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It’s that time again! Summer is rapidly approaching and I know many of you are wondering about my picks for the best travel shoes of 2023.  Below are some of my favorites and some of the top shoe recommendations from the Adventures with Sarah community.  My main criteria are weight, comfort and a bit of style. If your favorites aren’t listed let us know in the comments!

Top Sandal Picks

In the heat of summer, we all want sandals that will keep our feet cool, provide support, and look good.  These are my picks to tick all the boxes.

Teva Mush

These sandals are still a favorite – they have a little wedge so they dress up nicely for dinner but, they are constructed of a material that is water friendly so, they can double as a beach shoe. Beware, though, they are going extinct!

Dansko Rowan

A sizing change made by Dansko a few years ago means that I can no longer find their shoes to fit me but, they still make great shoes.  They are stylish and supportive – many of my tour guide friends swear by them.

Aetrex Gabby Sandal

A newcomer on the scene, this sandal is recommended by the Adventures with Sarah community for extra support by folks who have high arches or plantar fasciitis.

Other Sandals that I Recommend

Naot Dorith – These are super lightweight and have a nice molded footbed, you’ll see these on my feet this summer.

Taos Trulie – I have been wearing these for a couple of seasons and they look as good as new. The adjustable straps are great for anyone who has feet that swell.

Sketchers Reggae Slim – Another pair that I’ve been wearing for a couple of years, they aren’t super light but are stretchy and ok for water activities.

Sorel Kinetic – I don’t personally own these but some of my most stylish guests on tours rave about them, and with the thick sole, shorter women seem to love them.

Olukai Flip Flop – I bought these on a trip to Hawaii last year, and they have become a favorite. There are plenty of sizes, up to Men’s 14, and while not the lightest shoe, they are super durable.

Teva Tirra – These are my pick for active sandals, as Tevas seem to never die. I take them to Thailand and swim in them, hike in them, and wear them around town. My only problem with them is they get stinky after a while…or maybe that’s just me. Bonus: up to women’s size 12!

Travel Shoes – Sneakers

I recommend at least two pairs of shoes for all travel, either sneakers and walking shoes or sneakers and sandals. Neutral colors are best for travel.

All Birds Wool Runners


I’m shifting to natural fabrics, to reduce plastic used and also the health of my skin.  They are better for travel, naturally, and are comfortable for miles.

Ecco Soft 7 Sneaker

Recommended by my friend and colleague, Lisa Anderson, these sneakers are supportive and stylish.

Skechers Flex

Lightweight, comfortable sneakers for days that need more than a sandal. Let’s be honest, Skechers are not extremely stylish and have a short lifespan, but geez, they are comfortable. Local guides who tour for 10 hours a day often wear them.

Shoes for Winter or Wet Weather Travel

It may be summer now but, not every trip takes place in summer or to perennially sunny destinations.  These shoes will help you make it through our winter weather or keep you dry and warm in your travels.

All Birds Mizzles

Yes, these shoes are wool and yes, they are water-repellent.  They provide the same natural material benefits of the Wool Runners but, have been coated to repel water and keep your feet cozy.  Love them for walks at home in the winter or for trekking around Iceland.

Columbia Newton Ridge Waterproof Boot

Bought recently for a trip to Iceland, these are bulky but not too heavy for a hiking boot. They were sturdy, cozy, and kept my feet dry. Perfect for outdoor winter adventures.

Blundstone Classic Chelsea Boots

Recommended by fans these boots will keep your feet warm and dry when you’re traveling (or traveling around your hometown) in wet and wintry weather.

Extended Size Picks

If you are like me and need shoes in a size that is considered larger than normal for the US these shoes offer comfort, style and support in our sizes.


All Birds women’s sizes go up to 11 and men’s sizes go up to 14, in a range of colors. I tend to buy the men’s sizes as they are all the same.

New Balance Fresh Foam

This brand is known for inclusive sizing, particularly for men’s shoes. This particular model is lightweight for a good, basic travel shoe.


This brand is perfect for odd sizes and problematic feet. They have narrow up to XWide, and also cater to plantar fasciitis.

Shoes for Special Concerns

Do you need extra support in your shoes because you suffer from plantar fasciitis? Maybe you have bunions? These shoes could help you on your travels.

Cobb Hill Women’s Hollywood 4 Strap Flat Sandal

These stylish sandals come in narrow sizes.

Hoka Bondi 8

These shoes are neither sleek nor inexpensive but, they do provide extra cushion and support to people who need it.

On Men’s Cloud 5 Sneakers

Another option for those needing a bit more support in walking shoes that was recommended by our Adventures with Sarah community.  I recently bought a pair and have enjoyed them, even if the styling is a bit odd.

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best travel shoes
Sarah Murdoch

This post was written by Sarah Murdoch, founder and director of Adventures of Sarah. Sarah has been guiding around the world for 20+ years, after catching the travel bug while studying in Italy in 1995. Between guiding she is also a journalist, travel guidebook writer, occasional architect, and full-time mom to Nicola and Lucca. Click here to find out more about Sarah.

One Comment

  • CNoyes says:

    Ecco Offroad sandals for women. Similar to the Teva and Merril. I wear a size 11. For althetic style shoes – Saucony – they have a longer toe cage and a better arch for bigger feet. Compression socks keep me standing and walking longer. Naot are lovely, but narrow in the front and a bit short if your toes are longer. I have a couple of pair for dress. Also, Birkenstock, find the right size and style for what you need.

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