Looking for the best shoes to walk around Europe? I have created this post with tips and a guide to buying the best shoes for walking on cobblestones in Europe.
Europe is my favorite continent to visit. The wanderings in the cobblestones lanes, with medieval towns and city centers, keep calling my name, even after I am back home and enjoying the concrete urban jungle in Canada.
With tons of experience in walking (sometimes jumping, rolling, and running) in various streets of Europe, this handy guide is useful for first-time travelers, as well as those who are looking for really good and comfortable walking shoes, without compromising on style!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The Best Shoes for Walking on Cobblestones in Europe: Best shoes for walking in Europe Top Picks
If you are planning a trip to Europe, I am sure you are excited about packing. We have written a detailed guide on Europe Packing Guide, but this one will cover SHOES! Yes, these are the best walking shoes for Europe.
Europe is filled with cobblestoned lanes, bridges, hilly capitals, and uneven pathways. Cobblestone lanes look something like this, pictured below:
Most medieval towns or historic old towns in most popular European cities will have some patches of cobblestone lanes.
We travel to Europe a few times a year and have experimented and used all kinds of shoes. Here are some of my favorites and they are some of the comfortable shoes to wear in Europe sightseeing!
KEEN Women’s Explore Waterproof Shoes
Whether you are navigating cobblestone lanes or walking/hiking uphill (by ditching the funicular), the KEEN Explore Shoes are superb for sightseeing in Europe.
They are walking and hiking shoes all wrapped up into one. It comes with a support system in the midsole that gives you better stability upon walking. The Konnectfit heel-capture set-up gives you a comfortable feel.
It also has a notch in the back, for better Achilles comfort.
KEEN Explore Shoes are waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about unpredictable rain in Europe. I have worn them in rainy Belgrade in Serbia and on warmer days in Slovenia.
If it ever catches any dirt, just remove them using a stiff brush or soft cloth.
As they are proper sneakers, they are comfortable to wear for train or bus travels. You can easily wear warm socks, or compression socks while traveling on long-haul flights to Europe.
They come in a variety of shoes. I went with the stunning tawny port or deep berry type of shade. They look amazing in photos, where you can pop the color.
Being a bright color, it lights up dull captures (think beige medieval buildings), which is a plus.
I have always teamed these shoes with jeans/pants. But if you are planning to wear dresses and skirts, choose a neutral color like light gray or even white. They will look amazing with dresses with a casual vibe.
I have these shoes in a size 8, and they fit true to size. KEEN Explore waterproof shoes also come in a boot style.
KEEN Women’s Coronado III Slip-On
One of my newest white shoes is the KEEN Women’s Coronado (III). These are in care-free slip-on style shoes. These shoes are very durable and comfortable to wear all day long (PU footbed for long-lasting comfort).
These shoes are equipped with ‘eco-anti odor’ technology, so what it does is that it naturally breaks down odor in sweat without the use of any heavy metals or chemicals.
KEEN Coronado slip-on comes in 3 colors – black, white, and taupe. As I was getting a white pair, I wanted to make sure it is easy to maintain for longevity. And it comes with PFC (perfluorinated chemicals) water repellency technique, which safeguards your shoes from water splashes, dirt, or environmental elements.
I bought these shoes in my usual size 8. Upon wearing it might seem big, but once you start wearing it – it sort of takes after your toe type, and I never had any issues with the shoe loosening or slipping out.
ECCO Women’s Soft 7 Sneaker
Another white pair option is these Ecco Soft 7 sneakers. The leather on these travel shoes is great, and they fit well (do size up). These are perfect to pair up with jeans, or midi dresses. They are very comfortable to wear, and not only feel but look great!
An added bonus for Ecco Soft 7 is that the leather is wipeable. You can easily remove dirt with a wet (alcohol-free) tissue – this is a big help when you are wearing white shoes!
These sneakers come with laces.
Skechers Women’s GO WALK LITE
Because I love slip-on style shoes (no laces please), Skechers is super comfortable to wear. Sketchers have a variety of travel and comfortable shoe lines like the go-Lite, go-walk, ultra-flex, etc.
You can go wrong with any of those as they are affordable, super comfy, and washable! A good reason to buy a white pair!
On our recent trip to Europe, I wore Skechers Women’s GO WALK LITE – and they were wonderful! I had also hiked in these shoes to get to scenic viewpoints in Spain, Portugal, and yea Morocco’s uneven lanes too.
The soles are super comfortable. It is equipped with a “Goga mat insole” which makes it comfortable for walking for a long duration.
Skechers Women’s GO WALK LITE shoes are lightweight to carry in your carry-on or suitcase. Don’t forget they are also washable.
I wear these in 7.50 size, as the shoes are wide.
Birkenstock New Women’s Bend Low Sneaker
The BIRKENSTOCK Bend sneaker is a comfortable and stylish choice for anyone looking for a good quality sneaker for European travel.
The sneaker is made of 100% natural materials, so you can be sure that your feet will be well-protected. The PU and cork midsole provides optimum shock absorption, making it the perfect choice for those who suffer from joint pain. And the removable footbed makes it easy to clean and care for your sneakers.
The footbed also has a natural leather footbed lining and comes with a leather and rubber sole.
So if you’re looking for good quality and comfortable sneaker, the BIRKENSTOCK Bend is a great choice. The natural materials and simple design make it perfect for everyday use, and the shock absorption will help keep your feet feeling great all day long.
The sneaker is also available in a variety of colors, so you can find the perfect one to match your style (and outfit)!
Ecentrcq sneaker from Steve Madden
If you are looking for trendy, no-hassle yet comfortable shoes, then these Ecentrq Sneakers from Steve Madden will fit the bill. I own a pair in black and have worn it in many destinations and still LOVE it.
The sneakers are sturdy, the base is solid. You can wear ankle-length socks and they never show or peek through. Black goes with all of my outfits – dresses or pants.
Ecentrq Sneakers come in a classic quilted design. They have no laces, which is my favorite part, and are very easy to slip on and off at the security gate.
Made of faux leather, these slip-on features dual elastic goring for a secure fit, a smooth lining, a comfy insole, and a textured platform outsole.
They fit true to size at 8 for me. Although I never had any issues with the sneakers wearing them all day long, adding a gel pad might be a good idea. Check these gel cushion insoles from Dr. Scholls.
Cole Haan Women’s Grand Crosscourt Sneaker
Cole Haan Women’s Grand Crosscourt Sneaker is a pair of cute, stylish, and lightweight leather sneakers. These shoes are made of soft, good-quality leather that molds to your feet as you wear them.
These Cole Haan sneakers don’t cause any discomfort and fit comfortably without pinching, rubbing, or hurting anywhere. This is another favorite of mine – a white sneaker!
Stick to your usual size for Cole Haan.
So if you’re looking for a comfortable and stylish shoe to wear on cobblestone streets, we recommend a pair of Cole Haan. They have a versatile style that can be dressed up or down, and they’re perfect for walking on cobblestones.
I wore mine while walking all over Rome and they were perfect! The grip on the bottom of the shoes prevents you from slipping, and they’re comfortable enough to wear all day long.
Vans Unisex Slip-on Core Classics Low-Top Trainers
I LOVE my VANS (and now I own 2). I wore them non-stop on a 3 week trip to Europe. They are comfortable to wear and can be paired up with dresses and pants – super stylish and chic. You can check out my photos from Rome and how I styled them!
I have a white pair (of course), and a salmon-colored one with a checkered pattern (green or black checkered are also very nice). They are lovely to pack, and also are lightweight to wear all day.
The shoes are made up of synthetic material, but they do hold up well. And they are unisex!
Note that this shoe is not waterproof, but you can easily give it a wash after you are back from your trip. Or you can spray it with a water repellent spray.
Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Women’s Rate Ankle Boots
Dr. Scholl’s ankle boots are a perfect companion for Europe in the off-season (fall and spring). They are made of suede material and can repel some water.
They are equipped with a Memory Foam Cool Fit insole which gives you all-day comfort. What I like most about these booties is that it has deep chop-outs at the side which makes it easy to slide and out and also provides a good fit!
It comes in different colors, but black and beige are my favorite. Its surface is perforated, so I recommend sticking to darker colors and pairing them with a matching colored sock.
Naturalizer Women’s Tia Booties Ankle Boot
These Naturalizer ankle boots are made of high-quality, well-treated leather. It is made up of waterproof material and can be worn in rain and also snow without damaging the boots.
They are padded on the inside around the ankles, and it provides good support for comfortable all-day wear. They have arch support, and the sole is heavily treaded with a deep tread pattern like that of a snow boot, so it is perfect when it rains for long and you are walking on slippery cobblestone lanes.
As they are ankle booties they will fit any ankles no matter the size! The boots have side zippers, so you can easily take them on and off.
The boots are stylish and can be worn with leggings, jeans and also skirts and dresses.
For sizing, I recommend opting for 1/2 size bigger if you plan on wearing them with thick socks.
KEEN Women’s Whisper
This is one of the best-selling KEEN women’s sandals.
If you prefer sandals for Euro trips, this is a great piece. These come with an elastic cording to ensure a secure fit. It has a cushioned footbed, providing you with day-long comfort wear.
It is waterproof, so other than cobblestones in Europe, you can effortlessly use them on beaches as I did in Dubrovnik. Take them with you into the water – it will be fine, nothing to worry about.
Super durable, lightweight, and comfortable to wear, you won’t be disappointed with KEEN Whisper sandals.
As a sandal, it is more of a summer, late spring wear for me. I wear true to size, at size 8.
TEVA Women’s Flatform Quick-Drying Sport Casual Sandals
If you are looking for a sandal that is both comfortable and stylish, then the TEVA Women’s Flatform Sport Casual Sandals are perfect for you!
These sandals have a platform height of 1.25 inches, which makes them perfect for anyone who loves wearing high heels but also needs something comfortable. The footbed and platform are made from EVA foam, making them soft and supportive.
The straps are also adjustable, so they will fit any foot size. Plus, the sandals are perfect for hiking, walking in the city, climbing steps, and even going to the beach!
So if you are looking for a versatile sandal that you can wear in Europe in summer, then the TEVA sandals are right for you. They also have a wide range of colors to choose from!
When it comes to choosing the right walking shoes for men, we have a few recommendations for you.
Just like the picks above, remember that you will be walking on an uneven surface (aka cobblestone), and so you will need to choose a shoe that is durable and has better traction.
For men’s shoes, do pay attention to the weight of the shoe. Heavier shoes may be less flexible and more difficult to walk in for a longer period of time.
When choosing the right walking shoes for men, it is important to find a shoe that is comfortable and fits well. You must try on several different pairs of shoes and walk around in them to see which ones feel the best.
Birkenstock Bend Sneaker White Leather
Birkenstock Bend Sneaker has a UNISEX and a selection for men. They are made of white leather and are uber stylish. Pair them with nice jeans, and a fitted shirt. Or go casual – they will look great either way!
Birkenstock Bend Sneaker has a simple design and a traditional look. It is equipped with a natural leather upper and has a midsole made of PU and cork for optimum shock absorption.
It provides comfort for prolonged wear. Each Bend sneaker has a removable, anatomically shaped cork-latex footbed, plus a rubber sole with a natural leather footbed lining.
These pairs are not made of waterproof leather material, so avoid wearing them when it is heavily raining.
Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Prime Hiking Shoe
If you are looking for a good pair of shoes to walk in, then consider the Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Prime Hiking Shoe. This shoe is made for rugged terrain and has excellent traction.
It is also lightweight and flexible, which makes it comfortable to walk in.
The Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Prime Hiking Shoe is made of 100% Suede material. It has a rubber sole with a full-grain leather upper. It is a nice pair of hiking and walking shoes with a conventional lace closure.
These Merrells are made of breathable mesh lining, which is great for full-day wear. It has added protection, with a toe cap, and it is perfect for not only hiking but also for walking on cobblestone lanes.
It comes in a variety of colors, but we recommend opting for a black one for a polished look. These shoes are also waterproof, perfect for European weather!
TEVA Men’s Hurricane Xlt2 Sandals
The TEVA MEN’S HURRICANE XLT2 SANDALS are a great choice for comfortable walking sandals when traveling in Europe. They have a soft heel-strap padding and a modern man-made sole, providing better traction.
There are also cushioned heel tabs for increased comfort, an EVA foam midsole for lightweight cushioning, and an adjustable strap.
The added Nylon shank stabilizes and supports your foot on uneven terrain, and the Durabrasion rubber outsole stands up to repeated wear and supplies great traction.
They are water-proof and when at the beach, they also dry quickly after getting wet.
How to choose the best walking shoes for Europe – for cobblestones, beaches, or uneven surfaces?
Here are some of the essential factors to keep in mind while choosing the best walking shoes for Europe. Keep in mind, these considerations are not for winter shoes or boots.
Where will you be walking?
Cobblestones are common in Europe. However, uneven lanes and concrete surfaces are also equally common. All the shoes mentioned above are perfect for the urban jungle. They are equipped with a cushioned footbed, giving you all-day comfort to wear.
Hiking or walking on incline surfaces
If you are planning to hike a little or wander through a nature trail, KEEN Explore shoes are best for that. I have used them for light hikes, cobblestones, and uneven surfaces – they were awesome!
Waterproof or not waterproof
Waterproof or water repellent material is a great option for your shoes for Europe. A majority of the popular European destinations come with unpredictable rains in the off-season like London, Paris, Amsterdam, etc.
Wearing waterproof shoes will take out the guesswork when you are out and about exploring!
Versatility: Trendy for dresses and pants
White sneakers are a great buy to mix and match with dresses and pants. Of course, if you are traveling light you need a versatile piece.
If you love carrying a variety like a sneaker on the go, an extra pair for the beach, or another one – just for fun. Wear heavy shoes (with compression socks) when you travel. Pack the lightweight ones in your carry-on.
Cushioning and support
For the most part, I don’t use any additional padding or insole with these shoes. I wear warm socks, compression socks, and liners, at times so that my shoes and feet feel fresh all day long.
When you are purchasing a shoe for the first time, you will find that they are stiff and not malleable. Walking all day long with them might be comfortable for some of you, with heel issues. Try to break into the shoes before your trip – wear them at home, try them with thick socks to break in.
A gel cushion for support is a good option to bring in with you. I wear Dr. Scholl’s gel insoles when I wear steel-toed shoes at work, and they make it comfortable for a full 8 – 10-hour shift. So they should be comfortable for you as well to walk on concrete and cobblestones.
It is also important to choose the right size shoe. Many people make the mistake of buying a shoe that is too small, thinking that it will be more comfortable that way. However, this can actually cause pain and discomfort, as well as blisters.
When trying on a pair of walking shoes, be sure to walk around in them for a while. This will help you to determine if they are comfortable and provide the support that you need. If they feel too tight or constricting, they are probably not the right shoes for you.
In general, it is best to buy a shoe that is a bit larger than your normal size. At the shoe store, give it a try with socks.
More tips: Best European Walking Shoes
Wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes in Europe, especially on cobblestone streets. If you need an extra cushion, add a gel insole for comfort.
Here are our top picks for walking shoes for Europe,
All-Round Walking Shoes: KEEN Explore or Birkenstock Bend Sneaker (unisex)
Cute Sneakers: Cole Haan Grand Crosscourt Sneaker or Vans Unisex Slip-on
Booties: Dr. Scholls Rate Ankle Boots
Sandals: KEEN Whisper
Europeans typically wear walking shoes that have a thicker sole and are made of leather or a synthetic material. This type of shoe is designed to provide more support and cushioning than a typical dress shoe.
As a result, they are ideal for long walks or hikes. Some people also find that walking shoes are more comfortable to wear than dress shoes since they have more room in the toe area.
This is a question that many people have asked, and there is no one definitive answer. Some people may find shoes with arch support to be more comfortable, while others may prefer shoes with softer soles. It really depends on the individual’s preferences and needs.
There are, however, a few general tips that can help people find the most comfortable shoes for walking. For starters, it is important to find shoes that fit well. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can be uncomfortable to walk in.
It is also important to choose the right type of shoe for the activity. For example, people who are planning to go on a long walk should choose shoes that are made for walking, rather than shoes that are meant for running.
Finally, it is important to take into account the person’s individual needs. Some people may need shoes with extra cushioning or arch support, while others may be fine with a more basic style of shoe.
When choosing a pair of walking shoes, it is important to consider your individual needs and preferences. If you plan to do a lot of hiking, it is important to select a pair of shoes that are designed for that purpose.
Likewise, if you will be walking on rocky or uneven terrain, you will need shoes with a more rugged sole. If you will be walking primarily on paved surfaces, however, a less-rugged sole will be sufficient.
Additional Resources and Europe travel tips
- Europe 101 – Our introductory guide to planning a trip to Europe.
- Guide to Schengen Visa – read the guide and checklist here.
- Europe flight cancellation – Read about the process and steps for reimbursement for Europe flight delays and cancellations.
- Europe Itinerary Samples – Want to make the most of your visit to Europe? The ultimate 27 itinerary samples to explore one or multiple destinations in Europe.
- Visiting Europe in winter – Here are some of the best traveler picks.
- Warm places in Europe? – Here are the warmest places to visit in Europe from December through March.
- Europe Packing Guide – This is the only packing guide to Europe you will ever need. It has reference to seasons and regional variations.