Best Shoes For One Bag Travel

When it comes to travel, shoes are one of the most important pieces of gear you can have. You need something that’s comfortable, durable and also stylish. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite shoes for one bag travel.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 is one of the best running shoes on the market. It has a great sole that provides plenty of cushioning and support for your feet, which makes it perfect for long treks on city streets or dirt trails in the woods. The shoe also has a breathable upper so your feet stay cool and dry even when you’re walking through hot climates or humid areas like cities in Asia or South America. The only downside is that they run big so make sure to buy a half size down from what you normally wear in other shoes or sneakers.

Merrell Chameleon 3 Ventilator Hiking Boot

If you want a hiking boot that looks good enough to wear with jeans then try out these Merrell Chameleon 3 Ventilator Hiking Boots. They have an athletic build but they still look stylish enough to wear with any outfit while traveling abroad

Best Shoes For One Bag Travel

This post is a compilation of user recommended travel shoes from r/onebag, a subreddit designed to discuss the art of minimalist travel. Here users post trip reviews, packing lists, and request packing advice and product recommendations. Gear on this site is used by actual minimalist travelers who are simply trying to find good gear and have no interest in promoting a particular brand.

Best shoes for travel
My Collection of the Best shoes for travel

I can’t possibly test every travel shoe to determine which is the best. So to get a list of the best shoes for travel I reviewed all the “recommend me a shoe” posts on r/onebag from 2021. I dug through the comments and recorded any shoe that was recommended or endorsed as a good shoe for one bagging. While there were many more posts about specific shoes, shoe reviews, and packing lists, there were only 35 total general shoe recommendation posts (full list with links at end of post).

I’ll start with a quick One Shoe intro for anyone new to one bagging, then go over my rules and scoring method, followed by the shoe recommendations. The lists are sorted into Top Shoe BrandTop Shoe Models, as well as by Category for Casual/walkerRunning shoesSandals, and Boots.

There is No “One Shoe”

As stated in the 8th Commandment of One Bagging, and as attested to by many, many posts on r/onebag, there is no One Shoe to Rule Them All. There are simply too many types of trips, climates, styles, and preferences for one single pair of shoes to work for all people in all situations.

Lems 9 to 5 Lightweight Minimalist Travel Shoe
Lems 9 to 5 Lightweight Minimalist Travel Shoe

However, after sorting through many Shoe Recommendation posts, general trends begin to emerge. The same types of footwear show up again and again for different styles of travel: Business travel, leisure travel, and beach/casual. Generally, a two-shoe approach works for most people in the following situations:

  • Business Travel: Comfortable dressier shoe + running shoe
  • Leisure Travel: Comfortable neutral brown or black walking shoe + running shoe
  • Beach/Casual: Running shoe + sandals

Running shoes are optional and you can switch them out for sandals on almost any type of trip. For cold weather, upgrade shoes to a comfortable weatherproof boot.

Rules

Not surprising, the recommendations for shoes was wide-ranging. There was overlap between styles and subjectivity as to what someone might consider a “shoe.” Many posts included a healthy mix of casual walkers, boots, sandals, running shoes etc. To make sense of the madness, I searched shoe recommendation posts using the following rules:

Merrel Trail Glove Ultralight Trailrunning Shoes
Merrel Trail Glove Ultralight Trailrunning Shoes
  1. Only included posts specifically about shoe recommendations. I didn’t include shoes mentioned in packing list posts or other search terms like “sneakers,” “trainers,” “sandals” etc.
  2. Largely didn’t include specialty or specific use shoe recommendations. For example, “shoe recommendations for a wedding” wasn’t included. I did however include more general winter, dressy, business casual, walking etc. posts.
  3. Didn’t include posts seeking advice about specific shoes.
  4. Didn’t include shoe reviews.
  5. Didn’t discriminate between “women’s” and “men’s” shoes. I focused on brand and model recommendations.

Scoring

My focus was on recommendations in the comments. Although a recommendation can be subjective, I tried to be consistent. If a comment mentioned “I love XXX shoe!” it would count. However, if someone said “I tried the XXX shoe on a trip” but didn’t mention whether they liked it, then I generally didn’t count it. As someone using a shoe doesn’t imply an endorsement. Replies to top-level comments were scored if it was clear they also recommended the shoe, eg. “I second this!” would count.

  1. Each recommendation of a shoe in the comments gets a +1 score.
  2. Upvotes for comments weren’t considered.
  3. General mentions of a brand without a specific model get a plus +1 for the brand.

Shoe Recommendations

There were over 150 different shoe models mentioned. Because of the variety of recommendations, I broke the lists up into several categories. Top Shoe BrandsTop shoe Models, and recommendations by category for Casual/WalkerRunning ShoesSandals, and Boots. Listed in order of popularity.

Top Shoe Brands

Top recommended shoe brands (>10 mentions), regardless of style.

  1. Adidas
  2. Lems
  3. Vivobarefoot
  4. Blundstone
  5. Xero
  6. Vans
  7. Allbirds
  8. Merrell
  9. Altra
  10. Nike
  11. Ecco
  12. Salomon
  13. Arc’teryx
  14. Keen
  15. Teva
  16. Vessi

Top Mentions (>5 mentions)

  1. Birkenstock
  2. Converse
  3. Altama
  4. Crocs
  5. Danner
  6. Scarpa
  7. Bedrock
  8. Chacos
  9. Doc Martens
  10. Olukai
  11. Palladium
  12. GoRuck
  13. Hoka
  14. Tropicfeel
  15. Clarks
  16. Oboz
  17. Redwing
  18. Sketchers
  19. Astral Designs

Best Shoes For Travel

Top recommended shoe models of any style.

  1. Adidas Terrex Free Hiker
  2. Adidas Ultra Boost
  3. Vans UltraRange
  4. Vivobarefoot Gobi II
  5. Lems Boulder Boot
  6. Lems Primal 2
  7. Merrell Trail Glove
  8. Altama OTB Maritime Assault
  9. Altra Lone Peak
  10. Xero Z-Trail
  11. Adidas AX3
  12. Lems Nine2Five
  13. Scarpa Mojito
  14. Allbirds Tree Runners
  15. Arc’teryx Aerios
  16. Clarks Desert Boots
  17. Converse Chuck Taylor
  18. Ecco Soft 7
  19. Nike Free RN
  20. Salomon Outbound
  21. Salomon Outline
  22. Teva Urban Universal

Top Recommendations by Category

Recommendations broken up by category using my discretion. This was a shoe post, so I have more of those, but inevitably running shoes, sandals and boots slipped in.

Casual/walker

  1. Adidas Terrex Free Hiker
  2. Vans UltraRange
  3. Vivobarefoot Gobi II
  4. Lems Primal 2
  5. Merrel Trail Glove
  6. Altama OTB Maritime
  7. Adidas Terrex AX3
  8. Lems Nine2Five
  9. Scarpa Mojito
  10. Allbirds Tree Runners

Running

  1. Adidas Ultraboost
  2. Altra Lone Peak
  3. Nike Free RN
  4. Nike Pegasus
  5. Allbirds Tree Dashers

Sandals

  1. Birkenstock
  2. Teva
  3. Zero Z-Trail
  4. Bedrock
  5. Keen

Boots

  1. Lems Boulder Boot
  2. Palladium (any model)
  3. Redwing Iron Ranger

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