7 Best Travel Shoes

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7 Best Travel Shoes
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The right pair of travel walking shoes will keep you comfortable in the following situations:

  • transportation (be it car, bus, plane, train or else)
  • hours of walking through museums, galleries, malls
  • strolls around the city, parks, smooth outdoor trails in warm weather

We have tested travel shoes extensively to make sure they live up to these expectations. Our impressions and lab test results are summarised and go on to show what each travel shoe pair is worthy of.

Whether you need a supportive shoe for flat feet, you want the shoe to be barely noticeable on foot, or you like to travel with style, we’ve got a top pick in these (and other) categories.

Other types of shoes for travel

Running shoes: You can also expand your options by looking into lightweight and breathable running shoes that provide supportive cushioning for hours of walking.

Casual trainers: If you want to express your style while exploring the world, consider our vast selection of 1000+ trendy trainers.

Hiking shoes: Those travelling outdoors, far from the smooth city streets, can have a look at the more rugged hiking-oriented footwear.

How we test walking shoes

First and foremost, we buy the walking shoes we want to test using our own funds. For us, the strict implementation of this rule helps us as testers to prevent ourselves from advocating shoes for no good reason. 

Following that is the actual wearing of the shoes. We do all the typical things we would do while in walking shoes - travelling, eating out, going to parks, standing all day, going to work - so, basically anything! This step allows us to share our thoughts and own feelings about the shoe's performance on long hours of wandering, walking on concrete, during rains, and other factors.

Finally, we cut the shoes into pieces. And we mean this literally! We put them through different kinds of tests inside our lab. Like for example, rating their breathability through a smoke machine, or by viewing the upper through our microscope or our source of bright light.

Best travel shoes overall

On Cloud 5
87
Good!

What makes it the best?

For excursions and longer trips, nothing can compete with the ultimate travel walking shoe, On Cloud 5. This is the pair that makes the happiest place on Earth double up on happiness because of how pleasurable it is on foot even after infinite hours! Considering that it’s a neutral shoe yet we never felt unstable whether on concrete or cobblestones is no less than amazing.

We didn’t have to overthink our decision if we would go sock or sockless every time we went out with Cloud 5: no blisters, regardless! Plus, no sweaty and stinky feet. Satisfyingly, our experience is coherent with the breathability test result we got in our lab. The shoe scored 5/5 on our smoke test, meaning the airflow is superb, perfect for day-long outings.

On our walks, we adored the shoe’s smooth heel-to-toe transition. Back in the lab, we tested for its flexibility using our digital force gauge, which indicated a low resistance (35% lower than average). This means it only took a small amount of force to bend the shoe, proving Cloud 5’s extreme flexibility. Carrying Cloud 5 on our feet and bags is also never a bother. Weighing the shoes, we discovered it’s only 7.5 oz (212g), 24% lighter than average.

The problem is, we found it to be really snug. We measured the forefoot’s widest part as 89.5 mm. This is not only 6.7% narrower than average, but actually the narrowest among all that we’ve tested. Therefore, we advise wide footers to skip On Cloud 5.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Can do low-impact workouts
  • Amazing in-shoe feel
  • Very breathable
  • Super easy on-off
  • Great flexibility
  • Regular laces are added
  • Sustainable materials (44%)

Cons

  • Not for wide feet
  • Lacks durability
  • Outsole catches pebbles
Full review of On Cloud 5

Travel shoes with the best comfort

What makes it the best?

After thoroughly testing the Allbirds Tree Runners on our feet and in the lab, we came to the conclusion that it is the most comfortable walking shoe for travel. We picked it for this category because its construction unlocks so much value for those who are on trips. Plus, it has an accommodating toebox and an adequate stack height that turns dashing from one destination to the next into an enjoyable experience.

As we put the Allbirds Tree Runners to work in rigorous walking sessions, we were amazed at how weightless it felt. True enough, when we measured its weight in the lab, it came in at 8.6 oz (245g), making it 23.1% lighter than the average walking shoe. In addition to this, the same construction provides travel-friendly features that make it perfect for trips: namely, its easy-to-pack nature and its slip-on build, which are both afforded by its upper.

Having the Allbirds Tree Runners on foot really allowed our toes to splay out nicely. In the lab, we measured the width of its upper (at its widest part) to be 99.8 mm which is a whole 3.9 mm wider than that of the average walking shoe. This translates to adequate room for medium to wide feet. Say goodbye to squished toes!

Another great thing about the Allbirds Tree Runners is the fact that it proved to be a reliable walking partner for us even during our longer sessions. To take a deeper look into this, we cut the shoe in half to measure its key dimensions. What stood out to us is that despite its lightweight build, it still has a good amount of foam underneath. Its heel stack height of 31.1 mm is even a bit larger than that of the average walking shoe (31.0 mm)!

While the Allbirds Tree Runners proves to be a great partner for travelling for regular feet, we don’t recommend the shoe for those who need that extra underfoot support from the get-go. The insole is removable, though!

Pros

  • Extra comfortable interiors
  • Equally cozy in 40 and 85ºF
  • Can be worn without socks
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Flexible sole
  • Removable insoles
  • Easy to style
  • Machine washable
  • Sustainable design

Cons

  • No half sizes
  • Lacks arch support
Full review of Allbirds Tree Runners

Best travel shoes for all-day wear

Hoka Transport
83
Good!

What makes it the best?

Spending dozens of hours of travel wearing Hoka Transport gave us nothing but indulgence, which is primarily why it is the best for all-day wear! Pleasure and protection - these are what Transport granted our feet during our day outs. It’s generously cushioned and padded everywhere that our feet feel like standing on pillows even when we’re really out on a trip on concrete, cobblestone, or even trail.

The whole time we walked in Hoka Transport, our feet were cradled with softness with just a hint of firmness. Upon checking in our lab, we learned that our durometer reflected 21.9 HA, which is 23% softer foam than the average. We found this plushness absolutely pleasing for uninterrupted city cruising. 

Our constant strolls on hardened surfaces got us craving stable walking shoes. Thankfully, with Transport, we met our match. We investigated more in the lab and discovered that what aids its stability is its stiff construction. Our digital force gauge punched in a 30.4N resistance to bending, making it 45% stiffer than average. 

Even though we logged in lots of mileage in Hoka Transport, its outsole didn’t sustain any damage. Using our calliper and durometer, we found that the outsole is thicker by 2 mm and firmer by 13% than the average, implying that the outsole is indeed hardwearing.

However, our main concern is the ventilation. Transport only scored 2/5 on our smoke test since it allowed minimal smoke to pass through its upper. Because of this, we best recommend wearing Hoka Transport in colder months. 

Pros

  • Unbelievably comfy
  • Spacious toe box
  • Adequately cushioned
  • Superior traction
  • Reliable outsole durability
  • Easy to slip in and out
  • True-to-size fit
  • Easy to clean
  • Sustainable

Cons

  • Not great for warm weather
  • Squeaky during break-in
Full review of Hoka Transport

Travel shoes with the best support

What makes it the best?

After testing and literally breaking down walking shoes, we established that the travel shoe with the best support is the On Cloudnova Form. Everything in this shoe just screams support – from the bottom to the sides of the foot – there isn’t anything to be insecure about! Plus, being out and about with Form all day is just straight-up awesome!

When we cruised towns with Form, it’s as if we forgot about the ground because of the substantial foam we felt beneath our feet, especially our heels. True enough, when we measured the stack heights using our calliper, it read 36.1 mm and 19.3 mm, which yielded a 16.8 mm drop. This is huge as it is, but relative to the average, this is 63.1% larger! 

We also measured how hard the midsole is and it turned out that it’s 35% firmer. During our tours, this translated to fantastic support that allowed us to last the whole day with no complaints! In terms of flimsiness, we experienced none. We discovered that this could be attributed to the stiffness of the shoe. Cloudnova Form withstood bending at 20.9N, making it 16% stiffer than average. Due to this, we are able to confidently shift laterally in the shoes. 

However, we don’t recommend travelling in Cloudnova Form during snowy seasons. We stuck it in our freezer for 20 minutes and it resulted in an even firmer (29.7% more) and stiffer (57% more) shoe. 

Pros

  • Excellent for all-day wear
  • Very stable and supportive
  • Great in-shoe comfort
  • Non-constricting toebox
  • Reflective elements
  • Sustainable materials
  • Appealing design

Cons

  • Lacks durability (especially the upper)
  • A little heavier than average
Full review of On Cloudnova Form

Travel shoes with the best style

On Cloudnova
89
Great!

What makes it the best?

The walking shoe with the best design, in our opinion, is On Cloudnova. Outside, it is clean and refined, perfect for dressed-up and down fits. We love how Cloudnova combined casual and sporty into an insanely cool look. Inside, it feels sensational, making distant wanderings a divine experience.

We could walk on tours nonstop when we’re in Cloudnova, thanks to its footbed that didn’t cause us any fatigue. We investigated in the lab, and it turns out that at 29.9 HA, the midsole is almost as firm as the average: Cloudnova is only 4% firmer. This resulted in foam with balanced softness and firmness.

Walking in the airport or on the cobblestones is all the same to us with Cloudnova: no wobbly feel! We found in our flexibility test that it exerted a 29.9N force to counter the bending, making it 2.6% less stiff than average. We discovered that this, combined with the wide base, allowed for a steady shoe.

What we disliked was the weight that came with this stunner. At 10.7 oz (303g), we realised that it was 12.2% heavier than average. So if you prioritise lightness for your travels, we advise skipping On Cloudnova.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Great travel shoe
  • Attractive design
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Fits well straight from the box
  • High quality
  • 10% recycled materials

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Sole catches debris
  • Mid-cut is not for everyone
Full review of On Cloudnova

Best waterproof travel shoes

What makes it the best?

While travelling, we require something that can get us through hours of leisure fun without obtaining bruises, blisters, and aches. We prefer walking shoes that can accompany us on vacays come rain or shine, with our feet still feeling at home. This is On Cloud 5 Waterproof but more, which is why we chose it as the best waterproof walking shoe for wandering. 

We roamed around streets in Cloud 5 Waterproof during inclement weather, and we confirmed that this walking shoe is completely impervious. Amazingly, our feet remained warm and dry on brisk and rainy trips. Backing up our conclusion is our smoke test, in which the shoe’s upper prohibited the smoke from breaking out, scoring 1/5 on breathability. We also brought out the big guns and viewed the upper through our microscope, showing an incredibly interlaced and thick fabric.

What kept us pain-free in a whole day of walking was the overall support we got from the shoes. We investigated more in the lab and found that the midsole has a 30.4 HA hardness, which is 10% firmer than average. Furthermore, we tested Cloud 5 Waterproof’s flexibility and our digital force gauge recorded 23.0N, 18% stiffer than average. The combination of both figures translated to more stable rides during our travels.

However, we found this shoe on the snug side. Accordingly, our calliper showed that the width of the widest part of the upper was 94.7 mm, sitting near the average at 95.9 mm. Therefore, we recommend Cloud 5 Waterproof best for people with medium to narrow feet.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Super light for its kind
  • Easy on-and-off
  • Amazing in-shoe feel
  • Sustainable materials (40%)
  • Regular laces are added
  • Reflective elements

Cons

  • Catches rocks and debris
  • Can get smelly
Full review of On Cloud 5 Waterproof

Best budget travel shoes

Skechers Summits
91
Great!

What makes it the best?

We have to admit, we were initially drawn to the Skechers Summits because of its affordability. We got it for only £70 when the average walker could go as high as £90. After testing it, we realised that it was more than just an attractive price tag. Its marshmallow midsole was just divine, even in the cold! So was its lightness. T’was the best walking shoe for travellers on a budget, indeed!

We assessed the softness of the midsole using our HA durometer in the lab. This digital device gave the Skechers Summits a rating of 21.1, making it significantly lower (therefore softer) than the 25.0 average. We loved how it made us feel so comfortable, especially during longer walks.

We have to point out that the midsole remained softer than average even during the cold. After putting it in the freezer for a time, we found that the midsole was still relatively marshmallow-like at 28.3 HA. The typical midsole would have stiffened up to 32.8 HA.

The shoe’s lightness was also something that we could not overlook. The Skechers Summits weighed only 6.95 ounces or 197 grammes. The average weight of walking shoes was 9.59 ounces or 272 grammes. The shaved weight allowed us to persist for much longer in our walks. 

It’s just a shame that this shoe wasn’t the best pick for summer excursions. Its upper just was not breathing as expected. It only got a 2 out of 5 in our ventilation tests.

Pros

  • Like walking on soft clouds
  • Super lightweight
  • Easy to put on and off
  • Very affordable
  • Highly flexible
  • Surprisingly durable upper
  • Suitable for casual attire

Cons

  • Lacks breathability
  • Exposed foam wears out fast
  • Memory Foam doesn't last long
Full review of Skechers Summits

How to buy the right travel walking shoe

Perfect walking shoe.png

Give your feet some love by asking yourself a few simple questions:

Is the shoe light enough?

Generally, a shoe is considered lightweight if it weighs below 250 grammes per shoe (women) or below 350 grammes per shoe (men).

But your perception of the shoe heaviness can differ from another person’s. That’s why you should pick the weight range that:

  • won’t drag your foot down during long periods of wear
  • won’t add too much weight to your luggage

Tip: Weigh the lightest of your trainers and look for a shoe within that range or lighter.

Is it breathable enough?

Shoes with mesh and knit uppers are your best bet if you are looking for the following features:

  • consistent airflow throughout the day: no sweaty or smelly feet
  • little-to-no maintenance: easy to clean
  • easily return to their normal shape after being squished in the luggage

Is the cushioning right?

Your shoe buddy should be able to maintain support for hours of walking.

This is one of the key criteria that we consider in our top 10 travel walking shoes. Going for either one of those will guarantee all-day support and cushioning.

Tips: 

  • If you want extra underfoot plushness, go for shoes with a memory foam insert.
  • If you tend to overpronate, get a shoe with a firmer midsole or added arch support.
  • To add your own custom orthotics, select shoes with removable insoles.

What is the best closure type for you?

Along with the good old laces, you can consider shoes with a Velcro strap (these are not only made for kids!) or fun stretchy bungee laces. These types of closure allow to quickly release the fit and adjust the snugness once the foot starts to swell.

If you want to be able to slip the shoe on and off in an instant, especially on the transport, go for slip-on footwear or shoes with a collapsible heel, that can quickly go from a sneaker to a comfy slipper.

Is the outsole reliable?

Walking shoes typically don’t require as much traction as running shoes. That’s why most of them don’t even have a rubber outsole.

Tips:

  • If you are worried about grinding your soles to dust before the trip ends, look for shoes that have a full-length rubber outsole.
  • If you are particular about staying sure-footed on wet smooth surfaces, consider slip-resistant options.

How much is the fish?

You are lucky as over 80% of our travel walking shoes fall into the budget-friendly range. You can easily get a pair under £100 or even as low as £20, if you check out the best deals.

Author
Laci
Laci
Laci is a contemporary dancer turned shoe aficionado. She is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to athletic shoes, size conversions and details people nitpick about footwear. She keeps the RunRepeat content gears turning 24/7. And she walks 20miles/week.