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Most people associate Paris to 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 very 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 city trip always means a lot of walking – and fashion and walking .. that’s often not a very good match.
You’ll be pleased to hear that Paris is actually a city where most people wear flats and sneakers?
But which one? What are the best walking shoes for Paris? Which shoes should you pack that is 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!
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 apparel but also to their shoes. They are an essential part of the overall picture and picked accordingly. Check our packing guide for Paris if you need some inspiration on what to pack!
This means sneakers are not worn because they are comfortable, but because they complete a look. Be it do 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, rather the opposite.
That sneakers are comfortable is simply a very good plus.
Best walking shoes for Paris
The good news is, you can leave all your uncomfortable high heels at home. Unless you plan something very special or a special occasion, you really don’t need high heels in Paris. Or any uncomfortable shoes actually. Walking shoes in Paris is your best bet!
Most people are commuting and taking public transportation every day. Many Parisians don’t even own a car – or even a driver’s license! When you are living in Paris, you just don’t need it. The Metro is a great way to come 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.
Let me give you an idea what kind of shoes do you need for Paris
Sneakers for Paris
That’s probably the best news for every tourist: Sneakers are completely fine in Paris. Some years ago I would have said that only cute fashion sneakers are acceptable but since a bit, you almost see all kinds of them in Paris. However, while you can wear shoes like Stan Smith also in the evening when going to casual bars, more sporty shoes are better just worn around day time when exploring Paris. Just think about how you combine it. Slim jeans and sneakers – works. Summer dress and sneakers – rather not.
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.
Brogues 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.
As brogues, they are a very versatile travel shoe and can be worn in every situation and location.
Boots are also shoes, that you see much on Paris’ streets. Many women are wearing slim jeans with ankle boots. Most of them also look good combined with shorter dresses. If you travel to Paris in Winter, jackboots are also a good idea.
All those are not really your style?
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 based on my day to day observations on what Parisians wear. A recommendation in case you worry to stick out as a tourist.
However, you still might want a recommendation on travel shoes that are great for Paris. Shoes that are more about comfort and practical aspect rather than on style.
Considering that sightseeing always means a lot of walking and knowing that many streets are cobbled stoned, I’d recommend light walking shoe .. and as it’s Paris: in subtle colors 🙂
What shoes should you not wear in Paris?
We covered what shoes to wear in Paris, but what shoes should you not wear?
That’s a bit tricky because theoretically, you can obviously wear whatever you like. In the following, I will state the kind of shoes I don’t see much in Paris on a daily basis.
Uggs – it’s just not a thing in Paris. You see them from time to time in Winter but that’s about it.
FlipFlops – nope, unless you are at a swimming pool
Crocs – just no
Spike heels – there are of course women wearing them but not so many actually. Just think about all those cobbled stoned roads!
Shoes for Paris in Spring (April, May, June)
Spring in Paris is somewhat unpredictable. It can be really cold – or really 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? f you visit Paris in spring, you best bring some boots or derbies and a pair of sneakers. But depending when in spring you come to Paris, it could happen that more wintery – or summery shoes are appropriate.
Shoes for Paris in Summer (July, August, September)
Summer is finally time for sandals and open shoes – and people are wearing flats! Bling Bling is a no-go in Parisian fashion and sandals should be as simple and plain as possible.
But even a pair of Birkenstocks is completely ok for sightseeing! They are actually quite fashionable! I wore mine the whole summer 🙂
They are definitely good to wear during the day and for casual evenings. Depending on the location, you even could wear them when going out to the restaurant.
Shoes for Paris in Fall (October, November, December)
If you’re visiting Paris in the fall, it can happen that it’s 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 winter boots. Like in spring, you are all set with a pair of flats that you can up or down dress and a pair of sneakers.
Best shoes for Paris in Winter (January, February, March)
Winter in Paris can be pretty chill. And rainy.. and there might be even snow. Well, snow in Paris stays usually for a couple of hours before transforming into an ice-cold greyish slush and honestly, it’s rather rare that there is any at all. However, as there is not much worst 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!
It’s still completely appropriate to wear sneakers on most days though, but I advise to pack something warmer just to be on the safe side.
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