Best Travel Shoes for Men and Women in 2022
By Tim Ashdown
Deciding how many pairs of shoes to bring when you travel can be difficult. After all, you may be hiking one day, lazing on a beach the next, and city slicking between! Instead of bringing a different pair of shoes for every occasion, invest in some travel shoes. They are the ultimate multi-purpose footwear!
These versatile kicks not only look stylish. They are also comfortable to wear and suitable for a multitude of activities and terrains. To get you kitted out for your next trip, take a look at this list of the best travel shoes for men and women.
Best Travel Shoes for Men and Women
Allbirds Wool Runners
The Allbirds Wool Runners are made by one of the leading brands in the travel shoe space. They are a great choice for both men and women alike. But, perhaps the main selling point of these shoes is that they are made from merino wool.
As those of you that hike will already know, merino wool is the holy grail of all things trail. It helps your body to preserve heat in cold weather while still being breathable in hotter temperatures.
Merino wool also has sweat-wicking properties, meaning that your feet will stay cooler. In turn, your shoes will stay fresher too! These comfortable travel shoes are lightweight, making them ideal for the on-the-go nature of travel.
The Allbirds Wool Runners need very little in the way of specialist care. They can simply be put in the washing machine when they are in need of a clean.
Made from renewable materials, the insoles are made using a combination of merino wool and castor bean. This has a lower carbon footprint than the petroleum-based foam traditionally used in shoes. The shoelaces are also made from recycled plastic bottles.
Allbirds make these trendy travel shoes for both men and women in a variety of colors. There is a range to choose from, so you can adapt your look to either blend in or stand out.
Loom Waterproof Sneakers
If you’re looking for a travel shoe that will hold up in all weathers and climates, look no further than Loom Waterproof Sneakers. Available in both male and female versions, these are some of the most popular travel shoes out there.
These lightweight shoes are perfect for travel because they don’t add much weight to your backpack or suitcase. This is an important consideration for those who like to pack light. As well as this, they come with a sturdy sole that can withstand rough terrains and provide great traction in all conditions.
Like the AllBirds Wool Runners, merino wool is also used in the construction of these shoes. It lines the shock-absorbing cushion, maximizing comfort. It also helps to prevent unnecessary foot strain.
There is also a wool interior, which makes the shoes breathable. This, combined with the antibacterial properties that destroy bacteria, works to keep your feet healthy and fresh.
The thing that makes these shoes most adapted to the challenges of travel is that they are waterproof. These sneakers feature an H2-Go layer which successfully keeps water from entering the shoes through the outer. No matter where you’re going, a pair of Loom Waterproof Sneakers will keep your feet comfortable and dry.
Five Ten Access Mesh Approach Shoe
The Five Ten Access Mesh Approach Shoe is a popular budget-friendly option for travelers on a shoestring. In case you didn’t know, an approach shoe is a kind of hybrid, originally designed for climbers but targeted at hikers too.
An approach shoe prides itself on doing it all. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going sightseeing, hiking, climbing or running, these are one pair of shoes that sure won’t let you down.
Weighing in at just 1 lb. 5 oz. a pair, they are a lightweight addition to your travel armory, ideal for hitting the road with. The EVA midsoles have been specially designed to improve shock absorption. Whereas the rubber outsoles have been designed with durability in mind.
Unlike the Loom Waterproof Sneakers, these are not waterproof shoes. But, the uppers are made from ‘sandwich mesh’ which promises breathability. This synthetic material will allow the shoes to dry very quickly, meaning soggy shoes won’t hinder you for too long.
These versatile shoes are raved about for providing high levels of comfort. As they have been designed to be an approach shoe, they are more than durable enough to take on the rigors of travel. The Five Ten Access Mesh Approach Shoe is available in both male and female versions.
Vivobarefoot Primus Trail II FG
The Primus Trail II FG shoes from Vivobarefoot are ultra-lightweight and super easy to pack. They can be squashed or rolled and take up less than half the amount of luggage space as standard sneakers. They’re also much lighter than most shoes.
If the name Primus Trail doesn’t give it away, these are hiking shoes. The aggressive tread pattern bites into mud and gravel, as well as delivers consistent traction on rock and tarmac. It’s worth noting that the tread wears down much quicker if you constantly wear the shoes on hard surfaces though.
As barefoot shoes, the Primus Trail II FGs don’t feature any cushioning or support. Instead, they let your feet take the strain. The extra work required of your feet means the shoes can take some getting used to. Don’t dive straight into long hikes in these shoes. Instead, build up slowly and allow your feet to adjust.
The mesh upper is breathable but has no waterproofing. There is the All-Weather model which has a waterproof upper but the low cut ankle means your feet still get wet if you’re hiking through deep puddles or even shallow streams.
These certainly aren’t the cheapest travel shoes but they’re tough, durable, and comfortable. Just be aware it takes some time to get used to barefoot shoes. If you’ve never experienced them before, don’t expect the Primus Trail II FGs to be super comfy out of the box.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
Converse. Everyone has owned a pair at some point in their life. Created as a basketball shoe, the Chuck Taylor All Star has transcended the sporting world to become a fashion icon for generations. But it’s not their looks that make them so good for travel. They’re comfortable, budget-friendly, lightweight, and easy to pack.
The durable canvas upper looks amazing and grips your feet well as you walk. The white toecap offers a small amount of protection but doesn’t rely on it to keep your feet safe in rough terrain. In fact, we don’t recommend using Converse All-Stars on rough terrain at all. These are shoes for tramping around towns and cities, not for hitting the trails. The soles are pretty thin.
The outsole offers good grip on smooth floors like polished stone or marble and excels on concrete or tarmac. However, it’s not built for mud and rocks.
These converse aren’t waterproof which isn’t ideal for travelers visiting rainy locales. Thankfully, the weight and size of these shoes mean you can easily bring a pair of waterproof walking shoes with you too. Save the Converse for exploring built-up areas on nice days or visiting bars and restaurants.
Merrell’s Mother Of All Boots range has expanded dramatically in recent years. The range started off as an all-purpose hiking boot but has moved on to include multiple iterations of hiking shoes, trail runners, fully waterproof hiking boots, and even socks.
For hikers, adventurous travelers, and those looking to get off the beaten track, you’ll find a MOAB to suit your needs. They’re all renowned for being comfortable out of the box – even the boots take almost no time to break in!
The MOAB 3 walking shoes are tough and supportive. They’re the go-to choice for hikers who prefer walking shoes over boots. The pigskin leather upper is durable and features mesh panels to promote airflow to your feet. The insole is supportive and there’s an air cushion in the heel to protect you from the impact of heavy footfalls.
The MOAB 2 Gore-tex boots are perfect for travelers visiting rough trails or hiking in serious terrain – especially in bad weather. The GORE-TEX membrane keeps water out while still allowing air to pass through. This helps prevent your feet from overheating while keeping them dry. The boots also feature a Vibrams sole (as do the MOAB 3 shoes). This ensures excellent traction across a range of surfaces.
It’s worth noting that none of the MOAB shoes are lightweight in comparison to the other shoes on our list. If you’re going to take a pair of MOABs traveling, we suggest wearing them on the plane so they don’t take up too much of your luggage allowance.
Tropicfeel’s Canyon Sneakers are built to be ‘the ultimate travel shoe’. They’re super lightweight and the upper squashes almost flat which makes them easy to pack. They feature Tropicfeel’s proprietary Sprint Laces. Instead of having to tie the laces, the elasticated system allows you to slip the shoes on and off with ease. Perfect if you’re traveling somewhere that requires you to take your shoes off a lot.
The Canyons can be worn in water, like aqua shoes, allowing you to cross rivers and streams with no issue. They can even be worn while swimming, although they won’t keep your feet dry. The nice thing is, you don’t need to wait days for them to dry out. The quick-dry materials mean it only takes a few hours in the sun for the shoes to fully dry out after being submerged.
The dual-density footbed provides good support but the tall stack height and lack of ankle support mean they’re not the most stable shoes on uneven terrain. Likewise, the outsole isn’t built for rough or slippery surfaces. It provides excellent traction on tarmac and concrete but the tread pattern isn’t deep enough to bite into mud or gravel.
Tropicfeel are a company that focuses on travel shoes. They know what they’re doing. They also have a range of other shoes which provide the same excellent performance but with different styling.
Skechers GOwalk 6
Skechers GOwalk 6 shoes provide comfort, support, and protection in a lightweight package. The mesh upper is built using Skecher’s Stretch Fit technology. This means the shoes are easy to slip on and gently cradle your feet as you walk. They feel like wearing socks with chunky soles.
The responsive Ultra Go cushioning absorbs the impact from your footfalls, helping protect you from walking-related injuries. At the same time, the high-rebound Hyper Pillar Technology ensures good energy return from each step, allowing you to pound the pavements exploring each new destination. Inside, the shoes feature an Ortholite foam footbed. It’s supportive and helps cushion your feet as you walk.
These shoes are easy to pack thanks to their soft upper which can be squashed down almost flat. The overall weight of the shoes is low too, so they won’t take up too much of your baggage allowance.
The main downside of the Skechers GOwalk 6 is their styling. They’re not the best-looking shoes and some travelers might not feel comfortable with their slipper-like design.
The Newport hiking sandals from Keen provide unrivaled breathability and comfort. They feature slits in the upper, and around the heel, which reduces sweat build-up by allowing air to freely flow around your feet.
But don’t think these sandals leave your feet too exposed. The sole extends up and over your toes and the upper covers the top of your foot. Together they help protect you from rocks, plants, and other dangers you’ll face while exploring. Debris can get in through the slits in the side though, so be sure to empty them out every now and again to avoid blisters.
The chunky outsole provides a reliable grip on a range of surfaces. It features a defined tread pattern that helps disperse water. Even wet slippery rocks don’t pose too much of a challenge. As for the footbed, it molds to your feet over time to create a customized, supportive fit.
The sandals can be worn in water too. There’s no need to carry aqua shoes when hitting the beach. If you don’t want to get them wet, they’re quick and easy to take on and off thanks to Keen’s quick lace system.
While the upper weighs very little on these sandals, the sole is heavier than most travel shoes. This can make the sandals tough to travel with because they eat into your baggage allowance. They’re also not the most stylish shoes but if you value practically overlooks, they’re a solid choice.
ECCO Soft Sneakers
If you’re after a classy, casual-looking shoe for a more relaxed trip, ECCO Soft sneakers have you covered. Available in a range of colors, these high-end trainers are an excellent choice for travelers. They’ll fit in anywhere – from the glitzy streets of Paris to a shopping center in Tokyo.
ECCO is known for using the best materials in their shoes and the Soft sneakers are no exception. Premium leather gives these trainers a stylish look while ensuring their durability. The ultra-soft fabric lining is comfortable and wicks moisture away from your feet. You wouldn’t want to wear these shoes in the hottest holiday destinations but they’ll keep your feet cool for most trips.
ECCO’s Soft sneakers are perfect for stylish travelers visiting towns and cities. But they lack the versatility of some of the other shoes on this list. They’re not built to be used in water and the limited tread pattern means they don’t handle any off-piste activities well.
More Thoughts from a Travel Shoe Expert
Although travel shoes can be expensive, it is important to remember that they are several different pairs of shoes all rolled into one. If you want your shoes to be a faithful companion for hikes, sightseeing, and beach days, you’ll need to be prepared to shell out a bit more for a quality design.
All the above travel shoes for men and women promise to keep your feet happy and supported, no matter what adventure you’re embarking on next.
Tim Ashdown is an avid hiker, self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, and lover of all things outdoors. As the lead travel writer at shoethority.com, he spends long hours researching the best equipment for every adventure. He currently lives on the Isle of Skye, often hiking and traveling through the north of the United Kingdom.
“Whether it’s hiking through Europe, white water rafting in the Amazon basin, or lazing on a beach in Southeast Asia, having the right gear can make or break a trip. Time spent researching is time well spent!”
Although Tim’s a big proponent of barefoot shoes, he won’t be pigeon-holed. His current shoe collection includes Supra skate shoes, Merrell walking boots, Vivobarefoot hiking shoes, and of course, the obligatory classic Vans.
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