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Ease and comfort matter when travelling, so slip-on shoes are a travel essential. If you need to quickly get from the TSA security queue to your gate for instance, slip-on shoes will save the day. We had our Travel Leisure editors, writers, and product testers test out 20 pairs of slip-on shoes from trusted brands such as Cariuma, On Running, and Allbirds. Over a two-week period, we used the shoes for activities such as air travel, long walks, working in offices, and running errands around the city to determine their comfort and support. Below, we have listed our top picks, whether you are looking for an athletic sneaker or a slip-on appropriate for the office, to make shopping easier.
Why We Love It
The shoes' design is adaptable for running errands or wearing in the office. They provide sturdy and supportive construction.
What to Consider
The mesh upper feels slightly stiff at first.
The OluKai Pehuea slip-ons take you wherever you need to go, whether to the airport or the office, in style and comfort. The shoes' rubber outsole and lightweight mesh upper give them a well-balanced weight. The most impressive feature of these fashionable shoes is the midsole's support, which provides comfortable cushioning in the right areas. These slip-ons also have a special heel designed to fold down easily, a feature unique to them. We didn't encounter any challenges walking on slick terrain because of their dense rubber sole. Though the mesh upper feels a bit tight initially, it gradually molds around your foot, making it more comfortable over time. The shoes come in 16 different colors and sizes ranging from 5 to 12, with half sizes available for all styles.
Price at time of publish: $100
The Details: 5 to 12 | Mesh, rubber
What Sets It Apart
The Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneaker distinguishes itself with a cushioned heel bumper that staves off blisters while maintaining a secure fit for your heel.
Factors to Ponder
The shoe offers a proportionately narrow fit, but wider sizes are accessible.
Propelled by its confluence of a cupped heel, foam midsole, and arched footbed, the Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneaker delivers a uniquely comfortable walking experience. The bumper at the rear of the shoe is especially notable, conferring shielding against painful friction and enabling immediate use out of the box. With a design that prizes pliability, the shoe accommodates walking on both flat ground and uneven terrain, offering ample support and mobility for a variety of excursions. Customers can select from an assortment of recycled faux leather, canvas, flannel, and suede materials for the upper material and either a regular or wide sizing option to ensure a tailor-made fit. If you have wider feet, you may want to consider opting for the wider size variant as the regular size may feel too narrow.
Price at release:
Available sizes at release: 5 to 13 (including wide sizes) | Recycled materials such as faux leather, canvas, flannel, polyurethane and microfiber.
What's to Love
Experience ultimate comfort with the Allbirds Wool Loungers. Its pliable merino wool upper delicately conforms to your feet, creating a secure fit that doesn't restrict movement. The shoe's midsole is generously cushioned, and the lining is snug akin to a cozy pair of slippers. With the shoe's thick woolen upper, the Allbirds are the best shoes to wear in cold weather. Impressively, these shoes are durable, and their premium quality feels exceptional.
What to Keep in Mind
While the woolen upper is unquestionably cozy, it significantly reduces its breathability, making these shoes less comfortable in warmer weather.
Vince Warren Platform sneakers are fashionable, and with their dense rubber soles, they provide extra elevation, adding up to 1.5 inches! The leather upper is sleek and snug, but it requires a little breaking in period before it comfortably molds around the feet. You can choose from a variety of materials such as suede, textile, and leather, giving you a range of styles to choose from. Initially, the leather may feel stiff and rub the feet, causing blisters, but after a few wears, the shoes become very comfortable, providing optimal fit and arch support. The heel is supportive, reducing slippage while walking.
Price at time of publish: $105
Details: 5 to 11 | ZQ merino wool, SweetFoam EVA
Source: Travel Leisure / Julia Warren
Current Price: $343
Product Specifications: Available in sizes 5 to 13, these shoes are made from leather, textile, and rubber.
Why We Adore Them: These shoes are made using eco-friendly materials, including bamboo fabric that keeps your feet cool, and lightweight EVA foam made from sugarcane.
Things to Note: We found that the shoes took a short while to break in, resulting in slight rubbing on the heel.
Are you on the lookout for the most breathable sneakers for summer or spring? The Cariuma IBI Slip-ons are ideal for you! Even if your feet become sweaty, you can wash the insole separately or the entire sneaker in the washing machine without difficulty. These stylish kicks are not only comfortable but also vegan and made using sustainable materials like bamboo knit upper, sugarcane-based EVA foam outsole, and a cork and Mamona oil insole.
You can replace the insole with customized ones if needed. Although there was slight redness during the first wear, this was a one-time occurrence and didn't happen again. These sneakers are perfect if you're planning a tropical vacation or summer sightseeing trip since they're comfy and cooling once the break-in period is over.
Current Price: $110
Product Specifications: Available in sizes 5 to 13, these shoes are made with bamboo knit, memory foam, and cork insoles, and sugarcane EVA.
Why We Love Them: These shoes are a must-have for people looking for an eco-friendly option. They're made with bamboo, a plant known for its environmentally friendly qualities, making them ideal for people who love sustainable fashion.
Things to Keep in Mind: These shoes feature memory foam and cork insoles that offer maximum comfort, but some people may prefer a different insole.
In conclusion, the Cariuma IBI Slip-ons and Bamocat Classic Sneakers are fantastic choices for eco-conscious consumers looking for fashionable and sustainable footwear.
What We Adore About it
These sneakers boast an elevated aesthetic, surpassing the look of traditional lace-ups.
Things to Think About
Initially, the fit may be a tad snug.
Furthering one's professional wardrobe, add Rothy's sleek sneakers to your collection. Crafted from recycled knit material, the shoe's upper snuggly envelops the top of the foot, while also allowing for ample airflow to prevent any unsightly sweating at the end of a workday. What's more, although the knit fabric doesn't stretch excessively, a few wears will ease the tightly-fit sensation. The midsole houses algae-based foam for extra arch support and cushioning, aiding in prolonged periods of being on one's feet commuting or traversing through the city. Additionally, with a durable rubber outsole, the slip-on sneaker achieves sturdiness without weighing down the foot, allowing for miles of wear without weariness of wear.
Price at time of publish: $139
The Material Breakdown: Size 5 to 17.5 | Recycled Knit, Algae-Based Foam, Rubber
Next, we turn to the Kizik Women’s Lima sneaker, earning high marks in our testing, particularly in the traction category. The renowned rubber traction pods, situated to stabilize both the toe and heel areas of the shoe, provide unwavering support on slippery surfaces. Built using Kizik's RabbitFoam substance, the outsole offers an incredibly robust and dependably supportive feel after extended wearing time. The no-tie laces give off a sporty vibe, designating them as a go-to for running errands and taking long walks. However, the casual, athleisure style may not fit well with more formal attire. Ultimately, these sneakers are an excellent choice for individuals seeking a footwear option that can stand up to wear and tear throughout the day.
Price at time of publish: $109
The Material Breakdown: Size 6 to 13 (wide sizes available) | Knit, Rubber, RabbitFoam
Experience the ultimate support and flexibility with these high-performance sneakers, perfect for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Whether you're engaging in physically demanding activities like running or weight training, or simply looking for comfortable shoes to wear while playing sports, these sneakers have got you covered.
It's important to note that while these sneakers may be versatile and functional, they may not be appropriate for more formal or dressier occasions.
Engineered with running, weight training, and even airport dashes in mind, the On Cloud 5 running shoes are the epitome of modern slip-ons. With a cooling, recycled polyester upper and the supportive CloudTec cushioning, these sneakers are incredibly lightweight without sacrificing stability or durability. The CloudTec cushioning is designed to absorb impact and cushion your feet, delivering the sensation of running on air, as the brand claims. Furthermore, all materials used are breathable and waterproof, leaving you worry-free, even in wet conditions.
Additionally, the insole is designed to make your experience as comfortable as possible, but it's easy to replace with a new or customized one that best suits your needs.
At the time of publish, the On Cloud 5 running shoes retail at $170.
The Details: Available in sizes 5-11, made with recycled polyester and featuring Zero-Gravity foam and rubber.
But wait, there's more. These innovative sneakers feature no-tie laces, making them even more comfortable for walking long distances. Say goodbye to the hassle of tying and re-tying your shoelaces and hello to the ultimate walking experience.
To ensure the right fit, it's recommended that half a size larger than usual is ordered, which we found to be beneficial.
If you're on the hunt for athletic slip-ons, the Avre Infinity Glide Light shoes are an excellent choice. Avre, a shoe brand founded by two sisters, prioritizes sustainability by using recycled plastic water bottles as the source material for the breathable knit upper of each pair of sneakers. Unlike traditional athletic shoes, the Infinity Glide Light shoes are even easier to slip on thanks to their infinity or no-tie laces, which wrap around the upper. As the recycled knit upper is breathable yet compressing, laces are not required, with feet resting on a flexible upper and arch-supported midsole. We followed the brand's recommendation and ordered a pair half a size larger which fit perfectly without requiring any break-in period or adjustments.
Price at the time of publication: $145
The Details: 5-10 | recycled knit, algae foam
After testing 20 pairs of slip-on sneakers from trusted brands including Allbirds, Dr. Scholls, and Cariuma, our team of expert product testers, editors, and writers evaluated the shoes based on their comfort, support, durability, and fit. For two weeks, we took thorough notes and closely monitored the break-in period (if there was one), as well as the level of arch support provided. We also assessed the durability and traction of each pair after wearing them in a range of conditions. To gauge the arch support, we attempted to bend each pair to see how sturdy they were.
Several pairs of slip-ons from brands such as Naturalizer and Skechers just missed out on making our top picks, although we did appreciate certain aspects of these shoes, resulting in an honorable mention.
UGG Women's Sammy Sneaker: These sneakers are lightweight, which makes them perfect for packing in your carry-on to slip on and off at the airport. They were slightly lacking in arch support, but it's worth noting that they were comfortable from the outset and didn't require a break-in period.
If you're on the hunt for comfortable and stylish slip-on shoes, there are a few key features to look for. Arch support and cushioning are crucial for shock absorption and preventing foot fatigue, while soft materials like knit, leather, and suede will help prevent chafing. When trying on slip-ons, make sure they fit snugly at the top of your foot and have enough room in the front for your toes to wiggle. No-show socks can make the fit tighter, so keep that in mind when shopping.
For warmer weather, opt for slip-ons with cooling knit uppers, while wool or leather uppers are ideal for colder months. Additionally, look for slip-ons with water-resistant or breathable materials to suit different weather conditions.
As for cleaning slip-ons, always defer to the manufacturer's instructions and avoid damaging your shoes.
Slip-on shoes are versatile and comfortable options for a variety of activities, including walking. Prioritize comfort with generous arch support and cushioning, and consider wearing socks to absorb moisture and prevent chafing.
Our team tested a variety of slip-on shoes to determine the best options for women. Some notable choices include the Naturalizer Women's Marianne Loafer, which rivals our top pick for best business casual slip-ons, and the Skechers Slip-ins: Ultra Flex 3.0 - Brilliant, which are comfortable but had issues with durability.
If you're interested in finding more comfortable shoes for travel, check out our roundup of the 10 most comfortable walking shoes for women.
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