It’s not hard to imagine the reasons why having the right luggage is so crucial to the success of any trip. Interestingly, there seems to be far less emphasis placed on footwear, which, I would argue, is equally as important as baggage – possibly even more so.
With perhaps the exception of beach holidays, most trips often involve a lot of walking or time spent traipsing through transit. Choose the wrong shoes and your feet will make you acutely aware of that fact very quickly.
From blisters and bruises, to aching and pressure, wrong footwear can cripple your feet in so many ways. As I’ve been lucky enough to do more than my fair share of travelling, I thought it was only fair to offer my top five picks when it comes to putting your best foot forward on holiday.
Converse Chuck Taylors (low rise)
Hands down, these are the best shoes I’ve ever worn while travelling. If I had to choose one pair of shoes to live in for the rest of my life, it would be these. Sturdy, comfortable and easy to walk in, they’ve got a rubber sole for good grip and enough support that even the most ungraceful traveller is unlikely to do any serious damage while walking on cobblestones. The best part? You can throw them in the wash when they get too dirty, and voila, it’s like a brand new pair.
Nike Air Max
Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a list of five pairs of sneakers – although I doubt anyone would dispute sneakers can be the best option for travelling. However, I ummed and ahhed over my Nike purchase over two years ago and after biting the bullet, I’ve never looked back. Super comfortable with more support than I originally expected, these literally feel as close to walking on clouds. And, after three years of traversing the globe, they still look just as good as the day I bought them.
I’ve talked about these sandals a lot since I discovered them five years ago. Classic, comfortable and good quality, they can be worn in saltwater, despite being leather – hence the name. Great for roaming around cities during summer. The fact they look great helps too.
Okay, so here me out on this one. Yes, I know all the cons of thongs when it comes to travel footwear: no support, your feet are exposed, they can rub your foot up in all the wrong ways, and the list goes on. But, in its defence, there are a lot of good things about thongs, too. Firstly, they protect your feet in the shower if your accommodation isn’t exactly five stars. Secondly, they’re great if for any part of your trip you’re going to the beach or places that don’t involve much more than walking from beach to bar. They’re also easy to throw on if you’re running out to grab something or going on a shot walk. My favourite are Havaiana’s Classic.
While there are far too many boots in the world to get too specific here, I rarely travel without a pair of black boots. Great for those days or nights you want to look a bit dressier. I choose my most comfortable pair and wear them on the plane to avoid weighing down my luggage. Make sure you pick a pair that works with most of the clothing you’re taking. Bonus points if they can be worn with a dress or skirt.
What’s your go-to pair of shoes for travelling? Tell us in the comments below.
How to put your best foot forward
SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her next dream destinations include Cuba and Morocco.