Look good while staying supremely comfortable in these cute brands for walking and travel shoes.
Traveling to exciting new destinations usually means entire days full of walking, whether you are exploring a vibrant city, enjoying the beauty of nature, or uncovering amazing historical sites.
Are there cute shoes out there that can keep you looking chic and stylish in your travel photos while keeping your feet comfortable and pain-free all day long? Of course! You don’t have to wear clunky tennis shoes or sneakers while on your feet all day to be comfortable.
Allbirds, known for their light, breathable sneakers, also makes a line of flats called Tree Breezers that are surprisingly comfortable and look a lot like Rothy’s. They are not cheap (about $100/pair) but they are made of a stretchy, lightweight, machine-washable mesh material that requires no break in time. The material is actually sourced from eucalyptus pulp, if you care about all that naturally sourced stuff. The insoles are a well-cushioned, wool-like material that will keep your feet comfortable and dry after a full day of walking around town.
Puma is a brand known for sleek, low profile, athletic shoes, but they also make comfortable walking shoes and athletic flats that are great for the most chic, athleisure look. If you’ve ever wanted a feminine flat that felt as comfortable as a sneaker for jaunting around the streets of Rome, check out the Puma collection.
If you haven’t tried on a pair of Skechers lately, and the idea of walking on a thick layer of memory foam all day sounds appealing to your weary feet, then you need to try this brand and see what you’re missing. Skechers makes a wide selection of slip on flats, “loafers” and tennis shoes that all feature its signature cushioned footbed. They advertise that it’s like walking on a yoga mat, which I can’t really argue with. They make some of the most comfortable shoes available.
If you’re looking for that stylish brand that can transition from a day on your feet to an evening out in any city, don’t forget to check out the Aerosoles brand. They seem to churn through their designs frequently, so you will always see some new comfortable shoe options (and the shoes you liked last time will have disappeared). They have made some of the most comfortable loafers in the past, and they continue to make some leisurely flats that could be casual or a bit dressed up for light to moderate walking.
The sports division of the well-known brand ECCO makes some cute and comfortable athletic flats and Mary Janes that can substitute for sneakers on your next vacation. If you’re doing a lot of walking, it’s probably a good idea to still wear ultra low-profile, invisible socks with these, but at least they’re far from clunky-looking athletic shoes. If you don’t have to do a lot of walking, they look great without socks. These are a great option if you’re looking for more arch support and more comfort in the toe box than typical flats will offer.
Merrell is a brand known for making some of the most comfortable shoes for rugged outdoor activities like hiking and trail running. The good news is that they also make lightweight Mary Janes and flats with their famous mesh exterior and cushioned footbed with arch support for more casual walking. These could substitute for your Nikes or actually be even more comfortable than your sneakers. And because Merrells are light and breathable, they are comfortable enough to be worn in both concrete jungles and actual jungles.
Sanuks are made for surfers and 20-somethings who want to look like they hang out by the beach all day even if they live in Denver. They are most popular for their well-cushioned flip flops and sandals (some of which are made out of real yoga mats), but they also make decently comfortable loafers for international travel. Anyone who owns Sanuks is on their 4th or 5th pair because they love them. If you’re doing a moderate amount of walking and looking for that laid-back, slip-on vibe, these could be a good option.
Thankfully, Teva has moved beyond those notorious velcro sandals of the 90s and into the realm of regular footwear. No one is denying that the Teva brand has always produced a comfortable shoe for moderate walking or travel in Europe. Their padding and arch support has generally been appreciated. Now they have offerings in the form of low profile casual shoes that are reminiscent of Converse, Keds, and Superga, but they are more comfortable and offer more support.
Olukai is a brand from Hawaii focused on comfort and a laid back, Aloha style. They make well cushioned loafers that are both casual and a little bit nicer than the average boat shoe. They do not offer the best arch support for a full day of walking or travel, but for an easier day on your European vacation, they make some of the lightest, lowest-profile slip on loafers you can find, in both cloth and leather.
Superga is an Italian brand that makes classic, low profile, canvas slip-ons with a cushioned rubber sole. These are great day-to-day shoes that you can wear on the go with any casual outfit, kind of like Toms or Vans but with more padding. They are a lightweight, comfortable, and cute option for light to moderate walking in European cities when you don’t want to wear your Adidas sneakers but you need more support than Toms.
You don’t really notice the athletic selection at Clarks because the brand is mostly known for heels and other dress shoes, but they are actually not a bad substitute for comfortable sneakers on your next adventure. They offer arch support, a cushioned footbed, plenty of room in the toe box, and wide sizes. There’s a lot of competition in this space from ECCO, Merrell, Skechers and other brands, but if you are a fan of Clarks dress shoes, you might like these casual shoes too.
If you are a fan of Born dress shoes or clogs and the level of support they provide, you might want to check out their casual walking shoes for your next Europe trip. They have some slip on shoes and sneakers that aren’t as low profile or trendy as others but thickly padded and as comfortable as you would expect from the Born brand. If you are on your feet all day long and value that level of support over style, these could be a good compromise.
Sabrinas are a Spanish brand of comfort shoes that you usually have to find at specialty walking shoe or comfort shoe stores like Footwear, etc. They make very comfortable flats, Mary Janes, sandals, and slip on sneakers with a chic European style and a colorful palette. These are cute, unique, comfortable shoes that no one else will have. The brand is reasonably priced given the high quality of the shoe and a stylish alternative to most casual canvas slip ons. While you’re browsing their casual collection online, you should also check out their dress shoes if you need something more comfortable to wear to work.
Naot, a brand synonymous with comfort and quality, is known for their sneakers that don’t look like sneakers. Though these shoes are on the expensive side, the throngs of Naot followers will tell you that it’s hard to beat the combination of soft leather, a roomy toe box, thick cushioning, solid arch support, and adjustable straps. Naot makes a variety of Mary Jane styles that are all very popular and would be great for a Europe trip.
If you are looking for a low profile casual shoe that has that retro athletic look, go no further than Asics. Asics makes a huge selection of cool, old school shoes (eg. the classic Onitsuka Tiger) that are more stylish than the average sneaker but much more comfortable than a casual slip on. There are a variety of colors to match your personality and perfect for light or moderate walking on your next trip. If you like this style but don’t like the Asics brand, you can find similar shoes from Adidas or Puma.
Cob Hill is a brand affiliated with the Rockport and New Balance brands, so it’s not surprising that these shoes are comfortable and well made. They certainly aren’t the most fashionable shoes for travel in Europe, but if you want to pull off comfortable, long distance, all-day walking without the athletic look, you aren’t going to find that many options. If you have wide feet, need roomy shoes, and have to do a serious amount of walking, try on a pair of Rockports.
Rieker is a Swiss brand of comfort shoes known for their “antistress” soles. They make boots, dress shoes, and casual shoes that are relatively light given the amount of cushioning. The European styles will look different from your typical American brands, and you may enjoy having shoes that no one else has ever seen before, whether you wear them for travel or to work. Riekers are easily found at comfort shoe stores or online.
Taos is known for making comfortable dress shoes with plenty of arch support, but they’re also known for their Converse-like shoes (AKA fashion sneakers) for anyone who need serious arch support. Most low profile canvas brands like Converse and Vans are made with zero arch support, so Taos is a great option for those who want the same style in a much more comfortable shell. You’d be able to do a lot more walking on your next trip in these shoes without experiencing foot pain.
Softwalks are a stylish comfort brand that is perfect for those with slightly wider feet or want more padding in the footbed. They make a variety of flats, Mary Janes, and loafers – some are really cute and some are a little clunkier, but it’s worth taking a look for light to moderate walking. They aren’t made for all day walking across a new city, but you’ll look great in those travel photos.
If you wear the Danskos brand at work, maybe it’s time to try a casual pair, which features the same level of arch support and padding as their dressier shoes. Danskos are famously worn by nurses and doctors who are on their feet all day, but they’re also really comfortable for a full day of walking around new European cities or in the countryside on your next vacation. If you are planning on doing heavy walking and need a high level of support for your arches, try on a pair.
Hush Puppies are known for their comfortable dress shoes but the brand offers some cute casual shoes too. The selection of walking shoes is not extensive, but you might find some stylish low profile athleisure shoes with a roomy toebox and decent padding in the footbed, perfect for low to moderate walking when traveling in Europe or running errands at home.
Keds are not meant for heavy duty walking, so I’d caution you about doing more than light to medium walking in them on your next trip. But if you are on a road trip in Europe or some other kind of vacation with limited walking, they make really cute, low profile, feminine shoes for those with narrow to normal feet. They are casual but can be dressed up with cute pants, a skirt, or even a dress. Again, these are not meant for hiking Cinque Terre for 10 hours, but they are perfect for a morning stroll through the local farmer’s market when you want to look stylish in those travel photos.
Grasshoppers is a sister brand of Keds but they tend to be less narrow and more comfortable. They don’t make your feet look small and dainty like Keds do, but they do have a more cushioned footbed and appeal to a more mature audience. If you feel like you are too old to be wearing Keds (impossible) but you like their low profile slip on styles, you might like the Grasshopper brand for your next travel adventure.
Next, check out our list of Top 50 Most Comfortable Brands for Women’s Dress Shoes.