Everyone has a different summer vacation style. For some, the ultimate getaway is a laid-back trip to the beach, for others it's the frenetic buzz of a European city in high season or a glorious backcountry trek. Whatever your summer style is though, you're going to need shoes that can get you there and back in style and comfort. Here are seven of our favorite shoes and sandals just right for your summer adventure, no matter where the season takes you.
The Chic Urban Walker
Ecco's Chase II shoe has accompanied me to cities around the world. It's supportive, comfortable, and is a chic alternative to sneakers or bulky walking shoes. I first spotted them on another traveler about three years ago; when I asked her about them she sang their praises so highly that I knew I needed to try a pair. And they really are that good—the Chase II requires little breaking in and easily handles urban challenges like cobblestones, steep hills, and hard pavement.
The Ready-for-Anything Hiker
Merrell's Capra Rapids for women and men are the ultimate in outdoor multi-tasking. These super-ventilated hydro hikers give you all the support and protection of a hiking shoe with the drainage channels and quick-dry capabilities of a water shoe. The shoe is designed for comfort on the trail with extra padding and an air cushion in the heel. They're comfortable with or without socks, and are a bit stretchy like a water shoe, but have the structure of a hiker.
The Durable Flip Flop
If you're replacing your flip flops every summer, it might be time to consider a sturdier upgrade. Havaianas have a loyal following (Including editors here at SmarterTravel), and are made to outlast cheaper versions of the classic summer slip-on. Not only does the company make flip flops in every color the rainbow, it also offers dozens of prints, including flowers, birds, animal prints, and stripes. There are also flip flops with slingback straps for a more secure fit. Find Havaianas for women, men, and kids.
The Sporty Urban Explorer
Ecco's Intrinsic Karma's walk the line between sneaker and "lifestyle shoe" without ever descending into unfashionable territory. The lightweight and easy to pack shoe is a combination of knitted textile and leather, with a flexible but grippy sole and enough surprising angles to keep things interesting. Wear these with low-profile socks and a skirt for urban comfort chic. The tie version comes in three colors for women (there's also a men's slip-on and boot, as well as a women's slip-on); to me, the coral color looks least sneaker-like.
The Comfort Sandal Hybrid
Part sandal, part flip flop, all comfort—that's the appeal of Sanuk's Yoga Sling 2s. The footbed is made from actual yoga mats (recycling for the win), and the upper uses stretch knit material that crisscrosses to create a sling so your foot won't slip out. SmarterTravel's Shannon McMahon recently brought them on a trip to Sri Lanka and reports, "They're my new favorite thing."
The Retro Cool Go-Anywhere
While technically a trail running shoe, Merrell's All Out Crush for women and men have a ton of cross-over appeal for travelers. They've got the functionality of a hiking shoe but weigh only eight ounces. The construction is durable, with added protection under the footbed and serious soles. They can take a beating and still look great, and somehow Merrell has managed to give this high-performance shoe a surprisingly cool retro look (almost like an Onitsuka Tiger), so you can wear them even off the trail. And they're vegan friendly.
The Summery Sneaker
Sperry's Seaside Perforated Sneaker combines comfort and ventilation with preppy style. These shoes for women feature a leather upper that's perforated for plenty of air flow. They come in five colors and are comfortable enough for walking all day. SmarterTravel's Ashley Rossi swears by her pair for summer travel.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Walking Shoes You Won't Be Ashamed to Wear in Public
- 10 Best Travel Sandals for Summer 2016
- 7 Travel Socks Your Feet Will Love