Best Shoes for Summer Vacations

sandals sitting on beach sand

As any weekend warrior or serious traveler can tell you, it’s vitally important not to underestimate the importance of the right shoes when it comes to your summer travels. Of course, you want to look fantastic in every last one of your vacation photos, but your choices need to be practical as well. Most importantly, they need to be versatile so you can travel light.

Here, we’ll go over some things to look for in a perfect vacation shoe. We’ll also highlight the options we’re most excited about this year. Which ones have your attention?

For Enjoyable Beach Vacations

When you picture the quintessential summer vacation destination, you probably instantly picture a beautiful beach, for good reason. Sparkling shorelines, waving palm trees, and plenty of sunshine go hand in hand with most people’s idea of relaxation. Even a lazy, laidback stay in paradise can be made better by the right footwear.

Don’t make the mistake of packing a pair of flimsy throwaway flip-flops if you’re planning a beach trip this summer. Instead, go for supportive sandals that treat your feet right. Comfort sandal brands like Vionic, Clarks, and Chaco are favorites that active people swear by for a reason! They’re definitely made for chilling out, but they’re sturdy enough to keep you comfortable if you decide to go for a stroll along the boardwalk or sightseeing downtown. 

closeup of persons running shoes

For Exploring Your Favorite Trails

There’s no time like summer to spend some serious time communing with Mother Nature. However, the wrong footwear can turn the outdoor vacation of your dreams into a nightmare all too quickly. Whether you’re looking forward to a trip out of town to visit a beautiful national park or simply logging some serious time hiking your favorite local trails, the right shoes are an absolute must.

This season, some of the best hiking shoes look a lot more like casual weekend shoes than they do anything else, but don’t be fooled. Features like contour molded footbeds, breathable mesh linings, odor control technology, and shock-absorbent air cushions make options like the Keen Terradora a smart choices all around. Spend a full afternoon on the trails and head straight to the movies or to lunch in town with ease.

For Out-of-Town Dressy Occasions

Of course, not every summer vacation is about roughing it or causally lounging on a beach somewhere. Summertime offers many occasions that call for looking your very best. Think weddings, fancy dining venues, and captain’s dinners on cruises!

Before you pack up your favorite heels, consider a chunky block heels as an option. City Classified, Aerosoles, and Dansko are serving up some comfortable shoes that deliver fashion and comfort. Now, you really can have it all! 

womans flat shoe isolated on white

For One-Shoe Weekend Getaways

Have you decided you’re dedicated to traveling light this summer? Packing for a weekend getaway and need a shoe that’s capable of making a seamless transition from day to night no matter what’s on the agenda? You’ll definitely want to take a closer look at some of this season’s best options in flats and loafers.

Cute picks like this quirky but understated cap-toed flat from Rockport compliments any ensemble, from your favorite jeans and a tee to your favorite dressy outfits. Plus, comfort features like microfiber linings, cushioned footbeds, and sturdy rubber outsoles make them comfortable enough to wear for walking, sightseeing, or braving those long amusement park lines.

Naturally, the last thing you want to be doing when you’re away on summer vacation is worrying about what to wear. When shoes strike a perfect balance form and function, you’re free to focus on more important things—like having a blast and making memories!