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When you’re packing for a warm-weather destination, the goal is always to pack light. However, shoes can make it tricky to do so — especially when you plan to bring multiple pairs. Sure, you can wear one on the plane to save space, but chances are you’re going to want a few travel shoes to style with your vacation looks. “I usually divide travel sandals into three categories: flats, wedges and heels,” notes Silicon Valley-based podiatrist Najwa Javed. Travel blogger Jennifer Chan simplifies the packing process by thinking about color palettes. “I pick chic, neutral styles that easily pair with casual outfits, swimwear, strappy sundresses and anything in my suitcase,” says Chan.
On top of that, you have to consider what activities you’ll be doing. WiIl you be hanging by the pool and sipping cocktails for the entirety of your trip? You’ll want a pair of cute summer sandals. Or will you be trekking on sightseeing tours or hiking? Then you’ll need some comfortable walking sandals. “Sandals should be comfortable, no matter the occasion, so if they’re not completely supportive and comfortable, they won’t make the cut in my travel bag,” Chan adds.
What to consider for the best travel sandals
- Fit: Travel shoes should be soft and breathable; mesh uppers are the best,” Dr. Javed explains. “Wearing a style with a soft upper and stability sole is a great way to travel.”
- Materials: “Travel shoes must have sturdy soles, especially for traveling to destinations where the roads are brick or cobblestone.” Dr. Javed explains that wearing shoes with sturdy soles reduces the strain on the foot caused by uneven surfaces. Additionally, “when you travel, there is increased water retention, which causes the feet to swell, and having an upper that stretches allows for comfort as the day goes on,” she says. Pro tip: If you like to wear an open-toed shoe, choose a pair that has large straps that are soft and can stretch easily.
- Features: Dr. Javed mentions orthotic support is key when traveling, “especially if you’re walking for long periods of time and have collapsed arches or flat feet,” she says. Shoes with a large toe box can help reduce friction that can cause blisters. “If you chose to wear a backless shoe, make sure it has an ankle strap to help stabilize the shoe on the foot,” she adds. Chan says she also looks for styles with arch support and cushioned footbeds, as well as those made of genuine leather, which “will stretch and not snap or break and actually stand the test of time.”
To shop the 20 best travel sandals for women tested by the pros, keep scrolling.
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Top Travel Sandals for Women
- Best Travel Shoes for Tropical Vacations: Reef Cushion Slim
- Best Wedges: Ugg Yarrow Sandals
- Best Block Heels: Open Edit Cora Heel Sandals
- Best Travel Shoes for Light Day Hikes: Teva Hurricane Xlt2 Sport Sandals
- Best for Pregnant Women: Dr. Scholl’s Island Life Sandals
- Best Travel Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: Skechers On-The-go 600-Preferred Flip-Flops
- Best Lightweight Travel Shoes: Crocs Cleo Sandals
- Best Travel Shoes for Sightseeing: Wolf & Badger Darya Gladiator Sandals
- Best Travel Shoes With Arch Support: Vionic Tide II Toe Post Sandals
- Best Travel Shoes for Rugged Outdoor Activities: Keen Whisper Sandals
- Best Multifunctional Travel Shoes: Chaco Z1 Classic Sandals
- Best Waterproof Travel Shoes: Birkenstock Honolulu Sandals
- Best Travel Shoes for Walking: Oofos Ooahh Slide Sandals
- Best Platform Sandals: Reef Cushion Vista Hi Slides
- Best Resort Sandals: M. Gemi The Clio
- Tkees Foundation Sandals
- Best Travel Shoes for Orthotics: Aerosoles Brianna Flatform Sandals
- Best Travel Shoes for Dressy Looks: Tory Burch Miller Leather Sandals
- Crocs LiteRide Stretch Sandals
- Best Cozy Slides: M. Gemi The Matilde Shearling
Reef Cushion Slim Sandals
Best Travel Shoes for Tropical Climates
“I’m a creature of habit and always gravitate towards slim, nude sandals for tropical travels,” Chan says. She calls these out for offering unparalleled support. Instead of being made of memory foam like most sandals, these have a footbed made of Reef’s signature rebound foam for more cushioning in every step. The sandals also include anatomical arch support and heel cupping for added comfort. “They’re also super affordable, which makes them great for walking along the beach or hanging at the hotel pool, since they aren’t too precious,” Chan says.
Ugg Yarrow Sandals
It comes as no surprise that Ugg’s wedge sandals are just as comfortable as the brand’s OG winter slippers. One reviewer mentioned that she was looking for “low-heeled, comfy sandals for a wedding, and these were surprisingly very comfortable and really cute in person.” They have a flexible footbed, ample padding and perfect angle between the heel and ball of the foot. Pro tip: Tie the ankle straps in a bow at the front for a girly touch or wrap them in the back for a more minimal look.
Open Edit Cora Heel Sandals
Best Block Heels
Dr. Javed is a fan of this fashion-forward high heel sandal from Open Edit. The thick block heel makes for easy walking and the twisted top adds textural interest. “Cute, comfy and affordable!” writes one reviewer. “They feel like butter on your foot.” These sandals run true to size and come in black or mocha leather for easy styling from day to night.
Teva Hurricane Xlt2 Sport Sandals
Best Travel Shoes for Light Day Hikes
This unisex Teva style features recycled polyester straps in two different widths: 22 millimeters for women and 26 millimeters for men. The rubber outsole is made to tackle rough terrain and the robust EVA footbed keeps your foot stable, no matter the gravel beneath it. These come in a bunch of different colorways, from a bold stark white (that you probably should only wear indoors) to a fun purple and chartreuse version.
Dr. Scholl’s Island Life Sandals
Best for Pregnant Women
Like all of Dr. Scholl’s expertly crafted pairs, these are meant to be worn all day. Not only do they feature a lightweight, flexible construction, but they also have a stretchy strap for maximum comfort. They even pass the pregnancy test. “I bought these to wear in nice weather during my pregnancy because I needed more support, and I love that the back of the shoe doesn’t hurt my ankles,” writes one reviewer. The faux wood wedge heel and scalloped sole design give these island vibes for effortless wear from the pool to dinner at the resort.
Skechers On-The-go 600-Preferred Flip-Flops
Best Travel Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Many reviewers note that this particular Skechers style runs large but is comfortably roomy for travel. “I wore these all over 11 days in Italy, eight days in NYC in the summer and all over Southern California,” says one, with another commenting how great they are at soothing plantar fasciitis pain. “They’re squishy, soft and have a good molded footbed that allows me to wear them for a long time and still not have feet/knee/back problems,” explains the happy customer. Bonus: You can get them wet and they have really good traction.
Crocs Cleo Sandals
Best Lightweight Travel Shoes
Whether you’re just packing light or prefer an airy sole, these Crocs sandals won’t disappoint. The minimal design is extra breathable, especially for wide feet. These are also versatile and easy to clean. “I can play with my kids at the splash pad, take a trip to the farmer’s market or wear these on the beach and not worry about them getting wet or ruined,” raves one reviewer. For $30, these breezy slides that come in four fun shades are a no-brainer.
Wolf & Badger Darya Gladiator Sandals
Best Travel Shoes for Sightseeing
Wolf & Badger’s Brazilian-made gladiator sandals are sturdy, supportive and composed of quality vegan leather. “I love how secure I feel in these sandals while I’m running around a new city,” notes Chan. The wrapped footbed and low 0.5-inch heel make them ideal walking shoes. The ankle-wrap style, featuring a neutral color-blocked twist, will add a stylish look to any sightseeing outfit.
Vionic Tide II Toe Post Sandals
Best Travel Shoes With Arch Support
Dr. Javed points to Vionic for specializing in foot health, and this popular style lives up to the hype. It features a molded, contoured footbed that supports the arch, which helps alleviate conditions like plantar fasciitis. Plus, the thong design accommodates issues like bunions. Note: These shoes do run a bit big, so it might be wise to order a a half size down.
Keen Whisper Sandals
Best Travel Shoes for Rugged Outdoor Activities
If you fancy yourself an adventurer, these athletic Keen sandals are a must buy. The grippy rubber soles reduce slippage on slick, loose surfaces like gravel. For a custom fit, the quick-cinch bungee lacing lets you tighten or loosen the fit to keep your foot secure. Think of these lightweight, breathable and water-ready slides as your ready-for-anything outdoor companion.
Chaco Z1 Classic Sandals
Best Multifunctional Travel Shoes
These functional Chaco shoes have become for travel among the fashion crowd. They’re made with the brand’s trademarked Luvseat footbed and Chacogrip outsole that cradles the foot for all-day comfort. These are practical for a trail hike but trendy enough to wear to a festival. Pro tip: They do run small, so make sure to size up if you’re between sizes.
Birkenstock Honolulu Sandals
Best Waterproof Travel Shoes
Not your average pair of thong sandals, these Birkenstock flip-flops include the brand’s signature contoured footbed with a deep heel cup and arch support, so you can avoid any aches and pains down the road. They also have a waterproof rubber outsole to keep feet stable and dry while you hit the pool or beach. These come in several different hues, including classic black and white.
Oofos Ooahh Slide Sandals
Best Travel Shoes for Walking
“These Oofos sandals may not be the cutest, but their immense support and cushion make up for that,” Chan reveals. The patented OOfoam technology is designed to absorb 37% more impact than traditional footwear tech. Translation: These are built to reduce stress on your joints. “These sandals are a godsend for anyone who knows they’ll be on their feet for hours on end,” she adds.
Reef Cushion Vista Hi Slides
Best Platform Sandals
This Reef cushy slide will go with all your vacation looks — think denim cutoffs, flowy dresses and everything in between. The classic two-strap slide is made of vegan leather and has a 100% natural cork footbed. It has a wider shape, generous arch support and heel cupping — not to mention the brand’s signature cushioning. The trendy platform lug design comes in eight colorways, so there’s an option for every type of vacation mood.
M. Gemi The Clio Sandals
Best Resort Sandals
If you’re looking for a sleek design that seamlessly transitions from TSA lines to the pool, scoop up these elegant puffy slides from M. Gemi. They’re handmade in Italy, featuring hand woven leather detailing and a lightweight, flexible sole. These come in a champagne, gold or lavender finish, each with a black sole that can effortlessly tie together any look.
Tkees Foundation Sandals
The name of these minimalist flip-flops say it all. They’re called Nudes because they come in 11 neutral shades, ranging from dark to light. “I never leave home without these Tkees sandals because they go with absolutely everything, and there’s a flattering shade for every skin tone,” Chan says. They’re perfect for the pool, happy hour, dinner, running and around a tropical island. Oh, and they’re insanely comfortable, too. Each pair is handcrafted from soft Brazilian leather with a cushioned insole and rubber outsole for comfort.
Aerosoles Brianna Flatform Sandals
Best Travel Shoes for Orthotics
A low, even platform sandal is on-trend and easy on your feet. This metallic style from Aerosoles has a cushioned, contoured footbed and thick, soft leather straps. Since it features an enclosed heel, it’ll also work with orthotics if you need the extra support. Wear these as part of your daily warm-weather uniform with a tee and shorts.
Tory Burch Miller Leather Sandals
Best Travel Shoes for Dressy Looks
Admittedly, Chan has owned these nude patent leather sandals from Tory Burch for years, and she is blown away by their durability. “They still look good as new, and I have toted them all over the globe,” notes the expert. Pro tip: They look great with sundresses, shorts and swimsuits. “They are unbelievably comfortable and add a touch of casual elegance to every look,” she adds.
Crocs LiteRide Stretch Sandals
These hot pink summer sandals by Crocs have vacation written all over them. For starters, the foam insoles are made with a sink-in softness that’s ideal for lots of walking. Even more anatomical shaping with arch support ensures feet have necessary support. The straps are flexible and crafted to feel broken-in from the very first wear.
M. Gemi The Matilde Shearling
Best Cozy Slides
If you’re looking for a cozy airplane slide, this luxe Italian-made pair by M. Gemi won’t do you wrong. The molded footbed is fully lined in genuine shearling, and the fully adjustable buckles are covered in custom calf leather. These shoes might look bulky, but they’re actually so lightweight thanks to their EVA rubber sole. Whether you choose a pair in black or tan, these chic slides will be a travel staple for years to come.
Meet the Experts
Dr. Najwa Javed is a Silicon-Valley based podiatrist and founder of E’mar Italy, a luxury heels brand focused on creating wearable elevated styles. Designed to be comfortable heels for everyday, travel or special occasions, her shoes all feature a patent-pending inlay that uses biomechanically-designed arch inclines to redistribute pressure.
Jennifer Chan is a travel journalist and Los Angeles-based media personality and beauty and style writer, with expertise in the best travel shoes for women. Her work currently appears on People.com. She is also an on-air TV host for Access Hollywood.