Every year around this time, the mad search for good travel shoes begins anew. As all travelers, I walk many miles while on the road and must have good shoes to get me where I’m going. So I present you with travel shoes 2018–not only my latest finds, but the suggestions of my well-traveled readers.

My Travel Shoes

I’ve already been out and about this year, leading tours in Thailand and Sicily. I needed very different shoes for those trips, as Sicily was really cold. I found some great picks that I’m pretty happy with.


Because I was in Italy in March during the snowpocalypse, I really went crazy with good boots. I generally love Uggs, and even if I shouldn’t have, I brought two pairs.

The Simmens boot was a perfect combination of style and function. The look is like a motorcycle boot. The interior wasn’t as soft as a regular Ugg, but still had a nice layer of warm wool. Best of all, they were waterproof!

At the last minute, I came upon a great price on Ugg Shala Slouch Boot. They are suede, have that soft lining, and are a slimmer boot than the normal Ugg style. I haven’t bought ankle boots before, but now I’m hooked. They were so comfy, warm, and looked great even at a nice restaurant. Even with a wedge heel, they were not as heavy as they could have been.

After many suggestions from readers, I finally broke down and bought Allbirds. I think they are a little expensive, but they are so cozy. The upper and footbed are brushed wool, and I didn’t even need socks with them in chilly weather. They say the shoes work great in hot weather, but I’m skeptical. I’m also a little concerned they will stretch over time. But comfort level was high and my tootsies were toasty.

I put the question out to readers, and here are their suggestions.

Reader Suggestions for Travel Shoes 2018

“Love, love, love my Finn Comfort shoes!!  They have served me well in the last 15 years traveling throughout Europe.  Even better when paired with cute compression socks from Vim & Vigr.  They’ll be my go to shoes again this year!  Pricey, but they stand the test of time.” – Beth

“For waterproof and attractive ankle boots, tennis shoes and flats check out Blondo. Except for the ankle boots, shoes can be worn for all 4 seasons and look great. When I travel I never have to worry about a sudden rain ruining my shoes. Can buy them at Nordstrom’s or Zappos. Still searching for the perfect travel sandal.” -Gail

–Note about Blondo, they get great reviews but when I went to try them, they ran very small. The 12 was much more like a 10. WOn’t work for me but they were cute.

Merrill Moab Vent hiking shoe. I wear them year-round. Just returned from a trip to Paris. Wore these most days, along with SmartWool socks. I managed to avoid blisters for 5 days or our 10 day trip. That is simply amazing for me!” -Terry

“For walking shoe and flats: Skechers Go Walk flats – they’ve let me walk many more miles in London and elsewhere than any other shoe would.” – Carlotta

“I wore Allbirds for a week in Amsterdam for spring break and my feet never got sore or tired. (And my feet always get sore and tired!) Love them!” – Shelley

“I’m a ballet flats kinda girl. I prefer Butterfly Twists brand, any model. Most of them fold up and come with a little pouch. They have a gel memory insole and are ridiculous comfy. Start at $45 and go to $90.” – Emily

“I am in love with my new shoes. Sketchers Synergy 2.0 Side-Step Fashion Sneaker. I recently had foot surgery and needed new shoes that would be healing for my feet and enable me to stand and walk for longer and longer periods of time. I tried on different shoes in stores for days until I found these Sketchers with Air-Cooled Memory Foam that make me feel like I’m walking on a cloud. They feel really light weight for sneakers. used my “Sarah” Kitchen Scale and they are 7oz. With just a tiny S on the side they look dressier than regular sneakers, so they can be worn with dress pants and silk scarves and look more like dress shoes. The Nubuck makes them look like a gorgeous dark rich black.” – Kathy

“I’m a Keen Rose fan for comfort, practicality and great service! I wear a size 11 or 42 which is hard to find. The Rose can go from the water to a hike to a casual dinner in a city.” – Ann

Finn Comfort Garmisch … best boots I have ever owned … my wife wears them too … last year before one of our trips to Europe a friend asked my wife how many pairs of shoes she was taking … her answer was “Only the ones I am wearing” … she had on her Finn Comfort’s … and that is why I married her … PACK LIGHT !!!” – David

Olu Kai’s. Made in Hawaii and different types from sandals to shoes. Very comfortable and don’t need socks so one less thing to pack. You can wear them in the water and at night. Hiked the Cinque Terre trails, jumped in the water with them and hit up the bars in Florence afterwards. Bag just got lighter with having 1 shoe for all now. ” – Robert

vivobarefoot jingjings have been a godsend to a size 7.5 W with gnarly bunions. alot of their shoes are definitely way sportier-looking than i am (athleisure makes no sense on a person who prefers sundresses and “glowing” rather than sweating), but this one is ok- kind of a utilitarian, forgettable ballet flat.” – Jen

“I have Plantar Fasciitis and wear orthotics. My Hoka OneOne Running Shoes https://www.hokaoneone.com/ made all of the miles and miles in Rome easy! Fly London Yito Wedges are a great shoe and are super cute as well.” – Jennifer

Thanks to everyone who sent in suggestions. I’m waiting for my summer choices to arrive. Based on your suggestions from last year, I’m trying Vionic Tide II sandals and Trotter’s wedges for my next trip. Will report back on how they work!

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Sarah Murdoch is a tour guide and guidebook writer for Rick Steves Europe. Her blog, Adventures with Sarah, focuses on packing tips, travel stories and advice for planning the best trip possible.

8 replies on “Travel Shoes – Reader Favorites”

  1. I agree with your comment that the Blondo runs small. I normally wear a 10, but needed an 11 in Blondo ankle boots and tennis shoes. I too am hooked on ankle boots; really shouldn’t but now own 2 pair, one with flat heel in black suede and one with slightly higher heel in dark grey suede.

  2. Forget the shoes! I want to know about those pants/leggings you are wearing with your Ugg Shala slouch boot (which I will be purchasing because they are so cute!). Will you share about the pants/leggings?

  3. Hey Sarah, what is the brand of the herringbone tights you are wearing with the tan Ugg boots?

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