Best Shoes to Wear in Paris

October 3, 2022

Meghan Donovan of Paris, Perfected

One of the most common questions I get as people plan trips to Paris for Paris, Perfected, is what shoes they should pack. Of course Paris is one of the loveliest cities to wander so comfortable shoes are a must (and you will live to regret if you try to break in new shoes in Paris!)

But it is also one of the most fashionable cities in the world so if you’re hopeful to avoid looking like a tourist but don’t want to sacrifice comfort or style – you’ve come to the right place. I have a lot of experience packing for trips to Paris and always manage to prioritize bringing a good variety of shoes to make lots of walking – and cute outfits full of French inspired staples – go hand in hand while exploring the City of Lights.

Best Shoes to Wear in Paris

The French have a word often associated with the act of wandering – Flâneur or Flânerie. I love this word as I think it so beautifully depicts what I love so much about Paris – the ability to stroll without purpose. 

But with this wander type of walking must also come comfortable walking shoes! With the right shoes packed for Paris that are perfect for walking, you’ll have a more enjoyable trip as you won’t be bothered by blisters or back issues.

For me, whenever I pack for Paris, I prioritize both comfort and style – especially when it comes to packing shoes for Paris. Paris is an old city so a lot of the Paris streets are cobblestones and uneven surfaces that you’ll be walking on. And if you plan to take the Metro while in Paris, there will also be plenty of stairs that you’ll be going up and down!

I want my shoes to work hard for me so I never have to worry about slowing down or needing to take a break because my shoes are bothering me. The shoes I’m sharing below have been tried and tested by me and are recommendations based on my experience and my personal style. 

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Knee High Boots

For visiting Paris in Winter, I always recommend a flat boot with a rubber sole or a low, walkable heel boot.

I personally like to wear an over the knee boot to get a bit of added warmth and to ensure I have a boot that can be worn both with jeans and with dresses or jumpsuits for evenings. 

My go to pair is by Stuart Weitzman. A more affordable option is here.

Paris café I wit & whimsy

Ballet Flats

Coco Chanel made the ballet flat famous in Paris so for me it always a must to bring ballet flats to Paris. I wear them with dresses, skirts, jeans and black pants. 

Look for comfortable yet timeless flats. I love ballet flats and own two pair from Chanel but for more affordable options I’d recommend include these, these or these.

Parisian Inspired Outfit I A Guide to Paris' Saint Germain

Another pair of flats I love to wear in Paris are the Sarah Flint Natalie flat. I have them in three colors!

Sarah Flint Sachetto Ballet Flat

If you prefer a square toe, this pair is a great option.

What to do in Paris in Autumn I wit & whimsy

Ankle Boots

Ankle boots with a low or stacked heel are ideal for walking in Paris in Fall and Winter as you head out for evenings on the town. Just make sure it’s a well made shoe and that you can log a lot of miles in the ones you choose to bring.

I own and love this style and this style. A low, practical heel makes it French. I also like these and these as timeless styles.

This is another boot I always pack for Paris in the Fall. They are so comfortable and held up with 20K+ steps a day. Use code MEGHAN15 for 15% off.

Paris I wit & whimsy

Sleek White Sneakers

I always bring a pair of sleek white sneakers that can be worn with dresses or jeans or shorts for the days where I’ll be really logging a lot of steps.

My favorite pair of white sneakers has logged hundreds of thousands of steps in Paris over the years! In that post you’ll also find affordable lookalikes to my favorite pair. 

Striped Sweater from Bash Paris, Senreve Bag, MMLafleur Pants, Veja Sneakers

Veja Sneakers

Veja is a French brand so it’s no wonder it is incredibly popular with the French. You’ll see a variety of Veja styles on men and women across Paris and I think they make several styles that are great to wear if you’re visiting Paris.

What to do in Paris When It Rains I wit & whimsy

Loafers

Loafers are a personal favorite shoe of mine for exploring Paris. They always elevate any outfit and can go with little black pants or jeans. You’ll notice a lot of Parisians wear loafers day to day. The pair I bring is a beautiful leather and is molded to my feet. 

A favorite pair of mine are these by Sam Edelman.

Gucci Loafers I wit & whimsy

Sezane Navy Blazer, Agolde Riley Jeans, Alex Mill Striped Tee and Margaux Mules with Celine Box Bag

Mules

Perfect for day or evening, a sleek mule is a great shoe option for shoes for Paris. I love pairing my slip on mules with high waisted jeans and blazers while I am in Paris.

Above I am wearing this pair by Gucci and this pair by Margaux.

Hermes Oran Sandal

Flat Sandals

For summer trips to Paris, you’ll want a comfortable sandal in a neutral that can go with most of your clothes that you packed. A pair that works during the day but that can also translate to evening time for dinner and drinks is ideal.

Meghan Donovan in Paris I wit & whimsy

Stacked Heels

For nights out in Paris, I typically bring a comfortable stacked heel slingback. They’re able to be easily dressed up or dressed down and go with everything I’d typically pack for dressier evenings spent out in Paris.

I always have my Chanel slingbacks with me. Comfortable to walk loads in and also great with jeans, skirts and dresses.

Black Converse in Paris Outfit

Converse

The French love their Converse sneakers. It is one of the most spotted shoes throughout Paris. 

. . .

More Tips on What Shoes to Pack for Paris

Shoes to avoid? Flip flops (there’s not enough support and the French do not wear them whatsoever) and high heels as a lot of Paris is cobblestones so unless you plan to only take cars in your high heels, it’s worth skipping the stilettos. And of course, don’t pack any shoes you haven’t yet worn in!

Something else important to note is that often with trips to Paris – it’s a matter of when it will rain, not if it will rain. So be sure at least one of the pairs of shoes that you put in your luggage is a pair you feel comfortable enough to walk in the rain in and don’t mind if they get a little wet. 

If you experience any sort of back pain or arthritis or knee issues, you may also consider getting a podiatrist to recommend some inserts you could place into your shoes to make them more comfortable and give you a bit more longevity day to day while in Paris.

Lastly, I always have protective soles put on my shoes before trips to ensure not only do I not ruin the soles of the shoe itself but also to add an extra layer of comfort. This small step that any cobbler can help you with goes a long way in letting me walk and walk and walk in Paris. Read more about How I Take Care of My Shoes.

Do you have any favorite travel shoes? I’d love to hear about them in the Comments! 

I definitely hope you’ll find this guide helpful as you pack for your next trip to Paris! And if you’re heading to Paris soon and would like customized recommendations for how to spend your time in Paris, be sure to book Paris, Perfected with me! I would love to work with you.

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7 comments on “Best Shoes to Wear in Paris”

  1. I just found your website and have fallen in love with your choices. Going to France in October and will be in Paris for two days. I already own many of the closet staples you show, but just had to buy the Sarah Flint Nathalie flats you suggested, as well as the Mango black tweed blazer and Drop Sweater dress.
    I will continue to follow you and your website is the best. Merci

  2. Shoes! One of my favorite topics.

    I have a hard time finding shoes I can walk forever in and yet not have sore feet by the end of the day. Rothy’s for flats/loafers and Superga’s sneakers have worked so far.

    Though I do think I need a classic Chanel ballet flat form my next Paris trip! Are they very comfortable for miles of walking?

    Thanks!

  3. Meghan! Excellent post as always. Quick q — I saw your related post re how you take care of your shoes. Do you have your cobbler waterproof your Sarah Flint flats? Obviously I got the Natalie flat on your recommendation, and want to wear them in Paris in November, but am worried about water damage if it starts raining unexpectedly. Thanks!

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