One-Shoe Wonders for the Travel-iest Season of All
There are so many miles between us and spring—from that long holiday road of visiting friends and family to the excursions we take to either embrace or escape winter (and the weather that comes with it).
Wherever the winter months take you, nothing makes trips go smoother than having the one shoe that takes you every mile of the way. We’ve gathered up our favorite one-shoe wonders. Read on to discover the best winter boot, shoe, or sandal to take you through the airport, up to viewpoints, down to dinner, and beyond.
Women's Presidio boot
ESCAPE TO THE CITY
Whether exploring a new city or tramping around your in-laws’ sleepy metropolis, you never know when a quick window shopping trip will turn into drinks at a nice hotel across town—or when the rain will turn to sleet or snow. Choose a versatile, stylish shoe that’s waterproof (or water-resistant or seam-sealed) and has a cushioned sole for all-day comfort and exploring. (Guys: Here’s how to choose a go-to fall or winter boot.)
TOP PICKS FOR WOMEN
Women's Elena boot in mulch/brindle
Your favorite: Women’s Presidio II boot
“I feel like I hit the lottery! We have 20" of snow today with temps in the low 20s. My feet are warm and dry. Very comfortable. I'm thinking about buying a second pair to keep on hand.” – Up North Kelly, NY
TOP PICKS FOR MEN
Slater II boot in magnet
Your favorite: Men’s Austin Casual boot
“I use this boot for everyday casual wear, and long walks with the dog, year-round, rain, snow or shine. I've already gone through a steady rain with lots of puddles, and not a drop reached my feet.” – Johnny Walker, Chicagoland
THE MOUNTAIN’S CALL
Men's Targhee Lace Boot on a Mount Hood trail
When a winter vacation includes hiking, you always end up packing more. Gloves. Hats. Binoculars. A compass (you never know!). With a weather-ready shoe that’s both trail-friendly and handsome to boot, you can go from cabin to brew pub in the same boot, saving valuable suitcase space room for more important things, like snacks.
Choose insulated hiking boots with a waterproof upper, plus a lugged sole for slick trails. Hikers that offer a pop of color, unique texture, or some other flourish provide a bit of style, allowing you to take your mountain look into town. (Read more about Oregon’s Peak to Pub scene.)
TOP PICKS FOR WOMEN
Terradora ankle boot in stellar/majolica blue
Your favorite: Women’s Terradora Leather boot
“Bought these and left on a trip to CA two days later. Wore them almost straight for 14 days and they were wonderful for hiking in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon Nat'l Parks. Wore them on the beach and everywhere in-between. One of the best purchases I have made! I had happy feet when wearing these. :)” – MN LADY; MN
TOP PICKS FOR MEN
Best versatile winter hiking boot: Targhee Lace boot
Your favorite: Targhee III Mid boot
“Extremely lightweight, comfortable fit. I wear them at work and walk 5 to 7 miles a day. I'm always on my feet. From the 1st day the boots felt great. Will not be my last pair.” – CLFF; COLUMBIANA, AL
When shedding layers for a beach getaway, the same should apply to your luggage. Our advice: pack light—including just one pair of versatile sandals—and don’t look back.
Choose sandals that offer a secure fit, quick-dry upper, and all-day comfort so you can explore or lounge, without a second thought about your feet. You’re likely coming from a chilly home base, so be sure add a pair of socks to those sandals for the plane ride. (If this idea leaves your palms sweaty—you’re not alone. Learn more. Socks and Sandals: From “Why?!” to How-to.)
TOP PICKS FOR MEN & WOMEN
Women’s Whisper sandal: “[I] would buy this product again and again. These KEEN sandals give great support and ease in walking. I wear these for travel and on mission trips in third world countries with uneven ground and lots of rocks. Great sandals!” – Linda the Missionary, MO
Men’s Newport H2: "KEEN sandals continue to be my go-to adventure sandal. They are rugged and last a long time. Play in the river, rinse off, repeat. If they get too bad toss them in the washing machine. Fantastic!” – River Rat; Mo River
Mission Possible: Packing One Pair of Shoes