Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Culturally appropriate winter footware in Strasbourg (

VanaVictoria Apr 8th, 2013 02:38 PM

Culturally appropriate winter footware in Strasbourg
From October-April I'll be an English teaching assistant in Strasbourg, France. From my study abroad in Bordeaux a few summers back, I know the French are very fashion conscious. I never saw sneakers, or any sort of clunky footware. However, Strasbourg will be cold, and I plan on a Black Forest hiking trip and wintry sightseeing in Alsace. Will I be disregarded as a tourist for wearing brown clunky extra-warm LLBean snowboots? What do the Alsatians wear to have warm feet? It can't possibly be those trendy leather flats and loafers I saw in Bordeaux.

Christina Apr 8th, 2013 02:47 PM

You are kidding, you never saw sneakers in all of France? that just is very unusual, there are lots of young people and students in Bordeaux, they do wear casual clothes, I've been there.

You might want to look sharp for class, of course, if you are a TA. YOu wouldn't be wearing snowboots all day long inside anyway, I'm sure, so not sure what you are inquiring about. I'd suggest taking a pair of some other kind of shoes in a tote bag if you must go through snow every day. Or some kind of boot that is nicer and warmer than flats, there are tons of them. Just not LLBean snowboots every day.

StCirq Apr 8th, 2013 03:33 PM

Hmmmm....I've spent a fair amount of time in Bordeaux in many visits over the past 20 years and never found it to be a particularly fashion-conscious place at all - quite the opposite for the most part, and certainly not noticeable for fine footwear. Plenty of sneakers and boots and every kind of modest, practical footwear everywhere to be seen.

Even Parisians, except maybe around the Faubourg St-Honoré, don't bother much with fancy shoes or boots. I was there again last September and practically everyone who walked by the café that I inhabited daily was wearing UGGS or soft or leather boots or sneakers, and hardly any of them the slightest bit fancy. Admittedly, you don't see many Parisians wearing those hideous white boats that some Americans wear, but sneakers? They're everywhere! Look in shoe store windows!

I've also been In Strasbourg a number of times, including three times in late fall or mid-winter, and like all intelligent people everywhere, the residents were wearing comfortable, warm shoes and boots. Obviously you will need an alternative to warm boots, but no one's going to "disregard you as a tourist." They really don't give a hoot what you've got on your feet.

VanaVictoria Apr 8th, 2013 05:22 PM

Hm... perhaps I didn't think of dark sneakers as sneakers. It was also sandal season. Honestly people's footwear was the last thing on my mind. I'm glad you two have more experience and I was just over-thinking it :-) Here in the USA I'm an elementary school teacher, so I know not to wear snow boots to school!

I was more thinking about packing light and going on weekend excursions. I'm only bringing one pair of shoes to trains and hostels. It's not until the autumn--I'm just excited! I majored in French and studied German, so Strasbourg has been a dream of mine.

Thanks for your help!

Sarastro Apr 8th, 2013 06:31 PM

You should visit the Mephisto factory outlet store in Sarrebourg. There you can purchase what are arguable the most comfortable shoes in the world, made locally in Alsace, at prices much reduced over what you might pay elsewhere. These shoes are also very smart looking.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:53 AM.