After a passport and clean boxer briefs, a good pair of shoes is arguably the most important item a traveler can pack. They dictate your overall comfort on the road and take up more space than almost any other article of clothing in your luggage. So, it behooves you to pack smart. Here are four of the best travel shoes for your next trip.
Best All-in-One Weekender
2.ZERØGRAND Laser Wingtip Oxford (by Cole Haan)
Packing just one pair of shoes for any trip — even a weekender — can seem impossible. Is a stylish shoe with some athletic features best? Or should you opt for hiking-capable footwear that can “pass” for a dress shoe? Cole Haan’s 2.ZERØGRAND Laser Wingtip Oxford is a versatile pair of kicks that aims to do both making it ideal for quick-hit trips. The clean lines of the oxford silhouette are stylish enough to hit the bar, while innovative sneaker-inspired tech (including a laser-perforated leather upper, extra Achilles padding, and an anatomically contoured and cushioned footbed) ensure they’re comfortable no matter how far off-trail you plan on strolling.
Price: USD $300
Best Travel-Friendly Boot
Boulder Boot (by Lems Shoes)
Every facet of Lems Shoes’ Boulder Boot has been purpose-built for travel. The durable, leather and nylon upper is wind-, moisture-, and stain-resistant so it’s designed to withstand anything you can throw at it — from trail to city mud puddles. Unlike similar boots, however, the Boulder Boot weighs a scant 9.9 ounces and folds completely in half (toe to heel) for ultra-compact packing. Inside, a removable insole and soft cotton lining ensure they’re comfortable enough, even for a long-haul flight. All these features are wrapped in a simple brown exterior (other colors are also available) with classic styling that’s just as suited for hiking and exploring as it is for pub crawls and city sightseeing.
Price: USD $115
Best Trail Shoe Fit for the Streets
Mojito (by SCARPA)
SCARPA’s Mojito casual shoe has become something of a cult classic among athletic and adventure travelers. The Italian brand admits to selling more of them than any shoe they’ve ever produced. The silhouette can be traced to the simplest rock climbing shoes first released decades ago. With a water-resistant suede shell and a chunky rubberized kick-toe, the design is distinctly rugged. However, it’s sufficiently low-key to wear in just about any urban situation. While the Mojito has technically been discontinued (bad move, Scarpa), numerous retailers still offer the line in a variety of men’s sizes.
Price: USD $140
Best Security-friendly Slip-On
Flat Canvas Espadrille (by Castañer)
For some travelers, their best travel shoes are those that are decided with a simple question: what’s going to be the most convenient at airport security? If sandals aren’t a viable option, look to the classic espadrille. The hand-braided rope design sole dates back at least six centuries to the Pyrenees mountains that border France and Spain, but Spanish footwear brand Castañer has been perfecting them since 1927. Their C.JONATHAN/325 flat canvas espadrilles are a classic design with a washed canvas upper and stretch elastics to ensure a relaxed, comfortable fit. They’re designed to go just about anywhere, providing double-duty performance from the streets to the countryside. If these are a little too costly for you, however, you can always opt for a pair of Toms.
Price: USD $141
If you’re taking a plane to your next destination, treat yourself to this travel playlist: