Comfy Shoes For Walking Around Europe

Hi  Deb,

Love your style pointers!  Going to Europe on vacation and want to pack only a few pair of shoes.  I want a really comfortable pair of shoes for shopping/touring, but I want them to look good, too.  Am I doomed to running shoes? ~Lani

Hi Lani,

I get this question a lot. Most women understand it is not cool to be walking around European Cities in big, clunky white tennis shoes. So what can one wear that is practical, comfortable and stylish? Here are some good options.

Soft and Cushiony

These sand colored Polly sandals by Mephisto are great for trekking around city streets. The  snug strap gives you a secure fit, and the 1 1/4″ heel gives you just a touch of height to make you look slim and trim.
Mesphisto Polly Walking Shoe
Aerosole Wedge
Some times you want a bit of height but you want the comfort too. Then try this Aerosole Botoga Platform Wedge. With memory foam padding make you feel like you are walking in
sand.
 Aerosole Wedge

Flats from France

Love these chic but playful  cream Arche Lilly Flats from France. They’re made of supple leather and the color goes with anything. They also come in black, red, and teal.
 Arche Lilly walking shoes for Europe
Birkenstocks! 

O.K., so they’re not the prettiest shoe, but maybe you’re a Birkenstock diehard. You’ll be glad to know they finally have some fashion cred. With the popularity of chunky athletic sandals Birkenstocks are no longer just a sandal for hippie types. Enjoy traipsing around in comfort and style in these chunky Arizona Suede Sandals.
 Birkenstocks
Basic Black

It always works wherever you go int he world and is great for those dirty city streets. Merrell Wish Glove Flat is simple, streamlined, practical and chic.
 Merrell Walking Shoe
Tell me about your favorite travel shoe. I have lots more suggestions for the best walking shoes for women.


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Comments, Feedback, & Opinions:

  1. Lynn Loring says:

    There is no such thing as a stylish walking shoe, and I promise, everything you showed will make you stick out like a sore thumb in Europe. I know, because I live in Paris. I work as an international flight attendant in New a York and fly….Europe. I wear my awful aerosoles, gram Central is the style, and look like the Mary Janes you showed. Because I wear orthotics and have bunions, I couldn’t take the stares anymore with those shoes . I found Josef Seibel sneakers which seems to do the trick. Wear my designer bags, statement faux jewelry, and hope to offset the comfort look. THAT is what the difference is in dress between Americans and Europeans.

  2. I spend at least 2 months every spring and summer in Europe and the very best shoes are FitFlops. Perfect for cobblestones, perfect for hiking around the hills, perfect for the beach. So many styles to choose from so you can always be comfortable and stylish–and your feet will be so happy!

  3. Julie Mayer-Tschanz says:

    So far, I have not found the ideal walking shoe. I need something deep enough for my serious orthotics – which eliminated most shoes I have found I have to have a tie shoe, as my heel is actually narrow, but my orthotics aren’t (I have very flat feet with plantar fascists and posterior tibial tendon disfunction. tie shoes must also have a stiff heel counter, to hold my foot in the proper position on the orthotic.This means a serious athletic shoe is about the only thing that will work. In Japan, we walked everywhere and my feet were miserable in all but one pair of shoes( Merrrills) – the ethers are OK for casual local walking, but not for hiking. My feel were sore and my ankles swelled. For home use, I can get away with Orthaheels, but not for anything serious. I hate the choices available in athletic shoes – I want solid black or tan – without dashes of color anywhere. They also should look reasonable with tights or stockings. Bare legs and short socks may be fine in this country, but not in Japan. should also ad that Ido not wear pants or knee-lengeth skirts – mid-calf is it ( there are elements of an overweight 60+ year old body that are better left to the imagination.) I plan on another trip to Japan, and I know shoes will again be the issue. (need I mention, I love shoes, especially the pretty delicate ones and am seriously frustrated that I can’t wear them)

  4. Marianne Chandler says:

    I just moved to London with my husband last fall. I have to say that all my regular shoes from Seattle really didn’t work, except for one pair I got at Macy’s. They are ballet styled with an elastic crossing across the top of my foot, and the brand is Strictly Comfort?? Because of the very uneven walking surfaces, your feet and your legs, up through your hips and into your back really get jostled much more then they ever would in the states. I ended up buying a pair of flat leather boots with a thick sole that I lived in until very recently when the weather warmed. I honestly prefer boots, it stabilises the foot a lot better. On every previous trip to Europe I’ve brought my Dr Martens loafers, and one trip to Israel I wore Clarks Unstructured. I’d rather have comfort over pretty, and I dress with more of an “edge” so heavier looking shoes balance things out nicely.

  5. My favorite is Clarks

  6. Just got back from Europe last week where we drove through 4 countries & 3 different climate zones. I primarily packed dresses & brought 7 pairs of sandals. Used them all because I had them, but only needed two pairs: metallic sandals & black ballet. The metallic sandals & ballets were comfort shoe brands & perfect for all the different terrains & activities. Also, in place of packing jeans, I packed my black Lululemon pants & paired them with my cardigan set. If you feel the need for running shoes look at Nike Free TR Fit, blk/blk.

  7. Faith Jayne says:

    I went to Europe for 2 weeks last fall, with lots of walking. I learned that any heel, however cushioned, will not stand up to 10 hours of walking! My most comfortable pair I wore was a pair of gold snakeskin Aerosoles flat sandals!

  8. Huguette English says:

    My favorite is a pair of sandals from naturalizer

  9. Nowaday, people like to wear rome fashion type of sandals

  10. All great shoes. Exactly what European women wear!

  11. Rochelle Worthing says:

    Merrell is my favorite brand! But I’m going to Europe next month and am still not sure what to wear. I think I need something more than sandals for my flat feet.

  12. I love my Arche flats. I just returned from Argentina and wore them everyday. I also have a job that requires standing for 6-7 hours and wear Arche, Born, Jambu and Dansko shoes to work.

  13. I just bought these:
    http://www.clarksusa.com/eng/product/brisk_bangle/83485
    Very comfy!! But if I remember correctly, sandals may not be appropriate for touring some cathedrals, and you’ll want closed-toe shoes.

    • Hi Stacy,
      We’ve never had a problem wearing sandals in cathedrals in Europe, but you must cover your shoulders and arms. It’s good to carry a little scarf with you.

  14. I”m currently looking -going to Europe in Summer 2012. Someone recommended Chaco shoes – I like the looks of their sandals but want something a bit more dressy looking.

  15. Barbara says:

    Mine are a pair of Merrell’s but not very stylish but I could walk all of Berlin in them. Better than running shoes.

  16. I don’t have a favorite pair of travel shoes; that’s why I need these!! I’m hoping to go to Ireland next year to celebrate 25 years of marriage with my wonderful husband. We never got a honeymoon (we were too broke!), so this will be a really great celebration.

  17. Celeste Dickson says:

    I saw many people on Rick Steves’ travel site recommending Naot brand shoes for traveling Europe. I went with their Nau Mai shoe for all the walking I’ll be doing on cobblestones.

    http://www.zappos.com/naot-footwear-nau-mai-black-gloss-leather-black-patent

  18. Jackie W. - Kanasas says:

    Clarks

  19. connie moore says:

    Birkenstock..is the one I’ve wore in the past…