shoes to pack for europe

3 shoes to pack on any trip to Europe


Happy Thursday! I’m up bright + early to catch a flight down to south Florida for the week to visit family. As I started packing for this brief getaway, it dawned on me how strategic and selective I’ve become when it comes to deciding what shoes to bring along on a trip. And rightfully so!  These babies are easily some of the heaviest items we pack (and usually the largest contributor to overweight baggage fees). So how do you narrow it down?

For starters, it obviously depends on the destination (a week in the mountains is going to look vastly different than one at the beach). But I’ve learned from my travels that even if you’re visiting a variety of climates and countries, there are some fail-safe options you’ll likely want to bring along anywhere. 

If you’re new around here, I spent 7 months out of this last year living out of a suitcase and traveling through Europe- so I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two when it comes to functional footwear abroad. So if you’re planning to hop across the pond anytime soon, allow me to spare you some blisters + unnecessary luggage weight. 

I averaged 5 miles of walking every single day (often closer to 7 and sometimes up to 12!) so heels just really don’t make sense while you’re in Europe. I know they can make an outfit pop or your legs look great, but take my word on this bit. I assure you that you can still look chic in just about any outfit (and sans the pain) with only 3 simple pairs of flats. Still not convinced? Let’s get specific. 



smart loafers

Headed to the theatre? A nice dinner? Drinks with a European hottie? Any activity where a heel would serve you something a bit more dressy than usual, I believe a smart loafer will also do the trick. You can be chic + classic with a black pair like these or a touch on the wild side with a print like these. Depending on the particular pair, I think they pair well with a tailored pair of slacks, jeans or even a dress. 



athletic lifestyle shoes

Not all athletic footwear is created equal. In fact, I’d argue that this trend has expanded far beyond athleisure. I love the juxtaposition of mixing my Superstars with something a bit more formal or feminine (like this blush blazer + scarf I wore in Amsterdam). Not only can it make an outfit more interesting, but your feet will love you on those days when you’re logging double-digit miles. 




Obviously time of year and climate are factors to consider, so let’s talk seasonal flats. 



If you’re traveling in Europe in cooler temperatures, I’d advise a pair of ankle boots (they don’t weigh as much and aren’t as bulky as ones that cover your calves). Think about the clothes you’re packing to determine if it makes more sense to bring tan, black or grey



ballet flats to pack for europe

Ballet flats can honestly be worn anytime of the year and are one of the most comfortable shoes on the market! Wear them with dresses, pants, shorts- you name it. Similar to my remark about boots, consider if the outfits you’re packing will pair better with tan, black or a pop of color. 




My criss-cross sandals were worn more than any other shoe I brought on this most recent trip to Europe! With temperatures at their all-time-high for the year, I didn’t want socks anywhere near my feet! Opt for sandals that are comfortable enough to walk in and that are versatile (so you can wear the same pair to the beach or with a dress to dinner). 

sandals to wear in europe

So there you have it! I survived my 7 months in Europe with minimal pairs of shoes and am confident you can do the same. Are there other types of shoes you’d never leave out of your suitcase? Let me know in the comments below!


Thanks so much for stopping by friends! Stay tuned next week for some more travel guides from recent adventures!