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When it comes to packing for a wedding, there's a laundry list of essentials needed—the right dress, matching accessories, and of course, a comfortable pair of heels. A good pair of heels have the power to pull an elegant look together, but let's face it—they're not always the most enticing shoe to wear all night long and often are heavy or bulky in your suitcase. Plastic Beach Shoes
The best pair of heels to wear to a destination wedding are comfortable, lightweight, and fairly easy to pack, and versatile enough to rewear to other formal occasions in the future. We asked travel writers, stylists, and influencers to recommend their favorite actually comfortable heels for weddings, and they delivered. Below, you'll find 17 pairs of shoes, ranging in price, style, height, and color, that will have you looking chic on the big day—without the blisters. From classic pointed-toe pumps and easy-to-walk-in sandals to strappy designer heels and colorful mules, there's a shoe on this list for every type of wedding.
If you want a shoe you'll wear time and time again, fashion writer and Traveler contributor Samantha Crompton Merinder suggests investing in a pair of black embellished pumps. She says, “you can make the most simple dress look fabulous with the right accessories and these shoes do just that. Plus, the lower heel is so comfortable, your feet won’t be in pain after a night of dancing.” The crystal-embellished detail on these shoes makes them much more elevated than your regular nighttime heel, making them a perfect option for the most special occasions you have coming up.
“When I got married, I wanted a pair of low heels that would be subtle and—most importantly—very easy to dance in. I bought these shoes in two colors (ivory for the wedding, light green for the rehearsal) and was comfortable in them all weekend. I wore them throughout the summer, dancing the night away as a wedding guest and with jeans commuting into the office. They're simple and unfussy, but the little snakeskin detail on the heel gives them a bit of personality.” —Mercedes Bleth, global associate director of social
For a more elevated yet versatile option, these black Jacquemus mules can be worn as an everyday heel or as a wedding guest. A black heel will match most of the dresses you'll wear to a wedding, making this an ideal shoe to splurge on if you want one more expensive pair. “I love them because if you’re going to a destination wedding you only have to pack one pair of shoes,” LNA co-founder Lauren Alexander says. Wear these to lunch, the rehearsal dinner, and the wedding reception for a different look each time.
Stylist Jordanna Sharp recommends this pair timeless pair of Bottega Veneta stretch strap sandals for destination weddings. “The simple detail means they work with any dress, skirt, or pant suit you might be wearing for a wedding,” Sharp says. I would suggest the black pair as a wedding guest.” This stylish pair of heels is definitely an investment, but worth the money if you're looking for one sleek option you'll have in your closet forever.
“If you accidentally waited until the last minute to find a pair of heels to wear (I've been guilty of this), these strappy crisscross heels have you covered. This affordable pair is available on Amazon in all the staple colors—nude, white, and black—and even a few fun colors like purple and green. I struggle to walk and dance in high heels, so I typically opt for a block heel. But when it comes to formal weddings when I want something more traditional, this pair saves me. They're easy to walk in, not too high, and very light to pack in any of my travel bags. The crisscross style adds some flare to an otherwise simple shoe and I've reworn them to plenty of formal affairs.” —Meaghan Kenny, associate commerce editor
For black-tie weddings, Alison Bruhn, stylist and co-founder of The Style That Binds Us, swears by these Manolo Blahniks. “The quality is beyond measure, the design exquisite, and this color goes well with almost everything,” she says. These pointed, embellished satin heels are made for special occasions and look so elegant with any formal dress. They're definitely not cheap, but if you want to splurge on a pair of designer heels, these are the ones to go for.
Fashion and lifestyle influencer Candace Molatore has spent the past few weeks traveling for weddings in Palm Springs, California, and Portland, Oregon, so she knows how important a go-to heel is. “These Dolce Vita heels are super comfy, versatile for dinners, travel, etc. and come in so many colors,” she says. The block heel makes them easier to walk in than a stiletto style heel and they're pretty low to the ground, making them an ideal option for outdoor ceremonies. Plus, you can't go wrong with a nude heel—they'll match any dress you decide on.
Fashion and lifestyle content creator Stephanie Yeboah emphasizes the importance of comfort over anything else when attending a wedding. “A stiletto or a slim heel may look amazing, but I love wearing block heels for moments when I anticipate being the last one on the dance floor at the end of the night,” she says. If you too find yourself struggling to keep a pair of stilettos on all night, opt for a shoe like this Asos pick next time. Plus, if most of your wedding guest dresses are simple or all black, a heel is a fun way to add in pop of color. “The jewel tone color and crystal embellishment gives the shoes a certain regal charm while the heel provides all the stability my ankles need to withstand what can sometimes be an all-day affair for weddings,” Yeboah says.
Comedian and podcast host of Berning in Hell Hannah Berner has traveled for plenty of special events and even celebrated her own wedding last May. Her favorite pair of comfortable heels for weddings are these sandals from Larroude. “As someone who grew up wearing sneakers and has been told that I have wide feet, I am very picky when it comes to heels because if they are uncomfortable I will be a baby about it and let it ruin my night,” Berner says. “This silver pair is low so you can dance longer.” They have an adjustable strap that goes around your ankle, too, keeping your foot more secure as you move.
Another Alison Bruhn favorite: these festive metallic mules. The heel isn't too high, making them an easy pair to walk in at outdoor weddings. The fun color and knotted bow design add a little flare to your look, and the style works year-round.
As a carry-on only traveler, Lexie Alford, the youngest recorded person to travel to every country, values practicality in a pair of heels. “All the Clarks shoes I've worn in general have been so supportive and high quality, especially these heels,” she says. “The heel is tall enough to feel very feminine and elegant, yet I can still walk for miles on cobblestone streets without my feet hurting.”
Esme Benjamin, a travel writer and podcast host of The Trip That Changed Me, loves these strappy silver sandals from Sandro. “Metallic shoes are a great call for a destination wedding because they work with any color ensemble, meaning you can wear them with various outfits to the welcome dinner, ceremony and reception, and the farewell brunch, too,” she says. “They are definitely a space saver.” Not only are these sandals versatile, they give the perfect amount of height to wear with an evening gown.
“I'm a heels person through and through—and for my wedding, I wanted a very high (and comfortable!) pair that were not only chic, but that would remain securely on my feet as I walked, posed, and danced. I opted for Andrea Wazen's Denver Tabaris heel, which has an ankle strap to make sure they stayed firmly in place. They did—and they looked great. I love the mesh pointed-toe heel, which has a satin crisscross pattern that adds a little visual interest (but didn't compete with the dress). And best of all, the pearly-nude shade means I can wear them with virtually any going-out ensemble.” —Betsy Blumenthal, features and franchises editor
“You can never go wrong with a classic, pointed-toe pump. I have a pair of Sam Edelman pumps in my closet that I pull out when I'm not sure what to wear. The design of the shoe is simple, elegant, and timeless—I know I'll be able to wear them for years to come. The pointed toe elongates my legs and since they are a closed-toe shoe, they can be worn year-round, even to winter weddings.” —M.K.
For someone who doesn’t love a heel, Bruhn recommends these formal flats from Birdies. The glittering rhinestones, velvet upper, and quilted satin insole make up for the lack of heel. These Birdies flats are fancy enough to wear with an evening gown, without sacrificing any comfort at all. Not only will your feet thank you at the end of the night, you'll look polished in all of the wedding photos.
“I have always struggled with shoe packing. It's hard to find a pair that fits the 100 different scenarios you want it to fit. I actually bought these for my own wedding, which was held in Iceland. I wanted something comfortable with a ton of personality—plus something that would hold up relatively well in bad weather on a black sand beach. These wiggle clogs absolutely nailed it. I wear them constantly at home, as well—a great reminder of a very special day. Plus, they don't take up much space in my suitcase.” —Erika Owen, Traveler contributor
These braided, rhinestone-covered slides are another recommendation of Benjamin's. She says these are a great option for beach nuptials or any destination wedding involving terrain that's unfavorable to heels. These also work if you want to slip on a chic flat toward the end of the night when your dancing feet have had it. Not only are these sparkly slides easy to walk in, they take up virtually no room at all in your suitcase, and can squeeze into a large clutch.
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