As you likely know, we will be leaving on our Luxury Round-the-World trip in just over two weeks and I have been STRUGGLING with finding shoes to bring along for the trip.  If you’ve followed the blog closely or know me in real life, you’ll know that I refuse to check baggage and try to travel as light as possible.  I do this for many reasons but one of the biggest ones is that I have had luggage lost in the past and it was a nightmare.  Couple that with the type of travel we do (staying in cities for 1-5 nights at a time) makes reuniting with your luggage quite difficult.

One of my biggest challenges when traveling is shoes.  Shoes generally take up a LOT of room in your luggage and if you move through a lot of different countries, climate can play a significant role in what you need.  I’m trying to minimize the amount of space I have to dedicate to shoes so it’s one of the first places I look to try to save on space.

What I Want

Maybe I’m crazy and this is a shoe that only exists in fantasy but here’s what I am looking for in a shoe:

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Able to dress up without being looking out of place at a nice restaurant
  • Packs up small
  • Comfortable enough to walk in for 5-10 kms a day

What I’ve Used Before

In the past, I have just accepted that I wouldn’t be going fine restaurants with the footwear that I packed so I was okay with just some sandals and sneakers.  On our last mini-RTW trip, I had a pair of Sanuk sandals but the shoe that I used most often was the Merrell Bare Access 4. 

This is the second pair of Merrell’s that I have owned for the purposes of walking while traveling.  I am legit in LOVE with the shoe because it is incredibly light, breathable and almost bulletproof, though truth be told, because of its lightweight design, your feet tend to get rather cold in winter climates.

While the shoe is fantastic and meets almost every criteria that I am looking for, it’s pretty easy to see how it wouldn’t dress up at all for a nice night out.  So while this is my backup if I can find my mythical perfect shoe, I am still on the hunt for the perfect pair.

Am I Crazy?

Am I banging my head against a brick wall or is there a shoe out there that would make sense for what I need?

Please tell me … I’m going nuts trying to find the solution.

Just like I would stop you from trying to find a Singapore Suites redemption using Aeroplan because I know it’s an impossible task, please tell me if I’m out to lunch.

Or if this magical shoe does exist, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD TELL ME WHAT IT IS!!!

Jayce is the founder of PointsNerd, and avid traveller and a teacher by nature. He prides himself on flattening the learning curve through step-by-step guides because everyone needs to start somewhere.


  1. I’m sooo with you on this one. If you find a shoe fairy, can you ask her to bring me a pair that can hike deserts, handle rivers and beaches, grip on ice, go well with jeans, shorts, business suits and dresses? I’d settle for a pair to wear and a pair to pack (if they’re small/lightweight).

  2. My only thought here is the Merrell shoe (or something similar) but in black. Anything that’s black tends to look more polished/professional overall.

  3. Take a look at Allbirds – they are the rage in Silicon Valley now. I got a pair myself and they’re very comfy, bit dressy too depending on the colour

    • Irving!

      You are the MAN!!! I’m pretty sure this is exactly what I am looking for. Reviews are strong around comfort and the style is casual enough to look normal when worn walking around town and dressy enough to look like a tech billionaire at a Michelin Star Restaurant. The only issue is that they only ship to the US, Australia, and New Zealand. Ideally, I would have like to break them in before the trip began but due to the time constraints of dealing with a reshipper, I may just need to chance that these shoes work for me and just ship them to my hotel in Los Angeles.

      Thank you so much for the suggestion!


        • Hi Dave,

          Thanks for the link. Those shoes look pretty sweet as well but I actually ordered the Allbirds. I’ll be sure to do a full review on them and give you guys some honest feedback. Cheers


          • Hey – how were you able to order them? I’ve tried using two mail forwarding companies and they have cancelled my order.

          • Hi Joe,

            I had my first order canceled as well for some reason. The first time I tried by purchasing using a US credit card and it was canceled. I then tried using PayPal and the order went through just fine. In both cases, I used my hotel in Los Angeles as my shipping address so I imagine the reason it was canceled was an overzealous fraud algorithm from their payment processor. Try with PayPal and I’m 99% sure it will go through. Cheers


    • Hey Jeff,

      Yeezys are most definitely comfortable but don’t quite dress up for what I am looking for. Thanks for the suggestion. Cheers


  4. Hi Jayce! I wear Clark’s Wave Walks in any climate and have put on many miles. They breathe well and they are rain resistant. I never had damp feet even after 20,000 steps in London. Have a wonderful trip! Terrie : )

  5. Those Merrell are seriously ugly. As someone mentioned before solid colour works best. My go to is adidas boost in navy or gray solid colours with matching sole. Blends well but for dressing up I always take black lace up new chuck Taylor’s by converse . They even look great with a suit but make sure that the laces are brand new and shoes are black. Comes in leather also and packs almost flat so no room at all. Google Cam Chancellor to see how dressy chucks or a pair of vans can be.


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