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Wondering if you should pack heels for a trip to Italy? One reader asks this very question, so we turned to other TFG readers for their opinion. The feedback was loud and clear: leave the heels and bring your wedges instead!
Should You Pack Heels for Italy?
Table Of Contents
Travel Fashion help! Reader asks:
I am leaving for Italy in September for a ten-day trip (Rome, Venice, Florence, Sienna, Amalfi Coast). I think I’ll lean more toward the summer wardrobe but will add a few fall pieces, just in case! I wasn’t planning to pack a pair of heels (and I am a huge heel girl)… so now I am rethinking my no-heel decision. Perhaps wedges can suffice?
When you think of Italy, high fashion probably comes to mind—fashion week in Milan, shopping in Rome—and if you’re a lover of heels, it will make sense you’d want to bring a pair. But don’t!
While picturing yourself in a pair of sophisticated heels, walking around the bustling streets of Italy that fantasy probably doesn’t involve cobblestone streets and sore feet. Yet, that’s the reality of it.
So, while we all love to dress up, it’s best to avoid the heels because they’ll leave you uncomfortable. Opt for wedge heels to give you your glam dinner look without the added discomfort. Think of them as amazingly comfortable heels for women!
Regardless of what you choose, you probably do want to pack at least one pair of shoes (and one outfit) to be worn for dining out or experiencing the local nightlife.
Looking for some heels that are wedge-style? Check out our readers’ top recommendations.
Annadel Eirwyn Wedge | 3 Inches Height
Clarks Annadel Eirwyn
The Annadel Eirwyn Wedge is a TFG bestseller; readers absolutely love it! These are 3 inches with a 1-inch platform accented by a cork-like wedge and suede strap.
Not only do readers love these shoes, but they are also TFG editor-approved. My mom bought them for a trip to Central America and said they were perfect for walking on cobblestone streets. I even tried them on myself, the cushion felt soft, and I couldn’t believe how cute they looked.
This stylish heel sandal, practically made for a night out in Milan, comes in seven different colors, including the sand nubuck pictured above. They’re also super light which makes packing them a piece of cake!
You’ll want to look your best when you travel! Read my travel tips to Pack Light Stylishly!
Viscata Pubol Ankle-Strap Classic | 2 Inches Height
Viscata Pubol Classic
A hybrid between a boho-style wedge with a pump-style toe, the Viscata Pubol can be dressed up or down, depending on your activity.
With its versatile look, durable material, and classic closed-toe, these classy numbers will liven up an exciting evening out in Rome. And the 2-inch heel height gives an excellent shape to your calves without killing your feet. One reader adores these for that very reason, saying, “As far as comfortable espadrilles, these have proved to be the best for my troublesome feet.”
Another reader says, “I wanted a comfortable pair of ‘pretty’ shoes, and these are perfect.” If you’re looking for comfort to go with a laid-back style, add these to your must-have list!
Take a look at these comfortable espadrilles!
UGG Uma Wedge Sandal | 3 Inches Height
Of course, UGG would make the ultimate cork wedge heels. With about 3 inches to play with, and a leather shoe top and strap, these shoes give a polished summer look.
Combine with a pretty summer dress and canvas tote and head to a Sardinian beach, or wear them during a stroll down the Venice Promenade. You’ll not only be comfortable but turn some heads too!
Don’t take it from us, one reader says, “They are super comfy, and I wear them everywhere. I took them to Europe last year, and they were amazing!” Give off some serious beach vibes in Italy with these, and you won’t give standard heels a second thought!
Check out this post if you’re planning to spend two weeks in Europe!
Viscata Roses Slip-On Wedge Pumps | 2 75 Inches Height
Viscata Roses Pump
Wedge heels have some style, but they can be a little chunky looking. If you want a more refined, classic style shoe, then the Viscata Pumps could boost your sophistication factor!
These are a tad bit more elegant than a typical wedge shoe, taking on more of a pump design. Offered in nine colors, including the beige we’ve featured, all of the selections have a neutral flair and would match with whatever you pack!
Viscata is a brand that comes highly recommended. One reader shares, “These are perfect; I have been looking everywhere for a less chunky looking wedge heel.”
The 2.75 inches you gain in comfort will ensure that you don’t miss your heels while living your best Italian vacation life!
What are the most comfortable wedges? Find out here!
Birkenstock Papillio Dorothy Sandal | 2.25 Inches Height
While Birkenstock is known as a comfort brand, they also make some fine-looking wedge heels that provide that same relaxing wear.
The Birkenstock Papillio work as a pair of “everyday” shoes that you can walk around in. One reader shares that these shoes “work really well” for her.
With 2.25 inches of lift, enjoy the same-old Birkenstock familiarity, but in a refreshing style. Imagine exploring Rome in these? We definitely can!
Read this post for more Birkenstock sandals style!
Toni Pons ‘TER’ Espadrille | 2.5 Inches Height
Toni Pons ‘TER’
If you’re going for beachside fashion, then Toni Pons are made for you!
These make superb spring and summer shoes, plus their casual, clean style can beautifully complement your favorite maxi dress. They’re comfortable, flattering, and will give you the height of a heel (at 2.5 inches). One reader says simply, “I love them.”
See the top picks for the most comfortable and cute walking shoes for travel!
Crocs Leigh II Ankle Strap Wedge | 3 Inches Height
Crocs Leigh II
We know, we know, Crocs! But aren’t they adorable? The Leigh II is the perfect little-black-shoe (wedge-style) for a night out on the town. With a 3-inch heel and a 1-inch platform, these shoes will give you the height you’re looking for.
They’re feminine, comfortable, and most importantly, TFG readers rave about them. One says, “I have a pair of Crocs wedges that I get compliments on all the time. They are ridiculously comfortable. No one ever thinks they’re Crocs!”
Talk about comfortable heels! They are sturdy and built with comfort in mind. Pair them with a cute skirt and strut your stuff around town!
Find out the best black sandals for your next trip!
Cobb Hill Hannah Wedge Sandal | 2 Inches Height
Cobb Hill Women’s Hannah
The Cobb Hill Hannah is a lower-heeled shoe with an air of sophistication, perfect for those occasions that require a bit of dressing up.
This comes in four gorgeous colors, has about a 2-inch synthetic heel and leather straps, which are incredibly stylish. One reader praises they’re usability and aesthetics, saying, “Are extremely comfortable, just great sole support and they look classy, too!” While not as high as some of the other heels listed, their sleek appearance makes up for it!
Here’s a list of our readers’ favorite comfy sandals for travel!
Aetrex Sydney Leather Wedge | 3 Inches Height
If you need a little extra arch support, the Aetrex Sydney might be for you. These comfortable black heels provide just a little more to help relieve common foot pain and plantar fasciitis.
The footbed is built-in memory foam, and the heel height is a 3-inch rise, while the straps are made from soft suede. One fan (TFG reader) says, “These are adorable and insanely comfy.”
The cobblestone in Italian cities can be hard on your feet, so if you’re looking for a shoe that will take the beating for you while providing a supported, painless walk, this shoe might be what the podiatrist ordered!
Here are comfortable walking sandals that are stylish, too!
Eileen Fisher Wanda Cross Wedge Sandal | 2.5 Inches Height
Eileen Fisher Wanda
If you’re a fan of gladiator-style sandal straps, the Eileen Fisher provides this eye-popping look in total comfort.
These shoes have crisscrossed ankle straps made from a combination of leather and elastic. They have a 2.5-inch heel, 1-inch platform, and a back-zip so you can easily slip them on or off!
A reader shares her assessment of these, saying, “I love the look SO much, and they are so comfy!”
Italy’s cobblestone streets may be tamed yet with these statement-makers which work for a shorter stroll or evenings out when you want to spice up your travel wardrobe!
Product Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Annadel Eirwyn Wedge, 3" Height||"My mom bought them for a trip to Central America and said they were perfect for walking on cobblestone streets."||Check Price|
|Viscata Pubol Ankle-Strap Classic, 2'' Height||“I wanted a comfortable pair of ‘pretty’ shoes, and these are perfect.”||Check Price|
|UGG Uma Wedge Sandal, 3'' Height||“They are super comfy, and I wear them everywhere. I took them to Europe last year, and they were amazing!”||Check Price|
|Viscata Roses Slip-On Wedge Pumps, 2 75" Height||“These are perfect; I have been looking everywhere for a less chunky looking wedge heel.”||Check Price|
|Birkenstock Papillio Dorothy Sandal, 2.25'' Height||With 2.25 inches of lift, enjoy the same-old Birkenstock familiarity, but in a refreshing style. Imagine exploring Rome in these? We definitely can!||Check Price|
|Toni Pons ‘TER’ Espadrille, 2.5" Height||“I love them.”||Check Price|
|Crocs Leigh II Ankle Strap Wedge, 3" Height||“I have a pair of Crocs wedges that I get compliments on all the time. They are ridiculously comfortable. No one ever thinks they’re Crocs!”||Check Price|
|Cobb Hill Hannah Wedge Sandal, 2'' Height||“Are extremely comfortable, just great sole support and they look classy, too!”||Check Price|
|Aetrex Sydney Leather Wedge, 3'' Height||If you’re looking for a shoe that will take the beating for you while providing a supported, painless walk, this shoe might be what the podiatrist ordered!||Check Price|
|Eileen Fisher Wanda Cross Wedge Sandal, 2.5'' Height||“I love the look SO much, and they are so comfy!”||Check Price|
Heels in Italy
Due to the cobblestone streets and walks, heels are not the most desirable shoes for exploring Italy. But if you’re looking for something to dress up your look, a wedge-heel is suitable for nights out or more poised occasions.
If you absolutely love heels, some TFG readers suggest that instead of bringing heels along in your luggage, wait until you’ve experienced the cobblestone streets first. If you still think you’d like a pair then buy them when you’re there—you can never have too many Italian shoes, right?
Editor Picks: Three Shoes to Pack for a Trip to Europe
If you are not sure what shoes to pack for your summer trip to Europe, read the post or watch this video to learn the three pairs of shoes TFG’s editor took with her and why!
How to Pack Your Heels for Italy (Wedge-Style or Not!)
Determining how to pack heels for travel can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to pack light and avoid a heel poking through a bag. To make it easier, start by choosing a container such as a shoe bag or a packing cube, then pack according to your type of luggage.
Whether you have a front loading or top loading backpack, it’s crucial to put your shoes first, at the bottom. If you’re planning to pack shoes in a rolling carry-on, remember that it stands sideways, so it’s important to note how it functions when it is upright. Most often, your shoes will need to be packed close to the wheels, so that the luggage maintains its balance in transit.
To store, use washable shoe bags, gallon size Ziploc bags, or plastic shower caps to keep your belongings separate from your shoes.
Buy Compass Rose Packing Cubes here!
Want some more shoe suggestions or tips for your next trip to Italy? Here are some great resources:
- Top 10 Cute and Comfortable Ballet Flats for Europe
- 8 Most Comfortable Wedges for Travel
- The Ultimate Heels for Travel
- Bring These Travel-Friendly Wedges and Leave Your Heels at Home
What do you think are the best heels for travel to Italy? Share and comment below!
Please note: Most of Europe’s budget airlines have this carry-on bag allowance: 55 x 40 x 20 centimeters (21.6 x 15.7 x 7.9 inches). Always check your airline’s individual baggage rules and regulations in advance as it can vary.
For more tips, please read these Europe packing lists:
Suggested travel resources:
- Lonely Planet Europe on a shoestring
- Lonely Planet Italy (Country Guide)
- Travel Shoes for Europe
- The Best Carry-on Suitcases for Europe
Please read our Ultimate Packing List for Europe featuring stylish outfits and travel tips for nine countries!
Plus, 6 cities in 10 days is too much – you’re going to be spending all your time on a train, car or plane. Pick three.
I live here, and I’m telling you Italian girls don’t wear heels when they’re walking on cobblestones and ruins! Italians are great with sportswear, and wear it well. Sure if you’re on a cruise or you know you’re going to be getting really dressed up, bring a something fab, but are you? Usually when I’m touring I end up having dinner in the same outfit I put on at 8am…
Most ballet flats won’t hold up to several weeks of walking on these streets. Get a sports shoe that’s good looking – doesn’t have to be clunky – and get the outfit to go with them and wear it all day.
What walking shoe brands would you suggest based on your experience living there?
I just returned from 2 weeks in Rome and Naples. Our trip was nearly all on foot, 5 mi. a day on average. If you are touring ruins I suggest flats or cute lace-ups.
Hi Kathy, Thanks for reporting back – that’s a great point!
It’s a debate I go through all the time! I always pack them though on ANY trip even to the beach- I wear them out to dinner or drinks at least!
Not all women can leave their heels at home, so if you have to pack them – plan strategically 🙂
Low heels are fine as long as they are the 2nd set of shoes. Wedges are best for uneven ground. Try to have the soles made out of some sort of shock absorbing material such as cork or some of the new hybrid materials.
Hi Cindy thanks for your tips!