A good pair of walking shoes is a must on vacations where sightseeing by foot is on the agenda, and travelers today have their pick of footwear that’s both comfortable and stylish.
The lightweight oxford shoes Cole Haan has for both men and women as part of its ZeroGrand line, for example, are easy on the feet because their cushioning absorbs the impact that happens when the heel and the ball of the foot hit the ground with each step. They’re available in different colors and constructed of either leather or ultrasoft suede. $138 to $328.
Creative Recreation, a brand of fashionable and functional shoes, has the Cesario Lo Woven collection for men, made of woven polyester. Available in black, navy, red/white or black/gray, they weigh 7 ounces and have impact-absorbing cushioning. $75.
The athletics brand New Balance has a category of Lifestyle sneakers for both genders that wear like a regular sneaker but are meant for walking, not working out; several of the 100 or so styles are available in trendy colors such as deep red, patterns like herringbone and materials such as leather and suede. $75 to $400.
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Boots are also made for walking. The women’s ankle Bailee Bootie from Jack Rogers supports the feet without constricting them – the leather is soft and malleable, and the rubber soles absorb shock. $128.
And Blu Kicks makes slip-on cotton canvas loafers for both genders in catchy patterns such as hibiscus flower and red stripe. The rubber outer soles are nonslip, and the insoles are made with EVA, a material that molds to the foot and provides arch support. $58.
The right shoes for trips heavy on walking go beyond preventing blisters and calluses, according to Dr. Suzanne Levine, a podiatrist at Institute Beauté, a foot clinic in New York City.
“If you don’t have supportive shoes, you can develop heel and hip pain, so it’s key to find a pair that works for your foot and test it out at home before you travel,” she said.