The Best Shoes for City Travel
Knowing what shoes to pack for a city adventure can be tough. Walking is one of the best ways to explore a new city. On foot you can see the details of a city that you can otherwise miss. Doing nothing but meandering the urban landscape is one of my favourite things to do in a new place. But whether you’re strolling the southbank of the Thames in London, tracking down innovative skincare products in Seoul, or waiting in line for a rainbow bagel in Brooklyn, nothing will ruin your mood faster than uncomfortable shoes.
Form versus function is the eternal debate of the fashion conscious traveller. You want to be comfortable pounding the pavement but you still want to look good. Wearing hiking sneakers in the middle of the city looks downright silly. Heels will have your feet screaming after more than a few blocks. What’s a girl to do?
I’ve tracked down some of the best options that are comfortable, versatile, and packable for your next city break.
I walked 11 miles around London this spring in a pair of Adidas Superstars and they held up great. Taking over from Stan Smiths, Superstars are still going strong as the it fashion sneaker. You can go with the classic black and white or seek out any of the many, many variations.
Cole Haan ZeroGrand
One of my favourite shoe finds were the suede wingtip line of ZeroGrands by Cole Haan. All the style of a wingtip with the comfort of a sneaker. I wore these all through New York City and they didn’t need any breaking in time and never gave me a single blister. I basically want them in every colour now.
When you don’t want to deal with laces, the Naturalizer Marianne slip on sneaker has your back. The perforated leather upper will keep your feet cool and the N5 Contour technology will keep your feet happy.
Topping many traveller’s best shoe lists the Superga Cotu is a classic for good reason. Comfortable and versatile you can pair them almost anything. They also come in a myriad of colours and patterns.
Tretorn Nylite12 Plus
The fabric mesh upper of the Tretorn Nylite12 Plus reduces the chances of foot sweat to almost nil. Important when you’re sharing a hotel room with friend or a hostel dorm with strangers. They are also one of the most comfortable sneakers you’ll lace up.
With their split sole design Tieks are the ultimate packable shoe. They make a great second pair for light city activities like dinners out, theatres, or museums.
Clarks Addiy Zoie Ankle Boot
While sneakers are still having a fashion moment, your city travel shoes don’t have to be restricted to them. Pick up a pair of Clarks Addiy Zoie Ankle Boots to add zip to your fall urban adventure packing list. The low block heel will give you a bit of lift without sacrificing your tootsies.
Athletic Propulsion Labs Techloom Phantom
The best things about the APL Techloom Phantom sneakers is just how lightweight they are. Being a knit sneaker also means that they’re extremely packable. The 4-way stretch of the upper will cradle your feet all day. Pull on ease with lace-up style. All APL shoes are also unisex.
Aerosoles Solution Espadrille Flat
If sneakers aren’t your thing, try a pair of Aerosoles Solution espadrille flats for a more polished look. It’s the best parts of a loafer, flat, and espadrille all rolled into one cute shoe.
Fly London Pero Wedge
When you want a little lift, but you know heels will take you down, try the Pero Wedge by Fly London.