Maya Angelou named one of her memoirs "All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes," and the title resonated so much with me at the time, that I bought the book and slowly and purposefully read it over the course of several long journeys. The title obviously doesn't refer to the coolest, most comfy traveling shoes available but is actually a witty reference to her spiritual journey to Ghana. Anyhow, we all DO need traveling shoes, both metaphorically and literally. Here are come I have in my closet or on my wishlist.
Over the last couple of years or so, flip flops have stopped working for me. They actually hurt my feet and I have all together ceased taking them with me, even for the beach and pool, about a year ago. Slides have become my go to for "slip on" island and beach shoes and I have graduated form the bulky Adidas slides I used to wear on long haul flights to combat swelling. On my last three, somewhat different, trips (Mexico, Thailand, and Maui), I wore my Orange Birkenstock Slides on the plane. I give these a five-star rating in comfort (love the arch support) and practicality (they are light weight and very waterproof).
Another slide I just found, and this one can be worn out at night with a skirt as a dressier sandal or for sightseeing during the day, is the Merrell Duskair Seaway Leather Slide. This one is my new favorite Traveling Shoe. It is light and comfortable and gets points for style due to it being leather. I'm already thinking of getting a second pair in another color. Love this slide/sandal.
Two more Merrell of my runner-up options still on my "wish list" for the slide / sandal category include: Merrell Linna AC + Slide Sandal
and the Merrell Terran Post Sandal
The Baretraps Samina Gladiator Sandal is my choice when I need a more durable shoe. I love the ankle-supporting design disguised in the Gladiator shoe style; this and the tread on the bottom of the shoe make it durable enough to wear on an easy hike, on cobble stone streets, in busy markets where you need something strapped to your heal to keep your shoe on your foot, or just to dress up your skirt or shorts a when a slide or beach shoe is too casual. The zipper at the back makes it easier to get into and out of than a normal sandal buckle and is useful on a temple day when you need to remove your shoes often. This shoe always makes the final cut and gets packed every time.
If you just MUST bring flip flops, I'd choose Sunuk Yoga Mat 2 Flip Flops due to their extreme comfort. They aren't a great option for shower shoes as they tend to take a long time to dry (the water stays absorbed in the spongy material for quite a while) but I have weighed the benefit of the yoga mat material against the squishyness when wet and comfort wins).
Finally, LEAVE the sneakers at home. At least the bulky Nikes or Pumas and opt for a lighter and more comfy like an alternative "glove" shoe. An excellent choice is Merrell Women's Glove Dash 3 Trail Running Shoe
I'm leading a group of women to Thailand in November (2018) -- Get Out There Tours Serenity In Siam II -- and will be taking four of the above Traveling Shoes (normally I would leave out the last option on a South East Asia trip but I will be renting a scooter during my first days prior to the tour and for a couple days after and want my feet to be protected and since these will already be in my luggage, I'll most likely slip them on once or twice during long walking days). All of these shoes are lightweight and pack well. Don't forget to wrap them in shower caps you've picked up here or there (also sold at Daiso in multi packs). I use these over and over to keep the soles of my shoe off my other items in my suitcase.
I'd love to hear about your favorite Traveling Shoes. Share your favs in the Comment Section below or send me a message.