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To Sneaker or not to Sneaker

Pretty fun article from the NYT about what shoes to wear in Europe. Evidently, the only footwear that really screams “tourist” these days is Crocs. 🤣

Do These Shoes Make me Look Like a Tourist? (gifted - no paywall)

Posted by
4154 posts

Reading the frequent articles and posts about fashion makes me glad to be the stereotypical North American white male. It has its advantages as we typically get to be oblivious to fashion and wear what we want except when our wives tell us what we want to wear. I can make my Nike hikers work for any situation in Europe....at least that's what I think unless my wife tells me otherwise.

Lol. Another "stereotypical North American white male" here. Our first trip to Europe, I was told that "no one wears shorts in Europe and even blue jeans are frowned upon so you better take long pants." My wife was adamant that I couldn't wear shorts on this trip, but I managed to sneak a pair into the suitcase when she wasn't looking.

We flew into Rome and took the commuter train into Termini, where we were met by our tour guide--an American wearing shorts! I made a quick change in the bathroom and wore those shorts the rest of the trip.

I typically bring some khaki pants and combine them with a light sweater for "dress up." Otherwise, it's shorts all day every day in the summer. My only concession is I don't bring my cammo shorts (but I miss them).

As far as shoes, I go for comfort. Usually loafers for walking, sandals for goofing off.

Posted by
833 posts

It’s always amusing to see all the effort that goes into “not looking like a tourist.” Frankly, it doesn’t take much effort to pick us out so wear what you want to wear……no one really cares!

Posted by
247 posts

Whether it is the shoes, the clothes, the hairstyle, which hand you hold the knife and fork, the temperature you like your food/drink, etc . . . . . .

I wonder,

Do Europeans or those from other continents traveling in the US wonder if their look/mannerisms "scream tourist"? Or whether they will be ridiculed or thought lesser of?

Vive la différence!

Our differences are what should make us more interesting to one another.

Be respectful of cultural norms, but be who you are.

Posted by
14580 posts

I almost always wear white sneakers in Europe, sometimes all white, no other color stripes, Nike brand, pretty basic shoes. I don't know if I "scream tourist" but with my waist belt , no doubt I have the obvious tourist written all over me, Good, then so what?

Posted by
755 posts

I have spent most of my life living in places that attract a lot of tourists, and do I care what they wear? Or what they eat? Or how they hold their fork? Or how they speak? No. And I am pretty darn sure that when I visit their country, they don’t care about any of those things either.
Wear whatever shoes you want. Nobody cares.

Posted by
319 posts

And now the kids have rediscovered Crocs and they’re cool again! Probably not yet for older people, though. Give it a few years!

Posted by
515 posts

Ha! I wear Crocs but that’s because I live in the coastal SW of England where they’re virtually a uniform. And also men of all ages wear shorts year-round here. And middle aged women wear Dry Robes.

I was thinking: I’m a frequent traveller to the US and never ever have I seen an article aimed at British or other European people telling them how to fit in in the USA and not look like a tourist. Why is that? Is there still a lingering unease in America that Europe is somehow smarter and more cultural?

Every time I go to the USA I never look anything other than a European tourist but it wouldn’t occur to me to worry about that (although once having breakfast in a diner in Rawlins, WY I noticed I was not just the only woman but the only person not wearing a cowboy hat, so I did feel a little exposed). Several times Americans have asked me if I’m Dutch - one said it was because I spoke English so precisely!

Anyway. You’ll see loads of Crocs in the UK. Possibly not in Milan or Paris. But they’re so comfy.

Posted by
3877 posts

I wear my Merrell Moab hiking boots for everything... in the States and in Europe... including the opera 😬. That might put me in the "Where's Mt Blanc?" group?

Posted by
6603 posts

I think the part that was the funniest was what sneakers the celebs wear (eyes rolling). I agree that you should wear what is comfortable, although for some reason, I've never found Crocs comfy. But then I have weird feet and need more support. I do remember angsting over shoes when I was younger and figuring out the best shoes to bring that didn't make me look like a tourist. Now I don't care. 😊

Posted by
600 posts

For travel, sneakers, all day. If I need a break from those, I might wear LL Bean Comfort Mocs, but not all day. I once made the mistake of wearing sandals in Venice and paid for it with my first, and last so far, bout of plantar fasciitis; never again. I tried a pair of crocs years ago at home; the most uncomfortable shoe I'd ever worn, so into the donation bin they went. I know no one but me cares what I wear. If someone does, they have too much time on their hands.🙄

Posted by
1946 posts

I have so many foot problems that my choice in foot wear is determined by these problems.
Among my problems is Morton's Neuroma in my left foot. I can not wear anything that ties like a sneaker. I would be "crippled" if I even attempted sneakers. I wish that I could wear sneakers.

I mostly have to wear sandals and I choose Chaco not always the best shoe to walk in but I have to make do.

I can wear loafers and moccasins. I have to be able to slip my foot in and out easily. I can not wear anything that ties tightly.

I have been seeing Sketcher's ads on TV and I might go to a shoe store and try on some of the Sketcher's.

I bought a beautiful pair of loafer's from Amazon. I bought the size that I usually wear but I can not get my foot in and I waited too long to return it so I am out a little bit of money.

Next time I go to the shoe store.

I do not care if I look like a tourist. I care about walking as comfortably as I can with my foot, leg, knee and back problems.