Packing for your holidays can be a big part of the fun of going away, with shopping for a new favourite summer dress (or ironing that Hawaiian shirt you’re not allowed to wear at home), all part of getting you in the mood for your holidays.
But while clothes, hats and sunglasses can and should be thrown into your suitcase with abandon, making sure you’ve got the right pair of shoes to wear on your break – the kind that are already broken in, (and which won’t break your feet or ankles when you’re far from home and trying to have a good time!) is a more serious business.
Depending on what you’re doing and where you’re going, you’ll want to choose footwear that is built for the kind of fun your holiday offers, while also thinking about the temperature, weather and landscape of the place you’re visitig too.
And, of course, your shoes need to be easily packed into whatever size luggage your allowance, well, allows!
So, for more top tips on choosing your holiday footwear, read on for our full guide of what to think about when choosing casual shoes to pack for your holiday.
Comfort: choose shoes to keep your feet joyful while on a jaunt
It can be tempting to want to complete your snazzy holiday look with those perilously high strappy sandals or brand-new smart shoes.
But the first thing your holiday shoes need to be is comfortable.
Picking a pair of shoes that you know are going to stand you in good stead for the whole week (or two if you’re lucky!), and not cause blisters or bunions, is key to having a lovely time while away from home.
If your luggage allowance is big enough to throw in some occasion shoes for the evening too then that’s great, but your everyday, daytime shoes need to be as comfortable when you’re exploring temples as they are lazing on the beach or walking to the restaurant in the evening.
Which is why we recommend looking for flat, well-fitting shoes to travel in.
For both men and women, there are some fantastic options in casual sandals, trainers, sneakers and walking boots and shoes that will keep your feet happy and let you focus on your holiday, and not your painful feet, while away from home.
And fashion doesn’t have to be entirely forgone for comfort, as may options look great too!
You’ll want to think about the kind of socks to pack if going somewhere where you’ll be doing a lot of walking.
It’s worth investing some money in a good quality pair of socks, as these will help to make blisters less likely if you’re on your feet a lot during your getaway.
Merino wool socks are a great choice for cooler climates as they are warm but also wick away sweat, helping to keep your feet moisture-free and comfortable.
Versatility: a vacation shoe for every occasion
When choosing your perfect holiday footwear, you’ll want to think about what sort of things you’ll be doing while on your break.
If you’re likely to be out and about exploring the town all day on a city break, you’ll need a different kind of shoe than if you are on a cruise or a jungle-trek getaway.
For those not going on specialist or adventure holidays, a shoe that covers a few different activities and occasions will suit you best.
Think of a loafer that would suit beach walking but can be dressed up with a shirt to have dinner in the evening. Or flat sandals that can be slung on after a swim, but which you also feel great dancing in at the local discotheque!
Depending on your travel style, it’s best to pack one or two pairs of shoes that can cover a host of different activities and settings.
Think loafers, flat sandals or smart sneakers.
Support: find footwear that won’t let you down
Wherever you’re heading for your holidays, and whatever kind of break you’re on, shoes that properly support your feet are essential.
This might mean purchasing insoles for new shoes to help support your arches and heels, or just to provide extra cushioning if you’re going to be doing more walking than usual.
It also means looking for shoes that have a good, supportive structure to take on holiday with you.
Lots of summer shoes are made out of lighter fabrics and have thinner soles than usual which can affect comfort for those with more sensitive feet.
Choosing good quality shoes for your break, rather than opting for cheap, cheerful and flimsier options, will pay dividends when it comes to foot health and happiness on holiday
Worn in: warming up your shoes before heading to hotter climes
It’s great to grab a pair of new shoes to make your feet feel fabulous on your holidays. But trying new shoes on for the first time when far from home is not such a good idea.
If you are taking new shoes on your holiday, be sure to dedicate some time before jetting off to breaking them in beforehand, so any rubbing points or stiffness can be tackled before you get on a plane, letting you focus on what really matters while away – having a great time!
Getting stuck with only uncomfortable, stiff or poorly fitting shoes to wear while abroad can ruin your break, so always be sure to break in your shoes before boarding the plane!
All-rounder: a great all-round shoe is the gateway to your getaway
When picking your holiday shoes, we recommend you go for a great all-rounder.
You’ll want something that isn’t the scruffiest pair of shoes that you own, but you’ll probably not want to pack your prized Manohla Blancs either (unless your holidays are much fancier than ours!).
A pair of white sneakers that are comfortable in the daytime but can be dressed up with a shirt or summer dress later in the day are our top recommendation for this year’s holiday season.
Women in need of a heel on holiday could consider a platform option – the most comfortable form of heeled footwear and very on trend this season.
And men looking for a non-sneaker option might want to take a look at 2023’s loafer collection, which has some great choices of suede, canvas and leather shoes that look great with or without socks – the ultimate holiday look!
Overall, whatever makes you feel great –in terms of both looks and comfort – should be the lucky shoe that gets the winning ticket to come on holiday with you!