Shoes/Boots

The Most Comfortable Walking Shoes for Europe

Spring until late Fall is ideal for a European vacation, and the best way to see most Old World cities is on foot. Touring museums, churches and galleries; poking around in craft shops, taking photos in a cobblestone alley, hunting for a café or trattoria off the beaten path. Are your feet aching yet?

Walking Shoes vs. Running Shoes

If you are traveling to Europe, the most important thing you can pack is a good pair of walking shoes. European cities are old, which means you will be doing a lot of walking up and down narrow, uneven and sometimes slippery, ancient stone streets. While you may be tempted to pack a pair of running shoes for walking, keep in mind the difference between walking and running. 

When you walk you land on your heels first, with your weight rolling forward through the ball of your foot and finally onto your toes. When you run, you typically land on your outer heels with your weight moving forward in more of an S-pattern. There’s more impact from running than walking so for walking you need a specific type of shoe.

Most comfortable walking shoes for women in Europe

How to Choose the Most Comfortable & Stylish Walking Shoes in Europe

Focus on Fit

A good walking shoe should be comfortable from the get-go. It needs to be snug enough so that your foot doesn’t slip out but not so tight that it rubs. Don’t go with a too snug fit, hoping that it will stretch out with wear. Chances are, it won’t, and no one wants to ruin their European vacation trying to break in a pair of too-tight shoes!

Many over 40 women must also address bunions, neuromas, prior injuries and other foot and ankle issues. These can make finding a comfortable walking shoe more challenging but not impossible!

Length and Width: When considering fit, think about the width of the walking shoes just as much as the length. If you don’t have enough room at the sides of your feet, you’re opening yourself up to calluses, bruised toenails, heel blisters, and bunions. And when it comes to length, make sure you have roughly a half-inch between the end of your longest toe and the shoe.  You should be able to wiggle your toes in your shoes.

Toe and Heel Room: If you try on a lot of shoes and still aren’t sure about the fit, try these two tests. Walk down an incline and purposely try and push your toes into the very front of your shoes. Your toes should stay snug. Overtime as the shoes loosen and widen, your toes will move down, but if they do now, don’t buy them. Try the opposite test too. Walk up some stairs two at a time. If your heel lifts off the bottom of the shoe more than 1/8″ then don’t buy the shoe unless you want blisters.

Look for Lightweight, Flexible Walking Shoes

Since you don’t hit the ground with the same amount of impact when you’re walking compared to when you’re running, walking shoes should be more flexible and lightweight than running shoes. This lets you walk across most surfaces with ease, something that you’ll appreciate when you’re walking along cobblestone streets or amongst archeological ruins.

To test how flexible a walking shoe is, hold the shoe up by the heel and toe and bend the toe up. The shoe should bend right under the ball of the foot. Next, twist the sole of the shoe from side to side. You should feel some light to moderate resistance. Too floppy means no support.

Arch Support is Key

Arch support is important to reduce muscle strain, maintain balance and prevent conditions like Plantar Fasciitis which is a common cause of heel pain. Look for walking shoes designed to provide support particular to the type of arch you have, whether it be a high, neutral, or low arch.  Since arch support is specific to the individual, it’s best to work with a knowledgeable salesperson to make sure your new walking shoe is right for you. One idea is to bring in an old pair of shoes you currently own so the person helping you can look at wear patterns and show you walking best suited to how you wear your shoes.

Check Breathability 

It gets very hot pounding the pavement shopping and sightseeing, so make sure you take a shoe that breathes. Your feet are going to be in those walking shoes from early morning to night which means things can get pretty sweaty. Think about the material the shoe is made of (natural fibers breathe better than synthetic). Does it have vents? Mesh can help, as well as an open vamp.  The right fit also makes them more breathable. If shoes are too tight, your feet will tend to sweat more. 

Padding is Important

Padding and cushioning keeps your feet comfortable and can prevent bruised toenails and blisters. That said, you’ll want to balance padding with flexibility and you may have to try on plenty of shoes before you find one that strikes a good balance. Don’t be afraid to try aftermarket insoles if needed.

Waterproofed Wins

You never know what kind of weather you are going to run into when you travel, so a waterproof shoe that has sturdy soles and waterproof uppers is a winning shoe hands down.

Best time to Buy Walking Shoes

  • Since our feet tend to swell during the day, do your trying on towards the end of the day when your feet are the widest to get the most accurate picture of how a walking shoe will fit. 
  • Be sure to have both feet measured and if they are different, go with the bigger size.
  • If you plan to wear your walking shoes with socks, make sure you try them on with socks or sock liners.

As the search for a perfect pair of jeans takes time, getting a walking shoe with a great fit make take a few tries too. You need to test a variety of shoes. March yourself into a store or if you prefer to order online, be ready to return selections that don’t run true to size or don’t fit your particular foot well.

Most Popular Walking Shoes for Europe – Mary Janes

Mary Jane styles are hugely popular for travel especially afte4 40 when balance and reaction times aren’t as good as it used to be. The strap across the top of the foot gives a secure fit on cobblestones and uneven ground meaning there’s less chance of slipping out of our shoes and falling or twisting ankles. Let’s take a look at some of the bestselling Mary Janes.

 

Best women's walking shoes for Europe
Best women’s walking shoes for Europe

Want Something Tried and True?

Experts at the Mayo Clinic agree that a pair of comfortable well-fitting walking shoes is the secret to successful walking and suggest a fairly lightweight shoe with good shock absorption. The  Ecco BIOM lite Mary Jane weighing in at a mere 7 ounces it is known as one of the best shoes for walking around Europe.

One user reported walking in this shoe for three weeks in Italy, often without socks, with no blisters or other discomforts. Tiny airholes by the toes keep things cool. As for the look, it’s very modern in this pewter color but also comes in black which of course never gets dirty!

Ecco bluma Mary Jane

Sweat A lot?

One step up from the shoe we just looked at is the Ecco Bluma Mary Jane . It’s nice because it has mesh inserts on the top of the shoe which allows for more breathability on those long site-seeing days. I like the look of the mixed materials too.

 

 

Dankso Edith Mary Jane

Need a Refined Mary Jane?

Here’s a similar style to the first two, only more refined and formal.  This is the  Dansko Edith Mary Jane. It’s less sporty and more refined than the first two, so it is better for after five events where you would wear dressier pants and casual dresses.

Women's best walking shoes for Europe
Women’s best walking shoes for Europe

Want Something More Fashion Forward?

Another offering from Ecco along the same lines as all of the above but with a zig-zag strap is the Ecco Lynx Mary Jane . It comes in black and a very new and a warm gray metallic. The light sole on this black one is nice for summer- not so heavy looking on your foot. I like this shoe because it looks soft like a glove, and the zig-zag strap makes it a little fashion-forward and modern. This is a very sporty shoe.

bluma ballet flat - stylish walking shoes for europe
bluma ballet flat – stylish walking shoes for europe

Don’t Like Straps – How about these?

Many report a strap makes a walking shoe very solid, but if you prefer no strap try the Ecco Biom Lite Ballerina Flat  – a sporty ballerina flat that is very comfy and attractive. Many tourists report they love these type of open top shoes, as the traditional runner top styles are hot and not as flexible on the foot when you are walking.  If you like a dark shoe, they come in black too.

More Walking Shoes

European walking shoes for women
European walking shoes for women

Besides Mary Janes, hundreds of walking stylish shoes are available, but is there one you would consider wearing into Versace on the Via Venetto or Fabregé on the Rue Saint Honoré? Let’s look at some more options: 

ECCO Angel Bow Ballerina Flat

Casual /Dressy works Anywhere Ballerina Flat

A personal favorite and one that actual users rate highly is Ecco’s Angel Bow Ballerina flat. Women who reviewed these lightweight shoes said they bought them because they wanted cute walking shoes for Europe they could wear both day and night. They wore them to walk extensively in Paris, Nice, Madrid and rural Spain.

This cute walking shoe for Europe works well with pants, skirts, and jeans. This cognac color is lovely, but it also comes in green, black gray and dark coral.

vivo barefoot jng jing
Vivo Barefoot jing jing  – walking shoes in Europe

Comfy Dance-Like Walking Shoes

If you’re ready to go really out of the box, barefoot running and walking have been researched extensively and been shown to naturally improve your gait and carriage, develop strength in the muscles and ligaments of your feet, legs, and hips.  If walking ancient sidewalks and streets barefoot don’t entice you, minimalist footwear is available.

Check out Vivobarefoot’s soft dance-like shoes. They also one of the best walking shoes for Europe women rave about. Wearers call them “a tetanus-free and socially acceptable way of appearing barefoot in public.”

Above is the  Vivobarefoot Jing Jing.   It comes in black taupe and in brown suede. Women love this soft ballet flat because of the elastic that hugs the heel and keeps the shoe from slipping.

Stylish and Comfortable European walking shoes
Stylish and Comfortable European walking shoes

Sneaker Walking Shoe

If you really just want a good old-fashioned sneaker then here’s a suggestion for a modern version. It’s the Biom Lite Slip-on Sneaker. ( above)

Walking shoes cobb hill - stylish walking shoes for Europe
Walking shoes cobb hill – stylish walking shoes for Europe

Perforated Sneakers – My  New Favorite Walking Shoes with Great Arch Support

I bought these Cobb Hill shoes,  and I LOVE them. I never knew shoes could be so comfy. I’ve worn them everywhere because they are just so darn cushiony and comfy. The style is sporty- chic and right on trend with the perforated suede, which also keeps my feet cool.  Highly recommend! They also come in a beautiful coral, black this pretty blue, and taupe, which is the color I have.

skechers go walk walking shoes
Skechers Go Walk – as one of the women’s best walking shoes for Europe

Classic Preppy Walking Shoe with Modern Appeal

Finally, a more traditional option is this cute and very lightweight Skechers GOwalk shoe is very popular. I own a pair of GOwalks and what I like most is that they are so light you feel like you are not even wearing shoes. I guess that is why they are also called Barefoot shoes.The preppy styling works well with a skirt, polo shirt or blouse with a sweater tied around the neck, as well as jeans and casual cotton pants. These also come in a lovely charcoal shade.

So the verdict in our fashion vs. function question is in: Your shoes won’t be statement pieces if you’re well-dressed and well-groomed. And you will feel perfectly comfortable crossing the threshold of the most chichi establishment during your travels. What have you found are the most stylish and comfortable walking shoes for Europe? I’d love to know.

Here are a few more brands that make stylish, comfortable walking shoes for travel.

Arche    |  Dansko  |  Ecco   |  Geox   |  Noat   | Mephisto

Munro  | Rockport   |   Sofft  | Softwalk   | Vivonic

*This article from guest contributor: Alice Ann Toole.

More interested in sandals? Then check out my post on comfy walking sandals.

Or, if you a creative type looking for a travel shoe that is a little more creative, check out this post on funky travel shoes. 

 

Join the Conversation

47 thoughts on “The Most Comfortable Walking Shoes for Europe

  1. I used a pair of GoWalk to travel all over China a year ago. They were comfy for the most part. I only wish they had more halfsizes and wide sizes in their line.

  2. I am going to Italy first time ever. So many fashion questions BUT i was planning on birkenstocks for walking shoes/sandals. We are going last week of August for wedding in Lake Como (4 days) and then 3 days in Venice.
    Packing lots of dresses- Lands End short breezy style
    FYI i am 47 years old aunt of the groom, my fiancée and I have never been out of country!!

    Any feedback on the BIRKS?

    1. Hi Kathleen, I’m throwing this one out to my readers. While I have heard Birkenstocks are incredibly comfortable and need no work in time, I have never worn them myself. Personally, I just don’t care for the clunky look of them. Nonetheless, they are considered an excellent walking shoe for Europe, even on cobblestone streets. What do you say ladies? Do you wear Birkenstocks when you travel and which ones would you recommend?

  3. I live in Vancouver BC & we have a very good shoe store which specializes in walking shoes, including shoes designed to accommodate orthotics. I wear prescription orthotics, & they carry several European brands which work really well for me, both in walking shoes, which are very nice looking, & very nice sandals – Finn Comfort, Mephisto, and also Semler. You can also check the shoe websites for dealers in your area. Some of them are so supportive, I don’t even need to wear my orthotics.

  4. The selection of shoes are very smart. My question is … are these sock-less shoes? If not, do you keep the colour of sock the same with shoe, ie. Mary Jane? I thinking of cooler weather travel. I don’t own a pair, but have heard Blundtones footwear are very comfortable for travel. Your thoughts?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Robin, I have not heard of Blundtones but I looked them up and they are a unisex shoe, so no so feminine looking but they get good reviews. Has anyone else tried them? As for socks, I would wear all of the shoes with sockettes so my feet wouldn’t get sweaty, but you wouldn’t be able to see the sock. In the case of a higher top lace-up runner ankle socks would be my choice.

  5. Deborah: “seems it never rains in sunny California”, except it does occasionally and I am wondering what a 74 year old women with a size 10 shoe could wear that wouldn’t make me look like I was wearing my husband’s shoes, i.e. too masculine. I went out the other day in my suede boots and that was a no no.

  6. Oh my gosh..my tribe!! Skinny, painful,flat screaming feet…these are my people! After the hill towns of Portugal and the Cinque Terra, I may be headed for foot surgery, so shoe research has become an obsession . So far, the best choices for me are New Balance 990s…the dreaded trainer look, Naot Kayla, Marilyn, numerous other styles with cork foot beds….from the elegant collection. Monro Picies Sandal with elastic straps and cork footbed. Vionic sandals.,podiatrist designed. Foot surgeon (yikes) suggested Hapad.com as source for cushioning orthotics ($20 each) to put in every closed toed pair of shoes. Arch support pads can be added as well. This winter I’ll be buying Monro Riley booties. All this just to get around town. Cobblestones…still working on that.

  7. I’m Parisian and I totally agree with Kristina,
    Avoid wearing this kind of “comfy” shoes, they will add you 10 years at least! If you’re planning to travel in Europe. Better wear a good pair of sneakers on daytime and switch for a pair of heels for the evening! If you pay attention, you’ll notice that no woman here in Europe never wear these “walking” shoes…

    1. I agree. I usually travel in the fall and winter so I wear boots, or pointy toe flats with arch support. I find the pointier toe actually gives me MORE room in the toe area, instead of the rounded little girl-look ballet flat (which shortens the look of your leg). I can’t stand those Mary Jane shoes (just my opinion) — they scream tourist ! and add about 20 years to your age. They also cut the foot making the ankle and leg look heavier.
      When going out, I pack well made foldable flats (from a shoe store, not the cheap drugstore brand) in my purse, and if I walk to restaurant or theatre, put those on and then slip on my dressy heels when I arrive.
      You definitely get treated better when you look like a local.
      Any shoe that says “goes with everything” doesn’t really look fashionable with anything. Just sayin’…

      1. Hi Victoria, I have to agree that a Mary Jane is for me, but so many of my readers love this style of shoe, and I do know they are super comfy. Sometimes comfort is more important especially if you have foot problems and are traveling. I’m going to look around and see what I can find that is new and different for travel so stay tuned in the next few weeks!

  8. I find it somewhat concerning that none of the shoes you’ve suggested for long days of walking include any real support. I’m way past the Cinderella slipper point of life where I can take risks with my footwear, having sustained a lot of metatarsal bone damage and spinal stenosis. My suggestion would be to include brands that offer legitimate support and actually fit your foot (rather than very little support in dubious sizes you have to *make* fit—Evil Stepsister shoes). So far, the only brand that does both is Munro, although Clarks is offering more and more real support, but has more limited sizing. I have also found Mephistos to work very well in certain styles but not others. Eccos can be good, but not for very long (not long days of walking, in other words) since they usually lack real support.

  9. Thanks for all the ideas in your article, and in the comments too..
    I bought some Kopitarna sandals in Croatia, they’re made in Slovenia, and the most comfortable shoes I own… the footbed is awesome and soooo comfortable. I bought the Dana slip-ons with velcro adjustable tops; great for me because I have quite narrow feet. They are called “slippers” but they are leather sandals. I also need orthotic insoles for arch support, but I don’t need them when I’m wearing these.
    They are now 6 years old and i just found today that they still make them – you can order them online here: https://www.kopitarna.com/

  10. This article got me thinking. It seems I’m the only woman left out rocking flat shoes like this at my age.

  11. I have flat feet and bunions, but a wonderful woman podiatrist introduced me to the possibilities for continuing to wear attractive shoes. I have orthotics for both flat shoes and shoes with heels. I look for shoes with non-flexing platforms and support for holding the foot in place. It’s a plus if the shoe also has a padded layer next to the foot, but I can accomplish that cushioning with a soft wool sock. I try shoes on constantly, and buy very few pairs.
    Currently, I’m wearing Gentle Souls black ankle boots with a platform and 2-inch heel (plus heel orthotic inside). I’m also wearing 3 pairs of Fly London shoes which have the same rubbery , wavy platform bottom. One pair is a suede oxford, and I wear my heel orthotics with those. Two pairs are lace-up sandals (same platform), one khaki green, one silver They don’t have arch support, but you can add a little arch pillow if you need it). All 4 pairs of shoes can be worn with pants, skirts, dresses. For walking and pants/shorts only,
    I also have a pair of Dansko sneaker-type shoes, tan with orange laces. They have Dansko arch support, etc, and I add my flat-shoe orthotic. I think similar shoes could work well for a traveler with similar foot problems to mine, since I stand and walk for work for 6 hours a day in mine several days a week.

    1. I’m just like you! I gave found a Velcro dot on the bottom of the orthotic Helios hold it I lace. I have good luck with the shoe that has an actual back on it and a strap that goes across the front of the ankle.

  12. Like one of the others commenting on this post, I have a very slim foot. I used to wear a 10AAAA but now take an 11AAA A or SS. Unfortunately, this size has been discontinued by almost every manufacturer but Munro, and the recent pairs of Munro sandals I ordered were too wide in the heel to walk in comfortably. In the past week, I have ordered 5 pairs of shoes in hopes of finding one pair to walk in on vacation in Europe, but sadly, all five have gone back. None of the shoes featured here would be comfortable for me, or even safe, since my foot actually comes up out of a shoe that is too wide, and I have tripped over the shoe on more than one occasion. I hope that if enough of us slim-footed people complain to manufacturers and make our plight known on social media and sites such as this one, manufacturers will recognize that there is indeed a market out there for slim shoes. PS, manufacturers, my motto has always been “if the shoe fits, buy it in every color,” and I bet I am not alone.

    1. I agree! I have narrow, flat feet with a very narrow heel. It’s extremely hard to find comfortable shoes. I buy multiples when I find something that fits. We need more manufacturers to realize there are many narrow feet out there to be fitted!

    2. OMG! I’m not the only one with this problem! I’m only 27, but I have struggled with this problem since I was a kid! I am a size 39, but my feet are very slim…most of the time, I have to insert insoles inside shoes, and can rarely find shoes that fit properly..especially the case with sandals…it’s so frustrating especially when you are someone who likes to keep up with the fashion trends…Recently, I’ve also developed a chronic arch pain (plantar fascitis), probably due to the poor support…To make matters worse, there are very few to no options available in my country when it comes to comfortable/customized foot wear….

  13. i’ve spent a fortune over the years buying wrong shoes, following peoples recommendations wrongly etc. i’m now 44yrs old and have finally learnt that my feet are for me to shop for and not to follow others, lol. i know my feet now and i have moulded orthotics and know i need a roomy toe box, good arch support and a decent cushioned sole not a super flat shoe. also great support over the top, not just one strap and definitely never a shoe with no over support. as much as cute little ballerina flats look nice they’re no good for my feet and if i wore them on a city exploring holiday i’d have various ailments in shins, calves, heels and hips and knees, at the very least. nowadays i put my footwear first and buy clothes that then work with them rather than the other way around. i dont care if it means i look like i’m on a hiking holiday all the time. its great to be free! good luck all. A proud Brit from South east of England. :-)

  14. I would recommend the Ahnu Crissy II shoe, they look great with shorts, capris and skirts for daytime excursions. I spent 3 days sightseeing in NYC and these shoes didn’t disappoint. My heel is narrow, these shoes have great support in the heel and I had no problems with my heel slipping.

  15. I wore Crocs Walu canvas loafers while walking extensively in Europe last year, as well as on subsequent trips, and love them! I’ve had many compliments from strangers when wearing them, especially with skinny jeans or crops.

  16. My podiatrist recommended The “Traveler” shoe by Munro. I have neuromas so I need a roomy shoe. I have an orthopedic insert which I was able put into these and they were fantastic. I get terrible water retention when I fly so having the microfiber was a life saver since it simply stretches as your feet need more space. I walked all over Paris and London and these were great!

    1. Hi Joan Thanks for that fantastic tip. I’m going to look for a pair to add to this post. Traveling is so much more fun when you don’t have to deal with aching feet! Cheers, Deborah

  17. I went to Paris, London and Hong Kong. I wanted fashionable walking shoes to wear with both skirts and trousers/shorts. I ended up with Hush Puppies Ivanka boat shoes and soft leather Hush Puppies mocassins with elastic round the back (can’t find the name). They both needed to be broken in which I did in advance, the boat shoes more than the mocassins, but once they were, they were brilliant. I wear them with or without socks (very important). The leather ones with elastic were good for flying as my feet and ankles got very swollen for the first time ever. I wore them day and night including to non-fancy restaurants and never felt out of place anywhere.

    1. Hi Alex,
      Thanks for the recommendation. I’m sure it will be very helpful to my readers. You make a really good point. Even the most comfortable walking shoes need to be broken in. That’s something a lot of women forget and they end up miderable for a couple of days with blistering heels.
      Cheers! Deborah

  18. Having a narrow foot, 3A to 4A width and 6A heel, finding any comfortable shoes is a challenge. (Before age 40, my width was 5A.) I have tried Ecco, Clarks, Born, Sketchers, Soft Spots, Soft Walks, Naturalizer, Propet, Easy Spirit, etc. So far, Munro is the only brand that really fits my narrow foot. Munro doesn’t really have a good “walking shoe”. I have a high arch, so even in my Munro’s, I need extra arch support. Does anyone have a suggestion for walking shoes for me? These articles are very helpful!! Thank you.

  19. I travelled thru France and Italy last September 2013 and wore several pairs of Joya shoes – a lace up, runner style for more heavy duty walks like Cinque Terre and a pair of leather flatties called Delia which were great for walking around cities like Paris and Rome. I was tempted to also buy a pair of sandals called Malta Fire which have the same dense, soft sole but decided against it. In hindsight, these would have been perfect for provincial towns, market days and casual wear. Next time!!

  20. I have spent the past two weeks searching for comfortable, attractive shoes for a trip to Paris. Have discovered that there is no such thing as an attractive, sturdy walking shoe. Finally decided to purchase Clark’s Wave Wheel – Wave Walk in black leather for serious daytime sight seeing and Clark’s Choir black leather Ballerina style flat for evenings. For me those two styles were the most comfortable and least offensive walking shoes.

    1. The best pair i could find for traveling in Rome for style and comfort are the Everlane Street Shoe or Street Sandal.. The street shoe is a sporty classic loafer and is all leather and even though it’s sporty it has a dressier feel an it has great support and extremely comfortable.. This is an all around great shoe and even though I personally don’t own the street sandal, they are made with the same leather and sole, but in a sandal which I have also read reviews about how comfortable they are.

  21. I do have to wear cushioned shoes, but I also like them to be pretty looking as well. I like the line Born, Clarks and several others. I do miss, because od my disease being able to wear gorgeous heels, but try to look at pretty shoes with stability and cushion. Another brand that is stylish but very well cushioned to go on a trip is Allegria. I like the ballet shoes you show

  22. I recently purchased a pair of sandals from Rockport. They are wonderful, very comfortable, and stylish! They are called: “Truewalkzero”…

  23. My pet peeve and despair of human intelligence is shoes! Having been hard to fit ALL my life because my feet are wide made me think and shake my head.. I used to always buy BOYS shoes to get wide enough for me. But dressy? Had to have SOME more dressy stuff.. and in my 40’s oh yes, I began to get a BUNION.

    I used to buy shoes too LONG for me in order to get wider fit. And STILL got a bunion going.

    Then the internet came along and I discovered that I did not need size 8 1/2 shoes but only 7 1/2 WW. Oh bliss. Oh heaven. BUT… still, too many shoes with the over-rounded toe boxes!

    Go ahead, trace your unspoiled grandchild’s foot.. it is NOT shaped like typical shoe’s toe boxes are. No, they are more duck-like! Yet from the time they grow out of toddler’s shoes, we cram our feet into rounded toes.
    And make podiatrists RICH.

    Women, revolt. We are not ancient China. We should be beyond foot deforming for “fashion”.
    Try LEMS shoes. Try a new brand, name of “Hotter”. Try Propet, Drew, Dansko can be pretty good too if only they would lose the toe spring bit. Crocs… oh yes, crocs.

    Lets’ stop the madness and creating new business for Podiatrists. I stopped my bunion in it’s tracks with proper shoes. I’m on a campaign to save the feet of my grandkids. Already, one of their fathers pitches fits at the one kid who kicks off her shoes saying OUCH.. the dad says OH stop that put them on they FIT.. NO dad they DO not.
    LOL sorry but I don’t believe we should ruin our feet and with the internet and good shoes, we do not have to!

    Try the above named brands if you have anything sore going on with your feet. You just might need W I D E not larger size!

  24. I just got back from 2 weeks in Spain and Portugal, doing a lot of city hiking, and I have finally found the ideal travel walking shoe for me, the Keen Toyah. It is a leather sneaker-type shoe, but understated and doesn’t make you look like you are headed for the gym. Mine were brown suede, but they come in different attractive colors of leather and suede. They might not be ideal in hot weather if your feet tend to get hot and sweat, but I prefer a sturdy enclosed shoe that can accommodate my custom orthotics. I wore them with my orthotics and cushioned Smartwool hiking socks. My feet felt great even when the rest of me started to drag. I have yet to find a Mary Jane or ballerina that provides the kind of support I need for the way I punish my feet on vacation, and I have tried a lot. So, I will stick with my Keens and wear pants rather then skirts.

  25. I walked all over London and Paris in my Merrell slides. They were the only shoes that worked for me.

  26. I have to say this article made me a little sad. Apparently I am the ONLY woman over 40 in the world who can’t wear flats and would really appreciate if some shoemaker, somewhere, made a stylish looking walking shoe with a good support and at least an inch heel.

    1. There are some quite nice wedge heeled walking shoes available. I don’t recommend anything that looks like a sports shoes for a European holiday, especially if you intend to eat in stylish cafes or hotels. Better to wear something with sports shoe support and a dress shoe outside

    2. I can’t wear them either. In fact all the wearing I did of flats when I was younger has created the pain I am in now. I need a solid arch and a rich amount of heel cushioning because without it I feel as if my feet were broken.

      1. Suzanne, try Naot brand shoes. I, too, need a solid arch and these are the only ones that seem to have them. Does anyone else require a shoe with an arch? If so, what brand works?