On vacation, taking a walk is one of the best ways to get acclimated to the new surroundings. A stroll gives you the chance to scope out the scene, window-shop, peruse posted restaurant menus, and people-watch. But if you're walking in uncomfortable shoes, you're likely going to be miserable. Good, sturdy walking shoes are key, but with so many styles and brands available, it can be overwhelming to shop for the perfect pair. To make it easier, we did the -- ahem -- legwork for you and narrowed it down to eight of the best men's walking shoes. And women, we didn't forget you: Check out eight of the best women's walking shoes for travel here.
Editor's note: Prices are accurate at the time of publishing and may have changed.
If the idea of soggy feet is enough to keep you indoors indefinitely, consider Vessi’s waterproof knit kicks. These lightweight shoes are completely waterproof (not just water-resistant), which means your socks and feet will stay dry no matter how wet it gets on the streets. This pair is also breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant — a footwear grand slam. Plus, the four-way stretch knit hugs your feet for a personalized fit and support for comfortable walking.
When you’re walking in hot climates, turn to a pair of sandals to keep your feet cool and comfy. These Hi-Tec Cove II sandals feature a neoprene lining as well as cushioned EVA midsole for shock absorption and added comfort. The lace-up design has a toggle closure, so you can customize the tightness. And the rubber outsole provides a good grip for walking over uneven terrain.
On the opposite end of the weather spectrum, if you need a pair of walking shoes to keep your feet warm and dry (and don’t want to go for a heavy boot), opt for The All Weather Wool Pronto from Greats. This pair is made from water-resistant Loro Piana wool for an extra layer of warmth. They’re on the pricey side, but that’s because they’re made in Italy. They’re also sharp enough to wear to dinner.
Street style meets comfort with this shoe collaboration between pro skateboarder Stefan Janoski and Nike. The Stefan Janoski SB Canvas Skate Shoe has a one-piece heel to midfoot overlay for better support. Perforations at the vamp allow for breathability, keeping your feet cool. And the outsole features a herringbone traction pattern for better grip. They come in five vibrant colors, including a fun floral print.
If you haven’t heard of Inkkas, the shoe company was founded on the principles of fair trade and global philanthropy. They plant one tree for every shoe purchased and employ Latin American artisans to make their products. The Silver Craneo Black Flexaire shoes are lightweight for walking and have an expanded EVA cushion outsole. Plus, they’re made from vegan materials. The metallic skull pattern was by inspired by Mexico City’s Dia de los Muertos tradition of sugar skulls.
Looking for a solid, classic pair of walking shoes that don’t break the bank? Turn to The Rosen shoes by Greats. They’re affordable, but still feature luxe details like a monochromatic color palette and suede on the eyelets, tongue, and heel. As for comfort, each shoe is made with a dual density EVA midsole and a circular-lugged FreeRide outsole. Fans rave that they can wear these kicks all day, every day.
If you prefer boots to sneakers, the Bitflex Chelsea boot is the pick for you. These slip-on boots are made in Italy with premium European leather that’s aged for 30 days in a concoction that includes oak bark and powdered mimosa. The boot is then constructed by hand and finished with a stacked heel that provides a bit of lift, but won’t make your feet sore. The ergonomic footbed adds additional support.
These running shoes, favored by triathletes, were made with strict attention to detail: sock-style liners, molded heels, and a speed-lace system. The real secret to their comfort is the CloudTec® outsole structure that cushions feet both horizontally and vertically. These shoes are as close to walking on a cloud as you’re going to get.
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Additional Reporting by Anne Bauso