The most comfortable men’s walking shoes, according to guys who but in the miles

Shutterstock/Jo Panuwat D

There are many factors that contribute to making shoes comfortable for walking, as well as features that make them ideal for travel. The key to the most comfortable men's walking shoes for travel is finding a pair that manages to combine all of these traits and more. So how do you achieve that?

Let's start with comfort. This is typically the result of three main factors: cushioning, shock absorption, and a soft, chafe-free design.

  • Cushioning typically originates in the midsole. EVA foam is usually the best material for this, although alternatives like polyurethane or cork material can work, too.
  • Shock absorption also comes from the midsole. It allows you to walk longer and farther without your feet getting sore.
  • Softness and lack of chafing are linked to the straps or the upper material, depending on the style of shoe. There will be wide variation from style to style, but the important thing is ensuring that the fabric is soft, flexible, and adjustable wherever possible.

As for travel-friendly features, it mainly comes down to weight and packability.

  • Weight is an obvious factor. You don't want to lug around heavy shoes that weigh down your luggage and feel burdensome to carry around. The trick is to find shoes that are lightweight without sacrificing support.
  • As far as packability goes, sleek, low-profile designs are the best for travel. This is further aided by flexible materials (think: mesh or other soft fabrics) that bend easily to help the shoes fit in your bag, but rebound well when you unpack them.

To help you find that elusive combination, I scoured Amazon and compiled a selection of the most comfortable men's walking shoes for travel in a variety of styles, from sandals to hiking boots. Read on to find the right pair for your next excursion.


The sneakers

If you want to bring a pair of shoes that are comfortable, portable, and suitable for workouts, these minimalist-style running sneakers are a great choice. Although they're designed to be trail-runners, a number of fans say they're sturdy enough for light road-running, and you can also use them for other types of workouts. Because of the minimalist design, they're lightweight and bulk-free, yet they offer more structure than full-on barefoot shoes. Constructed with flexible mesh and a grippy Vibram outsole, they're perfect for trips because you get the ultra-light benefits without having to train for a year to wear them safely. Do note, however, that like with any minimalist sneakers, you need to break them in first to avoid injury.

One reviewer says: "Wearing the Merrells forces me to engage my core to stand up straighter and walk lighter, which is desirable as I get older. I travel a lot, so I appreciate their lightness and flexibility—the pair packs smaller [than] any other single shoe I have. The rubber compound is very grippy yet surprisingly durable. I often wear them without socks, so it's good that they're easily washable."

  • Available sizes: 7 - 15


The sandals

These lightweight men's Tevas are some of the best sandals for walking, largely due to their innovative soles that combine traction and toughness with a sleek, low-profile design. In short, they're strong and durable, yet they don't weigh a ton. They're also flexible, with fabric straps that bend and adjust easily, offering a great fit while also gliding on and off your feet with ease. They're meant to be amphibious, so you can wear them on both land and water, and the cushioned EVA footbed makes them comfy enough to walk around in all day. As a bonus, they're sold at a great price for the value.

One reviewer says: "I wore these for a full day of activities with a lot of walking involved. They didn't give me any blisters or discomfort like other shoes and sandals normally do. After about 3 months, they are still in good shape, and the wear and tear is minimal. I think these will last me quite some time."

  • Available sizes: 7 - 14


The flip flops

These exceptionally durable men's sandals are great for travel because they're light and impressively bendy. The footbeds are made from comfortable yoga mat material, and the straps are constructed with the same soft, squishy fabric that's used to make beer cozies. Underneath, the soles have shock-absorbing rubber to prevent your feet from fatiguing quickly. Reviewers say they don't get soggy when wet, and they're vegan-friendly, too.

One reviewer says: "I wore these bad boys for two weeks straight while traveling the equator and I got more than I expected. I just wanted some cheap but comfortable flops to last me the trip but they’re still holding strong. I had at least 2-3 different days where I walked 5-6+ miles and was perfectly happy with how cushy and comfortable they were."

  • Available sizes: 7 - 14


The boots

Made by a company that also makes orthotic insoles, it's no surprise that these shoes are among the most comfortable walking boots you can find. Reviewers say they're not only great for general walking but also for helping with issues like plantar fasciitis and other foot ailments. The standout comfort comes from the amazingly soft midsole that blends EVA foam with cork wedge material, offering cushioning as well as shock absorption. On top of that, the tough sole provides steady traction, and the waterproof leather keeps you dry while also adding style points.

One reviewer says: "Excellent lightweight chukka with built in orthotics. They don’t advertise applicability for planter fasciitis but they work very well for mine. Insole is [pre-shaped] as an orthotic but also has a cork layer which is continuing to make these even more comfortable."

  • Available sizes: 9 - 11


The hiking shoes

If you're planning to do more formal trekking during your trip rather than just walking around the city, these lightweight hiking boots are a worthy addition to your suitcase. With a suede-leather upper, soft GORE-TEX lining, and a high-traction Vibram outsole, they're tough enough to offer all of the support you need on the trail while still being lightweight enough for travel. I have the women's version, and they're truly the definition of tough — grippy, shock-absorbing, and breathable with tons of traction. You won't slip, even on technical terrain, nor will your feet get sweltering hot as you work up a sweat. They're pricier than some of the other shoes on this list but comparable to other hiking boots of their style.

One reviewer says: "Great boots, [they] are truly waterproof."

  • Available sizes: 9 - 11


The loafers

Whether you're planning business-related travel or simply a trip involving nice dinners or other reasons to dress up, these lightweight men's loafers provide a convenient, bulk-free way to look nice while you're on the road. With a lace-up closure and glide-in design, they slide on with ease and are simple to adjust. The upper-section is made from durable leather, and the lining features soft microfiber that makes them breathable, too. Best of all, the sturdy TPR sole is built with a stacked heel for added comfort. They come in nine colors and a wide variety of sizes.

One reviewer says: "Very comfortable when I’m walking. The shoe is lightweight. I like it!"

  • Available sizes: 6.5 - 14


The shoes for wide feet

These durable men's shoes are some of the best walking shoes for wide feet, offering a convenient and stylish hybrid between sneakers and loafers. They're light to pack and can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. Additionally, they slide on easily (aided by a handy heel pull-tab), and they don't hog up much space in your bag. Plus, the neutral color options go with everything, which is an asset when you're traveling. Best of all: They come regular sizes (which reviewers say are fairly wide to begin with) and extra-wide sizes, as well.

One reviewer says: "I put these on and found instant fit and comfort!! I've purchased other Sketchers products and I've been very satisfied with every purchase. I have a very wide foot and it's difficult to find shoes that fit. These relaxed fit shoes are perfect."

  • Available sizes: 6.5 - 11.5 (regular and extra-wide)


The shoes with arch support

If you're prone to foot pain, particularly when hoofing it long distances, these walking shoes with arch support offer excellent relief on the road. The construction features breathable, moisture-wicking mesh on the upper-portion (which is part of why they're so lightweight) and soles made from tough, non-slip rubber. The material molds to your feet, allowing full range of motion. Fans say they're extremely comfortable to walk in and, as a bonus, they're affordable, too. Just note that the arch support isn't super steep, so if you need a lot, these may not provide enough. However, most shoes with more arch support will be less ideal for traveling (aka too bulky), so these offer a solid compromise.

One reviewer says: "I needed something comfy on the 12 hour airplane flight. These shoes are real comfy, they feel like slippers but can be wore around town. I wore them everyday in Europe and walked around a lot."

  • Available sizes: 6.5 - 12.5

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