A Podiatrist’s Guide to Choosing the Best Travel Shoes

So, you’re thinking what is the ‘magical’ number of footwear that you should pack for your travels, and where should I pack them. Depending on the type of trip you are taking. I take three pairs on pretty much every trip I take whether it be for a long weekend away or a three-week trip overseas depending of the activites I intend on doing of course!

Read below to get my top footwear tips.

Three pairs of footwear.

So, you think this is impossible?

See below, its easily done.

1 The closed Shoe (Walking shoe)

If you’re an active person and intend on doing some walking, light hiking or strolling around town looking at the destinations sights then you will need a good pair of walking shoes.

These could be stylish as well as comfortable walking shoes and could double as footwear for cooler days with long trousers. Try to go for something neutral that will go with a few different outfits.

Of course I’m going to suggest some orthotic (shoe insert) friendly shoes being a podiatrist and all. Often it is hard to find something stylish and fashionable that your orthotics. All of these shoes can also be worn without orthotics.

What’s an Orthotic?

Orthotic devices sit in your shoes either on top or under your shoe liner. Orthotics are frequently used to treat various conditions of the foot and ankle, to correct a persons alignment or to reduce strain or rehabilitate after an injury. Orthotics can are either made by a podiatrist customed to fit your personal self or you can buy them from pharmacy or sport shops.

Orthotic Device

Orthotic Friendly Fashion Footwear

Merchant -Deuce Range

I love the Merchant Deuce range of shoes -Proudly designed right here in New Zealand. The Deuce footwear have an athletic designed footbed inside their shoes which can help support your arch and provide shock absorption. These footbeds can also draw moisture away from the foot, keeping it drier and fresher.

Merchant – Deuce Deelo Zip Perf Sneaker
Deuce Ghillic
Deuce Ipswich

Using like premium leather and classic cotton canvas, make these shoes super comfortable to wear. A $5 donation from every full priced pair of Deuce sneakers sold is made to our Young Hearts Project charity initiative. I love to support business that give a portion of their profits to charity.

FRANKiE4 Footwear

FRANKiE4 shoes are founded by Podiatrists and a Physiotherapist – most of their styles, include removable footbeds. Being removable means the footbed can be taken out and replaced with your orthotic! FRANKiE4 also support a charity with footwear sales – Brainchild Foundation.

FRANKiE4 WiNNiE Sneaker (Navy). This shoe comes in several colours be sure to check them out!
FRANKiE4 -Beth Rose Brogue
FRANKiE4 Lucy
FRANKiE4 MiM Blonde

Naot Footwear Orthotic Friendly

Very well made quality shoes with support in the arch. Removeable foot beds are great for replacing with orthotics if you wear them

Naot Agathis
Naot BlueGill Mary Jane
Naot Matai Mary Jane
NAOT-Kirei-Antique-Brown

Merrel Footwear

Merrell’s footwear are comfortable, resilient and purpose-designed footwear to the feet of outdoor enthusiasts all over New Zealand.

Merrel Primer Canvas
Merrel Flora Breeze
Merrel 1six8
Merrel Barrado

Orthotic Friendly Sandals

3. The Sandal

  • The Smart Shoe (AKA pretty shoe)

Something to wear for a night out or fancy dinner – it maybe a pair of heels or ballet flats. If your anything like me and not a big fan of heels then this where your sandal could double as a smart shoe. I wear my daytime sandals at night.

Sandals are good as they can be casual daytime or dressed up for evening wear.  I choose to take a light hiking sandal as it can go with daytime dresses or be on a cold day walking shoe.

Orthotic Friendly Sandals

Naot Papaki Sandal (removeable footbed for orthotic)




Naot Yarrow Sandal
Naot Begonia
Naot Karenna

Sandals -These sandals below do not accomodate orthotics but are more supportive than most.

Merrel District Muri Lattice
My travel sandal is very similar to this one.
Naot Marita Sandal
Merrel Choprock Shandal
These can be worn with or without orthotics
Naot Vixen Wedge Sandal
Naot Gladiator Sandal
Nordstrom Gabour Sandal
Nordstorm Cara Sandal
Nordstorm Kele Lotus Sandal

3. The Jandal

The Jandal as we Kiwis call it or Thong from the Ozzie’s, Brits called it a Flip Flop and American’s a slide. Whatever you call it, this is the third most important shoe to pack.

Firstly, for hygiene reasons, you would be amazed how many skin conditions you can pick up from communal shower and living areas, verruca’s (plantar warts), fungal and bacterial infections to name a few.

Secondly jandals are fantastic beach or boat shoes when your feet are likely to get wet but need a little protection. To me there’s nothing worse than getting sand in your shoes for it to then to rub and cause a blister on your feet later.

Travel shoes -Jandals
Photo Credit: Bruce Mars

Finally if you lose your shoes, someone steals them, your baggage is delayed or your shoes break you have a fall back your trusty jandals. Your jandals don’t have to be anything fancy just something with a little grip on the sole.

The Key to Success When Packing your Footwear

Photo Credit: Pixiebay

The Flight – For me this where I usually wear my closed walking shoe or the heaviest pair of footwear but make you need to remember to make sure it’s comfortable -wearing a hiking boot on long layover periods can be tiring on your feet but also consider if your luggage is lost or delay are you happy wearing these shoes for longer than you may need to.

Cabin Luggage – I always pack my jandals into my cabin luggage you never know when your luggage may be lost or delayed. This way you have your shower/communal shoes if needed as well as a second pair of footwear. Jandals take up minimal room but can also be stored on the outside of your bag.

Checked Luggage – If you check your luggage pack your smart shoes and sandals these shouldn’t take up much room and you can use these shoes to protect items in your bag, by putting them sole facing upwards.

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