About those white tennis shoes?

Old Aug 29th, 2005, 06:28 AM
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About those white tennis shoes?

I was looking to get some advice on footwear. I know that wearing "white tennis shoes" are a dead give away that you are a tourist. However, I have a pair of white Puma soccer shoes which I have seen most European young males wearing. These are my most comfortable pair of shoes and was planning on wearing while touring around France and Italy? Is this still considered travel taboo?
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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I wore my New Balance shoes in Rome and Venice and did not get arrested, deported or flogged a single time.

My seat companion on a recent flight across the pond was returning home and was so very, very proud of the big white tennis shoes she purchased in NY.

IMHO, I figure if you're going to those countries in order to impress the people, wear what you think they want you to. if you are going to see marvelous sights and have brand new experiences, wear what your feet want you to wear.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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It depends on who you ask and in some cases where you go. Paris is much more fashion concious -- but you have to keep in mind that country skirts and cowboy boots were "in" this spring in Paris, so apparently anything goes.

I'm in the camp that says comfort should come first, fashion second, so even if it did make you look like a tourist, you are one, so wear your comfy shoes and enjoy your trip!

Jules
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 06:42 AM
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My white and blue Nikes are the most comfortable shoes I have, and when traveling I wear them for 10 hours a day, walking miles and miles. Never a blister, sore heel or toe. To me, comfort comes first.

And besides, I can never figure out why people are so obsessed with not looking like a tourist. You are what you are.

Happy travels!
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 06:46 AM
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Good grief wear what you want! No one cares.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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My concern isn't so much being a tourist, I understand that no matter how much I would like to blend in, my large SLR camera will be a dead give away. I am more concerned looking respectful while in restaurants, cathedrals, etc.

Also I am looking for reassurance that I don't have to go out and buy a new pair of shoes before my trip.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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Here's your reassurance....Don't go out and buy new shoes. My family is in Italy and we travel to Europe often. Everyone wears everything now. You can't tell an American from a German until they open their mouth. I'm mistaken for a German all of the time until I speak. Take it from someone who walks all over Europe.....wear what is comfortable.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 07:27 AM
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Being disrespectful in a restaurant or a tourist site because you're wearing white tennis shoes?
You're kidding, right?
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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For men all shoes are more or less equally comfortable. However, I suppose some people will disagree with that so I'd recommend Prada Sport's range for virtually any situation.

If you want some more edgy sport's inspired footwear, then the "Dior Homme Run" line by Hedi Slimane is perfect. A wide selection of various coloursways, and a few styles, they start from 245GBP.

But you must wear what you want. You're not going to get arrested, anf forget not looking like a tourist. That's just what you are, retain the same style as you have at home!
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 07:32 AM
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Your shoes are fine. IMO sneakers were never "considered travel taboo". Puma's are in right now. People don't care what you are wearing. There is nothing disrespectful about sneakers (you might want to take something dressier if you plan on going to veryupscale restaurants). It is best to travel with shoes that are broken in not brand new. Wear the shoes. Take a second pair in another style (deck shoes, loafers, whatever).
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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There are no signs at the entrance to churches and restaurants that say "No tennis shoes!" The local even wear them. Go for comfort.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 07:46 AM
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I think the only caveat is how light you are trying to travel. Shoes weigh alot. Nothing against white tennis shoes, but I find a pair of the right gore-tex Merrells covers you for walking, walking in the rain, and will pass with a pair of khaki's at most restaurants. One pair covers it.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 07:48 AM
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"I was looking to get some advice on footwear. I know that wearing "white tennis shoes" are a dead give away that you are a tourist."

WRONG! Pure and simple. Go to any store in the suburbs of France -- go to the big markets and just see how many thousands of pairs of white athletic shoes they are selling. Do you think they're selling them to tourists?

It is true, if you're wearing them, people won't mistake your for a businessman or woman on your way to work in an office -- well, I'll take that back, because I've seen many on the metro or walking wearing white athletic shoes and presumably carrying other shoes to change into when they get to work.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 07:54 AM
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If you are going to wear Puma trainers, don't be boring. Wear ones by Jil Sander - slimmed down profiles, and monochromic colours.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 08:04 AM
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I have never worn white running shoes simply because I have never found a comfortable pair. This upsoming trip to Paris, my umpteenth, I will be challanging the shoe police for the first time.

I recently purchased a pair of New Balance and _love_ them. DH has been wearing New Balance in Paris for years, and has somehow managed to evade caputure by the Shoe Police.

I/we won't be wearing them to restaurants, but we wouldn't do that at home either.

So if I don't make it back to write a trip report, you will know that I am incarcerated in the infamous White Shoe American Tourist Prison, but my feet will soooo feel good.

Nina
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 08:21 AM
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Hi bsouthwi,
Let me tell you that no one is going to give a damn about what you wear on you feet.
Every one needs to wear something comfortable for the miles of walking associated with holidays. Just wear whats comfortable.
However as a male you should draw the line at stilletto's......lol

Muck
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 08:32 AM
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Hi, bsouthwi,

IMHO, walking in comfort is an absolute prerequisite to enjoying a European trip. However, if you are going to buy any shoes, surely buy them in Italy!

Happy Travels!
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Almost twenty years ago I was crossing the Pont Neuf in my then new Burberry trenchcoat, a pair of khakis and a new pair of white New Balance sneakers. A young woman approached from the other side. Even today I wince when I think the amusement on her face as she noticed those sneakers . . .

These days I save the sneakers for exercise and casual use around home. If I'm going to be on my feet for a day, I wear a pair of low-cut hiking shoes. My present pair is made by Ecco. They have a hiking type sole, but a conventional leather top. Not exactly elegant, but a whole lot better than sneakers (and more comfortable). Match them with a pair of smartwool socks, summer or winter, and I've been comfortable walking places from Edinburgh to Manhattan to Tikal.

For a night out, I switch to conventional loafers which are fine for ordinary walking.

Now if I could just find that French girl again . . .
 
Old Aug 29th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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I knew I was going to get clobbered for posting this one. However, I was just interested in the general consensus. I appreciate all the sarcasm and subtle humor to the responses. I wouldn't take all the comments to heart, nor do things soley on the advice of others. I do appreciate individuals stories, and travel experiences.
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Old Aug 29th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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To add from the post above. . .Thank you for all the responses!

I leave in a few weeks; I will let you know when I get back whether or not I get flogged
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