Best Shoes for Traveling in South America


After living and traveling in South America, I miss the following home comforts in no particular order: strong coffee, bathroom stalls stocked with toilet paper, and root beer.  I have since accepted the fact that I may not experience theses comforts of home for another six months as I plan to stay in South America for a year. However, the one luxury that I pine for is quality footwear. I left the United States with pair of five dollar sandals and one pair or knock-off toms without any hunch of how that would affect my feet for the entirety of my trip.

Since living in South America I have bought and destroyed at least seven pairs of sneakers, trashed a pair of dress shoes in one night, and worn through at least ten pairs of sandals. My advice to any woman planning to travel through South America is: BUY TWO GOOD PAIR OF SHOES BEFORE YOU SET SAIL! I actually got that advise from shoe snatcher, one of the best website that talks more about shoes! shoes! shoes! I never seen a website that good when it comes to footwears.

Okay, so I will admit it, I live on a very budget lifestyle. I like to shop at thrift stores, scavenge for hand-me-downs from friends, and I am a sucker for any type of liquidation sale. However, if there is one place I known now, not to skimp on the spending, it´s investing in a good pair of shoes for travel.  When my partner called me last week to tell me he was meeting me down in South America and asked what he could bring me, before he even finished his sentence, I blurted ¨SHOES!!!¨ So lady traveler friends, after hours of scouring the internet for the perfect ¨shoes¨ to have down in South America, here are my top three picks:

Patagonia:  Maha Sling Shoe

This Maha Sling Shoe is the perfect balance between quality, versatility, and as a cherry on top they are pretty stinkin´ cute! They boast a durable soul, are 100% leather, and come in two colors, black, grey,  brown or red. Patagonia is one of my favorite outdoor recreational brands, and I have broken the wallet a few times to invest in clothing, it has lasted me for a few years. This shoe is easy, because you can wear them during the day while strolling around in a city or take them on an easy hike through the jungle!

Jeep J-41 Sneakers

These sturdy, long-lasting barefoot running sneakers are made from partially recycled rubber tires. They have a ¨Jeep Engineered Traction sole¨ so they are perfect for running on slick sidewalks or hiking through the Andes!  J-41 Sneakers are comfortable, sleek, and don’t weigh to heavy on your feet. You can wear them with or without socks as they are odor resistant, and even have a cute design on the in sole of road map (perfect for us wanderlusters!)

Chaco Sandals

These would be my top choice for a durable heavy duty sandal. Their original design was envisioned for whitewater rafting guides so Yeah, although they may not be the most ¨dainty¨ and aesthetically pleasing say as the hip brand rainbow sandals, I can assure you that they will last you far beyond the dusty streets of South America. I have had a few traveler friends that swear their Chacos are the best sandal they have ever had. If you are looking to invest in a sandal before traveling through South America, I highly suggest this shoe.

What shoes do you reccommend for traveling?


About Author

Since a young age Jenna has always had an undeviating desire to explore the world and all its hidden niches. This desire has catapulted her willingly into some of the most memorable experiences of her life! Starting with delivering shoes to underserved villages in the Dominican Republic to bussing it down through Mexico and Central America, she currently lives and works in Cochabamba, Bolivia and believes experiencing first hand what foreign culture is really like, serves as her ultimate passion.

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