I don’t know about you, but I always struggle to find travel shoes that are comfortable enough for all-day wear but that also look good.
I do a lot of walking on my trips away. This is largely because I have a full-time day job and therefore, travel with a limited amount of annual leave — meaning that I have an equally limited amount of time to squeeze everything in. But, also because I have an insatiable curiosity to explore, and love nothing more than doing so on my own two feet.
Yes, my hiking shoes and boots are comfortable enough for all day wear (tried and tested on many of my full-day and multi-day hiking adventures), but I don’t really want to be wearing them on a city break. I want something a bit less restrictive, a bit more lightweight, and essentially, a bit more stylish — a bit more me.
So, when UIN approached me and asked me if I fancied road-testing some of their travel shoes, I took one look at all the fun, colourful and unique, arty designs on their website and instantly said yes.
UIN travel shoes were born in Spain, but take their design influences from countries across the globe, including Morocco, Cuba, Australia and Japan.
They make shoes for women, men and children, with a total of over 1000 different designs to choose from on their website.
Want to know more? Then, read on!
Full disclosure: I was given two pairs of UIN travel shoes in exchange for writing this review. However, the content of this review has been in no way influenced by the brand, and all views and opinions shared here are my own and are without bias.
About the UIN Footwear Brand
Founded in Toledo, Spain in 2015, UIN wanted to bring together two passions in their shoe design —travel and art. Their idea was for the excitement and joy we experience when discovering new places on our travels to be reflected in the colourful, artistic patterns that decorate their shoes. Their tagline, ‘Paint your story; Free your sole,’ was inspired by the belief that even the most challenging situations we encounter on our travels can be overcome with a positive attitude.
In their words,
“UIN painted shoes are crafted simply for free spirits who embark on all of life’s adventures in style.”
UIN now ships to over 200 countries and regions worldwide, with warehouses located in the US, Germany and China.
UIN’s most popular travel shoes are their signature slip-ons (available in canvas or leather varieties), which are the ones I am reviewing in this post. I chose both the Crane in Dark and Color Border, because I wanted one pair that would go with anything and another pair that would add a fun pop of colour to my plainer, more dark-coloured outfits.
UIN Leather Travel Shoes: A Few Stats
- They’re sustainable. UIN travel shoes are made from a durable high-class synthetic leather. Compared to animal leathers, synthetic leather is 30% less impactful on the environment.
- They’re lightweight. Each pair weighs “roughly the same as an avocado” (their words!), which — according to my scales — is around 315 grams (for a UK size 5).
- They’re packable. An ultra-soft EVA outsole makes these shoes foldable, and therefore easy to stow in your luggage.
- They’re water resistant. Ok, they won’t keep your feet dry in a tropical storm, but you’ll be ok skipping around in the odd shower or two.
- They’re machine washable. Obviously, you can just wipe them down with a wet cloth. But if you do need to give them a more thorough wash, you can!
What I Loved About My UIN Travel Shoes
1 | They’re super comfortable right out the box
In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that wearing them feels like wearing my favourite pair of slippers. I initially wore them on my one-mile walk to work, without socks. I’ve worn new shoes on a similar journey before and ended up hobbling the last few meters or so because, although they initially felt comfortable when I first put them on, pressure points appeared the further I walked. I had nothing like that with my UIN travel shoes. And they were still comfortable after a full day at work, running errands around the office building, and then making the one-mile walk back home.
If you own a pair of Birkenstocks, then I would say UIN travel shoes offer a similar level of comfort —possibly an even higher one.
2| They have a wide toe box, so there’s plenty of room for your toes to splay into their natural posture
I hate having my toes restricted when I walk. It’s often what causes blisters. So, I love that I can wiggle them around to my heart’s content in these shoes! A wide toe box also means that you can wear these shoes barefoot, without any discomfort whatsoever.
3 | Each shoe has an unique slip-proof rubber sole
My Crane in Dark ones feature a 3D map of Toledo — a nod to the brand’s geographical roots —and my Color Border ones illustrate a few of Spain’s most recognisable icons, such as a flamenco dancer, a flamenco guitar, a decorative fan and some castanets.
4 | The tab at the back means you can pull them on with ease
It can sometimes be a bit tricky to get slip-on shoes on. You end up wedging your fingers between your heel and the shoe in an attempt to grab the back of the shoe in order to ease it on to your foot. UIN have clearly recognised this issue and come up with a helpful solution.
The flexible elastic band on the inside of each shoe also helps with this concern, too.
5 | They’re clearly a ‘pair’ of shoes but each one is different
I love this quirk about UIN travel shoes! The left and the right shoe — although clearly part of a pair — are also distinctly different.
Take a look at the photos below. On my Crane in Dark pair, you can see there are more cranes on my left shoe compared to my right shoe. Similarly, on my Color Border pair, the ink blot design on each foot is very slightly different, and the colour block on my left foot is white, whereas on my right foot, it’s red.
So, if you’re into quirky footwear then UIN travel shoes will be right up your street!
6 | Their ‘leather’ shoes can be worn by vegans
As I mentioned above, UIN’s ‘leather’ shoes are made from high-class synthetic leather, rather than animal leather. So, if you’re vegan, you can still reap all the benefits of a pair of leather shoes, but feel secure in the knowledge that no part of an animal has been used to make them.
And What I Wasn’t so Keen on
Essentially, very little! However, I think it’s important to raise a couple of points.
1 | There’s no doubt about the fact that they are definitely on the pricey side
The Color Border pair are currently priced at £140 on the UIN website. Now, I’m not sure I’ve ever spent that much on a pair of shoes. Even my running shoes — which probably get more wear out of them than any of the others in my wardrobe (I probably run around 20 miles a week, on average) — only cost me £135. A few of my beloved Dr. Marten boots are probably worth more than that, but I bought them all on sale.
I wouldn’t ever want to lose the current quality of UIN’s travel shoes, but I do think that they simply aren’t affordable for a lot of the travellers in UIN’s target audience.
2 | Sizing-wise, they come up a little on the large side
This isn’t really a complaint; more of a ‘good-to-know’ tip when purchasing a pair. The two pairs I have aren’t big enough to slide off my feet, but there’s definitely a little more room inside the shoe than I probably need. I would advise going down half a size (yes, UIN do half sizes!).
UIN Travel Shoes: Final Thoughts
And, that’s a wrap on my UIN travel shoes review!
Overall, I think they’re fantastic shoes that I will definitely be wearing on a regular basis for many years to come.
If they’re a little pricey to justify buying them for yourself, then how about asking for a pair for Christmas?
I’ll be publishing this year’s traveller’s gift guide just as soon as the Halloween celebrations are done and dusted. But if you’d like to grab some inspiration from any of my previous gift guides, you can do so here,here,here and here.
Good to know: I currently have discount code available if you’d like to treat yourself (or anyone else for that matter) to some fantastic UIN travel shoes. You can use the following codes to nab yourself some money off. Use ‘gallop5‘ ($5 off any shoe purchase) or ‘gallop10‘ ($10 off any purchase more than $120).