cuba, India and more.

Why they’re great: “Spanish espadrilles are my travel shoe ‘solemate’ because you can dress them up or down. The thick soles on Spanish espadrilles mean your feet won’t be weary after a day of pounding the pavement or cobblestones when you’re exploring a new city. I bought my first pair at La Manual Alpargatera in Barcelona. Despite the fact that they look absolutely nothing like my reliable Mammut hiking boots, I comfortably broke my first pair of espadrilles in during a multi-hour hike around the rugged Montserrat monastery. Earlier this year I bought a gorgeous new pair in Madrid, from Un Pie en Versailles. I couldn’t resist wearing them right away and hours later my feet were still as happy as clams, and they look more chic than if I were to stroll around in sneakers.”

Photo courtesy of Tieks


According to: Suzanne Wenz, director of marketing, communications and PR at Boston Park Plaza and Taj Boston Hotels, who has visited five out of seven continents.

Why they’re great: “These are beautifully made ballet flats that come in a variety of fun colors. They’re great for dashing through an airport on a travel day or slipping off mid-flight, exploring museums or markets by day and ideal to pair with something dressier for a night out. One of the best features of these shoes is that they fold in half and pack perfectly providing something really versatile while taking up very little valuable suitcase space.”

Clark’s Lydie Kona

According to: Shannon Ullman, blogger behind Lives Abroad, and a specialist in experiential and education travel.

Why they’re great: “I love this shoe because it’s a sandal but it actually has support. I have bad feet but I always end up roaming around foreign cities for hours. Also, my mood and confidence is drastically affected by the way I look, so I’m really not into wearing ugly shoes just because they are comfortable for traveling. These sandals are super cute. Sightseeing is really what sets it apart. I can visit Paris and walk around all day long yet still look cute amongst the fashionistas and models that are crawling all over that city!”

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Dr. Scholl’s Scout Slip-On Sneaker

According to: Janice Holly Booth, self-proclaimed “anxious adventurista,” author and solo traveler, scouring the globe for scary adventures to build her brave bone.

Why they’re great: “It already comes with good support, but adding an OTC orthotic means I can pound the pavement all day if I want to, without having to wear a clunky shoe. And being black, and streamlined, it works for going out at night as well. It’s easy to slip off and put on, and it’s just so versatile that it cuts down on the number of shoes I need to haul along on a trip.”

Teva Olowahu Sandals

According to: Annie Erling Gofus, vice president of content at Tripscout, who explores the world as often as she can while enjoying her digital nomad homebase in Washington, DC.

Why they’re great: “Teva sandals have joined me on my travels for over fifteen years. I love these sandals because they stay snug on my feet and they’re light and easy to pack. Best of all, they’re beautifully versatile: At the beach, light hikes, and even with a black dress on a night out. The Olowahu sandal is my favorite and I buy new ones each year. I think Teva sandals are the ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte’ of travel shoes—they’re pretty basic, but they are so popular among explorers for a reason.”

Photo courtesy of Oka B

Oka-B Millie Flip-Flops

According to: Aly Walansky, travel and lifestyle writer (see her Orbitz articles here) who travels at least one weekend out of every month, all around the world, with a special love for all-things Italy.

Why they’re great: “Despite how uncool they are these days, I fly in flip flops. They are super easy to remove for TSA screening and perfect for those long-haul flights. Take it from a girl who flew way too many flights in cute leather boots, only to have terribly swollen ankles afterward, and you’ll understand! I love these because the bed of the Oka-B’s are amazing massages for your tired travel feet.”

Chippewa Boots

According to: Cameron Seagle, avid traveler who takes on the world with his partner, Natasha, as they post inspiring stories and resources for independent travelers on their blog, The World Pursuit.

Why they’re great: “When I pack a pair of shoes I expect them to handle a multitude of settings. I love wearing a pair of boots. I think it’s a classic staple for men and the right pair can be worn with any type of pants. That means the boots should look just as good in the city as they do hiking in the mountains. Men need to ditch the clunky new hiking boots and opt for a classic boot. These boots are just that type of boot. They’re a rugged pair made in the USA with quality leather. I think they’re everything a man should look for in a pair of shoes—stylish, rugged and simple. I’m just as comfortable wearing them to a party in Manhattan as I am wearing them as a pair of safari boots in Tanzania.”

Walu II Canvas Loafers by Crocs

According to: Sarah Trimpe, specialized Disney travel agent who has been to 45 out of 50 US states.

Why they’re great: “I must confess I have them in (almost) every color. The canvas top is breathable and lightweight, making them easy to wear all day. Their rubber sole makes them cushy and comfortable. Plus, these loafers have new memory foam insoles that prevent rubbing and blisters. They are extremely washable and dry quickly. I love mine and wear them for both work and play. So whether you’re planning a day at the beach, shopping in the city, or walking all day at Disney, these shoes are perfect!”

Steve Madden Troopa

According to: Tessa Juliette, freelance travel writer who has traveled to 30 countries, mostly solo.

Why they’re great: “These are perfect for hiking and comfortable enough for long walks. They’re also stylish enough to pair with jeans and even hide under a maxi dress. Plus I have also found them to be incredibly durable. One pair of Troopas has lasted me almost three years and countless trips. They are also a breeze to re-sole, per my cobbler!”

Photo courtesy of Rainbow Sandals

Rainbow Sandals

According to: Amy Waeschle, a former teacher who quit her job to go on a three-year adventure to “surf her brains out.” That was in 2002 and she’s been traveling ever since, including trips to Morocco, the South Pacific, Central America, Ireland and a several-year stint in Sicily, Italy.

Why they’re great: “I know, I know, it’s maybe not as sexy as other sandals out there, but they’re soooo comfortable, and I think they look cute. I even wore mine to a wedding one time. And, I have actually sipped wine in these in Rome! My Rainbows are the ideal travel shoe for all my sandy adventures because they can get wet and sandy and they don’t chafe my feet. This is key because who wants a gnarly blister on their vacation? The wide leather strap is super comfortable and there’s a bit of arch support. I’ve trekked through many European cities in blistering humidity, where my feet would normally start to blister and feel raw, in total comfort in my Rainbows. I’ve worn these in Costa Rica and Hawaii right out of the surf, sandy feet and all, and by the time I walk to the smoothie shack, my feet are comfy and dry.”

Soludos Original Dali Slipper

According to: Creative director and designer Rashi Birla, who has traveled extensively, including a six-month stint with her husband after they both quit their jobs. They blog about their adventures on their photo-centric site, Found Nouns.

Why they’re great: “This shoe is affordable, matches with everything, is super easy to pack and isn’t too precious. While these shoes don’t last forever, they are hard working and versatile. They are great for sightseeing in the city, plane and train travel, and even work for a night on the town. Another plus: The black and jute combination help hide the dirt!”

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Lindsay Tigar

Lindsay Tigar

Lindsay is a lifestyle and travel writer, and content strategist. She is a passport stamp collector with an affinity for great wine, coffee and conversation. You can find a full collection of her work at
Lindsay Tigar
- 3 years ago
Lindsay Tigar

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