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Janet_S May 17th, 2013 03:15 PM

Comfortable shoes to wear in Italy this summer and not look like a tourist
I like my pair of Jambu Ocean -
but I am not sure if that is on ok footwear to wear during the day in Italy. They are comfortable and look nice, but I don't want to look like a tourist. Any advise will be greatly appreciated.


cybertraveler May 17th, 2013 03:32 PM

Janet, you'll probably look like a tourist no matter what you wear, so you might as well be comfortable! There is so much walking in Italy that comfort with a little style seems to be the way to go.

I wore Naot sandals throughout Italy last summer and they were fine; I didn't notice anyone staring at my feet! The best thing was that they were comfortable and not too bad looking.

A lot of the Europeans seem to wear Mephisto thong sandals. I've noticed them throughout France and Italy over the last two years. I can't wear them, but if you can you might be interested. Here's a link to some that are similar:

Waitresses especially seem to love them.
Happy travels!

samoca May 17th, 2013 03:54 PM

I was in Florence for a month in '09. It was very hot most of the time. It turns out most of the people on the streets WERE tourists, and after a while I just wore what was comfortable for hot weather. I had some Taos cork-soled sandals (like Naots). I had two pair in 2 different colors and just changed off. They were fabulous for walking all day and keeping my feet cool. I bought a second pair the following year in fact. Unfortunately, they no longer have the style I liked, so I just sent off for similar ones by Naot to try them out. Don't worry. Wear good walking sandals and you will be fine. Closed shoes were too hot for me except when it rained. You can wear bermudas or capris or skirts--you will not stand out, believe me.

MonicaRichards May 17th, 2013 04:04 PM

Your shoes look cute. You will be fine in those, like everyone said you are a tourist so no problem looking like one. In those shoes you will look like a stylish tourist, which I think is what you're going for.

nytraveler May 17th, 2013 04:41 PM

You will definitely look like a tourist -since the Italian woman typically wear dress shoes - pumps with 3" or more heel - in cities - despite the cobblestones etc. I don;t know how they do it - I would be falling down all the time - but for women from above student age until senior citizen, that is how they generally dress.

But - you're going to look like a tourist no matter what (unless you buy a whole new wardrobe in Italy) so you might as well wear something comfy as long as it's not ugly.

And I would be careful with sandals due to:

1) when it rains or has rained your feet will be filthy all day
2) there is a significant tendency to stub your toes on cobblestones and uneven steps/pavements

(I typically wear Skecher's Mary Janes in cute colors or ballet flats - both of which I can walk in forever - and save the heels for going out in the evening.)

annw May 17th, 2013 04:42 PM

I also like Naot sandals, broken in ones, for travel in Italy. I walked for four hours in Rome one afternoon in them and they felt fine. They were a bit "punk" in style and workd well. Mephisto, Ecco, and SAS are good alternatives.

tuscanlifeedit May 17th, 2013 05:05 PM

My feet always hurt, and as much as I like to blend in when traveling (and I'm insecure enough to really want to blend in) I simply have to go with what's comfortable.

It is next to impossible to look like a local, as mentioned above, and I suggest wearing the shoes that will get you through the long hot hard days of walking. Tongs/thongs would not do it for me.
Someone above mentioned bermudas: They are not always welcome in churches, convents, and some other places.

ahiddenbird May 17th, 2013 05:13 PM

If you're looking for stylish footwear that is also comfortable, Birkenstocks have been super trendy for the past few years, sort of in that "so ugly they're cute" kind of way. Specifically the Gizeh ones, which, in my opinion, are just plain cute! It seems like lots of people are wearing them with mini dresses, especially florals, or even skinny jeans and leggings (though this only works if you have fairly small feet, otherwise you'll look like you have clown feet; I wouldn't do it if your feet are any bigger than a size 8 :)). Of course they'd also work with cute shorts and a flowy top. Hippie-chic!

Get them in a nice neutral (black, white of beige are always good) and they'll go with lots of stuff!

ahiddenbird May 17th, 2013 05:18 PM

Those are the Gizeh style^^. Personally I also really like the Madrid style too, but as they only have one strap across the toes, there would probably be more friction since they'll flap around more when you walk. That's probably not great for extended walking. I have the Gizehs and they don't move around much.

Pepper_von_snoot May 17th, 2013 05:33 PM

Good Gucci, Madam, have you lost your mind?

I would rather walk around on bloody stumps than wear those hideous beaver traps on my feet.

You will frighten the people of Rome with those things.

They will think you are some raving lunatic taxidermist out to catch beavers or rats or whatever crawls out of the Tiber.

You can not wear those things in the land of Ferragamo, Prada, Testoni, and Batistoni!

My Gucci, someone get me a cereal bowl of gin before I blackout from horror!


grandmere May 17th, 2013 05:37 PM

I love the Mephisto Sydel sandal for here at home and also summer travel.

ahiddenbird May 17th, 2013 05:49 PM

Pepper: while I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment (personally I think the op's shoes look a little like tires :( ) do you have any constructive advice for those of us who can't quite afford Gucci?

Although to be fair, the OP did not specify a price range...

ahiddenbird May 17th, 2013 05:55 PM

Examples of Birks looking cute:

Yes, I'm a little obsessed with this. I've just recently been won over :)

Pepper_von_snoot May 17th, 2013 06:07 PM

I like these.


ahiddenbird May 17th, 2013 06:24 PM

They're cuuuute!

BLT83 May 17th, 2013 06:36 PM

Janet, no matter what you wear, you'll probably be recognized as a tourist, and that's okay. If you like those shoes, and most importantly, if they're comfortable, I would wear them and not worry about it too much.

That said, I'm a big fan of Birkenstocks. I can walk all day in them and my feet feel fine. I also personally happen to think that they're cute, or at least, there's something appealing in their simplicity to me. But, everyone's tastes are different.

My favorite pair is the Adria:

I have a pair of the Gizeh, <b>ahiddenbird</b>, and I like them a lot as well.

raincitygirl May 17th, 2013 07:11 PM

What Thin said.

And now I may have to order those naya-hillary sandals, they are very cute!

stevewith May 17th, 2013 10:22 PM

If you don't mind this observation:

There is a difference between looking like a tourist and looking like a tourist with a sense of style.

It is an old wives tale that women in Italy wear fancy shoes with heels all the time.

If you cannot find shoes that are comfortable and stylish on your feet, you should of course pick comfortable.

But banish the category of "looking like a tourist." If you don't want to look like a tourist because you are afraid of being robbed, learn how to secure your valuables on your person. You can be robbed if you don't look like a tourist.

tarquin May 17th, 2013 11:08 PM

So Thin, you are real and you do have good taste, in shoes at least. I hated the Jerome Dreyfuss handbags this season in Paris however.

TravelinFeet May 18th, 2013 12:16 AM

I had a pair similar to yours but in black -- in Italy black makes everything more chic lol -- which I wore days. I packed a very lightweight pair of black flat pumps with a bit of a gold something on the toe, and could go anywhere in them for night.

If your feet are small enough to wear european sizes -- heck,buy something there. Ditto for the purses -- to die for, and the fake leather purses (NOT knockoffs) are just great -- I get so many compliments on my $35 dollar purse lol. If however, you are small enough to wear Italian clothes -- beware, you could spend all your time shopping!

As I say of most countries -- learn how to say excuse me, please and thank you (and toilet) and no one cares if you're a tourist (but check your change carefully -- after a month in Morocco, the only place I got cheated and had my credit card misused was Rome!)

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