There is a common misconception that all Europeans wear fancy shoes and if you wear sneakers in Europe you’ll immediately be pegged as a tourist and be constantly accosted by roving hoards of pickpockets.
And this sends soon-to-be-travelers into a footwear-induced panic as they try to find the perfect pair of shoes that won’t make them the laughing stock of Europe.
Well, we have some news for you.
Europeans wear sneakers.
And no, they don’t wear high-heels and loafers made from the finest Italian leather every day.
They wear sneakers.
Nike. New Balance. Adidas. Puma. You’ll see these brands on the feet of both teenagers and middle-aged folks.
They’ve fully embraced sneakers. And they’ve fully embraced both white and brightly colored sneakers.
But here’s the thing… they don’t really wear straight-up athletic/running shoes—that’s still largely an American thing. Europeans stick to styles that walk the line between sport and style.
Yes, You Can Wear Sneakers In Europe
To prove my point, I took photos of people’s shoes when I was traveling around Spain and France. I’ve also written a guide to the best shoes for travel and a guide for the best travel shoes for women if you want some more footwear ideas.
This middle-aged guy was rocking some classic green Adidas with jeans and a sports coat.
These two young ladies looked fashionable in their brightly colored New Balance sneakers.
You can’t really go wrong with any of the New Balance Classics. Search around Zappos to see all the styles and colors.
Here we have white Adidas and yellow Reeboks (I’ve seen a lot of Reeboks recently during my recent travels). Check Zappos to see the styles and colors.
I saw a ton of white Adidas. I mean, it seems like basic white Adidas were the shoe of choice when I was traveling. Take a look at Zappos to see what similar styles are available.
More Reeboks in multiple colors (check Zappos)
The lady with the flowers has Adidas and this dude has some kind of casual sneakers (and some cool green pants). Search around Zappos to find something that fits your style.
Yes, people even wear Nike sneakers.
Like bright colors? Go for it.
Want More Footwear Advice?
Not into sneakers? We’ve written an in-depth guide to the best travel shoes that you might want to check out where we cover everything from boots to flats and everything in between.
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Thanks For Reading! — James