When you’re on the go, a comfortable pair of shoes is a must-have to prevent blistering, swelling, and other annoyances. And thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice style for support.
I’m a travel writer who’s currently expecting a daughter, and in the past few months, we’ve taken trips to nine countries. Anticipating ankle swelling, fatigue, and more, I needed a pair of comfortable shoes that would get me through my travels without causing foot pain — and that I could still put on by myself, pregnant belly and all.
I also spoke with other women who spend long hours on their feet about their favorite comfortable footwear, from sneakers to clogs to loafers. Whether you’re a nurse, parent, avid traveler, training to become a pilot, or otherwise, these durable shoes from brands like Brooks, Skechers, Cole Haan, and Dansko will save you worlds of foot pain — and they start at just $15.
Skechers Slip-ins On-the-go Flex
These Skechers Slip-ins truly require no effort to put on. For anyone with mobility issues — or a protruding pregnant stomach, like myself — the idea of not having to bend down to put on shoes is a backsaver, if not a lifesaver. In addition to a clever design that expedites getting out the door, Skechers throws the kitchen sink of comfort-related innovation at these slip-on shoes, including a heel pillow that holds your foot in place; a cushioned, air-cooled memory foam insole; and a stretchy upper with plenty of give.
In the past few months, I’ve visited several destinations from sweltering Italy to Arctic Svalbard, and these supportive shoes were vitally important to my journeys. If that’s not enough, these shoes are machine washable, and the outsole provides ample traction. Available in a few colors, these shoes come in women’s sizes 5 through 12, including half sizes.
Dansko Professional Clogs
A pair of cushioned clogs is a staple in many professionals’ wardrobes, as they have a more elevated look than sneakers but still provide ample support. These Dansko clogs have a contoured leather upper, tanned leather sockliner, and moisture-absorbent foam cushioning for comfortable all-day wear. The shock-absorbing outsole also resists extreme temperatures and is plenty flexible.
A flight attendant who often works 16-hour days noted that “for the first time in 21 years my feet don’t hurt. These shoes even help my legs and lower back feel better.” Additionally, Kristin Gonzalez, BSN RN, shares that her 8-year-old pair of Dansko clogs “are still the most comfortable shoes I own” thanks to their arch support and easy on-and-off. She also loves how the shoes help her “stand with better posture.”
Available in women’s sizes 5.5/6 through 11.5/12, the brand recommends sizing up a half size if you are in between sizes.
Cole Haan Zerogrand Stitchlite Slip-on Loafer
Another comfortable slip-on option, these Cole Haan sneakers are made with a lightweight stitched upper that allows for plenty of airflow so your feet don’t get sweaty. The footbed is padded with several layers of cushioning, and a pull tab on the heel makes it easy to take the shoes on and off. Plus, the flexible synthetic sole moves naturally with your foot and feels like “you’re walking on air,” says Amy Simon, a mom and second-grade teacher who’s on her feet all day.
These slip-ons withstand wear and tear, says Simon, and they’re a “great airport shoe,” added another owner. The Cole Haan sneakers come in women’s sizes 5 through 11, though Simon notes you may want to size up half a size.
Brooks Addiction Walker 2
Made with a roomy leather upper, these Brooks walking shoes provide support for many types of feet, including low arches, overpronators, and those with arthritis. The lace-up sneakers have a mesh lining for ventilation and a unique midsole and outsole construction that provides motion control for each step.
These Brooks sneakers “have the best support for my feet, which includes arthritis in my big toe,” says Brielle DiMauro, a bar manager and avid hiker. The rigid soles “don’t allow my toes to bend uncomfortably the way that other shoes do,” she says. The Brooks Addiction Walkers have also received approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association, meaning that they promote good foot health.
Available in women’s sizes 5 through 12 (half sizes included), these walking shoes are available in an impressive four widths.
A wallet-friendly pick, these Alicegana loafers have a flexible faux leather upper and a slip-resistant rubber sole. They’re light, comfortable, and “get me through airports and walks around the neighborhood,” says Roz Mays, a NASM-certified pole and fitness instructor. Another happy customer, who wore these shoes on a trip around Scotland, shared that they’re “awesome for walking and my legs don’t ache afterwards,” which is particularly impressive for a pair of loafers.
The breathable shoes come in over 10 colors, including a few shades with perforated designs, and are available in sizes 4.5 through 12.
Lunea Lace-Up Sneakers
These affordable lace-up kicks are a classic pair of canvas sneakers. The cotton upper and rounded toe box protect your feet, and since they’re available in white or black, they’ll match much of your wardrobe.
Emily Adzema, a mother of two and daycare operator who spends all day on her feet wrangling toddlers, swears by these simple low-tops. “I can wear them into the ground and never get a single blister,” she says. And since they’re a reasonable $15, they’re easily replaceable if they get lost or damaged on a trip.
The Michelle by Naturalizer
It may seem out of place to have a pair of heels on a list of comfy shoes, but Allison Pereira, an aviation professional for American Airlines, swears by these comfortable, supportive heels. Made with a soft leather, patent, or suede upper, the Michelle by Naturalizer has “an ideal height” for wearing to work all day, says Pereira. She’s also a fan of the cushioned sole, which is made from breathable materials and has arch support for all-day comfort. Another owner, who is a flight attendant, added, “These pumps are the most comfortable shoes I have worn.”
Available in several neutral shades, these heels come in women’s sizes 6 through 12 — including half sizes — and two widths. They also have a non-slip outsole for added stability.
“I actually look forward to putting them on,” says Pereira.
At the time of publishing, prices were as reflected in the article.
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