- Buyer's Guide
6 Amazing Leather Shoes and Boots for Travel
Some folks choose lightweight and breathable when they’re selecting their travel shoes, and we get it, but some of us love the versatility of leather. The way it molds and forms to your feet. The way it dresses up and down. And the way it matches your belt and watch band. Of course, there are a few things to consider when eyeing up a pair of leather shoes or boots.
Comfort should be your first consideration when picking travel shoes. If you can’t clock up the miles day in and day out, or they hurt your feet after just a short period of time, you’re not going to wear them. No matter how good they look. Being able to move freely from place to place is key when traveling, and blisters or aching feet will really curtail your exploring and trip enjoyment. So keep an eye out for features such as supportive and moisture-wicking insoles, zero-drop designs and comfortable uppers that require minimal or no breaking in for maximized comfort. Pro tip: wear your shoes or boots before traveling to ensure they’re comfy and properly broken in.
With limited packing space at your disposal, you’re likely only packing one or two pairs of shoes. So they need to be versatile enough to suit different settings. For instance, a design that doubles for outdoor and urban use or a pair that can be dressed up for work or more formal environments and dressed down for casual settings. And if they offer a little protection from the elements, even better.
Sometimes you simply have to work around footwear bulk but if maximizing packing space is a priority, then consider a pair that offers a degree of packability. Perhaps they roll up or have uppers that can be pressed flat for easier packing.
Now let’s take a closer look at some smart picks for travel-friendly leather shoes and boots…
Shoes tend to take up a lot of space in your travel bag. But the Lems Boulder Chukka, available in men’s and women’s options, offers the comfort and versatile style you want out of a travel shoe, with packability to boot. The LemsRubber outsole doesn’t just offer light weight and traction but also flexibility, allowing the shoe to roll up for space-saving packing. Add in its durable and comfy suede upper, removable moisture-wicking PU insole, wide toe box and zero-drop design and you get an adaptable and stylish shoe you’ll be happy to wear all day long.
Nisolo’s Travel Derby serves up summer-ready travel style in a shoe that weighs less than a pound per pair and stores compactly in your luggage. The comfortable suede uppers look equally good in formal and informal settings and can be compressed flat for packing. They’re complemented by a lightweight foam outsole and a leather insole that molds to your foot shape for tailored comfort. And for a women’s option, check out the Nisolo Sedona Travel Derby.
Keen on footwear that takes both urban streets and outdoor trails in its stride? Danner designed the Caprine as a hybrid boot for venturing from town to trail and back again. A combination of nubuck leather and an abrasion-resistant, woven textile create a balanced mix of comfort and durability, with a DWR coating for protection from the elements. Not to mention a more low-key, urban-ready styling than traditional hiking boots. A removable ortholite footbed provides cushioning and support, while the Vibram outsole takes inspiration from the hooves of mountain goats to provide reliable grip on the go. And for a women’s alternative, consider the Caprine EVO.
Want to step out in urban-savvy style while doing your part for the environment? Look to the Model NM from New Movements, available in men’s and women’s sizing. The shoe is made by hand in Portugal using a combination of recycled and natural materials. An Italian leather upper pairs with a moisture-wicking insole and a rubber outsole constructed from recycled car tires. And for each pair sold, New Movements will remove 200 plastic bottles from oceans.
Ruggedly handsome styling, all-day comfort and eco-conscious handmade construction all in one boot? The Astorflex Bootflex delivers with a durable boot for everyday and travel wear. Each Bootflex is handcrafted by the same family in northern Italy with a naturally-treated nubuck leather that’s supple yet made to last. The 100% natural rubber soles provide enticing comfort and a pleasing textural contrast to the leather. All in, resulting in a tough and eye-catching boot for years of trusty travel use.
Red Wing Shoes boast over a century of work boot manufacturing expertise. And Red Wing Heritage puts an enticing lifestyle twist on that expertise with the Weekender Chukka. The boot is made in the USA using traditional Red Wing construction techniques. The premium leather upper partners with a ComfortForce® footbed, Texon® board insole and Hill outsole. The shoe can be resoled and is a solid pick for travelers seeking a quality build with smart-casual styling that can adapt to a range of settings.
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