NICE NO THANKS
Shoes are one of the clothing items that identify North American men and women in Europe.
|Tourist sneakers behind Italian men's shoes at the Spanish Steps in Rome.|
Photo by JoyD.
|Geox loafers: metallic and beige. Photo by: JoyD|
My (JoyD's) preference here is a pair of muted metallic Geox loafers with a sand upper band. I quite like metallic against a tan in the summer, no matter how conservative the shoe is. These loafers have been relegated to garden wear now but they comfortably took me to France, Italy, Spain, & Germany. I wore them with knee-length shorts, trousers and my favourite denim pencil skirt. They were more comfortable than any of my ballet flats and I could manage long days of walking in them.
|Black Geox Loafers. Photo by JoyD.|
|MellyO's Traveling Boots. Photo by JoyD|
Think about buying shoes while in Spain. The Spanish love shoes and the variety and range of prices in Spain will fit any budget.
This French woman from Lyons, in the photo, who was hiking in the Pyrénées with her family would only wear the shorts, tank top and running shoes while walking/hiking in a country setting. Trust me, other than this environment, you would not see her dressed in this way. We have known each other for twenty years and this is the only time I have seen her dressed in shorts and a tank top, other than when she was in Canada at a lake setting. Yet we see North American tourists (of all ages) in European cities dressed exactly in the same way.
In the photo to the left, what do you see? French walking/hiking club or North American tourists? The answer: a French walking club - the walking sticks give it away but change the environment to a city street without the walking sticks and it could very well be a North American tour group in Europe.
The locals know we're tourists, let them at least think that we are well-dressed tourists. When Cathy, a friend from France, was visiting Canada, she spied a shop called the "Running Room" and wanted to see what they had in store. After trying on a pair or two of "running shoes" she exclaimed that maybe she would wear them while in Canada, but she would never wear them in France. So unless you are actually involved in the sport of running or hiking in the woods or mountainside, do not consider them for your walking tours in the city. As well, add "flip flops" in the cities to the NO THANKS list. Bring them along or plan to buy them if you end up at the beach.
Other posts on this blog regarding traveling:
Traveling Europe: Clothing Observations
Packing for a Two Week Visit in Europe
Business & Tourist Travel Wardrobes