Travel Accessories

Current Favorite Comfortable Heels for Travel

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Here’s a round up of my current favorite heels for travel. Shoes that are comfortable, stylish, and hopefully suitable for running the length of a terminal (and beating Jeanne).

Nine West Rocha Pumps

I received 5 pairs for Christmas in a variety of colors and they’re still my favorites. They’ve got a 4″ heel and a 1/2″ platform which gives me the height I want with a more manageable incline. Most (but not all) of them have a fairly padded footbed and the leather stretches just enough they don’t pinch. The heel is also just wide enough it doesn’t get caught in the escalator cracks.

Teva Cabrillo Universal Wedge Sandal

I earlier dinged this sandal because it wasn’t high enough to feel like a heel, but it’s become my staple for summer and beach travel. Even siteseeing around Alaska (with the exception of Barrow) this was a great option — it was sporty enough to take on dirt and gravel paths but nice enough that I could go into nice restaurants there and not look like that was what I’d just been doing.

Teva Cabrillo closeup

It’s so comfortable, that this weekend when Jeanne and I were visiting wineries, I thought I’d forgotten to switch out of the hiking sandals I’d put on earlier to work out. And what really sold me is that I can go through TSA pre-check without having to take them off, unlike the Rocha pump.

Teva Zirra Hiking Sandal (not a heel, but still good looking)

I discovered this shoe in my search for attractive footwear appropriate for Easter Island. It is flat, but avoids the practical bulky look of a hiking sandal. I skipped around Easter Island in complete comfort and didn’t feel out of place in even the nice restaurants.

Teva Zirra

They’ve further endeared themselves because I discovered I can do short 30-45 min workouts on elliptical machines with no blisters or discomforts which means I no longer have to pack bulky running shoes if I want to work out! And of course, they go through TSA pre-check with no problem, and fit neatly in my purse, which makes switching out really convenient.

No Longer Sold — these are past-season favorites that are now only available via eBay or by sheer luck. But mentioning them in case you come across them and get a chance to try them out.

Max Studio Mecca Wedges — attractive and comfortable. I recently scandalized fellow visitors of the Wildlife Conservation Center when I took them out on the muddy paths to see the moose.

Steve Madden Wade Wedge — these strappy canvas wedges are delightfully sky high! I don’t recommend running in them, but for a day or wandering around airports and historical attractions, they were great. Plus I had to worry a lot less when crossing puddles.

Eddie Bauer Suede Shearling Boots — I picked these up a few years ago, but found them perfect for Barrow. They’re comfortable even with a 4″ heel, and the lining let me frolic in comfort on the Arctic Beach in 30 degree weather. Their biggest drawback, as with all knee boots, is they’re a huge pain to fit in a suitcase. If you’re looking for something similar, definitely keep an eye for them.

Not a Winner — I did my best to make my Steve Madden stilettos work, but since I walk fast in them and the tip of the heel sticks to surfaces, even when you’re avoiding cracks, it couldn’t make the cut.

Disclaimer: No offense intended to anyone who prefers 2″ heels. Between weak achilles and years of literally running around in 4″ heels I’ve become accustomed to higher heels and old habits die hard. Although the frequency with which I’m wearing the Cabrillo sandal is probably helping that. Also note that if you purchase anything through our Amazon links above, you will be contributing directly to our shoe closets as we get affiliate credit. But as all savvy shoe shoppers know, you should check multiple stores first to see who has the lowest price and/or best color selection!


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Heels First’s Travel Advice–Sophisticated Travel, Uncomplicated Advice. The travels and tribulations of two frequent flyers jumping into the world of travel, sharing their travel advice. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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