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Lourdes
Miami

General Travel

Shoes and Bags for Travel?

Going on my honeymoon in Italy this May-June and I'm really curious as to what suggestions you guys have on walking shoes. I really don't want to wear any birkenstocks but am looking for comfortable/attractive all day sneakers, etc. 

Also since there are some places in Italy that don't allow large bags, I wanted to hear your thoughts on great compact travel bags I should take into consideration. 

Thanks!


27 Answers

top answer by
Lauren from Chicago

Lourdes-

I have the OG bag from Lo & Sons that I've used for several years and it is fantastic - no matter how much I stuff it with, it always fits under the seat in front of me on an airplane and it has tons of great pockets and compartments - and it's super stylish.

As for comfortable shoes, I swear by the ballet flats from Tieks. I have worn them walking all over the uneven cobblestone streets of Paris, Amsterdam, and Germany and they are super comfortable and stylish at the same time - I have a patent black pair that I could wear both day and night and they easily fold up in your bag for packing. A higher price point, but very high quality and they will last you quite some time. 

Congrats and have a great trip!


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answered by
Edward from Seattle, Wa Usa

I concur with the advice on shoes.  Flats, with an arch.  Something not yet mentioned is security.  Have a look at http://www.daymakers.com/.  They have a line of good looking anti-theft bags, purses, wallets and the like.  The shoulder bags have re-enforced straps that can't easily be cut.


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answered by
Veronica from Saint Paul (Minnesota)

Buy black sneakers, great for day and at night with pants they look dressy.  Since storage is at a premium, don't go bigger than a 21" suitcase.  Use easy lightweight wash & wear clothing.  A great hint I got, bring "old" underwear and as you wear it throw it away freeing up a bit of room in that suitcase for momentous (and suprising that new hubby on how resourceful you are).  Most of all have fun.


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answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

I bought a beautiful of sandals almost an earth shoe base but beautiful hardware and velcro in two places for fit (which you could not see). They came in standard black and other colors but they had them in pewter and copper colors which were both neutral and a bit more snappy. Gave ma a bit of height and I climbed duomos and towers and walked 10 hours a day in them. Equally nice with sundress, skirt,or pants. Got them at the walking company.


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answered by
Katharine

Take no more than two pairs.  Keen and Merrell are good, inexpensive brands.  Break them in well before departure.  Italy means cobblestone streets, so flat, comfortable shoes are a must.  And I hope you can manage with one carry-on bag....it makes travel so much easier.  You can add a tote bag.


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answered by
Gina from Minneapolis

My style is more "adventure ready" than "Audrey Hepburn," so take what I say with that grain of salt.

If I had a slightly smaller camera, I would have gone with Ethnotek's Cyclosling bag, which is adorable and cleverly designed for travel, with the added benefit of supporting weaving traditions in number of countries (yay!). They also sell a variety of backpacks, but having caught pickpockets attempting to get me in the past, I'm personally not a fan of wearing all my stuff on my back where I can't have a hand on it. Other people certainly have more tolerance for that, as backpacks are everywhere right now. I ended up getting a Patagonia bag—the Minimass—for my most recent trip because it fit my camera and a variety of other crap while still being compact. 

As far as shoes, Birkenstock Gizehs are actually pretty chic, if you ask me. Otherwise, as a sage soul has already mentioned here, check out Born and Clarks, both of which meld comfort and style with a degree of capability. I have a great pair of sleek black leather ballet flats from Born that has respectable arch support while still being cushy.

Enjoy your honeymoon in this gorgeous place!


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answered by
Judi

Wear whatever normal shoes you have that you can walk comfortably in and that look good with your clothes. Italy is a fashionable country so people dress nicely, and it's also easy to buy any footwear that you lack. Any soft soled shoe will do well on the cobblestones. If you are hiking while there, bring whatever hiking shoes you normally would wear. It can be rainy in May so plan for some waterproof footwear as well.


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answered by
Sheryl

Congratulations.  Seeing as so many commented on shoes I will skip that and go directly to bags.  I wear a cross body and/or over one shoulder Baggallini (brand name) in black that's about 12" X 14".  My camera fits in one of the outside pockets and I can stuff a rolled-up windbreaker or thin raincoat in the inside.  There are less expensive knock-offs that would work as well.  The material is washable, too.


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answered by
Talia from Boston

Second Birkenstocks! They're comfortable and mold to your feet. I also bring my Nike LunarGlides. Great support for your feet. 


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answered by
Cindy from Iowa

I wore Merrill black sandals all through Italy and Hungary. They were awesome. I had a cross body "bagallini" bag. Very functional but not too sexy. Get a cross body or backpack so you can be hands free


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hungary (country)
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answered by
Deborah from Monroe (Michigan)

I have found that skechers are nice. I recently went to New Zealand and wore those and my Sperry shoes a lot. Plus they look nice with a lot. Over there (Italy) they can tell the tourists by their shoes  (tennis shoes) and these don't bring to much attention. Flats are the best way to go to me.


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answered by
Katherine from Miami, Florida

First off- congrats on exploring the world. Hope you have a nice trip.  

In Europe you'll see many people wearing really cool Birkenstock styles ( don't discard them just yet, they're perfect for the terrain)  

If you're completely against them, you do have other options such as Cole Haan uses Nike Air technology and can be very comfortable. Kelsey Dagger has pretty cool sandals and they're comfortable too.  

Target has some functional travel bags that protect your passport and credit cards from being scanned by scammers at airports and touristy areas. Look for those in their luggage section.


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answered by
Joyce

What a wonderful place for a honeymoon! I've made many trips to Italy and they all involved a tremendous amount of walking, many times on cobblestone and rough terrain. Save the stylish shoes for going out in the evening and wear the most comfortable sneakers you have when seeing the sights. Personally I love Mizuno because they have good support and are light weight. Everyone already knows you are a tourist if you are carrying a camera anyway (you want to carry a camera for some beautiful shots) and Americans stand out in so many ways. As far as bags, be sure to take a fold away backpack and you can put your nice (hopefully light) purse and small camera in it when you are tired or want your hands free for that fantastic shot or to climb a tower. 


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answered by
Perla from Oregon

When I went to Italy I just took some Nike training shoes but it rained so much that my shoes got soaked! So I would suggest maybe some rain boots, maybe short ones because it is kind of hard not to step in a puddle. As for bags I took a small Claire's bag it was perfect for me!  

I hope you have an amazing time! Enjoy!


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answered by
Yoana from Santa Ana

Espadrilles are in and super cute. Nordstrom has a lot of cute options at different prices. 


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answered by
Catherine from Memphis

I went to Italy last year and logged miles on my Rieker walking shoes. They are cute and comfortable.


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answered by
Joan from San Diego

Skechers carry all sorts of slip on sneaker type shoes with memory foam which are comfortable for walking on those cobblestones!  there are Skechers located in many outlet malls and it's not unusual for there to be great deals (e.g., buy one, second half off.)  For bags REI has backpack style luggage with a zip-off daypack.  They come in lots of sizes, both carry-on and larger, with and without wheels.  I am also partial to Lipault luggage - very lightweight and comes in bright colors so it's easy to spot on a carousel and the carry on sizes fit well in an overhead.  Drawback to soft fabric luggage like this is if it happens to be raining while your bags are loaded/unloaded your clothing can get damp to soaked.  Many happy returns!




answered by
Belinda from South Carolina

Something comfortable and already broken in,but not broken down. If that for you is a tennis shoe or Birk then wear them.  So Italy is a fashionable country you are there mainly as a tourist so comfort is utmost concern. You will be pegged as an American for many things besides your footwear. Be a  proud one.

FYI, I wore Mary Jane's from Walking Company  and short low heeled Life Stride boots for 2weeks in Scotland 




answered by
Risa from San Francisco

I swear by Teva sandals. They not only offer great support for my high arch, work really well on cobblestone streets, but are good in the rain. I think they are actually "water sandals" and I have them in 2 colors. That said, any comfy flat also comes along with me, as do my tried and true lightweight hiking shoes. Have a ton of fun!




answered by
Kelsey from Los Angeles

I recommend Clarks and Dansko. Both are meant for support and walking while still looking nice. Some styles you can wear for both day and night.

I definitely recommend bringing one slid pair of athletic shoe because there are some amazing outdoor excursions in Italy that you might want them for.

Then bring a casual shoe, something that you can walk all day in but that looks nice, and could possibly transition into evening.

Lastly, bring a nice pair of black heels because you're bound to have a few really nice dinners and of course, it's your honeymoon, you will want to feel dressed up.

As far as bags go, have you heard of Herschel? They have some great backpacks that you can fit a lot of stuff into. They are so cute, you won't care that you're carrying a backpack on your honeymoon. Their large duffle bag is also an excellent option.

http://www.herschelsupply.com/

As far as daytime bags, I definitely think a cute cross body bag is better than a shoulder bag. For evening, bring a really slim clutch.




answered by
Kim from Canada

Don't wear sneakers in Italy! They are the #1 marker of an American tourist and I always worry that makes you a larger target for pickpockets.

Although they aren't the most fashion forward I love love love Merrell brand footwear. I have worn a pair of their sandals hiking around SE Asia for a couple months and as someone who usually has a lot of joint problems especially in my knees, it was like walking on a cloud everyday.

For bags, my favourite is a leather cross body purse I just picked up at the local mall luggage store but nice enough quality that I know it won't fall apart and real leather which looks even better with some wear and tear from travelling. You don't really want to be dragging a bunch of stuff around with you all day so a small bag helps keep to the basic necessities. 




answered by
Travis from Texas

My wife and I traveled Italy for two weeks with the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Convertible (what I carried) bag and the Osprey Talon 22 backpack (what she carried). The eBags isn't particularly stylish but it is extremely functional, and we've used it on many trips since. That one is a bit large but there's a smaller "Junior" version too.




answered by
Leslie

The women in Italy walk on uneven pavement all day in heals **ouch! My recommendation would be some euro style (sleek Pumas or the like) dark colored sneakers. I always have fun buying a pair while I am there, rather than spending the $ before I go. I have done Italy in flip flops, but not good AT ALL on cobblestones, and walking for miles! You'll see more if your feet don't hurt.




answered by
Susan from Lakewood, Washington

I'd stay away from sports shoes in Italy. This is the land of fashion and they will judge you for it. That said, you're right to want comfortable shoes even though the women there will be in heels. I love my Cole Han ballet flats. They're great walkers, have good thick soles for those cobble stone streets, and look super fashionable with jeans or dresses.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Italy (country)


answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

I like anything adidas. Whatever the shoe is better be shock absorbers. My feet couldn't take walking in Vegas, so l bought Rebock Shock absorbers tennis shoes. Still not enough. If you are going to be pounding the pavement wear something durable and comfortable. I always pack flip flops for shower. Buy high heels in Italy.




answered by
Maria from Dublin

I go to Italy a lot and usually bring flat shoes for walking, something like loafers and high wedge heels for evening. Italy is a great country for shoe shopping so its easy (and pretty economical) to buy a pair when you arrive! Both the quality of leather and the style is fab there. I bring a lightweight suitcase but it's pretty big and I've never had a problem in any hotel / apartment.




answered first by
Geralda from The Hague

If your not going to climb any mountains, i would suggest to pack regular sneakers, the same you wear at home. I never used anything heavier. I mostly pack sneakers, flip-flops and high heels (for nights out). Oh and a pair of flats.

I usually stay in B&B or hotels and never had any problems with my 20 kg travel bag.

Hapy honeymoon (had mine in italy as well)






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