10 Must-Have Shoes for Exploring Cities on Foot

The best way to get to know a new city is to step out on the town and walk around! You can see the sights and experience the city’s authentic atmosphere. But indulging in the exciting culture is hard if your feet are painfully sore. Your city vacation will be exponentially better if you treat your feet to a pair of comfy shoes that will carry you around all day. First and foremost, try to pack worn-in footwear, as breaking in new shoes on vacation is not ideal. Check out ten of the best shoes to take on your city walkabout so you get tired before your feet do.

1. Leather Sneakers

Leather sneakers
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Leather sneakers aren’t the most mainstream shoes, but leather is an excellent water-resistant material. If you’re heading to a rainy city like Seattle, stylish leather sneakers will keep your feet dry and work for daytime and nighttime outfits. They look as nice as loafers or lace-up dress shoes but are substantially more comfortable and supportive.

2. Hiking Boots

Couples hiking wearing Hiking boots
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Hiking boots don’t always have to be super clunky and unfashionable. You can find attractive hiking boots that look more like combat boots but offer a lightweight and secure fit. A pair of wool-lined hiking boots can keep your feet toasty warm if you’re visiting a chilly city where the last thing you want is your feet to be cold.

3. Running Shoes

man wearing running shoes
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We know running shoes don’t sound super stylish, but they can be! More importantly, running shoes are guaranteed to keep your feet supported and comfortable for miles and miles of exploring. If you want something more visually versatile, look for all-black or all-white running shoes that are not obviously sports sneakers.

4. Chunky Dad Sneakers

Chunky Dad Sneakers
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Speaking of all-white sneakers, many people recommend getting a pair of comfy, chunky “dad” sneakers. One traveler online explained that they’re so ugly that they work with every outfit. When packing for a carry-on, having one pair of shoes that work for every look is a blessing.

5. Sport Sandals

Woman wearing sport sandals
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Sport sandals are secure because they strap onto your foot, so you won’t slip and slide out of them all day. They typically have straps over your toes and around your heel and come in various colors, styles, patterns, and materials. Sport sandals are ideal for traveling somewhere hot, and Teva is a sensational brand to check out.

6. Crocs

Group of men wearing Crocs
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Akin to sport sandals, Crocs are an excellent footwear option if you want a secure shoe that doesn’t suffocate your feet. Crocs allow your toes to breathe and can be worn with or without socks, depending on the environment. These shoes offer a unique look, and you can customize them with cute charms and accessories.

7. Booties

Woman wearing boot shoes
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Unfortunately, Crocs aren’t going to work with every outfit. If you know your trip entails fancy museums, luxury restaurants, and other high-end spots, you need fashionable shoes that are also comfy. Booties are a great compromise between boots and heels, so you can look fabulous without punishing your feet in the name of fashion.

8. Cushioned Flip-Flops

Cushioned flip flop
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Sneakers aren’t the right choice for everyone. Supportive sandals and cushioned flip-flops allow your feet to feel free, making walking around all day more comfortable. Look for thick sandals made from cozy materials and ergonomic flip-flops with a supportive sole for arches. Birkenstocks are a decent option, but only if you have a worn-in pair; you don’t want to break in Birks on a trip.

9. Loafers

Woman wearing Loafers
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Loafers are a brilliant choice if you need chic shoes, but booties aren’t your thing. Loafers are classier than sneakers but can also be amazingly comfortable for long walks. The best loafers for walking have arch support, cushioned soles, and a very low heel or no heel. Plus, many loafers are leather, so they’re decently water-resistant!

10. Slip-on Sneakers

Slip on sneakers
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Who has time for laces on vacation? Slip-on sneakers are a popular choice for trips with plenty of walking because they’re easy to take on and off and usually offer a free but supportive feel. Sometimes, laces can restrict your feet and even cause cramps after long periods of walking if they are too tight. A flexible and durable pair of slip-ons is great for every city.

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