Best travel shoes for women - the ultimate packing list for backpacking

avatar by Alina / July 30, 2020 / 4 min read

Packing for a long journey through different climates, with a variety of planned activities is a great challenge for every backpacker. Especially when it comes to choosing the right shoes. What shoes should I wear for backpacking and how many shoes do I need?

Here is my personal shoe recommendation for your next big trip, so that you are properly equipped for every situation!

Best equipped for your travel adventure into hot and cold regions

If you travel with your backpack for an extensive period of time, throughout different countries, the backpack contents must be well thought out. After all, you only have limited space and weight available, that your back can support without causing injury. Ultimately the question remains, what should be taken along and what can be left at home? Specially with shoes, this is an important question, as shoes are often quite bulky and heavy.

My 5-month journey through Siberia and Southeast Asia confronted me with exactly this problem. Cold temperatures and snow in Russia and Mongolia awaited me. Spring in China and Japan and at the latest in Thailand and Malaysia midsummer temperatures. As far as the activities were concerned, it was clear: there would be a lot of walking and hiking. We wanted to climb volcanoes, comb through rainforests but also make day trips, visit cities and explore beaches, therefore choosing the right shoes was very important. The "main shoes" should therefore be light, comfortable and waterproof, but also not too thick or too thin, have a robust sole and look reasonably good. This was not so easy. 

Ultimately I had a total of four pairs of shoes in my backpack, although in retrospect one pair could have stayed at home. In the end, it always depends on how stylish you want to travel and how much variety you want😉.

But long story short - here are my personal shoe recommendations for longer trips in hot and cold regions. With these shoes I travelled for five months throughout Russia, Mongolia, China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. Of course you can find the respective country trips here on Tripspi.

  • Birkenstocks made of plastic: In my opinion, these shoes should not be missing in any backpack. They are incredibly comfortable, light as a feather and take up little space. Since they are made of plastic, they can be put on without any problems, for taking a shower or going to the beach. They also look good and can be worn in the city.
  • Palladium Paddle light: It took me a long time to find these shoes. I had at least five pairs of shoes to choose from and I am so glad I picked these ones. They are amazingly comfortable and ultra-flexible. Due to the sole with a coarse profile and the raised upper, they are ideal for hiking. With a pair of thick socks I could put them on well in the snow, because they are waterproof! Very few shoes have this feature. The light version is also lightweight and not too thick in the upper material, so you can wear it even in hot weather in the jungle or desert. These shoes are an absolute recommendation to buy! Not to mention affordable.  
  • Toms classic: I highly recommend Toms shoes, that are ultra-light and very comfortable But they are not suitable for longer day trips, as they don't have a firm hold and they have a relatively thin sole. But they look good, are very petite and fit well with dresses and skirts or if you want to go out in the evening and dress up a little bit. They dry very quickly if they get wet and are available in many different colors. And in addition, with the purchase you can do something good!
  • Nike Thea: in retrospect I have to say that these shoes could have stayed at home. Not that they're not good, on the contrary I love these shoes, simply because they're comfortable and look good. But if you only have limited space, you should think twice before you bring a fourth pair of shoes. They are not necessarily light, but not heavy either, but they take up a lot of space. That's why I usually wear them when we went from one station to the next, so they don't take up too much space in my backpack. But I also put them on during city tours or longer day trips when I didn't feel like wearing the "hiking boots". Thus, those who attach importance to their outfits and variety on traveling will be well served with some additional sneakers.





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