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Choosing the Right Shoes For Your RTW Trip


shoes 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 trip when you want to look extra cute. Here are the shoes I recommend packing on the RTW trip you are about to take:

Shower Flip-flops:

flip flops 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.


keen targhee 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.

Chaco Sandals:

chacos 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!

Spare Soles:

spare soles If you haven’t seen Spare Soles, then you should definitely check them out. These little babies could be the answer to all of your girly packing problems when it comes to shoes. 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. Looking forward to a nice dinner out for a change? Just grab your tiny, rollable and foldable Spare Soles!

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?



18 Responses to Choosing the Right Shoes For Your RTW Trip

  1. Christy @ Technosyncratic February 2, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    The Spare Soles look neat!

    My perpetual search seems to be for comfortable basic black flats that I can use for walking around a city. I do have Chacos and love them, but I’m also in the camp that thinks they’re ugly. :P

    I just want a pair of small comfy walking shoes that are cute!! Le sigh…..

  2. Meaghan December 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    I don’t go anywhere without my Birkenstocks! I practically live in them!

    • Brooke December 11, 2012 at 6:36 am #

      I do enjoy those as they usually have a bit of arch support, right?

      • Meaghan December 11, 2012 at 7:16 am #

        Yeah, definitely! They’re great for walking around in, whether it be on the beach, in the city, or for a light hike!

    • Sofie December 18, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      I looooove my Birckenstocks!

  3. Sofie December 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    I always wonder: why can’t they make shoes that offer great support AND look nice.

    • Brooke December 19, 2012 at 4:06 am #

      Ha, because that would be too easy, Sofie ;)

      • Sofie December 20, 2012 at 7:42 am #

        Lol, probably.
        No, seriously: I don’t get how they can develop shoes with so much technique in them; against the cold, against the heat, against the rain, to have a good grip etc, but they can’t make them look good?
        The reason I don’t own good hiking shoes at the moment is because I know I would wear them solely for hiking. I wouldn’t wear them to visit a city. I know a lot of people do and it’s probably really comfortable, but I’m afraid i’m a bit too much of a style lover to do that.
        Maybe in ten years, who knows:)

  4. Morgan March 13, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    Sofie! I second that. I have heard tales of a comfortable black flat that was around 80USD. I have to research what it was called….. but I am too afraid to buy them online without trying them on! Have you been succesful at all?

    • Sofie March 19, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      I’ve only bought shoes online without trying them in a shop first once, and it wasn’t a succes, so i’m hesitant to do it again…

    • Briana October 9, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      I love Naturalizer “Maude”, a simple black leather flat that once broken in a little is amazingly comfortable! I wore mine for a month all over Europe and never had a problem.

  5. Harmony March 7, 2014 at 5:29 am #

    Depending on what I’ll be up to during my trip I’ll carry around 3 or 4 very packable shoes. I have a pair of camileon heels which for those of you who haven’t heard about them are foldable heels. They barely take up any room and I can wear them in their kitten heel form or their 3 inch heel form. I also carry a pair of Flipsters foldable ballet flats (much like the spare soles) and a pair of Flipsters foldable flip flops. Lastly I have my good old Vibram Five Fingers treksports for my light hiking and walking needs as well as a pair of Timberland Radler Trail camp shoes (foldable canvas shoes with a hiking shoe tread). Now I can throw all the shoes I mentioned into my carry on and they barely take up any room but like I said, I usually only travel with 3 or 4.

  6. Emma June 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    Deciding on travel shoes can be stressful but I really like this list.

    Sofie, I hear you loud and clear! I really like the look of high top sneakers, so I wish I could find some hiking boots like Hi-Tec’s Sierra Lites in a women’s version. They’re light weight, waterproof hiking boots and when you’re not hiking, you can style the laces differently so they look like cool(ish) high tops. Unfortunately, even if I can find them in my size, men’s shoes just never fit quite right.

    Also, I like the list above but I have stopped traveling with flip flops because I have found that Crocs brand make some sandals that I can wear in the shower, but are stylish enough for wearing around town. I don’t especially love the name, but Crocs Really Sexi Sandals have a heel strap and can still slip on and off. They are cute enough to wear with a dress while still comfy and waterproof. I’ve worn them clubbing, kayaking, for light hiking, and touring cities all over the world, and never blistered or felt like they looked dorky. They have several colors and a few similar styles, so it might be worth a look.

    • Brooke June 17, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

      Good call on the Crocs as both shower and casual sandals :) Will check these ones out!


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