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If you're a frequent traveler, you know that convenient footwear is a must-have. Slip-on shoes are a versatile and comfortable option that can take you from the TSA line to your gate in no time. So, we gathered a group of Travel Leisure editors, writers, and product testers to try out 20 pairs of slip-ons from well-known brands. Over the course of two weeks, we wore the shoes for various activities, including air travel, long walks, office work, and errands around town, to assess their level of support and comfort. In this article, we present the winners of our slip-on shoe test.
Why We Love It
The OluKai Pehuea slip-ons are remarkable for their durable construction and versatile style that can suit any setting, from the office to running errands and everything in between.
What to Consider
The mesh upper is slightly rigid at first.
Designed with travel in mind, OluKai Pehuea slip-ons not only offer superb support and comfort, but also allow for smooth transitions from one activity to another. The lightweight mesh upper and thick rubber outsole ensure adequate weight balance, while simultaneously preventing foot fatigue. A key feature of these shoes is their supportive midsole, which provides arch support for your feet where it's most needed. Without doubt, the heel's drop-in seam is a unique feature that enables the backing to fold quickly, making it easy to slip the shoes on and off. The dense rubber soles provide excellent traction on slippery surfaces, making it easy to walk through various terrains. Although the mesh upper was rigid initially, it became more flexible after a few wears, eventually cementing a customized fit around the foot that would keep getting better over time. In terms of style, there are 16 colors to choose from, with sizes ranging from 5 to 12, with half sizes also available.
Price at time of publish: $100
The Details: Sizes range from 5 to 12, with half sizes available. Materials include mesh and rubber.
Experience ultimate comfort with the Dr. Scholl's Madison Sneaker. Its heel cup design, memory foam midsole, and supportive footbed arch ensure a relaxing and supportive wear. The unique cushioned bumper placed at the heel prevents any chances of blisters forming, so you can enjoy wearing these slip-ons immediately after purchase. The shoe is incredibly flexible, providing you with the flexibility and mobility needed to navigate through various terrains with ease, be it flat or uneven. With a range of styles available in recycled faux leather, canvas, flannel, and suede upper materials, and both regular and wide sizes, you can choose the perfect fit for your feet. However, please note that the regular size has a tight fit so if your feet aren't narrow, consider getting a wide size. At the time of publication, you can buy these shoes for .
The Details:Size Range: 5 to 13 (wide sizes also available) | Materials: Recycled faux leather, canvas, flannel, polyurethane, microfiber.
Why We're Obsessed
The merino wool exterior of the Allbirds Wool Loungers is pliable enough to conform to your foot's contours while keeping it snug in the shoe.
What to Factor In
These cozy shoes are not very breathable.
The Allbirds Wool Loungers have an adaptable wool upper that gently conforms to your feet without constriction or chafing. The midsole boasts ample cushioning, while the plush lining feels like slipping into a pair of slippers. Although these shoes aren't highly breathable, their thick merino wool upper provides unparalleled comfort and warmth, especially in colder weather. They exude a premium and long-lasting vibe, durable enough to endure perpetual wear and tear. Moreover, the detachable insoles enable you to refurbish your kicks without having to buy a brand new pair. Make sure to follow the cleaning instructions carefully, as you can wash these shoes on delicate in a washing machine.
Price upon release: $105
Product Insight: 5 through 11 | ZQ merino wool, SweetFoam EVA
Travel Leisure / Julia Warren
Travel Leisure / Julia Warren
Travel Leisure / Julia Warren
Why We're Raving
The tough and dense rubber soles and the sleek leather upper are an ideal combination for a shoe that gradually molds to your feet.
What to Reflect On
The leather might initially be stiff, requiring a break-in period.
If you desire a trendy, sophisticated style, try the Vince Warren Platform Sneakers. The sturdy rubber outsole provides an additional 1.5 inches of height while preventing sudden ankle twists or trips. The shoe has multiple upper materials to choose from, such as suede, textile, or leather, offering a variety of looks. Expect a modest breaking-in period for the initially stiff leather, which might cause slight blistering. After several hours of use, the leather softens, resulting in custom-fit comfort that increases over time. The midsole has adequate arch support to cushion the ball of the foot, while the heel cradles the foot, preventing it from sliding up the shoe.
Price at Time of Publication:
Shoe Sizes: 5 to 13
Materials: Leather, Textile, Rubber
We adore these fantastic and eco-friendly shoes that feature a bamboo knit that cools your feet and a lightweight EVA foam made partially from sugarcane. The Cariuma IBI Slip-ons offer the best breathability during spring or summer, and the insoles can be removed and washed separately or machine-washed, providing stress-free cleaning. The vegan and sustainably sourced upper bamboo knit, sugarcane EVA foam outsole, and Mamona oil and cork insole make this shoe an eco-friendly and guilt-free purchase while still looking stylish. Although there is a brief break-in period and some slight rubbing on the heel, the shoe is still incredibly comfortable, featuring ample arch support from its excellent insole. If additional comfort is desired, easily switch out the insole with an alternate custom one. There was a little redness on the foot during the first use, but this was a one-time occurrence that never happened again.
Price at Time of Publication:
Shoe Sizes: 5 to 13
Materials: Bamboo Knit, Memory Foam and Cork Insoles, Sugarcane EVA
If you're looking for something that's both sustainable and stylish, look no further, the Cariuma IBI Slip-ons are the perfect shoe for you. These shoes are made with a bamboo knit upper, memory foam, and cork insole, and a partially sugarcane-based EVA foam outsole. The break-in period for these shoes is short, but some may experience slight rubbing on the heel during their first use. These sneakers offer optimal breathability, which makes them perfect for the spring or summer months. The insoles can be easily removed and washed separately from the shoes or machine washed. If you're searching for comfortable and cooling shoes for heading out on a tropical vacation or sightseeing in the summertime, you'll want to give the Cariuma IBI Slip-ons a try. At $110 a pair, they're an affordable and stylish option for any eco-conscious fashion lover.
We are enamored by the professional appearance of these Rothy sneakers, which are a level above laced footwear in terms of style. Although they may run tight initially, these ultra-comfortable slip-ons merit a place in your officewear ensemble. The recycled knit fabric ensures breathability, making it unlikely that your feet will be sweaty after a long day at work. The knit fabric may not be very stretchy, but the shoes do loosen up a little after breaking them in. When commuting or walking around the city, the algae-based foam midsole provides arch support and cushioning to ease standing for prolonged periods of time. The rubber outsole is robust, yet light enough to ensure that these slip-ons remain sturdy and comfortable after miles of use.
Current price: $139
Technical details: Available in women’s shoe sizes 5 to 17.5, the sneakers consist of recycled knit, algae-based foam, and rubber.
These Kizik Women's Lima sneakers deliver impressive stability and comfort. The rubber traction pods at the toe and heel provide stability on all terrains, including slippery surfaces. The sturdy RabbitFoam cushioning material of the outsole offers unparalleled support during prolonged use. While the sneakers adopt a casual and athletic aesthetic, they are best suited for everyday wear. The no-tie laces are convenient, albeit unsuitable for formal occasions. The Kizik Women's Lima sneakers are the perfect choice if you want day-long stability and comfort in functional footwear.
Current price: $109
Technical details: Available in women’s shoe sizes 6 to 13 (wide sizes included), the sneakers are made of knit, rubber, and RabbitFoam.
Experience unbeatable support and flexibility with these athletically designed sneakers perfect for running, weight training, and sports activities. These performance sneakers boast unbridled comfort and agility, making them an excellent choice for athletes looking to up their game. However, if you're going for a formal occasion, you might want to opt for something dressier instead.
With innovative recycled polyester uppers combined with CloudTec cushioning technology, the On Cloud 5 sneakers deliver top-notch performance. Lightweight, yet sturdy, these slip-on sneakers provide ample stability and durability for activities demanding maximum effort. The CloudTec system offers unparalleled impact absorption and foot cushioning that'll have you feeling like you're running on clouds.
The waterproof and breathable materials used in the On Cloud 5 sneakers ensure your feet stay dry and fresh, no matter where your fitness routine takes you. The built-in insole offers exceptional comfort, but it can be easily removed if you want to swap it out for a custom-fitted insole that caters to your specific workout requirements.
Price at time of publish: $170
The Details: These sneakers come in sizes 5-11, and boast recycled polyester uppers, Zero-Gravity foam, and rubber soles.
Travel and Leisure's Ivy Ford loves these sneakers because they're no-tie laced and incredibly comfortable for walking long distances.
When considering slip-on athletic shoes, the Avre Infinity Glide Light shoes are a great sustainable option from sister-run company Avre that uses recycled plastic water bottles for a breathable knit upper. The infinity laces make them even easier to slip on, and the recycled knit upper is both breathable and compressing for a comfortable fit without requiring laces. The brand recommends ordering a half size up, which our team found to be helpful for achieving the perfect fit without a break-in period.
At a price point of $145, these shoes were part of our comprehensive round-up of 20 slip-on shoes from trusted brands like Allbirds, Dr. Scholls, and Cariuma. Our team evaluated each pair based on comfort, support, durability, and fit over the course of two weeks, paying attention to key features such as the break-in period, level of arch support, and durability.
While some shoes trailed our top picks, we gave honorable mentions to brands like Skechers, Naturalizer, and UGG for their unique strengths. UGG’s Sammy Sneaker offers convenient airport-friendly footwear without a break-in period, while Naturalizer’s Marianne Loafer rivals our top pick for business casual wear. Skechers’ Ultra Flex 3.0 provides a supportive and breathable design at a lower price point than some of our other athletic picks. Finally, the APL Women’s TechLoom Breeze is a high-end option with sleek, comfortable materials.
Our expert reviewers recommend looking for slip-on shoes with generous arch support and cushioning. Soft materials like leather, suede, and knit can help prevent chafing, but it’s important to find a snug fit that doesn’t allow the heel to lift excessively and cause blisters. Socks can aid in moisture absorption and reduce chafing while breaking in slip-on shoes, and a pair with a cooling knit upper is ideal for warmer weather while wool or leather is better for colder seasons.
Some slip-ons can be machine washed while others require spot cleaning, so it’s always best to check the manufacturer’s instructions. Slip-on shoes can be great for walking if they provide ample arch support and cushioning, and the more you wear them, the better they’ll form to your feet. Personal preference plays a role in whether or not to wear socks, but they can be helpful in preventing moisture and chafing.
Our Travel Leisure Commerce Writer, Anna Popp, was part of the testing team for these shoes and recommends signing up for our T L Recommends newsletter for more product recommendations.