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Shoes to pack for backpacking Europe

Hello, fellow travelers! This June I will be traveling to Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, and Barcelona. I plan on bringing a pair of Birkenstocks and Chacos (to double as shower/walking shoes). Would those be suffice or should I bring a pair of closed-toed shoes?

It's my first time going to Europe so your thoughts/tips are greatly appreciated!

Posted by
5678 posts

When I was in Berlin in July it got quite rainy and chilly and I wished I had some closed toe shows. It wasn't trip destroying or anything, I just had cold feet. :) For the rest of the trip I only wore my Finn Comfort sandals.


Posted by
1056 posts

I usually bring one pair of sandals and wear one pair of closed toe shoes on the plane. As mentioned, closed toe shoes are better in the rain, and are warmer on chilly days. Also, depending on the type of Birkenstocks you are wearing, you will need something with an ankle strap so the shoes don't slip on hilly hikes.

Posted by
228 posts

We have been on four trips to different parts of Europe and each time I bring a pair of Keen Newport model sandals and and a low lightweight hiking style Gor-Tex shoe. I wear the sandals the most, with or without socks.

Posted by
66 posts

I'm not sure I would bring two pairs of sandals, unless one of them was just a lightweight flip flop for shower. chacos are pretty heavy, as I recall. You should really be concerned about weight as you will be lifting, lugging, carrying everything you bring. While Birkenstocks are probably fine for most people f your trip, what if it rains? I think I would bring some sort of closed-toe shoe, even if only sneakers. Having said, do what makes you comfortable. And as mentioned make sure the shoes are super comfortable. I personally love Keen shoes. They have both sandal and sneaker-style shoes, but leather. Very comfy shoes.

Posted by
16894 posts

If you are actually carrying a back pack as your main suitcase, which may weigh 20-30 pounds, then you'll want shoes with good arch support and perhaps also ankle support for your travel days, when you may carry the bag a lot. A wheeled bag requires much less carrying, of course, primarily just on stairs.