Packing shoes for Paris is difficult. This is the conclusion I’ve come to after numerous conversations with fellow travellers.
Time and time again, I’ve been told how tricky it is to decide on which shoes to take and that it is hard to find comfortable shoes for travel.
But packing shoes for Paris – or anywhere else in France for that matter – doesn’t have to be daunting. Just follow a few simple rules and you’ll be sorted.
Packing Shoes For Paris – Tips
- Don’t overpack shoes. They are heavy and they take up heaps of valuable luggage space. Put some thought into what needs to go with you – don’t leave it to the last minute to decide on shoes, or you might throw in more pairs than you’ll really need.
- And, on a similar note, make sure the shoes you choose match with everything. There is nothing worse than lugging a pair of shoes all the way to Paris and then barely wearing them because they only complement one outfit. My trick – choose your shoes at the outset and build outfits around them.
- Go with the flat option first. Yes, throw in a pair of heels if you feel you must, but don’t underestimate how ‘Parisian’ your flats will be. Remember, this is a city of cobblestones and Metro stairs. Seriously, your heels may not get a look in (this is especially true for those of us who work in the corporate world. Once the holiday vibe kicks in, heels could be the last thing on the planet you feel like wearing). Although I could never have imagined doing it, I’ve even worn flats to a three Michelin starred restaurant and felt like I’d nailed the dress code.
- Check that your choices are comfortable enough to walk or stand in for long periods of time. Test this before you leave home. Don’t assume that because shoes are flat they will automatically be comfortable. And don’t think that comfortable shoes have to be ugly – yes it will take some research, but there are lots of flattering, fashionable and comfy shoes out there.
Shoes For All Seasons
- Spring = Super comfortable ballet flats or ankle boots. Sports style shoes have also become very popular over the last few years and are great if you plan to cover a lot of ground. Colours for spring can be a little more lighthearted – although you still want them to be suitable for all occasions.
- Summer = ballet flats or sandals. For a long time I didn’t consider sandals suitable ‘travel attire’. Eventually though, I got around to thinking about what I wear in Melbourne in the hot weather. And I started to pay attention to the Parisians – all of whom seemed happy to hoof it around their city in strappy footwear. The signs were clear – sandals had to show upon my packing list. My favourites are a very versatile, silver pair.
- In Winter, it’s all about beautiful boots. Whether the height is ankle or knee, boots will work for you morning, noon and night. And they look great with frocks or jeans. Black is the standard, but tan or oxblood are nice too.
- Autumn = A similar shoe wardrobe to Spring. Cute ballerinas, sports shoes or your trusty ankle boots again. Go for neutral colours for maximum ‘matchability’.
Do you have any tips for packing the right shoes for Paris? Or are you one of those travellers who finds it difficult? Either way, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
And until next time – au revoir.
Photograph taken by Carla Coulson, 2015.