Heading somewhere sensational? We absolutely love hearing about our customers plans for overseas and at home adventures and we’ve noticed that the excitement of travel is back in the air. We would love to help you find that perfect pair to take you all those amazing places and have compiled a list of our travel favs and go-to shoes. Follow our guide to get the best out of your shoes on your next adventure!
We’ve been in the shoe game for many years, and we’ve seen the amazing progression incomfort footwear along the way. Heading off overseas used to mean looking at heavy hiking boots and shoes, to make sure you were prepared for the weather and the walking. And hey, if you’re off up a mountain then sure, you will probably need to stick with those. But now there are so many more options, so if you’re off on a city adventure, heading to the beach, planning to be really active or taking a more relaxed approach, there are some shoe options for you. You want those shoes to have you covered for comfort, style and performance, so you can gaze upon that local marvel you’ve trapsed to, soaking up the experience and making memories without thinking “oh gosh, my feet hurt” or “oh no, these weren’t the right shoes for this”.
The European getaway
Lucky you, you’re heading to Europe. Please note that you are making many of your friends (and us!) really jealous right now! But we’re also really happy for you too! So many options for an adventure, all those countries and cities and sights at your fingertips! So many amazing things to see and experience, and a lot of cobblestoned streets to get you there! They really add some depth to the background of those holiday snaps; but tapping your toes down those cobblestoned lanes is not the easiest on your feet, so it’s important to pick the right shoes. You want something with a good sole, support and cushioning. For this type of holiday, we always recommend a lace up, something you can fit and adjust to your feet, place them on and forget you’ve got them on. But we also understand you’re in Europe and you want something that can transition from day to night and look stylish with multiple outfits and looks. Does this even exist? Yes, it’s the classic sneaker and being multi-branded we have options to suit different widths and comfort.
A classic sneaker offers the secure and adjustable fit of laces as well as an on-trend style that pairs with multiple looks. The lower curve around the ankle makes them a stylish pairing for shorts, jeans, chinos, dresses etc. Laces not only means a secure fit, but also mean that if your feet swell during a day after lots of walking, you can loosen them out to keep the comfort. Choosing a style with added cushioning and support is a must have for conquering that cobblestone. Our top sneaker picks are:
ECCO Men’s and Women’s Soft 7 – European Shoemakers since 1963 (they really know shoes and literally 👟live cobblestone! So they get it!). Removeable insoles provide extra width and can be placed in and out of the shoes as needed to help accommodate feet as the change over a full day of sightseeing. A PU sole provides a bounce back cushioning that holds its structure and rich leather uppers give breathability, performance and water resistance. With a colour range to suit your style, the sleek design can be paired with any wardrobe; dress them up or down.
Ziera Women’s Audry– Great if you’re looking for a shoe with a deep toe box for more room in the front for your foot. Easy wear with a zip access and closure so you can set and forget your laces (which are a super cute ribbon by the way!). Their comfort insole provides some essential cushioning and support for those sightseeing (or shopping) days.
Frankie4 Women’s Jackie or Nat – Packed with Frankie4’s famous support, cushioning and oh-so-cute style, they are probably looking forward to this European holiday as much as you are. Be careful not to let them steal too much of the limelight! They will pop in those photos as they style most looks with ease and help those heels get the cushion they need as you hop from one destination to the next. A great option for adjustability with their custom fit-pack.
Merrell Men’s Freewheel – Designed as a shoe for urban climates it is ready to walk or cycle wherever you’re headed. With a low-cut design that looks great with jeans, shorts or chinos these are ready to take you from the café to the Colosseum. A great all-rounder for comfort, performance and style.
On Running Men’s & Women's Roger Centre Court– The tennis-inspired sneaker that is on trend. Designed with a sock construction that delivers a signature step-in sensation and distraction-free comfort. You’ll look and feel great in these classics.
Want some more comfortable shoes for your European city break? Check out our range of women’sshoes with arch support.
Have you thought about Birkenstocks?
If you’ve been chatting to a few friends about your envy inducing travel plans, you may have already been recommended Birkenstock sandals a few times. And your friends aren’t alone when they’ve told you they are the most comfortable shoes they’ve ever owned. The humble Birkenstock hasn’t been bragging…. But it gets this compliment all the time! The Arizona, Gizeh and Mayaristyles are ideal travel companions if your plans are to travel in summer. An open sandal, your foot can breathe which is complimented by the breathable suede lining that absorbs any sweat away from your foot. If your planning some walking, the great thing about them, is they feature a strap that sits over the instep of your foot helping to hold it down into the support as opposed to a thong that you flip flop in and really use some muscles to grip and hold onto.
Our main tip when it comes to Birks, is to give yourself the time to wear them in before you travel. They do need time to mould and become flexible. Your foot also needs time to adjust to the support. If you’re worried about weather on your holiday Birks are a great 2nd pair to take on your travels. Something to wear on those warmer days that pair easily with different outfits. Having a pair of sneakers to swap into on any rainier or heavy walking days is an excellent combo.
Styling it in the City
Much like the European getaway, any city stay needs a shoe ready to pound the pavement. Again, the classic sneaker is an excellent option. Comfortable and versatile, whether you’re out to coffee or exploring the sights. Being in a cityscape may also have you craving a lighter style option. For women, a classic slimline sandal or ballet flat fits the bill. For men, a slip-on loafer is the ticket.
Vionic Spark Caroll – classic and unassuming, this ballet pairs with a variety of outfit. It keeps it’s slimline look while packing a footbed that provides great arch support and cushioning. Great for transitioning from day to night wear.
Frankie4 Hannah – A sporty style with the ease of a slip-on. Perfect for pairing with shorts or skirts and featuring the Frankie4 functional footbed. A cute styling options still built for walking.
Silver Lining December sandal– Classic in design this sandal is easy to wear and pair. Arch support and cushioning complement this stylish sandal with all-day comfort.
ECCO Flowt Sandal – Another classically styled option with the structure and cushioning ECCO is well known for. With rich leather uppers and lining ECCO always keeps the foot in a comfortable environment for all-day wear.
ECCO S-Lite moc – With a classic boat shoe silhouette, it pairs perfectly with chino, jeans or shorts. You can dress it up for smart casual making it an easy option to transition from day to night. The insole is designed to be removed for extra width if needed, which can also be used to adjust the feeling of the fit as your foot changes throughout the day. Lightweight with cushioning and support for all day wearability.
Sperry A/O 2 Eye – Known for their boat shoes, Sperry creates shoes that are great for everyday wear as well. Incorporating those classic design elements of a boat shoe with rich leather uppers and cushioning underfoot, these are ideal for that combo of style and comfort. With laces to create that secure fit these are an easy to wear, easy to style option.
ECCO Collin slip-on – Elastic gusset for easy on and off wear and a lightweight cushioned construction they are a no brainer for a casual travel shoe. Just slip on and go.
ECCO 2nd Cozmo Slide – looking for a cooler summer option? This slide is light to pack and easy to wear. The leather upper adds to the style especially when paired with chinos and a party shirt. Let those feet have a holiday too, on a footbed where they can relax and feel supported.
P.S Have you heard about Birkenstocks? Well, they’re always there for you, in style and support. If you haven’t, check out our suggestions in the European getaway section. We’re not completely obsessed with Birkenstock sandals, allegedly, but we could almost put them in every category for travel shoe options… so keep that in your back pocket… or you backpack, that’s probably better.
An Outback Adventure
The allure of checking out our own backyard has grown for many of us. Australia has so much adventure and awe-inspiring beauty to admire and explore. The shoes for this adventure want to be durable, offer your feet protection and be able to handle some of that infamous red dirt. Nature, weather and wildlife should all be factors to consider when picking your pair of shoes. The classic and cute sneaker may not be cutting the mustard on this one. Again, a lace-up style is a good option for fit and support, but you also want to consider a style with a grip that’s versatile on different surfaces and waterproof is also a great quality to have.
ECCO Men’s and Women’s S-Three GORE-TEX – Perfect in the Ombre and Magnet colours, these won’t show up as much of that dirt as a white sneaker. GORE-TEX waterproofing keeps those feet dry while maintaining breathability for comfort. With 3 different zones of rigidity in the midsole they provide support and cushioning for that walking. The tractions system on the sole was designed to make this shoe ideal for a golf green so helps to give traction on light offroad surfaces as well.
Men’s and Women’s On Cloud 5 waterproof– Another weather friendly option, this sporty style features On’s famousCloudTec® sole for soft and stable landings. The waterproof membrane keeps the elements out while letting your feet breathe. It comes with a speed-style lacing system that basically makes them an easy slip-on style, but they also come with traditional laces if you want to switch over to create a more secure fit. The Cloud 5 range has become a Footgear favourite with many of our team wearing this style on the shop floor for those longer days on harder floors and have put their comfort to the test.
Men’s and Women’s ECCO Offroad sandal – The best way to describe these sandals is to think of taking a hiking shoe sole and then adding a sandal upper to it. If your feet love the freedom of a sandal but you want to make sure you’re still getting the right support for the outdoors, this is it. 3 Velcro straps provide adjustability, durable rubber outsole gives grip and traction on varied terrain and a cushioned and supportive sole offers all-day walking comfort. The technology in the sole of these sandals is designed to support the foot throughout the whole step from ground impact at your heel to the toe-off into the next step.
Women’s Merrell Siren Traveller 3 - The full-grain leather upper protects the foot and can be treated to provide water resistance. With an air cushion in the heel to give shock absorption and stability, it also features a Vibram ® outsole for traction off-road.
Merrell Men’s Moab Adventure waterproof – With a Vibram ® outsole for traction and a waterproof leather upper, these are ideal for outdoor adventures. The leather upper construction also means they can be paired with jeans and chinos for any dressier moments your holiday may call for.
Cruisin’ through life, Cocktail in hand
A relaxing resort or cruise style holiday may have many low-key, possibly involving a sun lounge, items on the agenda, but don’t forget your feet! Every holiday involves some walking and wandering so to give that holiday the complete blissful bounce you need, make sure your feet are catered for in the comfort department too. Some easy slip-on sandals and slides are the just the thing!
Women’s FitFlop Lulu – a minimalist design makes them easy to style, while the cushioning of the footbed makes them wonderful to wear. The rose gold colour of this year’s summer season adds some extra glam that can be dressed up or down.
Women’s Revere Miami – The name itself makes it sound like this sandal was made for a holiday! The adjustable straps create a secure fit while the design flatters the foot. Another style that can transition from day to night and pair with many outfits. Lets not forget, it has a contoured and cushioned footbed for comfort, that can also be removed if you need to place in an orthotic. Silver Safari is the glam favourite colour of the season.
Women’s ECCO Cruise sandal - another sandal with a name that’s basically begging you to take them on holiday with you! The Cruise is a slimline version of the ECCO offroad sandal, so it’s going to give you cushioning and support while remaining light and easy to style.
Women’s Frankie4 SANDY Slide – With Frankie4’s famous cushioning and support, these are easy to wear with adjustable streamline straps.
Women’s Vionic Amber Sandal – All adjustable straps with great arch support and cushioning. The Amber sandals of our summer season feature metallic accents and square enamels elements in the design to make them a fun and easy to style option.
Men’s Revere Durban Slide – An easy slip-on style that like the Women’s revere range has a contoured and cushioned footbed for comfort and support. It can be removed to accommodate an orthotic and has adjustable straps for a secure fit.
Men’s Vionic Tide thong – with excellent cushioning and support in the easy style of a slip-on thong. They have elevated this design with a leather trim in the upper adding to the style, so it pairs nicely with shorts and chinos.
Breaking by the beach
Who doesn’t love escaping to a sun-soaked paradise. That fresh sea air and beautiful blue water. You want something that you can just slip on and go whether it’s on the way to the beach or heading back home for an afternoon nap, preferably in a hammock assembled between two palm trees. Something water-friendly is going to be you best travel pal for this one.
Birkenstocks Arizona & Gizeh EVA – It’s the classic Birkenstock shape made in and EVA rubber. Perfect for being near the beach and salt water, you can just rinse of that sand and don’t need to worry about the saltwater affecting the material. Not to mention that support and cushioning that is always essential on any travel. The way they hold onto the foot, if you have some extra walking to do, they will have you covered.
Vita-Sole Thongs – in both Men’s and Women’s these are a step up from a basic rubber thong with a contoured arch support. Another rubber style, that’s easy to wear and ok to get wet and sandy.
If you do have lots of walking and exploring involved in this holiday as well, the ECCO Offroad in men’s and Women’s as well as the Women’s cruise sandals are great options for walking comfort in something that’s still breathable and summery to wear.
The Perfect Pairing
Three is a crowd, sure… But in our experience, if you can fit two pairs of shoes into your travel pack, then you’re on track for being covered for all your holiday needs. Being able to switch between two options gives your feet a change which can feel really nice after spending a few days in the same shoe. It allows you to give your limited wardrobe a change up as well which can give you and those snaps a fresh feel too. You deserve to feel great on your holiday and sometimes it’s those little things that make a difference. It also gives you the versatility of being covered for different environments and activities. When picking your perfect pair, these are the options to consider:
- Are you exploring cities in the summer? Think about taking something lighter to pair with those sneakers. On lighter walking days you can switch to sandals, ballets or mocs that will still provide cushioning and support. You now also have something in your luggage that can elevate your look on dressier occasions.
- Can you take your Birks with you too? Have those sneakers for days when there’s lots of walking or the weather is looking rainy. But then have those Birkenstock’s ready for when you just want something to slip on and go but you know you will still have that support.
- If you’re on a cruise or at the beach, sure have those slip-on slides and thongs. But take a pair of sandals designed for walking in case the opportunity to explore arises.
- If you’re heading offroad or to the outback, pack a pair of sandals or slides for the end of the day so you can give your feet a bit more freedom after being in a walking shoe all day. They can also have you covered if there’s occasion for a more smart-casual look.
If you’re trying to pack really light women can look at the Arcopedico L14 ballet. It packs small and light for a 2nd pair and comes with cushioning and support. The lightest option in men’s would the Arizona EVA as a 2nd pair, super light while still providing support.
Have you thought about socks?
You don’t want to pack too many things on your travels, but socks can make a huge difference to the freshness and comfort of your shoes and feet. We love Smartwool because they are made from New Zealand merino wool. This means they take the moisture of sweat away from the foot to leave it feeling comfortable, it’s breathable and it can be worn for up to a couple of days without washing and not smell (this does differ between the induvial wearer). Having the breathability of a natural material, creates a really nice environment for the foot and helps to keep the shoe fresh as well.
What about keeping your shoes clean?
While travelling and exploring your shoes are doing a lot of work while also coming into contact with everything that’s on the ground. It’s hard to completely avoid every bit of dirt, mud, stains etc. But we also understand wanting to keep your shoes looking nice as well. ECCO created travel shoe wipes as an easy-to-pack and easy-to-use cleaning tool for shoes. They clean and polish in one and can be used on most uppers.
If you want to add a bit of freshness, pack an ECCO shoe refresher spray. It’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and great for spritzing in your shoes at the end of a long day and letting them dry out overnight. It’s a great option for when you are limited to the shoes you are wearing every day but also wanting to keep them fresh. For more tips on keeping the sparkle in your shoes, read our previous blog onhow to keep your white sneakers white!
Happy Feet, Happy Travels has become an adage of Footgear and we hope to make you happy on your next vacation.
Happy Stepping xx