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Ladies only - let's talk shoes!

Okay, I MIGHT could get everything into a carry-on and a backpack if it wasn't for the shoes. But I would be miserable taking only one or two pairs of shoes to Europe for a two month trip. When you're visiting Rome, the Côte d'Azure, Paris, and London you want to dress stylishly. I don't want to look like a student backpacking through Europe with my all-purpose walking shoes and my rumpled khaki cargo pants. I have friends in Nice and Paris, and I want to go out in the evenings wearing a nice outfit with nice shoes. And I'm starting out in Rome in mid-September (hot!) and will end up in northern France in mid-November (cold!) so one or two pairs of shoes can't possibly go the distance for me.

This is what I want to take:

Black leather sneakers. They are the ones I'll wear on the plane, and also for heavy-duty walking while wearing jeans or a casual skirt. This is my basic, all-purpose pair of shoes.

For the southern/late summer portion of my trip:

Flat black sandals (Naturalizers) which are comfortable enough to wear for a moderate amount of walking. I'll wear these to the beach, and sightseeing on very warm days with shorts or a skirt.

Wedge sandals with a natural colored woven upper to wear with light little dresses that don't go with the black sandals. These are Skechers and can be worn for a moderate amount of walking like strolling around a town square in the evening. They are cute enough to wear to a nice restaurant for dinner.

Then, for the northern/autumn portion of my trip:

Stacked heel black ankle boots to wear with black leggings, or with a skirt/dress and black tights for dressy occasions.

Flat brown ankle boots to wear with blue jeans, or with a skirt/dress and brown tights for more casual occasions (Both these boots fall into the "comfortable for a moderate amount of walking" category.)

A couple of notes:

First, I will only have to carry around ALL my luggage for the first two weeks (the Rome to Paris part of the trip.) Once I get to Paris, I have a friend I can leave my large bag with, and travel from there with the fold-up duffel bag I'm bringing.

Second, my husband goes home from Paris in early October, and I can send the summer shoes and clothing home with him in the duffel bag and lighten my load for the rest of my trip.

So given these factors, who else would dare to bring that many shoes? Why or why not? Who has really gotten by in Europe for two months with one or two pair of shoes and felt both stylish and comfortable in every situation? (Ladies only!)

Posted by
631 posts

I haven’t taken a two-month trip yet (coming up on one next summer), but I think I will need 3 pr. However, it sounds like you have your space issue solved - as long as your hubby can help GET all the shoes there. :)

Posted by
244 posts

These days, I usually prefer travel for longer periods of time without a lot of moving around, so I also pack more shoes! My most recent trip of that length I had a pair of Pikolinos sandals, white canvas slip-ons, dark green mesh Vans, and flip-flops, and I'll admit to buying some knock-off Hermès slides and some Bensimon canvas shoes too! This was a more casual trip overall, though, so none of those options were especially "chic." Still, ten years ago I would have been horrified by how many shoes I was traveling with (back then it was carry on only every single time no matter what).

One thing that's great right now is how trendy athletic shoes / sneakers are, so it feels possible to be dressier but still in sneakers if they are the "right" sneakers. I think that if I wanted to really reduce my shoes, for late summer into early fall I could probably go with the mesh Vans and an ankle boot. Maybe adding nice walking sandals if it really would be hot enough. Thankfully taller boots aren't so in fashion right now. I remember studying abroad and feeling like knee-high boots were just an absolute must, and they're such a pain to travel with!

Posted by
1839 posts

And, of course, it depends on what size shoe you wear. Size 5 or 6 will take up a less space than my size 11 ;
You likely know to pack items in your shoes, too, if they do not fold exactly flat. Good place for chargers, socks, etc.
But, for two months and wanting to feel comfortable in various situations, I do not think you are overdoing it.
Extra credit if you can wiggle around clothing choices to delete one pair of boots.

Have fun.

Posted by
16766 posts

You have only one pair of shoes you consider adequate for heavy walking. Those other four pairs will only be used if you have the opportunity to return to your lodgings and change shoes for dinner, etc. That's not the way my trips play out, because I'm not going to give up sightsering time to make a trip back to my hotel.

I travel for an entire summer with just the shoes on my feet. I choose my wardrobe based on what will look OK with my comfy shoes, because I average about 7 miles a day, sometimes hitting 12 or 13. "Stylish" simply is not a goal when I'm on a long trip to Europe. I happily settle for clean, coordinated and mostly unwrinkled.

Yeah, I'm no help whatsoever.

Posted by
1735 posts

I think you are overthinking it! Of course, it would be great to take a whole wardrobe and all the shoes you need. But, if you are carrying your bags for two months (or 2 weeks) you will be happy you didn't take all those. Although, I guess with leaving a bag and sending some home with hubby that is another thing.

If it were me, I'd pack one carry on, with packing cubes, and wear one shoe and take a second pair. I wear my slip on black leather clogs (that look ok with pants) on the plane and pack one hiking/ long walking shoe. That's all I take. You could then slip in a small pair of flats to dress up for evening. My Eddie Bauer "travel pants" are great for the day, then when I add a nice top and leather shoes it transforms fine for evening. Sure, it isn't what I'd do at home, and my photos have all the same clothes over and over, but, believe me, less IS better!

Have you traveled light before? I know it seems impossible! But, it isn't. Once you take too much you will never do it again! We've done hot and cold climates on the same trip. It's all about layers, not different clothes or shoes. I'd say force yourself to get it down to three pairs. My first trip, with a backpack, I took three pairs and totally regretted it! Never have done that again!

Posted by
266 posts

I am a two pair kind of gal --- one pair for hardcore walking and one pair for dressing up. Five pairs seems like a lot. Have you thought about buying boots in Paris when you send your husband home with the sandals? Also, is there any way to stick with just one color for the boots: brown or black, but not both? Pick a dark neutral -- brown, black, or navy -- and stick with it for everything.

Posted by
850 posts

Like acraven, I'm useless.😁
I take 2 pairs, but only because my feet appreciate switching shoes every day. Both pairs can be wore all day, are dark, simple, and presentable anywhere I go in the evening.

Posted by
5817 posts

Firstly I'm not someone who has swallowed the pack light kool aid. I say pack what makes you happy with the important caveat that you will still have to carry it so be reasonable.
If you want to take a lot of stuff, check your bag, it's not a criminal offence but again you will still need to handle it away from the airport.

Personally I would ditch one of the pairs of boots, there really is no need for 2 pairs for the relatively short length of time you will be there to wear them. I'm not saying go the whole capsule wardrobe route but it shouldn't be that hard to limit your colours so that one pair of boots will do.
Ditch the wedges for a lighter type of sandal. Wedges can be really bulky and heavy. Also take sandals that will stand up to more than "moderate" walking You will be on your feet alot. Looking cute will soon go out of the window if your feet hurt.

And remember you can still buy shoes when you are there. It's a perfect opportunity for a little light shopping.

Posted by
230 posts

@ acraven

I travel for an entire summer with just the shoes on my feet. I choose
my wardrobe based on what will look OK with my comfy shoes..."Stylish"
simply is not a goal when I'm on a long trip to Europe. I happily
settle for clean, coordinated and mostly unwrinkled.

Yeah, I'm no help whatsoever.

Hey, wait, are you a guy? LOL

Posted by
3283 posts

That's far more shoes than I would bring even for that length of trip. I usually have sneakers, sandals and flats. I have small feet or I'd bring even less. Sometimes I like to bring a waterproof flip flop type thing I can wear in my room, showers if I need to or on the beach/in the water. For my upcoming trip I was delighted to find some relatively cute tevas, very lightweight that I think would work in a dressier situation, too. "Voya Water friendly sandal by Teva" I thought the burgundy looked slightly dressier.

Posted by
230 posts

@ Susan and Monte

Have you traveled light before? I know it seems impossible! But, it
isn't. Once you take too much you will never do it again!

No, I have NOT traveled light before! I've only been to Europe twice, and both times were long stays of several months each. Both times I carried a TON of luggage, but only had to get it from the airport to where I was staying, and then took just a small bag on trips from home base. Then get the ton of luggage back to the airport to go home. That was doable, but this trip is different since I'll be on the move for the first two weeks.

The last time I was there I planned ahead and took clothing I wouldn't mind leaving behind to make room for what I bought as the weather changed. The day before I left France, I gave a huge bag of clothing and leftover food items to a beggar lady I had passed sitting in the same spot every day.

Posted by
11411 posts

Sounds fine except you should take only one pair of boots - seems silly to take two of same type just different Colors- as said just adjust your wardrobe colours to go with one colour boot .

Posted by
7634 posts

My advice disclaimer: I'm a 2 pr of shoe kind of gal but the last couple of trips the 2nd pair hasn't been out of the suitcase. I also have horrible feet so my main goal is to keep them in good shape when I travel so I can get miles in!

Now...my opinion, just looking at your list, is that you are thinking in outfits. I love the capsule wardrobe system and want everything to go with everything else. I DO realize that you are wanting a nicer pair for evenings but I'd take a sandal that will work for everything instead of 2 sandals. I'd also just take 1 pair of boots. If you've got things that don't go with one of the pair of boots then maybe you should have a look at that. For myself I'd go with the flat boots because I could never wear heeled anything on cobblestones but your feet may be young and strong, lol! Will one of them be better if you run in to wet chilly weather?

My favorite capsule wardrobe website is www.theviviennefiles.com Her premise when she started her blog years ago was to build a classic French woman's wardrobe. Now she creates awesome capsule suggestion based on scarves, paintings, outdoor scenes - anything with color. Her clothing choices are often WAY too expensive and formal for my retired North Idaho lifestyle BUT I can almost always find something similar for a reasonable price. She often uses Lands End or LLBean for basics. I love her idea of having a Lands End cotton/modal Tee and cardie in the same color so you create a "twin set" - makes it a bit more dressy.

Of course, it's your trip and you make the choices. Since you posted I am guessing that you want opinions. It's fine to take what you want but it is also possible to look nice and still pack in a carry-on sized bag.

Have a wonderful trip!

(PS Have you got some layers for the end of your trip? I love the puffy vest I got at Costco last year and they have them again this year altho they are polyfill instead of down - around $15.)

Posted by
16766 posts

Nah, l'm not a guy, just someone who loves to walk. I have seen a fair number of female tourists leaning against a wall (hard to find a bench when you need one), one shoe off, rubbing a foot. I look at their shoes and think, "Are you nuts? Wouldn't you enjoy yourself a lot more if your feet didn't hurt?"

A lot depends on what sort of traveler you are. I walk everywhere; if I'm not walking, I'm standing on hard museum floors. I especially like wandering around historic areas, which often means dealing with cobblestones and other irregular surfaces. My balance isn't great, so nothing but grippy, flat soles for me.

My bag is always heavier than I would like (not because of clothes or shoes, obviously). It is both a literal and a figurative drag to move that suitcase around, and finding a place to stow it on trains is sometimes an issue.

Posted by
230 posts

@ acraven

I have seen a fair number of female tourists leaning against a wall
(hard to find a bench when you need one), one shoe off, rubbing a
foot. I look at their shoes and think, "Are you nuts? Wouldn't you
enjoy yourself a lot more if your feet didn't hurt?"

Okay, you're not a guy ;)

I want to add that ALL the shoes I want to bring are comfortable, so that isn't an issue. The sandals, sneakers, and boots are all Naturalizers or Skechers, and extremely travel-worthy. It is just the different looks I'm after

the beach look (flat sandals)
the strolling around the Riviera in a sundress and straw hat look (woven wedgie sandals)
the sporty European day-in-the-city look (black leather sneakers with black jeans)
the evening out with friends in Paris look (black boots with black skirt and tights)
the strolling around London on an autumn day look (corduroy skirt or blue jeans with slouchy brown ankle boots)

I need a Sherpa to follow me around Europe toting my bag of shoes!

Posted by
440 posts

Altra. Huge toe box, super cushioning, very lightweight. Zero drop design so be sure to put a few miles on them before committing to a long slog. We like the Paradigm in both genders for the luxurious maximum cushioning. Similar to the Hoka one one shoe but with more cushion.

Altrarunning.com

Posted by
2361 posts

acraven, I'm with you. I did start taking a second pair of shoes that's good for walking in case the first pair tore up. I was walking out the door at my house and the sole came off one of my hiking boots , so I decided its too risky to only travel with the pair on my feet. My second pair is Lands End Mary Janes.

I value easy travel over appearance, but then, in my entire life, I've never even tried on a pair of spike heels. For the record, I do have 30 or 40 pair of shoes-when I was teaching, I didn't have time for jewelry so shoes were my accessory.

But seriously, if I were more concerned about appearance on trips, I would just take one dressy pair and a pair of sandals.

Posted by
73 posts

I understand your dilemma. I too like to look stylish when traveling for certain activities. I say it depends how much and how often you will have to pull or lift your large suitcase around. If it is fair amount, pack your bag and carry it around at home and see if it is too heavy for you. That may motivate you to lighten the load of shoes. Myself, depending on weather, try to wear the heaviest pair of shoes (cushioned, water resistant, loafers) on the plane and only place the lightest weight shoes in the bag. I see the reason for your fashion choices except the 2 boots. I would pick one. Perhaps find a neutral sandal instead of your black sandals so you could also wear them with your sundresses. Although not as fashionable, it would eliminate the wedges. It also depends how much walking per day you will do. I walked many miles in Paris and swore by my black soft knit Nikes (or similar athletic shoe--very lightweight so easy to pack). I preferred these over my leather tennis shoes because they were more cushioned under foot, more lightweight ,and didn't rub my foot anywhere. However, if you are not going to walk many miles each day, your main concern would be if the bag was a hassle because of it being heavy.

Posted by
3283 posts

I'm not sure if OP is looking for advice/discussion or just wanting to share a packing list. It's fine either way for me. . . I have sent my husband home with dirty clothes and wine, never shoes. ;) I really just stick with 3 pair, and only if at least one pair takes little to know room, like lightweight flat sandals. While I think OP is bringing way too many pairs of shoes, it does sound like she has a plan.

I walk as least as much as acraven and the condition of my feet really affect my mood and outlook. I will say that acraven is lucky to have one pair of shoes so comfortable that she doesn't need to rotate some. My feet often benefit by alternating shoes just a bit, gives slightly tender spots a bit of a break.

Posted by
509 posts

I always take a nice pair of comfy ballet flats. I finally go with a lot of different things, casual or more dressy.

Posted by
230 posts

For the record, I am able to handle a lot of walking, that really isn't my concern. I don't think "sore feet" was ever a problem for me at any time when sightseeing in Europe or anywhere else. I walk or run several miles every day, so I'm in shape, and ALL my shoes are comfortable, because that is the only kind I wear (I have never worn a pair of spike heels in 50+ years!)

This is more about the wardrobe - about being stylish and wearing cute outfits for occasions ranging from a day at the beach on the Riviera to a nice dinner out in Paris on a chilly fall evening. I am willing to put up with a certain amount of inconvenience (lugging a slightly heavier bag) to pull that off. I think...

Posted by
1839 posts

LisaLu,
Sounds like you have made your decision. Have a fabulous trip!

Posted by
214 posts

Shoes are always such a dilemma for me! My feet are sometimes uncooperative, sprouting blisters from shoes that had been comfortable in the past, so I need to have alternatives to change into. I'll be in the Bordeaux/Dordogne area for two weeks at the beginning of October, and besides trying to figure out how warm/cool it might be and what layers best, I am as usual struggling with shoes. I have really comfortable Sketchers that I know are great, but they are fabric and it could rain (I have sprayed them, but I'm not sure that would really hold up). I have black sneakers I like but they are also fabric. My leather Mephisto walking shoes are fine and could be worn in the rain, but I probably shouldn't have bought them because they are a bit clunky and not that pretty. My tan Naot Mary Janes could probably be worn in the damp. And I need something for a slightly dressier look--probably black wedges that can go with black pants or a skirt or dress. But I certainly need to cut down! Maybe I should just bring the Mephistos and ignore that they look like old-lady shoes since they are pretty comfortable, with the Sketchers for non-rainy days and the black wedges for dress up. I guess it was easier when we didn't plan on not checking anything, but except when we ski, we haven't checked bags in I don't know how long! So, lisalu, will you have to check bags on the way?

Posted by
5397 posts

I am not a big shoe person (except in the sense I have to be able to switch out to give my feet a bit of a break, so could never travel with just the ones I am wearing), but you sound like you have a plan, don’t have to haul these around that much, can offload some with your husband, and are going to be away for two months. If you can handle your bag, why not take all the shoes you want.

Posted by
230 posts

@ lois

Yes, I will have to check my bag, this won’t all fit into a carry-on. I do get a free checked bag with Delta, though, and I’m good with not having to worry about stowing it on the plane (one less thing to fiddle with onboard!) I’m really only concerned with the weight of it, dragging it around for a couple of weeks until I get to Paris. Even a rolling bag has to be lifted and carried sometimes.

That is the dilemma - lifting that heavy bag and wishing I had less stuff, or leaving behind shoes I’ll wish I had and deciding it would have been worth the effort.

Posted by
214 posts

lisalu, I'm not concerned with weight, just fitting things into the carryon and tote! I am debating those Mephistos, though, tried them on again and I'm working hard to convince myself that they're not so bad. At least this trip we won't be in any big cities, and have no opera tickets, as we often do, so somewhat less pressure to dress up. Although we will be on a river cruise--a new experience for us--and have no idea how dressed up folks get for dinner. Those black wedges and black pants, and a scarf work wonders.

Posted by
575 posts

Lisalu, I love the looks you’ve put together, and how you’ll be using each pair of shoes. For two months, with a change of seasons, your plan sounds good to me. It also tells me that your trip will be much more than the sights, with more focus on the culture and lifestyle of the places; enjoying social occasions with friends and husband. And the two pairs of boots is fine with me, October and November can be quite rainy.

Plus, every trip is a dress rehearsal for the next one. We’ve all refined our packing based on previous experiences.

Posted by
94 posts

I’d do it and probably buy another pair(s) while there....so, I’ll back out of this post. 😂😂

Posted by
1447 posts

I choose to take 3 pair and one is a foldable pair of ballet flats (Tieks) that have held up for a fair amount of walking and give my feet a break. But, I’m still searching for the right balance of style and comfort., so I sympathize with your dilemma. What are the possibilities of buying one of the ankle boots later in the trip? I would suspect that is where the weight is going to be and for me, weight is the killer.

Posted by
230 posts

@ Patty (and somebody else who mentioned the same idea)

I actually think it is a good idea to maybe buy a pair of black boots later in the trip - that is the heaviest pair in the group and I won't need them the first 2-3 weeks anyway (when I'll mostly be toting around my bags.)

Alternatively, I had thought about maybe shipping my boots, coat and long sleeved shirts ahead to my friend in Paris for the same reason - won't need them until I get there, so don't need to tote them through Italy and Southern France for two weeks. Bringing them home again won't be a big deal since by then I'll have offloaded my summer clothes to make room in my bag.

I might check into that and see how much it costs...if I mail it now it should arrive by the time I get to Paris...

Posted by
230 posts

@ barbara

It also tells me that your trip will be much more than the sights,
with more focus on the culture and lifestyle of the places; enjoying
social occasions with friends and husband.

You've got it! I'm truly not a fashionista, I'm not all "Kim Does Paris" or whatever. But I am also not going to Europe just to see how many monuments I can visit in 21 days - not that I wouldn't do that, and pare it down to the practical shoes and clothes to accomplish it if that was my goal - but this trip is as much about visiting friends and socializing as it is about seeing sights along the way.

Posted by
1216 posts

if you like their styles, Mephistos are supposed to be a lot cheaper in France than they are in the USA

Posted by
1447 posts

I thought about suggesting you ship, but then I thought about how much that would cost and figured you could buy the shoes cheaper, but maybe not?

Posted by
2409 posts

This might be sacrilegious on this site, but why not just take a larger suitcase so you will have the clothes which will make you feel comfortable? A 24 or 26 inch bag should still be manageable and it would fit more shoes/clothes. Just monitor the weight, and put some heavy objects in your backpack when in transit so you can maneuver the suitcase. I've checked my bag for most years, not always, but have never had a problem with my bag not arriving. Just use some common sense when checking in, etc.. Also make sure you have about 2-3 hours between flights if making a connection so your suitcase catches the plane along with you. You just need to be able to manage the bag up curbs, steps, and such. If you know you'll have an elevator, then you have even less of a problem.

Posted by
230 posts

This might be sacrilegious on this site, but why not just take a
larger suitcase so you will have the clothes which will make you feel
comfortable?

Yes, I am taking the larger bag, the next size up from the carry-on size, and I will check it. I'm not worried about that, just the weight of it. I have pre-packed it to test it out, and it is heavy but manageable - although it could be pretty cumbersome if I have to haul it up a flight of stairs on the fly to catch a train (been there/done that!)

Oh, and no connection to worry about, we've got a direct flight.

Posted by
704 posts

I'd love for you to come back after your trip and tell us which shoes you brought and how much you wore them. Shoes always confound me - I end up bringing 2-3 in my checked bag but always wish I'd brought different shoes. I end up wearing one or two pairs because the other pair or 2 just didn't work. I have small feet so shoes don't take up much space.

Posted by
64 posts

I spent 10 days a couple months ago with 28 people on a RS trip and I was trying to think what people wore on their feet. Guess what? I didn’t notice. And no one will notice or care what you have on your feet either. 😉

Posted by
10 posts

I'm afraid I'm also a RS shoe rebel. I seem to require 4 pairs no matter what. Weekend domestic trip, four pairs. Two weeks in Europe, four pairs. I've tried to bring fewer, but then I end up shoe shopping.
I seem to need all day sturdy walking shoes/boots, an alternate pair that can be dressier, and something for after all day tromping about that lets my feet recover. The fourth pair is usually more activity focused, like light hikers for walking in woods/scrambling on castle ruins or sandals for the beach, or maybe something actually dressy. I might be fine with 3 pairs on a beach trip, I'll have to think that one through.
I don't think I've quite mastered this yet, though. I often seem to not quite have the right 4th pair.
Sometimes it should have been something else. I haven't done as many big international trips as lots of you. I'm definitely still learning! I think maybe I don't have quite the experience to judge what will make me comfortable and appropriate in every scenario yet.

Now, that said, the idea of coming home with a pair of Italian black leather boots! Dream scenario! Sign. Me. Up!

I love me a souvenir that's useful and that reminds me of my trips every time I use it. That's my justification and I'm sticking to it! 😁

Posted by
763 posts

I have not had the opportunity recently to travel for this length of time, so I usually take 2 pairs of footwear. That said, I love to buy shoes and am prone to shoe lust. A few years ago, I traveled light on the MyWay Alpine tour. I don't know how she did it, but a fellow traveler with just small luggage seemed to have a plethora of brightly colored sneakers (probably Merrells). Oh, the luxury of pulling out and matching up the shoes of the day with your outfit! I suspect she had extra pairs in her husband's luggage (no real grounds for this supposition, but how else did she do it?).

I do like taking the opportunity to shoe shop - even window shopping - while travelling. Arche in Paris, anyone? Campers? A stroll through Selfridge's shoe department (ok, it was on the way to the ladies' room!)? What fun to snag a little to brighten and refresh the travel wardrobe. I recently took the MSV tour during December - what a treat to buy some boiled wool slippers at Christmas markets - I got 2 pairs! I am returning this year, and they are on my list. Enjoy, but maybe lighten the load and open up room for a fun discovery along the way.

Posted by
645 posts

Two pairs are necessary to avoid blisters and in case one pair gets wet. I go for one pair of walking shoes with good traction and a little ankle support for hiking, and one pair of dressy walking shoes suitable for eithet jeans or a dress in town. There are many hiking shoes that look okay with jeans or khakis. But the dressy waking shoes are a challange. Zaira mary-janes are my favorite for the later. It's a compromise. They have fantastic synthetic cork soles that don't give me museum feet but they lack the traction for hiking. They don't look amiss under a skirt, but they are hardly high fashion.

If we for some other reason have to check a bag, I add either dressy flat sandals or boots depending on the season. If it's boots, I wear them, as opposed to packing them, on relocation days.

Posted by
70 posts

It can be done! I have taken four pair in a carry on and a personal item with no problem. Didn’t regret a moment of it. On this last trip I had only 3 pair and regretted not taking the fourth. To each his own, do what works for you. Shoes make me happy, you should see the cute cheetah booties I just ordered...

Posted by
3 posts

I am a shoe person too so I know how hard this is. My last trip to Europe (fall) included a 10 day cruise plus another 10 days on our own, carrying our luggage on/off the train. . I try to stay with the same color palette so I can stick with all black shoes or all brown/tan shoes. On that trip, I took black sneakers, black low heel booties, comfy but nice flats, dressy, strappy sandal heels in silver metallic and a pair of flip flops for hotel rooms and poolside.I would have liked another pair of heels for the cruise but I got by. I have been rained on in Rome in July and there is nothing worse than soggy shoes & socks so you always need at least 2 pairs of travel shoes so one can be drying if needed. On my 21 day BOE RS tour I only took my sneakers, walking sandals and flip flops. I really wish I had brought something a little dressier even if it was just a pair of flats, but again, I got by and I don't think any photos show my feet anyway. Hack: Disposable shower caps from hotels make great shoe covers!

Posted by
2089 posts

The struggle is real--I am a die-hard daily Fluevog wearer at home, love my bright, crazy shoes but only a couple of them are comfy enough for travel so I suck it up and go for comfort with an edge if possible. I swear by Ecco's leather sneaker/oxfords for an all-day comfy walking shoe--they come in many colors--try Amazon, Zappo's or Nordstrom. As for a wedge sandal, take a look at a brand called Fly London--really cute and ridiculously comfy wedge sandals and boots, again Amazon or Nordstrom.

My new favorite ankle boots are Vicar by Pikolinos, I have them in chestnut brown and black and they look great with skinny jeans--the insole is cushy, leather very soft yet sturdy. Nordstrom.

Posted by
70 posts

The shoes in Italy are beautiful. They have every kind imaginable, so why not buy another pair in Rome. Some are expensive but they have low cost options as well. I am still dreaming of the pair I saw in a window on the Italian Riviera. They were 395 euros so didn't try them on--LOL.

Speaking of shoes I wished I had brought: I hiked Cinque Terre for 6 hours in sneakers with a good sole but wish I had brought my hiking boots by hour 5. On the CT website we saw instructions that only those with closed toed walking shoes were allowed on the trails. However, we saw lots of people hiking with sandals so it is not rigidly enforced.

Posted by
230 posts

Just an update (12 days into my 8 week trip) to say that I haven’t regretting bringing four pair of shoes with plans to buy a fifth pair while I’m here. One of the pairs of shoes breaks all the”rules” because I wore them one time and one time only and don’t plan to wear them again. The wedge sandals I wore with a light little dress the day we went to Monaco and I’m glad I brought both of those because it was quite a warm day, and you want to be slightly dressed up in Monaco. They are nice looking, yet super comfortable Skechers wedge sandals, and although we walked eight miles and up lots of hills and stairs, my feet felt fine at the end of the day.

Both pair of sandals, along with the warm weather clothing, will go home with my husband in a week, then I’ll have room for the pair of black ankle boots I plan to buy to complete my Fall wardrobe.

Yes, my suitcase is heavy, but it has been worth it to me to be able to dress the way I want for each location/occasion.

Posted by
5397 posts

Aha, Lisalu, thanks for coming back to report — I was curious as to what you decided. Glad you made the choice that worked for you!