Travel + Leisure / Reese Herrington
On a recent visit with my in-laws, I noticed my father-in-law and I were wearing the same shoes. “Are those Kiziks?” I asked him. “Yes,” he replied, “they’re my airport shoes.”
I knew exactly what he meant. Since purchasing not one, but two, pairs of Kizik sneakers a few months before, I had become obsessed with the ease of slipping them on and off without bending down, tying, and untying them. The sneakers, which cost a little over $100 on average, come in tons of different styles and colors — from pink athletic shoes to white canvas sneakers — and have become my go-to for everything from travel to theme parks to Target runs.
To buy: amazon.com and kizik.com, $130
Kiziks are hands-free athletic shoes that remain tied at all times. To get them on and off of your feet, you simply step into or out of them, and the springy “cage” mechanism in the heel effortlessly allows you to move your foot in and out.
They’re also super comfortable, with a supportive sole and arch that keep my feet from hurting on long days walking around theme parks or through airports. And that slip-on, slip-off mechanism is perfect for airport security lines, where kids and adults are required to remove their shoes (and put them back on) at a fairly fast pace before going through the metal detectors.
The upper part of Kiziks are made from a variety of breathable materials. The Irvine style is made from canvas and pairs perfectly with summer skirts, dresses, and shorts. The Athens, which looks more like an athletic shoe, is made from a breathable knit fabric with a soft foam sole. The Vegas is leather and would look great dressed up or down.
To buy: kizik.com, $100
In addition to the novelty of comfortable shoes that look tied but slip on and off effortlessly, Kiziks came in handy when I had abdominal surgery a few months ago. As I rebuilt my fitness level and recovered, it was a relief to slip sneakers on and off for walks and other exercise without experiencing discomfort from bending forward and aggravating my incisions. I had fallen in love with my Kiziks to such an extent that I ordered an additional style, and asked my family if they, too, would want to wear them. After seeing both myself and my father-in-law swear by the shoes, they all agreed.
My husband chose the Madrid style, made from a breathable, sustainable knit fabric, and they quickly replaced shoes made by other brands as his daily choice of sneakers. My teenage son, who has a difficult time tying his shoes and often defaults to slip-on clog styles, chose the Athens in a light gray color and has been leaving the rubber slip-on shoes behind for his Kizik’s when he wants to look a bit more dressed up.
To buy: amazon.com and kizik.com, $99
My tween daughter loved the Athens and had a tough time choosing from all of the colorways, which include beautiful shades of blue, pink, and purple. She chose an off-white color with gold coloring on the heel, and has been enjoying both how comfortable they are and how they go with everything in her closet.
While my kids are older now, I remember all too well the years where I’d stand in my entryway, waiting for them to tie their shoes so we could leave the house. Kizik makes shoes in kids’ sizes, too, and I wish they had existed 10 years ago when I was just trying to make it to preschool drop-off on time.
To buy: amazon.com and kizik.com, $70
My obsession with Kiziks is far from over: I’m headed on a European cruise in a few weeks and plan to purchase a pair of its recently-released Irvine style in white to wear in ports like Florence and Barcelona, pairing them with skirts and tanks. I know from experience that, no matter how much walking we do on each excursion, my feet will feel supported and pain-free because I’m wearing my Kiziks. And, while Kiziks aren’t machine washable, they’re easy to hand wash when they get a bit dirty from all that walking around.
Whether you’re headed on a vacation with lots of walking, looking for a new athletic shoe, or hoping to find a shoe that’s easy for kids to slip on and off fast, Kiziks are one pair of sneakers your feet deserve for you to have on your shoe rack.
Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week.