Preparing for a trip always includes a flurry of lists, packing, and getting your gear squared away. From a few days to month-long trips, there’s always the stress of picking just the right gear for your journey. One item that’s often overlooked, but arguably one of the most important, is your choice of shoes.
You want a shoe that’s comfortable but durable. Practical yet stylish. Breathable but protective. You almost certainly have 2 or 3 pairs that, between them, accomplish this; but you can’t lug all of them across the world on your trip. You need just one pair that accomplishes everything you need when you travel.
We’ve compiled this list of the 10 best travel shoes for men for just that reason. This is your one-stop-shop for finding the perfect pair of travel shoes to take on your next trip. From long travel days on airplanes, to city walking and museums, and even hitting the dirt, these best travel shoes will keep you, and your feet, happy.
- Scarpa Margarita – Best Mens Casual Travel Shoes
- Evolv Cruzer Psyche – Best Shoes for Walking All Day
- Danner Jag– Best Rugged Boot
- Johnston & Murphy XC4 Prentiss – Best Men’s Dress Shoe for Travel
- Merrell Burnt Rock – Best Walking Shoes for Travel
- Xero Shoes Ipari Hana – Stylish Walking Shoes for Travel
- Merrell Men’s Moab 2– Best Travel Boot for Men
- Vivobarefoot Gobi II – Best Lightweight Mens Travel Shoe
- Chippewa Apache Boots – Best Men’s Safari Boot
- Scarpa Mojito– Best City Walking Shoe for Men
- Vasque Grand Traverse– Best Shoes for Backpacking Europe
- Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX– Best Mens Active Shoe
- Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger– Most Stylish Mens Travel Boot
Things to Consider When Buying Travel Shoes
As you undoubtedly already know, matching your shoe choice to your destination is crucial. You wouldn’t take a stylish pair of sandals to Iceland in the winter any more than you would take a pair of clunky hiking boots for a trip to Paris. Your first step is therefore very simple: do some research. Where are you going? What weather are you expecting; hot or cold, wet or dry?
Once you’ve got your destination sorted, it’s time to add some forethought on what you’re planning to do. Are you looking to spend your trip pounding the pavement in a city as you visit the sights and local eateries? Or are you perhaps hoping to jump out to the mountain and get some intense trail runs and hikes under your belt? Or perhaps you’re right in the middle, with a healthy balance of city and nature. In any case, your activities will correlate directly with the performance of your travel shoes.
Performance correlates heavily to your destination research. Once you’ve selected your destination and the activities that you’re looking to do, take a very close look at the overall performance of the shoes that you are considering.
This means delving into the shoe specifics. Are they waterproof? What’s the upper made out of and how long will it last? Is the sole durable enough for what you’re planning to do? What’s the comfort rating? Will your feet be screaming after spending all day in these shoes?
We’ve tried to answer many of these questions with our forthcoming shoe descriptions. But always remember to consider exactly what you’re planning to do with these shoes. Out on the mountains 90% of the time? Then high-performance is definitely the way to go. On the other hand, if you’ll be spending most of your time enjoying the city, then you’ll probably spend some more time thinking about design.
Although a non-issue in most cases, design and appearance can play a monumental role in travel situations. Most seasoned travelers, this writer included, blanch at the thought of being pegged as a tourist the moment they step off the plane.
Being marked as a tourist can almost immediately open the floodgates to being targeted by scammers, inflated cab prices, and petty thievery in some cases. We know that your favorite running shoes are incredibly comfortable, but rest assured, nearly everyone and their dog will know that you’re a tourist as soon as you leave North America. If this concerns you, then take the time to consider what the locals are wearing and factor that into your decision-making process.
Shoes get dirty, plain and simple. No matter where we wear them or what we do, they will eventually get soiled. However, if you’re on a trip and have condensed your standard top three pairs of shoes down to one travel pair, then your travel shoes will get dirty even faster.
It’s therefore suggested that you give some thought to how you’re going to keep those shoes clean on the go. Shoes that just need a little brush down, or perhaps the occasional rinse, are preferred. Those that require a special cleaning agent, or get gouged easily, or need in-depth preventative layers applied all the time, will be quick to rack up annoyance points.
The 14 Best Men’s Travel Shoes
Scarpa Margarita – Best Mens Casual Travel Shoes
Scarpa has been in the outdoor adventure business for some time, producing foot gear for rock climbing, mountaineering, hiking, and others. This means they know a thing or two about making men’s shoes that hold up to the rigors of an active lifestyle.
They’ve now taken that knowledge and funneled it into the attractive and comfortable Margarita. With a very comfy EVA midsole, this shoe is excellent for spending a day on your feet around the city. But the Vibram rubber outsole is very tough and will work just fine for some off-roading when the situation calls for it. Apart from the suede sometimes keeping the feet a little warm, this is an excellent choice to bridge the gap between practicality and style.
Evolv Cruzer Psyche – Best Shoes for Walking All Day
Like Scarpa, Evolv is an established brand that cut their teeth producing climbing shoes. The Cruser Psyche takes all the lessons learned from that market and condenses them into a shoe that will take you from the airport, across the city, and even up into the mountains.
The canvas upper is stylish enough to pass muster in a city eatery, while the Trax Enduro outsole rubber provides the durability and friction of a climbing shoe to get you up a spontaneous scramble or two on your trip. We’re particularly fond of the collapsible heel that allows a slipper-like quality to these comfortable shoes when you need it.
Danner Jag – Best Rugged Boot
If it’s looking like you might need something a little heavier than the standard shoe, then take a close look at the Danner Jag Boot. Danner has been building boots since 1932, and in that time they crafted some of the footwear for the U.S. Marine Corps, so you can bet they know what they’re doing.
The Jag is a perfect balance between performance and aesthetics. You’ll have a rugged boot that can take anything you throw at it, but appear like you’re wearing stylish leather city kicks. They are completely waterproof and feature a comfortable, shock absorbing midsole, perfect for a few trail adventures during the day, then heading back into the city for the evening. The more rugged construction also means a longer break-in period, so wear them around at home before you take off.
Merrell Burnt Rock Travel Suede – Best Walking Shoes for Travel
If you’re looking at a long trip, with plenty of miles of walking ahead of you, then Merrell is a solid place to look for shoes that will hold up to the rigors of walkways and woods. The Burnt Rock Travel shoe, in particular, is an excellent bet with its attractive design but durable construction. Honestly, we’ve found you can never go wrong witha pair of Merrells.
With Merrell’s‘Kinetic Fit’ base and EVA midsole, the Burnt Rock is an exceptionally comfortable shoe that can easily go from box to pavement with minimal break-in time. The breathable mesh also keeps the foot cool during all your adventures, while the durable rubber base and toe cap will keep it in excellent condition for a long time.
Xero Shoes Ipari Hana – Stylish Walking Shoes for Travel
Perhaps you care more about finding a lightweight, minimalist, shoe that you can pack anywhere, take anywhere, and wear almost anywhere. Well, the Ipari Hana fulfills this need with a flourish making it one of the best stylish walking shoes for travel.
The Ipari Hana focuses on a natural, almost barefoot, approach with this shoe that features a wide toe box and a ‘Xero-drop’ sole that brings your heel closer to the ground. The canvas upper is also durable enough to handle your craziest adventures without falling apart.
There is one item to note with this type of shoe, however. The minimalist design inherently means that these shoes have very little in the realm of arch support or padding. This makes them an acquired taste if you’re going to be spending a lot of time standing or walking in them. Definitely give them a try first and see what you think.
Merrell Men’s Moab 2 – Best Travel Boot for Men
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. I’ve had these shoes for years, and Tasha has the women’s version and both have stood the test of time.
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.
Vivobarefoot Gobi II – Best Lightweight Mens Travel Shoe
Continuing with our minimalist theme is the Gobi II. These incredibly lightweight shoes are designed to give you the freedom and comfort of almost wearing no shoe at all, but the protection and durability of a boot.
Vivobarefoot’s Pro5 sole is exceptionally puncture- and tear-resistant, but is also flexible enough to give you full freedom of movement (and the ability to pack the shoes into a single tiny nook in your bag). On top of this rubber sole is a soft cork insole that will keep your feet nice and comfortable. Equal attention went into the hardy leather suede uppers to round off the design for an all-encompassing comfortable and light shoe.
Johnston & Murphy XC4 Prentiss – Best Mens Dress Shoe for Travel
You can leave it to Johnston & Murphy to produce a stylish shoe that will look at home in any fancy restaurant in town. The company has been producing formal shoes for over 100 years and knows how to make you look the part for the city scene.
The XC4 Prentiss takes city stylish to the next level, however, by being completely waterproof. With an attractive array of different colors, you can pick out an incredibly soft leather or high-performance design that will keep your feet comfortable while protecting them from the elements, all encased in a snappy presentation for some stylish city safaris.
Scarpa Mojito – Best City Walking Shoe for Men
If you foresee spending a lot of time outside of the cities and out in the mountains and elements during your trip, then the Scarpa Mojito may be just the ticket. These shoes are built with the tough rock of mountains and crags in mind, and can, therefore, hold up to nearly any adventure you have in mind.
The Vibram sole will give you the traction and durability for scrambling up dusty trails, while the suede upper will provide a comfortable and sturdy fit. They may appear a little more ‘sporty’ than other shoes on this list, but they still support an attractive enough design for wearing around town when you need to.
Chippewa Apache Boots – Best Men’s Safari Boot
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 both a safari and life in general. As a tip I’d pick up some leather treatment to protect the boot and add a level of water resistance.
Vasque Grand Traverse – Best Shoes for Backpacking Europe
Willing to sacrifice some city-worthy style for unbridled comfort and grip? If the answer is yes, then head on over to the Grand Traverse. This shoe is built with all day walkers in mind and includes an incredibly comfortable molded EVA midsole capped by a Vibram Ibex rubber sole for excellent grip and traction in any conditions. The excellent moisture wicking layer in the leather and mesh upper also adds to the shoe’s need for movement and activity.
While they don’t quite make it into the ‘hiking shoe’ category, these shoes are designed to keep you moving for as long as you want as you take in the sights or complete a moderate day hike.
Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX – Best Mens Active Shoe
If you are traveling with only outdoor adventure on your mind, then these Ultra 3s may be just what you need. Often voted one of the top hiking shoes on the market, these are built with only the rocky trail in mind. Salomon has a strong name recognition and there is good reason for that.
From their waterproof but breathable design, down to their grippy and rugged bottom soles; these shoes will support you through every trail hike on your trip. Naturally, their design is aimed at only intense outdoor sports, and we wouldn’t recommend them for a city oriented trip.
Red Wing Heritage Iron Ranger – Most Stylish Mens Travel Boot
Red Wing comes in a close second for boot brands in my opinion and they’re also made in the USA. These boots are both functional and stylish. Designed with quality materials and solid craftsmanship. Red Wing’s Heritage Iron Ranger’s have a high ankle and steel toe for great protection beyond the bush.
If I was considering a serious African safari into the deep bush I’d go for a pair of steel toe boots. What I love about these boots and the Apaches are they are some of the best damn boots in terms of style, quality, comfort, and longevity. You can’t go wrong with a classic. Now all you need is a hat and a good camera for safari.
How to Travel With Your Shoes
I always travel with shoes in a separate part of my luggage. I don’t want the dust and dirt from the street to get on my clothes. If I’m traveling with a suitcase I will place my shoes in either a reusable bag or a packing cube and place them sole up in the bottom of my bag. My travel shoes never go next to my best outfits, just in case they do happen to get dirt everywhere. See more of our packing hacks here.
If I am on a backpacking trip I will still wrap my shoes in a reusable bag and place them at the bottom of the backpack. If they are travel flip-flops or rugged tennis shoes I will either wrap them by their shoelaces on the outside of the bag or place them on the side holders. Just watch out for theft if you leave your bag!
There are always at least three pairs of shoes in my bag, but sometimes more depending on where I am traveling and the season.
- Tennis shoes: For working out, hiking, and walking around all day.
- Flip Flops: No matter the season there is always a pair of flip flops in my bag. For dirty showers, walking outside your room for just five minutes, or beach time sandals are key.
- Nice everyday shoes: So I don’t look like a bum everywhere we go.
There you go gents. We’ve compiled our top men’s travel shoes to make sure you have the perfect footwear for your next adventure. Those of you checking out the city scene will find the perfect fit in Danner Jags or Merrell Burnt Rock shoes, while the outdoor adventure aficionados who want to workout too will find that theSalomon Ultra 3s is the perfect foot friend. Those of you in the middle ground have plenty to options from Scarpa and Evolv to bring the ruggedness of the rock climbing shoe to the snazziness of a city shoe.
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