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Finding shoes for a summer vacation isn’t easy. You don’t want to wear anything too heavy for the hot weather, but you also want shoes durable enough to withstand plenty of walking. Before you purchase a pair, read our must-know tips for how to choose summer shoes!
Best Travel Shoes for Summer Vacation
Choosing shoes for summer vacation is different than choosing shoes for everyday wear. When you’re traveling, you’re going to be walking a lot more and sightseeing, so you need extra comfortable shoes. But you also want a shoe that’s lightweight to withstand the warm summer weather.
Everyone is always surprised when I say that the most important thing to look for in a travel shoe is comfort, not style. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your shoes are if you can’t walk in them and enjoy your trip.
Watch the Youtube video where I explain how to choose summer vacation shoes! (You can also read the info below.)
My goal is to help you find the most comfortable and cute travel shoes so you can have a stress-free experience. I’m sharing the features to look for when choosing travel shoes for your upcoming summer vacation.
These Vionic Karina sandals have arch support, which means that the sandal isn’t flat, providing support when you’re walking so your feet will hurt less and feel more cushioned. It can also help provide more support for your body, alleviating pains and discomfort.
Not everyone needs a shoe with arch support, so it really depends on your preferences. If you’re used to standing on your feet, you’ll know whether or not you need extra supportive shoes, or if a standard pair of comfortable shoes will work.
Check out our list of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis according to our readers!
The other thing that you should consider is the sole of the shoe. When you’re traveling, whether it’s for summer or any other time, having traction is really helpful because that way you know that you’re not going to be slipping. Cobblestones and wet surfaces can be slippery, and having shoes with traction will help you avoid slipping.
Some shoes have a wooden bottom, which provides support as well, so when you’re standing, it’s not quite as hard on your feet. What I like about the Sabrina Flat Sandal is that it has great support and style. I like the hardware features and I think it looks more on-trend and not so utilitarian. Also, it has a sturdy rubber sole, offering great support on different surfaces.
For another great option similar to the Vionic Karina, check out this NAOT Sabrina Flat Sandal. It has a 0.75″ inch heel and a cushioned footbed, making it so comfortable. The trendy yet simple style and the metal details are great for summer. I love this color for adding a pop of color to a white or black outfit.
Find out how and why to choose the best walking shoes for Europe!
One of the best ways to minimize the number of shoes you bring when you’re traveling is to find a versatile option you can wear for different settings and with any outfit. A sandal like the NAOT Sabrina Flat Sandal mentioned earlier is very versatile and you can wear it in a variety of destinations, which is why I like it for my long-term travels.
I also love this Aerosoles Conchlusion Gladiator Sandal because it has a soft footbed, which is nice and comfy. It has a little bit of arch support, which will be enough for some people, and it has a rubber sole for extra grip.
Both of these shoes are in a neutral color, so it matches with just about any outfit. Depending on where you’re going, you could potentially travel with just this shoe, or this and one other.
In addition to a comfortable sandal like the ones I showed above, I might also bring a dressy sandal.
Here are comfortable walking sandals that are stylish, too!
It may sound weird to be looking at boots for a summer vacation, but if you’re traveling to the UK or other areas in Europe, there’s a good chance there will be rain.
I love ankle boots like the Blondo Villa (read my full review here) because they can be worn year-round, as they look great with jeans or dresses. What’s great about these is that they’re from a comfort brand but they look like regular ankle boots. They’re neutral and versatile and they don’t look so trendy that they’ll go out of style in a year. These offer that perfect balance of travel and fashion.
These ankle boots are waterproof, so it serves as both a stylish shoe and a rain boot. You can wear them in different weather conditions, and you can easily dress them up or down. And because they’re a comfort shoe, you can wear them all day long.
While this bootie has a bit of a heel, this actually provides some arch support, making it more comfortable than a completely flat shoe. Underneath, it has a rubber grip, a sturdy sole, and a block heel, which makes it perfect for traveling in places like Europe or Central America where there are a lot of cobblestone streets.
If you prefer a shoe with a smaller heel, try the Liam, another popular bootie style from Blondo. It’s waterproof and features all the same great features the Villa does.
Here’s the best womens waterproof leather boots!
I also recommend a shoe that’s convenient to slip on and wear anywhere, anytime. One of my favorite shoes ever is the Superga sneaker (see my review here). I really like this because it has a sturdy rubber sole, so it works in the rain on days when I don’t need or want to wear a boot.
The canvas also makes it a great style for summer. I love the grey color, which is one of my favorite neutral hues, and it easily mixes and matches with everything in my wardrobe.
It’s also a really versatile shoe. I can wear these with pants, dresses, or sports shorts as well, and they’re a nice look. These are definitely one of my favorite shoe options for traveling in the summer, and also transitional seasons.
For another convenient shoe option, try the Vionic Valeri, which is a summery espadrille. It has an easy slip-on style, but as it’s from Vionic, you know it’s going to be comfortable. The fabric material makes them breathable for hot weather. Slip these on with a summer dress or shorts for brunch or a romp around town.
Take a look on our travel friendly women’s casual sneaker!
Easy to Pack
Ballet flats are one of those tricky shoes for travel because they have zero arch support and are absolutely flat. Some comfort shoe brands do make ballet flats with a little bit more arch support, but even then, they can be hard to walk in comfortably for hours at a time.
While I wouldn’t recommend ballet flats as a summer travel shoe for all-day sightseeing, they still come in handy. I love a pair of foldable flats like the Yosi Samra pair above. I throw them in my bag and, while I’m out, I can put them on to dress up my outfit for a nice dinner.
We’ve rounded up of the most cute and comfortable ballet flats to join you on your next adventure!
One of the most important things to do before traveling is to break in your shoes. Regardless of how comfortable they feel when you buy them, it’s important to break them in first, or they may give you blisters. You may find you want to add a shoe insert for additional comfort.
You don’t want to break them in when you’re on a two week, non-stop, whirlwind trip around South East Asia, or around New York. Wherever you’re going, you want to be able to enjoy that time, and shoes really have the ability to make or break your trip. Trust me, I know from experience!
Here’s what our readers voted as the most cute and comfortable walking shoes for travel!
What features do you look for in the best travel shoes for summer vacation? Comment below!
For more cute walking shoes for travel, please read:
- How to Choose Travel Shoes
- The Best Walking Shoes for Travel
- Comfortable Ballet Travel Flats
- The Best Sandals for Travel
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