Aloha, my friends! Today we are going to discuss what to pack for a vacation and see what are some of the best shoes for Hawaii. If you’re planning your island trip any time soon, then we’ve got you covered!
Hawaii, as the only US state made up entirely of islands, is a great destination for many people who either travel alone, with friends, significant other, or families. It offers a variety of interesting activities and there’s truly something for everyone.
From visiting local art galleries or Pearl Harbor National Memorial, going surfing off the North Shore and sunbathing on beautiful beaches, hiking, and hitting the trail to Diamond Head to enjoying local cuisine in various restaurants – Hawaii has it all!
Depending on what activities you’re thinking about trying, you’ll need different outfits, and most importantly, different kinds of footwear. It’s not like you can go hiking in your regular flip-flops, right?
Let’s not waste any more of your precious time and jump straight ahead into our today’s topic. You want to know what are the best shoes for Hawaii? Keep reading to find out!
What to pack for the Hawaii vacation?
As mentioned in the introduction, Hawaiian islands offer many interesting activities. So, it’s no wonder it is a dream destination for many travelers. But a question arises: what should you pack for your Hawaii vacation?
I recommend you consider beforehand what activities you would like to try. You can check on TripAdvisor or elsewhere on the Internet and see what seems most fun and affordable for you. Whether it be surfing, snorkeling, hiking, or simply sightseeing (and partying, of course) – you have to be prepared for it.
When you have a rough picture in mind of what you’re going to do on your vacation, then you can start packing. Just keep in mind Hawaii is all about fun and comfort.
There’s no need to pack fancy cocktail dresses and extremely high heels. In Hawaii, you’re allowed to prioritize comfiness and be as casual as you want to. Of course, you can bring your heels if that’s something you usually wear, but if not – you’ll be good without them.
Seriously, it’s totally normal to see people wearing flip-flops in Hawaii to a nice dinner. The laid-back mentality of that place and all the people in it will win you over for sure. You will probably wish to stay there forever.
Depending on what activities you’re going to pursue, you’ll need one of these shoes for your Hawaii vacation: a pair of hiking boots or water hiking sandals, trail running shoes, water shoes, flip-flops, sandals, and regular, everyday sneakers.
Below, we’ll go through the selection of the best shoes for Hawaii and all the activities it offers. Hopefully, you’ll find something you need and like so your packing extravaganza can go as smoothly as possible.
Best shoes for Hawaii vacation: something for every occasion
1. Best hiking boots
Hiking is a beautiful way to experience the beautiful scenery Hawaii offers. For a heavy-duty activity like this one, you’ll need proper shoes so you could be supported and comfortable and not end up with painful blisters. There’s no room for pain on any vacation, right?
If hiking is your thing in general, then I’m sure you know how important it is to have a nice pair of hiking boots, and for Hawaii, I recommend Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot Shoe. And for our male readers, I recommend Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Shoe.
These boots come in a variety of colors and are extremely comfortable. They feature lightweight, durable midsoles, superior cushioning, and advanced traction rubber soles for a slip-free hiking experience.
Made out of full-grain waterproof leather and featuring a breathable mesh tongue, these boots are lightweight and waterproof and made for experienced hikers. They offer amazing ankle support so you’ll definitely be fully comfortable, which will allow you to enjoy the landscapes even more.
If you plan on trying your luck on breathtaking hiking trails like the Wa’ahila Ridge Trail, Three Peaks, or Wiliwilinui Access Road in Oahu, these boots can be your best friends. Their only downside is that they tend to be too hot for the summer.
But, trust me, these booties will make your sweaty feet experience worth it. It’s not like you’re not going to cool them down later on one of the incredible Hawaiian beaches, right?
2. Best water hiking sandals
If you’re not planning on going on heavy-duty hiking, but still want to on some easy, popular hikes, I recommend you pack a pair of water hiking sandals. The best ones would be the KEEN Newport H2 Sandals which come in both male and female versions.
Even though they bear the title of sandals, these are highly durable and will serve you well on any low to medium-intensity Hawaiian hike. They are also exceptionally lightweight – weighing only about 14 oz., these sandals are perfect for hikes and easy to pack since they can perfectly fit in your carry-on suitcase.
They come in a variety of colors and designs and work with pretty much any casual hiking outfit. These water sandals are made out of 100% polyester and their upper is water-resistant; they feature quick-dry lining for active use both in and out of water.
These ones are sort of a hybrid between a shoe and a sandal, meaning they are sturdier than regular sandals but feature an open-air feel which won’t leave your feet sweaty and uncomfortable.
When it comes to their soles, they are made out of rubber and are thick enough to provide great cushioning, but not that thick to be heavy to walk in. They also feature multi-directional lugs for exceptional grip and traction on any type of terrain.
So, they can be worn not only for hikes but also for boating, kayaking, or any activity which might include wet surfaces.
You can wear these Keen Newport H2 Sandals if you are planning to visit the black-sand beaches or waterfalls on the Big Island or go on waterfall hikes in Oahu.
3. Best trail running shoes
Trail running shoes can also be one of the best shoes for Hawaii since they are highly versatile and multi-purpose shoes. The ones that stand out are the ASICS Gel-Venture 7 Trail Running Shoes for both men and women.
These can be a great option if you’re not planning to spend your Hawaii vacation on some serious hikes and wish to pack only essentials. You can take them from the airport to your casual strolls in the Waikiki district or even to paved trail hikes such as the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail.
These trail running shoes feature a GEL technology cushioning system which dilutes shock during external impacts and provides a smooth transition to midstance. Springy EVA midsoles help reduce impacts and ensure your feet are protected at all times.
The soles of these trail running shoes provide an amazing grip, so you will not have to worry about potential falls. These ones will keep you protected and safe on any slippery surfaces you may encounter.
These shoes also feature Ortholite X-40 Sock liners which provide an additional layer of cushioning underfoot and have higher rebound properties. They also ensure exceptional moisture management and a high level of breathability.
ASICS Gel-Venture 7 Trail Running Shoes can also be worn on intermediate hikes, so if you’re planning on visiting Koko Crater in Oahu, for example, you can most definitely count on these. They are perfect for minimalist travelers who prefer to travel with as little luggage as possible.
4. Best water shoes
If, however, you are not intending to go on any type of hike, whether it be of low intensity, intermediate, or more challenging, one of the best shoes for Hawaii could be those good old water shoes.
These will be perfect if you are planning on going on a boat tour and swimming a little in the ocean. They can be great for some mild water activities, like Flumin’ Kohala for example.
I recommend the VIFUUR Water Sports Slip-On Shoes for both men and women. They are 100% synthetic and machine washable. They come in some pretty funky colors and styles, which I’m sure you will simply adore.
These shoes basically feel like socks. They provide a comfortable fit and are exceptionally breathable with a fine upper stretch. Also, they feature top-quality rubber soles which serve as great protection for your feet from being hurt by any kind of sharp objects, like rocks for example.
These shoes come in different sizes and are suitable for small children, teenagers, and grownups. They are also perfect for any outdoor activity, like beach yoga, swimming, windsurfing, walking, sailing, wakeboarding, and many more.
But, if you want something a tad bit sturdier, I recommend you get Ryka Hydro Sport Water Shoes. They look like any other athletic footwear but have a drainage system at the bottom.
These water shoes come in different colors and are made out of 100% synthetic mesh which is quick-drying and chlorine friendly. They also feature a faux leather overlay for added durability. The outsoles of these shoes are made out of sticky rubber which ensures great grip and traction.
Ryka Hydro Sport Water Shoes are perfect for outdoor water activities, water fitness, and high-intensity workouts. They feature amazing built-in support and, as previously mentioned, a multi-port drainage system.
And since they look like regular athletic footwear, these shoes can also be used multi-purposely. So, you can consider this if you’re a light packer.
5. Best flip-flops
Let’s be honest, there’s no beachy vacation without flip-flops. Especially if your destination is one entirely made of islands. So, of course, one of the best shoes for Hawaii will be flip-flops.
As we have mentioned in the beginning, it’s perfectly normal and acceptable in Hawaii to wear flip-flops in any leisure time, like going on lunch or dinner dates. And besides, when you go to the pool or to the beach, the easiest thing to do is to slip in and out of your trusty flip-flops.
So, you simply have to pack one of these statement summer pieces for your future Hawaii vacation.
However, even though flip-flops are pretty simple footwear, and we usually don’t put much thought into buying them, make sure you don’t buy the cheapest and most low-quality ones. You don’t want your flip-flops to break in the middle of your casual stroll, would you?
I suggest you opt for Old Navy flip-flops since they are great for short-distance walks. Another great option is Havaianas flip-flops. These ones are of better quality and are extremely comfortable. And for longer walks and generally better support, Sanuk flip-flops are the best!
6. Best sandals
Sandals are another essential piece of footwear for any summer vacation. They are extremely lightweight and easy to wear as flip-flops are, but look more presentable and can be paired with many trendy pieces.
Any pair of Sam Edelman flat sandals will be great if you like to wear sandals for light sightseeing and exploring. They provide just enough cushioning, are very comfortable and supportive, and overall look trendy and cute.
Another great option is Steve Madden, who also has some great, trendy and comfortable slide sandals to offer. One of their most famous models is the Donddi leather sandals, which are loved by many people.
If you are anything like me, then you also struggle to keep your slide sandals on your feet during the summer. Because of the hot weather and high temperatures, sweaty feet are as inevitable as Thanos. But, luckily for you, I have some tips and tricks on how to keep slides on your feet.
7. Best sneakers
Last but not least, we have to mention our trusty everyday sneakers as the last on the list of the best shoes for Hawaii. They are essential for those activities which don’t involve water in any form.
For this, you can rely on your regular sneakers you know and love and wear every day back home. You know you’ll lean towards them when you go to take a quick grocery trip in Hawaii for example or pretty anywhere where you’re not required to do some intense activities.
Make sure the sneakers you opt for are comfortable and provide enough support. Because as we said at the beginning, there’s no room for pain on your vacation!
I recommend you explore brands like Adidas, (model Cloudfoam) Allbirds (model Tree Runners for men and women), Nike (model Air Force 1), Hoka (model Clifton 8), and the like.