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Written by: Chris Fry
Choosing the perfect pair of men's or women's shoes for any trip, whether it’s for a few days or a few months, can feel like a tricky decision.
A pair of water-resistant walking shoes or hiking boots that offer plenty of arch support and help you avoid blisters might sound like an obvious best travel shoe choice. However, are those same supportive shoes stylish enough to wear when you go out for a night on the town or eat dinner at a restaurant?
How do you find one or two pairs of shoes to cover all your travel needs, whether you're sightseeing on the cobblestone streets of Europe or waiting in line at the airport for your next trip? While practical concerns are a big question mark, finding styles that fit all your outfits is equally important.
Here at Kizik, we understand the struggle, and we're here to help. We've been hard at work designing innovative shoes to make travel easier. Today, we're here to explain what shoe factors matter and how to pick the perfect pair of travel shoes!
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing travel shoes—or comfortable walking shoes in general. Comfort and convenience are the key practical questions, but you also need to plan for different outfits, which gets much more difficult over longer trips.
Choosing high-quality, comfortable shoes as your travel footwear may seem like a small part of packing your carry-on, but it can truly make or break a trip. Uncomfortable, inconvenient, less-than-stylish shoes with no cushioning or support can take the fun out of exciting adventures and ruin your mood.
Let's break down each of the most critical areas we need to think about so you can pick the best pair of travel shoes.
You want to make the most of each day while you travel, which means you'll typically be out and about all day. You may even be walking two, three, or ten times more steps than you normally would while also standing for longer periods of time.
In these moments, you'll want to think about how comfortable you'll be while doing all that activity in whatever shoes you choose. Shoes with thin soles, such as Chelsea boots or ballet flats, will have you limping back to your hotel by the end of the day. Shoes that don't have a lot of traction, such as flip-flops or loafers, are also poor choices for long, all-day adventures.
To maximize your comfort, you'll want shoes with arch support, cushy soles, breathable fabrics, and a proper fit, such as a pair of running shoes or comfortable sneakers. Below we'll dive into the details of those characteristics so you know what to look for.
The first two areas you should look for to ensure proper comfort are the outsole and insole. Outsoles are your first defense against difficult terrain. Outsoles have to balance durability with absorption to make every step you take as comfortable as possible.
Here at Kizik, our Rabbit Foam™ outsoles are rubber soles that keep this balance in mind. They ensure even the roughest path is much easier to walk.
The insole, or footbed, is the part of the shoe that your foot rests on inside your shoe. This means they have a super important job when it comes to comfort. Soft, cushy foam insoles are a necessity to relieve some of the strain of walking and standing a lot.
Your feet play a crucial role in keeping your body cool. Thermoregulation, the natural process your body uses to maintain an ideal temperature, relies mostly on sweat.
Sweat is natural if you're walking a lot, but if your shoes don't allow proper airflow, then your feet will overheat. As you sweat, you'll become more uncomfortable as you continue throughout your day.
Comfort isn't just about what the shoe is made of, but how it fits your foot. It's essential to find the proper size, of course, but you should also consider how the shoe is constructed.
Is there plenty of room in the toe box? Are there convenient adjustable features to help loosen up or tighten your laces when needed? Even if a hiking shoe from an "outdoorsy" shoe brand feels soft to step in, it could quickly wear on your foot and make a travel day miserable if it doesn't fit well.
Travel can be incredibly fast-paced, sometimes even more so than our daily lives. After all, there's a lot we want to see and do to make the most of our time! While the best travel experiences seek a balance between staying busy and finding time for leisure, you should still equip yourself to make the back and forth of traveling as convenient as possible.
While the wrong shoes can be a big inconvenience while traveling, the right shoes can make all the difference! It all starts the moment you put on your shoes.
A pair that's easy to slip on and off is vastly superior to one that takes a few minutes to lace up, especially if your itinerary takes you places where you may need to remove your shoes frequently, such as the beach or countries where wearing shoes indoors isn't socially acceptable.
You'll run into all kinds of diverse challenges and climates on your traveling journeys. From bad weather to rough pathways, many of these challenges will assail you from the ground up. Wearing shoes that are up to the challenge is a great way to stay flexible and adaptable.
It's also beneficial to think of versatility in terms of style. You can only pack so many pairs of shoes—usually just two or three at most. Picking styles that match as many of your outfits as possible is ideal to ensure you always have something to wear that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
So we've got our standards set. Now let's take a look at our favorite travel shoes and how each style offers something unique. You won't be missing your booties or sandals anytime soon.
Starting with Lima, the first thing we've got to talk about is comfort! Like all of our footwear, comfort is a key focus in this design. From the bottom up, our Rabbit Foam™ outsoles protect your every step from whatever may be under your foot. Awkward sidewalks, bumpy paths, and dirty subways, beware! The Lima has made those challenges a worry of the past.
Plus, with multiple color options, these minimalist women's or men's travel shoes are ultra stylish. These shoes also look great with other travel staples like leggings and hoodies.
If you need, the insoles can also be easily removed. Since they’re machine washable, you can easily clean them after your trip!
A super breathable knit upper also helps protect against overheating, and a spacious toe box prevents your feet from feeling cramped, even on long flights or bus rides.
Of course, let's not forget our HandsFree Labs® technology! Now you can step in and out of every day or moment of travel with ease.
Like our Lima style, our Athens shoes rock a sporty look that's perfect for athleisure attire—one of the trendiest and most comfortable ways to dress while traveling.
One of the first things you'll notice is the framework around the heel, a reminder that these kicks are super easy to slip on and off thanks to our HandsFree Labs® technology. Convenience is core to the Athens style, so you know you'll be well equipped for even the most demanding travel itinerary.
The same outstanding outsole and insole innovations found in our Limas also mark the Athens as champions of comfort. Those who want a bit more room for their toes may prefer the more spacious front end of the Lima. If you like a snug yet super breathable, flexible, soft shoe, give the Athens line a go!
Moving away from the standard athleisure aesthetic, our Vegas shoe sports a classic style falling between formal and casual with a premium full-grain leather upper. They're not quite dress shoes, but you can definitely wear them to a fancy restaurant.
While leather has tons of benefits, from a stylish appearance to durability, it's also perfect for traveling in a new pair of shoes since you won't need to break your shoe in (the last thing you want to be doing on top of walking a few thousand steps through a new city).
Our Vegas style shares many of the core comfort features of the previous shoes we've looked at: our HandsFree Labs® technology for easy entry and exit, Rabbit Foam™ outsoles for terrain preparedness, and comfy midsoles for support.
Though the Vegas does trade a mesh exterior for leather, we still build every pair to be as breathable as possible. These may be the most breathable leather shoes you'll find anywhere! On top of other comfort and convenience qualities, the Vegas ranks as a top choice for traveling in elevated style.
Another shoe that falls between formal and casual, our Prague shoe has an elevated twist on a classic street-shoe aesthetic. A blend of durable canvas and genuine suede leather makes this shoe extremely easy to pair with any kind of outfit, from joggers and a sweatshirt to a skirt and blouse.
Style isn't the only strength of our Pragues, though. We've packed just as much practical power into these shoes as our other lines to ensure you're comfortable, prepared, and supported while on the go. HandsFree Labs® technology, Rabbit Foam™ outsoles, and more make these shoes as capable as they are cool.
Last but not least, our Madrid Eco-Knit shoe is an exciting, eco-friendly hallmark piece in our footwear collection. Made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, the upper is constructed with 4-way stretch capabilities and exceptional breathability.
No matter where your journeys take you, a pair of our Madrid Eco-Knit shoes promises sustainable style with all the same great benefits you've come to love from Kizik, such as easy, hands-free transitions and super comfortable soles.
When it comes to travel, any and all of our styles are fully equipped to help you make the most of your time on the road.
Average Steps Per Day by Age, Gender, Occupation, and Country | Healthline
Thermoregulation - An Overview | ScienceDirect Topics
How Did Athleisure Take Over American Fashion? | The Atlantic
Written By: Chris Fry
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