The Best Travel Shoes Follow One Simple Rule, Says a Fashion Editor

Updated 05/01/19
a woman in comfy and chic sneakers sitting with her luggage
@littleblackboots

Everyone has a theory on the best shoes for travel: They must be easy to remove, they shouldn't have metal to go through TSA, they should be nice enough in case you run into a famous CEO, and they should be comfortable enough to endure a nine-hour flight. But in the mind of a fashion editor, there is only one rule when it comes to picking the best shoes for traveling—and it has nothing to do with practicality.

"When it comes to travel footwear, I don't really think in terms of what will be easy for going through security," says Who What Wear Senior Features Editor Gina Marinelli. "I'm usually more concerned with overpacking. I'll wear the heaviest or bulkiest shoes I'm packing—typically sneakers or ankle boots—so I can save the suitcase space." Want to try a fashion editor's approach to travel footwear? We handpicked the best bulky sneakers, flats, and boots to wear on flights, and best of all—most of them follow all the other rules too.

Alexander McQueen Suede-trimmed Leather Exaggerated-sole Sneakers
Alexander McQueen Suede-Trimmed Leather Exaggerated-Sole Sneakers $575
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Exaggerated sole sneakers are quite the trend right now, but you won't want to pack these in your suitcase.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT41.

Zara Silver Platform Derby Shoes
Zara Silver Platform Derby Shoes $60
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Want to stroll around Paris in these chic metallic flatforms? Make sure you wear them on your flight.

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Gucci Jordaan Horsebit-detailed Shearling-lined Leather Loafers
Gucci Jordaan Horsebit-Detailed Shearling-Lined Leather Loafers $1100
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Because there is truly nothing better than breezing through the airport with your feet deep in fur.

Available in sizes IT34 to IT42.

Dorateymur Nizip II Ankle Boot in Violet
Dorateymur Nizip II Ankle Boot in Violet $515 $361
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An ankle boot that's comfortable enough for traveling but cute enough to elevate all your outfits once at your destination? We're sold.

Available in sizes 37.5 to 39.5.

Madewell Koio Capri Fiore Low-Top Sneakers in Pink Leather
Madewell Koio Capri Fiore Low-Top Sneakers in Pink Leather $248
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These sneakers are cute enough to dress down with jeans or dress up with a flowy skirt. Wear them on the flight and throughout your entire trip.

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

New Balance 247 Synthetic in Pigment/White
New Balance 247 Synthetic in Pigment/White $80
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These sensible sneakers will take you through the airport and onto the European cobblestones for your morning run.

Available in sizes 6.5 to 10.

Chloé Susanna Cutout Studded Leather Ankle Boots
Chloé Susanna Cutout Studded Leather Ankle Boots $1870
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If you needed yet another reason to splurge on a pair of classic Chloé ankle boots, this is it.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT42.

Mango Appliqué Lightweight Sole Sneakers
Mango Appliqué Lightweight Sole Sneakers $80
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Take these versatile sneakers hiking, around town, 10,000 feet in the air, and beyond.

Available in sizes 6 to 9.

Common Projects Suede Chelsea Boots
Common Projects Suede Chelsea Boots $530
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Desert boots are practical—and not just when you're traveling to the desert! Fly with them and wear with anything from jeans to dresses.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT42.

Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra in Particle Pink/Light Bone
Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra in Particle Pink/Light Bone $115
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We love a good fashionable sneaker to wear at the airport just as easily as during a morning workout on your trip. You'll get a lot of mileage out of these.

Available in sizes 6.5 to 9.5.

Balenciaga Race Runner Metallic Stretch-knit And Leather Sneakers
Balenciaga Race Runner Metallic Stretch-Knit and Leather Sneakers $795
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These Balenciaga sneakers pair perfectly with an all-black travel outfit. Think leggings and a leather moto jacket.

Available in sizes IT35 to IT42.

Zara Loafers With Bow Detail
Zara Loafers With Bow Detail $36
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If you're concerned with brushing shoulders with CEOs in the airport lounge, these stylish loafers will get you there in style.

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Saint Laurent Logo-embossed Textured-leather Espadrilles
Saint Laurent Logo-Embossed Textured-Leather Espadrilles $495
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Because you know you'll wear your espadrilles all around Europe anyway, why not get a head start and wear them on your flight too?

Available in sizes IT34 to IT42.

Zara Contrasting Platform Sneakers
Zara Contrasting Platform Sneakers $70
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If flatform sneakers are your thing, you'll be over the moon traveling with these chic ones from Zara.

Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Dolce & Gabbana Appliquéd Embellished Leather Sneakers
Dolce & Gabbana Appliquéd Embellished Leather Sneakers $1295
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Prance around Italy with these chic Dolce & Gabbana sneakers—you might even get upgraded once the flight attendants see your stylish footwear.

Available in sizes IT36 to IT39.

Next up: These are hands down the worst shoes for travel.

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