When you're shopping for the best travel shoes for men, there are different criteria to consider than when you're buying regular kick-around shoes. The most travel-ready shoes will boast four key qualities:
- Portable: In order for your shoes to be suitcase-friendly, they need to be lightweight, compact, and bulk-free. It's also helpful if they're somewhat malleable so you can bend and mold them around your other belongings. Most of my picks below feature a naturally slim-profile or a semi-collapsible design.
- Comfortable: You're likely to spend a lot of time walking when you travel, so your shoes should have extra cushioning, as well as shock-absorbing features to prevent foot fatigue.
- Durable: Travel shoes take more of a beating than regular shoes, so they should be extra rugged and durable. That means strong, well-constructed materials like leather or canvas, tough rubber soles, and high-quality stitching.
- Versatile: Opting for shoes with a neutral color scheme that matches most of your apparel will mean you can get away with packing fewer pairs. It also helps to choose styles that can be dressed up or down to serve multiple purposes.
On top of these crucial qualities, you may want to stick with shoes that have minimal laces, buckles, and straps, so you can slide them on and off with ease. And if you'll be traveling by air, watch out for metal components like eyelets and thick shanks that might set off metal detectors.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, I put together a list of the best travel shoes for men below.
1. The best casual shoes
These low-profile travel shoes have more than 2,300 reviews on Amazon for good reason. Constructed with lightweight yet durable canvas, they're exceptionally flexible and easy to squish into an already jammed suitcase. They have high-quality soles that are well-cushioned without being bulky, and reviewers say they're comfortable, too. With a simple, slip-on design that's perfect for when you're on-the-go, they come in six neutral colors that go with everything.
Fans say: "I bought these shoes for a three week trip to Europe. I wore these every single day on the trip, logging almost 60 miles of walking during the trip. They were very comfortable, never left my feet sore or tired. They held up great and looked great. I will be buying more in other colors."
- Available sizes: 7-15
2. The best dress shoes
In addition to not being as heavy as standard dress shoes (they weigh a mere 12 ounces), these lightweight men's Oxfords are great for travel because they don't have metal shanks, making them extremely airport-friendly. On top of that, they have shock-absorbing soles, so they're comfortable to walk or stand in for long periods of time. They're smooth and bulk-free with breathable leather and a sleek, stylish design. Finally, they come in black or brown and are available in a large range of sizes — including options for wide feet.
Fans say: "Hands down, one of the most comfortable dress shoes I've ever worn! Outstanding!"
- Available sizes: 7-16 (regular and wide)
3. The best everyday sneakers
The genius of these lightweight men's sneakers is that they're suitable for light outdoor excursions, like day-hikes or wildlife tours, but you can still wear them for casual trekking around town, too. If you end up near water, they're aqua-ready with water-resistant laces and hydrophobic canvas — and they also offer plenty of traction when you're on land. The minimalist shoes are designed to be bulk-free and travel-friendly while still providing enough ruggedness to hold up. In short, they're a versatile, all-around great option.
Fans say: "Excellent travel shoe. Lightweight, but good sole and good support. Wore to Greece and walked around for hours without blisters or sore feet. Loved having them on the rocky beaches."
- Available sizes: 8-14
4. The best athletic sneakers
If you plan to run or work out on your trip but you don't want bulky athletic shoes hogging up space in your bag, these lightweight men's running shoes make a great choice. The minimalist sneakers are specially constructed with bendy, barefoot-inspired rubber soles and a slender design. They're some of the most lightweight, low-profile athletic shoes on the market (hence the name "Xero"), which means you'll have no problem fitting them into your luggage. Just note that to avoid injury, you will still need to train your feet a bit before your trip to get used to wearing them.
Fans say: "One of the reason[s] I bought these shoes was so I can pack when I travel. If you don't run, these are great shoes to walk in, and if you weight lift, these shoes are good too. I feel very grounded with these shoes when lifting and doing yoga. Highly recommend.
- Available sizes: 7.5-8.5
5. The best boots
These remarkably popular men's boots, which have more than 5,800 reviews on Amazon, are stylish and rugged without being heavy or clunky. Constructed with 100 percent leather, they're both durable and flexible. The synthetic soles have ample tread, and the exterior polish is tough and scratch-resistant. These boots are comfortable enough for long periods of walking thanks to the cushioned insoles, and the double-eyelet, lace-up closure system makes them easy to get off and on. On top of all of that, they come in more than three dozen colors including neutral and muted options.
Fans say: "I traveled the world for a year in these shoes. Walking, hiking, running through California, Hawaii, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Bali in style and surprising comfort."
- Available sizes: 6.5-15 (regular and wide)
6. The best hiking shoes
If you're going to be hiking or spending a lot of time outside in nature but you don't want to lug around full-sized hiking boots, these are the perfect compromise. Designed with travelers in mind, these lightweight hiking shoes are slender and flexible, with a suitcase-friendly profile. However, they're still thick and rugged enough for the outdoors, and they offer sturdy traction. They feature contoured insoles that reviewers say are comfortable to hike in, and the suede upper-section makes them resistant to wear and tear. They're offered in three colors and a wide range of sizes.
Fans say: "Just wore these in Germany, Switzerland and Italy for 7 days. Comfortable and was a bit dressier than a hiking shoe just as I was hoping for."
- Available sizes: 7-15
7. The best sandals
These ultra-durable men's sandals are exceptionally tough and sturdy without being bulky. They're incredibly lightweight, as well, with an EVA foam footbed and bendable polyester straps that are easy to adjust. The rubber soles are shock-absorbing for additional comfort, with enough traction for light hiking and other outdoor activities. Plus, the amphibious design allows you to wear them on both land and water, making them a great choice for travels that include things like swimming, boating, kayaking, or other aqua-based activities.
Fans say: "These sandals work great as both a high activity shoe and casual footwear. I have worn mine mountain hiking, backpacking, traveling, to the beach and just for every day life as well. Highly recommended."
- Available sizes: 7-14
8. The best flip flops
On top of being lightweight and breathable, these high-quality men's flip flops are built with hidden orthotics in the soles that make them extra comfortable to walk in — even for hours on end. That means that if you're trekking around the city or taking walking tours, your feet won't get tired two hours in. The podiatric soles, which have a seal from the American Podiatric Medical Association, are designed to add stability and reduce foot fatigue. As for the straps, they're made with full-grain leather and textile, while the footbeds are built with comfortable EVA foam. These sandals come in four colors and a wide range of sizing options, too.
Fans say: "I bought these sandals for my dad when we were traveling abroad this past summer since I knew we were going to be walking around a lot. He wore them everyday without fail and would always look for them whenever we were going out. I have also purchased black flats for myself from Vionic and really like how they make their shoes/sandal. I would recommend these, especially if you have arthritis or knee pain."
- Available sizes: 7-14
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