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Sep '23

What Are The Top-rated Travel Shoes For Backpackers?

Are you an adventurous backpacker looking for the perfect pair of travel shoes to enhance your journeys? Look no further! In this article, we will explore the top-rated travel shoes for backpackers, ensuring your feet remain comfortable and supported throughout your globetrotting adventures. Whether you’re hiking rugged terrains, exploring bustling cities, or strolling along sandy beaches, we’ve got you covered with our handpicked selection of travel shoes that combine style, durability, and all-day comfort. Say goodbye to blisters and sore feet, and get ready to embark on your next adventure with confidence!


When it comes to travel shoes for backpackers, comfort is paramount. After all, you’ll be spending long hours on your feet, exploring new places and trekking through unfamiliar terrain. So, what makes a pair of travel shoes comfortable?


One of the key factors in comfort is cushioning. A good pair of travel shoes will have ample cushioning to provide support and absorb shock. This is particularly important if you’ll be walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time. Look for shoes with cushioned insoles or midsoles that offer superior padding and shock absorption.

Arch Support

Another important aspect of comfort is arch support. The arch of your foot is designed to absorb impact and provide stability. However, not all shoes offer adequate arch support, which can result in discomfort and even pain. Look for travel shoes that have built-in arch support or the ability to accommodate orthotic inserts. This will provide the necessary support for your feet, especially if you have high arches or flat feet.


Traveling often involves hours of walking and exploring, which means your feet will be working up a sweat. To keep your feet comfortable and odor-free, it’s important to choose travel shoes that are breathable. Look for shoes made from breathable materials such as mesh or knit fabrics. These materials allow air to circulate, preventing your feet from becoming hot and sweaty. Additionally, shoes with moisture-wicking properties can help keep your feet dry and comfortable, even on the hottest of days.


As a backpacker, you need shoes that can withstand the rigors of your adventures. After all, the last thing you want is a pair of shoes falling apart halfway through your trip. So, what should you look for in terms of durability?

Material Quality

One of the key factors in durability is the quality of the materials used. Travel shoes made from high-quality materials such as leather, synthetic fabrics, or Gore-Tex are more likely to withstand the wear and tear of constant use. These materials are known for their durability and ability to resist water and abrasions.

Reinforced Construction

In addition to material quality, the construction of the shoes plays a crucial role in their durability. Look for shoes with reinforced stitching and sturdy construction. Pay attention to details such as glued seams, reinforced toe caps, and durable laces. These small details can make a big difference in the overall lifespan of your shoes.

Outsole Durability

The outsole of a shoe is the part that makes contact with the ground and provides traction. A durable outsole is essential for travel shoes, as it ensures that they can withstand various terrains and surfaces. Look for shoes with outsoles made from high-quality rubber or other durable materials. Bonus points if the outsole has a lug or tread pattern that provides excellent traction and grip.


When you’re traveling and space is limited, versatile shoes can be a game-changer. The ability to wear your shoes in different settings and with various outfits can save you precious space and minimize the need for multiple pairs of shoes. So, what makes a pair of travel shoes versatile?

Suitable for Various Terrains

As a backpacker, you may encounter a wide range of terrains, from city streets to rugged trails. Versatile travel shoes should be able to handle different terrains with ease. Look for shoes with a versatile tread pattern that can provide traction on both pavement and uneven surfaces. Additionally, shoes with a more rugged build and reinforced toe caps can offer extra protection and stability when venturing off the beaten path.

Can Be Dressed Up or Down

Versatility also means being able to dress your shoes up or down depending on the occasion. Look for travel shoes with a sleek and minimalistic design that can be easily dressed up for a night out or dressed down for a casual day of sightseeing. Neutral colors such as black or brown are typically more versatile and can easily blend with different outfits.

Multipurpose Functionality

In addition to being suitable for different terrains and dress codes, versatile travel shoes should also offer multipurpose functionality. Look for shoes that can serve multiple purposes, such as being suitable for activities like hiking, sightseeing, and even water activities. This way, you can pack fewer pairs of shoes and maximize the space in your backpack.


When you’re constantly on the move, the weight of your shoes can make a significant difference. Heavy shoes can lead to unnecessary fatigue and make long walks or hikes feel more challenging. So, why should you prioritize lightweight travel shoes?

Reduced Weight for Easy Packing

Packing light is key when you’re a backpacker. Every extra ounce adds up, and heavy shoes can quickly weigh you down. Lightweight travel shoes are designed to minimize weight without sacrificing comfort or durability. Look for shoes made from lightweight materials such as mesh, knit, or synthetic fabrics. These materials offer excellent breathability and are known for their feather-light feel.

Enhanced Mobility

Traveling often involves a fair amount of walking, sightseeing, and exploring. Heavy shoes can hinder your mobility and make these activities feel more cumbersome. Lightweight travel shoes allow for greater agility and freedom of movement. Whether you’re running to catch a bus or climbing a steep trail, lightweight shoes won’t weigh you down or slow you down.

Less Fatigue During Long Walks

Walking long distances can be tiring enough without the added weight of heavy shoes. Lightweight travel shoes can help reduce fatigue and keep you energized throughout your adventures. By minimizing the strain on your feet, ankles, and legs, lightweight shoes allow you to explore more without feeling overly exhausted.

Water Resistance

As a backpacker, you’re likely to encounter unpredictable weather conditions and unexpected water hazards. Having water-resistant shoes can make a world of difference in terms of comfort and practicality. So, why are water-resistant travel shoes a must-have?

Protection Against Rain and Water Splashes

No one likes wet feet, especially when you have a full day of exploring ahead. Water-resistant travel shoes provide a barrier against rain and water splashes, keeping your feet dry and comfortable. Look for shoes with water-resistant uppers that repel water and prevent it from seeping in. This feature is particularly important if you’ll be traveling to rainy destinations or engaging in water activities.

Quick Drying Ability

Even with water-resistant shoes, there may be times when your shoes get wet. Whether you accidentally step into a puddle or get caught in a sudden downpour, quick drying ability is crucial. Look for shoes with materials that dry quickly, such as mesh or synthetic fabrics. These materials don’t retain water and allow your shoes to dry out faster, reducing the risk of discomfort and odor.

Maintaining Dryness and Comfort

Wet shoes can not only be uncomfortable but also increase the risk of blisters and foot problems. By investing in water-resistant travel shoes, you can maintain dryness and comfort even in wet or damp conditions. This can be especially valuable if you’ll be traveling to destinations with unpredictable weather or participating in water-based activities like kayaking or fishing.

Grip and Traction

Whether you’re navigating slippery cobblestone streets or hiking rugged trails, having shoes with excellent grip and traction is essential for your safety and stability. So, why should you pay attention to the grip and traction of your travel shoes?

Superior Traction on Different Surfaces

Different surfaces require different levels of traction. A pair of travel shoes with superior traction ensures that you can walk confidently on various surfaces, including wet or slippery ones. Look for shoes with outsoles that feature a lug or tread pattern, as these provide excellent grip and traction even on challenging terrains. The deeper and more pronounced the lugs, the better the shoes will perform in rugged environments.

Non-Slip Outsoles

Slipping and sliding can not only lead to injuries but also ruin your travel experience. Non-slip outsoles are designed to prevent slips and falls, even on wet or icy surfaces. Look for shoes with rubber outsoles that have a high coefficient of friction, which means they provide a strong grip on different surfaces. Additionally, shoes with textured or patterned outsoles offer better traction as they allow for more surface area to come into contact with the ground.

Secure Footing on Slippery Terrain

When you’re backpacking, you never know what kind of terrain you’ll encounter. From moss-covered rocks to muddy trails, slippery terrain can be treacherous if your shoes lack grip. Shoes with excellent traction and grip ensure that you have a secure footing and reduce the risk of slips and falls. This is particularly important if you’ll be hiking in mountainous regions or exploring areas with unpredictable weather conditions.

Ease of Packing

As a backpacker, you know that space is precious. Therefore, it’s important to choose travel shoes that are easy to pack and don’t take up too much space in your backpack. So, what should you look for in terms of ease of packing?

Flexible and Collapsible Design

Travel shoes with a flexible and collapsible design are a backpacker’s dream. These shoes can be easily folded or rolled up, making them a space-saving option. Look for shoes made from materials that allow for flexibility, such as knitted fabrics or soft leathers. Additionally, shoes with collapsible heels or foldable uppers can further enhance their packability.


In addition to being flexible and collapsible, travel shoes should be compact and lightweight. Shoes that take up too much space in your backpack can limit your ability to pack other essentials. Look for shoes that can be compressed easily or fit into small compartments. Additionally, shoes with removable insoles or collapsible soles can help reduce their overall size when packing.

Fit into Small Backpack Compartments

To maximize space in your backpack, it’s important to choose shoes that can fit into small compartments or pockets. Look for shoes that have a slim profile or come with their own compact storage pouch. This way, you can easily tuck them away when not in use and make the most of the available space in your backpack.


Who says travel shoes can’t be fashionable? While functionality is key, style should not be overlooked. After all, you want your shoes to look good and complement your outfits. So, how can travel shoes be stylish?

Fashionable and Trendy

Travel shoes no longer have to be bulky or unstylish. Many brands now offer travel shoes that combine functionality with fashion-forward designs. Look for shoes that have a sleek and modern aesthetic, with clean lines and minimalistic details. Fashionable travel shoes can elevate your outfit and make you feel confident and stylish wherever your adventures take you.

Variety of Color Options

To suit different preferences and personal styles, travel shoes are available in a wide range of colors. From classic neutrals like black and brown to vibrant hues like red or blue, there’s a color to suit every taste. Choose a color that best complements your wardrobe or opt for versatile options that can easily blend with different outfits.

Blend Well with Different Outfits

Versatility extends beyond functionality to style. Ideally, travel shoes should be able to blend well with different types of outfits. Look for shoes that can be paired with both casual and more formal attire. Shoes with a versatile design, such as slip-on sneakers or Chelsea boots, can easily transition from day to night and be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.


Traveling can be expensive, and budget considerations are always important. Luckily, there are travel shoes available at a wide range of price points to suit every budget. So, why should you consider budget-friendly options?


Budget-friendly travel shoes offer affordability without compromising too much on quality and performance. While they may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end options, they still provide comfort and durability for your adventures. Look for shoes that offer a good balance between price and features, and don’t be afraid to shop for deals or discounts.

Longevity for Value

When investing in budget-friendly travel shoes, it’s important to consider their longevity. While they may not last as long as more expensive options, they can still provide good value for the duration of your trip. Look for shoes with decent construction and materials that can withstand the demands of your backpacking adventures. Additionally, choosing shoes with replaceable insoles or the ability to accommodate orthotic inserts can extend their lifespan and offer better long-term value.

Available Price Ranges

The beauty of budget-friendly travel shoes is that they come in a wide range of price points. This means you can find options to suit your budget, whether you’re looking for shoes under $50 or willing to spend up to $100 or more. By setting a budget and exploring different brands and styles, you can find the perfect pair of travel shoes that won’t break the bank.

Brand Reputation

When it comes to travel gear, it’s always a good idea to consider brands with a strong reputation. Trusted brands among backpackers often have a proven track record of producing quality and reliable products. So, why should you consider brand reputation when choosing travel shoes?

Trusted Brands Among Backpackers

There are certain brands that have become synonymous with backpacking and adventure travel. These brands have established themselves as trusted names in the industry, known for producing high-quality gear that meets the needs of backpackers. Look for brands that have a reputation for durability, comfort, and innovative design. By choosing a trusted brand, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re investing in a reliable product.

Positive Customer Reviews

Customer reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality and performance of travel shoes. Before making a purchase, take the time to read reviews from other backpackers who have used the shoes you’re interested in. Look for reviews that highlight comfort, durability, and overall satisfaction with the product. Positive customer reviews are a good indicator of a brand’s reliability and the likelihood of you being satisfied with your purchase.

Industry Recognition

A brand’s reputation can also be reflected in its industry recognition and awards. Pay attention to brands that have received accolades for their travel shoes or have been recognized by outdoor or backpacking publications. These accolades can be a testament to a brand’s commitment to producing high-quality and innovative products. By choosing a brand with industry recognition, you can be confident in the performance and reliability of their travel shoes.

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing travel shoes for backpackers, there are several factors to consider. Comfort, durability, versatility, lightweight design, water resistance, grip and traction, ease of packing, style, budget-friendliness, and brand reputation all play a role in the selection process. By prioritizing these factors and finding the right balance, you can ensure that your travel shoes will provide the comfort, durability, and style you need for your backpacking adventures. So, lace up your shoes, hit the road, and make unforgettable memories knowing that your feet are ready for anything!



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