Are you looking for the best boots for travel? In this post, we cover the best travel boots on the market and discuss what to look for in a pair of new boots.
Every single traveler has something in common apart from their adventurous spirit, and that is their need for solid, supportive and durable footwear that can handle the punishment of the open road!
Whether you are city hopping and covering miles of sidewalk to catch the sights, or working your way over a dusty trail to a hidden waterfall, your travel boots should offer a cushy and supportive ride or your adventures will take an uncomfortable turn very quickly!
We know the internet is absolutely bursting with possibilities, so we’ve gone ahead and taken the stress straight out of the equation by compiling your essential buying guide to travel boots and our top 10 suggestions all in one place!
All you have to do is read on, learn about what makes the best boots stand above the others, then apply that knowledge to our list to pick out your feet’s best friends for your next trip!
What to look for in a pair of travel boots?
A sad reality of traveling is that you won’t have room to bring several different pairs of shoes and boots to fit every occasion. Whatever pair of boots you settle on, you’re bound to spend a lot of time in them and cover a fair number of miles. So, as you may have guessed, it’s absolutely crucial that those boots be comfortable and supportive!
Pay special attention to the boots’ outsole and footbed material to gauge its comfort and durability. We are particularly fond of Vibram outsoles as they provide a nice comfortable ride, but they also hold up very well to wear and tear and allow the boots to last as long as possible.
Your specific travel goals will of course also play a role in the type of travel boot that best suits your needs. Perhaps you’re planning on spending most of your days jetting from sight to sight in the big city. Maybe some time in galleries and museums, interspersed with street walking to find the best eateries and views. Or perhaps you have a certain proclivity for remote mountain trails and exploring the great outdoors in every country you visit.
Whatever your preference, take the time to consider your future activities and pick a travel boot that will offer the highest level of utility in that department. A swish leather boot may not serve you well for rock scrambling, and a heavy-duty outdoorsman boot may raise a few eyebrows at your luxurious dinner after a day of exploring.
So, you get the idea, make your travel boot agree with your activities. Or better yet, opt for a boot that can be at home almost anywhere! Specifically, look for boots that are durable, offer good arch support, can be cleaned without hassle, and more importantly are waterproof and stylish.
Regardless of your activity of choice, one essential characteristic that we highly recommend for any travel boot worth its salt is waterproofing. A stylish boot aimed for city travel is not immune from the occasional rainfall, and there’s nothing worse than sloshing around town on your vacation with wet boots!
This is equally true if you’re out in the countryside soaking up the views. So, take the time to ensure that your travel boot of choice incorporates some form of waterproofing treatment. At the very least, treat the boots yourself with one of the many waterproofing agents that you can purchase online or at a sporting goods store.
Now there are dozens, if not hundreds, of boots out there that can cover the three points described above. But the very best travel boots can accomplish that goal and more by presenting them in a stylish and attractive manner. Boots that are as slick as they are sturdy, and are just as much at home in a high-end restaurant as they are exploring a national forest, are the cream of the crop in the boot world.
The style is, therefore, the fourth and final point that we looked for while compiling our top choices for the best travel boot, to provide you with a boot that will keep you looking good wherever you go!
The Best Travel Boots
Chippewa Apache Boots
These are probably my favorite pair of boots I’ve ever owned. I spent some time looking for the perfect boot brand and came across Chippewa. They make gorgeous leather boots and they’re all made in the USA. Which, for me, means supporting my own nation and it brings a level of quality when not mass produced cheaply.
The boots are made of a thick soft leather, strong stitching, and they’re extremely comfortable. These boots are tough and perfect for travel. As a tip I’d pick up some leather treatment to protect the boot and add a level of water resistance. To top it all off when paired with a pair of jeans they look great for a classic look!
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II
Not all boots are about the style. These Columbia boots are about practicality and comfort. The Newton Ridge Plus is a blend of leather and synthetic materials good for breathability and waterproofing.
Synthetic boots may not have the classic look, but they weigh less and have more flexibility than the more expensive leather boots. In fact, most safari guides these days opt for the new style of boots due to their practicality and comfort. With a low price point, these boots are a clear winner.
Merrell Men’s Moab 2
Merrel is a great boot brand. They specialize in hiking shoes so you know your feet will be comfortable for walking long distances. The boots are a blend of leather, textile, and synthetic. They are waterproof, comfortable, rubber soles, and high ankles.
The soles themselves are specially designed to grip so in muddy or wet conditions they grip. It’s unlikely you’ll ever go for a bush walk in rainy conditions. I would suggest these boots for someone going gorilla trekking in the jungle or if you’re an avid hiker.
Dr. Marten’s Pascal Combat Boot
The Pascal Combat Boot has been a fashion staple for decades now. Combined with both a classic combat boot look, solid design, and comfort these boots are great for hiking. A large selection of styles and colors ensure you can choose whatever suits your mood.
The long history and great build quality mean the boots should also hold up against the elements. I wouldn’t recommend them for a hard adventurer, but they’re more than enough for the average backpacker or traveler.
Danner Women’s Mountain Light Cascade
Danner has been crafting some of the best hiking boots for decades, but when it comes to blending hiking and travel for those adventurous spirits out there, the Mountain Light is top dog. The boot is finely crafted to be ruggedly stylish and will hold up to just about any escapade you can throw at it.
Starting from the bottom, we have a rugged Vibram outsole that provides excellent shock absor7ption for a smooth ride, while also providing great traction over some tough terrain. The upper Sienna leather has a very attractive retro aesthetic while maintaining its utility with very durable construction. While not inherently waterproof, we love the classic construction that make these boots functional in the outdoors, yet classy enough to wear elsewhere on your travels.
Danner Men’s Mountain 600
The mountain 600 is the perfect travel hiking boot from Danner for men, that again blends the classically good look of Danner with some serious oomph to make them an ideal boot for the travel hikers out there. The Vibram outsole provides excellent grip in wet and slick conditions and resists wear over time very nicely! This is complemented by the Danner Dry system for complete waterproofing, thus the boot is an excellent choice for serious hiking trips.
The 100% suede upper that comes in a variety of colors is stylish and has a distinct retro appeal that is perfectly acceptable in town or at the airport. The cushioned polyurethane footbed backs up this idea by providing a nice comfy fit no matter where you wear them!
Merrell Women’s Sugarbush
Speaking of retro hiking boots that are stylish for casual wear, we have the Sugarbush boot from Merrell. The 100% leather boot is beautifully crafted, with an eye-catching retro design that is great looking from the trail to the airport and everywhere in-between!
These boots aren’t just for looks though. They are completely waterproof and sport a tough Vibram outsole that keeps your feet dry and provides good traction over most surfaces. The footbed itself is composed of high-density Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) which provides an exceptionally comfortable and supportive ride to keep your feet happy for every aspect of your trip!
RZEN Men’s Hiking Boots
For a stylish ride that’s suitable for the airport, a local eatery, all the way to a backcountry trail, check out the RZEN hiking boot. The waterproof leather upper will keep your feet dry for your entire adventure, and the very comfortable inside lining will stay nice and cozy from beginning to end.
What’s more, these boots weigh in at less than two pounds, making them an ideal choice for space and weight conscience traveler. Lastly, the rubber outsole seems to be the perfect balance between cushy and rugged; it provides excellent shock absorption and comfort, but still holds up to long-term use.
Ugg Women’s Kesey Boot
Ugg’s reputation for some of the comfiest footwear on the market lives on in the Kesey Boot. The cork and rubber mix used for the outsole produces an incredibly soft yet resilient blend that works perfectly for those on-the-move world travelers.
This comfort is then augmented by the waterproof full-grain leather upper to make these boots as functional as they are comfy. The icing on the cake for this boot is that all the comfort and waterproofing is wrapped up in a finely crafted boot with the style for an important business trip overseas, or a quick weekend jaunt to explore an exotic new city – take your pick!
Red Wing Iron Ranger for Men
Red Wing has a well-earned reputation for nearly indestructible boots that will last through rain or shine, which is exactly what we’re looking for in the perfect travel boot! The Iron Ranger combines that high-quality construction with a fashionable and eye-catching design that makes it perfect for city traveling.
The 100% leather upper construction is exceptionally comfortable and durable, but we recommend adding some waterproofing for even more protection. Working our way down, the outsole is composed of nitrile cork, providing a cushy and supportive ride that will keep you on the move from the airport to the city sights, and as you dance the night away!
Merrell Captiva for Women
For a stylish boot to rival the men’s Iron Ranger, we have the Captiva by Merrell. The fashionable, high boot design features a full-grain leather upper that is entirely waterproof and moisture wicking, making it just as rugged as it is stylish for the tough traveling life. Another hidden testament to this boot’s durability is its M Select Grip outsole that is slip-resistant on wet ground and extremely long lasting.
We all know that a good travel boot must also be comfortable enough to wear all the time, and Merrell has also scored a bullseye in that department with a removable EVA footbed and their heel air cushion technology. Both of these items work in tandem to absorb shock, provide support, and yield an incredibly smooth ride!
Hush Puppies Mazin Cayto Boots for Women
We have yet another comfortably stylish boot here from Hush Puppies that we highly recommend for heavy city traveling that is going to keep you on your feet. The molded EVA foam padding is exceptionally comfortable for days of walking through the airport or streets, and the rubber outsole stands up to and absorbs the impact from, the endless streets that must be navigated to get to the best sights.
You’ll have your choice between soft nubuck leather or suede; both offer decent durability and comfort for your trip! We would, however, recommend waterproofing your shoes after purchase to make them even more durable.
Sorel Madison Moc Toe for Men
Sorel is another powerhouse in the world of boots and is most noted for their warm, comfy winter boots. But in this case, they’ve produced a low profile, hardy boot that is perfect for long-term travel. The nubuck leather is completely waterproof, making it ideal for rainy walks abroad, while the molded rubber outsole provides a firm grip when things get slick.
The toughness of this boot is balanced by the very comfortable EVA footbed and sleek design that is perfect for wherever your travels could possibly take you. It’s important to remember, however, that these boots are primarily intended for the city traveler. If you have some tough terrain or rough conditions in your future, take a look at the men’s Rockport shoe below.
Rockport Rugged Bucks for Men
Rockport has done an excellent job blending the tough, rugged construction of an outdoor-focused shoe with the trim and good-looking appeal of a city shoe to produce a product that is absolutely perfect for travel. The 100% leather shoe utilizes Rockport’s Hydro-shield technology for complete waterproofing and their biomechanically engineering outsole is very slip resistant and supportive. Sounds like a perfect shoe for long days outdoors, right?
Well, Rockport went even further to craft and sculpt this tough shoe into an aesthetically pleasing design that makes it easy to wear around town, out to the restaurants, or even to a business meeting, making it one of our favorite all-around travel boots for men!
There you go, everyone! We’ve gone over the most crucial boot topics to consider when prepping for travel, and highlighted those topics in our list of the top 10 best travel boots. Our list included boots for city-centric travelers, hiking trail hogs, or even those of you right in the middle.
So, grab your boots, strap ‘em on, and enjoy your trip!
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