The choice of footwear is rarely given more than a 30-second thought when packing for your trip. I don’t blame you – shoes aren’t exactly a make-or-break in your pictures. They rarely get as much attention as your top, or sunnies, or whatever else you’ve got going on at the eye-level.
And yet, I’ve always found my footwear to play one of the most important role in my trips. So much so that some of my worst trip experiences/memories involve forgetting to bring the appropriate or wearing the wrong footwear. Most of you know that I travel quite extensively, and when I do travel, I tend to have some pretty wild adventures. Going on a safari in South Africa, hiking in Cape Town, paragliding in South Africa, swimming in Cenotes in Mexico, getting certified in PADI to scuba dive among many!
Take New York. I visited New York in August 2015 with my youngest sister. It was sweltering, the subway was uncomfortably hot and the food just don’t taste that good when you’re all you can think about is how uncomfortable you are because of all the sweat. Oh, and when you think of how how stinky everything becomes.
I obviously don’t have to tell you why having the right active footwear is important for your travels. If you are planning an adventurous trip / vacation, here are a few of my suggested active footwear picks to bring with you!
1. Heavy-Duty Sneakers – Superga
For any sort of hikes, long walks and/or outdoor activities you plan on doing, you better have some heavy-duty pair of sneakers to go with it. You can certainly bring along a pair of regular running shoes with you but I’ve discovered while they are sufficient for most trips, I’ve found that I needed more for some of my activities!
I recently invested in a pair of Superga 2750 Cotu Classic ($69, available here), the Italian brand that makes some of the most beloved, stylish and comfortable pair of sneakers out there. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge is a huge fan of the footwear for their style, simplicity, and comfort factor. These are surprisingly affordable as well at USD$65/CAD$70 for a pair. I picked up mine from The Bay for $70 though they are available at retailers like Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, and Steve Madden.
2. Water Shoes – Adidas
If you plan on doing any sort of water-based activities you’ll want to bring more than just a pair of Old Navy sandals. Sandals simply don’t have the right kind of cushioning, nor will they protect your feet if you are walking around where the water might prevent you from seeing what you’re standing on.
When I went to Mexico, I made the decision to bring along a pair of water shoes – I’ve never been to a cenote but I read that you needed to walk a bit from the parking area to the actual caves. Although you probably don’t need these when you’re at the beach, it is a good thing to consider if you are going. It’s especially important to protect your feet if you have cuts or scrapes that might get infected by going barefoot!
Water shoes fit like a pair of thick socks and typically have mesh construction which allows the shoes to dry quickly. They are very lightweight, comfortable and have a fairly thick cushion to prevent sharp edges, and rocks from injuring the bottom of your feet. The bottom of the shoes are typically made of materials like rubber that increases adherence to the surface and prevents slipping. These are great for any ages!
3. Comfortable Active Cushioned Sandals – Clarks or Columbia
When I think of comfortable shoes, I always think of the Clarks of Columbia brands. They are fairly affordable, and easy to get a hold of. These cushioned, flat sandals are excellent for easy walking, provides great traction while being lightweight, easy-to-wear and easy to clean so you can walk on any type of surfaces – sand, cobblestones, gravel, mud, and any other types of surfaces you can think of.
I love the adjustable straps that makes them easy to pack, and fit. They are great for travellers of any ages – water, sand and gravel don’t stand a chance. The only thing that gets to me when wearing this is that sometimes gravel gets between the palm of your foot and the shoes.
I love the quality of Clarks and Columbia sandals – I can wear them for 8+ hours and never feel like I have to take them off. If you have feet that perspire a lot or want something that is quite stylish, these are your best options! P.S. Did I mention they are so easy to clean?
4. Cushioned Slip On Shoes – Keds
A pair of comfortable slip-ons are what I wear when I’m boarding and coming off the plane. These are the more stylish and in my opinion, less touristic version of the flat sandals. Instead, these slip-ons wear and look like a more appropriate option for when closed-toe footwear are considered more appropriate.
I personally prefer the lace-less option as I hate anything that could get caught in things or loosen up. The Keds breathable lining, rubberized soles, and the canvas outside means that dirt don’t get stuck to it! Easy to wear and easy to clean – enough said!
Plan your Adventure Travels
A long layover doesn’t mean it has to be wasted at the airport. See how I like to make the most of my time on the Layover City Guide.
Travel Reviews: Get a solo female traveller’s perspective and experiences on adventure activities, hotels/hostels/AirBnB or transportation all over the world.
Check out other travel planning resources:
1. A Beauty Bloggers’ Makeup Bag – ever wondered what a self-confessed beauty junkie packs in her travel makeup bag?
2. theFantasia’s Free Travel Library: Get access to a carefully curated list of printables, travel deal sites, points / mileage expert sites, and last-minute flight deal groups!
3. Travel Budget Planner Printable: Ever felt like you couldn’t take that dream trip because of budget constraints? Let me help you with this easy budget template created by an M&A Banking Associate!
What are some of your favourite active footwear for adventure travels?