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Best shoes for summer travel

Traveling in the warmer months of the year can present unique apparel challenges. When preparing for a trip to the lower latitudes or destinations where water will be a major factor, certain considerations should be made. One important decision is the choice of footwear. There are few shoes that can do it all, but some can accommodate a variety of warm-weather activities.

The beach trip - One of the most common summer trips is that relaxing stay at the beach. Even if the plan is to lounge the day away reading the latest Grisham novel, there will always be walking involved. The shoe choice needs to fit comfortably and be able to get you to and from your seaside accommodations. The shoe also needs to be well suited to handle sand and water, and sometimes both simultaneously.

Chaco has created an ideal beach shoe with the Hipthong Pro. Available in men's and women's models, this fashionable sandal has no rear strap for easy removal when you're ready to kick your feet up in that beach chair. The unique strap system holds the shoe on the foot well, despite the lack of rear support. The footbed also has an arch which is lacking in many low-end water shoes.
Price - $85 at ChacoUSA.com
The business/pleasure trip - It can be difficult to find time for ourselves with the hectic schedules we adhere to these days. Many spend much of their travel time while on the clock. Occasionally though, the opportunity presents itself to escape from the meeting room and get out and explore or relax.

When mixing a business trip with a little R & R, consider a versatile shoe that won't be too casual for work yet will still get you where you want to go comfortably. For the men traveling on business, the Merrell Neptune not only looks fabulous under a pair of khakis, but the Ortholite footbed cradles the foot for support and will be ready to hit the streets later. Businesswomen will appreciate the Merrell Brio. This flat is anything but flat inside as it also includes an Ortholite footbed. The deceptively supportive soles will keep feet comfortable in the office and at the museum later.
Brio Price - $80 at Merrell.com
Neptune Price - $100 at Merrell.com

The walking trip - Theme parks, music festivals, and urban explorations come to mind when we think of the walking trip. An eight hour stint wandering cobbled streets, eating funnel cakes, jumping on and off trams, and sweating your way through lines is no time to wear uncomfortable shoes. Keeping your feet cool and dry will at least make the day less grueling, and there won't be the need for a foot soak when you collapse in the room later.

The Saucony ProGrid Ride 3 has a long name but is long on features as well. The performance interior lining wicks (pulls away) sweat from the foot. Both the men's and women's versions have midsoles that absorb impact. They are designed to be neutral trainers, so they can accommodate a wide variety of foot types.
ProGrid Ride 3 - $95 at Saucony.com

The active trip - Some of us, myself included, love to explore our natural world during the summer. Hiking, biking, paddling, and climbing our way through national parks and wilderness areas can be a great way to detach from the bustle of city life and get some exercise at the same time. When embarking on a trip packed with this much activity though, the right shoe is key.

The Keen Newport is a classic example of a shoe that can function in the toughest situations and also wears well for casual daily activities. The Newport is a sandal-style shoe with a Vibram sole for gripping slippery terrain and a tough toe bumper to keep your piggies safe.
Price - $95 at KeenFootwear.com

The flying trip - If we want to get far away, and get there quickly, we will most likely be flying the friendly skies. Since you will need to easily slip your shoes on and off in security, as well as have enough support to walk those long terminals, these trips may require a little more planning. The Crocs Melbourne and Melbourne Shecon not only have the slip-on factor covered, but also make for great walking shoe with their ergonomic squishy soles.
Melbourne Price - $55 at Crocs.com
Shecon Price - $45 at Crocs.com

Summer is the high-season for travel, and there are few items we pack in our suitcase more important than our shoes. Choosing the right footwear for a summer trip could mean the difference between blisters and bliss.

Filed under: Gear, Gadling Gear Review

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