The 8 Best Travel Shoes, According to Our Editors
From Nikes to Sabahs and a few slip-ons in between
Travel asks a lot of your feet.
TSA wants your shoes off. Your step count increases by about 400% a day. Hotel room carpets are gross. Sometimes there isn’t time to swap kicks between a long hike and a nice dinner.
Selecting shoes, then, is probably the most important segment of packing for a trip. You have to look each pair right in the eyelets and say yay or nay. Only the strongest get to spend a week in Europe.
To help you make those decisions, we asked our staff to nominate the one shoe they simply can’t travel without. Maybe it’s stacked on versatility, maybe it performs one single travel duty exceptionally well, maybe it just looks good anywhere, anytime. Below, find our answers, from Danish wool slippers to vintage Reeboks to a pair called “Monsoon sneakers.”
We’ve written about these Turkish leather slippers ad nauseam for good reason: pound for pound, they’re the most comfortable and versatile shoe you can buy. There are very few shoes that can do 15 city miles by day and then seamlessly transition to evening-wear by night, but the Sabah is one of them. Bonus points for beach-friendliness, easy removal at airport security, packability (they’re pliable enough that you can stuff one into the other and then bury them in the corner of your bag) and underrated resilience in bad weather. — Walker Loetscher, Editor-in-Chief
Tropicfeel Monsoon Sneakers
Kickstarter has been hit and miss for me, having backed a couple projects through the years. But after Tropicfeel raised over $2 million on the platform for their self-proclaimed “ultimate travel shoe” (and then did it a second time), they didn’t disappear into the night. They set up shop with their quick-drying, odorless, recycled Monsoon sneakers and have been gaining fans ever since. Swim in ‘em, hike in ‘em, go on an all-day walking tour of cheese shops in ‘em. The only problem? All the colors are goofy except the black. — Alex Lauer, Senior Editor
Reebok Club C 85 Vintages
Hello, it’s me, your dad from the 1980s. I’m here to tell you that the white Reeboks I used to rock in cringeworthy family photos are not only cool in 2019, but they’re also really comfortable for walking around for hours and hours in a city you’ve maybe never visited before. They’re also versatile: you can wear them with jeans or you can wear them with shorts and they’re going to look good either way. So if you’re going on a trip, consider the Reebok Club C 85 Vintages. They’re cool like me, your dad who looked like Tom Selleck in 1984 and loves to blast Foreigner. — Jason Diamond, Features Editor
Glerups Camp Sole Shoe
This family-owned Danish brand uses Merino wool from New Zealand to make plush slip-ons that naturally shed fabric until they’ve molded perfectly to your feet. They’re handsome, antimicrobial, (no socks needed, they won’t stink), and now no longer an indoor shoe, thanks to the recent addition of grippy rubber outsoles. Perfect for flights, road trips, padding around a hotel room, and sliding onto your pups after a long day of hiking. — Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor
Soludos Canvas Platform Smoking Slipper
I don’t travel without them. They’re comfortable enough to wear on the plane or light enough to fit easily in my carry-on. I love that I can wear them for romping around and exploring during the day, or can pair them with with a casual evening look for dinner. — Marilyn Jordan, Director of Operations
Allbirds Men’s Wool Runners
They’re called “runners” but I pretty much only wear these Allbirds during my short, casual vacations (they also make even more casual “Loungers,” but the laced-up Runners are a step up in style). They’re soft, pop on and off with ease, and the merino wool kicks are machine washable — although you do have to let them 100% dry before you wear ’em again. Pro tip: Allbirds says you can wear these sans socks, but for the sake of everyone’s olfactory senses, put on a pair of no-shows. — Kirk Miller, Managing Editor
ChacoS Z/1 Classic
Haters are gonna hate. But when you have your baller-ass Chacos on, you can’t hear that hate because you feel unprecedentedly comfortable, confident and ready to take on any adventure the land or the sea may throw at you. From a casual jaunt in nature to a day exploring a new town, Chacos will take you wherever you need to go, and in style. Pairs well with: reusable water bottles, Patagonia shorts, YETI coolers and A SMILE. — Charlotte Cruze, Associate Director of Branded Entertainment
Nike AirMax 270
Two consecutive years now I’ve hiked the trails the Spanish/French coastline (once on the Mediterranean, once the Atlantic, if anyone cares) in a pair of 270s, and both times they’ve performed with absolute aplomb. I probably wouldn’t advocate ascending a peak of any great magnitude in them, but they’ve got a really nice balance of grip/stability/cushion that’s good for even semi-aggressive trail hiking — and upon arrival in town they play a helluva lot better in bars and restaurants than a pair of hiking boots would. — Danny Agnew, Creative Director
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