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Travel Shoes to Wear in Italy: Fashion vs. Comfort?

travel shoes to wear in italyThe travel shoe dilemma is far more challenging than the flat iron one for my trip to Northern Italy. When I was decided on what travel shoes to wear in Italy, I was determined to not have to choose fashion vs. comfort and find shoes that would be dual purposed.

I was in need of two pairs of travel shoes; one that could be worn as a day shoe while walking around any Northern Italy city to view the sights and the other for hiking the trails of Cinque Terre, but this one also had to be be fashionable for the stop-offs for breakfast and lunch in the quaint CT towns.

Let the hunt begin…

TRAVEL SHOES TO WEAR IN ITALY #1 (The Day Walking Shoe)

At the risk of sounding superficial, l am going to say that in general flat shoes make me feel unattractive. I'm a heel girl, even if it's only a couple of inches. There is something that makes me feel sexy with a little extra height. I am well aware that there are probably a dozen levels of disfunction in that statement, but it's the truth. I spent weeks searching for walking shoes that I could feel comfortable with, physically and mentally. I tried Zappos.com, Aerosoles.com, Amazon.com and 5 different malls. Did I mention that I do not like flat shoes? I read on other traveling blogs that people had much success with the brands Ecco, Clarks and Mephisto. I tried on dozens of these shoes, they were not the style I was looking for.

I ended up buying two pairs of Aerosoles:

The At Last Shootie, they have a 2 1/2" heel, that's a little high for walking all over the Italian cobbled roads but I'm a rebel. I have been breaking them in and after 4 days they are quite comfortable.
 

The Torpedo, this is my back-up shoe. It has a 2" wedge heel, it may have a bit more support than my other choice, but I think the other shoe is cuter!

 

 

TRAVEL SHOES TO WEAR IN ITALY SHOE #2 (The Pseudo-Hiking Shoe)

The next shoe to wear in Northern Italy was needed for hiking. I spent hours deciding between tennis shoe or hiking shoe…hmmmm. All the informational travel sites began to make my eyes blurry, but I did read several that said to not wear typical white tennis shoes because it makes you look like a tourist and you would be more prone to pick-pocketers. Not sure how much of this I believe, but just to be safe there will be no white tennis shoes for me!

The Hiking Shoe I Bought:
Monch Hiking Shoe by Wenger, Wenger are the same folks that make the Swiss Army Knife. I bought these shoes online without ever having tried them on, I was surprised by how cute and comfortable they were when I received them.

 

The Second & Third Runners-Up for Hiking Shoes:
The Merrell Siren Sport

 

 The Keen Ridgeline Trail Shoe

  

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3 Comments

  1. Soooo… which shoes do you recommend after returning?  I am spending a week in Cinque Terre only (ok, one night in Pisa at the end) and am not sure what to take.  Found the cute hiking shoes and thought about a pair of chaco sandals with rugged soles that might pass for dressy at night?  How dressy is the night life there? Space in luggage limited so I don't want to pack the wrong clothes. Great blog.  Glad I found it by accident. Lisa

    • How exciting that you will be going to Cinque Terre! The nightlife there was pretty casual, especially since many visitors were hikers too. I think one hiking shoe and a sandal that could be worn at night time would be perfect. Your feet will be grateful if they are comfortable! I brought a pairs of heels with me that I didn’t even take out of my suitcase. Even when we went to a nicer restaurant, there was way too much walking on cobbled streets for heels. Have a great time and let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. Luggage will probably be your best friend when you travel. Don\\\’t pick just a cheap piece of luggage. Pick a product known for quality, such as Samsonite or Wenger luggage.

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