I need shoes that will let me walk the cobblestone streets of Italy. Everything I've worn in the past (Merrill, Ecco, Nike) haven't helped...the bones in my feet feel as though they are breaking after 3 steps! Help!!!
Hiking Boots are best for cobblestone.
I, too, have really bad feet. What I've found works best for me is a shoe from Easy Spirit that has a really thick athletic shoe sole. The top, however, is a slip-on style that comes in several colors, with a sling back. I get the cushioning I need with a little style. They're also pretty lightweight. As to the idea of hiking boots mentioned below- - yech! Too heavy, too hot; and, even though some may consider it a moral failing, I care about how I look.
ECCO makes a walking shoe with a thick lugged sole similar to a hiking boot but a more stylish oxford. We both wear them and have served us well over most everything in Europe.
I would suggest purchasing a gel insert for your best footwear. Or at least some sort of orthotic to assist your foot and cushion the cement you will walk on.
Something not too soft will help...too soft will just make your foot hurt. you might also get to a "Foot Solutions" style store to see what they offer to help your feet feel better.
I have not great feet, as I'm actually missing a bone in each foot. I've found Chaco sandals to be the best for me in Italy. They offer a Vibram sole, and great arch support. they are firm and supportive, yet very comfortable for walking all day. My Chacos have a strap on the ankle. I've never had a problem walking the sidewalks or streets in Italy, and have no problem walking the steeper streets in the hilltop town. I am 53 years old, so not a youngster!
Last spring I wore New Balance for 3 weeks straight on those Italian cobblestones and had no problems. I have a very high arch and a lousy back, but these shoes kept me going.
This year's women's model (gray) is #WW926GR, and they are $104. They also come in men's (gray) for the same price. If you go to www.nbwebexpress.com, you can read about them.
I'm a teacher and I wear these shoes almost all the time in the classroom as well. (This style is not the usual sneaker.)
New Balance makes narrow width in many of their styles. I have their reg tennis shoes and also their waterproof shoes (low-cut like tennis shoes)----I always wear socks; Smartwool well worth the price.
I use athletic shoes like new balance with a std orthotic insert and wear thorlo socks ($11ea)for runners.Well worth it. If white bothers you some of the atletic shoes come in black also.
I have the same problem with cobblestones and heel pain. These are two shoes that have worked great for me:
Give them a try!