Gadling Gear Review: Shoes For Travel

Birki's Classic Skipper travel shoesFinding the perfect shoes for travel can be nearly as important as having the right luggage. A good pair of shoes can be the difference between an enjoyable trip and one that goes down in memory as one of the worst. Travel shoes should be comfortable, easy to pack, versatile and stylish. Here are two such options that would make good companions on your next excursion.

Birki’s Classic Skipper ($120)
Looking for a super comfortable shoe with a casual look capable of going with just about anything? Then look no further than the Classic Skipper from Birki’s. These shoes are 3/4 slip-ons that are easy to pull off and on as needed, yet remain securely on your feet even while staying active. That makes them a great option for everything from running errands around town to strolling the Champs Elysees.

Made with a canvas upper and a sole fashioned out of soft cork, the Skipper is surprisingly durable and rugged, especially considering they feel, and somewhat resemble, a comfortable pair of slippers. I was impressed with how well they weathered day-to-day usage without showing a hint of wear, which bodes well for their long term use while traveling. They are also easy to keep clean, which is always a big plus while on the road.

What I liked most about the Skippers is their solid cork footbed. They provide a surprising amount of support for both the heel and arch, which is much appreciated after a long day on your feet. Those same cork soles offer plenty of stability, even on wet, slick surfaces, which only strengthens the case for why these are such good shoes to have in your closet. Add in the fact that they are lightweight, easy to pack and are quick to slip off and on while in the security line of the airport, and you have a great pair of shoes for a multitude of travel adventures.Cushe Slipper travel shoesCushe Slipper ($50)
Cushe is a shoe company with a reputation for making comfortable footwear for a variety of activities and weather conditions. Their designs are stylish, affordable and fun to wear, earning them a loyal following amongst active travelers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. One of their more popular offerings is their Slipper, which lives up to its name by being a slip-on that feels like something you could shuffle around the house in, while being durable enough to wear just about anywhere.

This shoe is so lightweight that it is barely a step up from actually going barefoot. Its canvas mesh upper breathes well and provides plenty of ventilation while the molded, soft sole cradles the foot and offers more support than you would ever think possible for something that weighs so little. The interior of the Slipper is lined with a non-abrasive microfiber, which allows your feet to remain comfortable even while not wearing socks, which helps extend the feeling of wearing a slipper even further. The result is a travel shoe that is perfect to wear while in transit and is equally adept at walking through an open-air market as it is taking a stroll along the beach.

I found the Cushe Slipper to also be an excellent complementary shoe when on more active excursions. For instance, after a long day of hiking they make a wonderful pair of camp shoes for relaxing around the fire. After wearing a pair of heavy boots all day, there is nothing quite like slipping into these shoes to bring some instant relief to tired feet. They also score major points for being highly packable, taking up almost no room in your bag at all.

Perhaps best of all, Cushe has managed to make this shoe highly affordable. With a price tag of just $50, you’re probably going to want to buy them in multiple colors. For pure comfort and lightweight, these Slippers simply can’t be beat.

[Photo Credits: Birki’s and Cushe]