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Shoes: What to Wear on the French Riviera

Do I have to wear stilettos to be cool?


Don't Let This Worry Stop You From Planning Your Vacation to the Beautiful Côte d'Azur!

by Mary Kay Seales

Of all the things you need to bring on your trip to the French Riviera, the most important item is your shoes. 

The French Riviera is made up of very old towns and cities built on the sides of cliffs, with cobblestone streets and lots of stairs. You will be walking a lot and it will be on surfaces that are uneven with cracks and crevices abounding. By the end of each day, you will feel a wonderful ache from all the climbing and hiking you have done.

So what kind of shoes should you bring to the South of France?

My recommendation for both men and women is to bring one serious pair of walking shoes or hiking boots that you have broken in well. These are for day trips and hikes. 

Next, you may want to dress up just a bit for dinner, but still have the ability to stroll along the waterfront afterwards. Women, bring a pair of ballet flats for this purpose, or nice but comfortable sandals. Men, you usually have this covered with one pair of shoes (and besides, do you really care?).

For the beaches, you will want a pair of flip flops or sandals, and in Nice, you may also want water shoes for the rocks. But maybe wait until you get there to buy these. 

If you need any other shoes on your trip, shoe stores are absolutely everywhere, so if you don't already have what you need, you can find it there.

So that's it: walking shoes, beach shoes, nice end-of-day shoes that you can also walk in, and some cash to buy whatever other shoes you need. Maybe you will get invited to Brad and Angelina's dinner party.

If you're a runner, of course, bring your running shoes. Nice is a wonderful place to run with its miles of flat coastline and stunning views. And hill runners will have a field day in any of these towns.

The French Riviera is really not so different from home in terms of what you can and cannot wear, or what's appropriate. People have a mistaken belief that this wonderful vacation mecca is only for movie stars and millionaires (and those guys do hang out on the French Riviera), but I am a small town girl from Washington State, and I can tell you that I never feel uncomfortable traveling there.

So there's one more worry solved for you. What else is stopping you from buying your ticket and packing your bags?

For more about traveling on the French Riviera, see The Beginner's Guide to the French Riviera: Stop Dreaming & Start Packing available on Amazon & Kindle.

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