If you are preparing for an upcoming trip to Europe, it’s time to start thinking about what shoes you are going to pack. Traveling around Europe requires a lot of walking so your travel wardrobe has to revolve around a comfortable pair of shoes.
Packing the right shoes are crucial to you having a good trip. Most likely, you’ll be walking more than you are used to when traveling. Particularly in Europe, there is so much to see and the best way to take it all in is on foot. So comfortable shoes are an absolute essential to get the most out of your trip. I’ve been sidelined by blisters and foot issues before and it’s a travel bummer. Don’t make the same mistake and choose your travel shoes wisely.
Footwear is truly personal and we all have different footwear needs and issues. So please take my suggestions as just that and pick shoes according to your footwear needs.
The most important consideration of course is comfort when walking. Fashion considerations should come second. Fortunately, many comfort shoe brands are upping their design game and it’s becoming easier to find shoes that combine comfort and style. Read my post on How to Pick the Best Travel Shoes to get more travel shoe tips.
Make sure that your footwear matches up to your planned travel activities and the expected weather conditions. If you’re traveling to a known rainy destination it’s worth packing a waterproof pair of shoes. Download my Europe Travel Shoe worksheet to help you plan your travel capsule footwear with weather and travel activities in mind. You’ll also get my cheat-sheet for selecting Travel Footwear.
Pack 2-3 Pairs
Shoes take up the most weight and space in your luggage so it’s important to limit how many you bring. Even though it’s a hard process, you must pare down your shoes to a maximum of three pairs, or what I call a Travelista Trio.
The idea behind the Travelista Trio is that you pack an anchor pair of comfortable shoes, a secondary “back-up” pair of comfortable shoes in a different style to get different travel looks and a third “wild card” pair if you are packing a mini-capsule. Remember to wear your bulkiest pair in transit and pack the other two.
If you don’t have need for a third pair, don’t pack them! If you can get by with two pairs, a duo, you’ll be much happier with the extra room in your suitcase which you can fill with souvenirs. I’ve shown several “micro travel capsules” to show how you can mix and match travel capsule items with just two different types of shoes.
Shoe preferences are personal and many travelers swear by flats. If you are on #teamtravelflat, look for comfort elements like cushioned soles or padded foot beds and rubber soles for a bit of traction on slick cobble stone streets. If possible, wear them with a wool no-show sock liner. This will keep you foot dry and comfortable.
Flats are popular because they can be worn many different ways. They work well with skinny jeans, skirts, dresses, boyfriend jeans and cropped pants. I’ve shown several different styles of flats because there are so many versions available these days.
The disadvantage I find with them is that they can’t be worn with socks. But that’s where your secondary pair of shoes may factor in. Or you could pair them with tights, dresses and skirts. For more ideas on how to wear flats for travel follow my Pinterest Board.
LOAFERS AND OXFORDS
Loafers and Oxfords fall in the flats category but they are such a huge trend right now they deserve their own special mention. Loafers function like flats but add a little fun retro yet modern look to your travel outfits. They look fabulous with jeans, dresses and skirts. The same goes with oxfords. Some styles of oxfords even look good with socks. Once again, look for comfortable qualities combined with fashion elements.
Sneakers are fine for European travel. “Smart” looking fashion-y sneakers have entered into the popular culture of fashion and they are fine for European travel. That’s good news for us! Look at the examples I’ve show to see what types of sneakers are good for travel and follow my Pinterest Board for even more ideas on how to wear sneakers for travel. The disadvantage with sneakers is that if your travel activities call for dressy outfits, sneakers won’t fit the bill but they will cover many travel activities.
When it comes to travel shoes, boots are a versatile option. Some styles can take you from day to night easily and cover a variety of travel activities. They can be worn with socks to keep you comfortable in cooler temperatures. They also pair well with skinny jeans, leggings, skirts and dresses. If you’re traveling in rainy weather, look for a waterproof version like the one I’ve listed in the collage. Check out my Pinterest Boards on how to wear boots and booties for travel.
Break your shoes in before your trip
You don’t have to go with a comfort footwear brand but make sure whatever shoe you’ve chosen that you’ve walked in them and tested them out. This is key, test out your shoes BEFORE leaving on your trip. Be aware that in Europe the “terrain” you’ll be walking can vary from the hilly streets of Sienna to quaint cobble stoned streets. So shoes with a good tread will keep you on firm footing at all times. Whatever you do, don’t pack heels unless absolutely necessary and avoid shoes with smooth soles. In rainy weather some streets get very slick and it’s important to have a bit of “grip” on your shoes.
Insoles can add that extra comfort factor to your shoes as well. Superfeet are widely praised and come highly recommended. If you don’t want to invest in new travel shoes adding insoles to existing shoes in your wardrobe is an option.
And lastly, blisters happen. No matter how prepared you are. Pack a blister kit, just in case, and treat blisters as soon as possible. You can prevent some blisters from forming by wearing the right socks. Cotton socks can potentially cause blisters because they do not wick away moisture. Instead choose lightweight wool socks, “coolmax” socks or any other synthetic blend socks that have wicking properties that will keep your feet dry.
Another cause of blisters is friction, so if you test out a pair of shoes and there’s any sort of uncomfortable rubbing be aware that this could potentially cause a blister. Also it’s a good idea to pack some ibuprofen/pain reliever in your mini first aid kit in case you encounter any leg aches or pains at the end of the travel day.
Do you have a favorite pair of travel shoes? Share your knowledge and let us know in the comments. Also download my Europe Travel Shoe worksheet to help you plan your travel capsule footwear. You’ll also get my top tips for selecting Travel Footwear.
Row 1: Born Tami, Rockport Cob Hill,Yosi Samra Alsina Leather Ballet Flat
Row 2: Skechers Rome Moderno Wedge Flat, Vaneli Gemma, Earthies Esen Ghillie Flat
Row 3: Ecco Bluma, Clarks Un Elita Flat, Merrell Ceylon Sport Ballet Flat
Row 4: Munro Zip Mary Jane Flat, Romika Maddy 11, SoftWalk High Point Mary Jane Flat
Row 4: Earthies Braga Loafer, Eileen Fisher Oath Platform Oxford, Naturalizer Neoma Loafer
Row 5: Nike Juvenate SE Running Shoe, Adidas Stan Smith Originals, Steve Madden Elias Slip-On Sneaker
Row 6: Sofft Selby Chelsea Bootie, Hush Puppie Cyra Catelyn Chukka Boot, Blondo Nivida Waterproof Bootie
Row 1: Bomber Jacket, Relax Fit Mid-Rise Jeans,Adidas Stan Smith Originals, Jersey Dress, Printed Sweater ,Born Tami
Row 2: Bandana Shirt Dress, Melange Top, Gray High Waist Pants, Ankle Length Cardigan
Row 3: Mock Turtleneck Sweater,Baggy Pants,Earthies Braga Loafer, Shirt Dress, Denim Jacket,Steve Madden Elias Slip-On Sneaker
Row 4: Green Lyocell Trenchcoat, Skinny Black Jeans, Blondo Nivida Waterproof Bootie, Mock Turtleneck Jersey Dress, Ribbed Sweater, Nike Juvenate SE Running Shoe