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The Best Walking Shoes for Traveling

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Ever wondered what it’s like to walk in the shoes of a travel journalist? Yours truly has the answer. For nearly a decade, I’ve been dispatched all over the map with one mission: Return home with more stories than passport stamps. Assignments have taken me across six continents (I’m coming for you, Antarctica) to cover hotly anticipated museum openings, off-the-grid jungle treks, groundbreaking archeological digs, and other soul-enriching memories. But you might be more interested in another kind of “sole”—what it’s like to literally walk in the shoes of a consummate traveler. That’s easy: Get a good pair of walking shoes.

If you’ve ever found yourself plagued by foot pain or blisters while exploring a new city, you know all too well that finding a capable pair of walking shoes can make or break your trip. While I always encourage stepping out of your comfort zone when venturing abroad, I recommend the opposite approach for shoes—those should be a safe haven for your feet.

Features to Consider When Shopping for Walking Shoes

Ample cushioning and a wider footbed are key comfort-focused features to look for in walking shoes for travel; it’s also a good idea to pick shoes that are easy to get on and off. Ideally, your walking shoes will also have grippy outsoles in case you’re confronted with the unexpected: cobblestone streets, gravel paths, or a delayed flight leading to a sprint across slick linoleum airport floors.

For some, packing efficiently can also present a challenge. I always suggest wearing your go-to trainers on travel days if they’re heavier, or opt for a lightweight pair that can be squished into a suitcase or rucksack. And lastly, consider aesthetics—you don’t want to ruin your look by trotting around in unattractive orthopedic shoes. Pick up a streamlined pair that can complement multiple outfits, or alternatively, choose a retro-inspired walking shoe with statement-making appeal. Either way, you won’t be cropping all your trip photos above the ankle.

Here are 10 walking shoes to consider for your next trip.

The Best Walking Shoes for Traveling in 2023

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