If you’ve ever hit the long and winding road, you’ll know that not every boot’s made for walking.
Traipsing along for miles in the wrong shoes can have negative effects on your health, including back pain and collapsed soles. So, it pays to pay attention to what you put on your feet.
These are the shoes that experts consider to be the best walking shoes for your travels.
Tips for Choosing the Best Walking Shoes
When you’re traveling, it’s always a toss-up between packing light and looking stylish.
You can get by on 3 pairs of shoes for every vacation eventuality, so make sure you pick the right ones. Here are the criteria for well-heeled travel:
Lightweight shoes mean less to lug around the city streets or mountain highs.
Not only will your luggage weigh less, but it’s also a lot easier to walk for longer in light-as-a-feather footwear.
Choose shoes with sufficient heel support. These heels of good walking shoes should cup the back of your foot firmly and comfortably.
This prevents your foot from rolling inward or outward while you’re on the road.
Never walk around in shoes that pinch or squeeze your toes together. Slight roominess in the toe area is what you’re looking for.
Too much is asking for blisters. You want just enough to allow your toes to spread apart slightly and distribute weight more evenly while you’re walking.
The outsoles, or bottom of the shoes must have traction. The deeper the grooves under the shoe, the more grip you’ll get making it easier to balance and harder to fall.
The midsoles are the next layer up from the bottom of a shoe and they are what protects your feet from taking a beating in the street. They should be soft, yet resilient. Gel, foam, or air midsoles are best.
If you have problems with your feet, like plantar fasciitis, speak to your podiatrist about the best shoes for you. They can recommend brands, like these plantar fasciitis shoes that are best for your individual needs.
Or, you could take your pick from this selection of the best shoes for walking.
The Best Walking Shoes for Men
The best men’s walking shoes come from established brands that have colonized the no-mans-land between work shoes and athletic gear.
Look for memory foam insoles, ankle support, and a waterproof exterior.
Some of the best brands are Skechers, Merrell, Asics, Rockport, New Balance, and Keen Rialto. Not all of these are waterproof, and none are cheap.
On the upside, they’ll save your feet and see you through more than one trip.
These lightweight options can handle quite a beating out on the trail, but you’ll need to take it up a notch if you’re planning more serious mountaineering during your vacation.
Hiking boots have it all when it comes to scrambling over rocks and splashing through rivers.
For rougher terrain, you can rely on the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Ventilator, Lowa’s Renegade GTX Mid and the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX.
Unfortunately, with hiking boots, you sacrifice light-footedness for protection. If you aren’t going to extremes in your adventures, you’re better off with a good walking shoe. Just take it easy out on the trail.
The Best Walking Shoes for Woman
Shoe manufacturers know that women have a penchant for style over sensibility.
Thus, ladies will find themselves no shortage of choices for good-looking, good walking shoes.
Into the Night
Go for a comfortable, breathable, leather option in basic black or brown if you want a shoe that will do for any time of day.
Everlane’s Day Glove flat ticks all the boxes to take you tripping effortlessly from morning to night-time attractions.
The Beach and Beyond
If you’re heading for tropical climes, flip-flops are great for the beach, but sandals are better.
This selection of attractive, comfortable, and supportive sandals is good for sunny days and sultry nights way beyond the cocktail hour.
- OluKai’s traditional foot-supporting crisscrossed leather sandals in 6 different colors
- Beek’s long-lasting hand-made 100% leather statement sandals with seamless foot support and a trendy toe-ring
- Ionic’s podiatrist-approved Vionic thong sandals with a molded footbed and shock-absorbing soles
Lightweight and airy, sandals are the ultimate choice for cool comfort during your seaside escape.
Boots and All
So not every holiday is a fly-an-flop fiesta. Serious tourists will want something a little sturdier for traveling back in time among European museums and art galleries. Especially if you’re on a winter vacation.
Thanks to added ankle-support, boots are some of the best shoes for walking all day and pair well with all your winter gear.
Some of the top picks are:
- Blondo waterproof ankle boots in suede with low heels and added arch support
- Clarks Boyland Dawn leather ankle bootie with supportive 1.5″ heels and stretch gore for slip-on-slip-off comfort.
- Chelsea boots are a classic and versatile addition to your travel wardrobe when they come with built-in arch support and a cool broken-in look.
If your adventures extend beyond suburbia or seaside hideaways, you’ll need to make sacrifice look for performance.
Fortunately, all the best men’s brands have ladies’ options too. Merrell, Nike, Asics, and Salomon are your best bet for trainer-style walking and hiking shoes.
Remember wherever you choose to roam, you aren’t going anywhere without your feet. Don’t let blisters and pain spoil your vacation after one busy day sight-seeing.
Making the right footwear decisions can make or break your getaway, choose wisely and make sure you wear your walking shoes in before you leave.
Walking is the most entertaining way to explore new lands. when you’re immersed in the action you don’t miss a thing. You can see, feel, and breathe in the culture all around you and get to meet the literal man on the street.
That’s why choosing the best walking shoes can be one of the most important parts of your trip.
Keep reading my blog for more helpful travel tips from someone who’s been there done that.