Accessories

Comfortable Walking Sandals for Travel

Vaccinated Americans can travel to Europe this summer! That’s exciting. Maybe you are already thinking about what to pack?

Most women understand that it’s not cool to be walking around European cities in big, clunky white sneakers, which is why they love my suggestions for comfy, closed-toe walking shoes. But what about sandals? What type of sandals should you pack for your trip that are practical and comfortable but not boring?

Here are some guidelines on what to look for, plus a look at some of the latest comfortable walking sandals for women in stores right now.

The best walking sandals for travel need to be:

  • Comfortable – They shouldn’t pinch at the toe or the sides of the shoe, and they should have a cushioned, comfy footbed.
  • Lightweight and Airy – To keep your feet feeling energized and fresh
  • Water-resistant – Wet, cold feet can ruin your trip.
  • Neutral or a fun color- stay away from pure white, which gets dirty easily in sooty European streets.
  • Sturdy – Make sure they can withstand a lot of wear and tear
  • Good for walking on cobblestones, grass, rocks, sand, and historical ruins. A strong sole is a must.
  • Straps at the ankle or across the middle of the foot help hold the foot in place, so you don’t twist your ankle.
  • Practical, stylish, and works for night and day outfits.
  • Easy to slip on and off – especially important at airport security checks
  • Compact, streamlined, and flexible for packing

 

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1. Modern Metallic

This cool sandal from Birkenstock with its chic, silver metallic finish is modern and contemporary. The legendary Birkenstock footbed conforms to your feet for all day comfort. Pair them with a pair of blue or white jeans and a modern top for a look that's hip.
BIRKENSTOCK
2

Cleverly Disguised Orthopedic Comfort

This bestselling flip flop from Børn perfectly cushions your foot with every step. The unique rocker sole has extra padding to support every step and reduces stress on your knees and joints. They're also cute to boot!
BØRN
3

Slide Sandal

I just had to slip these flexible slide sandals from Børn into my list. These sandals give you on-trend styling with the comfort of a quality shoe. A cushioned footbed with arch support adds to the exceptional comfort.
BØRN
4

Comfort Sandal

The Teva Hurricane XLT is modern and lightweight. These are good walking sandals for travel because they have an adjustable strap for a fantastic fit and a durable rubber sole for comfort and wearability.
TEVA
5

Nice Neutral

These strappy leather sandals get rave reviews for being comfortable and great for walking. If comfort is your chief concern, then these may be the sandals for you. A microfiber fabric footbed supports each step and a lightly textured sole offers enhanced traction.
ECCO
6

Dressy Wedge Sandal

Sometimes you want a bit of height, but you want the comfort too. So try the Pixie Wedge Sandal by NAOT. With a 1-1/2 inch wedge heel and a comfortable cork footbed, this shoe is both chic and easy to wear. (It comes in several color combinations too!) One of the stylish sandals for travel, this is the perfect shoe if your travels involve a dressy occasion where you'll be on your feet.
NAOT
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Comfort and Style

The picture of these flat ankle strap sandals from Naturalizer doesn't do them justice. These sandals aren't just a pretty face - or foot - (LOL!) though. Acushioned footbed. that supports the natural curve of your foot makes them comfy too.
NATURALIZER
8

Sporty Chic Comfort

These t-strap thong sandals incorporate Ecco's color-blocked leather with a gladiator-inspired T-strap. This shoe is designed with cushioning comfort for all-day wear and comes in several color combinations. What more could you ask for?
ECCO
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Great for Wide Feet

I was drawn to the cute braided straps on these 'Jonelle' slide sandals from Baretraps. Wouldn't they look amazing with white or blue jeans or a pair of casual capris? These shoes are especially good for gals with wider feet.
BARETRAPS
10

Full of Style

When we think of comfortable walking shoes, practicality comes to mind before style. But this adorable slide sandal combines both. Naturalizer consistently makes comfortable walking shoes and sandals and this 'Faryn' slide sandal is no exception. I especially like the cheery yellow color and shiny buckle. Available in 5 other colors.
NATURALIZER
Join the Conversation

36 thoughts on “Comfortable Walking Sandals for Travel

  1. I have to respectively disagree. Walking on uneven cobblestones with sandals is a recipe for sore feet and/or a sprained ankle, not to mention dirty feet. I travel a lot and wear either solid black or white sneakers to tour. They do not look out of place. It’s the brightly coloured sneakers that stand out and scream Tourist.
    Wear what is most comfortable on your feet and your happy face will be open and welcoming.

  2. I’d like to recommend Bzees as a great brand, stylish, lightweight, and washable. I travel a lot- sometimes as much as 30 days at a time and these are my must travel shoes. Please take a look at they are available at many retailers both brick and mortar as well as online.

  3. My issue in finding shoes is that I have a narrow foot. And if the shoe doesn’t fit, no matter how comfortable it is built to be, my feet will be in bad shape by the end of the day. I don’t know why it is so difficult to find shoes in a narrow size. I guess that I’m in the minority of the population. Van Eli is about my best bet, but any other suggestions would be helpful.

  4. I literally just got back from 16 days in Italy where we walked about 10 miles a day. I took all sorts of cute comfortable sandals , even some from this article and NOTHING worked. My feet were so painful, swollen and blistered (yes I broke them in. Even though it was hot I had to buy a pair of white sneakers and socks which I wore with skirts, dresses, anything. I never , ever wear sneakers other than for working out. I thought it looked a little stupid but at that point I just didn’t care. And you know what else? I saw tons of women doing the same thing, including young and old, and even Europeans on vacation. Italians are extremely stylish and there is no way to compete with that. I managed to look like a tourist as much as I tried not to.
    My advice: wear whatever is best for your feet because no one really cares. next time I go to Europe it will be my white sneakers.

  5. As a European (Danish) native, I just would like to point out that Europe is not a country, it is a lot of very different countries and cultures. Wearing comfy shoes definitely would not make you stand out in Northern Europe. In fact, Ecco is a Danish brand, making high quality comfortable shoes.

    If you are going to Rome or Paris, you might want to consider more bringing stylish shoes and outfits. Just remember that any holiday in Europe involves LOTS of walking.

    1. Lesley I totally agree! Just discovered this brand and am so in love with them. Bought the Vienna sandals. I was worried they’d make my feet look too big but they really don’t and most importantly, I can walk miles in them (already have) with NO foot pain or tender spots. Already ordered a second pair. I haven’t tried the closed toe as of yet but probably will after the great experience with the sandals. :0)

  6. There is no such thing as a stylish walking shoe, and I promise, everything you showed will make you stick out like a sore thumb in Europe. I know, because I live in Paris. I work as an international flight attendant in New a York and fly….Europe. I wear my awful aerosoles, gram Central is the style, and look like the Mary Janes you showed. Because I wear orthotics and have bunions, I couldn’t take the stares anymore with those shoes . I found Josef Seibel sneakers which seems to do the trick. Wear my designer bags, statement faux jewelry, and hope to offset the comfort look. THAT is what the difference is in dress between Americans and Europeans.

    1. Totally right. I don’t think it’s the shoes, I think it’s the clothes. Too many Americans wear too casual, comfortable clothes: Yoga pants, short shorts, cargo shorts, t shirts. I was so impressed by the Italian’s style. The clothes, the accessories, the creativity. I could only hope to dress like them and I consider myself a good dresser.

    2. Lynn is right. No such thing as a stylish walking shoe. I’ve made that complaint for years. Big, clumsy sneakers look awful on my small (size 5) foot but so do big, clumsy sandals. Most of the shoes highlighted offer no support for feet and ankles. In addition, finding a shoe in my size is always a challenge. Most of these start with size 6!

      If European footwear is so stylish what do they wear when they come vacation in the USA and walk miles a day?

  7. I spend at least 2 months every spring and summer in Europe and the very best shoes are FitFlops. Perfect for cobblestones, perfect for hiking around the hills, perfect for the beach. So many styles to choose from so you can always be comfortable and stylish–and your feet will be so happy!

    1. Kristi, I was so happy to see your review. I agree 100% with your endorsement of Fitflops brand of shoes. I wear them ALl the time. I have noarch in my foot and they work wonders and have a big variety so you always look fashionable.

  8. So far, I have not found the ideal walking shoe. I need something deep enough for my serious orthotics – which eliminated most shoes I have found I have to have a tie shoe, as my heel is actually narrow, but my orthotics aren’t (I have very flat feet with plantar fascists and posterior tibial tendon disfunction. tie shoes must also have a stiff heel counter, to hold my foot in the proper position on the orthotic.This means a serious athletic shoe is about the only thing that will work. In Japan, we walked everywhere and my feet were miserable in all but one pair of shoes( Merrrills) – the ethers are OK for casual local walking, but not for hiking. My feel were sore and my ankles swelled. For home use, I can get away with Orthaheels, but not for anything serious. I hate the choices available in athletic shoes – I want solid black or tan – without dashes of color anywhere. They also should look reasonable with tights or stockings. Bare legs and short socks may be fine in this country, but not in Japan. should also ad that Ido not wear pants or knee-lengeth skirts – mid-calf is it ( there are elements of an overweight 60+ year old body that are better left to the imagination.) I plan on another trip to Japan, and I know shoes will again be the issue. (need I mention, I love shoes, especially the pretty delicate ones and am seriously frustrated that I can’t wear them)

    1. Julie, I feel your pain. I have to wear orthotics in my shoes too. I have found the Skechers are ok for some walking (the sandals) and Teva adjustable sandals have arch support. I am able to wear them for a couple of hours. Okabashi makes a great flip flop with good arch support and I use them for the beach and as house slippers. You order them on line. But for serious walking we will just have to stick with our trusty sneakers.

  9. I just moved to London with my husband last fall. I have to say that all my regular shoes from Seattle really didn’t work, except for one pair I got at Macy’s. They are ballet styled with an elastic crossing across the top of my foot, and the brand is Strictly Comfort?? Because of the very uneven walking surfaces, your feet and your legs, up through your hips and into your back really get jostled much more then they ever would in the states. I ended up buying a pair of flat leather boots with a thick sole that I lived in until very recently when the weather warmed. I honestly prefer boots, it stabilises the foot a lot better. On every previous trip to Europe I’ve brought my Dr Martens loafers, and one trip to Israel I wore Clarks Unstructured. I’d rather have comfort over pretty, and I dress with more of an “edge” so heavier looking shoes balance things out nicely.

  10. Just got back from Europe last week where we drove through 4 countries & 3 different climate zones. I primarily packed dresses & brought 7 pairs of sandals. Used them all because I had them, but only needed two pairs: metallic sandals & black ballet. The metallic sandals & ballets were comfort shoe brands & perfect for all the different terrains & activities. Also, in place of packing jeans, I packed my black Lululemon pants & paired them with my cardigan set. If you feel the need for running shoes look at Nike Free TR Fit, blk/blk.

  11. I went to Europe for 2 weeks last fall, with lots of walking. I learned that any heel, however cushioned, will not stand up to 10 hours of walking! My most comfortable pair I wore was a pair of gold snakeskin Aerosoles flat sandals!

  12. Merrell is my favorite brand! But I’m going to Europe next month and am still not sure what to wear. I think I need something more than sandals for my flat feet.

    1. Rochelle, if you like Merrells try these – the Around Town backstrap shoe. It comes in several colors and while it looks a little bit Birkenstock-ish, they are the MOST comfortable sandals I’ve ever worn! I could walk around the world in them. Padded cork footbed that you sink into a little bit, sole with good grip and wide straps. The back is an adjustable buckle strap. I wear them with both dresses and jeans/slacks – they give you a casual look but comfy feet and legs. Not for dressing up, but you can take other shoes for that. This is the link to the brown version of this shoe: http://www.merrell.com/US/en/around-town-backstrap/23711W.html?ref=around%20town&dwvar_23711W_color=J55536#q=around+town&start=1

  13. I love my Arche flats. I just returned from Argentina and wore them everyday. I also have a job that requires standing for 6-7 hours and wear Arche, Born, Jambu and Dansko shoes to work.

  14. I just bought these:
    v
    Very comfy!! But if I remember correctly, sandals may not be appropriate for touring some cathedrals, and you’ll want closed-toe shoes.

    1. Hi Stacy,
      We’ve never had a problem wearing sandals in cathedrals in Europe, but you must cover your shoulders and arms. It’s good to carry a little scarf with you.

  15. I”m currently looking -going to Europe in Summer 2012. Someone recommended Chaco shoes – I like the looks of their sandals but want something a bit more dressy looking.

  16. Mine are a pair of Merrell’s but not very stylish but I could walk all of Berlin in them. Better than running shoes.

  17. I don’t have a favorite pair of travel shoes; that’s why I need these!! I’m hoping to go to Ireland next year to celebrate 25 years of marriage with my wonderful husband. We never got a honeymoon (we were too broke!), so this will be a really great celebration.