Posts Tagged travel shoes
These relatively lightweight but heavy-duty Vasque shoes will work for running down a trail or strolling down a path, with serious tread and protection.
Sometimes your travels involve nothing more taxing than airport terminals and museum halls, but on other trips you need something serious on your feet. You need shoes that will hold up to more natural elements: rocks, roots, mud, and branches. This Juxt model is ready for all that, and for just keeping your feet comfortable as you hoist on your backpack and head to the bus station.
This is the kind of “in between” shoe we review a lot here, because most vacations are not all or nothing anything. There are some technical aspects to this pair of Vasques that make it good for real hiking, like a close-to-the-toe lace system coming down further than most shoes, plus a full toe cap to keep stubbed toes at bay. There’s a serious tread for rolling over uneven surfaces and down giant boulders.
These shoes don’t incorporate a waterproofing membrane, but the leather uppers are coated to make them water-resistant. In my tests they were fine in a light drizzle. You might want something more robust if you’ll be hiking somewhere rainy, but otherwise these are fine and doing without the membrane saves you $20-$30.
Overall, I’m quite happy with these shoes and I keep pulling them out for jaunts in my area and trips where I know I’ll be doing some light hiking here and there. They look good enough to be my regular active day shoes and have some interesting visual touches, like the overlapping punched-out layers on the toe guard and the unique accent layers on the side. The Vasque Juxt shoes don’t look like many other models out there.
These manage the feat of fitting well out of the box and not needing a lot of break-in time. Plus unlike far too many I’ve tried, the laces and padded tongue both stay where they’re supposed to.
In theory this model comes in wide sizes according to the Vasque site page, but if you look at the listings at REI, Zappos, or Moosejaw you’ll see they only carry the regular widths, so that might be a marketing copywriter’s wishful thinking. The Juxt shoes list for $105, but you’ll find them for a bit less at those links.
See more reviews of Vasque shoes for travel.
This Clutch Engine model is one of the most contemporary and stylish pairs of shoes that I have ever owned. What I love most about it is the elegant, yet lightweight, aura that it displays. Clarks is known for its high-quality and durable footwear, and this pair certainly does not disappoint on that front.
My travels take me across the globe, and the weight of any pair of shoes is a giant concern for me. In fact, I typically plan my wardrobe around one pair of shoes because of that. This lightweight casual ware shoe turns my entire style effort on its head because it allows me to double up on footwear.
All of a sudden, I can pack a pair of shorts and a polo shirt for those hot Indian summer afternoons or Caribbean weekend breaks that would otherwise see me slumming it in the air conditioned confines of my room despite being in breathtaking surroundings. It may seem strange to you, but for many business travelers who travel with carry-on luggage only, the weight of one’s bag is a major issue. Not having the appropriate footwear for casual attire can stop someone from exploring the neighborhood in comfort.
These Clutch Engine shoes are incredibly nimble, both in storage within one’s bag, and when it comes to stuffing a loafer full of socks or charging cables to save room to maximize space.
A soft heel on these shoes makes them ideal for exercise walks. My pair boasts a suede upper fabric giving it a dress loafer appeal while still feeling as if it were a casual loafer. I can transition from outdoor stroll to business casual dinner with the same pair of shoes.
The moc stitched toe and metal logo detail seal the deal when it comes to both looking and feeling comfortable. With rubber heel kicker pods and a smooth lining and cushioning insole, what is not to love about these shoes.
We review a lot of travel shoes on this blog and more than a few of them break the $100 barrier. As a working stiff who’s got to watch the budget, I realize it can be a wrenching decision to plop down that kind of cash for one pair of shoes, even if the pair will last you a few years. When you’re buying for an offspring with growing feet, however, you really have to think twice.
So I was happy to discover Northside, a company using its China manufacturing to actually give us lower prices instead of just fatter margins. Most of their shoes are in the $40 to $60 range, some of them coming in for less than that at retail.
My tween daughter went tromping around Tennessee on her spring break vacation with the Northside Kiona hiking shoes for women in March, including a couple miles in the woods over roots and stones. She’ll be taking these with her on another trip coming up too and despite the reasonable $50 price, they look like they’ll be around until she outgrows them.
She likes the look of these Kiona shoes, which is key, but they offer great support and a breathable upper. They’re lightweight but have a good tread system, so they grip well on rock surfaces. They also come in all-recyclable packing—a nice touch. You can find them at retail stores like Bob Wards, or online at Amazon.
Northside’s sandals are an especially good deal. The Northside Burke ones pictured above get high marks from users and will only set you back $40 at most. Everything is synthetic of course, but that’s a good thing if you’ll be using them to walk through streams or go paddleboarding. They have a good enough tread to carry a kayak through the woods afterwards and work well for general summer travel. Look for them in stores or at Amazon.
Northwise makes a whole range of hiking shoes, winter boots, rain boots, and more, all at prices that won’t make you sweat. See more at NorthwiseUSA.com.
I can’t promise you’ll be able to walk across the ceiling like a gecko with these GoLite shoes, but they will help you run across a mountain well.
The Mountain Gecko shoes are the kind of shoes we end up reviewing a lot here: not necessarily aimed at travelers, but good enough in multiple conditions—and light enough—to quality for that precious space in your carry-0n bag or backpack.
These shoes are designed for trail running or light hiking, with the extra-grippy sole meant to cling tightly on steep trails and slick rocks. That makes them good for a lot of surfaces you’ll encounter in your travels too, like wet cobblestones and flagstones.
The Gecko 270 outsole is meant to allow for flex in all directions, plus the company’s “Rock Absorber” technology provides a stable platform under the foot with soft shock-absorbing foams close to the ground. Basically the soft part is touching the ground on multiple contact points instead of just being a tire tread under a midsole. This supposedly makes them 30% more stable compared to conventional footwear.
You do still get a lightweight EVA midsole of course, plus a lightweight mesh upper that breathes well.
I complain a lot about footwear being sized for one foot shape only (a narrow D) and everyone else being out of luck unless they buy New Balance, but GoLite has created a nice workaround in some models that helps a lot. When you buy a pair of shoes like these Mountain Gecko ones, you get a PreciseFit insole that can be worn alone for wider feet or, by adding attachments with Velcro, increasing the thickness of it at the front for regular and narrow feet. Simple, but effective.
I’ve taken these Mountain Gecko shoes from GoLite on two trips that involved some light hiking and I’ve worn them around town a lot running errands and walking. The claims hold up in real world situations and I’ll be using them more in the future.
This casual shoe from Birkenstock’s well-known footwear line is perfect for a day out on the town or for an easy slip-on in the hotel room or for strolling the neighborhood. Its easy on and off usage makes it great for TSA security rules although any business traveler will find these shoes are best used for leisure wear. Traveling these days (especially if seated in a premium cabin) has become far too out of control in terms of apparel.
As a constant road warrior, I have found that these shoes make a great addition to my carry-on only apparel because they squeeze tightly into my bag without taking up a lot of space and are great to use in a jiffy. They are especially ideal for long-haul international flights where I want to remove my dress shoes but would prefer not to step around the dirty cabin in socks. They are just a grab and go from a convenient pocket compartment.
With long pants, these shoes switch from convenient in-flight gear to more useful casual wear for an evening out. They have a distinctive boat party look, but are great for any night out on the town.
A cork footbed makes them very comfortable to walk long distances around a city or even traipsing through an airport. They make a great swaparaoo for long terminal walks when I just don’t care what I am wearing.
A canvas upperwear design makes them easily stain-resistant as long as they are washed quickly with water (even with a damp cloth). This is a great feature especially when traveling as spilling things can happen easily without much recourse for thorough cleaning until arriving at one’s hotel.
A variety of other colors and styles are on offer, but I found the camel color to be the most attractive. Most colors go well with jeans, khakis, or dress pants, but one’s individual use will verify depending upon their destination. Business dinners in Hawaii will certainly require different attire than a breakfast meeting in Frankfurt. These Birki shoes are available on numerous websites including Amazon for the affordable price of around $100.
See other reviews of good travel shoes from this gear blog.