Before we started our long term travels, it was difficult to know which would be the best shoes we should take with us. Do we need trainers, sandals or flipflops? Now after 6 months on the road we know – there is only one pair of shoes you really need for travel in warm countries: sandals! We wear our travel sandals on 80-90% of our adventures. Because of that, it is important for us to have the best travel sandals we can find.
While traveling, high quality sandals have so many advantages. First, they are a lot lighter than closed shoes, which makes them perfect in terms of packweight. Second, your feet get a lot more air which is so comfortable especially in hot countries, where closed shoes will make you sweaty and uncomfortable. Third, while they’re still airy, sandals give a lot more support than flip-flops.
In this handy guide to the best travel sandals we have considered three different types of travel: Best travel sandals for a city break, best travel sandals for a beach holiday and best travel sandals for an adventure.
To make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, we created a directory. Just click the link to navigate to the respective part of this post about the best travel sandals.
Best travel sandals directory:
- Best travel sandals for a city break
- Best women’s sandals for a city break
- Best men’s sandals for a city break
- Best travel sandals for a beach holiday
- Best women’s sandals for a beach holiday
- Best men’s sandals for a beach holiday
- Best travel sandals for an adventure
- Best women’s sandals for an adventure
- Best men’s sandals for an adventure
Best travel sandals for a city break
On a city break you’ll visit museums, try delicious dishes in food markets, hunt for some cool souvenirs, see all the top sights the city has to offer and maybe go out for a drink. What does all of this include? Exactly, walking. So what you really want for a city break are some comfortable walking sandals with a decent support. Given that your odds of ending up in a nice restaurant may be higher, then preferably you also want sandals that look good. Here are our top picks of the most comfortable walking sandals for a city break.
Best women’s sandals for a city break
Teva Women’s Kayenta Sandals
The Teva Women’s Kayenta Sandals are perfect for exploring the cities of this world, and unlike a lot of robust sandals, they look great. Compared with a lot of other sandals out there, the straps of the Kayenta are a lot thinner and more feminine, especially on the front. But don’t be fooled by appearance! While the straps look rather delicate, they are really quite tough.
The synthetic sole is inspired by a yoga mat, which means it is extremely comfortable to wear these comfy sandals for a whole day out. The back strap is cushioned as well, avoiding annoying blisters. And don’t worry if you get surprised by a rain shower – these durable sandals are quick-drying, and water won’t harm the fabric.
ZOEREA Womens Sandals
The stylish ZOEREA womens sandals are perfect for museum crawls or sightseeing marathons in any glamorous city. The beaded design gives them a summery look while the comfortable padded insole gives your feet all the love they need. These comfortable sandals for travel are made of chamois material which adds to their wearability. The elastic T-straps make these sandals also perfect if you plan to tour Buddhist temples or mosques, as they are really quick to take off and put on again.
Best men’s sandals for a city break
KEEN Men’s Uneek Leather Sandal
With the KEEN Men’s Uneek Leather walking sandals you can do city travel in style. While they give your feet a lot of air circulation like sandals, they still look rather luxurious. The soft cords are made of leather and include free moving cord junctions to adjust the sandal perfectly to your foot. The Cleansport NXT™ system makes sure that your feet smell fresh even after walking all day long in Uneek sandals. The cushioned strap and midsole ensure that you have the same perfect support as you would get from sneakers. These popular mens sandals are also available in five different colours.
Birkenstock Unisex Milano Sandal
Birkenstock sandals are a timeless choice. With the Milano edition you are more than ready to conquer the steep hills of Porto or stroll through the lively streets of Barcelona. Three adjustable straps guarantee a perfect support for your feet. The foot bed is made of cork, so the longer you wear this shoe, the more comfortable it gets as the cork gets moulded by your foot. This also prevents foot fatigue and let’s you discover any destination until long after dark. The soles are equipped with EVA material, so you have a perfect grip and a good cushioning. Birkenstocks are probably the most comfortable sandals out there.
Best travel sandals for a beach holiday
The beach. Endless coasts of fine, white sand. Palm trees with delicious coconuts. Pretty and relaxed beach towns with a chilled-out atmosphere and fabulous food. Sandals are essential for beach holidays. While we all know how easily one can lose flip-flops in the sand, sandals actually stay on your feet and provide better foot support. Because of this, sandals are the best footwear for beach walking. We show you the best sandals for your next beach holiday.
Best women’s sandals for a beach holiday
Billabong Beach Brigade Gladiator
With the Beach Brigade Gladiator sandal from Billabong you’re definitely looking good on the beach. The gladiator design gives this shoe an eye-catching style. It has lace ties and the leather makes these cool sandals look sexy. As a big bonus the Beach Brigade Gladiator is 100% vegan.
At only 104g, these are some serious lightweight sandals. To make long walks on the beach even more awesome, the Beach Brigade Gladiator sandal even has a light cushion in its foot bed. Perfect for that trendy bar after a long walk on the beach.
Teva Women’s Original Sandal
If you want something you can also wear in the sea, this pair of Teva sandals are exactly the right thing for you. These sandals for hiking and water activities are light enough to wear on the beach, but the strap system is strong enough to keep them on your feet if you decide to go for a dip. The Teva Woman’s Original are not waterproof sandals, but they are water friendly, which means that they will get wet, but they also will dry again very quickly without damaging the fabric.
They come in a range of funky colours. Our experience with Teva sandals is that they are also very sturdy and last a long time, making them some of the best beach sandals.
Best men’s sandals for a beach holiday
Teva Men’s Original Universal Sandal
The Teva Men’s Original Universal Sandal is the perfect companion for when you want to enjoy time at the beach with a dip in the sea every now and then. These adventure shoes are water-friendly, which means that the fabric won’t get damaged by water. The Teva Original Universal Sandals also dry very quickly in the sun, making them some of the best mens beach sandals.
The soft sole makes these some of the most comfortable sandals, even if you wear them all day long. The Teva Original comes in many different colour variations so you can get choose one to suit your style. These beach sandals are very good value as they last for a long time. And if they get dirty you can clean them very easily with a brush and some water.
Chaco Mens Athletic Sandal
Made from only 8 pieces of material, the Chaco Mens Athletic are minimalist sandals, but will give support exactly where you need it. The loop around your big toe gives the shoe an additional secure fit, especially when the sandal gets wet. The LUVSEAT™ PU technology makes sure, that your feet will still feel good after you walked for 500 miles and maybe even good enough to walk 500 miles more. In order that your feet won’t stink that long stroll, Chaco included anti-odour technology. These comfortable mens sandals for land and sea come in many different colour patterns, so you can choose your own look.
Best travel sandals for an adventure
If your favourite activities on your travels are hiking, exploring places off the beaten path and surrounding yourself with nature, then this section is exactly for you. For all these activities you need a good grip and even better support. There are some fantastic adventure sandals out there for you.
Word of caution, if you go to places with lot of ground-based dangers, like venomous crawling beasties or plants who want to hurt you, then we strongly recommend you invest in some decent closed hiking shoes!
For everything else we present to you our top picks for the best travel sandals for adventures.
Best women’s sandals for an adventure
KEEN Women’s Clearwater CNX Sandal
Keen is one of the most popular sandal brands on the market, and with the Clearwater CNX Hiking Sandal they have released the perfect women’s outdoor sandals for all your hiking needs. These KEEN hiking sandals come with a contoured arch which gives them a great mid-foot support. The Quicklace system makes sure that you can adjust the trekking sandal quickly when in need.
In case it gets wet, KEEN have used a hydrophobic mesh lining to make these all terrain sandals water-repellent. The sole has a fantastic grip. And if you are walking over rocky terrain, the Clearwater CNX has an integrated toe guard which protects your toes from stubs. A great choice of ladies hiking sandals.
Merrell Kahuna III
The Merrell Kahuna III are a fantastic pair of outdoor hiking sandals that will help you conquer hills or mountains. The thick straps give your feet all the support they need in rocky surroundings. Additionally there is the external TPU heel stability arm, which provides lateral stability on uneven terrain. The inside of these great sandals is covered with a Lycra® Neoprene lining, creating a comfortable feeling.
Furthermore, the Merrell Kahuna III activity sandals have a technology called Aegis Microbe Shield®. This protects the trekking sandals from developing bad odours and protects them from staining. The Merrell Kahuna III are very tough and will last a long while. Ready for those mountains?
Best men’s sandals for an adventure
Teva Men’s Forebay 2 Sandal
If you’re the kind of guy who prefers wading through a river to walking over a bridge, then these Teva Forebay 2 men’s hiking sandals are exactly for you! Like almost all Teva hiking sandals, this one is also water friendly, meaning it will dry quickly and without fabric damage.
Compared to other Teva men’s outdoor sandals, this one has the hiker in mind. These Teva closed toe sandals have very good support and a sturdy build. Toe guards protect your toes from all the rocks you didn’t see and the rubber sole is extremely durable, offering great traction. The cushioned Shoc Pad helps you to soften any impact on your feet and because this sandal is treated with Microban, your feet will be protected from bad odour. The Forebay 2 men’s trekking sandals are probably the best sandals for walking long distances.
ECCO Men’s Yucatan Sandal
Suitable for every outdoor activity, the ECCO Men’s Yucatan Sandal is a great shoe. With more than 10 million pairs sold, these mens open toe sandals are already among the classics. The ECCO Yucatan have excellent arch support and great traction, which makes them good hiking sandals.
The neoprene lining offers formidable comfort inside the shoe. The direct-injected PU midsole foam makes sure that the cushion is soft and also stays this way. Three adjustable straps and the open toe design guarantee a good fit without being too tight. Those comfortable hiking sandals come with an anti-odour system and will last you a long time.
There are some absolutely fantastic sandals out there and our handy guide means you don’t need to live without them anymore! A good pair of backpacking sandals being usable in water and on land makes them so valuable. High-quality sandals are our preferred footwear whether we are on the beautiful beaches of Thailand, the impressive tea plantations of central Malaysia or in the middle of busy Hanoi. If you can find the best sandals to suit your own needs, they will accompany you through all of your travels. If you’re more interested in Flip-Flops, then read this great post about the most comfortable flip-flops for men.
We hope this guide for the best travel sandals helped you to find a good pair of sandals for your next trip and wish you happy and healthy feet wherever they may take you.
Featured image is taken by Toa Heftiba, published under the Unsplash license.