Summer Travel Essential: Summer Travel Sandals

It’s summer travel season and I thought I’d do a series on summer travel essentials starting off with footwear. The right pair of shoes can make or break your trip. You don’t want to be stuck dealing with blisters, sore feet and legs at the expense of that cute yet not comfortable pair of shoes you packed.

If your travel activities call for a lot of walking you want to look for a sandal with plenty of foot support. A flat rubber flip-flop or flat sandal (with no support) will not do for any significant amount of walking. On the flip side a killer pair of four inch wedges won’t work either. It can be difficult to find that happy medium of fashionable and comfortable but it’s worth the effort.

Use this visual as a guide to help you find your perfect travel sandal. Look for cushioning and arch support if you need that. Keep your travel activities, climate and destination in mind when choosing a travel shoe. If you’re traveling somewhere rainy include a waterproof sandal or shoe in your travel wardrobe. If you want to keep your luggage light, limit your shoes to three pairs. An example of that would be to pack a comfortable walking sandal, a dressier walkable wedge and a pair of stylish sneakers for a closed-toe footwear option.

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Row 1
Neutral sandals will complement many travel wardrobe color palettes. Look for a cushioned foot bed and whatever additional support your foot requires. Simple sandals like this match with jeans, shorts, skirts and dresses. Born Mahala, Born Rainey Sandal, Ahnu Saratoga Sandal.

Row 2
I strongly discourage you from wearing flimsy rubber flip-flops for travel. High quality, leather thong sandals can give you the same casual feel of flip-flops but with features like heel straps and molded foot beds your feet won’t be screaming at you by the end of a long travel day. They also just plain look nicer too.

The Birkenstock Gizeh does not have a heel strap however its foot bed molds to the shape of your foot and holds it securely. If you don’t believe me about flip-flops watch this Today Show Health segment about the dangers of flip-flops. Born Reta, Birkenstock Gizeh, Ahnu Serena.

Row 3
Flatforms give you a comfortable yet modern option for your travel outfits. Flatforms provide a little bit of height without sacrificing comfort. They go well with summer dresses and skirts a give a little edge to your outfits. Pair them with a culotte for a fun, breezy travel look. Gentle Souls Josie Platform Sandal, The Flexx Sun Tropez Platform Sandal, Ecco Damara Leather Sandal.

Row 4
Complement your summer travel outfits with a metallic sandal. They function as a neutral yet add an interesting element to neutral travel outfits. Ecco Flash Huarache Sandal, Born Mardel, Born Mardel, Ahnu Maia Sandals.

Row 5
It’s always a good idea to include a dressy pair of shoes in your travel wardrobe. A “walkable” wedge that isn’t too high can be a versatile option for day to night travel activities. I purchased the Clark’s Auriel Fin in Gold and I’ve found them to be comfortable and they’ve already served me well on a Girl’s weekend getaway. Kork-Ease Myrna 2.0 sandal, Naot Cymbal Sandal.

Row 6
If you want the look of a sandal without having your toes exposed you’ll want to look at a closed-toe sandal. A hybrid of a flat and a sandal the Ahnu Tullia would look darling with summer dresses, Spring Step Lizzie, Kork-Ease Meegan.

Row 7
If you’re travel activities involve outdoorsy activities or if you’re traveling to a casual, outdoorsy destination consider packing a sport sandal. A dark neutral color and thin staps keep the Jambu Lunar from looking too sporty and you can wear them with shorts, sporty skorts or maxi skirts. For light hiking activities look for a sport sandal with a closed toe like the Keen Rose to protect them from getting stubbed on rocks. Water activities require a waterproof shoe that will stay secure on your foot, Chaco Z Volv X.

Check out my Pinterest Board for ideas on how to style your travel sandals.

Packing Light Summer Checklist

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  • i am attending a wedding in Italy in early September, the invitation says black tie. Yes, that means too much space in my luggage for a formal. But my question is what to wear on my feet? We were told we have to cross grass and climb some step stairs by the sea to the reception area. High heels are not going to work!

  • I was wondering if you would change ( add or take away) any items for an all inclusive resort for 2 weeks. Would you pack more dresses and leave something else at home? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!

  • Little plastic items also make great eagirnrs. If you poke a hole in them with an awl, you can hang them on a long post. This works well for those little plastic rings they sell at different times of the year (spiders, bats and skulls at Halloween, for example). Just cut off the ring part with a wire cutter or tin snips, poke a hole, slide it on, and there you go.