Be Kind to Your Feet: Finding Comfortable Travel Shoes

comfortable travel shoes

To say I’m “unkind” to my feet might be an understatement… 

At 4’11 and change, I need all the vertical help I can get. Consequently, I am always stuffing my poor feet into all kinds of uncomfortable footwear. I spend so much time in high heels, my feet feel rather strange without them. This addiction to sky-high heels began in high school. Call me crazy, but I  have never owned a pair of flats! When it comes to shoes, I have a bad habit of choosing style over substance. These tactics might be okay in the workplace, where you have the option to sit down. But if you’re on a trip and walking is your main mode of transportation, achy feet are bad news. Comfortable travel shoes are as essential for a happy voyage as your suitcase!

I learned this lesson the hard way. In fact, it’s a running joke with my husband. He loves to remind me of the time he had to buy me a pair of sandals while we were out exploring Minneapolis. I wanted to look “cute” in our photos and thought my feet could handle a full day in heels. News flash—no one can walk 6+ miles in pumps, or at least not in the cheap pair I was rocking.

Comfy travel shoesRosa Wedge (available in black and brown)

Comfort or Style? It’s possible to have both!

Thankfully, I’ve “wised up” with age and now realize you don’t have to choose between comfort and style. You don’t need to wear “grandma shoes,” you just need to be more selective with your vacation footwear. This means identifying shoes with sturdy construction, quality materials (no sweat-producing synthetics) and a style that fits your aesthetic. This is particularly important if you love long walks, like our family.

We’re headed to Italy for a work trip soon and will be on our feet a lot, as we won’t be renting a car. We are also sharing a suitcase, so I need to be very strategic with my shoe selection. I’ve been hunting for comfortable travel shoes that will give me a little “lift” in height while keeping my feet happy.

I found my answer in SAS Shoes. In the era of “disposable fashion,” this company is a rarity. It specializes in handcrafted leather footwear and remains family-owned, despite significant growth to 200+ stores. In addition, it maintains production and operations in Texas (SAS stands for San Antonio Shoemakers). It’s tough to find an American-made shoe these days!

comfortable travel shoesRosa Wedge | Gingham Bag (under $40) | Crochet/Lace Top 

These shoes are unlike anything I’ve worn before, so I’m thrilled to partner with SAS for this post. The company asked me to test out the Rosa wedge and all I can say is… wow! I had no idea shoes could feel this comfortable. Seriously, it’s like walking on a cloud—so much cushion, support and stability. Consider this perpetual heel-wearer converted.

Before we dive into the specifics about these darling wedges, I want to talk in general terms about what a comfortable travel shoe should offer…

SAS Shoes review

How to Choose Comfortable Travel Shoes

  1. Think about your activities: Will you be relaxing, running/hiking, attending formal events, etc? Pack shoes that can be worn for multiple purposes/occasions. Neutral shades are best. You want something that will work with all of your outfits.
  2. Consider the weather: What season will you be traveling in? For instance, the weather will be warm when we are abroad so a wedge sandal, like the Rosa, makes a great deal of sense.
  3. Seek out durable materials: I’m all about frugality and affordable fashion, but a travel shoe is not a place to penny pinch. Consider that you will be wearing this shoe most of your trip. Don’t let painful feet ruin a potentially epic moment. You can test quality by examining how a shoe sits on a table. Is it wobbly or well-balanced? Additionally, your shoe should have leather, suede or fabric uppers, so your feet can breathe. Synthetics can cause sweating and lead to blisters. Leather or suede-lined straps are another must. They help prevent chafing.
  4. Assess the cushion: If you are going to be on your feet all day, you want some softness. You can test for cushioning by pressing a finger into the ball area. You should feel a bit of give or slight padding.

how to choose comfortable travel shoesRosa Wedge | Gingham Bag (under $40) | Crochet/Lace Top 

The Rosa Wedge

As mentioned above, I am wearing The Rosa wedge sandal, a super-versatile style. The 2.875″ heel height looks equally at home with jeans, skirts, shorts or dresses. Best of all, it allows you to walk all day in comfort. SAS Shoes is meticulous about fit and offers this style in sizes 4-12 (both regular and wide widths).

While I talk about bargain fashion a lot on this blog, I also like to point out pieces that are worth the investment. At $159, The Rosa is more expensive than many of the items I feature here. However, when you consider the materials and handcrafted nature, the price makes sense.
According to SAS Shoes, each pair of shoes may go through up to 100 different steps, encountering artisans who specialize in leather selection, die-making, cutting, lasting and more. In the end, some 80 skilled pairs of hands will have contributed to the careful construction and inspection of your new shoes. Here are a few of the features that sold me on the Rosa:
  • Genuine Leather Upper: Genuine leather in a variety of colors and textures are used on the upper of the shoe.
  • Supersoft® microfiber Upper Lining: Lightweight microfiber material provides soft to the touch feel surrounding your foot.
  • Adjustable Buckle and Hook and Loop Closure: Hook and loop design along with a buckle detail provides adjustability throughout the day.
  • Contoured Padded Insole: This insole package offers padding and soft to the touch materials that are pressed together to contour to the shapes of your foot.

Thanks to SAS Shoes for sponsoring this post!

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