Whether you are traveling for work or for vacation, choosing the right shoes for your trip is an important step in your travel planning. Here are my tips for How to Choose the Best Travel Shoes.
No matter how much I travel, I have one packing weakness: shoes.
I want to bring them all with me! ALL the shoes! But, I have learned through much (much!) trial and error, that alas, I cannot bring them all.
I prefer to only bring carry-on luggage when I fly, unless for extended overseas travels longer than a week, and that requires ruthless editing when packing.
Regardless of how many shoes you pack, you should make sure that you pack one main pair appropriate for the majority of your trip.
Versatile Travel Sandals
Recently, I was given the opportunity to choose a pair of NAOT footwear sandals (pictured in this post) to wear and test out on my travels. In return, NAOT and our local Shoe Mill store donated a pair to Dress for Success. How cool is that?
NAOT has been around since 1942, and started their Giving Back Program to work with worthwhile causes across the U.S. to donate up to 500 new pairs of footwear a month to those in financial need. They select shoe store partners that share their belief in giving back, like the Shoe Mill in Bridgeport Village.
I selected the black Vogue sandals with a 2" heel. They arrived right before my trip to Victoria and Vancouver BC (be sure to watch for more TRAVEL BLISS: VICTORIA BC and TRAVEL BLISS: VANCOUVER BC posts!), and I was so excited to put them to the test! When they arrived, they were even cuter in person than in the photos. I loved them - and wore them - instantly.
These shoes are SO AMAZINGLY comfortable and lasted for long days walking and exploring the cities with the family. Plus, they are super stylish, look great dressed down with shorts and t-shirts or dressed up with maxi dresses.
Confession: when it comes to shopping for comfortable travel shoes, I'm a bit of a shoe snob. I don't find athletic-style shoes cute at all on me unless I'm actually working out; I prefer boots or sandals with a small heel. If I am going to pay premium pricing for shoes that I can wear all day long, they had darn well better be SUPER cute as well as incredibly comfortable. These NAOT sandals fit the bill perfectly! I can't wait to wear them to Hawaii later this month, and hopefully to Amsterdam if the weather holds up!
So how to choose the best travel shoes? Here are some basic tips for how to select the best travel shoes for your next exciting adventure.
How to Choose the Best Travel Shoes
- Consider the weather patterns you will encounter throughout your entire trip. No matter where you are traveling to, check the weather a week before you leave and then again a couple of days before you pack (remember weather patterns can change quickly!). Also remember: even warm climates are often cool during early morning and late night activities. During spring and summer travels, I usually plan for one open-toed sandal and one closed-toed shoe just to be safe. If I am traveling to colder or rainy climates, I wear boots on the plane with me (I follow the "always wear the bulkiest items on the plane" rule) and then pack a second, smaller pair of sandals or comfort pumps or ankle boots (for work trips) in my carry-on or checked luggage.
- Consider your itinerary. Will you be walking through an old city lined with steep cobblestone streets? Will you be exploring wineries or farmland? Will you be hiking and then almost immediately going to dinner afterward? NAOT and many other footwear companies make shoes that are comfortable and stylish enough to go from market exploring to a nice dinner out, so look for shoes that are stylish, offer hours of comfort, and are appropriate for your travel itinerary. Even in the most formal of circumstances, I have found it's safe to leave the 3" high heels at home.
- Look for arch support. This is why truly flat shoes usually are NOT the best for traveling, especially to places where you will be walking a lot. Most of us need some support for our arches during travel. Arch support helps distribute weight evenly and reduces pressure generated by the spinal column and joints.
- Material matters. When selecting shoes for traveling, look for comfort materials such as high quality cork and breathable materials. The old saying holds true: you get what you pay for. I love my $8 Target shoes made with lower quality material, but never take them on travels since I know they will only last for a short period of time before they start hurting my feet.
- Choose a color palette for your wardrobe and then stick with one color for your shoes that matches ALL of your outfits. Yes, I said ALL. Usually, that means you'll pack either black or brown shoes. Save those bold green heels that only match one outfit in your closet for events closer to home.
- Purchase from a store that has an excellent return policy. I once returned a pair of shoes to Nordstrom after wearing them for six months because they suddenly started squeaking a little when I walked, which they should not have done had they been properly constructed. Nordstrom not only took my return, but they also offered me a replacement pair at no charge. Now THAT is service!
I think you will LOVE NAOT footwear. Whether you are looking for spring/summer sandals, hiking boots, city boots, or beautiful dressy heels, NAOT has gorgeous styles that you can wear for hours at a time. I'm planning to take my NAOT footwear with me on our summer travels to Europe, and I love being able to wear shoes that also come from a company committed to giving back.
What do YOU look for when searching for the perfect pair of travel shoes?
Many thanks to NAOT for sending me the pair of sandals pictured in this post, and for donating a pair of shoes to Dress for Success Oregon! As always, all opinions and photos are my own. I truly LOVE these sandals for spring/summer travels and everyday wear, have an admiration for this company, and I cannot wait to save up and buy a pair of their boots, too, to take on my travels this fall and winter!