Footwear when travelling – what to pack

When you are packing for a big overseas adventure, shoes are generally something packed last minute and given little thought. But I am sure a week into your trip when your feet are covered in blisters, your lower back is aching and you are scolding yourself for taking 7 pairs of shoes you will wish you had been more organised!

Now firstly, for the love of god – please don’t wear sneakers when travelling. If you want the equivalent of a large sign strapped to your head declaring “I am a tourist!” then by all means go ahead. But if you like to look somewhat fashion forward and try and blend in as a local when abroad, there are other (comfy) options.


♥ DON’T wear thongs – they are easy to trip over in, are slippery when wet and don’t protect your feet properly from nasty things (broken glass or worse). Similarly, ballet flats look great but most provide no cushioning or support for your feet and can lead to lower back pain.

♥ DO look for nice sandals that have proper arch support and a sole with stable grip. I love Ziera shoes (formerly known as Kumfs)- they are designed with comfort and support in mind and whilst they used to be a bit daggy, they have released a lot of nice looking designs.

1. Ziera Black Pulp shoes

2. Ziera Talon shoes

♥ Dressing up at night – strappy heels/wedges are perfect for warm nights. But only take ONE pair that goes with everything – something black and timeless works well.

1. Wittner Hush heels

2. Wittner Glorious heels


♥ DON’T think you can get away with wearing just sneakers or low cut leather shoes. Not only will you freeze but your feet will get soaked through from snow.

♥ DO buy knee high boots preferably in leather (for quality, although I understand if you would prefer pleather for ethical reasons). As you’ll be wearing them everyday, select a simple style and colour that can work with all your outfits.

♥ DO ensure your new boots have a rubber sole to prevent slipping in the wet/on ice (if you find your dream pair of boots that have a leather sole, then go to your local cobbler and get them re-soled with rubber!)

1. Sandler Mason boots

2. Ziera Smash boots

♥ Dressing up at night – enclosed high heel brogues or heeled boots are the safest option. You’ll look sexy and won’t lose a toe to frostbite!

1. Wittner Lavish heels

2. Ziera Zoey heels


Mid season

♥ Ankle boots, brogues, mary janes – mid season weather is the easiest in terms of shoe options! Make sure you always have a wet weather shoe option.

♥ Team your shoes with socks or cute hosiery if it gets a bit chilly.

1. Ziera Briana shoes

2. Camper Mary Janes


And remember:

♥ Always break in your shoes/boots before you leave for your trip! You don’t want to spend the first few days of your holiday covered in blisters.

♥ Waterproof your shoes with a waterproof spray before you leave.


Stay tuned for a post on what clothes to pack for the various seasons!

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  • Reply Joanna Harris July 31, 2012 at 4:05 am

    I am in my 5th week in Europe and just living in my Ziera sandals. They have been fantastic through italy, Vienna and now in Berlin. Have walked kilometres and climbed thousands of stairs!

    • Reply Swah August 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Glad to hear from another Ziera shoes fan!! They are the best travelling shoes ever in my opinion :)

  • Reply carly June 26, 2014 at 1:38 am

    I’ve been wearing Ziera shoes while teaching and travelling in South Korea – they’re great! I review some of my favourite Ziera shoes here:

    • Reply Swah July 7, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Ziera are the best, aren’t they!

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