Really, I’m so happy that sneakers and trainers have sneaked (a-ha) back into fashion. I’m not a heels kind of girl, I spend far too much time walking and using public transport for that. Pairing a pair of trainers with jeans or a dress makes practical dressing so much easier. And these days the choice available is bigger than ever. I’ve rounded up 50 (plus a few for luck) comfortable flat shoes and sneakers that are perfect for travel.
The perfect pair of travel shoes is comfortable enough for all-day exploration but stylish enough to dress up the evening. Maybe you can even hike in them. And they should be lightweight enough to pack down in your luggage.
I mean, that’s not asking for much, is it?
Personally I really dig the minimalist vibe and find blacks, whites and neutrals easier to match to any outfit.
For shoes with no fastenings—I’m looking at you, slip-ons—the fit is going to be even more important because it’s less adjustable. I love wearing slip-ons, they’re super comfy and go with everything. But I have wide feet with narrow heels (waaaaah) which makes. Find your perfect fit and you’re all set though.
Without further ado, let’s get window shopping:
TIMBERLAND BAILEY PARK SLINGBACKS
I’m putting these right up at the top because I’ve been in love ever since they popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. As a brand I find Timberlands tend to be very comfortable. There’s more of a platform sole here than I would usually choose for travel shoes, but these team perfectly with wide cropped jumpsuits or culottes. Available in black, tan and neutrals.
These cute closed-toe flats have ergonomic footbeds and fasten around the ankle, making them a super versatile choice. These would take you from day to night yet have a proper sole so would stand up to city exploration. Available in black but I like the lightness of the metallic colours.
INKKAS BLUEBIRD FLAT
Inkkas make sensible shoes made with very pretty Peruvian textiles. I love them. They plant a tree with every purchase and are 100% vegan. Get them now before everyone’s wearing them!
Heading into slip-on territory, the two-tone effect of these Sorel slip-ons makes them stand out from the crowd. I love the black and tan combo, but they come in a rather funky tan and grey wool combo.
I’m not a big fan of ballet flats in general as they’re pretty bad for your feet. But some people are wedded to them, and it can be good to keep a pair in your bag for emergency dressing-up situations. If you simply have to have ballet flats then these ones from Fit Flops are a solid choice thanks to their solid sole. Fit tends to run large and wide.
FTIPFLOP SUPERBENDY SUPERBALLERINA
Fitflops Superballerinas also come in a superbendy version with softer outer materials and a more flexible sole. These ones are still a solid choice but would be easier to squish up and pack in your bag whilst travelling. Also: props for the name.
FITFLOP UBERKNIT BALLERINA
For something a bit different, these hybrid sneaker-ballet-flats are an interesting find. I would wear these with wide-legged pants for a dressed-down vibe. Great for low-key city exploration.
CONVERSE ALL STAR
You can’t really go wrong with these classics (at least until it rains, anyway). Converse All Stars have been a wardrobe staple of mine for years. Personally I like the high versions with skinny jeans whereas the low versions (in white) work well with dresses and skirts. Some people do struggle with the lack of arch support when walking long distances, but they’ve always been comfortable for me. Beware they can be slippy on pavements in the rain and aren’t ideal for hiking.
ADIDAS ULTRA BOOST STREET RUNNING SHOE
Picking a pair of neutral-looking sports shoes is one way to maximise space in your luggage; wear for your outdoors adventures as well as casual activities. These running shoes from Adidas have an unusual knitted-effect fabric which keeps them interesting, but also all sorts of technology to keep them comfortable.
Beloved by influencers, Instagrammers and fashion bloggers around the world, a pair of box-fresh Adidas Superstars is one easy way to update your look for a trip abroad . The reinforced toe makes it a good choice for those of us who seem to quickly wear through shoes at the toe.
ADIDAS STAN SMITH
If you’re heading to Europe this year and want to blend in with the locals, pack a pair of Stan Smiths. The French pair the clean lines of this classic sneaker with everything from jeans to workwear.
ASICS CONTEND 4
I have Asics running shoes and find them the most comfortable shoes around. The only downside is that the mesh, whilst breathable, is not that durable. A little more reinforcement around the toes and these would be the perfect all-purpose trainers in my opinion. They come in various colours but keep it simple with black and white and you can pair with jeans for the city too.
REEBOK WOMEN’S CLASSIC
Ah, the good old Reebok Classic is a reliable choice for travel. With its rubber sole, cushioned midsole and leather uppers, these have long been a favourite of people who need to be on their feet all day. Meaning they’re a clever choice for travel too.
NEW BALANCE WA365v1 CUSH +
The Cush+ sells itself as a walking shoe; casual athletic styling with ultra-soft memory foam cushioning. Sounds like an ideal combination. Comes in a navy version too but I like the style of the all-white. Fit seems to run narrow.
CHAMPION WOMEN’S GUSTO
I’ve been looking for a pair of completely black trainers for a while now. They’re ideal if you don’t want to look like you’ve just escaped the gym. And I’ve finally found a pair—Champion Women’s Gusto. Its soft lightweight sock-like design comes in a whole range of colours, but the black pair is easy on the eye as well as the wallet.
NIKE AIR MAX THEA
Smart citywear shoes don’t come more stylish than the Nike Air Max Thea. Sleek, black and flexible, it’s a perfect match for minimalist outfits. The only problem with these is that the back of the shoe is high and stiff, which—depending on your ankle height—might be a problem. It was for me, which is a shame as I love the look. Best to try before you buy.
Running brand Brooks get rave reviews from fans who love them for their comfort. The simple styling on this black pair can take you from country runs to city streets. A roomy toe box and space for orthotics makes them ideal for anyone needing custom support on long walks.
TOMS CABRILLO CASUAL
If you love your Toms but prefer lace-up shoes then rejoice! These canvas lovelies are just as comfy and versatile but have laces. Like the original Toms, they come in plenty of different colours so you won’t have any problem finding a pair to match your style. Fit runs small and narrow.
Italian brand Superga take on the classic sneaker, only in wool. Comes in black and white too, but I like the grey flannel version which is a great shade to wear with denim.
ECCO SOFT 7 LACE-UP
If you need comfort and arch support but don’t want to compromise on style, check out these classic whites made by Danish shoe manufacturer ECCO, which is a brand known for its quality construction and comfortable ergonomic soles. With leather and nubuck outers, these may not be the cheapest shoes for travel but the should last you through a few trips.
ECCO SOFT 8
Also from ECCO are these perforated tie sneakers, which I adore in the spacey silver (but also come in tan and white) for a contemporary look which is easy to style. All three colours have just been added to my wishlist . . .
Most of the shoes I’ve suggested on this list are black, white or neutrals so they’re easy to pair with any outfit. But you can also take the opposite approach! Can you find a colour which doesn’t match these awesome rainbow shoes? Love them.
There’s no denying that Toms revolutionised the canvas slipper. Now a classic design, Toms certainly have that slipper-like comfort (once you’ve worn them in, anyway). They are lacking in support and grip (not the best for navigating Europe’s marble pavements in the rain), and get a bit stinky with heavy use. But if you just need something versatile that will take up minimum space in your bag and is suitable for warm climates then Toms are great.
Keds are another go-to brand for retro-styled city sneakers. Their classic Champion slip-ons are available in both canvas and leather, and comes in a couple of different width options too.
TIMBERLAND EIVISSA SEA
If you’re in love with your Timberlands for winter wear, then you might be interested in these Eivissa slip-ons. With their durable rubber outsole, foam insoles and a molded foam midsole, these are just the ticket for long-lasting comfort. Also comes in navy canvas.
Another winner from Timberland, the Dausette slip-on has simple shaping and a perforated fabric. These are the kind of shoes you can throw in a bag and take anywhere. I love the neutral colour and would wear these with cute dresses.
VANS CLASSIC SLIP-ON SKATE SHOES
When looking at slip-on shoes don’t forget Vans. The checkered version is an absolute classic, but the black works well as a travel flat. They are unisex though, so the fit isn’t going to work for everyone.
206 WOMEN’S COOPER
Keep it simple with these leather slip-ons from 206 Collective which are available in a bunch of different colours, both perf and non perf. And at such a reasonable price you can afford to buy a variety, hurrah.
DR SCHOLLS LUNA
I didn’t realise until recently that Dr Scholls, that famous (fictional?) saviour from foot pain and blisters, actually makes a range of shoes too. I’m tempted to give these a try; slip-ons with memory foam insoles.
DR SCHOLLS MADISON
Another selection from the Dr Scholls range, I like the colour (‘cloud grey!’) perforated leather, with extra cushioning around the collar. These could well become your go-to travel shoe.
CROCS CITILANE LOW CANVAS
Crocs are my secret weapon brand for travel shoes. Ditch all thoughts of the ugly clogs (although damn are they comfortable). Inspired by slip-on sneaks and vintage skate shoes, the Citilane Canvas are an excellent execution of slip-on styling.
ECCO SOFT 7 SLIP-ON
Back to ECCO and their orthotic delights, the Soft 7 has a slight hint of moccasin about the styling. Also available in a white floral print if you fancy something a bit different.
SANUK WOMEN’S FIONA
The Sanuk brand popularised the yoga sling-style sandal. Here they turn their attention to slip-ons with the Fiona shoe, which is an ultra-casual canvas loafer style with frayed hems and a woven effect on the sole. They come in a number of colours, mostly neutral tones. I’m not sure the photo here does them justice: I reckon these have a hint of sailor chic and would look great with denim shorts.
BOBS are the Skechers equivalent to the popular Toms slip-on style, giving you even more colours and materials to choose from. I love this suede pair with big stitching.
SEAVEES WOMEN’S BAJA
UK surf brand SeaVees were one of the original sneakers pioneers in the 1960s. Expect comfort and classic coastal casual chic with these Baja slip-ons.
SANUK PAIR O DICE
If prints are your thing then Sanuk make their slouchy loafer flats in a range of neat canvas prints. Always a fan of mono, this black and white print is my fave. The beachy Pair O Dice also comes in neutrals.
This cute Superga flat has less coverage on the top of the foot, giving the flat a dainty vibe more akin to ballet flats. Perfect for wearing with skirts, dresses and denim. Multiple colours available. Sizing runs large though.
TOMS WOMEN’S AVALON
The Avalon from Toms has the same wrapped effect cotton canvas upper as the classic Toms slip on, but with a more substantial sole (although they are still flat, so don’t expect much in the way of arch support). Lots of funky prints are available too.
TOMS WOMEN’S SUNSET OXFORD
Looks-wise, the Sunset Oxford is possibly my favourite of all the Toms styles. I loe the chunky rubber sole and they come in some great fabrics, some of which have a cool rope detail. My one concern is that the lack of elastic means there’s no adjustability in the fit.
VISCATA BARCELONETA ESPADRILLES
Spanish brand Viscata does a lovely line in authentic espadrilles. Stylish but comfortable, they’re a summertime classic that will never go out of fashion. I dig the Mediterranean vibe of this blue pair, but there are plenty of other colours too (the cute navy polka is worthy of a mention). Viscata shoes are well made with quality construction so they should last you for a few summers if you look after them.
SOLUDOS ORIGINAL DALI SLIPPER
Sticking with the espadrille style, these Soludo Dali slippers are simple and great for dressing down denim. They’re not practical if you have lots of walking lined up, but are great to have packed as a casual shoe in warm climates.
SOLUDOS SMOKING SLIPPER
Another Soludos shoe, the Smoking Slipper is just as low-key but this time in a slip-on loafer style with a slight platform sole. No elastic here so be sure they fit well before packing them for a trip.
Vionic are a brand famous for their arch support, and highly regarded by those who need orthotics for walking and standing all day. The good news is that they make cute and practical styles like this slip-ons. If blue is too boring for you then check out the embroidered and gold scale versions.
VIONIC SPLENDID PERFORATED MIDI
In a similar vein, I like the perforated styling and neutral colours of the Vionic Splendid. Cute but comfortable and versatile, and the perforation adds a bit of breathability. The khaki pair could also be a winner for travel outfits.
This is for the ballet flats fans. This Yosi Samra flat comes lined with ortholite memory foam and has a 5mm rubber sole. It’s foldable so perfect for a packable pair of flats to smarten up an evening outfit.
HUSH PUPPIES CHASTE BALLET FLATS
This ballet flat from casual-comfortable faves Hush Puppies is designed for comfort, with a suede sock lining and breathable perforated arch. Even better, they come in some jazzy colours. Not foldable but they do pack up pretty small.
HUSH PUPPIES BERKLEIGHT AUDRA
For something a little more substantial from Hush Puppies, check out the Audra slip-on loafer. The blue and black colours look the most streamlined. Biobevel technology encourages a natural walking motion, but more importantly the performance fabrics mean they’ll cross climates with ease and the molded foam footbed promises comfort.
These beautiful suede loafers from UGG have a unique braided design which gives them a feminine shape. UGGs don’t come cheap but fans agree they’re worth the cost. Fit runs large so order a size down.
CLARKS AZELLA THEONI SLIP-ON LOAFER
Clarks are the brand most associated with comfort and practicality in the UK. The Azella Theoni slip-on comes in a perforated fabric with a woven effect on the side of the sole. Great for a casual summer style that will withstand some pavement-pounding.
UGG RICCI SLIP-ON
UGG make a range of different slip-ons, but this one caught my eye thanks to its SHAGGY WOOL. Well, technically its faux sheepskin but you catch my drift. Yes. I need these in my life. They come in pink, white and beige too.
Back to sensible, the Koolaburra features perforated synthetic leather. These UGG flats are lightweight but built to last. They do require some wearing in though.
UGG FIERCE DECO QUILT
Quilted leather will help keep your tootsies warm and dry in these black UGG slip-ons. Memory foam insoles will help keep your tootsies comfy. I’m also in love with the silver version.
BIRKENSTOCK WOMEN’S BARRIE FLAT
If Birkenstocks are your perfect travel sandal but you’re in need of a closed-toe, then these Barrie flats might be just the ticket. Combining an easygoing slip-on look with the classic Birkenstock cork-latex footbed, they’re perfect for shoulder season travel.
Teva are one of the most respected manufacturers of hard-wearing travel sandals. So it’s good news that they also make canvas sneakers such as the Freewheel. This is low-top canvas classic adapted to take you beyond the city streets. These will go with everything and take you almost anywhere thanks to their grippy soles, plus they have arch support and removable insoles.
Taos is another pioneering manufacturer of outdoors shoe, and their canvas sneaker is equally durable and versatile. It comes with a premium removable footbed and in a wide range of colours including brights and floral prints. Wide fits are available too.
KEEN ELSA SNEAKER
A clean-lined canvas sneaker with reinforced tubber toe cap and a wide toe box from outdoors specialists Keen. The upper is made from a sturdy reinforced fabric. If you love your Chuck Taylors but can’t wear them all day then the Elsa might be a solution. They come with a removable insole and two sets of laces.
And last but not least, for the barefoot proponents amongst you, there’s the moccasin-style Opanka. I love barefoot shoes but find a lot of them are ugly. This style is well-suited to a wide toe-box and flexible sole, and the stitching adds some interest. I don’t recommend barefoot footwear for travel unless you’ve already trained your feet to walk long distances in minimal shoes, but if you have then these chestnut suede beauties would dress up and down nicely.
So there we have it. 50 comfy and sensible (and yet not hideously ugly) flat shoes suitable for travel! I hope you find your perfect pair.
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