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Are waterproof shoes a good idea for the first two weeks of April in Paris?

I know it will most likely rain- but is it usually to the point that I should bring waterproof shoes? I have some waterproof leather Chelsea boots with a out sole, but they are heavy and a little clunky. Would it be a good idea to bring them anyway? I was also planning on bringing my lightweight nubuck leather booties that have a nice supportive sole, but these are not waterproof. I'm not sure that a little water would hurt them though.

Posted by
6619 posts

I wear Rockport World Tours most of the time, nubuck leather, thick supportive soles, very comfortable. Heavier than running shoes but not, seemingly, as heavy as what you're describing. Get a spray can of waterproofing and give them two or three treatments. They should do fine. Yes, it will probably rain some of the time, but you'll be on sidewalks in a big city where you can go inside if it's too bad. Don't carry more weight on your feet than you need for support and comfort.

Posted by
10331 posts

I had nubuck leather boots on a November trip to Paris. I sprayed them to make sure my feet didn't get wet. It didn't work. It poured rain on our way to dinner one night and my socks and feet were soaked. Spray may or may not help keep your feet dry.

Posted by
1103 posts

I always bring waterproof shoes when travelling to Europe. On a trip to Florence, my shoes got so wet that I could not wear them for three days.

Posted by
1825 posts

Paris has good drainage as do most Large European cities. I've experienced rain off and on during the day in April so unless you happen on unusual torrential rains, your normal comfortable shoes should do. Waterproof shoes don't tend to breathe and are less comfortable for the rest of the time that you are not walking in water. Change your socks.

Posted by
97 posts

This answer probably won't help Madelyn very much, but it may help out some of the guys.

I spent a couple of months last year searching for the perfect waterproof shoe to wear on a trip to Italy in the Fall. I ended up buying the Ecco Track 25 Low Oxford. It is the most expensive pair I have ever purchased ($250), but it is a great walking shoe and worth the price. Rick recommends a very similar Ecco style. It did not rain much on our trip to Italy, but I was wearing the shoes a few weeks ago in heavy rain where I had to do a lot of walking. Not a drop of water got inside my shoes.

Posted by
14157 posts

How far can you walk in the Chelsea boots? Are they comfortable for 5+ miles? I'd make the decision based on how comfortable they are.

Posted by
27 posts

Thank you all for your replies!

The waterproof shoes are comfortable and fairly supportive, but definitely aren't my favorite due to the heaviness. I suppose I should take them just in case so I won't be afraid of ruining my nice shoes if there is a day of heavy rain.

I will also try spraying my shoes- I forgot you could do that.

Posted by
7391 posts

I wouldn’t bring anything heavy; they will just make your feet tired. I would bring your most comfortable shoes and a spare to switch shoes.

Posted by
8164 posts

I have a pair of lightweight waterproof leather hiking shoes which I always take traveling and wore often on wet days in spring in Paris. At home if shoes get wet, I have lots of shoes, but traveling if you hit a patch of wet/cold weather it may take a couple of days for shoes to dry out. I prefer having one pair I can wear and not worry about that. April in Paris is lovely with the chestnuts in blossom everywhere; it is also showery.

Posted by
5697 posts

Thanks for the reminder -- I will plan to take my waterproof Clarks for my April trip and carry a spare pair of dry socks in my purse. Good idea to re-apply waterproofing spray!

Posted by
9766 posts

Yes Paris has good drainage, but if there's a heavy downpour, one can often find oneself marooned before deep puddles at crosswalks . . .

Posted by
68 posts

Almost 12 years ago we did our first RS tour in Scotland. Made the mistake of not having waterproof shoes. For our next trip, my husband and I ordered New Balance waterproof leather hiking boots.
Great protection and ankle support! We will be taking our 8th RS tour in April and these shoes will be on our feet. We will occasionally pack a very, very lightweight pair of shoes for the evening depending on the tour in our carry-on bag.
Enjoy your trip ....we will be on the Paris & Heart of France tour the last two weeks of April !
Tess

Posted by
43 posts

James E those aren't for use outside. They are for protecting your shoes while stripping floors. They aren't golashes.

Posted by
2764 posts

If your shoes get wet stuff them with newspaper Change it out periodically. Trust me this dries out the wettest shoes in a day or so!

Posted by
672 posts

@Carol is spot on. I learned the "stuff your shoes with newspaper" trick from my host family in Japan during the summer of 1994. If you shoes are really sopped, you might replace the newspaper after a few hours. Stuff it in the shoes very tightly. I can't remember how many times my shoes got wet, but they were always wearable the next day.

Posted by
735 posts

I am with The Other Bob, and if you do get heavy rain its a perfect excuse to stop for a coffee or glass of wine and indulge in my favourite pass time in Paris, people watching!

Posted by
347 posts

For me, the key is wearing wool socks to keep my feet comfortable if they get wet.

And, yes, if your shoes get soaked, DO fill them with crumpled newspaper and then use a hair dryer.