Last updated on August 19th, 2022 at 11:20 am
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From city-hopping staycations to travelling abroad, your backpacking footwear can make or break your experience. You’ll want to find something sturdy
and breathable for long periods of walking, yet stylish and versatile enough to suit different outfits and occasions.
Whether you’re an experienced traveller or first-time backpacker, this guide will help you find the best hiking boots, sandals and shoes for your adventure.
Best sandals for backpacking
Sandals are a great addition to your backpack. They are light and compact so can fit in easily, plus they give you an extra footwear option on your travels. Here are some of our top picks:
Relife Women’s Brown & Metallic Sandal
Part of the Relife shoes collection at Shoe Zone, these stylish Women’s Brown & Metallic Sandals add a touch of glamour to any outfit. You can wear them on the beach with denim cut-offs or dress up an outfit for a fancy holiday dinner.
The comfy footbed supports your feet while walking and double elastic straps keep your ankles secure for everyday wear. The straps also collapse, so you can easily slot them into your day bag when you need to change into boots
Rieker Men’s Brown Triple Riptape Sporty Sandal
With their timeless design, supportive sole and thick grip, these Reiker Men’s Brown Triple Riptape Sporty Sandal are a great alternative to traditional backpacking footwear. The open-toe style is ideal for warmer weather, while the touch fasten straps keep your feet secure on long walks.
You can pair the sandals with shorts or trousers as the neutral brown colouring suits a variety of outfits. The leather material also ensures the shoe is extra durable.
Crocs Crocband Flip Adults Sandal
You can’t beat a lightweight pair of flip-flops for hanging around the campsite or strolling along the beach – and these unisex Crocband Flip Adults Sandals by Crocs offer just that.
The sleek and sporty design means you can throw them in your bag when you need an extra footwear option. They come in a range of colours and are made from a special Croslite material which makes them easy to clean too. Pair them with shorts, skirts or swimwear – a completely versatile backpacking shoe for your trip.
Best hiking boots for backpacking
Any backpacking adventure is sure to involve lots of walking, so it’s important to bring a good pair of boots with you. Below we’ve rounded up some of the best hiking boots for backpackers.
Cotswold Men’s Wychwood Mid Hiking Boots
Looking for hiking boots which are lightweight, comfy and waterproof? You’re in luck as these Cotswold Men’s Wychwood Mid Hiking Boots are some of the best.
The boots feature a water-repellent membrane to keep your socks dry on rainy days, plus a memory foam footbed which moulds to your feet for added comfort. When you’re working up a sweat on long or uphill hikes, the breathable mesh ensures your feet stay cooler for longer.
Cotswold Women’s Abbeydale Mid Hiker in Blue
Hiking boots don’t just have to be practical – they can be stylish too. That’s why the Cotswold Women’s Abbeydale Mid Hiker in Blue are one of our favourite backpacking shoes.
They come in a fashionable blue and pink combo, so you’ll look just as good as you feel when out on the trails. The sturdy build is perfect for securing feet in place and preventing any slips and trips.
Don’t forget, it’s best to break in your boots before you head off on your backpacking adventure – nobody wants blisters on a long walk!
Cotswold Men’s Abbeydale Low Hiker
If you’re not a fan of mid-height hiking boots, the Cotswold Men’s Abbeydale Low Hiker is a great alternative.
Lightweight and breathable, these sporty hiking shoes include a thick grip sole and memory foam footbed for ultimate comfort.
Whether you’re exploring a new city or hiking up a mountain, these sturdy shoes are sure to keep your feet dry and protected. For advice on how to look after your walking shoes, check out our useful hiking shoes guide.
Best shoes for backpacking
From comfy slip-ons to lightweight trainers, there’s a variety of backpacking shoes to choose from. Deciding which pair to take depends on the type of trip you are planning. So, which ones are the best shoes for your backpacking needs?
Fleet & Foster Women’s Morgan Black Leather Shoe
The Morgan Black Leather Shoe – designed by Fleet & Foster – combines style and comfort for everyday wear. The shoes are a sporty twist on classic Mary Janes, with touch fastening straps, memory foam footbeds and suede and mesh materials.
The rounded toe ensures your feet aren’t squished when walking, while the light and flexible design makes them easy to wear and even easier to fit in your backpack. You can wear the shoes with shorts and trousers or dress them up with a nice skirt.
Skechers Men’s Summits South Rim Black Trainer
Trainers are a great option for backpacking shoes, as they are extremely versatile. You can wear them on hikes through nature or when exploring a city.
These Skechers Men’s Summits South Rim Black Trainers work with a range of looks and can easily be worn day or night. The laced slip-on design makes them ideal for walking, as they keep your feet secure without the risk of laces coming undone. Likewise, the black mesh fabric and smooth synthetic upper let your feet breathe while on the go.
Hush Puppies Women’s Basil Lace Shoes
Add a pop of colour to your backpacking footwear with these stylish Hush Puppies Women’s Basil Lace Shoes. The grey and coral pink colour scheme is perfect for any summer adventures and looks super flattering with denim jeans, shorts or dresses.
The Basil shoe is designed to support the natural movement of your body, with a BioBevel toe and heel to encourage natural walking. This feature is ideal for backpacking, as the additional strain on your back can affect your motion and balance.
Go ahead and give yourself the gift of all-day comfort with one of the best women’s backpacking shoes.
For more footwear guides and style tips, check out our other articles on the Shoe Zone Blog.