Skip to main content Shop participates in the Amazon Services Associates Program as well as other affiliate programs. By participating in these programs, Shop may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you, for purchases you make through links on our site. Retailers may change their offers at any time so visit their sites for details.

24 Best Shoes for College Students (Girls and Guys)


August 17, 2023

If you’re looking for the best shoes for college life or study abroad, we’ve made it easy. Here are our picks for the best women’s and men’s shoes for the most common occasions of campus life. This list has got you covered whether you’re walking from class to class all day, exploring the city, going for a run, or hitting the dorm showers afterward – and everything in between!

The best news? Your ID-me-verified student status can help you save! The Shop Chrome extension can help you find bargains whenever you shop online. Add it to your browser today to discover all the ways you can save.

Best Women’s Shoes for College and Study Abroad

Here are our picks for the best shoes for college girls and women for all kinds of occasions.

Best Walking Shoes for College Students

keds canvas sneaker

Canvas Sneaker | Women’s Center III from Keds

Lace-up canvas Keds are an iconic shoe, and this particular shoe is all about comfort. Extra padding under the heel, soft mesh in the lining, and a comfortable, supportive footbed, and you’ve got a shoe that feels great all day. Comes in 5 solid neutral colors.

Uggs | Classic Short II from Ugg

These sheepskin-lined boots are super comfortable, casual, and easy to wear, which is what you want in an everyday shoe. Available in half a dozen solid, neutral colors, they pair easily with many casual outfits and styles, making them a comfortable, versatile choice during the colder months – and the best shoes for campus life.

Best Shoes for Walking Around the City

Comfy Mary Jane | Springfield Stretch from OrthoFeet

We love these shoes because they offer the support and all-day comfort of an orthopedic sneaker but with a classic Mary Jane style that elevates the look. Perfect for long walks in the city during your Study Abroad semester or around town, they won’t let you down!

Waterproof Walking Shoes | Boardwalk Slip-On from Vessi

These knit slip-ons from Vessi were designed to stand up to wet, rainy weather and still look and feel great. With a grippy sole, breathable upper, and elastic at the ankle for easy-on, and easy-off, these might just become your go-to shoes, rain or shine! Comes in several versatile colors and color combos, including the 2023 Pride shoe featured here.

Best Shoes for Standing All Day

Supportive Sneaker | Bondi 8 by HOKA

These ultra-supportive sneakers from HOKA are suitable for running and walking but are also a treat for your feet when you’re standing for long periods of time. They’re soft and light, and they come in a variety of stylish color combos. No wonder HOKA fans swear by them!

Comfortable Clog | Chillos Clog by Chaco

Clogs are another great choice for supportive, all-day footwear. These clogs from Chaco are made with durable yet lightweight EVA and feature a comfortable, arch-supporting midsole and strap at the back to keep them secured on your feet.

Best Stylish and Versatile Shoes for College Life

Black Booties | Sierra Tassel Boot from Hush Puppies

Black booties with sturdy heels are our top choice in a stylish and versatile shoe for college life. They’re easy to wear, look great, and can be dressed up or down for almost any occasion.

Ballet Flats | Camille Cap Toe Leather Flats from Tuckernuck

High-quality flats are another shoe staple that can be worn with pants, shorts, skirts, and dresses for great versatility. These tan-colored leather flats from Tuckernuck stand out with a contrasting black toe cap for extra personality.

Best Athletic Shoes

Sports Sneaker | Ride 16 from Saucony

Two words: Comfortable and cushioning. These sneakers from Saucony provide the support you need during a long run to keep your feet feeling great. Plus, they contain recycled materials and are vegan, too. Comes in 11 colors/color combos.

Hiking High-Top | Women’s Siren 4 Mid GORE-TEX from Merrell

If the great outdoors is your thing, then check out these fun and functional hiking shoes made with waterproof GORE-TEX. These go beyond the basic athletic shoe to deliver what hikers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts need, including traction lugs for exceptional grip, light and breathable materials, and a high-top design for extra ankle support. Available in four colors/color combos.

Best Shoes for Dorm Life

Cozy Slippers | Rachel Shiny Velour Closed Back from DearFoams

Slip on these fuzzy, comfy closed-back slippers when padding around your dorm room or the hallways on your way to a study session. The soft, shiny velour comes in four colors and is machine washable, too!

Waterproof Slides | Adilette Shower Slide from adidas

Prevent slipping and protect your feet in shared dorm and gym bathroom spaces with a pair of waterproof shower slides like these by adidas. These shower shoes provide utility and protection with classic adidas style, and they’re available in 12 colors.

Best Men’s Shoes for College and Study Abroad

Here are our picks for some of the best shoes for college guys for all kinds of occasions.

Best Shoes for Walking Around Campus

Streamlined Sneaker | Model 001 from atoms

Simple, supportive, and stylish – that’s what these 100% vegan and recyclable sneakers from atoms are. They’re designed to keep your feet fresh and comfortable all day long, every day. Plus they’re machine washable, too.

Waterproof Hiking Shoe | Chameleon Flux Leather Waterproof Carbon Fiber Shoe from Merrell

You still need to get to class even when it’s raining, so a pair of waterproof shoes is another must for college life. These waterproof work shoes from Merrell feature their COMFORTBASE technology that cushions your foot and provides increased shock absorption, allowing you to walk for hours without pain or foot fatigue. Bonus: They’re perfect for hiking trails, too!

Best Shoes for Walking Around the City

Upscale Sneaker | Men’s Wool Runners from allbirds

These sneakers from allbirds feature Merino wool, a muted color palette, and a streamlined design. This makes them a great choice when you want a supportive and comfortable pair of shoes for all-day walking but you don’t want to sacrifice style.

Waterproof Walking Boots | San Jose 6″ Waterproof Boot (Soft Toe) from KEEN

The San Jose boot is a classic design that has a place in any man’s closet. KEEN is known for hard-wearing work boots, and these bestselling leather boots are made to stand up to lots of wear and still provide great style and support.

Best Shoes for Standing All Day

Crocs | Classic Clog from Crocs

Crocs pretty much invented a new category of shoes with their innovative hole-filled, foam resin clog. Classic Cros have long been a favorite among people who spend long days on their feet, including many medical professionals and food service workers, so you know they’re up to the job! Comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Supportive Sneaker | Ultraboost 1.0 from adidas

Whether you have classes, campus activities, or a job that requires you to stay on your feet all day, you need shoes that don’t leave your feet sore when you take them off. The Ultraboost 1.0 line of stylish recovery sneakers from adidas provides the support and comfort you need when you’re standing for long periods of time. Plus, they come in school colors for several popular U.S. universities. Is yours one of them?

Best Stylish Shoes for College Life

Leather Loafer | Leeward Penny Loafer from Sperry

The penny loafer is a timeless man’s shoe that’s easy to wear but instantly makes an outfit look more upscale. The non-marking rubber outsole provides excellent traction, while the shock-absorbing EVA heel cup and Ortholite™ comfort technology outsole make them feel as good as they look.

Lace-Up Boots | 1000 Mile Cap-Toe Classic Boot from Wolverine

Handcrafted in the USA using premium leather, these Wolverine boots are pricey, it’s true, but they will last a long, long time. They provide great traction, durability, and style, with contrast stitching and a cap-toe design that takes inspiration from the original Wolverine work boot. Comes in Black or Havana Brown.

Best Athletic Shoes

Running Shoes | Nike Air VaporMax Plus Running Shoe from Finish Line

There’s no better way to experience the runner’s high than in these stylish and supremely comfortable running shoes from Nike’s VaporMax line. VaporMax shoes feature Nike’s iconic cushioning that will put a spring in your every step. Over seven years in the making, these runners feature a throwback style (think: the 1998 Air Max Plus, which was so ahead of its time!) in a sneaker that goes hard with all the latest footwear tech. 

Trail Shoes | Aura TR from Saucony

This shoe from Saucony is made for trail running, combining performance, practicality, and comfort in one. It features grippy lugs on the sole, breathable mesh, and VERSARUN cushioning for a comfortable run. Comes in three colors.

Best Shoes for Dorm Life

Cozy slipper | Microsuede Clog from Dearfoams

For times when you don’t leave the dorm or even your dorm room, slip on these comfy, fleece-lined clogs with a memory foam insole and micro suede exterior. Machine washable. Comes in three colors.

Waterproof slides | Men’s OOahh Slide Sandal from OOFOS

Shared bathroom space is a reality of dorm (and gym) life, and wearing a pair of waterproof shoes in the shower is a good idea for both hygiene and safety reasons. We love these simple slides from OOFOS because they’re machine washable and designed to minimize odor – and they look good, too. 

Erin Danly is a freelance writer whose work focuses on marketing content and verbal branding for B2B and B2C clients. Before turning to writing, she was a pastry chef and a psychology lab manager at Columbia University. Erin lives with her family in Mt. Pleasant, SC.