Once Memorial Day arrives the question I get asked most frequently is if I have any summer vacation plans. Yes, it’s that time of year where most of us pack up and hit the road for some fun. If you are planning on taking a huge trip, staying local or just plan on hitting the amusement parks with the kids, it’s probably smart to think about comfortable and stylish walking shoes because, after all, those lines are long at Disney World.
Nobody wants to wear clunky white sneakers, especially when leaving the country. Nothing says, “I’m a tourist” more than a pair of these. However, it costs a lot to take a vacation and you don’t want to miss out on seeing all the sights because your feet hurt. If you are on the hunt for some comfortable and and stylish walking shoes, check out these styles from notable comfort brands that will keep you on your feet with style.
Comfortable and Stylish Walking Shoes You’ll Want to Bring on Vacation
Comfortable Shoe Style #1- Dansko
It doesn’t get much more comfortable than Dankso shoes. Think they only make clogs that belong in a hospital or on sous chefs? Think again. I particularly love this colorful sandal style that works perfectly with summer dresses, cropped pants and shorts. Here I styled them with this breezy white dress from Boden and finished the look with a crossbody bag in saddle from Coach, SPF 50 sunhat from Wallaroo, sunglasses from Elizabeth and James, drop earrings from LOFT and wrap bracelet in orange from Banana Republic.
Comfortable Shoe Style #2- Ecco
When I saw these sandals from Ecco I fell in love. With the trend towards flat, strappy sandals they seemed perfect. Unlike these types of super flat sandals, that usually have zero support, they may look stylish but are hardly good for walking. These Ecco sandals solve the problem of providing comfort with trend.
For this casual look, I styled the sandals with a pair of denim shorts from White House|Black Market and used a graphic tank and summer weight cardigan from Lucky Brand to complete the outfit. Accessorizing the ensemble, I added this orange backpack from Kipling a pair of sunglasses from Ray Ban and chevron stud earrings from Gorjana.
Comfortable Shoe Style #3- Birkenstock
You already know how in love with Birkenstocks I am, particularly their Gizeh style. I don’t just love them because I can walk for miles and miles in them, I also love them because of their versatility. Today I am wearing them with denim Bermudas but they also work with summer dresses, too. You can’t say that about all comfortable and stylish walking shoes. Shoes take up a lot of room in a suitcase, so get more with less with a pair of Birkenstocks.
In this outfit I took a pair of silver Birenstock Gizehs and styled them with a summer dress from Tory Burch. For coverage on cool days, and for a pop of color, I layered a yellow summer cardigan from J. Crew over the dress and accessorized with a pair of honeycomb earrings from Modcloth, a white, floppy hat from Nordstrom, blue sunglasses from Ray Ban and blue tote from Tumi.
Comfortable Shoe Style #4- ABEO
Whenever I see people walking great distances in flip flops without any support I cringe for their backs and feet. These types of shoes may work for a quick trip to get a pedicure or for the shower at the gym, but not for vacation where lots of walking is required.
If you need orthodics you have to know about ABEO shoes. The biggest issue those who require these inserts experience is with summer shoes, particularly sandals. You can’t work a custom made orthodic into these shoes and often have to sacrifice foot comfort for appropriate summer footwear. However, ABEO revolutionized this by offering shoes with orthodics built in. If you can’t wear flip flops because you need orthodics, you have to check out this metatarsal sandal. You can just buy the shoes online, but if you need a particular orthodic fit for your feet, it is recommended that you visit a store that carries the brand, like The Walking Company, to get a digital foot analysis first.
In this outfit, I used these Abeo flip flops to create a fabulous casual look using a pair of chino shorts from Boden, linen tank from Madewell, denim jacket from The Gap, handbag from MICHAEL Michael Kors, raffia fedora from Nordstrom, sunglasses from Tildon and stud earrings from Anthropologie.
Comfortable Shoe Style #5- Naot
A comfortable shoe brand many of my clients rave about is Naot. Looking at their styles, like this black,white and grey pair, I can see why. The one thing to make note of about these shoes, and all the shoes featured, is that they all have slight heels. Ask any podiatrist and he will tell you that healthy feet require a small heel instead of being completely flat, and/or have tremendous arch support. This is why so many chefs and doctors wear clogs, and why June Cleaver and Donna Reed often vacuumed in heels. If you have foot problems going with the flattest shoes you can isn’t the best idea.
In this outfit, I styled these Naot sandals in cleaner and more modern way using these crop pants from Theory, a boxy, cropped t-shirt from Mango, black and gold earrings from Bauble Bar, black, classic Ray Bans and, for a splash of color, this red crossbody bag from Kooba.
Whatever your summer vacation plans are, even if it is a staycation, I hope you enjoy your summer of fun.
Still looking for comfortable and stylish walking shoes?
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My “go to” when traveling in Europe are the Sketchers Go Walk. It’s a slip on shoe with tiny trampolines built into the bottom of the shoe (well, that’s what it feels like!). It even works on marble floors, handy when you’re in museums … after museum. My feet feel bouncy!
I love the description! Thanks for the suggestion!
I’ve also been looking for metallic comfort shoes (the wedding shoe conundrum, pretty AND comfortable). Using comfort shoes as number one factor and adding in gold/ silver as the second factor, I found a few possibles online at Nordstroms, Macy’s and DSW. Since I don’t have any upcoming dressy events, I haven’t made it to the stores to do the all important ‘walk off’ between competing shoes. At least there’s hope out there; or is this just limited to summer? Is this our only window of opportunity?
A walk off! Well make sure you try walking on hard floors, not just the carpet if you can. It helps really get a sense of fit. Dressy metallic shoes are usually sold year round, however, during the colder months they are sold more by brands that sell formal shoes, not necessarily comfort brands. So my advice would be to take a look now as this is when you’ll probably find the largest selection of metallic shoes that you can wear formally.
I was wondering. And yes, the walk off (different style on each foot) are on hard floor as well. And I don’t wear shoes out until I’ve walked around the house in them a lot. I don’t need more pairs of shoes I won’t wear…
So many choices! I am slowly replacing all my shoes with ones that are back and feet friendly. They are out there you just have to look harder and pay twice as much, but compared to having a closet full that you can only bare to walk in for 5mins at a time, I see the advantages. I also like Earthies.
We went to Paris and walked for three days in the heat and humidity. I wore my usual sneakers,but in that heat my feet began to swell. I walked on in the pain. Needless to say, the nail on both of my big toes turned blue and fell off. Now I can’t stand for those toes to touch my shoes much so I wear sandals everywhere unless it’s freezing. Good thing I live so far south!
Thanks for sharing Bridgette.
Wow, that is quite a story! I am glad you live in the south too! I can only imagine how painful that must have been! I am glad you found some potential sandals that will work for you!
Like the Ecco gladiators and the danskos in pink
I am so in love with the Ecco sandals too.
This subject is right on point as I’m planning our family vacation back East. Sadly, not one of the styles referenced comes in wide width. It’s so hard to find cute, comfortable shoes! For those in the same boat, I recommend Trotters and Vionic.
Thanks Tessera! I am sorry to hear about not being able to find wide styles. A couple of resources to check out are Marmi Shoes and Eneslow. Eneslow is AMAZING for comfortable walking shoes. I know they have locations in NYC but I also know you can shop online. I have brought clients to both stores and have been particularly blown away by how Eneslow does business with sizing their customers properly.