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.
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?
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.”