If you’re planning a trip to Europe, chances are that you’re also planning on doing a lot of walking around beautiful city centres while taking in all of the incredible sites and sounds that European cities have to offer. The only problem with that is that a huge proportion of European cities are incredibly old and equipped with cobblestone streets that can wreak havoc on your feet and ankles if you’re not donning the proper footwear. So if you’re looking for the best shoes for walking on cobblestones, you’re definitely not alone.
If you’re coming from a place where you typically walk on well-paved, even terrain, it’s likely that you’re not prepared for the ankle workout that some cobblestone streets can subject you to. There is nothing worse than ruining a day of sightseeing with sore feet, blisters or even a twisted ankle. The good news is that if you plan ahead and bring the right footwear, you can be both comfortable and stylish while traipsing around European city centres!
So if you’re on the hunt for the best walking shoes for cobblestone streets, you’ve come to the right place. After testing out countless shoes and walking on even more cobblestone streets, we know a thing or two about the best shoes to wear in Europe and hope that we can save you from any foot-related misery on your trip!
Best Shoes for Cobblestones in Europe Comparison
What to Look For in Shoes for Cobblestones
Before I dive headfirst on all of the best shoes for walking on cobblestones and European streets, we need to discuss the criteria to look for when selecting footwear for your trip. There are a few key factors that you need to consider: comfort (obviously), durability and style.
Of course, you should always pick something that you feel comfortable in and aligns with your own personal style, it is also worthwhile to find a couple of neutral-coloured shoes that can be worn with everything, dressed up or dressed down, and blend well with the general style of the place you’re visiting.
The most key factor that needs to be considered before buying your shoes, however, is their durability. If you’re going to be touring European cities on foot, it is likely that you will be walking around for ten or more kilometres each day — this can take a toll on your shoes as well as your feet! That is why I would suggest splashing out a little bit more for a solid shoe that will withstand the beating that cobblestones will inevitably cause them. You also want to be able to keep wearing them in your daily life and not just on your trip to Europe!
I would also recommend finding a couple of pairs of shoes that have neutral colours (or colours that go with the majority of your clothing) and that can be either dressed up or dressed down. I am all for minimalist packing when travelling so the fewer shoes that you need to include in your luggage, the better.
Finding shoes that can easily transition from day to night is going to take a load off your shoulders (literally, if you’re backpacking!) and allow you to concentrate on actually planning your trip rather than worrying about what to wear and pack!
Obviously, finding shoes that generally have a darker colour is always a good idea, as well, so you don’t have to worry as much about trying to keep them looking clean and smart. And, of course, finding a shoe that is comfortable and you feel comfortable in is an absolute must!
Best Women’s Shoes for Walking on Cobblestones
Without further ado, these are some of the best women’s shoes for walking on cobblestones for Europe — appropriate for all occasions no matter what kind of trip you plan on taking!
These are going to be your everyday shoes that you will wear most days when out and about exploring. Of all the shoes that you need to make sure are ultra-durable and comfortable because you’re going to be wearing them a lot.
The Ecco Soft 7 (also available on Zappos here) are my top choice of shoe and my absolute favourite pair of shoes for walking on cobblestones and really, anywhere else. They are a smart-looking trainer that form to your foot, so they are super comfortable.
They are incredibly well-made and come in a range of colours, meaning that there is a style for everyone. They are also nice enough that you can even dress them up to go out to a (casual) dinner in the evening.
They are ultra-comfortable, require virtually no break-in period (I’ve had two pair and have never had blisters from them) and are absolutely perfect for walking for hours on cobblestone streets without coming back with sore feet.
I absolutely love Ecco shoes in general and you really can’t go wrong with a pair of Ecco Soft 7s.
If you like something that is a little bit more sporty looking while still looking chic and stylish, then the Merrell Range AC+ (also available on Zappos here) shoes are a great choice for you. They are lightweight and durable, meaning that they are some of the perfect shoes for walking on cobblestone streets, and are incredibly comfortable so you can wear them all day long.
The Merrell Range AC+ shoes are also quite breathable, meaning that you won’t be hot and uncomfortable if you’re visiting Europe in the summertime or warmer months. They also have an insole that will conform to your foot, meaning that you’re in for long-term comfort with these shoes.
If you plan to go to a few nice dinners or out to the theatre or other fancy events, it’s likely you’re going to need to take a pair of dress shoes with you. While I don’t recommend wearing thin heals while walking on cobblestone streets, there are a number of great dress shoes out there are perfect for the uneven pavement of European cities.
I’ve already made it known that I love Ecco shoes and the Ecco Anine Ballerina (also available on Zappos here) flats are no exception. Equipped with a sleek and modern look and incredible comfort, these flats are perfect for looking dressy and stylish while also no putting you at risk for a broken ankle on cobblestone streets.
They come in a range of colours and are lightweight and comfortable. They are constructed with high-quality leather and have a sturdy footbed that will conform to your foot, ensuring all-day comfort. So if you’re looking for an ideal dress shoe perfect for cobblestones, consider picking up a pair of Ecco Anine Ballerinas.
While I don’t think that most high heels are a great idea for walking on cobblestone streets, if you love a heal and want some height, I would recommend opting for a chunky heel or a wedge. That is why I love the Clarks Un Cosmo Step (also available on Zappos here) heels.
These shoes have a chunky 5.5 cm stacked heel and a lovely ankle strap to keep them secured to your foot. They have great cushioning under the foot and a rubber sole for grip, meaning that you’re unlikely to slip on slick cobblestones. They also come in a few different colours and have a classic style that will last for years to come.
So if you’re looking for a great high-heeled shoe for walking on cobblestones in Europe, consider the Clarks Un Cosmo Step.
If you’re visiting Europe in the autumn or winter months, you may want to consider bringing a pair of boots along with or rather than a pair of walking shoes. Boots are ideal for European streets and are sure to eave you looking cool and stylish.
Ankle boots are always easy to wear are can be perfect for a casual day time look along with a dressier nighttime look. If you want to find the perfect pair of ankle boots that are some of the best shoes to wear on cobblestone streets, then you really can’t go wrong with the Clarks Taylor Shine (also available on Zappos here).
Available in two colours (black and brown), these shoes are easy to slip on, made of high-quality leather, and have an incredibly durable and well-gripping sole, perfect for the cobblestone streets of Europe. They are also very comfortable and can be worn for hours without hurting your feet and can easily transition from day to night.
So if you want a great pair of ankle boots for Europe, then do consider the Clarks Taylor Shine.
If you’re looking for a durable and high-quality boot that will last for years to come, you really can’t go wrong with Frye. And if you’re looking for a boot perfect for Europe’s cobblestones, then make sure to check out the Frye Ella Moto Lace boot (also available on Zappos here).
This lace-up, motorcycle-looking boot has a cool and versatile look that is perfect for exploring a European city. They are expertly made using high-quality quality leather and are incredibly durable and built to last a number of years. They are easy to pull on with a zipped side and come in two colours — a deep coppery brown and black.
So if you’re looking for a cool pair of boots to wear during a European winter, then consider the Frye Ella Moto boots.
If you’re visiting Europe in the summertime, it is likely that you’re going to want a sandal to wear during the day and in the evenings to allow yourself to keep cool and comfortable. There are lots of great walking sandals out there, but if you want to look chic and stay comfortable, check out these options:
Birkenstocks may be my favourite brand of shoe, ever, and you really cannot go wrong with the Birkenstock Yara (also available on Zappos here) if you’re on the hunt for the ideal sandal for walking on European cobblestones.
Strappy and stylish, the Yara is perfect for cobblestones because it isn’t a slide or flip-flop type sandal and it attaches to your ankle, giving you that extra vote of security on Europe’s cobbled streets.
Birkenstocks are famous for their orthopaedic footbed, and the Yara is no different. The cork footbed will conform to your foot and offer amazing arch support to ensure that your feet stay healthy and comfortable no matter how long you’re walking around in them.
The only thing worth noting is that Birkenekstocks do take a bit to break in, so if you buy these before you trip, make sure to do it at least a couple of weeks before you’re due to leave and wear them around the house and out and about to ensure that they are comfortable and your feet are blister-free when you arrive in Europe!
All in all, if you’re looking for the perfect sandal for cobblestones in Europe, you can’t go wrong with the Birkenstock Yara!
Made of soft nubuck leather and coming in a range of cool, trendy colours, this trendy sandal is perfect for looking stylish and staying comfortable while exploring European cities. Equipped with an ultra-comfortable footbed that will form to your feet, these sandals are perfect for all-day wear and can even be transitioned into night.
So, if you’re searching for a modern-looking yet comfortable sandal to wear on Europe’s cobblestone streets, then consider the Merrell Juno Backstrap.
Best Men’s Shoes for Walking on Cobblestones
And now we move onto the best men’s shoes for walking on cobblestone streets in Europe. I left out the dress shoe section for men as it is generally easier for men to transition their walking shoes or boots into a more smart-looking dress shoe than it is for women.
As these are the shoes you are likely going to be wearing each and every day if you’re travelling in the warmer months, these are my top picks for the best walking shoes for cobblestones:
Available in a range of colours, this shoe is incredibly comfortable, durable and supportive and will ensure that your feet are cool and comfortable even after walking on uneven pavement all day long. They are also so durable that you can wear them every day for years and they will barely show wear and tear.
So if you’re on the hunt for a great everyday trainer that will stay looking great for years to come and that you can easily transition from day to night, you really can’t go wrong with the Ecco Soft 7 Runner.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different a more modern-looking than the Ecco shoe listed above, then consider picking up a pair of Merrell Gridway (also available on Zappos here) shoes. Ideal for waking on cobblestones for numerous hours, this shoe is durable and comfortable and the perfect footwear to bring on your trip to Europe.
Made from sustainable, recycled materials, these shoes are comfortable and great for the environment. They come in a range of colours and have an advanced footbed that will keep your feet healthy and happy even after hours and hours of exploring your destination.
The Merrell Gridway also come equipped with well-griping soles that will make sure you don’t slip and slide on cobblestones and are really a great option for shoes to bring to Europe.
If you’re visiting in the cooler months or just happen to be a boot kind of guy, you’re likely wondering what the best men’s boots for cobblestones are. If you’re looking for a great pair of boots for your trip to Europe, make sure to check out these suggestions:
Redwing boots are well-known to be durable, classic, and incredibly well-made which is why they are included on this list of the best shoes for walking on cobblestones. The Redwing Iron Ranger (also available on Zappos here) is a classic laced ankle boot that can easily be worn casually all day long and then dressed up for an evening at a nice restaurant or at the theatre.
These boots are shockingly durable and will likely last a decade or more with proper care, but do keep in mind that they will need a break-in period, so don’t buy them right before you leave on your trip — purchase at least a few weeks in advance to make sure you get their optimal comfort.
They come in a range of colours and have a fit that accommodates almost all foot types. So if you’re looking for the perfect, classic boot to wear in Europe, please consider the Redwing Iron Ranger.
Another classic boot perfect for walking all over the cobblestones of European city centres, the Timberland Earthkeeper (also available on Zappos here) is an excellent, trendy and stylish boot to bring with you on your trip.
Available in a couple of different colours, the Timberland Earthkeeperis unique because it cannot only easily transition from day to night, also boasts being able to transition from trail to street! So if you also want to enjoy a few hikes while in Europe but don’t want to bring a million different pairs of shoes, then these may be a great option for you.
They are made with high-quality leather and come equipped with a non-slip rubber sole, perfect for both slippery trails and slick cobblestone streets. They are comfortable and durable and sure to be the perfect addition to your European wardrobe.
And finally, if you’re visiting Europe in the summer, you’re likely going to want a pair of good sandals to wear that we’ll keep your feet cool and happy while climbing all over the cobblestone streets. These are some great options:
I made it known earlier how much I like Birkenstocks and the classic Birkenstock Arizonas (also available on Zappos here) is no exception. One of the most iconic Birkenstock sandal designs, this unisex sandal comes in a range of different colour and is sure to keep your feet comfortable and cool during a European summer.
Equipped with the Birko-floor footbed that molds to your feet, these sandals do require a brief break-in period to reach their full potential, but once you’re through that you won’t want to wear anything else ever again.
Stylish and trendy right now, you will fit right in Europe with a pair of Birkenstock Arizona sandals!
And last but certainly not least on this list of the best shoes for walking on cobblestones in Europe is the Merrell Tideriser Luna Strap (also available on Zappos here). If you’re looking for a classic sandal style that fully straps to your foot, then this is the shoe for you!
With straps made from high-quality leather and a sole made from non-slip rubber, these sandals are comfortable and durable are sure to keep your feet happy even after spending numerous hours walking around whichever European destination you’re visiting.
The Merrell Tideriser Luna Strap sandals are soft and breathable and the soles have a unique air cushion heel, meaning that they’re perfect for absorbing shocks and for walking long distances. All in all, they are a great sandal for cobblestone streets.
As you can see, there are countless fantastic shoes that are great for walking on cobblestones. So long as you know what to look for, you’re sure to find the perfect shoe that will suit your own particular style while keeping you comfortable and happy in Europe!
Are you looking for the best shoes for walking on cobblestones in Europe? Have any recommendations that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!