My Search for the Perfect Travel Sandal

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Over the last dozen years of full-time travel, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of lessons about what makes for the perfect travel sandal and the most comfortable sandals. Here is a summary of some of the best, worst, and ongoing sandal debacles I’ve had.

Please read and glean from my experience so that your next pair of travel sandals are the best, most practical, most fashionable, and most comfortable sandals that get you through thick and thin.

Although the first version of this article was published in 2013, I re-wrote and republished it in 2018, and at least once a year since then I update it for accuracy of links and content (and I add new sandals and travel-sandal-strategies I’ve tried along the way).
For example, make sure you read through to the “barefoot sandals” section to see how my own journey through various travel sandals has evolved.

Also, I received some sandals for free (and paid for others). If I don’t mention that I received the sandals for free, then it means I paid full price.
Lastly, you’ll find this post has affiliate links, which means if you click a link and make a purchase, I’ll get paid. This doesn’t affect your price, but it does help me keep running this site….so thank you in advance.

I've spent years searching for the perfect travel sandal balancing fashion and multi-function; read this post and learn from my mistakes! #ShoesForTravel #FullTimeTravel #TravelPlanning #BudgetTravel #TravelTips #PackingTips #CarryOnTravel #TravelGear

Attempt #1: Crocs

Crocs, Cleo Style, black - travel sandals for walking

Crocs were my go-to for many years – specifically the Cleo style, which is both fashionable and functional.

The Good

Because Crocs are waterproof, they survived dodgy hostel showers and muddy walks, and the arch support meant they made it through many a long walk without causing me pain.

The style I chose combined fashion and function, and as such I could dress them up or down with relative ease.

They pack up like a dream, since they’re lightweight and relatively thin.

If the Cleo (pictured above) isn’t your style, no problemo; Crocs makes a gazillion different styles to choose from.

Basically I lived in these shoes, for many years.

The Bad

Or rather, I lived in (many pairs of) these shoes, for many years. Unfortunately because I wore them daily (and I love to walk), I wore through a pair about every year.

Although Crocs aren’t horribly expensive, this did mean dishing out cash for a new pair each year – and finding a place to buy them or have them delivered to (which isn’t always an easy chore when traveling full-time or staying somewhere obscure).

Even more distressing, was how unbelievably slippery Crocs were on wet surfaces. Certain types of sidewalk, stone, and any inside flooring when wet, became major hazards. I took a few spills in these shoes, especially as the tread on the bottom started to wear. (It’s ironic, because Crocs were originally designed as boat shoes).

Lastly – and this is good and bad – the Cleo and other slip-on styles are uber-easy to use on a daily basis, but if you are doing any kind of trail walking or water sports, this style of Crocs will slip away entirely.

This can be solved with a different style of Croc however; I tried out two pairs: the Isabella Strappy Sandal, and the Tulum (both appear to be discontinued as of March 2024, however there are other new Crocs styles that may appeal). Both are stylish and easy to slip-on, and don’t easily come off the foot. (However I also had trouble breaking in the Isabella (it never stopped chafing my heels), and the Tulum didn’t quite fit my foot correctly; I kept slipping off the side while walking (but perhaps that more about my gait than the shoes). The Tulum stays on your foot better and could conceivably be used for light water sport activities, but it’s not ideal for hitting the trails. Scroll down for sport sandal suggestions).


I owned three pairs of the slip-on Cleo Crocs in the first few years of my full-time travels, and they have a ton of styles to suit your preferences. They definitely earned their place in my travel bag.

But keep reading for some alternatives and different viewpoints, since what I need may not be the same as what you need in the perfect travel sandal.

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Attempt #2: Naots

Naots - the best sandals for walking

I love Naots. I had a pair of them when I was a teenager, and they survived almost 10 years of solid abuse. So when Naot contacted me and asked if I wanted to reunite with these lovely babies (I received a complementary pair to review), I could hardly wait to get my tootsies into a new pair.

The Good

Although Naots come in many different styles, they specialize in a footbed that is akin to Birkenstocks; they offer full support, customized feel, anti-microbial properties, and a fit that only gets better with time.

I chose a pair that suits my style, knowing I could dress them up or down as I wished.

They were great for walking miles and miles on the city streets without a hint of foot fatigue. I got many (many) compliments on them!

The Bad

The large deep footbed meant they weren’t compact or lightweight. However if you don’t want a deep footbed, Naot has a few different styles of footbed to choose from. I’m currently salivating over their Marita style.

Incidentally, my Naots were destroyed a head-on collision I had in Grenada before I really had a chance to put them through their paces. I owned them for a few months.


I still love Naots. But I chose a bad style for my needs and foot shape, and I didn’t have a chance to try them on first. (If you order them online, best to ensure you can return them easily if they don’t fit). Choose the right style, and they could make for a great travel sandal.

Attempt #3: Taos

Taos Trophy style - Most comfortable sandals

Taos makes high-quality shoes and sandals in an astonishing variety of styles.

I was contacted by Taos to test-drive a (free) pair after being bereaved of my Naots in the accident, so I tried to apply all the lessons I learned from the above pairs of shoes and choose what would be the perfect pair of travel sandals.

The Good

The footbed is high-quality with contouring, support, custom fit over time, and anti-microbial properties. (You can also choose different types of footbeds from the deep bed similar to the Naots above, to a more sleek version as shown here).

I chose the Trophy style (pictured above) because they can be dressed up or down, they’re relatively light and compact to pack away, and the ankle straps make them way more stable for walking, running (as in, to catch a bus), and even taking to (light) trails.

They’re super comfy to wear all day (and all night), with their special “Taos Soft Support premium footbed with Cool Recovery Foam”. 

I also like the velcro adjustments on the ankle straps as well as both toe straps; this makes the fit always comfortable (even if my feet swell), and getting them on and off is almost as easy as having slip-ons.

The Bad

If the microfiber footbed gets wet, it’s bad news. After living in them for a couple of years (years, mind you), I got them super wet. After that the footbed pilled (uncomfortably so), and started smelling bad. Other readers have had similar troubles. If you suffer from sweaty feet, you might not get a couple of years out of them (as I did) before they start pilling and smelling.

Having said this, the Trophy sandals that I tried have since been replaced by sandals that feature a special antimicrobial shield, for lasting protection against odour, staining, and deterioration. 

And, um….well, I don’t have anything else bad to say about these shoes.


In this comparison, Taos wins so far as the perfect travel sandal.

But I also encourage you to read between the lines here; it’s not necessarily (or entirely) the shoe itself; it’s the choice and style of shoe.

I learned from mistakes past, and ensured I had a fashionable, compact, stable, solid shoe that – like so many of the items in my full-time travel entourage – serves many purposes.

See also: The Ultimate Packing List for Full-Time Travel

Taos Footwear Trophy Sandal. Shop Now to Experience Comfort!

Qualities of a Perfect Travel Sandal

Learning from my experiences above, here are some of the qualities that – for me, and likely for you – make for the perfect travel sandal:

  • Water resistant
  • Comfortable footbed for walking
  • Good sole for walking on multiple surfaces
  • Ankle straps to hold the foot in place and increase versatility
  • Stylish for multiple occasions
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Lightweight and compact for packing

Hold the Phone! Attempt #4: FitMyFoot Custom Sandals (and Insoles) – Most Comfortable Slip-on Sandals

Wiivv Custom Sandals - amazing travel sandals!

Hot off the press (as of September 2018) – quite literally hot off the press – came a new favourite travel sandals: custom sandals made by FitMyFoot. These puppies are 3D printed according 200 mapped points on your feet that they get from some simple smartphone pictures you take of your feet using their award-winning app. While I had to retake the photos a couple of times, it was effort well-expended; I have a pair of 100% customized sandals (right down to the colours) that are basically like having custom orthotics – without the price tag or the ugly shoes.

This is important, because about a year prior I wrecked my feet with some poorly fitting shoes that caused incredibly painful plantar fasciitis in both feet. For months, walking (anywhere, anytime, even to the bathroom and back) required painkillers. When that pain finally subsided, I was nailed with a case of fallen arches. And my shin splints also came back with a vengeance. (If this is what aging it like, stop the boat: I wanna get off).

So when FitMyFoot approached me offering me a pair of free custom sandals as well as custom insoles, I jumped at it. While it took a bit of time for my feet to adjust to the new shoes and real arch support, now my feet actually crave to be in these sandals. They get tired without them.

The Good

FitMyFoot sandals are completely customized! They are designed to fit your feet perfectly, from the arch support to the placement of the toe thong. You also choose the colour of the straps and the arches. You can even order extra straps to change out according to your outfit/mood/astrological reading of the day.

A properly supported foot not only means no foot fatigue after lots of walking, but there’s also a trickle effect; this means no knee pain, hip pain, back pain, etc. Whether you have high arches or flat feet, FitMyFoot has you covered.

And for $129……a customized pair of travel sandals is a steal. Their custom insoles for shoes are also very well-priced and well-made. This means you can have proper foot support year-round. 

2023 UPDATE: Mine took 5 years of solid abuse before the sole deteriorated enough that it’s time to retire them. I still use them as inside slippers when I visit my friend in Florida.

MEN: These are for you too! FitMyFoot makes sandals and insoles for both men and women. 

The Bad

If we use the list of criteria under “Qualities of a Perfect Travel Sandal” above, FitMyFoot comes up short with no ankle strap for 100% security. What surprised me was how well the FitMyFoot sandal stays on the foot, with the adjustable straps. In fact, there’s a guy who ran a marathon in these things. These are flip flops that don’t flip or flop.

Secondly, while they’re stylish, they’re not dressy. Don’t get me wrong: FitMyFoot sandals look great. But no matter how you slice it, they’re casual.

Lastly – I don’t know if this manufacturing defect has been fixed yet, but in 2018/2019 I encouraged a few of my friends to get their own pairs. Of the four people who got them, two found that the strap would become disconnected from the side of the sandal while walking. It’s designed to come off so it can be adjusted to fit your foot perfectly, but it’s a bit of a hazard if/when it happens while walking. It started happening with mine, but only after five years. That said, this was many years ago, and I can’t imagine it hasn’t been fixed by now. They also have a warranty against defects and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee (shipping costs not included).

I absolutely adore my FitMyFoot custom sandals, and they held up well for five years.

Want to see the FitMyFoot custom sandals and insoles in action? Here’s my video review.

Click here to watch it directly on YouTube (along with other travel gear reviews and vlogs). 

Check out my Travel Lifestyle Guides for more ways to earn money remotely, spend it wisely, and balance the two so you can travel as long as you wish, in a financially sustainable way. 

Honourable Mentions

Crocs, Naots, Taos, and FitMyFoot are far from the only travel sandals out there; they’re simply the brands I’ve test-driven. Here are some other travel sandal recommendations; tried and true according to both readers and travel colleagues. If the shoes above don’t float your boat or suit your travel style, perhaps the ones below will.

And Men, rejoice! Many of the sandals below offer Unisex and Men’s styles as well.

Waterproof Travel Sandals (Sports Sandals)

While Crocs are waterproof, they’re not the sort of “technical” sandal you might be looking for if you’re into water sports and muddy hikes. Personally, I don’t like the classic original “Teva” style of sandal, but some people don’t mind it, and I must admit, these waterproof sport travel sandals have come a long way since their single-style beginnings.

For example, the Teva Tirra Athletic Sandal comes extremely highly reviewed, and has a compression-molded EVA midsole with some impressive looking arch support.

Chaco also carries an extensive popular waterproof line of sport sandals (along with some more stylish leather and rubber styles).

Birkenstock EVA waterproof sandals - comfortable sandals for walking

Do you like the Birkenstock style and wish they had a unisex lightweight waterproof version? Well, wish no more; it exists, and it’s called Birkenstock EVA (pictured here). They’re relatively cheap, and they come in a few different styles and a gazillion different colours. They’re not sport sandals per se, but they’re waterproof and are apparently great for walking.
2024 Update: Birkenstock seems to have discontinued their EVA style, but you can find the same thing here, and it’s a bestseller on Amazon.

Barefoot Sandals for Travel (for men and women) – 2024 Update

Xero collage barefoot sandal - comfortable sandals for walking

Barefoot shoes in general are all the rage, and they’re the ideal travel sandal in that they’re lightweight….ultra lightweight in fact.

And in the last 10 years I have developed a love affair with barefoot shoes for hiking, running, working out, casual excursions, and generally all things travel.

Lately I’ve been traveling with Xero’s best-selling Xero Prio shoe, which I think is the best all-round travel shoe for walking around town, exercising, and even light hikes. You can see them in action in this video review.

But I’m getting off-track. This article is about sandals.

Attempt #1: Xero Barefoot Sandals

As much as I mentioned earlier that I’m not a fan of sport sandals, given how much I loved Xero’s barefoot shoes (and I’m a devout fan of traveling long-term with carry-on luggage only), I figured I would put my fashion sensibilities aside and try Xero barefoot sandals – specifically the Z-Trail EV style. I wanted this style because it has the beefiest sole of them all, and I was worried the other styles might feel more like paper and not provide any protection.

Instead, when I got them in the mail, I was surprised at just how sturdy these things are! I mean, they’re still light as air at just 4.3oz each (yeah, you read that right), but the sole has some meat to it.

Unfortunately after a summer of trying to love them, I had to admit they didn’t do it for me.

The style was my biggest complaint; they’re okay for sport or super casual scenarios, but not multi-purpose enough to wear anywhere else. But even for sport, I couldn’t get the fit right with the straps so they were okay for walking/hiking on anything that wasn’t completely flat. My foot wasn’t stable in them and slid around (similar to the Tulum style of Crocs, which also have a very thin flat sole), and because of that plus the super low profile of the sandal, my feet (and the footbeds) were always getting dirty such that I had to wash both my feet and shoes at the end of the day.

I really wanted these to be my top pick of travel sandals. And perhaps they could be for you, if you like the style and have a different-shaped foot/different gait. For summer hikes and casual excursions, with the added benefit of being ridiculously packable, water-friendly, secure on the foot, and even with webbing made from recycled water bottles, they’re not bad, but they’re just not for me.

I may still take mine on trips where I’ll be doing serious outdoorsy stuff that require waterproof sandals (like white-water rafting), but they’re not all-around useful enough for me to pack every time.

Attempt #2: Feelgrounds Seaside Luxe Barefoot Sandals – Contenders for the Best Travel Sandal of ALL TIME

Feelgrounds Seaside Luxe barefoot travel sandals

NEW IN 2024, Feelgrounds sent me a pair of their Seaside Luxe sandals. Feelgrounds is a barefoot shoe company based in Europe. I love the look of all their shoes, because they don’t look like barefoot shoes. They’re stylish, functional, and as a company they are committed to environmental responsibility and fair production practices.

The Feelgrounds Seaside Luxe sandal makes up for everything I didn’t like about the Xero Z-trail (and frankly, all of Xero’s sandals). They don’t look like a barefoot sandal!

Here’s what I love about them:

  • The vegan leather straps provide an elevated sense of style.
  • The adjustable cushioned velcro strap at the back provides a perfect fit, and along with the soft fabric toe thong, it holds your foot in place.
  • The elastic bit on the instep provides the perfect amount of stretch for comfort.
  • The natural cork insole looks nice and gives the foot a chance to breathe. (If you don’t like that look, they also offer an all-black version).
  • The 7mm sole is ultralight and thin, while still being thick enough to provide some shock absorption and protection when walking on hard surfaces.
  • They’re super flexible and ultralight at 153 grams / 5.4 oz for a Men’s size 10 / Women’s 11.5
  • They pack up like a dream.

Here are the potential compromises:

  • The cork footbed is likely going to discolour over time from foot moisture. (This might be a case for the all-black model).
  • They are not waterproof, nor are they appropriate for sports activities.

Stay tuned to the post, as I will update you with my experiences over the course of 2024 as I use them. If you have Feelgrounds shoes or sandals, please leave a comment with your experiences!

Shout Out to the Flip Flop

All over Asia, it’s common to take off your shoes everywhere; especially when entering temples, but even when entering some restaurants and stores. (And certainly when entering anybody’s home).

In these cases, flip-flops are invaluable. They’re comfortable, easy to slip on and off, and you won’t be upset if somebody else walks away in them (as commonly happens in public places).

While spending a month “suffering” in Koh Phangan Thailand, I watched my boyfriend struggle with his clunky Tevas every single time we entered or left a restaurant or store. We were both relieved when he finally caved and bought a cheapo pair of flip-flops.

Flip-flops are also great to have on hand for shared showers and other situations where you want some waterproof foot protection. And they’re so lightweight they can easily fit in your luggage. Regardless of the travel sandal I am using at any given time, I tend to have a pair of flip-flops stashed in my bag as well.

Interested in Travel Gear? Then You’ll LOVE the Following Posts:

The Ultimate Packing List for Full-Time Travel

Checked vs Carry-On Luggage (and Why Checked is Best)

My Travel Capsule Wardrobe: Best Wrinkle-Free Travel Clothes for Women

The Best Travel Clothes for Men

Maximize Your Luggage Space and Minimize Time Spent Packing! The Best Packing Tools and Accessories

The Best Anti-Theft Gear

…and dozens of Travel Gear Reviews

Here is what makes for the perfect travel sandal, the most comfortable sandal, the cutest sandal, and the best all-round sandal for travel and more. #shoes #travelsandals #sandals #comfortablesandals #crocs #wiivv #customsandals #naots #teva #chaco #barefootsandals #taos
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127 thoughts on “My Search for the Perfect Travel Sandal”

  1. I love Tevas. They’ve got velcro straps that make the whole shoe adjustable, allowing for swelling in humid climates. The ergonomic footbed accommodates my high arches and doesn’t exacerbate the plantar fasciitis. The tred is fantastic and I’ve done much hiking in them on various terrain, worn them in the water and they don’t get slippery and they’ve lasted for 4 years. The last trip they took me on was the Galapagos for which they were perfect. I’m finally ready to trade them in as the tred is wearing but I’ll buy another pair just like them 🙂 The only issue is that they smell after a long day but I’ve heard the new ones are treated with antimicrobials so that doesn’t happen. Either way, they’re easily washable.

    • Jodi – For me, Tevas check all the boxes (very nicely)….except style. You can’t dress them up (at all), so if I need to have some smart-casual flexibility in my wardrobe, I’d need another pair of shoes too.

      • I suggest you try out the Tevas Zirra light! They are absolutely fantastic both in comfort and style. They have only a single thin strap that crisscrosses over the foot and straps around the back with velcro so they’re adjustable along the whole foot (my feet are a little bigger in the morning from swelling and they’re wide so I have trouble finding normal sandals that fit). They’re have a crazy comfy footbed like chacos and birks but without the bulk so they’re much lighter and easier to pack. I lived in these sandals for an entire summer before I accidentally lost a single foot while packing up in the dark :(. I’m still mourning for it. Going to wait until Black Friday to buy a new pair just in case it goes on sale, I’m not in a rush since summer’s over at this point.

        I’ve traveled all over in these ones, both in cities and in the wild. Used them almost exclusively for a 2-week roadtrip through Utah and Nevada where I was hiking ALL DAY, climbing mountains (over 5000ft elevation gains in rough terrain) , etc and my feet never felt fatigued. While comfort is a high must for me, I would not have gotten these if they looked like the typical hideous Tevas/Keens/other gross looking hiking sandals, they look so cute and can easily be dressed up with a couple different color options. I hope you consider them! I just discovered your blog and already thing you would really like them. 🙂

        Here’s a link to the amazon page:

        • OOH! I’m sold! Those look right up my alley. AND they roll up for travel? Wow!
          With a microfiber footbed, would they be appropriate for watersports?

          • I like the way they work in water. The footbed dries up just fine, that’s not a problem at all. The way they fit is really secure when you’re walking around in rivers or whatever. I’ve even used them as shower shoes! I’m in love with these sandals, and I did soooo much research looking for the perfect sandal I’m positive this is it! I hope you try them and like them! I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I hope some day in the future they come out with different colors, I got the black one which goes but I would like to see a little more variety since these are now my go-to sandal.

  2. Those Naots and Taos sure look a lot like Birkenstocks. I love my Birkenstocks to wear at home. After a long day of walking, putting on Birkenstocks and walking around in them feels like having a foot massage. The weird thing is, when I wear them to actually walk all day, my feet hurt.

    I have a $10 pair of sandals from Bali and another pair of $10 flats from Bangkok. I regret buying them because the zippers on the sandals broke after 2 months and the flats make my feet sweat all the time (sorry TMI!).

    My partner, on the other hand, had a $100 pair of Ugg flip flops that he claims were super comfy and lasted for years. Too bad they’re not in production any more.

    • Hi Deia,
      Like your partner, I generally find that you get what you pay for. A few well-chosen well-made pieces in your wardrobe (and especially on your feet – which literally take a beating every day!) will stand the test of time, and you’ll do it in style no less.
      However, I too, often complement my entourage with inexpensive local pieces as well; but I don’t expect them to last very long.

  3. I’m a die-hard Chacos fan. I used to love Teva sport sandals, but a friend turned me on to Chacos and I’ll never go back. They’re comfy, durable, you can go from the office to river-crawling in them and they last ages. The double-strap style are a bit dressier and you can customize the color scheme and sole styles online if you prefer a custom sandal. Give them a try, they’re wonderful!

    • Hi Christy,
      I know a few people who swear by Chacos, and although I’m not familiar with the dressier styles – they could bridge the gap between practical outdoorsy sandal and a dressier shoe. I’ll have to check them out!

    • I’ve heard the tred is not as good as teva’s. Did you find that? Do they have as much arch support? The tevas work so well for my plantar fasciitis but I’ve heard that chacos don’t smell as badly after a day of hiking, river crawling, cave tubing…. etc. I do like the adjustable strap idea on the chacos and the plain black looks like it would go with everything.

  4. Hi Nora,

    really cool the sandals in the photos!!

    Not the feet !!

    You have showed your feet other times, maybe you like your feet very much but there are far more attactive female feet!!

    Guaranteed 100%!!

    Obviously, considering your physical appearence as a whole ( body and face ) is worth all the photos you have showed!!

    All the best!


    PS I take for granted that your character is likable ( it looks like that for what you have written… ) and so there is a good match which makes those photos more realistic!!

    • Fab,
      I’m sorry my feet aren’t up to your standards. I don’t know what else to say. This is one of the most bizarre comments I’ve ever received! Thanks for the laugh.

      • Nora,

        not at alll !!

        But it remains the fact that you love your feet very much and this is also a bit bizarre at least!!

        Anyway, you have answered with style!! Congratulations!!

        All the best!


        PS they aren’t ugly, they are just on average and because of the fact your physical appearance is far above the average ( for what I’ve seen in the photos, maybe live is different, who knows..!! ) hence, there wasn’t a good match!!

        That’s all !!

        • Fab, you make me wonder how spectacular your feet may look? Feet are not like sandals with a wide variety to choose from. We have to walk and be happy with the feet we get. Nora’s feet look cute to me and well taken care of; I don’t see why she should not love those feet?… just saying.
          If you see my feet (I got twin toes) you would probably faint – but people in the Caribbean love them and call them ‘lucky toes’…

          I’m still trying to find the most suitable sandals. When I was in Grenada over X-mas I kept wondering where to buy a comfy pair of footwear? Any suggestions, Nora?

          • Hi Margarita – Thanks for the props! 😉
            I don’t tend to buy things like this in Grenada, since there isn’t much selection and imported goods are overpriced. So I either get stuff abroad, or I order online

        • Hi, What a funny comment! I had to re-read it to be sure I understood your point. I love pix of sandals with feet in them, it helps to figure out how the sandal will hit the foot. Also, it personalizes the info, so that we’re shown that the author has worn each pair. Feet are feet, who cares. I mean, why even comment? Baffling, but very laughable indeed.

      • I agree that comment is quite bizarre! I vote you show your feet as often as you see fit! This article is informative and useful, so thank you!

          • Hey Nora – just had to share that the comment that started this thread really made me laugh.. Really? They decided to criticise your feet??? I have this terrible feeling I missed something by not scrutinising your feet more carefully when we met 😉
            But on a sidenote, very useful post, thank you!

    • Fab,

      I think you are a horrible person. (Guaranteed 100%!!) I’m sure there are many horrible things about you, one of which is your inadequate grasp of the English language.

      I don’t understand why you feel the great need to comment on her feet. And on top of that, you decided to go on and on about how much you hate her feet. That’s incredibly rude and uncalled for. There is a saying: if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. (Yes, I realize by saying all this, I am breaking this rule, but I figure this is a valid exception given what you have said before)

      Nora, you are beautiful… every part of you, and I look forward to more pictures of your feet!

  5. I’m a big Birckenstock fan. I can walk an entire day in my Birckenstock sandals without getting sore feet or back pain. They offer amazing support.
    The only downside is that they also have a pretty deep foot bed (hence the support), which makes them rather ‘big’, especially if you want to take them in carry-on.

    • Hi Sofie – You pinned it! That was the challenge with the model of Naots I chose as well; they’re very comfortable but not totally pack-friendly.
      This is why I ended up choosing a lower profile footbed in the Taos (they also have Birkenstock-esque styles on offer); it seemed the best of both worlds with great support and a lighter smaller pack-weight.

  6. You don’t know how many sleepless nights I’ve spent over the best possible sandals for traveling. I’ve seriously tried Zappo’s patience with how many sandals I’ve ordered and returned. It’s interesting that you landed on these four brands, when I feel like everyone (meaning various websites that I shamelessly scoured for foot-related information) recommended Teva, Merrell, or Keen. I finally picked a pair of Keens almost at random that have served me well so far in my travels, but aren’t much to look at. I assumed that there was to be a necessary trade-off between travel-suitability and attractiveness, but your shoes all seem fairly cute. Maybe, I’ll try Taos next time around.

    • Hi Jevhon – Keens has some good styles, and I’ve seen them in action – they wear well. Hopefully they’ll go the distance for you! 🙂

  7. The crocs never seem to work well for my wifey and she has to have something with arch support. She doesn’t own a pair of Dikasas that I am aware of. I really like the look of the Taos. As long as she can walk around without her foot hurting she is a happy camper.

    • Hi Thomas – Few things kill your enthusiasm for exploration more quickly than sore feet! Something with a contoured mouldable footbed would probably suit your wife quite well. Happy searching!

  8. I really like Birckenstocks. People usually forget about these but they’re perfect. They give great support and are super comfortable. I don’t know what I would do without them.

  9. Thank you for writing this review, I am leaving for Thailand in January and was looking at a quality pair of sandals. I own several pairs of cheap flip flops but I think a quality pair is important. I am not sure that flip flops are a good option as it can get irritation in between the toes after a while. I will check these out! Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Daisy – Flip flops are good, and I generally have a pair with me as well. But a high-quality pair of shoes for walking and other various activities will serve you well – depending on what you plan to do and where.

  10. I love my Tribu sandals. 🙂 It can be used everywhere. Under the sea, mountains, beaches… they have been with me for more than 8 years now!! What I love most about them is they are never slippery.

    • Hi Apol,
      I’ve never heard of Tribu, but I see that they’re very similar to Tevas (and Chacos). Glad you like them! 8 years is awesome – they must be very well made!

  11. Great post! I need to buy a new pair of sandals. I currently have two (Keen trekking sandals and Dr Scholl sandals which I wear at work). I had both for years, but they need replacing now and I only want to buy one pair this time. I have been looking for a pair that I can use for trekking and to wear in the office during my volunteer stints (i.e. I need comfort, sturdiness and elegance). Not very easy. Tena has got a great new range which I might try out. Will definitely check out your Taos sandal.

    • Hi Tammy,
      Do check out the other styles on offer for both Taos and Naot – they make many different kinds of shoes, and both are great quality.

      • Hi! Can you please send a link on where I can find chacos and taos shoes online here in the phils? Can’t seem to find any. ? I’d appreciate it very much. Thank you ?

        • Hi Dads,
          I’m not sure…When I’m abroad I tend to order things online (for example, from Amazon) if I can’t find them locally.

  12. Great post. I blog about fashion for the road and footwear is always the trickiest to get right.

    • Hi Savi – Footwear is not only the trickiest, but ultimately the most important part of a travel wardrobe too; our tootsies take a real beating! Any recommendations?

  13. Nora,

    My biggest dilemma when looking for travel sandals is wondering if I should use the same sandals for both showering and walking around. Do you usually carry a separate pair of cheap flip flops for showering, or do you try to pick travel sandals that you can also wear in the shower?

    Thank you,

    • Janna – Good question! These days, I have a pair of flip flops for showers and other casual/wet tasks. I’m pretty sure my Taos wouldn’t like daily showers! 🙂
      When I had the crocs though, they worked a charm.

  14. A super useful post! Thank you for covering traveling shoes that are light, waterproof AND stylish! I feel awkward going to a nice dinner in sandles that scream “backpacker”, so having a versitle shoe that can be dressed up or down is important to me. I’m a Crocs girl myself (Kadee Ballet Flat) and they are my go-to shoes when traveling. I’ll keep the Taos in mind when I retire my Crocs. Thanks for breaking down the pros and cons of several shoes. Great research!

    • Hi Angela,
      Thanks! I’m glad you found this post useful. I like the ballet flat style of Crocs too….but you don’t find them slippery?

      • No, nothing comes to mind to me about slipping in Crocs. Now when my feet get wet, they slip around INSIDE the Crocs, but I can’t think of a major incident where I almost fell or did the splits when wearing them. Maybe we walk differently? Or maybe Chiang Mai’s street grime doesn’t get as slippery when wet? The shoes do have a bit off grip on the bottom, and I know that the original style is popular with chefs/cooks (who need comfy safe shoes in the tiled kitchen!)

        • I think my slipperiest moments came when on smooth concrete (or an inside wet polished floor), and also, when the tread had largely worn. It’s great to start, but I put them through their paces. At least they’re not horrendously expensive to replace regularly.
          (I do really like the looks of the Croc ballet flat as a decent close-toed shoe).

  15. I’ve had exactly the same problem with my own search for sandals, though it has to do with the fact that 99% of all sandals available for men have a strap that goes directly across the hinge where the instep connects with the shin. I have no idea how any other human is capable of wearing those for extended periods of time, because any time I have to wear one of those for more than about 2 hours, they make my feet bleed. Every time, in that exact spot.

    The only ones anywhere on the planet that have secure straps that don’t do this are Chacos, which, correctly, put the straps over the fleshiest parts of the feet where nothing can go wrong. I have no idea why other styles exist. Unfortunately, Chacos are heavy, and they don’t have the anti-microbial treatment that other sandals do. Very dumb.

    So anyway, Chacos recently came out with ultra-lightweight versions of these sandals, so I was excited to try them. Until I tried them. They changed the layout, and put a plastic buckle right over a bone. I have no idea how these products get all the way out into the real world. The spot started getting irritated, and I sent them back.

    I’m planning on wearing my Chacos and just dragging them along the concrete to gradually thin out the sole. I can’t see any other solution other than founding my own sandal company.

  16. I am a Tourguide and I spend many hours walking around with my clients.
    Since I discovered Joya shoes, that’s the only thing I wear. Have you tried them out?

    • Hi Marta,
      Wow – the Joya shoes look great! I’ll have to keep an eye out for them. Thanks!

  17. As weird as this may sound, I think guys (read: me) have the same issue. I have been trying to find a one shoe fits all for some time now.
    At first, I tried my super comfortable dress shoes. While fashionable while walking around, even in jeans, you can imagine how ridiculous I looked when weather called for shorts.
    Then, I tried sneakers. Plain, light, white sneakers seemed to be a fit as I don’t often go clubbing while I travel anyways. Alas, sneakers smell really bad after hiking, and you can imagine what happened next when I went into places that required me to take off my shoes :(.
    Currently, I have settled into some black sneakers that look a bit on the dressy side. I have yet to find my perfect shoe… but the search continues.

    I forwarded this post to my GF as she looks for the perfect sandal all the time.

    • Thanks for your input (and referral), Julio! I think girls and guys wrestle with similar travel fashion/gear issues; it’s good to determine what we need from our shoes (and what we intend to put them through)…then we can find the right pair!

    • A chiropodist gave me an invaluable tip one hot summer when I limped in with weirdly achey feet. I wouldn’t travel now without a small bottle of rubbing alcohol aka surgical spirit. Mine’s in a watertight former hotel-shampoo container.

      Wipe your soles with it after a shower at the end of a long day of walking, let your feet air dry, and I swear you can feel any pain evaporate.

      I also rub down the soles of my walking sandals with it. I had one really old pair of great leather mules that looked good on, were super comfortable but did have stinky soles. That denatured alcohol killed the bacteria right off. One pair less in the landfill! (Maybe vinegar would have a similar effect if you want to avoid spirits?)
      Happy hiking, everyone!

      • Hi Fiona,
        OMG this is great advice! I’m going to try it on stinky sandals/shoes, and also the next time I have achey feet (which honestly, now that I use Wiivv sandals and insoles, almost never happens, but still….) 🙂

    • Woven leather slip-on are also a great option for men as they can fit that sweet spot between not too causal, yet functional, keep feet clean or less rocks to deal with, can wear them on sand, easy to get on/off and breathable leather. Sure they can get wet though avoid this often. Sure can hike some thou avoid lots, likely like jogging in them;) They have limits. Thou depending on what planning to do might be your thing. If lite/not bulky than two pairs might take traveling of course wearing one.
      I like mephisto sandals! Wayyy better than birks!!!! I can walk all day in them they look good in dressy or sporty. I got them wet lots in Spain/Portugal, in fact glad had them for that reason and were fine on cobble sidewalks.
      They’re tad heavy so looking at what they offered yet in lighter.
      I can’t do flip flops or thongs or crocs.
      + Debating slip-ons or trainers with lightweight sandals for Thailand in March….see what itinerary plans make before deciding
      Thanks ✌🏽This guy likes reading to learn from others regards of their gender or what their feet look like 😉😆🤪✌🏽❤️🍀

  18. When my crocs start to be slippery, I cut the bottom a little bit to make the line deeper like the new one. Hope my info is clear enough. Thanks

    • Diane – Those are awesome choices! I’ve never heard of either but a quick look online, and they tick all the boxes for me! Thanks for the great recommendations.

  19. Hello again,
    There IS a big difference between tourists vs travelers! You are a true inspiration for wanna be travelers. So I’m guessing that Teva & Taos win the top 2 choices? With Chacos close behind? Ironic that Crocs were originally intended and inspired for boater, by boaters and look how they have evolved into much needed style choices and copy cats!
    Safe and healthy travels to you! Enjoy Europe and bring warm & waterproof clothes! Holland is cold and it’s only Mid -September! Last week it was 80’s and cold weather season snapped this week.

    • Hi Laura,
      Yes, I certainly won’t be needing my travel sandals in Europe…I’m hearing reports of snow in some places…eek!

  20. Hi Nora

    Great post. I have a pair of Merrell walking sandals that I’ve had for years and now sadly are falling to pieces….and they stink LOL. Whilst not that stylish they are bloody comfy and I’ve walked miles in them. I’m in Thailand and cannot find a replacement. To dress up I wear my Ipanema flip flops which are slightly moulded and provide reasonable support for a flip flop.

    My husband’s heels roll in and we have found him some very stylish Scholl (I know Shcoll – stylish!) biomechanical flip flops, but sadly Scholl walking sandals were extremely uncomfortable…so we are still looking.

    So we are both still on the look out for some good walking sandals in Thailand

    • Deborah – Yes, finding quality sandals in developing countries can be a challenge. In your situation I’d either order something online, or just locally get something cheap to “get by” while you’re in Thailand, until you arrive somewhere with some more selection.
      I hear wonderful things about Merrell shoes, and Darren’s varying experience with the Scholls is testament to the fact that every pair/style of shoes (even made by the same people) is different. Our tootsies are very personal!

  21. Am also used Crocs slippers, these slippers are very nice and it very comfortable for all. it is adjustable strap for various styling. it also easy to put on and take off. And its design proves it avoid slip and fall.

    • Hi David,
      I notice that Crocs now offer lots of styles of shoe that have proper straps to hold the foot in place, satisfying one of the (formerly missing) criteria for travel sandals.
      With regards to slip and falls, in my experience as the shoe wears, that’s when it becomes dangerous. The rest of the shoe may be in great condition, but as soon as that tread wears down, Crocs are the most slippery things I’ve ever worn.

  22. Greetings from Nairobi, Kenya. I am in the sandal creation business. And we have taken the ancient design of The Maasai Akala and created sexy, long lasting sandals using a tire as the sole. Our tagline-“The Sole of Africa” Says it all. The Maasia, strong, fit, with incredible posture have been using the tire as a sole for centurys, we just made it sexy. Check it our at and feel free to contact me directly and I will personally send you a couple of pairs at not cost so you can take them for a spin!


  23. Hi Fareed,
    Thank you so much for introducing us to Maasai Treads! Your styles look very lovely. Looking forward to browsing your site once it has been updated!

  24. Hi, I am so late to this blog but I am planning my 1st trip to Central America as a true backpacker this summer.

    I have settled on taking 4 pairs of shoes. Too much you say? Well hear me out. I am taking a pair of flip flips (I am from the Caribbean and ALL I wear here is flip flops so this is a must for me). I like these: Foldable Ballet Flats – For these I am looking at Tieks (yes I know pricey). I have also seen some from Born that are nice and reviews say are comfortable as well. I will be traveling to captial cities, eating nice dinners and trying to live as normally as I can or would live based on my Caribbean livestyle.

    I absotuely will not get a pair of those ugly Teva or Chaco shoes. I see them here worn by the backpacking community and I think its just sooooo ugly. I think dressing nice shoes respect to the place you are visiting and those no ugly shoes for me.

    My next two shoes are the biggest hickups. I am not an intense hiker (I am a wimpy city girl), but I want to be more outdoorsy so I would like to a gentle hike/jungle trek. Can you suggest shoe for this?

    I love those Taos you mentioned (very cute). How do they handle getting wet? It rains here most afternoons and usually every day in May and October. I am thinking Central America will be similar. Do you think this can act as a good shoe to occasionally handle some wet weather and lots of walking? Love any advice you are willing to give. As mentioned i live in the caribbean so purchasing any shoe from the states will be extra expensive and i will have limited return options. I am liking these are well. Any experience?

    I should also mention I wear size 11 and alot of these shoes stop at sie 10 or look HORRID ones they get to larger sizes.

    PS: your feet are fine. Happy to have you as a foot model.

    • Hi Danie,
      Nice choices! I like the ankle strap on the flip flops, which will make for a more well-rounded shoe, and having lived in the Caribbean myself, I understand the constant use of flip flops!
      I also like a nice pair of ballet flats – very practical.

      As for light hiking sandals, your choice of the Jambus look nice, but with the microfibre footbed you’ll be looking at the same potential complication as the Taos; they may not fare too well with a mud puddle. But I’ve been stuck in the rain with the Taos and they’ve been just fine.
      Check out some of the suggestions from commenters in this thread – it appears that Crocs/Chacos/Teva have all come out with some very stylish options that defy the stereotypes, and might be better muddy jungle hiking options.

      And beware of four pairs of shoes…the heavier your luggage, the more miserable you’ll be on travel days! (Just saying). 😉

      • Thanks for the reply Nora. I know the travel rule is no more than 2 or 3 but I see backpackers and travellers a all the time here and I just wonder why they could not have put a little more effort into the way they dress when in an urban center or something like that. I have seen some of the crocs ballet flats and think that could be a shower shoe/ballet shoe option.

        I’m thinking the four shoes will cover every situation Wi without making me too self conscious and still maintain some fashion sense. I’m the kind of girl to iron clothes to wear to the supermarket. If the cities of CA are anything like my Caribbean city dressing nicely (jeans, nice top and shoes), will get you a long way. I also wear size 11 so I doubt my ability to grab one of these options in Central America should the need arise. Thanks again for the great advice.

  25. Thanks for sharing! Finding a proper travel shoe one of the biggest challenges of travelling. I will definitely be checking out your recommendations. 🙂

  26. I stumbled on this piece when I was googling travel shoes… Nice work! I am specifically looking for something which i was sure was called Ada’s insoles… Anyone know them? Bit of a misnomer as they ate not actually insoles, but slip ons with an incredibly thin sole, an ugly white mesh over at the front and a piece of elastic at the back… Sexy they are not! however, they fit into a handbag or deep trouser pocket, weigh almost nothing and are perfect for taking along travelling just for the shower, or if wearing boots to fly in, for slipping on on the plane. I read about them on a travel site and bought them online about 8 years ago and really need a new pair but when I googled them i can’t find them. Would love a contact if anyone knows them… As a minimalist packer, I really don.t want to go back to packing flip flops for showers instead of these… Thanks!

    • Hi Lisa,
      I’ve never heard of Ada’s insoles – but if you find them, please come back and post a link here! Thanks.

  27. Now, before you look at them remember I sid they are not pretty! But they weigh zero and pack almost anywhere. I often stay in real dives to stretch my money and stay on the road longer… The kind pf places where you would not walk barefoot on the floor or in the shower for any reward, and these are perfect for that kind of hidden indoor use. If they made the mesh black they would be a little less offensive to the eye but I tolerate them dor their convenience… as long as nobody I know is looking 😉

    • Hi Lisa,
      Glad you found them again! You’re right – they’re not pretty, but they certainly do the trick and they obviously pack up very light… Happy travels!

  28. Hey, all! My husband I are are traveling to Europe for two weeks in June of this year. We will be visiting Dublin, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Venice, Cinque Terre in Italy, Siena, and Rome. We will obviously be on our feet all day long in each city seeing the sights. The first sandal I’ve tried on is a Chaco. The comfort was great, but I’m wondering from anyone who has worn a Chaco, do your feet sweat and slip around because of the polyurethane foot bed?

    • Hi Katherine,
      I don’t have personal experience with Chacos, but everybody I know who has owned them have loved them. I also believe they have a few different footbed styles and materials now.
      Any other readers want to weight in on this?

  29. Hi Nora, I’ve appreciate your honesty (and persistence) with a variety of travel sandals. I’ve been searching for a site that has some true insight on what makes up a good sandal and I plan to share some of your findings with people who have been asking me. Nice work!

  30. How is the Taos sandal in water? If I wear it to the beach, will it dry quickly? I just don’t want it to become unglued or something when it is soaked in water… 🙁

    • Hi Michelle,
      It depends on the model of Taos sandal that you get. The one I got and reviewed here doesn’t fare so well when it gets totally wet but it does dry out. For the beach, I’d probably just take flip flops or a more waterproof sandal if I were planning to walk in the water.

  31. I loved reading your review. I found it very helpful. And I do love the style of the Taos Trophy sandal….so much that I went to Amazon immediately to check them out. I was disappointed to find they only come in whole sizes. I’m a solid 8.5….always have been without much variation among shoe brands. If I’m ultra concerned about fit and support and I”m spending $110 on a sandal, I want it to fit MY foot. I’m not going to force my 8.5 foot to live in a 9.0 shoe. That’s so unfortunate. I guess I’ll keep searching.

    • Hi Kristy,
      Hmm…I thought I had the Taos Trophy in size 8.5 myself…but I don’t remember now (and the size tag is gone so I can’t confirm). Too bad! Do any of the other styles come in 8.5?

  32. The con to wearing crocs is that they’re crocs. Haha they are extremely comfortable though, and I would definitely wear them if I were gardening or doing yard work. I’ve been wanting to get a good, sturdy pair of sandals for a while now, and right now it seems to be down to either chacos or birkenstocks. My mother had birkenstocks when I was growing up, and she still has them in good condition. She took great care of them, though. Thanks for the info!

    • Hi Stephanie,
      Glad this post helped! I’ve been surprised with some of the nicer styles of crocs available these days, but like you say, they’re still crocs, so maybe that “shoe won’t fit” your needs. If you’re looking at Birkenstocks, you might want to take a peek at what Naot offers….they also have similar styles, quality, and are solid shoes. Happy shoe shopping!

  33. Hey Nora,

    Great article! I’ve been searching for the perfect travel sandal for a few days now. I’ve actually been eye-ing the croc ‘sexy flip’ *cringes at name*. They look really practical and not too bad style-wise. Sadly my size is sold out! (in the Netherlands) Argh. Also, I’m afraid those arches might not fit (I have big feet).

    The tevas zirra lite look like exactly what I need, but I can hardly find them anywhere (all sold out online and off). Maybe they stopped making them? Do you still use the same shoes or do you have any updates? Anyway, thanks for taking the time to write and keep up the good work! I wish you all the best. 🙂

    • Hi Pamela,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the article! I don’t know about the Teva Zirra…maybe indeed they’ve stopped making them. Hopefully you can find the perfect pair of travel sandals soon!
      I still have the Taos Trophy sandals, and they’ve held up very well. I’m getting a bit bored with the style (after 3 years!), but they’ve certainly stood up to the test of time.
      Happy shopping!

  34. I’ll be doing 14 days in Europe this Spring from Paris, Swiss Alps, Munich, Florence, ending in Rome. Lots of walking. Will I wish I had fully enclosed shoes rather than sandals?

    • Hi Rebecca,
      Given that you’re going in the Spring season when the weather could be cool (especially in places like the Alps), if I were you I’d go with fully enclosed shoes. You can bring along a pair of flip flops or light sandals for times when you want to relax without full shoes. Enjoy your trip!

  35. This summer I took an almost identical (different strap design) pair of Taos on a two month trip in Europe. They definitely required a long breaking in period. And after having a pair of clark’s (unfortunately discontinued) with a similar food bed years ago used on a similar trip, I was surprised by how badly the Taos began to smell, not a problem I usually have with shoes. Additionally the footbed would pill which would be uncomfortable under my foot at times.

    But all things considered, ei. the difficulty of finding all around great travel sandals, they did their job well and looked cute too.

    Wondering if you’ve considered trying some of croc’s cutier sandals (recent releases), I take them as my shower shoe (hostels) and they double as my night out shoe, giving my feet a well needed break. plus they are incredibly/surprisingly sturdy. But I am still weary of using them as my “only sandal” because they are rubber and not that crazy supportive look that the naots and toas and berks have for walking. Thoughts?

    • Hi Syd,
      Sorry you had some trouble with your Taos shoes. I must admit, after having had (and thoroughly worn) my Taos sandals for three years, I’m starting to experience similar challenges to you in terms of the footbed pilling and smelling.
      My solution: I bought another pair of Taos – this time a different style of shoe to better suit the high-altitude Peruvian climate I’m currently living in (it’s a mary jane type of shoe, so not a sandal).

      I’ve seen some pretty cute crocs lately, and seriously thought about getting a pair when I need a new pair of sandals. True; they’re not the same “crazy supportive” style of the Naots/Taos/etc shoes, but Crocs did the trick for me for many years. I just wouldn’t take them hiking off-road or white-water rafting – but then again I wouldn’t have done that with the Naots either.
      It really boils down to where you go and what you do on the road.
      Hope you find the perfect pair of sandals!

  36. thank you for your wonderful advice on shoes. may i ask have you tried any vionics? and do you like for walking>
    definately cute styles. thanks for any feedback or answers, take care, kath

  37. Thank you for this article! I have been on the search for a perfect sandal for an upcoming trip and I’d never heard of Taos before. If I hadn’t read your awesome review I never would have tried on a pair of these and fallen head over heels for the comfort and style. I wore them for a 30 minute walk uphill this morning and even with zero breaking-in they were perfectly comfortable. Plus they are so light and low profile they will most certainly fit in my carry-on which is good because I am not checking baggage.

    • Hi Lindsay,
      Nice choice of sandal! I think the next time I’m in a place with decent shipping, I’ll be investing in a new pair of Taos sandals myself….the ones I’ve had have gone strong for quite a few years – it’s time for a new pair!

  38. I walked all over New York in Alegria Verona Sandals and I love them. I have high arches and plantar fasciitis and I survived quite comfortably. They have excellent arch support I have several different pairs, some look clunky and some are more feminine.

    • Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for the tip! Indeed, many of their styles look a bit too clunky for my liking, and for my suitcase! But they do certainly look comfortable….. 🙂

  39. Hey there,

    I diligently read your post (and then got lost an most of your other posts) before making a purchase because I love to travel, but have flat feet and when walking around that’s a problem. After I had purchased my very traditional birkenstocks from Softmoc, my friend came by and she had also purchased some new birks. However she bought the EVA ones. They are waterproof, super light, and come in a few of the different birk styles.

    I previously had the non-slip crocs (which means the sole, your foot still very much slips inside of the shoe if water gets into it) which were amazing for work (2 pairs over 4 years), but not great for my lack of arch support.,en_CA,pd.html?cid=100&cgid=work-shoes#start=7

    First thing I noticed with my friends EVA birks were they were about as light as my crocs, which is HUGELY beneficial when traveling. I think I’m going to be getting a pair of them pretty soon! They are about half the price of the price of traditional birks as far as I saw. Hope you are enjoying yourself wherever in the world you are!

    • Hi Krystle,
      Thanks for the tips! The Birkenstock EVAs look very interesting. I’m going to be in the market for some new sandals soon…..I’ll check them out!

  40. I have had 2 pair of Taos sandals and both pair have started pilling on the foot bed within a month of wearing. Could be due to walking in the dewey grass. And they can smell a bit. I have thrown them in the washing machine after they just got too bad and they faired well. I found them brand new at the thrift store for a couple bucks each so I am not out the higher end price of these. Love the Naots and Berkinstock foot bed. There are two style of Noat soles on the mules and I found one holds up better than the other.

    • Hi Jeanneen,
      Yes, my Taos have finally started pilling and smelling. It seemed to happen almost overnight; maybe I walked in dewey grass as well! Ha ha.

  41. Thank you Nora for sharing your experience with sandals. Reviews like these give buyers a clear picture on a certain model befor they jump on it. Naots are sturdy and have proved to be reliable and supportive. I have recently written an article about some of the best walking sandals if you guys are interested.

  42. I have had 2 pair of Taos sandals and both pair have started pilling on the foot bed within a month of wearing. Could be due to walking in the dewey grass. And they can smell a bit.

    • Hi Gate,
      My Taos took much longer to start pilling (as in, well over a year), but admittedly I managed to keep them dry. They started pilling after I got them really wet once.
      They started smelling a bit after a couple of years, but by that point I’d gotten more than enough wear out of them…they have since gone to the big travel sandals home in the sky, with reverence!

    • Hi Joseph,
      No, I haven’t, but I just checked them out…they look pretty cool! Certainly takes the cake for being ultralight and packing up small. Have you tried them?

  43. All look solid Nora. Really gotta get your foot game down cold to properly travel. I see this more every day on the road. Flips, sneakers and here in NZ you better have gummies if you’re on the farm or in the bush.

    • Hey Ryan,
      Gummies (as in gum boots, if people don’t know what we’re talking about!) are okay, and downright necessary in some places, but totally impractical for travel! One of those things you borrow or buy for the duration of your stay and give away before you leave. Unless, of course, you’re prepared to wear them on the plane…. 😉

  44. Great article! I started out with keens and they immediately gave me blisters and were too ugly for me to handle on a non-waterfall hiking basis that they’ve been in my closet now for a few years. I usually travel with shower flip flops and Birkenstocks now. I have gotten caught in the rain in my Birks and I was pleasantly surprised that they held up really well! I do wish they were a bit more packable as I strap them to the outside of my backpack.

    • Hey Katie,
      Yes, the biggest downfall of Birks in my opinion is their weight and bulk. I’m happy they held up well in the rain; sometimes the footbed can start pilling after it gets wet.
      If you like the Birks style and comfort but don’t like the weight, check out their EVA styles (shown above in the post) – I hear great things, and they’re totally waterproof!

  45. Oh my goodness… I am so thankful to know that others struggle with travel sandals as well! I definitely will be checking out some of the suggestions. So far, I’ve tried Skechers, Viakix, flip flops, and several different “dressy” styles. It doesn’t seem like it would be that hard to check all 3 boxes (cute, comfortable, durable), but it’s proving to be quite the challenge!

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Indeed it’s a challenge – compounded by the fact that everybody has a different sense of personal style and a different set of criteria they need to fill as well. Good luck in your search! Let us know here if you find something that works.

  46. Hi, some thoughts on the slingbacks? They are classic and I think they fall on full toe sandals as despite their tip, what holds our feet to the sole is an ankle strap which crosses behind the ankle and connets to either the tip or sole instead of going all the way around the ankle :).
    Do you find the comfier than their full shoed heel versions? Of course it depends a lot of the heel height and shape and they’re generally lower on average, being these sandals usually more slimming.

    • Hi Antonymous,
      Funny you should mention slingbacks…I’m on a mission to find some nice travel-friendly slingbacks! You’re right though – they’re not quite sandals, but they can be stylish and still friendly for walking around town. Less practical in all scenarios, but definitely better for dressing up.

      • Really? Awesome!
        Exactly, they’re dressy sandals and can be very comfortable, but in some scenarios are less practical I get, because their ankle strap tend to give a bit less grip, as it doesn’t go all around the ankle, so to replicate shoe heels!

  47. Thanks for this one of the great suggestion , I think Crocs suits me best as its waterproof and due to its arch support I am seriously considering it.

  48. Hi Nora,

    How did the Tulum crocs end up working out for you? Did they provide decent support and no blisters?

    I am on the hunt for a sandal I’ll be able to walk around all day in, probably miles, in the hot Italian sun this summer — but I am being picky about fashion! I need to be able to wear them all day (and out to dinner etc), but I’d be dressed up in summer dresses and need my sandals to look nice enough. I have been scouring the internet for answers! These might just fit the bill, but any feedback you have would be much appreciated! Thank you so much

    • Hi Casey,
      Such a great question – I’m glad you asked!
      I had really high hopes for the Crocs Tulum, since they’re fashionable, waterproof, lightweight, etc.

      Regarding support – the shoe bed is pretty much flat. So if you’re looking for something with high arches, the Tulum won’t work.

      As for walking long distances in summer heat – I gave this a go in south Florida on a 10k walk. I ended up with a blister on the ball of my foot. And while I’m okay with blisters as part of a break-in process, I am afraid this wasn’t a break-in issue since there’s nothing to break in on the footbed. And of course now I’m scared to take them on a long walk again!

      So, I like them for shorter walks, city slicking, and light water sports. But they don’t quite tick all the boxes as an all-around perfect sandal. The search continues!!

      • Wow, thank you SO much Nora, I really appreciate your thoughtful response!

        Not only was your response so quick, but it was incredibly helpful. Your trial and these details are exactly what I needed to hear.

        Yes, my search continues!

  49. This is my go-to sandal:

    I like thong-style sandals, and with the added strap this sandal goes on hikes with me, and still looks cute enough for casual evenings out. Can’t dress it up as much as other sandals, but I wear it for literally everything else in the summer. It’s also made to get wet. I’ve had mine for around 6-7 years – the strap wore out and I emailed the company and they just sent me a new one for free.

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