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Packing for France

I’ve gone on 4 RS tours and always taken about 16 lbs with lightweight layers and functional neutral clothing, wear one pair ahnu waterproof walking shoes. Planning on Paris & France in September but I’m reading that Paris is much more formal and it’s rude if you wear walking shoes or “camping clothes” to dinner. What’s the right thing to do?

Posted by
7007 posts

If your clothing is neutral, even if outdoorsy, nobody will care.
Walking shoes are a rare sight here indeed, so perhaps pack some light canvas sneakers if you worry about feeling self-conscious? In most establishments, nobody would notice your walking shoes, but a slight fancier restaurant might.

Posted by
8173 posts

Wear the shoes you are comfortable. Plenty of 'walking shoes' are perfectly acceptable for the city -- they don't have to be hiking boots. The key for me is well cushioned -- I take merrell breezes which are super comfortable and sort of neutral and lightweight waterproof hiking shoes. I wear those in Paris when it rains but mostly the merrells.

Camping clothes if you mean cargo shorts etc are sort of gross in the city BUT no one is going to make a fuss -- Jeans on the other hand are worn by most people in Paris who are not in tights or yoga pants. The days of old ladies in well kept knit suits and women in lovely dresses are long gone. Everyone is in jeans in cooler weather -- (I have actually counted on the metro platform and the majority of passengers of all ages and genders were in jeans). Sneakers tend to be dark -- my husband usually buys a pair in Paris each year because he finds a good selection. There was a fad for those silly looking white boats for awhile but last time we were there most people were in dark sneakers. In warm weather skirts, lightweight slacks etc.

neutral, layers with perhaps a dressier top and a couple of scarfs. My husband takes a black blazer which he pairs with dark jeans or slacks for more formal occasions; I have basic black slacks and tops and a fancy jacket I can throw on with scarf or necklace when going out to dinner. The same basic rules apply - neutrals, layers and stuff that mixes and matches and always a warm layer even for a chilly summer night.

Posted by
14174 posts

You will be a tourist and no one will care what you've got on. It is true I don't eat at fancy or high end restaurants but I go everywhere in my Altra LonePeak low cut shoes. I need to keep my feet in good shape and these are the only shoes that work. I generally wear jeans or if it's warm, travel pants or capris. Your Ahnu's will be fine if that is what works for your feet as will your layers you've taken on RS tours.

Headed to Paris in a bit more than 3 weeks with my usual Lone Peak shoes, jeans, Lands end tee shirts and Cabelas black waterproof jacket. Same clothes I took last Sept/Oct for a month in France...and in October 2019 for a month in France and...well, you get the drift, lol!!