(Closed) Wearing sandals/flip flops on a tour in Italy…. vs sneakers.

posted 4 years ago in Accessories
Post # 2
2882 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Splurge on a pair of Reef sandals or Toms or OTZ shoes (the last two if you want closed-toe shoes). You’ll be fine if you travel with those bw now and October. After that you’d need your boots.



Post # 3
346 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Yes!  Lots of walking.  Which I thought was fantastic, but you do really want solid shoes.  It does depend when you go.  We went in March and it was still cool so my husband and I both wore our Timberland boots which we loooover.  Very comfy and black look nice but still are good for walking. 

I think Italy in flip flips is probably the worst idea ever.  I truly believe it will detract from your experience immensly.  You walk A LOT on various types of road and you really need good arch support.  You don’t want to miss out on something because your feet hurt. 🙁

Post # 4
355 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - The Fairmont, SF

From my experience in Europe as a whole, many cities are better designed for comfortable, supportive shoes. I was in Italy a few years back and got aches and pains from wearing tennis shoes thanks to the cobbled streets – I can only imagine how deathly I would’ve felt wearing sandals. My advice: you’re already spending money on the trip, make it enjoybale and buy some sneakers.

Post # 5
40 posts

If you have a comfortable pair of good sandals I would recommend those. Flip flops aren’t such a good idea for the different types of stones and pavements you will encounter. Not to mention, the only people wearing flip flops in Italy are the tourists! A nice pair of leather sandals would be best!

Post # 6
2261 posts
Buzzing bee

No to the flip-flops. I’ve been to Italy twice and the roads are uneven (cobblestone). Definitely need a pair of thick-soled sandals/shoes or sneakers. 

Post # 7
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

LongIslandRN:  I agree with everyone else. Absolutely purchase some trainers or other comfortable shoes for Italy! You’ll want to look comfy and chic (hobbling around in uncomfortable / unsupportive shoes is not what you want to remember about your trip… and it’s true what rimimi said about tourists being the only ones in flip flops).

I suggest a plain white pair of Converse or basic TOMS Cordones. Buon viaggio!

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Post # 8
2024 posts
Buzzing bee

LongIslandRN:  I am not sure how many actual Italians wear Superga these days, but they are originally an Italian company and I think their shoes are a good combo of silhouette and comfort (I have walked through many Italian cities in mine).  Chuck Taylors aren’t as ubiquitous as they once were (or so it seems to me), but they are also not a bad choice.

Like others, I would not do serious walking in any flip-flops (I destroyed three pairs of thong flip-flops, including a pair of Reefs, on my first trip).  I would recommend sandals with a strap that goes around the back.  I have a pair of Bass sandals that have lasted multiple summers of walking in Italian towns.

Post # 9
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 1975

LongIslandRN:  I think you should invest in a good pair of walking shoes/sneakers/boots. Having been there before, so many streets are cobblestone. There will be lots of walking done while in Italy. Not to mention crazy drivers…. You dont want your feet ran over.

Seriously, you’ll regret being there with just flip flops. I even bought 2 pairs of sneakers (I was there 3 weeks), just to switch it up so my feet didn’t get too sore from just walking in 1 pair of shoes that long. You’ll be up at the crack of dawn and you’ll be out all day (you’ll want to see everything and not miss one thing). Just a recommendation to be as comfortable as you can while overseas. 

Have fun and Good Luck!!

Post # 10
1181 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Splurge!!!!! When Fiance and went I would be walking in 1 pair and have a spare in our knapsack. My feet expire quickly so that was necessary for me, but even my Fiance splurged on better shoes (he normally wears shoes for the look ie no support). So much to see in Italy so much walking.

Post # 11
4525 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

rimimi:  this exactly! When I lived in Spain, flip-flops were advertised as “zapatos de la playa” or beach shoes. Dress in general is a little more formal. Also, if you’re touring old churches, some do not allow short shorts or strappy tank tops.

Post # 12
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I would find out what the people who live there wear on their feet.  Nothing screams tourist more than sneakers.  NOTHING.  It’s like wearing a huge sign that says, “I’m not from here, take advantage of me!!!!”

Here is what USA Today has to say:

Fashionable Footwear

As far as shoes go, you are better off waiting till you arrive in Rome to purchase footwear. Shoes are a highly seasonal commodity, with both colors and styles shifting from year to year. Particularly for summer wear, the types of shoes typically worn around Rome can be difficult to find in the states. Strappy walking sandals — for men and women — are ideal for long walks around the city in most every season but winter. Made almost exclusive from leather, just as they were in the times of the ancient Romans, these sandals typically cover more foot than not and come with a variety of heels, ranging from low and flat to high and steep. The COIN (coin.it) department store is an easy, affordable place to find shoes. In the late fall and winter, men should don pointy-toed leather shoes and women should slip the tallest, longest boots available over their skinny jeans.

Post # 13
605 posts
Busy bee

We went to Paris last year. I brought sneakers and flip flops. My feet killed at the end of the day when I’d wear the flip flops. I ended up wearing sneakers the rest of the trip even if they looked terrible. It was more important to enjoy the once in a lifetime trip than to look cute. 

Post # 14
1555 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Flip flops or sneakers are not your only choice! Please please get cute shoes and don’t contribute to the European opinion that North Americans have no fashion sense. 

Post # 15
1002 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015 - City Hall!

There is no stinkin way I’d suggest Toms. Toms have no support what so ever and if you’re going to be in sandals (which I think is fine, especially if you’re used to walking in them) then it’d be the same support level. Toms do NOT equal sneakers. At all. 


FWIW I’ve worn cute sandals (Tory Burch ones) all over NYC for multiple days in a row and was fine. There was not one issue, as I’m used to wearing them. 

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