How to Choose Your Shoes for Summer Travel


As you firm up your travel plans for summer, thoughts on which shoes you’re going to bring and how you’re going to pack them are probably the furthest thing from your mind. However, it’s something to consider early on, lest you throw in any old pair that fits into your luggage and end up suffering blisters and sore feet throughout your whole vacation. Objectives for travel packing should include packing lightly, comfortably, seasonally, and stylishly – which is why it’s such a tough job to pack such a limited amount! Whether you’re hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, shopping Kensington High Street, or kicking a ball around beachside, here are a few considerations that will help you to feel relaxed and look presentable.

The most versatile set of shoes to pack are walking shoes; low profile, comfortable dress shoes; and a pair of special activity shoes such as flip-flops for the beach or hiking boots for trail walking.

Select Only the Most Comfortable Fit

Because comfort is priceless when you’re far away from home or on your feet for hours, preparation is key. If you just purchased a new pair to take with you, make sure you wear them for a long stretch prior to ensure they’ll feel as good during the fifth hour as they do during the first.

Additionally, use common sense: eschew a pointy-toed stiletto in favor of a dress shoe with a rounded toe, and switch out thin heels for a clog or platform. Choose the best textiles for the weather; a porous material like leather will help your feet breathe, and won’t be adverse to rain like suede.

Always keep practicality in the forefront of your mind when choosing what footwear to pack for nighttime. Travel is all about the unexpected and, if a series of events requires you to be on your feet for longer than you had anticipated, your choice to wear footwear with wobbly heels with delicate strap may haunt you. Therefore, strive to find shoes that have thicker heels, solid treading and a sturdy construction, like many of the options made by Dansko and Taos.

Style with Simple Picks

If your vacation involves jet-setting to a fashionable city, choose chic, simple, shoes with clean lines to go with as many articles of clothing as possible. The end goal is to select a pair that is sophisticated but ultimately very comfortable, such as a cute pair of flats with arch support, like the Women’s SoftWalk Napa. A variety of shoes will effortlessly transport you from the beach to dinner, and then for a long walk afterwards. Whether you opt for black or bright neon orange, select footwear will coordinate with the majority of your wardrobe. With this in mind, it may be wise to have your travel ensembles be similar to one another to make this task easier.

Anticipate Outdoor Adventures

When your vacation plans includes high adrenaline sports, recreational activities and other adventures, take care in selecting the proper footwear. When it comes to hiking boots in particular, there are a myriad of options in sole weight, water resistance and boot height. To ensure that your foot remains blister-free, try on the shoe with the boots unlaced, and move your foot forward inside the hiking boot. If you can’t slip your index finger between your heel and the back of the boot, it’s too small. Furthermore, consider the boot materials: Gore-Tex fabrics may be necessary for wetter, sportier trips that require waterproofing and breathability. For lighter hiking, rafting, or backpacking adventures, choose rugged, supportive sport sandals. For additional tips on selecting your outdoor hiking boots, click here.

Don’t forget to make the packing process as simple as possible: Wear the bulkiest pair of shoes while you travel to save room in your luggage.  Wrap your packed shoes in shoe bags, which will not only allow you to keep your clothing clean, but makes it easy to stuff those awkwardly shaped pairs into the corners of your suitcase. Hopefully these tips help in preparing you for your summer vacation!


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