It can be hard to know what shoes to pack for a cruise and sadly, so many women get this wrong!
On a cruise, you’ll see ladies staggering in too-high heels as the ship sways from side to side and people limping along after walking five miles on a shore excursion wearing cheap flip-flops.
After taking over 20 cruises, I’ve learned what six pairs of shoes I need to pack. Of course, you can tailor this for the season and skip the water shoes for a city break. But here are the must-pack cruise shoes you need…
1. Comfortable Shoes for Shore Excursions
Depending on your shore excursion plans, you may find yourself walking for miles and miles, so you need some comfortable shoes that you can rely on not to hurt your feet.
When it comes to comfort, I know that Sketchers won’t let me down. These lightweight walking sneakers are flexible with a bouncy sole. They come in over 25 different colours and are made of a breathable mesh that will keep your feet cool, even in the Caribbean sun. Some of the best cruise shoes for ladies who like to explore.
2. Water Shoes For The Beach
While you might imagine that beaches in the Caribbean have only soft white sand, that’s often not the reality. On most islands’ seabed, you’ll find some sharp rocks, sea creatures like crabs, starfish and sea cucumbers and sometimes even bottle caps and broken glass.
Packing a sturdy pair of water shoes is definitely a wise move as you’ll then be able to paddle and swim without worrying about where you’re stepping. And if you plan to do an excursion like Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica, then aqua shoes are an absolute must-have.
These unisex water shoes come in over 40 different colours and patterns. The older styles are often in the sale too, so be sure to check those out.
3. Flip-Flops For The Pool
Once you’ve tried these orthopaedic flip-flops with arch support, you’ll never go back to wearing completely flat flip-flops again! Approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association, these orthotic sandals are designed to improve your gait and lessen foot issues like Plantar Fasciitis. And let’s be honest, flip-flops are always going to be some of the best shoes for cruise ship lounging, right?
These cute and comfy sandals are water-resistant and come in over 20 different colours. I particularly like the glittery ones which look smart enough to wear indoors on any luxury cruise ship as well as on the lido deck.
4. Dressy Evening Shoes
Most cruise ships have at least one formal night where you can put on your best evening dress and enjoy a five-course meal followed by an evening of entertainment and dancing.
Most people find that wearing very high heels can be a little tricky on a cruise ship, especially if it’s rocking due to rough seas. Staying upright can be something of a challenge.
That’s why these 2-and-a-half-inch block heels are perfect. You’ll be able to walk confidently, while still looking elegant and stylish, thanks to the thousands of rhinestones that will adorn your feet.
There are seven colours to choose from. I like Champagne-coloured shoes as I find that they go with every colour of dress. If you need shoes for cruises that look a little glam, I highly recommend them.
5. Casual Evening Shoes
On most evenings of your cruise, the dress code will be casual so you’re free to wear whatever you feel comfortable in. You can dress up for dinner with a nice summer dress or relax in jeans – it’s your call.
I love these platform espadrilles as they go well with every outfit choice. They’re almost flat so they’re really easy to walk in, but a platform and slight wedge gives you some extra height. There are lots of colours to choose from but I’m a huge fan of the leopard print.
6. Running Shoes For The Gym
Cruise ships have some really amazing gyms and many also have free fitness classes, so it’s worth popping in. There’s often also a running track up on the top deck.
Even if you’re not a gym bunny, you may need training shoes for activities like rock climbing, zip-lining or laser tag. So be sure to pack some if you have an action-packed cruise planned.
These Under Armour running shoes come in lots of different colours and are lightweight and breathable, so they’re perfect for warm weather and won’t weigh down your luggage.
So there you have it, the six pairs of shoes that you need for a cruise. I think that six is probably the most that you would ever need. But, if you plan to travel light then you should easily travel in some running shoes and just pack a pair of evening shoes and something for the pool or beach.
That said, if you don’t need to take a flight to join your cruise you won’t have any limit on how much luggage you can bring. So why not go crazy and pack a different pair of shoes for every day? I know some people definitely do that.
Now you have the shoes sorted, if you need some help with the rest of your outfits, a I’ve written a guide to what to wear on a cruise that will help you with that too.
- 40 Best Cruise Packing Tips & Hacks
- Cruise Essentials Packing List
- Carnival Cruise Luggage Restrictions: What Can You Bring?
- 15 Must-Have Cruise Items From Amazon
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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.