The most common question we get from women is about choosing the right shoes for travel—because finding cute and comfortable travel shoes that are sturdy enough to withstand hours of walking can be overwhelming.
That’s exactly why we wanted to take a deep dive into the best travel shoes for women.
In this guide, we’ll help you pick what kind of travel shoes to pack, how many pairs of shoes you should bring while traveling, what styles of shoes are fashionable, and how to ensure your feet stay comfortable while traveling.
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First: Comfort, Comfort, Comfort
Before we dive into the wonderful world of women’s travel shoes, let’s start with the most important rule of travel—PACK COMFORTABLE SHOES.
Yes, this is the most “no duh” piece of travel advice but it’s probably the single thing that will have the biggest impact on your travels.
Expect to walk 6-12+ miles a day when traveling to urban destinations like Paris, London, Rome, Berlin, NYC, etc., and even standing for a few hours at a museum can be a killer on your feet.
And as soon as your feet start hurting, the rest of your body quickly follows.
This is why comfort should always come before fashion (don’t worry, we’ll cover plenty of comfortable yet fashionable footwear options in this guide).
It’s also highly recommended that your shoes fit well and that you break them in before traveling. That’s why you should buy from a store with a good return policy—shoes bought from Zappos, Nike, and Allbirds all have free returns (even on worn shoes).
How Many Pairs Of Shoes Should You Bring While Traveling?
Narrowing down the number of pairs of shoes to pack is the first challenge and it all comes down to your travel style. Most seasoned travelers suggest packing two or three pairs of shoes while traveling because this allows you to cover most situations.
The Best Three-Piece Footwear Combo For A Majority of Travelers:
- Sneakers: These are your all-day shoes for when you’re pounding the pavement for miles. A combo of comfort, support, and style are the three things you’ll want in a pair of sneakers.
- Flats: Flats make a nice travel shoe since they can be dressed up more than sneakers and they don’t take up much space.
- Sandals: Much like flats, a cute pair of sandals can be a little dressier than sneakers while also taking up very little space in your luggage.
Backpacker and Lightweight Travelers: One or Two Pairs
Since space is at a premium for backpacker-style travelers, we recommend packing a max of two pairs of shoes.
Your main pair will be a supportive pair of comfortable sneakers and the second pair will be either sandals or flats—this should be good enough for most situations.
Average Travelers: Two or Three Pairs
The average traveler still has a relatively limited amount of suitcase space so we recommend sticking to a max of three pairs of shoes—all of which should be able to comfortably handle 45-minutes worth of sustained walking without causing pain or blisters.
The Most Comfortable Travel Shoes & Sneakers For Women
Let’s kick the list of the best travel shoes for women with athletic-inspired lifestyle shoes since these give you the most comfort while also being stylish.
The shoes in this section should function as your main day-to-day shoe since they all have cushioned soles and modern styling that can be worn all day without discomfort.
Allbirds Wool Runners & Tree Runners
Often hailed as the “most comfortable shoes in the world,” the Allbirds Wool Runners & Tree Runners are the flagship models in the Allbirds lineup—we’ve written extensively about Allbirds so check out our Allbirds Comparison guide.
Personally, we’re big fans of Allbirds shoes and think they make a great travel shoe option since they have minimalist styling while also being comfortable and lightweight.
Allbirds Tree Dashers 2
The Allbirds Tree Dashers 2 is the most advanced running shoe offered by Allbirds so it offers the brand’s most support and the greatest amount of cushioning. And while the Tree Dasher 2 isn’t as sleek or minimalist as some of Allbirds other offerings, this is the Allbirds model you want if you’re looking for maximum comfort while traveling.
New Balance 574
New Balance has seen a huge resurgence over the last few years so you’ll find fashionable people in every city rocking them while you’re traveling. The New Balance 574 is their most popular line of lifestyle shoes thanks to their all-day comfort and tons of color options that range from simple to flashy.
New Balance 327
The New Balance 327 is another popular lifestyle shoe from New Balance that has a bit more sporty retro styling and a range of fun colors. The 327 makes a great travel shoe if you’re on your feet all day and the retro style looks great with a range of looks.
New Balance 237
The New Balance 237 is another great lifestyle sneaker from New Balance that has a great 70’s retro vibe and comes in a wide range of colorways. These have a bit more subtle styling and traditional sole than the New Balance 327 above but the comfort will be the same.
New Balance Fresh Foam
If you’re looking for maximum comfort while you’re traveling, the New Balance Fresh Foam line of sneakers features the brand’s most advanced and cushioning soles that can absorb miles of walking. A majority of their Fresh Foam sneakers are full-on running shoes (so they’re not all that great looking) but there are a few models that are still fashionable.
Check out the Nike Daybreak line of lifestyle sneakers if you’re wanting a cool retro look with plenty of bold color options that will look great whether you’re traveling to Paris, NYC, or any other of the world’s fashion-forward cities.
The Nike Pegasus has been Nike’s most popular running shoe model for years so they’re a great option if you’re looking for high comfort, stability, and cushioning as you travel. Nike also gives you the option to create customized Pegasus sneakers so you can tailor them to your own style.
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit
Another awesome sneaker is the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit which features top-of-the-line React Foam soles that give maximum cushion and the Flyknit makes the shoe extra lightweight. And while these shoes are legit running shoes, they also come in a range of fashionable colors so they’re still stylish enough to look good when slightly dressed up.
Designed to be a legit running shoe, the Adidas ULTRABOOST quickly became one of the most popular street-style sneakers thanks to its comfortable sock-like upper and ultra cushioning UltraBoost foam soles. You can find UltraBoosts in multiple colors to match your style/outfit.
Best Low-Profile Travel Shoes for Women
A nice, low-profile shoe is another travel staple because they’re often more versatile fashion-wise than athletic-inspired while still being relatively comfortable. They also take up minimal space in your luggage so packing them isn’t much of an issue.
That said, many of these minimalist shoes lack arch support so adding an insole can often help boost comfort. Furthermore, this style of shoe benefits greatly from being broken in before traveling so plan on putting a few miles into them before your trip.
Adidas Stan Smiths
One of the most popular “looks good with everything” lifestyle shoes are the Adidas Stan Smiths—you’ll see tons of people in Europe and NYC wearing these. Stan Smiths don’t offer much arch support so you might want to add an insole and ensure they’re broken in before traveling.
New Balance CT302
The New Balance CT302 combines a retro court style with a trendy chunky outsole. These casual shoes also have a leather upper for increased durability and easy wear. These are a nice alternative to Nike Air Force 1 or the Adidas Stan Smiths—the New Balance CT302 also gets much higher comfort ratings.
Ecco makes a range of comfortable shoes but their Ecco Soft 7 Sneakers get a ton of rave reviews for being a cute, low-profile sneaker that’s still comfortable. They can also be dressed up more than some of the more athletic-styled shoes on the list if that’s something you’re going for—plus they get relatively high comfort scores. Check out Ecco’s full line of Soft 7 Sneakers to see the full variety of models.
Wool Pipers and Tree Pipers
The Allbirds Wool Pipers and Tree Pipers aren’t as comfortable or supportive as the Allbirds Runners or Dashers but they do make a nice second pair of casual, minimalist sneakers that won’t take up much space in your luggage. The Tree Pipers are also super breathable so they’re a nice summer travel shoe.
Nike Air Force 1
Nike Air Force 1 is a classic lifestyle sneaker that’s clean, fairly comfortable, sturdy, and goes with everything. These don’t have a ton of arch support so don’t expect as much support so add an insole for extra comfort.
Another timeless staple for any European woman is the timeless Superga sneaker. These Italian sneakers are chic and can be worn with multiple outfits. Like many of the shoes in this section, Supergas don’t have much support so add an insole to increase comfort.
Best Waterproof & Weather-Resistant Travel Shoes For Women
Keeping your feet warm and dry while traveling in inclement weather is imperative. But traveling with waterproof boots can also be annoying because they’re bulky and often kind of ugly.
That’s why we’re huge fans of waterproof/weather-resistant sneakers—plus they offer running-shoe comfort and they’re often fairly stylish so you can wear them all day.
Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GORE-TEX
One of our favorite waterproof shoes is the Nike Pegasus Trail GORE-TEX. Built on the sturdy “trail” version of the Nike Pegasus, this legit running shoe also features a GORE-TEX waterproof membrane so and a chunkier sole to keep your feet dry.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Shield
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Shield is similar to the Nike Pegasus Trail GORE-TEX but it has weather-resistant materials and coating to help repel water—but it’s not fully waterproof. However, it will breathe better than the Pegasus Trail GORE-TEX and the shoe has more subdued styling so it might be an overall better choice if you don’t expect a lot of rain/snow.
Nike React Miler Shield
The Nike React Miler Shield is similar to the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Shield in terms of being weather-resistant but it’s built on a thicker sole of React foam.
Nike Zoom Winflo Shield
The Nike Zoom Winflo Shield is another wet-weather running shoe that’s designed to keep out the elements. It features a thick Nike Air Zoom sole that adds soft cushioning for maximum comfort.
Allbirds Wool Runners Mizzles
For a more casual look, check out the Allbirds Wool Runners Mizzles—they’re warm and comfortable while offering a water-resistant lining and great arch support. Some people also recommend spraying them with a water-repellent spray for extra protection.
Also, check out the Wool Runner-up Mizzle Fluffs which have more of a low-top boot styling so they’re a nice and cozy winter weather option.
Allbirds Wool Dasher Mizzles
The Allbirds Wool Dasher Mizzles is a water-resistant version of the Allbirds Wool Dasher running shoe. Since these are true running shoes, they offer a lot of cushioning and support so wearing them all day won’t be an issue.
Adidas ULTRABOOST COLD.RDY
The Adidas ULTRABOOST COLD.RDY is a winterized version of the popular ULTRABOOST line of running shoes that offers warmth during cold weather while keeping your feet dry from puddles and heavy rain.
Ecco Soft 7 GORE-TEX Tie
The Ecco Soft 7 GORE-TEX Tie is a great women’s travel shoe for travelers looking for a comfortable, minimalist leather sneaker that also has the added benefit of GORE-TEX waterproofing.
Best Maximum Comfort Travel Shoes For Women
If you need (or want) maximum comfort and support you might need to sacrifice a bit of style by bringing a pair of athletic sneakers. But that’s ok because you can always wear these sneakers during the day and switch to something a little cuter in the evening.
Let’s take a look at some of the most comfortable women’s walking shoes for travel.
Hoka Running and Walking Shoes
Hoka shoes may not be the most attractive shoes but they get rave reviews for being crazy ultra-comfortable and they’re some of the most supportive shoes on the market. That said, Hokas have been gaining popularity with fashionable celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Pippa Middleton, and Katie Holmes so maybe you’ll still be en vogue.
Max Cushioning New Balance Fresh Foam Running Shoes
Any New Balance shoe with Fresh Foam will give you a ton of support and cushioning but their most cushioned running shoe is the New Balance 1080 followed by their New Balance 880 and New Balance 860. As an added bonus, most New Balance shoes come in wide and narrow sizes—which is rare for most brands.
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit Shoes
The Nike React Infinity Run line of shoes is also a legit running shoe that still has plenty of fun styling. Nike’s top-of-the-line React foam offers Nike’s greatest amount of cushioning and they add a little bounce to your step.
Adidas ULTRABOOST Running Shoes
Yes, we covered the Adidas ULTRABOOST earlier in this list but it’s one of those shoes that truly makes a crossover from being a legit running shoe that’s also stylish.
Brooks Ghost Running Shoes
The Brooks Ghost has long been rated as one of the best and more comfortable running shoes so it makes an excellent (although not super stylish) women’s travel shoe.
On Cloud Running Shoes
On Cloud is another brand that’s quickly becoming very popular in the running and lifestyle category thanks to their super cushioned shoes. They have multiple different models that come in a variety of styles.
ASICS is another very popular running shoe brand that’s a favorite among runners so they’re certainly worth checking out.
Best Travel Flats for Women
A cute pair of comfortable flats is another must-have travel shoe since they can be easily dressed up, they work well on cobblestone streets, and they take up minimal luggage space.
Flats should be broken in before you travel since they’re known for causing blisters or rubbing ankles when they’re fresh out of the box.
Allbirds Tree Breezers Flats
The Allbirds Tree Breezers Flats get rave reviews for feeling like you’re “walking on clouds” so they’re a great option if you’re looking for a lightweight and breathable pair of travel flats. They also come in multiple colors.
Clarks Travel Flats
Clarks is one of the top brands when it comes to making being well-made, comfortable, and cute flats that work great for travel. Clarks flats come in multiple styles, colors, and materials.
Born Travel Flats
One of the most popular and highest-rated flats is the Born Julianne because they look great, provide decent arch support, and come in multiple colors. Another popular model is the Brin but Born also has many other styles (including many shoes, boots, etc.) so they’re worth checking out.
Cole Haan Travel Flats
Cole Hann is known for combing comfort and style so you should check out their range of travel flats—specifically their Cloud All Day Ballet flat.
Best Travel Sandals For Women
A pair of comfortable sandals make an excellent summer footwear option. As you know, sandals have the reputation for needing to be broken in so buy your sandals early.
You can’t talk about comfortable sandals without mentioning Birkenstock. And yes, Birkenstocks are officially popular and fashionable so you’ll see plenty of people wearing them while traveling. Plus, they offer a ton of support and they now come in multiple styles and colors.
Chaco is famous for its supportive and rugged hiking sandals so what they lack in style is made up for in comfort and stability. And luckily Chaco has recently started making sandals that are a little more fashion-friendly so you can explore Europe’s cobblestone streets with confidence.
Naot is another much-loved sandal brand that makes a wide range of super comfortable sandals in multiple styles.
Best Women’s Boots For Travel
A sturdy pair of boots is another popular travel footwear choice for many women because they offer comfort and protection from the elements—especially in the winter or rainy months. The main downside is bulk since they take up a lot of room if packed but you can always wear them on travel days.
Many people find that boots have a longer break-in period so that’s something you’ll want to keep in mind.
Blunderstone boots have been a longtime favorite thanks to their iconic style, comfort, & durability. Blunderstones have traditionally been more of an “outdoorsy” boot but their classic styling also works for urban environments.
Other Women’s Travel Boot Brands
There are a number of other quality boot brands out there. We recommend checking out Clarks, UGGs, Rockport, ECCO, Frye, Blondo, Vionic, and SoftWalk.
More Travel Packing Advice
We know how difficult packing for travel can be so we’ve written multiple articles to help you pack for your trip to Europe. Here are a few of our most popular articles:
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