Best travel walking shoes in 2019: A full guide
What shoes should you wear on a trip?
You might be tempted to pick up your good old street shoes or the first sneakers that you would find in your wardrobe, but depending on the type of trip you are considering, these choices may not be appropriate! Of course, if your trip is limited to passing from hotel to hotel, with only pool and beach stops, no need to invest in good walking shoes. But if on the contrary, you plan to make several visits, take steep or unpaved roads, a long walk or carry a backpack on your shoulders, then you must really think about equipping you with good shoes!
Buy tailored travel shoes
Your body resting on your feet, it is from your feet that we must take the most care! A small boil at this place, a plantar pain and toes will cause discomfort that we will be tempted to compensate in one way or another, or even a persistent instability of the body and this will then be the beginning of the problems! In addition to the initial discomfort caused, the pain can quickly spread to the remains of the body (knees, thigh, hips, back, …) and your journey can quickly become a nightmare. Hence the idea of choosing good shoes, adapted to your morphology and the type of trip you undertake (mountain, hikes in rough terrain or more in large cities, adventure trek in the jungle, hiking in urban areas, …) .
How to choose your travel shoes?
Have you ever walked the shoe racks of a sports shop? There are so many choices and often just a few basic explanations! How to navigate? I admit that the first time, I had a lot of difficulties to find myself there and the explanations provided by the seller only partially convinced me. Not being a specialist, it is difficult to say that this or that pair is better than the other or better suited to my personal needs. Besides aesthetics (optional criterion), how to make the right choice among the hundreds of references (and even more so on the Web)? Far from me, the idea of establishing a ranking and obviously I will not make you believe that I have tested over time an incredible number of walking shoes! I will simply provide you with a list (not exhaustive) of walking shoes on which you can throw your eyes closed! This small list is established, already according to my personal experience and then according to the opinions and feedback from users that I was able to collect at the mercy of many searches on the net, forums, test sites and other comments on the sales sites. And finally, this list has naturally been refined according to the activity that interests us, namely the trip. Exit running shoes (and other parallel activities), I focused on hiking shoes that are lightweight, comfortable, accurate, reliable and strong.
The best choices of travel shoes:
Travel shoes with low stems:
Travel shoes with high stems:
Criteria for selecting a hiking shoe:
Let’s look in more detail at the main selection criteria of a hiking shoe, and the ones that allowed me to make this list of shoes that you can try with your eyes closed.
1. Choose according to your activity
– Running shoes
They are designed to run on flat terrain, on the road and track athletics including. They are intended for occasional joggers or professionals. Their main characteristics are their lightness, flexibility and cushioning.
– Trail shoes
They are similar to running shoes but reinforced and adapted to more difficult terrain (dirt roads, mountain, rocky, sand, …). Compared to running shoes, this type of shoe is slightly heavier but offers more stability provided that the terrain is uneven. On flat surfaces, we prefer classic racing shoes that will deteriorate less quickly.
– Hiking shoes
These are walking shoes, not running shoes! They allow a high level of stability and protection, excellent support of the foot and are very solid and comfortable. On the other hand, they fish by their lack of lightness and flexibility. These are the ideal shoes for small and large hikes, and to take on a trip.
– Approach shoes
It is like a mix of hiking shoes and climbing shoes. But without excel in any of these 2 areas.
In conclusion :
None of these kinds of shoes really make a bad choice to go on a trip! Depending on the type of trip you will make and the frequency with which you will wear your shoes, it is up to you to define your priorities: lightness, solidity, comfort, protection, maintenance, stability, cushioning, dynamism, … Generally speaking, for a Travel, hiking shoes are the best choice and offer the best compromise between these various features. Some very good trail shoes can also be perfectly suitable.
2. Upper stem or lower stem?
Generally, you can only opt for tall stems in the assortment “hiking shoes”. The high stems offer unequaled foot protection, better durability but are in return heavy, bulky and very rigid. Only book mountain trips or repeated hikes on very rough terrain, muddy, sandy, cold regions or if you suffer from problems of ankles. The low stems (or mid, a kind of compromise between upper and lower stem) are to be preferred in all other cases for their greater lightness, flexibility, and airiness.
3. Waterproof or not?
Waterproof hiking shoes ever again depend on the trip you undertake. In any case, the purpose of a shoe is that it is comfortable. And for that it is better to avoid having wet feet, which will make you catch a cold, will increase the probabilities of catching blisters, fungal infections, and other small wounds. Said like that, we would tend to prefer waterproof shoes! But not necessarily. Let’s say that if you’re traveling in cold and humid areas, or in areas or at a time of year when it’s likely to rain, then do not think and opt for a waterproof shoe (usually only those with high stems). are really.
On the other hand, if you are traveling in a hot and dry country, the impermeability of the shoe can quickly become a disadvantage. Because where it’s hot, we sweat! And if the shoe is waterproof, it will not be airy enough to evacuate perspiration. As a result, the outside of the shoe is dry while the inside is wet … Fortunately, there is a compromise of 2, thanks to the coating Gore-Tex present on many shoes. This material successfully combines waterproofness and breathability.
Advantages and disadvantages
Nevertheless, despite their qualities, Gore-Tex shoes are not as breathable as the so-called non-waterproof shoes and to make it simple, know that at most a shoe is breathable, the more it will dry quickly. In summary, if your feet are often wet, choose a waterproof shoe. If you are going into a hot, dry area, choose a non-waterproof shoe. And if you are traveling in a hot, humid area where your shoes may occasionally get wet, opt for a shoe with Gore-Tex coating.
Criteria for selecting a good hiking shoe
These are the 3 main selection criteria. We could add several, such as the quality of the sole for example. But as a buyer, unless you cut the shoe, you can only trust the expertise of the shoe brand (free to you later to add an orthopedic insole if necessary). One could add the solidity of the shoe also as an essential criterion but difficult to get a definitive idea on a new shoe, this is true over time. Although opting for a renowned manufacturer, this risk can very often be minimized. These few other criteria are most often left to the appreciation of each, according to our morphology and the use that we make shoes. The opinions and comments that can be found on the Internet on this subject the best indicators. Notes which I took into account to establish the list of advised shoes.
Finally, who wants to find a shoe to his feet should absolutely try them. There is enough sports store where you can go to try various shoes if only to know its ideal foot size according to the chosen brand (although on the web each manufacturer usually offers a size chart and a return possible if the size should not match). Try some models and see where you feel most comfortable and confident, if it fits your budget and if you like it aesthetically (knowing that for a trip, especially in “poor” countries it is better to opt for neutral colors).