Fashionable Travel Shoes

Published On October 10, 2012 | By alex | FASHION, Travel Clothing for Women, Travel Gear Reviews, Travel Shoes

Comfortable and Fashionable Travel Shoes

by Natasha Padgitt

I’m no fashion expert – far from it. I wouldn’t even call myself a travel expert or true expat at this point, having only recently moved to San Salvador. But I am definitely an expert in one thing: comfort. Specifically, comfortable travel shoes, thanks to years of commuting to work via public transportation in Washington, DC.

Prior to moving abroad, I wanted to make sure that I had some comfortable, non-nerdy yet fashionable travel shoes.

You know what I’m talking about: Something more substantial than a flip-flop but not quite into sneaker/hiking-boot territory. I have three pairs that I really like, but my best travel shoes for walking are Crocs (What?! I know – don’t judge me) Crocs Women’s Carlie Flat.



I actually just purchased my third pair because I have worn through two pairs in about a year and a half – that’s how much I wear them! These shoes have taken me all over Washington, San Francisco and Chicago, just to name a few cities. And now, they’re helping me navigate the streets of San Salvador.

The peep toe gives them a little bit of style, but the upper part is made of a silicone-like material called TPU (I had to look that up because I didn’t know what it was –thanks, Wikipedia), which means they can get wet or dirty and wash off very easily.

I also like that they can be dressed up or down and can transition from “day at the beach” to “drinks and dinner.” I’ve worn them with jeans, shorts and dresses.

They were my shoe of choice to hobble around the city celebrate with dinner and cocktails after running the Chicago Marathon last year. They truly are ideal womens travel shoes.

Find out more about the Crocs Women’s Carlie Flat.

PLEASE NOTE: A common complaint from women that love Crocs shoes is that they cause feet to sweat and smell.




For something a little more substantial – say, an easy hiking trail or other terrain where you might want a closed toe, I like the Merrell Pure Glove Mary Jane Shoe, which has a Vibram sole for sure-footing and Lycra mesh uppers for a breathable shoe that still keeps rocks and debris out. I own them in the “Castle Rock” color:

They may be little dorky, but I still think they’re better than some of the reinforced-toe alternatives that are out there. They’re billed as a running shoe, but I haven’t actually used them for running. However, it’s nice to know they’re good for it in case there’s trouble …

Click here for more info about the Merrell Pure Glove Mary Jane Shoe.



Finally, another one of my favorite womens travel shoes are the Merrell Women’s Serene Glove Flats. I love ballet flats, but with no arch support or structure, most pairs are not made for long treks on foot. I own these Merrells in black, and they’re cute enough to be dressed up for a nice meal but substantial enough to support your feet on a walking tour. (I wear them without the strap around my ankle.)

Find out more about the Merrell Women’s Serene Glove Flats.

So there you have it: My top shoe picks for stylish travel. What do you consider to be the best fashionable travel shoes?

TFG Recommends: No matter what your choice of fashionable travel shoes, Dr. Scholl’s Gel Insoles are a must for the ultimate in added comfort! They make insoles cut specifically for a woman’s foot so they fit your flats, trainer, or boots just right. Their High Heel Insoles are a total life saver if you plan to travel with heels. I love these insoles – they are the perfect comfort solution!









Author: Natasha Padgitt is a writer living in San Salvador, El Salvador, where she and her husband are posted for his first tour in the U.S. Foreign Service. A Washingtonian turned expatriate, Natasha enjoys reading (to find inspiration to write), baking (to satisfy her insatiable sweet tooth) and running (to undo the effects of baking). She blogs at La Vie Overseas about “Expat Life as a Foreign Service Wife.”

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33 Responses to Fashionable Travel Shoes

  1. Julie says:

    While I love this website and all the fabulous tips and information (keep it coming!), I have to disagree on the recommendation of Crocs! Ask a podiatrist and he/she would tell you that they are not good for your feet at all! You’ll thank me when you are in your 40’s and beyond for taking better care of your feet, wearing shoes with proper support, and proper stability. I used to wear Crocs for travel all the time. I ended up developing Plantar’s Fasciitis, and both my podiatrist and physical therapist looked at my Crocs and asked why I wasn’t wearing proper shoes???? Even nurses at my internists’ asked me the same question! If your feet tend to roll (in or out), Crocs offer no stability, as they roll super easy to either side.

    I wish I could continue to support this company, but not a single shoe that they offer addresses issues for persons with foot problems, when I last researched for my recent trip to Maui. Hopefully, someone else will read this and avoid Crocs, instead going to a trusted shoe store and getting a recommendation from there based on their foot imprint.

    Happy Travels!

  2. Jessica says:

    I bought a pair of Teva sandals (Tirra, but they have many more) for my trip to Disney last spring. I HATE tennis shoes when I’m walking around that much in nicer weather, and my feet just couldn’t bear the thought of flip flops all day (OUCH!!). They held up amazingly and are super comfy. I also wore them on a four-day trip to New York and plan to take them to Spain with me in March. They can be dressy if need be.

    • alex says:

      Hi Jessica, I agree. My feet don’t like anything covering them in the heat and in the winter all they are boots. Picky feet! Thanks for your feedback about the sandals!

  3. Sierra says:

    I would rather walk barefoot than to wear crocs or those merrell shoes that look like water mocassins. Europe will tear you apart for it, you’re just screaming tourist.

  4. Nicole says:

    try superfeet insoles! they are so much better than dr. scholl’s – the support the superfeet provides has lasted much longer than the dr. scholl’s! think one pair of superfeet a year to three pairs of dr. scholl’s!

  5. Denise says:

    I just purchased Croc’s Huarache flats. They’re the best. I bought them when I saw another girl in my swim class wearing them when she took them in the shower with her. They’re super cute and comfortable. They double as flip flops since they’re waterproof croc material and they don’t make obnoxious smack sounds when you walk.

  6. Jenna says:

    I bought a pair of these Crocs and loved them–I was standing all day and they were so comfortable! However they did cause massive sweating and after only about a month they smelled SO BAD. Like, worse than any shoe I’ve ever owned. I washed them daily, but by the end of the day the smell was back. Super embarrassing in Asian countries, where you have to take your shoes on frequently to enter places :/

    • alex says:

      Hi Jenna! That is by far the biggest complaint from Crocs shoe lovers – the smell. I will make sure to add a warning label to all Crocs posts from now on. Thanks for reading!

  7. Erica says:

    Loved this post and referenced it when I was picking my three travel shoes for a RTW trip. My final choices were Crocs Kaydee in black, Teva’s Zirra in black and Merell’s Pace glove 2 for hiking and exercise. I am absolutely in love with all three shoes.

  8. Dee Dee says:

    I like the styles that Crocs offer, but I’m concern about my feet perspiring in warm climits like Italy in June. Have you had this problem?

  9. Geek Goddess says:

    I went on a two week trip through Turkey/Greece/Israel last year, and I went with only two pairs of flat Ecco shoes, one in a neutral taupe smooth leather and one in a black patent. I wore them walking for hours through city streets, climbing up the steps of the Parthenon, up the desert steps at Masada, wore them with dresses, pants, and shorts. That was two years ago, and I continue to wear the same two pairs, and they show essentially no wear. They aren’t $30, but they are stylish, very high quality, leather uppers, good arch support, and required no breaking in.

  10. Jenna says:

    Great ideas! This is perfect timing for me because I just posted on my blog’s Facebook page that I am having trouble finding comfortable travel shoes that look cute. I got a pair of Converse at Target–horrible! So uncomfortable. I have a pair of Merrell Mary Janes but want something that will be more closed in case it rains.

  11. Caitlin says:

    Just now discovering the multitude of Croc styles so thanks for the tip but how bad is the sweaty feet issue when going barefoot while travelling?

  12. Melissa - Suitcase and Heels says:

    I bought a pair of Merrell San Remo sandals for a 3.5 week trip around the world. They’ve taken a beating (and a dip in the Adriatic) and have held up. I’ve walked miles upon miles without breaking them in first (wrong I know!) and not one blister. I love that they have a supportive, grippy sole without looking like an athletic sandal. I can wear them with shorts or a sundress. I just need to figure out how to clean the footbeds, because after 24 days of almost constant wear they’re a bit stinky. :\

    • alex says:

      Hi Melissa, thanks for your comment!

      Merrell for sure makes quality travel shoes – it’s great that they can do both practical and select shoes that have a bit of style too. That’s incredible that you didn’t get a blister with the San Remos. That’s always one of the worst things about any new shoes. As for the stinky part, they may look nice but they’re still shoes so it’s understandable :-)

  13. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family says:

    Most of my travels have been done in a $30 pair of Croc sandals. They’re ridiculously comfortable and don’t look bad at all. I mysteriously lost one on the plane to the US last year. I’ve got no idea where it went or how I lost a shoe on the plane. I’d kicked them off under the seat in front of me and on of them just vanished into thin air!! Airhostesses searched the plane with me after everyone had disembarked but no shoe!!! I had to walk through LAX in a pair of purple socks from the comfort kit until I got my luggage!! So embarrassing!!! I went and bought a new pair of the Croc sandals the next day in Vegas and they saw me through my last trip around Asia and are still in good condition. :)

    • alex says:

      Wow, that’s a lot of Croc love and how does one vanish? LOL :-)

      Depending on where my next travels take me, I might get one of their hybrid flats like the Carlie.

      I think I sense the need for a Crocs giveaway!

  14. Natasha says:

    Thanks again for the opportunity for a guest post. I’m glad the feedback has been positive so far … I never thought I would be making fashion recommendations!

  15. Meagan C says:

    Thanks for this post. My husband’s a FSO in the 169th A-100 & I have been considering good DC walking shoes & travel shoes for our first post for a couple weeks. I’ve loved traveling in a pair of croc Jaydas – Just what you need to get through TSA at the airport.
    Super helpful post!

  16. Kelly Dunning says:

    I always thought Crocs were the very definition of tacky and ugly and I swore never to wear them… but that I find that first pair of shoes actually attractive. I’m in Southeast Asia and my cheap night market sandals just fell apart and I could really use a pair of those right now! haha

    • alex says:

      Yes me too!~ I’ve seen a bunch of knock offs here at the markets in Thailand and will consider buying a pair before I leave. If you need any tips on Thailand, I live here feel free to ask!

      It’s nice to see Crocs stepping it up!

      Thanks for your comment :-)

  17. Francesca says:

    Not surprised to see two of your three picks are Merrell. I swear by that brand!

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