We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

shoes to wear

So Cal
Level Contributor
401 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
shoes to wear

If you get annoyed with questions that seem trivial...just skip this one...

I have read that when in Italy, it's good form to dress somewhat fashionably. BUT since I will be there as a tourist, spending my days walking from one wonderful sight to another, will I be terribly out of place to wear very comfortable walking shoes, even to some of the nicer restaurants? How about jeans? Are they a no-no in restaurants and churches? (Mine are comfortable Levis, not the $200 designer brand!) We have a tendency to go-go-go from sun-up to sun-down, and sometimes don't even make it back to the apartment for a clothing change before dinner. I want to be comfortable but don't want to be rude. Want to pack light, so knowing ahead of time would be nice! Any advice appreciated.

Northern Territory...
Level Contributor
70 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: shoes to wear

I'll be watching this thread, because I sound like you. I'd like to look smart but I will want to be comfortable.

U.K.
Destination Expert
for Avebury, Egypt
Level Contributor
5,841 posts
123 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: shoes to wear

You do not say what time of year so I cannot be more specific but I can say that comfortable footwear - shoes or sandals - is all-important if you are going to be on the go all day.

Jeans? - a bit on the heavy side, I would think.

Kent, England
Level Contributor
2,980 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: shoes to wear

I'd say it is essential to take comfortable walking shoes, as if you are visiting Rome you will do a lot of walking around-its the best way by far of seeing the city. Many streets in the historic centre are cobbled, and you will walk around churches with very hard floors-marble- a lot, so do bear this in mind and take comfortable shoes.

Italians like to look good, certainly, but they don't all look like something out of a fashion magazine. Jeans are worn all the time, they are everywhere these days, and will certainly not look out of place.

One thing you need to bear in mind is that shorts are frowned upon by the Church authorities, and you will very likely be refused entrance if you turn up in them.

"Smart casual" is a good phrase to describe the best way of dressing, I think. At least for sightseeing during the day.

When are you going, summer or winter?

Montreal
Level Contributor
17,790 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: shoes to wear

Shoes: Comfort and support are essential. Younger women tend to wear athletic shoes; older women may favor walking shoes. Roman women also navigate the cobbled streets in spike or - if older - "sensible" heels, but they aren't sightseeing.

Jeans: Jeans are not an ideal solution in the dead of summer, although they are worn by Roman women, who don't have to pack them. The brand doesn't matter, but fit does. Older women tend to favor pants over jeans.

Treasure Island...
Destination Expert
for Ronda
Level Contributor
11,015 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: shoes to wear

Don't worry about style, think of your feet, COMFORT is all you have to think of. Have fun

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
87,525 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: shoes to wear

The problem with jeans is that they are made from heavy fabric that takes a long time to dry when washed or after rain. Slacks made from a lighter fabric would be better.

So Cal
Level Contributor
401 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: shoes to wear

Keep it coming people, you're helping me! I should have mentioned we'll be there in October. Yep, I already thought of the bit about the jeans taking a long time to dry (with no dryer in the apartment), but at least they don't need washed as often, so there is a plus-side to go with the down-side, and I'm not sure I can go 17 days without my beloved jeans. I definitely want to wear comfortable shoes...can I walk into a nice restaurant in them? (not sloppy looking, just not at all chic!) I've lived for years in a city where you can wear just about anything to just about anything...so I just want to get it right when in Rome.

nashville
Level Contributor
5,125 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: shoes to wear

European adults wear dark sharp jeans -- often with a jacket -- but frankly these days people dress like teens everywhere in the world -- including Italy -- so you are not going to stand out if you are not well dressed

if you want to be smart, then mom jeans are not the right idea; they are also hot. on the other hand, they sure are practical. I solve this problem personally by wearing black denim jeans fit well and that look like black slacks i.e. they are not covered in grommets and jean top stitching and they are very dark black so they don't look like jeans -- but these are not practical due to heat in summer in Italy where I switch to skirts which are by far the most comfortable and yet appropriate wear for cities in the summer

for the feet the most important thing is cushioned comfort -- you have to have at least two pair of very comfortable shoes, in which you can walk long distances on hard terrain

for some people it is trainers -- but there are so many great alternatives that you can find unobtrusive comfort that doesn't scream 'giant white athletic shoe' -- merrell shops have all sorts of clogs, sandals etc etc with well cushioned soles -- I always carry sandals for wear with skirts, and shoes from merrell to wear with pants because they work for me -- but there are lots of brands out there -- just make sure you try them out and walk long distances in them at home (and throw in a pack of those gel blister bandages -- you can get them in Italy but it is nice to have a few)

there will be plenty of people in less than fashionable jeans and trainers -- but I wouldn't dress that way if I were over 25 (which I sure am) churches don't care what you wear as long as you are covered up. most restaurants that are not fine dining, don't care either

for my summer trip I will have dark slacks and fitted dark Tshirts worn with a long sleeve 'travel' blouse as jacket for sun -- and for warm days a longish skirt with fitted T -- I have a nice necklace that goes with all this and a packable sun hat and am set -- I can do the whole summer with a 22 inch roller suitcase by keeping it basic and layered -- if you have a sweater and rain jacket you are set for chillier or rainier days

Chicago
Level Contributor
396 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: shoes to wear

I've spent a lot of time in Italy (Rome, Venice, Florence - and Tuscany, Sicily and other areas). I just returned from a 10 day trip to Rome and Venice last week. I feel stronly about looking fashionable - but I feel more strongly about being comfortable when walking all day.

All over Italy, including the big cities, you will see many people wearing comfortable shoes (including gym shoes) and blue jeans,. Even the Italians wear gym shoes - and many, many people wear blue jeans. If you wear comfortable walking shoes, you will fit in with all of the other tourists.

On my trip I wore either simple black pants, or dark blue jeans, with a long sleeved top - and I ususally accessorize with scarves and a jacket. Since I have many problems with my feet (bunions and arthritis among others), I brought a pair of black New Balance gym shoes. Because they were black, they blended in a bit more than white shoes. Although I had two pair of shoes with me, I wore the New Balance shoes almost every day because they were so comfortable.

My advice - dress the way you want to so that you are comfortable. Unless you are going to a "high end" restaurant, you will be fine in jeans and gym shoes.

Best wishes for a wonderful trip!

Edited: 24 April 2010, 15:35
Ravenna, Italy
Level Contributor
9,377 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: shoes to wear

Italians wear jeans to everything. High end restaurants, low end restaurants, shopping and even wear then to the beach where they change into their swim wear. I have seen a beautiful bride leave her wedding reception wearing her Gucci Jeans (with sequins) :)

Italians wear good, fitting jeans, not Mom Jeans and not those 25 year old, bought in Sears jeans for men.

bring your jeans...unless you fall into a hole in the ground you dont have to wash them until you go home! Bring fabreez and spray them at night..does the trick!

Enjoy your holiday!