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Les baskets -- sneakers in France

Those of you who are aficionados of French cuisine and cooking may already be familiar with David Lebovitz, an American chef, baker, blogger and cookbook author who lives in Paris, has written several cookbooks, and maintains a website with Paris restaurant and pastry shop recommendations, recipes, and a blog.

I just happened on his most recent lighthearted post on how sneakers (or les baskets) have become acceptable and indeed even fashionable in Paris and thought that many of you might find this entertaining, especially the Americans because we have been told for so long to avoid wearing sneakers in Paris!

(From my latest trip I can attest that I've seen many French people in a black-pants-and-white-sneakers outfit -- certainly more so people who appeared to be in their 20s and 30s, but sneakers were definitely widespread.)

Posted by
885 posts

Tennis shoes have been acceptable in Paris for a long time. I first went back in 2008 and stayed in the 8th arr. On the weekends all the guys and some girls were wearing tennis shoes-Converse and others.

Posted by
7109 posts

What heather said. Cute tennies have been fashionable for years. Has David only just noticed?

Posted by
2275 posts

Very true, plenty of stylish Europeans and Americans wear sneakers, so they no longer automatically read as overly casual or unfashionable. And of course people can wear whatever shoes they prefer. But not all tennis shoe styles are fashionable. Don’t expect to pick a random pair off the shelf at foot locker and look like a stylish Parisian. It’s less about brands than the shape/look and what other clothes they are worn with. If you care you will be able to see the differences. If not, at least sneakers are no longer a billboard saying you are automatically a poorly dressed tourist!

Posted by
11416 posts

On the weekends all the guys and some girls were wearing tennis
shoes-Converse and others.

I remember the same, and the Converse style in all sorts of fun colors, as they are here.

Posted by
3904 posts

Sneakers, or trainers as us Brits like to refer to them as, have been worn in France (and wider Europe) as a fashion item for years. However, consideration should be given to the style and what you're pairing them with. A pair of functional albeit expensive pair of high technology running trainers are not going to cut it.

Posted by
4062 posts

In Vienna I wear my Stan Smith’s every day to work. Everyone under 40 wears them.

Posted by
1868 posts

I agree that fashionable sneakers are definately widespread. My husband & I will be wearing our "fashionable" comfortable Ecco 7's again. We are well over 40 years old! ;)