Best Shoes For Thailand (Walking, Beach and More)

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This article will guide you in selecting the appropriate footwear for Thailand.

Thailand has a variety of terrain, including sandy beaches in the south, Bangkok’s concert jungle, and mountainous regions in the north.

Recommended shoe types:

Shoe TypeTerrain
Flip flopsBeach
SandalsBeach or City (short walks)
SneakersCity (long walks)
Hiking shoesMountainous areas or rough terrain

Pack at least one pair of comfortable sneakers for long walks and a pair of sandals or flip-flops for strolling around the hotel or beach.

Pack other footwear you might consider packing based on your travel plans, including hiking, formal, running, and water shoes.

Comfortable Shoes

First and foremost, you want comfortable shoes that fit correctly.

While traveling in Thailand, you’ll be walking more than usual, traveling on long-haul flights, and exploring all Thailand has to offer, so you want comfortable shoes with good arch support and ventilation.

Uncomfortable shoes that don’t fit may cause blisters, increase your chance of foot injury, and impact your enjoyment of the holiday.

Factors to consider for comfortable shoes:

  • Correct size
  • Arch support
  • Traction
  • Breathability
  • Cushioning
  • Adjustable
  • Match with your other clothing

Best Shoes for Thailand

Sandals

Sandals are perfect for Thailand’s hot environment, offering breathability, lightweight materials, and ease of slipping on and off.

They are great for beach walks, short strolls in city parks, and getting lost in Bangkok’s shopping malls.

When not to wear sandals

Thailand is notorious for uneven footpaths, in which sandals offer minimal protection. Sandals also don’t fully support the foot, so they are not recommended for long walks or hikes.

Recommended for: Beach, Short walks, Rainy day

Recommended sandals:

HOT Pick

Birkenstock Unisex


Cool & Convenient:
Birkenstocks suit Thailand’s heat with an airy design and easy on/off.

Versatile Wander: Ideal for beaches, parks, and city adventures.

Available on Amazon.com

Flip-flops

Flip-flops are ideal for the beach in Thailand because of their super lightweight waterproof material, ease of cleaning, and ultra breathability.

When not to wear flip-flops

Although inexpensive and easy to slip on, flip-flops offer little to no arch support, are uncomfortable for walking, and have minimal traction/grip.

Swap out the flip-flops for some sneakers if you’re planning to walk a lot.

Recommended for: Beach, Poolside

Recommended flip flops:

HOT Pick

Crocs Unisex Crocband Flip Flops

Available on Amazon.com

Sneakers

Going to be walking a lot on your trip? Sneakers are perfect for short/long walks in Thailand because of their arch support, cushioned sole, durability, and ease of slipping on and off.

When picking sneakers for Thailand, choose lightweight ones with good ventilation because of the humid weather.

When not to wear sneakers

Sneakers are not ideal for the beach because they can collect sand and be difficult to clean. Also, most sneakers are not waterproof if it rains, so you’d be better off switching to sandals or flip-flops.

Recommended for: Short/long walks (not raining)

Recommended sneakers:

HOT Pick – Women’s

New Balance Women’s 608 V5

Available on Amazon.com
HOT Pick – Men’s

New Balance Men’s 515 V3 Sneaker

Available on Amazon.com

Hiking shoes

Hiking boots are essential to pack if exploring Thailand’s mountainous terrain and national parks or trekking to waterfalls.

Proper walking boots offer great foot support, strong traction grip, waterproof material, and additional padding for foot protection.

When not to wear hiking shoes:

Hiking boots are not ideal for general city walking because they’re bulky and heavier than sneakers.

They also add much weight to your suitcase, so only bring them if you plan a trek.

Recommended for: Hiking

Recommended brands:

Tips for Packing Shoes

Once you know your travel plans in Thailand, it will be easy to select the best footwear but pack at least two pairs of shoes and some flip-flops.

Before packing, check the weather conditions in Thailand. If you’re traveling during the rainy season and plan a lot of walking, consider packing waterproof shoes.

Pack according if you plan on doing water sports, diving, or other special activities.

Attending a formal event such as fine dining or during your stay in Thailand? Although Thailand doesn’t usually have strict requirements for footwear, consider bringing some smart shoes to look the part.

Strategies for packing

Select comfortable, lightweight shoes that can easily fit into your suitcase without taking up too much space. Also, consider a good packing technique to make the most of your luggage space.

  • Clean your shoes before packing them
  • Pack the soles of the shoes against the side of your suitcase
  • Pack shoes into a protective bag to avoid debris from the soles getting onto your clothing
  • Pack the shoes into a zip compartment in your suitcase to separate them from the clothing

Footwear When Visiting Temples

Although temples have some strict dress code standards in clothing, they are more lenient towards footwear.

If you’re visiting a temple in Thailand, wear shoes that are comfortable, breathable, and easy to slip on and off because you’ll have to remove footwear when entering a temple building.

Before you go…

Looking for other travel guides? We have compiled a list of helpful articles to help you plan your trip to Thailand.

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Written by Nicky

Hi! 👋 I'm an expat who has lived, explored, and worked in Asia for over 10 years. I started findyouthere.com to share the knowledge I've picked up over the years with travelers interested in visiting Asia. Find out more on our about page.

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