You pack three sets of high heels for a business trip — and then your client suggests you take a tour of the office and then walk half a mile to lunch.
You pack rugged sandals and sneakers for your European tour — and then find out you'll be visiting Michelin-starred restaurants.
You can't win. How do you choose the best travel shoes for your next trip? Here are some suggestions for dressy, athletic and walking shoes for women travelers.
Tips for Packing the Best Travel Shoes
- Pack no more than three pairs. The pros say two should do, but for a longer trip, or one with variable weather, you can choose three. Travel blogger Hitha On The Go has created a fun grid of travel shoe combinations for various situations. For a wedding weekend: metallic or nude heels + flats for the airport + neutral oxfords.
- Pick a travel palette. The easiest way to pack a versatile travel wardrobe is to choose an accent color and a base of neutrals. Use the same palette when packing your shoes. Go for the ruby or kelly-green flats — just make sure you can wear them with multiple outfits.
- Don't lie about working out. You tell yourself you'll take full advantage of the hotel's gym, but deep down you know you won't. Don't waste suitcase space with bulky athletic shoes. If you're committed to your workout regimen, pack lightweight athletic shoes (see below).
- Wear your biggest shoes. Need to bring snow boots or sneakers? Wear them on the plane to save room in your suitcase.
- Don't pack brand-new shoes. While some travelers say they can wear high-quality walking shoes right out of the box without any problems, it's not wise to risk it. Break in your new walking shoes a few weeks before your trip.
- Invest in good socks. Wearing cheap, thin socks negates the benefits of high-quality walking shoes.The Savvy Backpacker recommends SmartWool, Thorlo and Darn Tough socks.
- Pack first aid for your feet. Moleskine (fuzzy adhesive strips) can help prevent blisters from forming, while a Spenco 2nd Skin Blister Kit heals raw spots on your feet.