How To Pick the Perfect Travel Shoes

Travel Shoes
Photo by Jakob Owens

Vacations are all about relaxing, but preparing for a trip can be everything but. Even simple things like knowing how to pick the perfect travel shoes can be tricky unless you know what to look for.

So look no further. We’ve made a guide so you have everything you need to stay comfortable on your feet when you’re far from home.

What To Consider Before Buying Your Ultimate Travel Shoes

First, let’s go through some of the basics of what you need to think about when choosing the right travel shoes.


Your feet usually swell when you’re flying or in high temperatures. And when your feet are swollen after a long flight, just walking through an airport can get incredibly painful. As a result, you might get blisters or experience some bunion pain.

Make sure to leave the super snug new shoes in the suitcase, and pick a comfortable and loose option for flying. You can put on the tight boots once you’re at your destination and your feet aren’t swollen anymore.

If you’re buying new shoes for your trip, take the temperature of your location into account. If it’s warm, your feet will swell, and you might benefit from a shoe that’s half a size bigger than your regular size.

Support and Cushioning

When you’re on vacation, you’ll often spend more time on your feet than you would at home. Sometimes it’s walking, others it’ll mean standing in line at a museum or amusement park. And that can be heavy on your feet, especially when you have flat arches.

Pick travel shoes that have good cushioning and decent arch support. This is especially important if you tend to have foot problems like plantar fasciitis that can get worse after long hours on your feet. The right shoes can help you avoid pain in your legs and even your lower back.


If you’re going on a city sightseeing trip, you’re to be doing a lot of walking. That means you’ll probably need a good pair of sneakers for the day.

But travel isn’t just about sightseeing. How about a dressier shoe for going to the theatre or a dinner? And if you have the chance to do some poolside chilling or go to the beach, you’ll need a pair of sandals.

If your vacation includes any sporty activities, be sure to prepare for them. Make sure to pick shoes that dry out fast if there’s a chance of them getting wet between your activities.


Remember to pay attention to the weather! It’s not the same thing to pack for a February vacation in New York as it is in Florida. Especially if the climate isn’t something you’re used to, investigate the temperature beforehand.

What can also be useful is doing some street-style googling to check out what people wear in your location before leaving. This way, you’ll be prepared for the weather like the locals!

Old vs. New Shoes for Travel

Sometimes, an old trusted pair of sneakers might be the thing you want to wear on vacation, especially for an active one. But their cushioning might already be worn thin, which can set you up for some pain in the middle of your trip.

You can also buy new shoes for travel, but be sure to break them in before your trip. Wear your shoes at home or for small errands for a couple of days if you can. This will help you take care of any discomfort before your travel.

Picking the Right Travel-Friendly Accessories

Fortunately, there are some accessories you can buy to make travel more comfortable for your feet.

Specialist Socks

To keep the circulation in your feet optimal even during air travel, we recommend investing in some flight socks. These compressive socks can help prevent aches and inflammation, as well as swelling, cramps, and deep vein thrombosis. Especially if you travel often or have circulation problems, they’re a must-have.


Insoles can help keep your feet pain-free throughout your trip. They add some extra cushioning under your heel and support your arches, so you can stay on your feet for longer.

If you’re not sure what to buy, check out this list of the 7 most comfortable insoles from Boot Mood Foot. They’re ideal for that long day in an amusement park, sightseeing, shopping, and walking around museums.

If you only need a little elevation under the heel to alleviate the pressure, these gel heel cushions are a great help. And for those who are looking to hit the dance floor, try some metatarsal cushions under the ball of your foot.

Blister Bandages

When your feet swell and you log in serious mileage, it can be unavoidable to get some blisters, no matter how comfortable your shoes are. In this case, having some blister bandages can be a lifesaver. They help you protect and cure any blisters much faster than a normal bandage, so it’s always good to have a small package with you when traveling.

The Takeaway

Knowing how to pick the perfect travel shoes is about comfort and planning. Make sure you think your shoe selection through, as well as the activities and weather of your location.

Remember that your feet swell when flying, so keep your air travel shoes on the bigger side. And if you walk a lot, give your feet some cushioning and support. You can also use some insoles to keep your feet extra protected.

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