The Best Shoes for Italy Travel


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While planning your perfect itinerary and figuring out which incredible and historic places to visit might seem like one of the most important aspects of planning a trip to Italy, there are numerous different aspects that need to be considered before you take off to this amazing Southern European country. Known for being incredibly fashionable and well-dressed, especially in cities like Milan or Florence or Rome, finding the right clothes to wear and the best shoes for Italy is paramount if you want to make sure that your feet are happy and you don’t stand out like a sore thumb while travelling through Italy.

There is no doubt that Italy is a well-dressed nation, however, if you want to ensure your comfort as you inevitably walk for several kilometres each day without sacrificing style or calling attention to yourself as an underdressed tourist, it is not too difficult to do this. There is so much footwear available these days that are well-made, durable and comfortable enough to wear for hours of walking without being ugly or unstylish. So if you’re on the hunt for the best walking shoes for Italy and are wondering which styles to look for, then you’ve come to the right place!

Best Shoes for Italy Comparison

ShoesDescriptionPrices
Ecco Soft 7
BEST WALKING SHOES FOR ITALY FOR WOMEN
Type: Sneaker
Sex: Female
Material: Leather
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Clarks Emslie
BEST BOOTS FOR ITALY FOR WOMEN
Type: Ankle Boot
Sex: Female
Material: Leather
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Ecco Shape Pointy Toe
BEST FLATS FOR ITALY FOR WOMEN
Type: Ballet Flat
Sex: Female
Material: Nubuck Leather
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Ecco Byway Tred
BEST WALKING SHOES FOR ITALY FOR MEN
Type: Sneaker
Sex: Male
Material: Leather
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Timberland Earthkeeper
BEST BOOTS FOR ITALY FOR MEN
Type: Boots
Sex: Male
Material: Leather
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Birkenstock Yara
BEST SANDALS FOR ITALY FOR WOMEN
Type: Sandal
Sex: Female
Material: Leather
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Birkenstock Milano
BEST SANDALS FOR ITALY FOR MEN
Type: Sandal
Sex: Unisex
Material: Leather
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What to Look For In Italy Travel Shoes

Before I start talking about the best shoes to wear in Italy, we need to talk about which aspects to look for, especially across all seasons. Depending on where you plan to travel in Italy, your footwear needs are likely going to vary. No matter where and when you visit Italy, however, you’re going to need to make sure that your shoes are comfortable enough to walk long distances and stylish enough to blend in with the well-dressed locals.

If you’re curious about what to look for, I would always say that simple is better. For instance, plan to go for a classic design in black or brown. If you can find a shoe that can pair with any sort of outfit, can be dressed up or down, and will last you for years to come and well past when you’ve returned from your unforgettable Italy trip, then you’re on the right track.

You also are going to want to make sure that the shoe is durable and well-made and has good support for your feet. As I’m sure you’re aware, the best way to explore most of Italy is on foot and you will likely be walking quite a bit while you’re wandering through the backstreets of Venice or Bologna. If you want to make sure that your trip is as enjoyable as it possibly can be, then you are absolutely going to want to make sure your shoes are comfortable.

Durability is another key component to finding the best shoes for Italy, especially when you factor in just how much you will likely be walking and how many uneven, cobbled streets you will be contending with. Make sure that you keep an eye out for a solid shoe that can withstand more than usual wear and tear because you’re going to need it.

Depending on the season that you’re travelling in, you may want to bring either boots or sandals. For women travelling to Italy in between the months of October through April, a nice pair of boots might be a good option. Weather can be more chilly and ankle boots especially are very versatile and can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the situation. If you’re visiting in the warmer months of the year, you may want to look into bringing a pair of sturdy walking sandals so that you can look stylish while staying cool in the high heat that some areas of the country experiences.

One more thing that I cannot stress enough is to please avoid wearing athletic shoes when visiting Italian cities. This is a sure-fire way to label yourself as a tourist and therefore as a target to scammers and pickpockets. Looking like a local in Italy isn’t just a vanity thing, it is an essential element to avoid any petty theft which, unfortunately, can be common in some major cities. Italians will only wear athletic shoes when they are doing athletic activities so if you want to blend in as much as possible, save the running shoes for when you actually plan on running.

All of this advice considered, it really is important that you just find a shoe that you find comfortable and that is durable enough to withstand a fair amount of wear and tear. Just because Italians are well dressed and fashionable doesn’t mean that you have to spend your life savings on a pair of shoes that you’re only going to wear on this one trip in order to fit in. If you follow the advice in this article, you will find a number of shoes that are classic in style and will hopefully last you for many years (and trips to Italy) to come!

Venice Grand Canal
You’ll need comfortable shoes to explore the backstreets of Venice

The Best Shoes for Italy

Without further ado, these are what I believe are the best shoes for Italy. They follow all of the above criteria I mentioned including comfort, durability and classic styling to ensure that you look just as snazzy and well-dressed as all of those fashionable locals.

The Best Walking Shoes for Italy for Women

This is going to be the best daily shoe no matter which season you’re visiting Italy. I’ve included a number of shoes of different styles to suit any personality all with reliable brands that I, personally, use and swear by.

Ecco Soft 7

This is not only my favourite walking shoe for Italy but my favourite all-around travel shoe full stop. In fact, I am currently wearing my pair of Ecco Soft 7s (also available on Zappos here or direct from Ecco here) while writing this article in a café in Tbilisi, Georgia and they have followed me all over the world for more than a year and have held up to nearly daily wear excellently.

The Ecco Soft 7 shoes is a very stylish and very comfortable sneaker-style shoe that is excellent for walking all day through an Italian city. The support and comfort of the shoe will keep your feet from aching and you will be able to walk for kilometres on end without your feet hurting at all.

They also come in a range of different colours and materials meaning that there is an option for pretty much every personality with this shoe. All in all, the Ecco Soft 7 is arguably the best walking shoe for Italy as it is durable, comfortable and stylish and can be dressed up or down depending on the situation.

Clarks Emslie Noreen Ankle Boot

If you’re travelling in the cooler months and are looking for a comfortable and simple yet stylish boot that can be dressed up or down, then you cannot go wrong with the Clarks Emslie Noreen Ankle Boot.

Clarks is a great brand for all kinds of shoes, and these ankle boots are no exception. They are durably made and will withstand a number of years worth of frequent wear and tear before they show any of it. They are also very comfortable and supportive so you can keep them on your feet all day and all night without feeling achy by the time you get home.

The Emslie Noreen Ankle Boots comes in two colours (black and dark brown) and has a classic style that can pair with just about any outfit, making it an incredibly versatile item to include on your packing list. The 5.5 cm heel adds a bit of formality to the style, meaning that these ankle boots can seamlessly transition from day to night and can dress up any outfit.

So if you’re looking for a classic and versatile ankle boot that is a strong contender for the best shoes for walking in Italy, you absolutely cannot go wrong with the Clarks Emslie Noreen Ankle Boot.

Ecco Shape Pointy Toe Ballet Flat

If you want a dressier shoe and you’re travelling outside of the winter months, then the Ecco Shape Pointy Toe Ballet Flat (also available on Zappos here or direct from Ecco here) is an excellent choice for you. This versatile shoe boasts all of the great attributes that all Ecco shoes do — they are durable, well-made, and comfortable without sacrificing style meaning that they are some of the best shoes to wear in Italy.

These Ecco ballet flats come in a range of neutral colours, meaning that they can suit any style or personality, are lightweight, and are equipped with Ecco’s Fluidform technology meaning that they are incredibly comfortable to wear for hours on end. Like the ankle boots above, these are great shoes for touring Italy as they can also seamlessly transition from day to night and can spruce up any outfit.

Because of their light weight and small size, they are also fantastic just to throw in your suitcase without taking up too much space, making the Ecco Shap Pointy Toe Ballet flats some of the best travel shoes for Italy on the market.

The Best Walking Shoes for Italy for Men

For men in Italy, I would recommend getting a stylish and comfortable sneaker-type shoe that can be worn during the day and also dressed up slightly for more casual nighttime venues. I would also suggest bringing a pair of boots that can be worn in the winter months and also dressed up under a nice pair of dark jeans or chinos when going out in the evening. These are my top recommendations:

Ecco Byway Tred

If you can’t tell by now, I am a fand of Ecco brand shoes and for men looking for the best walking shoes for Italy, you cannot go wrong with the Ecco Byway Tred (also available on Zappos here or direct from Ecco here) shoes. These leather sneakers are both comfortable, supportive and stylish and can be worn for hours on end without making your feet hurt.

The Ecco Byway Tred shoes are made from a breathable material and a stylish leather that comes in both a dark grey and brown colour. These shoes are great for traversing Italian cities and can be easily dressed up or down depending on the circumstances.

So, for the men looking for the ideal shoes for travelling in Italy, you can’t go wrong the Ecco Byway Tred shoes.

Timberland Earthkeeper

For a great and long-lasting pair of men’s boots for Italy, you absolutely cannot go wrong with the Timberland Earthkeeper (also available from Zappos here). Boasting both a stylish and classic design and maximising comfort, you can wear these boots for countless hours and traverse from one side of Rome to the other without your feet aching by the end of the day.

The Timberland Earthkeeper boots have a classic leather style that can be dressed up or down and are perfect for transitioning from daywear to nightwear. They are also incredibly well-made and will likely last you for years on end without showing much depreciation. Equipped with Timberland’s anti-fatigue technology, this means that they are specifically crafted to stay comfortable even when you spend long days on your feet.

Therefore, if you’re planning on travelling in the winter months and want a stylish and durable travel shoe for Italy, then you can’t go wrong with the Timberland Earthkeeper.

The Best Sandals for Italy for Women

If you’re travelling in the summer months or in the south of Italy, it is likely that you’re also going to want a solid pair of sandals to pack with you. This is my favourite style for an Italy trip:

Birkenstock Yara

When looking for the best sandals on the market anywhere, you absolutely cannot go wrong with Birkenstocks and the Birkenstock Yara (also available on Zappos here) is a stylish design that is perfect for your trip to Italy.

Boasting everything that comes to mind when thinking of the Birkenstock brand, the Yara sandal is stylish and durable made and about as comfortable of a shoe that you could ever find. Equipped with the incredibly supportive cork footbed that conforms to your foot, you can wear these sandals for hours at a time and feel as if you’re shuffling around in your favourite slippers.

The slim, strappy design of the Birkenstock Yara is ideal for Italy as they can be dressed up for the evening along with wearing them all during the day. They also come in a range of colours to suit any style and personality.

The Best Sandals for Italy for Men

The perfect sandal for men is also available out there and it is an essential item to pack if you’re visiting Italy during the hot summer months. Again, you’re going to want to find something that can withstand hours of wear while still keeping your feet comfortable and cool. This is my top pick for a men’s sandal for Italy:

Birkenstock Milano

I am a huge fan of Birkenstock sandals and continue to sing my praises for the German footwear when it comes to the Birkenstock Milano (also available on Zappos here)– which, I believe, is the ideal sandal for men in Italy.

Equipped with the same technology as all Birkenstock sandals, the extremely comfortable footbed of the Milano will mold itself around your foot creating a custom fit and ensuring the utmost comfort — ideal for traipsing all around the streets of Italy. It also comes in a range of different colours and the durable make of the sandal will ensure that you can keep wearing if you countless years to come.

All in all, if you’re looking for the ideal men’s summer walking shoe for Italy, then the Birkenstock Milano is the sandal for you!

Finding the best shoes for Italy doesn’t have to be difficult if you know what features to look for. So long as you find something with a classic design that is comfortable and well-made, you are set for your trip to Italy and many more trips to come!

Are you on the hunt for the best travel shoes for Italy? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. When she’s not dreaming of far-away lands, Maggie enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee, Harry Potter, and coaxing stray cats into her home.

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