I consider myself an active traveler. In fact, I prefer an active vacation. Even on the ultimate beach vacation, you can still find me running or exercising nearly every day, while also walking or biking to and from local attractions and restaurants.
When I look back on my trips this year so far – I definitely see a strong theme where activity is a big part, if not the core, of the trip itself.
- Barcelona in January – Walking all over the city, running along the waterfront, plus taking a walking tour of Montserrat and wine country
- Hawaii in March – Walking along Wailea beach, running along the beachfront path, exploring Lahaina (😢) and black sand beaches
- Orlando in May – Walking around the theme parks and Disney Springs
- London in June – Walking all around the city and the seaside town of Brighton, plus running a 5K and all through Kensington Park
- Oslo and Bergen in June – Walking all over each city, running along the historic waterfronts, plus multiple hikes in the fjords
With all of this activity, it’s no surprise that I have to be very thoughtful and deliberate about the types of shoes I pack, so that I can simultaneously maximize my footwear choices and minimize the space they will take up in my carry on. And in all my years of travel, I think I’ve finally cracked the code regarding which shoes to bring:
3 Shoes I Pack for Active Vacations
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Running Shoes – Most runners have a favorite running brand or even a specific shoe. I’ve been wearing the same brand and same type of running shoe – the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus- for more than 20 years and can’t imagine using any other shoe for my multiple, weekly running workouts.
What I love about these shoes: Although I buy a new pegasus every 6-8 months, each new pair has great cushion, arch support, and breathability and seems to form fit to my foot even after just one run. My Pegasus shoes have literally been all over the world with me and I never take a trip without them.
Olukai Huia Slip On Trainers – My husband introduced me to the Olukai brand many years ago, but at the time, they seemed more like a men’s shoe company. However, that all changed earlier this year when I bought my first pair – the Huia slipon. These shoes are the best, all-day, sockless walking shoe I’ve ever worn.
What I love about these shoes: While the shoes have Olukai’s signature adjustable/foldable heel flap (which makes them super easy to get on/off), there are so many other things I love about them. Unlike my pegasus which are on the chunkier side, the Huia are light weight and slim/fitting around my feet plus, they are super durable, and have enough cushion to keep the soreness from setting in, no matter how much I walk in them. Not only have I literally walked miles in these shoes in Europe and through airports, these are also my go-to summer shoe for running errands, walking the dog, and any other active outing. The only caveat is that, as of now, it looks like the shoe is only availble in 3 colors – (white, light gray and black). I’d love to see these in navy, a darker gray, khaki/tan or even a bolder color like pink or coral.
Cole Haan GrandPro Topspin Sneaker – There are many times when I travel, especially to Europe, when I need a fancier but functional shoe to wear to dinner or a special event. As an active traveler that loves to walk everywhere, it’s been really challenging for me to find this type of a shoe – something cute and dressy but also comfortable to walk in for several hours. That is until I discovered Cole Haan’s GrandPro Topspin sneaker.
What I love about these shoes: Most importantly, these shoes are super comfy but they are also very stylish and versatile – almost like a fancy-ish gym shoe. They come in a variety of color combinations (enough to pair with just about any outfit) and have a slightly thicker, platform base (when compared with other sneakers I’ve seen) making them just high enough to give my petite frame the lift it needs. Other than their cute and comfortable style, these shoes can be dressed up or down. I’ve worn them with and without socks (no-show socks) and have paired them with all styles of jeans (bootcut, skinny, cropped), chino shorts, nice joggers and even a casual skirt. So versatile, right? One caveat – and it’s more of a preference – the shoe has long laces that need to be tied. It would be nice to see these come as a faux-lace up shoe.
So as you can see, even active travelers can limit themselves to 3 pairs of shoes. Obviously, these are the shoes that work for me. The trick is to select the shoes that work for you – based on your preference for style, comfort, versatility, etc.
Happy Travels Everyone!