I SWEAR by Adidas Ultraboost both for working out and walking from morning to night. No other shoe is more comfortable, bouncy and pain-free than this revolutionary pair. The hefty price tag (to me) is so worth it!
For an over packer (and shoe lover) like me, choosing which pairs of shoes to bring to a trip is an ongoing dilemma. I know I’m supposed to be a professional by now, but my indecisiveness goes on overdrive whenever it’s time to pack. It’s imperative I make a change for the benefit of my luggage allowance so I am happy to indulge my client TJ who travels a lot for work when she asked me to write a post on the most ideal footwear for travel. My goal, both for myself and you, is to have an easier time editing (and making room for a new pair or two). Just in case.
But first, some things to consider when shoe packing for a trip:
Where are you heading and what’s the weather forecast? The last thing you want are freezing or sweaty feet so this is a major consideration. You must be able to find the balance between fashion and comfort—no small feat, I know—but you can’t fight Mother Nature in slippery soles. Believe me, I tried and fell on my butt. Twice!
What color palette are you working with wardrobe-wise? It’s smart to decide early on if you’re doing neutrals, three coordinating colors or all black with a punch of red. Your shoes should go with almost everything you’ll wear no matter how dressy or casual.
How much walking are you actually expecting do? If it’s a walking city like New York, Hong Kong or Japan, fashion might have to take a backseat somehow. Comfort should always be top priority lest you’re a hardcore IG fiend and must always have the perfect outfit, blisters be damned. Fortunately, the advent of social media came after my magazine days, hence I can freely wear my trainers with nary a care now that I’m a Tita who honestly can’t suffer for fashion anymore. It has to be said though that I still carefully examine a phone pic OOTD before leaving the Airbnb to make sure I look decent.
Are you bound by a no-shopping rule? If so, then bring two pairs so you have a back up. But let’s be honest—you will come home with at least one pair so plan ahead and know what you’ll be buying and avoid getting derailed purchasing a pair you’ll only wear once. That way, you can wear the new pair during the trip and feel like a local (because chances are, you’ll be influenced by what you see on the streets, specially if the styling is on point like how I suddenly had to have brown brogues after spending a week in Paris and seeing so many chic variants in one place).
Here are my recos, most of which I’ve worn myself or tried on at some point so these are almost accurate assessments. Let me know what your ideal walking shoes are at the comments below!
Although I yet have to own a pair of Nike Vapormax, I’ve tried them on and the exposed thick gel sole is pretty comfy. The knit material molds nicely around the feet, snug & secure with no danger of the back rubbing and causing scraped skin which is a huge deal for me. The sole also adds extra height and that is always welcome.
I recently got my first pair and was surprised with how comfy it was sans break in! The back is cushioned so no skin scraping and the sole is soft with just the right arch support. Bonus that it’s also a fashion statement that makes any outfit 10x cooler.
Another ultra comfy pair I own are the New Balance 620 x J. Crew collab. It’s both stylish and easy on the feet. The colorways are unique to the brand collaboration but you can also find other versions of the shoe that is just as pretty and comfy.
I love a good leather sandal with a pre-loved look like this pair from Italian brand Gian Luca. It’s handcrafted in the softest leather and the caged design keeps feet away from hazards like dirt, debris and falling objects.
Timberlands never fail to remind me of J. Lo and people I’ve seen wearing them always look so cozy and toasty. Have yet to take it out for a spin but my sources say it’s their go-to snow and rain boot. The classic, iconic design makes it a gem to add to any shoe collection.
I’m in love with local brand Renegade Folk because apart from the ultra comfortable and chic designs, it’s easy on the pocket, too. I often stop myself from buying! I’ve worn them everywhere, all day with nary a tinge of pain felt.
Tod’s driving shoe is an institution in the world of loafers with good reason. It lasts forever (my husband has a pair from his Uni days that are still around) and the iconic rubber sole makes you feel like you’re walking on air. Not to mention it’s super chic!!
I like the shape of these Jeffrey Campbell rain boots and the extended rubber sides make it a breeze to get in and out of. More people should wear rain boots here especially during the bagyo season. It’s just more practical and hygienic, right?
Every kid in the ’90s had a pair of these sturdy sandals and some of them, like me, wore them with socks LOL!! The sole is universally comfortable no matter what your foot’s arch is and that alone is worth the splurge. Lately, it’s become a fashion statement again and this suede finish gives it a more dressy vibe. Perfect for plane rides (with socks if you’re feeling cold).
Classic ballet flats are always a good investment as it’s easy to wear and pair with everything and instantly makes you feel like Audrey Hepburn. No hassle taking them on and off at security too.
I own a pair almost like this one that I got in Paris and now I understand why the French wear them everywhere instead of (the usual) sneakers. Made of really soft leather that hugs the feet, it’s walking and running friendly and über chic to boot!
The dessert boot in suede is also an excellent choice as the rubber sole makes it slip-free and keep feet warm. It’s flat and mid cut, making it comfortable and appealing when worn with cropped pants, skirts or shorts.
More fashion-forward versions of the aforementioned shoes above that is a welcome addition to your rack!
Crimson leather flats with rubber sole from Tory Burch. Because everyone should have at least one red pair!
Another color variant of the NB x J. Crew collab.
A unique pair of Adidas Gazelles!
Metallic Birkenstocks MK and Ashley would approve of.
Bendable garter Chanel flats that’s easy to tote around town.
Tod’s driving shoe in luxe python. Drool!!
Zebra pony hair flats from French Sole. My mom swears by this brand and she’s had her pair forever..still wears them all the time.
A quirky shoe from Clarks that I actually tried on that’s super comfy too!
More flats in the most delicious colors from Sam Edelman.
Lusting for these Nike Vapormax in army green and grey.
Eyeing these super pretty Renegade Folks for my next pair…