Article written by

Jo Fitzsimons is a freelance travel writer who has visited over 60 countries. is the place where she shares destination details, travel itineraries, planning and booking tips and trip tales. Her aim: to help you plan your travel adventure on your terms and to your budget.

24 Responses

  1. Emily J
    Emily J at | | Reply

    I haven’t had the guts yet to quit my job and travel long term (also I have pets and I don’t want to ditch them for more than a month at my family).

    That said my go to shoes for travel depend on my destination:

    City tripping during warm weather:
    TOMs travelite sneakers
    Flip flops for hostel use
    TIEKs ballet flats

    If it is extremely warm I find myself a nice looking pair of sandals that offer more support than my flip flops.
    If it is extremely cold I pack my Tracker FG boots from Vivobarefoot.

    When I travel more long term I take the usual three suspects and add in my trail shoes from Vivobarefoot. These babies are closed toe, perfect for running and hiking and can handle rugged terrain with excellent grip, even in wet conditions.

  2. ENSJ
    ENSJ at | | Reply

    The shoes I take on travel depend on my destination (never long term or different climates in one go because I haven’t had the guts yet to quit my job, and I don’t want to leave my pets for more than a month).

    When I go to cities (Europe and the like) I take: 1 pair of sneakers (I use TOMs travelites) for everyday walking, flip flops for communal showers and ballet flats.
    Sometimes, when I it’s really hot at the destination I also carry some nice looking sandals that provide more support than my flip flops.
    If it’s going to be cold (think snow and ice) at my destination I carry an extra pair of boots (I use the Tracker FG from Vivobarefoot).

    If I travel for longer term or go to a place where I know I walk around more rugged terrain than your average citiy I take the usual three suspects but then add in my trail shoes from Vivobarefoot. They are perfect for running, hiking etc and have a great grip even in wet weather.

  3. Claire
    Claire at | | Reply

    I’m a little late to the discussion, Jo, but I just wanted to say thanks for this blog post! I was a true flip flop gal, but I wore them for a few hours walking recently and realized that I was being ridiculous (lots of toe blisters, in places I didn’t even know toes got blisters!) I found your post after looking for other options that aren’t huge and ugly. I’m tempted by the crocs sexi foot things (although argh what a name 🙂 but after reading your article, maybe I’ll give Birks a whirl! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  4. istar101
    istar101 at | | Reply

    From what I heard,Birks are ah-mazing. Smart choice for smart people,no doubt.
    Timeless design,comfort and a lot of style all in one-WIN hands down.
    And instead of your usual running shoes,I would personally recommend either Crivit (Lidl Shopping Centers own brand) trekking sneakers (not a blow on your budget,waterproof-tested and verified personally,wind-proof,breathable and overall anatomic) or Dunlop and their Lite models (got a pair just recently and loving them to bits-lightweight,got cool metallic shine and fit perfectly,thank you, arch support lol).
    As far as flipper floppers go,a big no no to extended wear time. First hand experience. Oh,and,there’s also a solution there. I have a pair of Timberland toe loop flip flops that are super comfy and have soft cushion footbeds and anti-slip soles. And,considerind the fact that the insoles are suede and straps leather,they dry out pretty quickly when they get wet.
    There’s my “perrils of wisdom” as a traveller to a traveller. 🙂

  5. Cait Davison
    Cait Davison at | | Reply

    Great article Jo, thanks for sharing your shoe wisdom! I am going to be traveling around Asia for 7 months in 2016 and think I’m ready to take the plunge for my first pair of Birkenstocks. 🙂 In other reviews people have complained about the thong in the Gizeh sandle being painful or uncomfortable if worn several days in a row. I think the Gizeh is much cuter than the Arizona, but am nervous to pull the trigger based on the reviews about the painful thong part. As an avid traveler who wears Gizehs, what is your honest opinion of that part? How do they feel if you wear them several days in a row? Thanks for your help!!

  6. Rima
    Rima at | | Reply

    Hiya, I just came across this post and it’s so helpful! 🙂 I’m heading off on a RTW trip this June and already wondering which shoes to take. Think I’m leaning towards running rather than hiking shoes as we won’t be doing much hiking or treks. I just wanted to ask which brand your running shoes are?

  7. Jo
    Jo at | | Reply

    Your feet are so tiny! Even my ridiculously petite Asian friends need a size 3, your feet must be adorable haha.

    I have to admit, I’m a cheap flip flop girl. However, I saw so many beautiful shoes in Latin America, and they never had my size (a UK 5-6). My travel buddy had size 7 feet and the man in one shop literally laughed in her face and called over his colleague to share the joke that a gringa thought she could buy shoes in his country.

    I’ll definitely be looking into Birkenstocks and hiking sandals for my next trip!

  8. Priya
    Priya at | | Reply

    I do not do long walks in flip-flips (on purpose anyway). I’ve learned from experience that my feet will hate me after a long walk in flip-flops. I only use them as shower shoes/ very short walks/ in the house use. I do, however, do long walks in trekking sandals ( and I totally didn’t know that they were called trekking sandals until I saw the picture. I just called them sporty sandaly thingies_.

  9. Ed
    Ed at | | Reply

    I’ve never been a fan of flip-flops. I broke one on a long beach walk near Tulum, Mexico and it was a pain walking back barefoot. I also knew all along that it wasn’t good for your muscles and walking stride and have opted for sandals. When I need something a bit more formal it’s more formal sandals. I do keep a pair of running shoes because sometimes events require it. I got in trouble in Jamaica zip lining because I only had sandals and the required closed toe shoes. I also tried to use sandals in Dominican Republic to do a waterfall hiking excursion and the rush of the water while trying to climb up always flipped the front of the sandal right off my toe. That kind of trip required something closed toe just to make it (barefoot was too slick). In the end, I don’t do full time travel, just in focused spurts so I have the luxury to pick and choose but thanks for calling this out as people underestimate this a lot.

  10. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer
    Chanel | Cultural Xplorer at | | Reply

    Great review! I just bought my first pair of Birkenstocks when I was in Munich last week (and had to buy a pair of flats this week to protect me from the rain), however they were MUCH more comfortable and supportive than my flat (but cute) sandals!

  11. Sam
    Sam at | | Reply

    Travelling with smart shoes for guys is a pain. I think this is one area of packing female travellers have the advantage over male ones! I love my Teva sandals too, but then I care very little for how I look!

  12. Meg W.
    Meg W. at | | Reply

    Birks are THE BEST. I wore them for 2 years of school, 1 year of traveling South America. I still wear them to work, and will be taking them with my to Asia. AWESOME. I also love Havaiana’s for the more casual adventures. I got a pair in Ecuador and they’ve lasted me over a year with no visible wear, and I wore them every single day.

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

Leave a Reply