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What are the best travel shoes? TPG staff share their must-haves

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 7/2/2021 Benét J. Wilson
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As we get into the swing of travel after 15 months of being grounded, we may need to do some shopping before that next flight. I just bought the Away soft-sided bigger carry-on) and a set of YZAOLL compression packing cubes because I hate to check a bag, and some TSA-friendly toiletry bottles.

After an extended time not worrying about shoes, I felt I should buy new ones now that I’m taking to the skies again. You need shoes that will get you through airport security quickly, be comfortable on a plane and and are versatile on the ground. It’s time to buy a new pair as you take to the skies again — but which ones?

I asked my TPG colleagues to share their picks for best travel shoes.

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a woman standing in front of a building: Senior travel editor Melanie Lieberman shows off her Allbirds. (Photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy Senior travel editor Melanie Lieberman shows off her Allbirds. (Photo by Melanie Lieberman/The Points Guy)

Allbirds shoes, by far, was the most popular pick among TPG staffers. TPG credit cards reporter Stella Shon loves the running sneakers version of Allbirds so they can double as fitness shoes if she goes on hikes while traveling. “The normal Allbirds are not good for any physical activity,” she added. Credit cards editor Juan Ruiz just bought his fourth pair of AllBirds, which shows how much he loves them. And senior travel editor Melanie Lieberman says the shoes are are comfy and cute — plus you can easily swap out insoles and throw them in the washing machine.

But senior writer Andrew Kunesh says he wears a pair of knockoff Allbirds — Jsport by Jambu — that he got at for the bargain price of $9.99 (for men and women). He noted the quality of his shoe is indistinguishable from Allbirds, which start at $95 a pair. This was enough to convince me to buy my own pair, since I’m always looking for bargains.

However, my personal go-to shoe for the past few years has been the Soda Tracer women’s perforated slip-on sneakers — for the bargain price of $16.16 (at press time) on They are really comfortable and I can wear them with different types of clothing, since I only do carry-on luggage and only pack items that do double or triple duty.

a television is hanging on a wall: (Photo by Brian Kelly/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Brian Kelly/The Points Guy)

The Points Guy himself, Brian Kelly, is a big Nike fan for his travel shoes, noting that “travel is a sport.” He added that no one else but Nike makes shoes for his size 15 feet. Senior writer Victoria Walker is another Nike fan, keeping it simple with a pair of classic slides. But product manager Alessondra Parra swears by her No Bull running shoes — at $159 a pair — because they can be slipped on and off and they have the Boost sole that’s so comfortable.

a close up of a footwear: The Rothy’s driving loafer. (Screenshot courtesy of Rothy’s) © The Points Guy The Rothy’s driving loafer. (Screenshot courtesy of Rothy’s)

Writer Carolyn Tanner and associate video producer Marc Ramos both give a big thumbs up to Birkenstocks — and both admitted publicly that they wear them with socks. TPG senior director Mitchell Stoutin felt the need for some post-pandemic retail therapy for his upcoming trips, shelling out $185 for a pair of Rothy’s driving loafers (yes! Rothy’s now makes shoes for men!) and a pair of On Running Cloud Waterproof running shoes for $149.99.

Associate social media producer Mimi Wright swears by her Vans, calling them “comfy and cute.” Writer Ashley Kosciolek is a fan of Toms because they’re easy to take on and off at airport security, they’re sturdy enough to wear to walk around in most places, and they don’t take up a ton of room in luggage. “Plus they’re super easy to toss in the wash when I get home,” she added. And you have to love a company that commits a third of its profits to grassroots organizations — plus there are dozens of styles available for under $40.

Bottom line

When it comes to travel, comfort and ease of use are paramount. When it comes to the best travel shoes, the TPG staff has given you plenty of ideas — in a wide range of price points — for a pair that will have you ready to go on your next trip.

Featured photo by Manuel-F-O/Getty Images

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


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