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.
Knowing that a bad pair of shoes can ruin an otherwise lovely travel day, we asked Condé Nast Traveler writers and 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, more than 25 of our favorite high-quality, easy-to-pack walking shoes for travel—all cushy, supportive, and versatile—that will take you just about anywhere. Scroll through to see all of our favorites, or jump straight to the category you're looking for below.
This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date. Additional reporting by Elaheh Nozari and Andrea Whittle.
Boots and clogs
Blundstone 2215 high top boot
A new favorite of senior commerce editor Madison Flager, these Blundstone boots required no break-in time, and are a great all-purpose boot for fall or winter trips. The pull tabs make them easy to get back on, the shock absorption keeps your feet feeling good even after a few hours on the move, and the double stitching, durable leather, and tough outsole mean you won't be replacing them a few trips later.
Blondo Elvina waterproof bootie
Former 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
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?
New Balance 574 Core sneaker
New Balance sneakers are having a moment. This style of the cool dad shoes are frequently worn by associate commerce editor Meaghan Kenny, who says this: “These sneakers are just as comfortable as they are cool. I’ve had them for about a year now and they’ve come with me on a weekend trip spent walking around Boston, to the airport for a few flights, and on my very long commutes to the office. They’re a perfect balance of sporty and stylish—they don’t hurt my feet after hours of walking and the neutral shade always matches a variety of outfits in my carry-on. Besides my classic white sneakers, these are my most worn shoe. Bonus: I’m not very cautious about getting my sneakers dirty, but these have somehow stayed clean and in excellent condition—so don’t worry too much about its light hue.”
Veja Campo sneaker
Hop on the New York City subway and you're bound to see a pair of Vejas or two on your fellow passengers' feet. Global digital director Arati Menon was first drawn to Veja because of the sleek, minimalist design and the company’s commitment to responsible sourcing. She landed on the Campo because of its chunkier sole—both an aesthetic preference and a practical one, as it offers more support. “The biggest criticism with Vejas are that they’re stiff when you first buy them, and this is somewhat true—but I’m generally cautious not to overuse new shoes for the first few times, breaking into them little by little,” she says, noting that the Campo is more comfortable out of the box than other Veja styles. “I’ve taken my Campos on rugged national park adventures and European city breaks, and use them as workwear staples. I just retired mine after years of use, but I’m sure I’ll buy another at some point.” To clean, Menon recommends a combination of mild dishwashing liquid on a damp cloth and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Naot Adonis sneaker
The Adonis is a new style for Naot—a podiatrist-approved footwear brand—that dropped this year. The sock-style slip-on is made with a removable cork and latex footbed that promises all-day comfort. Flager is a fan of the easy-to-match white and light pink style, and recommends them for city trips. (Pro tip: Bombas's cushioned no-show socks are just the right size to wear underneath.)
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 Traveler 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.
Allbirds Tree Runners
Allbirds are a great pick for most every vacation thanks to their versatility and true all-day comfort. These Tree Runners come highly recommended by contributor Lauren Dana Ellman and are available 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.
Read a full review here.
Allbirds Plant Pacers
A good basic white sneaker goes a long way, and this relatively new style from Allbirds is another one of 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.
Lululemon Blissfeel 2 running shoe
For those who live in Lululemon athleticwear, the brand's running shoes are a natural extension to your travel wardrobe. Traveler contributor and runner Rachel Chang tested these out when they launched in 2022, and was immediately impressed by the fit (designed specifically for a woman's foot), breathability, and smart features, like a reflective backing.
Read a full review here.
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.
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 Dasher
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
These colorful Sabah slip-ons come highly recommended by articles director Lale Arikoglu, who calls them “a permanent fixture on my packing list.” They come in dozens of colors, in either a butter soft leather or suede, and are hand stitched by one of the 10 shoemakers who comprise the Sabah Workshop in Gaziantep. “The more I wear them, the better they fit, molding to my feet like a glove—almost as if they were designed just for me,” she says.
Read a full review here.
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.
Lattelier Chain penny leather loafers
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.”
Rothy's The Weekend Slide
Another favorite of Kenny's, these Rothy's slides are a welcome update to some of the brand's previous iterations of sandals, which, while cute, offered little when it came to support. “When I put these new slides on from Rothy’s, I immediately knew they will be my go-to summer sandal for beach excursions and vacation days that require a decent amount of walking while also looking put together,” Kenny says. “A durable yet comfortable sandal is always tricky to find, but these have a pretty thick sole and give a lot more support than the flat pair of flip flops I’m always tempted to pack. I went for the neutral beige color that I know will match any midi dress or linen pants I pack this summer.”
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, which Flager recommends, have a bit more arch support than the classic style, meaning they'll be even more comfortable both in cities and on trails.
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.
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.