If only there were convertible shoes, then we wouldn’t have to worry. One pair could transform from hiking boot to sandal with zip-on and tear off pieces. It would sure as heck help us decide on the types of shoes to pack in our backpacks since we often don’t have much space but definitely have multiple shoe needs.
I’ve said it before on this site that I recommend a light-hiker, chaco sandals and a pair of shower flip-flops. And, if you have the room to spare, a pair of these spare soles might do the trick when you want to look extra cute. Here are the shoes I recommend packing on the RTW trip you are about to take:
The Adventurous RTW Trip Shoe List
This list is for the traveler that needs a set of no-fuss, durable shoes for an adventure taking her to more rustic destinations. This trip will probably involve less “dressy” events and focus more on functionality.
You’ll want something rubber for this since they’ll need to dry quickly after use (any sort of cloth will hold you back and start to smell after a while). Showers in hostels and even some hotels are a little bit sketchy, and if you don’t want to end up with tinea – athlete’s foot – then you’ll want to keep your feet away from the floor.
With a little bit of rinsing, you can even sport your flip-flops out at the beach or around the hostel making them multipurpose, small and necessary.
Light hikers are shoes that can withstand a bit of wear and tear, and keep your feet protected when doing some hiking and serious trekking. Of course, you’ll need a pair of real hiking boots if that is the focus of your travels, but light-hikers with waterproof uppers and gortex soles should do the trick for most.
I recommend the Keen Targhees
as I used to have a pair. They were so, so comfortable and they even looked cute with a pair of jeans.
Oh my goodness, these things are sometimes very ugly. But, if you look at the Chaco article I recently wrote, you’ll see that some of the people commenting are forever converts. These sandals are very popular and for good reason: they last and keep you walking longer.
Chaco sandals are perfect for times you’ll be walking a lot around cities, perhaps in warm weather, when otherwise closed-in shoes would suffocate. They don’t take up too much space either!
If you haven’t seen Spare Soles, then you should definitely check them out. No, they aren’t fancy high heels, but they can go with skirts and jeans when you’re needing to class it up a bit more – which probably isn’t all that often on your adventurous style round-the-world trip. These shoes aren’t the best for walking, but they are there in a pinch when you’re planning a nice dinner out for a change.
The City Lover RTW Shoe List
This round-the-world trip is for the person that wants to visit the world’s most glamorous, happening, and exciting cities. There won’t be much off-roading or loss of amenities here. This separate set of shoes will better suit a trip of this nature.
It doesn’t matter that you’re city hopping, if you’re staying in hostels, you will definitely want to keep those shower flip flops in your luggage. There are just too many people using those showers too feel good about going barefoot.
Plus, they’re good for wearing around your hostel dorm room and easy to slip on when running to the restroom late at night!
Comfortable Walking Shoes:
With a trip that won’t really involve any hiking, you will be fine as long as you pack a good pair of walking shoes. Trust me, your feet will be thanking you when you’re exploring every corner of New York, Rome or London!
Some people like their TOMS for this purpose, but we recommend anything that provides solid arch support.
Cute Yet Comfortable Sandals:
If the weather is on the warmer side, you’ll probably want some sandals to dress up your outfits, wear to dinner, or just to explore in – but you always want to make sure these are broken in and comfortable as well! Looks are not everything when you get blisters so bad that you can barely walk the next day!
We recommend a sandal that looks like the Merrell Henna.
We love, love, love Tieks at Her Packing List. They are like the ultimate cute ballet flat – dressed up or down, they suit just about any adventure.
However, they do come with a bit of a price tag. Are they worth it for your travels? Have a read and find out.
No Right Or Wrong
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to packing shoes for your RTW trip. It really comes down to personal preference, personal travel style and willingness to carry or roll what you pack.
What would you pack for your RTW trip?