When packing a suitcase, how many shoes are too many? The struggle is real for heavy packers, forever forced to choose between maximum options or a wonderfully light carry-on with nothing to wear.
The ideal number of shoes needed will vary for every person and trip, but we can probably all agree that the general idea is to aim low. Most travelers will find that just three classic shoes styles satisfy the need for options without weighing down luggage.
What Are the Three Best Shoes for Travel?
From the long schlep to the airport to walking city streets, the right white canvas sneaker can see you through almost any outing. And while it’s the simplicity that makes this style so appealing, they are often a little too simplified when it comes to arch support. That may suffice for errands back home, but for long days exploring by foot you’ll definitely want something a tad more substantial.
The Plim Soul by Taos Footwear has the low key vibe of a canvas shoe with the cushy support of an anatomically designed footbed. With both metatarsal and arch support, the Taos will keep the pep in your step as stroll the city. Plus, the interior is lined with SILVADUR Antimicrobial Shield to help prevent foot odor.
Zappos Price: $89.95 with free shipping
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Consumer Review: “I wear orthotics so I went to remove the insole from these sneakers to put my orthotics in as I normally do. It turned out that the shoe insole was surprisingly good. So good that I left it in the shoe and do not need orthotics with these sneakers. Really comfortable shoes straight out of the box. I wore them all day yesterday and my feet felt great. I bought this brand on a lark, but I will be back for more pairs.”
One thing for sure, there’s no shortage of sandal styles on the market. Somewhere between the utilitarian slide and the needlessly strappy, there exists the classic double strap Arizona Birko-Flor from Birkenstock. Not only are they essential for any warm weather getaway, but work just as well in cooler temps when paired with cute wooly socks. And yes, socks with sandals is officially a thing now, okay?
There are, of course, several styles to choose from, from strapped sandals to mules and slides, but all will have the famous Birkenstock molded footbed. If you’re not entirely sold on the appearance, the arch support will definitely win you over.
If you do plan to take a pair of Birkenstocks along on your next trip, it’s a good idea to order them well in advance and allow yourself a good month of solid wear to really break them in. Those leather straps need to soften up before you attempt any long walks.
Zappos Price: $99.95 with free shipping
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Consumer Review: “I've had these for about a month now and I love them! I have been wearing them almost all the time for the past month and I noticed that the protective covering on the cork is starting to peel away. I would recommend getting the cork protection stuff from the birkenstock website. The Birko-Flor is holding up great!! still looks just like the day I got them, so if you are super into the old leather look, I wouldn't recommend the Birko-Flor. It's very strong material though and comfortable as well. Took about a week of wear for them to break in and feel perfect for my foot. At first they kind of slipped off and were rigid, but the more you wear them around the faster and more comfortable they will feel. Great shoe! Highly recommend!”
Unless you’re in the habit of sashaying around in them back home, the cobblestone streets of Europe probably aren’t the best place to debut your 5-inch club stilettos. Ditto anywhere with a lot of sand and access to frosé machine. Instead, do future-you a favor and choose something a little more practical.
These chunky heeled Poppy sandals by Toms are great for late nights on the town, and its soft footbed gives all the cushioning and support you'll need for the long walk home. As they do for their famous slippers, Toms will give a new pair of shoes to children in need for every shoe sold.
The Poppy is available in 7 styles, ranging from black leather and suede, to even chambray, and natural suede or leather looks.
Zappos Price: $99.00 with free shipping
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Consumer Review: “LOVE LOVE LOVE these Toms sandals! I wore them to a wedding, and they were so comfortable right out of the box, so i never had any problems with rubbing or blisters or anything. AND my feet weren't sore after 5 hours of wearing them, even though I was on my feet a lot wrangling my 1 year old. The blush suede color is so pretty and the gold on the ball of the foot strap gives just the perfect pop of bling without looking trashy. The best part is that these sandals will compliment other jeans, pants, or skirts in your wardrobe, so they aren't just a one-and-done kind of purchase. The sandals seem well constructed and that they would hold up well for a long time...possibly years! Only time will tell of course. The price point is acceptable too.....something that won't break the bank. I highly recommend!”