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-   -   Opinions on wearing white tennis shoes in Italy, please (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/opinions-on-wearing-white-tennis-shoes-in-italy-please-602452/)

genoajim Mar 26th, 2006 07:15 AM

Opinions on wearing white tennis shoes in Italy, please
 
Is it considered improper (or only tourists do it) for men to wear white tennis shoes in Italy? I have heard this for other European countries and have avoided doing so. However, we will be in Italy in June when I will likely want to wear bermuda shorts and my sense is that dark shoes (black tennis shoes or brown walking shoes) look stange with shorts. I suppose Tevas or sandles is another option, but for lots of walking they are not as comfortable. Or, maybe the idea of bermuda shorts is not good. Do Italians wear shorts in the summer? I am certainly not a guy overly concerned with fashion, but this one issue has be confused. Thanks for your help.

degas Mar 26th, 2006 07:25 AM

The Italian Fashion Police (IFP) will try to arrest you if you wear white tennis shoes. But they are pretty slow and especially sluggish right after lunch. Anyone with reasonable fitness should be able to out sprint them.


Budman Mar 26th, 2006 07:32 AM

If you're not concerned with fashion, wear whatever you would like. I wore shorts in September, and saw lots of people in shorts, especially if it's warm.

As for the white tennis shoes, I hear the ones with the flashing lights on the heels are very much in fashion in Italy. :-) ((b))

HowardR Mar 26th, 2006 07:47 AM

Fear not, wear your white sneaks. Wear your shorts. You won't be thrown out of the country. People won't point their fingers at you and laugh.

Neopolitan Mar 26th, 2006 07:58 AM

There are tons of white tennis shoes (and various other "trainers" on all kinds of casually dressed people in Italy -- both among Italians (usually younger ones) and tourists.

My one suggestion is not to wear dark shoes and/or dark socks with shorts however unless you deliberately want to be mistaken as a German tourist.

tod Mar 26th, 2006 08:02 AM

Do the filthy rich really give a fig about what people think of their dress code? Right, neither should you.
If you find any difficulty having an attitude just imagine you're wealthier than a fellow called Gates and wear them thar shooooz!

Woody Mar 26th, 2006 08:05 AM

Got back yesterday from Rome and Paris.

Just be aware that white tennis shoes make it easier for pickpockets to spot the tourists.

Woody

degas Mar 26th, 2006 08:07 AM

FYI / Action:

http://www.bermuda-online.org/shorts.htm

2Italy Mar 26th, 2006 09:02 AM

Wear what your comfortable with. Just show respect(covered knees and shoulders for women) when entering the Vatican and other churches.
I have yet to see any Italian fashion house or police run up to and award anyone who is well dressed or poorly dressed.
We wear New Balance shoes and we also wear sandals. The running shoes aren't white, they're a light gray.
Wear what is comfortable for walking in because you will be walking a lot.

suze Mar 26th, 2006 09:06 AM

Here's my story in answer to whenever this question is asked...

Visiting friends in Switzerland, getting ready to go shopping at the Saturday farmers market, I pull on my capris and white Nike sneakers. What does my local host pop out in? you guessed it, khaki shorts and big white sneakers herself.

cherylforeurope Mar 26th, 2006 09:39 AM

I'd like to know if people object to the "white" tennis shoes or the "tennis" shoes? As an older person (well, according to my kids) who has flat feet and needs support (my mother
now wearing shoe brace due to the same problem)...I have decided my sneakers are going with me to Italy on our next trip. (summer also) There is no way I can walk/hike all over Italy (including the Amalfi Coast/Capri) in sandals. I will however, have dress shoes for dinner/evening. Not only that, my husband has had skin cancer (and my mother, too) so you will probably see both of us in hats (at least on the coast)...though hopefully mine will be fashionable! ;) I have decided I need to wear what enables me to travel "well". What good is it to wear "fashionable" if you end up with blisters or aching feet or legs.

So to the OP I say wear what is comfortable...my husband will wear shorts too as he considers anything over 70 to be hot! :D Have fun!

nevermind Mar 26th, 2006 09:47 AM

Because of serious knee problems, I wear New Balance (white or grey) just about everywhere, including with dresses. I've been on three continents in such garb, and have not yet been arrested!!

Polly_Magoo Mar 26th, 2006 10:13 AM

As Fodor's leading travel fashion expert, I can't possibly give you any advice unless I see you, your shorts, and your white trainers together. Can you post a photo?

Never, ever, darling, take fashion advice from Patrick. He is from South Florida, where people dress for hurricanes and swap meets.

Daughter of Dior.

walkinaround Mar 26th, 2006 10:18 AM

every nationality has its dressing quirks. for americans, it tends to be (among other things), the white tennis shoe.

american europhiles on this board cringe at the idea of an american going to europe actually looking like an american. therefore, the white tennis shoe has become the "ultimate sin" on this board.

rest assured that here in europe, people really don't care and we see the dressing quirks of all nationalities. as they go, the white tennis shoe attracts no more curiosity than any other.

for what it's worth, no other nationality has so much problem with self image. russians don't mind looking like russians when they travel, poles have no problem, brits don't try to obscure their nationality by dressing differently abroad, etc, etc.

suze Mar 26th, 2006 10:24 AM

As Neopolitan has already mentioned, it's the color of your socks that will give you away. You'll be hard pressed to out do the German tourists!!

Underhill Mar 26th, 2006 10:29 AM

Wearing shorts will keep you out of most churches.

hopscotch Mar 26th, 2006 10:30 AM


Hey, marshmellow shoes are OK for Rick Steves so you can do it too.

GSteed Mar 26th, 2006 10:40 AM

Do you mean 'trainers'? Do you mean 'running or jogging' shoes'? Will they be solid white? Can you use them to actually play tennis? Perhaps they may be an inexpensive leisure use shoe. Be assured, your hosts will notice nothing! You can wear mismatched shoes and no one will comment. The only thing you shouldn't do is appear barefoot. Next, remember that Europeans always exchange outside footwear at the door and put on slippers! You will be considered cultured if you carry a pair of slippers for those occasions.

nancicita Mar 26th, 2006 11:34 AM

I was wondering, if wearing white tennis shoes makes Americans stick out in European countries, then what do the local people (for example, in France or Italy) wear everyday?

I will be studying abroad in Provence this summer and I don't want to look like a tourist or stick out like a sore thumb.

mari5 Mar 26th, 2006 12:00 PM

We usually travel to Europe in Mar, April, .and Oct, NOv...so I always try to find black, or darkish running shoes (because I always wear black slacks.)My husband does the same , although we sometimes have "fun" with his occasional white socks he sneaks in! (:<) Traveling in June throughout summer I would imagine there will be loads of tourists AND locals with white athletic shoes. The weather is warmer and I suppose you will see lots of shorts also. You would look fine with longer kakies in June, and it seems most Italian men wear long pants.
Woody was "kinda" correct with his statement about white tennis shoes making it easier for pickpockets to spot the tourists.


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