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Last updated on the 2nd of January 2023 by Lena

A city trip to Paris means inevitably that you’ll be on your feet all day long, and there is no bigger showstopper than uncomfortable shoes. But the question of what are the best walking shoes for Paris can be a tricky one.


Quick Packing Guide – Best Shoes for Paris for every season

Spring

Classic Loafers from Clarks

Sneakers from Veja

Summer

light Sandals from Timberland

or slingback Sandals from TOMS

Autumn

Cute Ankle Boots like these

Sneakers from Veja

Winter

Waterproof Boots from Blondo

Chelsea Boots like these


Most people associate Paris with fashion. Ok, and the Eiffel Tower. The image of the French fashionista that could be featured in Vogue magazine, just wearing her usual streetwear, is a strong one. So yes, the bar is high, and it is not surprising that many visitors are wondering what are the best shoes to wear in Paris.  A trip to Paris always means a lot of walking, and fashion and comfort are often not a good match.

But did you know that Paris is actually a city where most people wear flats and sneakers?

Paris is one of the most walkable cities and most Parisians depend on public transportation in their day-to-day life. Flats and sneakers are the most common shoe choice in Paris. Simply white sneakers like this model from Lacoste are a perfectly solid choice.

The Parisian’s Favorite: Sneakers from the

French Brand VEJA

What are the best walking shoes for Paris? Which shoes should you pack that are appropriate for Paris? What kind of shoes are women wearing in Paris? Read on and know exactly what works in Paris. Know which shoes you need in every season!

do you see the stairs? You best bring comfortable shoes for Paris!
Paris has quite a few stairs – in Montmartre, Belleville, and you even find them in the Catacombs! Best to keep that in mind when packing shoes for Paris!

What kind of shoes are Parisians wearing?

The Parisian everyday fashion is a combination of (intentional and well-placed) effortless, a lot of class, and comfort. This does not only apply to their clothes but also their shoes. They are an essential part of the overall outfit and are picked accordingly. Check our packing guide for Paris if you require some inspiration on what to pack!

This means sneakers are not only worn because they are comfortable, but also because they complete a look. Be it to dress down a business outfit, to underline an effortless look, or because it fits the occasion. Hence, people are not wearing random sneakers in a random situation, it’s rather the opposite. But rest assured, they are wearing sneakers all the time. It’s a very persistent rumor they wouldn’t.

That sneakers are comfortable is simply a perfect plus.

Shoes to wear in Paris
Guess, Armani or Adidas – Sneakers are a must-have in Paris

The best walking shoes for Paris

The good news is, you can leave all your uncomfortable high heels at home. Unless you plan something exceptional or will attend a sublime and festive event, you really don’t need high heels in Paris. Or any uncomfortable shoes, actually. When searching for good walking shoes for Paris, it’s enough to stick to a pair of simple white sneakers (click the link for options).

Most people are commuting and take public transportation every day. Some are even navigating Paris by bike. And maybe this is a surprise, but many are using their car only occasionally, if they own a car in the first place, because but it’s quite common to meet someone who’s not even having a driver’s license.

When you are living in Paris, you simply don’t need it. The Metro is very convenient to travel from A to B without much hassle and as the Metro always involves some walking as well, you won’t see many ladies wearing high heels in Paris.

But what are they wearing instead? Let me give you an idea!

Sneakers Paris - absolutely ok! Especially during day time are sneakers the best walking shoes for Paris
Sneakers in Paris? Yes, please! Sneakers are the best comfortable walking shoes for Paris and luckily totally appropriate!

The best sneakers for Paris

That’s probably the best news for every Paris tourist: Sneakers are completely fine in Paris. Some years ago, I would have said that only cute fashion sneakers are acceptable, but for a few years, you really see all kinds of them in Paris. Some Hipsters even wear running shoes from the ’80s.

Veja are very popular sneakers for Paris
Veja is very popular in Paris

You can wear shoes like Stan Smith or sneakers from the very popular vegan brand Veja with almost every outfit. I noticed that Veja is especially often worn by women over 35, and by men of all ages.

I see many Parisians wearing classic Reebok as well, especially this Reebok model. If those are too casual for you, take a look at these slippers from Michael Kors or those from Armani.

montmartre hotel paris
Rue de l’Abreuvoir in Monatmarte – one of the many cobbled stone streets in Paris

Generally, all sneakers that I mentioned above are also acceptable in the evening when going to casual bars or restaurants. However, more sporty shoes like running shoes are better just worn during the daytime when exploring Paris. Just think about how you combine them.

Slim jeans and runners? Works fine during the day. A summer dress and running shoes? Rather not.

To give you an idea of what kind of sportive sneakers, Parisians are wearing in their day-to-day, I will link a few below. Those models are also the most popular on the French Zalando site and are also what I am seeing every day when walking in Paris.

Overall, white sneakers are very popular in Paris. With a simple pair of white sneakers, you can’t do anything wrong. Be it a model from Adidas, classic Stan Smith (especially for men), or Nike Airforce1 for younger folks.

New Balance is also a brand that I often see in Paris. Many are wearing sportive models like the one in the picture, but also the New Balance classic sneakers are still popular click here to see the available colors. 

The best flats for your Paris trip

There certainly should be a pair of simple flats in your luggage. I suggest bringing a pair of derbies or loafers. You could certainly bring as well ballerinas, however, I noticed lately, that they are not worn so much anymore. It’s still completely ok, but wouldn’t be my first pick anymore.

Classic brogues – the most versatile travel shoes

classics brogues are the perfect travel shoe for Paris

Brogues or Oxfords are great travel shoes – they can easily be dressed up and down, perfect for a day sightseeing but also for an evening in a fancy restaurant. They can be paired with jeans, slacks, and skirts and are also a safe bet during shoulder seasons. Click here for more models and choices.

Loafers – comfortable shoes for every situation

Loafers and derbies are a good travel shoe - especially a good walking shoe for paris, it fits to every occasion

Just like brogues, a pair of classic loafers are insanely practical when traveling. They look good casual during the daytime, but also good with a dress or slacks for your evening program.  Check here for more ore choice on nice leather loafers 

Or you could just go with a pair of Doc Martens oxfords, my favorites!

Slippers – if sporty sneakers are not your type

If classic sneakers are not your style, slippers are a great choice as well. they are sporty, yet classy and they assure that you are comfortable. These ones from Dr.Scholl are a great pick if for a trip to Paris.

Doc Martens are great walking shoes in Paris!
Are you searching for stylish walking shoes for Paris? What about some Doc Martens?

Boots – great for winter and shoulder seasons

If I had to pick, I would say that classic ankle boots are the 2nd most favorite shoes of the Parisians – after sneakers. You see them so much on Paris’ streets. Especially in winter and during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn, they are a great alternative to loafers.

They are as versatile as loafers and derbies, but more appropriate for colder weather. They look great with slim jeans but also with skirts and dresses.

Waterproof ankle boots for rainy winter days

Winter is the wettest season in Paris and if you wonder which shoes to pack for Paris in Winter - waterproof boots might be a good idea

If you travel to Paris during December, you will be surprised to learn that it’s not the coldest months, but the wettest! Autumn is not much better and waterproof boots can help you a lot to keep your feet dry and warm, when doing sightseeing in Paris. The ones from Blondo are my favorites, but the Chelsea boots from Sorel are nice as well

If you are traveling to Paris in Winter or early spring, it might get cold, but you really don’t need to worry about snowproof boots. Snow is extremely rare in Paris. I live here for 15 years already, and I experienced serious snow twice.

Chelsea Boots – the indispensable!

The most versatile travel shoe and one of the best shoes for Paris- chelsea boots are good for Paris if you are searching the best walking shoes for paris

With a pair of Chelsea boots, you simply can’t do anything wrong in Paris. They are appropriate for the cobbled stone alleys, they are matching nearly every outfit, and they are comfortable but not as casual as sneakers! Click here for more choice!

What shoes to wear in Paris in Spring (April, May, June)

See our monthly guides for April, May, and June for more detailed information

Spring in Paris is somewhat unpredictable. It can be freezing – or warm, or anything in between. I know, that doesn’t make it easy if you want to know what shoes to wear in Paris, right? If you visit Paris in spring, you best bring a pair of ankle boots or Chelsea boots, or alternatively some derbies and of course a pair of sneakers. But depending on when in spring you come to Paris, something warmer – or summelry may be appropriate.

Shoes for Paris in Spring:

Shoes for Paris in Summer (July, August, September)

See our monthly guide for July, August, and September for more detailed information

Summer is finally time for sandals and open shoes – and people are wearing flats! Everything bling-bling is a no-go in Parisian fashion, and sandals should be as simple and plain as possible. A good example are those slingback sandals from TOMS and these classic flats.

Shoes for Paris in Summer:

french walking shoes: Birkenstocks are always a good idea

But even a pair of Birkenstock is completely ok for sightseeing! They are actually quite fashionable!  I wear mine all summer – it’s not just me, in case you wondered, haha. A few years ago many wore the Gizeh model, but I noticed that since a couple of years it’s rather the Madrid and Arizona Models.

They are definitely good to wear during the day and for casual evenings. Depending on the location, you even can wear them when going to the restaurant.

Shoes in Paris during Fall (October, November, December)

See our monthly guide for October , November and December for more detailed information

If you’re visiting Paris in the fall, it may be chill and rainy. Streets might be slippery due to the foliage, especially on cobbled stone. However, it can happen as well that you have wonderful Indian summer weather. Either way, it’s not the time for sandals – nor warm winter boots. Like in spring, you are all set with a pair of flats that you can dress up or down and a pair of sneakers.

Shoes for Paris in Autumn:

best city walking shoes are certainly comfortable and without heels
best walking shoes for Paris

Best walking shoes for Paris in Winter (January, February, March)

Also see our monthly guides for January, February, and March

Winter in Paris can be pretty chill. And rainy. There might be even snow. Well, snow in Paris stays usually for a couple of hours before transforming into an ice-cold grayish slush and honestly. Snow is rare and in most winters, there isn’t any at all.

However, as there is not much worse than walking around with wet and cold feet, travel to Paris with some winter shoes. Personally, I like the waterproof shoes from Blondo, the ankle booties are super cute and practical in winter!

Shoes for Paris in Autumn:

It’s still completely appropriate to wear sneakers on most days, though, but I advise you to pack something warmer just to be on the safe side.

What shoes should you not wear in Paris?

We covered what shoes to wear in Paris, but what shoes should you not wear?

Honestly, don’t worry about it! Really. No one cares what you’re wearing, and the best shoes for walking in Paris are the ones you’re comfortable in! I have by no means the intention to tell anyone how to dress in Paris, it’s rather a recommendation on travel shoes that are great for Paris based on my day-to-day observations of what Parisians wear. If you aren’t concerned with this, wear whatever you like and that makes you feel good.

This being said, there are still some shoes that you won’t see in Paris:

Uggs – it’s just not a thing in Paris. You see them from time to time in Winter, but that’s about it. They are certainly not the best shoes for Paris. Update 2023: I saw them a bit more often this winter, maybe they are becoming hip again

Flip-flops – nope, unless you are at a swimming pool

Crocs – just … never. At least not the classic models – these sandals (click for info) are totally ok.

Spike heels – even though women wear of course high heels in Paris, especially in business areas and fancy locations. But it’s not belonging to a day to day attire. So if you are traveling to Paris, you don’t have to wear uncomfortable shoes to blend in. Just think about all those cobbled stoned roads! Heels are simply not the best shoes for walking in Paris and you can leave them at home without regrets.

Quick Packing Guide – Best Shoes for Paris for every season

For every season:  Sneakers – classic white sneakers or sneakers from Veja

Et voilà, my recommendation about what shoes are the best for Paris. I want to insist again on the fact that no one really cares what you are wearing. Wear what you feel comfortable in. My recommendations are only to give you an idea of what works best in Paris. Prioritize your personal comfort and you’re good 🙂

FAQ Best Shoes for Paris

What shoes do people wear in Paris?

People wear mostly flats in Paris. Be it sneakers or flat ankle boots, Parisians prioritize comfort. Especially as most use public transportation and walk a lot in their day to day life.

Is it OK to wear sneakers in Paris?

Absolutely. In Paris, almost everyone wears sneakers most of the time. It is a very persistent rumor that Parisians are not wearing sneakers, while in fact, it’s the most worn type of shoe.

What sneakers are popular in Paris?

The most popular sneaker in Paris is Veja. It’s a french vegan brand that is insanely popular and the go to brand for many Parisians. Teens and Tweens are wearing mostly Nikes, Vans and Adidas shoes.

What kinds of shoes are popular in France?

Most people in Paris wear sneakers or Chelsea boots.

Can I wear Vans in Paris?

Absolutely. Vans are very popular in Paris and you see them very often.

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best shoes for Paris

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