You pack three sets of high heels for a business trip — and then your client suggests you take a tour of the office and then walk half a mile to lunch.
You pack rugged sandals and sneakers for your European tour — and then find out you'll be visiting Michelin-starred restaurants.
You can't win. How do you choose the best travel shoes for your next trip? Here are some suggestions for dressy, athletic and walking shoes for women travelers.
Your favorite neon-colored sneakers aren't necessarily the best travel shoes if you're headed overseas. They scream "American tourist!" when you'd prefer to blend in — and you may be better off with a shoe designed exclusively for walking.
With a chunky, wedge-shaped rubber heel and lace-up leather uppers, the Fly London Ylva sandal isn't for everyone. Women who own them say they're some of the best walking shoes for travel, however, because the laces make the shoe adjustable for wider or swollen feet. One fan wore them for 16 hours while exploring London.1 The laceless Fly London Yala is just as comfortable but a little dressier.
If you don't mind a more athletic look, try KEEN sandals and athletic shoes. With rugged construction and oversized toe bumpers, they're designed for comfort over style, but they're hugely popular among travelers. The washable, strappy Rose sandal comes up again and again as one of the best travel shoes to wear everywhere.
If you're committed to running, wherever you are in the world, invest in a pair of ultra-lightweight athletic shoes that pack easily.
Hand-crafted Soft Star RunAmoc running moccasins are ultra-light and easy to stuff in a suitcase. Other running shoes for travel include the Under Armour Speedform Apollo, Reebok ZQUICK or the super-light (but SCUBA-bootie looking) ZEMgear 360 Ninja Split Toe.2
When you're packing for an overseas trip, you want your walking shoes to be comfortable enough for a full day of exploring but chic enough to wear to dinner. Here are a few of these all-purpose, all-star travel shoes.
French company Mephisto makes high-quality walking shoes for women that are dressy enough for business wear. Its Soft-Air midsole reduces foot fatigue even after a day of walking. While some Mephisto models look a little too sensible, the City line works for a night out.
Dansko is synonymous with clunky clogs, but some of their styles are polished and chic — not to mention ridiculously comfortable. Flight attendants say Dansko does wonders to prevent foot and back pain.3
Travelers are freaks for Tieks. These Italian leather flats are flexible enough to fold and stash in your purse (in the included pouch). But they're also substantial enough — with a non-skid rubber split sole and a cushy instep — to wear on an all-day walking tour of Barcelona. The vegan version is made of durable fabric.
In the same vein, Ahnu's Karma slip-on is a cute leather flat with crossed straps and a rubber toe kick. "They feel like slippers!" one traveler raves. Remember that it's important to keep your feet happy while traveling, so great travel shoes are a worthwhile investment.