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Shoes or Sandals...

Should I bring a pair of closed toe shoes, or can I get by with just sandals in Italy at the end of May?

I would rather wear sandals over shoes anyday -just wondering if it would be too cold or rainy??

Also, any requests for "cute" walking shoes - I'm in my 20's and it seems like all the walking shoes are made for older people.

Posted by
84 posts

I prefer sandals, and in most of Italy you'll be fine. I've been in Southern Germany during the same time of year when a cold, rainy front blows in and I was glad for closed toed shoes. In years past, I've brought a pair of Ecco's and a pair of Sandals. This year, I may bring my Tevas and a GREAT pair of Clark's sandals I found.

Clarks and Keen both have cuter walking shoes that don't look too orthopedic!

Posted by
73 posts

I am a lot older but am one of those people who prefers sandals any day. We went to Italy in May some years ago and I regretted not taking sandals. Last summer I wore a pair of shoes and carried a pair of sandals. In Italy I almost exclusively wore sandals and in Vienna and Brussels where it was colder I wore shoes. I actually took a pair of Nike shoes. Most of the time we were in casual places. You can wear keds in a cute color, walking shoes doesn't mean you have to wear cloggy ones nor do they have to be formal.

Posted by
3 posts

I'm going in April/May and am bringing both. It is hard to find women's shoes that are both attractive and you can walk in them, much less hike (like in the Cique Terre between villages.) The closest I've found are the Keen Boston (not cute but ok), a closed-toe shoe that can pass for business/casual with nice pants and don't look way too dorky with jeans or hiking pants. I took them hiking on local easy trails the other day and they did great. Good luck. Men have lots of options for crossover shoes like this, but for some reason, women don't.

Posted by
151 posts

Clarks are definitely the way to go. I just bought a pair of sandals from their more youthful and sporty Privo collection for our trip in June. From my experience a few years ago it is also nice to have close-toed shoes for those days your feet need a break.

Posted by
1 posts

I just got a pair of Merrell maryjane type walking shoes at Nordstrom and I think they are very comfortable but also very cute. (I am in my 20's too). Nordstrom had some other cute comfy shoes too.

Posted by
9 posts

Sandals are more Italian in style. Once warm weather arrives you will want to wear them. Having said that, I would take shoes if you plan to do the following: hike (especially Vesuvio...you'd never believe the kinds of shoes people wear there, and it's a very sandy path), climb pathways in the Cinque Terre, visit Pompeii or Ercolano, stand in line for the Vatican Museum in high season, or stick with your plans even if it happens to be raining. Soaking wet sandals are not fun. I'm with you on the walking shoes, and good walking sandals are an excellent alternative for almost every non-dusty, non-rainy expedition. Italy's weather varies widely by region, even in late May (the mountains can still be cold, Vesuvio will be hot and probably gnat-plagued), so you will need to plan your shoes after you finalize your itinerary.

Posted by
5 posts

I have found SoftSpots to be great- you can get a great pair from Shoesonline.com. I am taking a pair of them ot Italy next week-

Posted by
1512 posts

It depends on where you're going. I was in Italy late April/early May. We had snow in the Dolomites, some rain, but it was in the 80s in Rome already. It can rain just about any time, so consider a backup pair of shoes if you do take sandals. If you're doing city stuff, remember that there are cobblestones and hard pavement - you may want to look hip, but if you also want to walk the next day, you may consider some level of comfort. I hiked the Cinque Terre trail (7+ miles) in a pair of Mary Jane style Keen shoes (cute, but solid) and never felt better at the end of the trail (even better than hiking boots!). I also took Keen Bronx loafers. If you're wanting sandals that are more sturdy, try Chaco brand - heavier sole will keep you sturdy for lots of walking.

Posted by
104 posts

While I like the sandals I found my feet got very dirty on the cobblestones and tiny debris like rocks plagued me in certain places.

I went with Keen which the toe is closed (on this style) and has openings all over the shoe and heel.

These are waterproof so that was not an issue.

Best thing is to put them on everyones foot is different I had a pair of shoes I wore daily for walking give me a terrible blister just never know.

Safe Travels

Posted by
423 posts

I have just returned from a 2 week trip covering Rome/Florence/Venice/Como (April 29-May12). Rome was hot and I wished I had a pair of comfortable sandals (I had flip flops that didn't work for long distance walking). Florence was nearly 4 days of rain and I was happy to have my light weight Ecco walking shoes with closed toes. Venice and Como were hot.

My next trip - I will wear my walking shoes, pack a pair of sandals and leave my mary janes at home (I only wore them for a few hours twice when I dressed a few times for dinner).

Posted by
223 posts

Hi Karli,

I'm 38 - so probably in the "older" category. However, I hate crocs, eccos, and most of the other "walking shoes" that people list. They probably are very comfortable - I just don't find them cute or stylish.

I did find a cute ballerina style shoe (closed toe) made by Easy Spirit at Shoe Trader. http://www.shoetrader.com/pagebuilder/Item?item=48420&CATEGORY=

I also bought a Life Stride sandal that looks cute, but comfortable as well. http://www.shoetrader.com/pagebuilder/Item?item=47897&CATEGORY=

I haven't received either pair yet so I can't attest to their comfort. I'm waiting to receive them, try them on and then break them in before I leave at the beginning of July.

Good luck

Posted by
34 posts

I have Dansko "Lolita" sandals that I wore for practically 3 weeks in France last year. Love them. I also bring a pair that are more like sneakers. Land's End has these water shoes that are very lightweight and are made to dry super quickly. I got a pair in black and so far they are super comfy and don't scream sneaker...