Comfort is key, especially when you travel. When you’re climbing the steps of the Eiffel tower, walking the streets of New York City or traipsing around the Tuscan hills, the last thing you want to deal with is shoes that are digging into your feet.
While you want to make sure you have a reliable, comfortable shoe that offers support, you probably don’t want to completely sacrifice style just to keep your ankles blister-free. You also want to make sure your travel shoes are versatile enough to go from a walking tour of the city by day to dinner with friends by night.
Planning your next big summer adventure and not sure what to put on your feet? Read on for these travel-approved kicks that won’t break the vacation piggy bank. This list rounds up the best styles to stash in your carry-on, from timeless staples to trendier picks to updated classics and everything in between.
A timeless, unisex high-top
High-top sneaks are not only effortlessly cool and eternally in style, they can also withstand your active day of train-hopping, cab-hailing and sidewalk pounding. Plus, they go with just about any outfit or style. Go for the cult classic Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top and you’ll be sure to blend in anywhere you go, since you can spot locals sporting these just about anywhere around the world. Originally a basketball shoe, the Chuck Taylor All Star High Top is perfect in its simplicity. You can choose from a whole myriad of colors, or even design your own.
Buy it now: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top, $55
Your athleisure go-to
Sometimes no matter how comfortable, a pair of sandals or flats just won’t cut it, and you need a fully functional pair of sneakers. For full support that still feels on trend, go for the New Balance for J.Crew 247 Sneakers. With mesh lining and a synthetic upper, these sneakers are your new best friend for travel days with endless walking involved. New Balance’s line for J.Crew comes in fun color combinations like red/blue/white and dragonfly, so you’ll be sure to stand out everywhere from the TSA line to your Instagram feed.
Buy it now: New Balance for J.Crew 247 Sneakers, $80
These Dr. Scholl’s kicks keep you comfy all day long with a memory foam insole, while their sleek, minimalist appearance will give you major street style cred. The Madison Slip-on Sneaker keeps blisters at bay with elastic side panels for the perfect fit as you move through your day. Since you can choose from gray faux suede or black faux embossed leather, these are sure to be a versatile shoe option that will easily take you from day to night throughout your trip.
Buy it now: Madison Slip-on Sneaker, $50
A sporty Mary Jane
Your search for comfortable-yet-cute travel shoes ends with this girly-meets-sporty pick. The Ecco Soft 5 Mary Jane is a stylish, lightweight and breathable option because of its gradient perforations. And with signature BIOM technology, this shoe cushions every part of your foot and offers a flexible, grippy sole for added stability and traction. The black leather styling makes these look less like an athletic shoe, while still offering crucial details like a cushioned footbed with arch support.
Buy it now: Ecco Soft 5 Mary Jane, $70
A pair of neon Birks
This once hippie-girl staple gets a bright and trendy upgrade with colors like Pink Eva and Scuba blue. Birkenstocks are an iconic cushioned sandal, and the Birkenstock Arizona Slide Sandal is revised in an all-over rubber-like texture with sleek adjustable straps designed to exercise your foot and leg muscles while providing maximum comfort. The contoured footbed absorbs shock and mimics the shape of a healthy foot, while the pronounced built-in arches support the instep and ball of your foot through every step of your next adventure.
Buy it now: Birkernstock Arizona Slide Sandal, $35
Skater girl go-to’s
Don’t worry, you don’t have to nail a kickflip in order to rock these skater girl kicks. The Authentic by Vans, their original and best-selling style, is a simple low-top, lace-up, durable canvas sneaker that’s ideal for braving even your most active travel days. At only $50, you really can’t beat this shoe. Not only does it pair with jeans and dresses, it will also last for years. These cool kicks come in endless color and print options, so you have plenty of opportunities to personalize yours.
Buy it now: The Authentic by Vans, $50