What Shoes to Wear to Travel Japan

Travel ShoesHOW TO

The right pair of shoes for your travel makes a whole world of difference. YES, indeed. What I know now after a couple of trips, there will be a LOT of WALKING and HIKING in Japan.

So, I need to treat my feet well by making a better choice of shoes. And if I could, I’d also like my travel shoes to be as stylish and comfortable as possible. These are the shoes I packed when I was traveling in Japan. Here are things you may need to consider when packing your travel shoes.

Match shoes to your travel destination

When planning travel itinerary, (and when I’m not lazy) I’ll look into the details of my destinations. I’d check the WEATHER, will it be rainy or snowy. If you’re going to visit on rainy or winter season, make sure to waterproof your canvas shoes.


And, although I super love my brogues and boots, I don’t want to ruin my feet and mood just to look good in the mountain.

Travel Shoes
My suede shoes, I wore these when I explored Shodoshima and Naoshima Island. I wear this shoes A LOT.

So next, always match your shoes to the TYPE of PLACES you’re going to explore, whether you’re going to the city or non-city destinations. This is why research is much needed.

If you’re going to explore a mountain and going for an easy to moderate hikes, pair of running/walking shoes or your old sneakers will do. And if you prefer the big city, I guess you can rock any kind of shoes you like.

Pack shoes by seasons

While I don’t think you need a different pair of shoes for every season, I think you should make an exception for winter. If you ask me, it’s better to pack two pair of shoes for winter, sneakers and boots.

Some places in Japan has less snow, or even no snow at all. In my experience, it’s OK to wear canvas or even suede shoes like mine for winter. Waterproofed or not.

However, if you’re planning to visit another city, please check the weather forecast to make sure you pack the right shoes and outfit.

I went to Kanazawa on my first winter, the city was covered in snow but there was no snowfall, and the cold was manageable. So, then on my second winter, I went to Kanazawa again hoping to see the same amount of snow. Unfortunately, there was no snow in the ground. BUT, there was a heavy snowfall.

At that time, I was wearing my suede sneakers and a pair of Heattech socks, not knowing what will happen in Kanazawa. Well, the socks were not working, the temperature was too intense for me. My toes were toast, they were numb and my mood was ruined. I didn’t get my second winter wonderland. So, maybe it’s best to wear boots for this kind of weather (heavy snowfall).

Bring only your comfy walking shoes

Traveling (mostly) acquires walking for hours so for obvious reasons, I don’t recommend sandals.

After a couple of traveling, I learned that I feel most comfortable with platform shoes. These shoes are very comfy and stylish too. With platform shoes I rarely get calf and foot palm pain. I prefer not to wear above 5cm in height tho, for safety and comfort reasons (Japan has lots of stairs).


Pack comfortable and versatile shoes for your trip. Shoes that will look good to go in and out a restaurant or café, and also comfortable for a mild exploration.

If you opt for boots to wear on a plane, I suggest to wear boots with zipper, it’ll be easier when you are asked to open your shoes at the airport.

Zipper Boots

Finally, function and comfort is your priority. And, you can always buy a pair of new shoes in Japan.