I’ll never forget the first time I went to Paris years back when I packed nothing but pretty heels to wear since all the movies and fashion bloggers made it seem like that’s all any girls ever wore in Paris! Then fast forward after a day in Paris, I couldn’t get my blistered feet fast enough into an H&M to buy a pair of flats. Why didn’t anyone mention that cobblestone is impossible to walk in heels with?
Since living in Europe, a lot of my travels involve exploring big cities and with that also means a lot of walking. However being in fashion-conscious cities like Paris, London or Rome, there’s also the problem of finding shoes that are not only comfortable, but are also stylish. Over the years, I’ve had some pretty horrible shoe experiences while travelling.
Some travel shoe don’ts:
- heels – no, just no.
- ballet flats – while they’re flat, the ones I owned offered no arch support and become really painful after a while. Unless you have great quality ones that offer arch support and padding, I would stay away
- flip flops – admittedly, I wore them almost everyday when I backpacked around Australia, but unless you’re going on a beach vacation, they can get painful walking on concrete in, and when it rains, they can be super slippery. (Although they are the ultimate must-have if you’re staying at hostels!)
- new boots – new boots can take a while to break into. The biggest mistake I had was wearing a pair (albeit they were super nice) on a day where I was intensively walking around. Later that night when I took them off, my feet were blistered and bloody!
Luckily through trial and error, I’ve also discovered some really great options for stylish, comfortable travel shoes.
Here are some of my favourites!
*all photos found on pinterest
One thing I noticed right away in Europe is that Europeans really love their sneakers. Everyone seem to wear them all the time! For many back home, the thought of sneakers can conjure up images of ratty running shoes, but a nice pair of minimal looking sneakers can look great with any outfits.
Sneakers are also still going strong as a fashion trend, so hopefully they’re here to stay. My favourite is definitely my white NIKE Air Force 1s. The AF1 has been around since 1982 so they’re definitely a classic! Others I love are the NIKE Roshe One and the Adidas Stan Smiths!
2. Chelsea boots
These are great for colder days. The thick chunky heel is great for walking in for hours without feeling any foot pain, and a pair in classic black goes with every outfit. One thing I wouldn’t recommend is a pair that has a heel higher than 3 inches though!
They’re perfect for summer and great for walking on cobblestone (no wonder Kate Middleton owns so many pairs!). I find the espadrilles version especially comfy since they feel soft to walk on.
What are your favourite shoes to wear for travelling?