Hi ladies (and gents)! I have followed this board for several years, and I just wanted to share some of my own recs for travel shoes, based on my experience. I am a firm believer in doing what's best for you, but these are what has worked well for me, so take what you will from it!
Boots (non-hiking) - Teva De La Vina
- My favorite travel boot. I did a LOT of research and tried on many, many boots by the usual suspects - Merrell, Keen, Clarks, Chaco, Dansko, you name it - but these are the winners. These boots come in ankle, low and knee height, so you can pick whatever height you prefer or your trip calls for. They are waterproof, and they have a removable insole, so you can easily change it out. They have a good tread to avoid slipping. Obviously not for serious hiking and the like, but great for a mix of city and outdoors. I wear them with Smartwool socks. The knee height is also roomy enough for wide (even extra wide) calves, which is rare. I own two pairs, and will probably invest in a third soon. I'd recommend sizing up, though.
Mary Janes - Merrell Dassie MJ
- These are a great versatile MJ that I haven't seen recommended here recently. I wore mine all over the Scottish Highlands a couple springs ago when the weather was beautiful, and I didn't want to be constrained to boots OR by socks. The footbed held up nicely to this abuse and left me blister-free. They also have a removable insole. I sprayed mine with some Clarks waterproofing spray, and they have held up just fine. May need to size down half a size.
Slipons/sneakers - Toms Avalon
- I have seen a lot of people recommend regular ole Toms, which I used to wear frequently and I've taken abroad myself in the past, but I've developed plantar fasciitis over the past year, so I've broken myself of this habit. But, the Avalons are a great alternative because they are billed as sneakers, and also have a removable insole (which is pretty comfy as is), so I can slip mine in and viola. They're great for security lines, as well as city walking. Also, unlike many Toms, they have a couple options for leather, so slightly more durable than your cloth Toms, though not waterproof by any means. These are true to size.
Flats/sandals - Ahnu Karma
- These are great for European cities in the summer, especially if you're looking for a sandal alternative. No removable insole (you'll see why), but they mold nicely to your feet. One possible issue - Ahnu recently was bought by Teva, so if you go to the Ahnu website, it re-directs you to Teva.com, and they only have the Ahnu hiking boots available at present (which I've seen recommended on here, but have not tried). However, other websites like Zappos still have them. These are true to size.
Last but not least - buy well in advance and break them in! Hope this helps. :)