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Best Shoes for Amsterdam

Best Shoes for Amsterdam

Want to know what the best shoes for Amsterdam are? In this guide we will round up a season by season shoe guide that takes into account the local Amsterdam dress code as well as the activities you will be doing such as lots of walking and plenty of cycling.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Considerations for Shoes in Amsterdam

What to wear to Amsterdam in April

When you are considering what shoes to take for Amsterdam you will want to consider the month of travel, the weather and of course the activities you will be doing.

We will consider each of these below to help you consider the shoes you want to take to Amsterdam.

On top of that there are definitely shoes that should be left behind which we will also address too!

Month of Travel

Amsterdam is a city that truly does experience all 4 seasons, and sometimes gets them all in one day!

For this reason we have out together a month by month Amsterdam packing list guides which will help you understand what to expect from each month:


Although there are certainly rainier months in Amsterdam than others, you can rain in any month in Amsterdam. Having lived in the city for several years I have got soaked in December as well as July and everything in-between.

Therefore if you have shoes with some rain resistance or waterproof qualities they are always worth adding to your Netherlands packing list.


Woman on bike in Amsterdam

The type of activities you are doing will always affect your footwear strongly.

The main type of activities you will be doing in Amsterdam are:

  • walking
  • cycling.

You are probably familiar with what the best shoes are for walking but what about cycling?

Most people immediately think that sneakers are the best shoes for cycling. However I tend to disagree having lived in Amsterdam for several years.

My go to shoe for cycling in Amsterdam tends to be an ankle boot or sandal with a small but thick heel. This is best for traction on your pedal cycling around the city.

Shoes not to wear in Amsterdam

Amsterdam does not have a strong Dress code however there are a few things I recommend adding to your Amsterdam what not to wear list shoe wise. These are Stilettos and Thin Heels.

We are ex-Amsterdammers and can say that stilettos and thin heels are a big no no.

Many Dutch cities are full of beautiful cobbled streets. Cobbled streets and thin heels are a disaster waiting to happen.

If you want to wear shoes with heels we recommend going for something with a thicker heel so they won’t get caught in cobbles. Thick but smaller heels are also a more practical choice for cycling so you will see many locals wearing things like low heeled thick ankle boots. 

I also would recommend you not wearing Clogs in Amsterdam.

What Not to Wear in Amsterdam
What Not to Wear in Amsterdam

Even though I lived in the Netherlands for several years I never saw anyone wearing clogs ever. People may wear them in more rural areas while quickly nipping outside into the garden but they will not be seen in the cities. My advice is steer clear of clogs or else you will definitely single yourself out as a tourist, and will have uncomfortable feet to boot!

I would also recommend leaving the flip flops at home even if you are visiting Amsterdam in summer. Flip flops do not offer any arch support so aren’t good for walking around the city in.

Best Shoes for Amsterdam


Close up of woman's shoe for Amsterdam
Best Shoes for Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a casual city. Now I don’t mean the Dutch aren’t stylish because they truly are. However their style is more laid back, casual and practical.

For this reason no matter the month you are visiting sneakers are our top pick for the best shoes for Amsterdam.

You won’t feel out of place anywhere in sneakers or trainers. They are great on uneven surfaces and cobbled streets but also can cope with cycling, even though they aren’t my preferred shoe for cycling.

Shop sneakers here

Wedges – best shoe for Amsterdam in Summer

For smarter shoes for evenings out during the summer months in Amsterdam I recommend packing Wedges. Wedges are the safest shoes for the city as you can walk on cobbles in them.

Heels especially thin ones are on my what not to wear in Amsterdam list but wedges are safer for those wanting to add some height to their outfit. 

Shop Wedges Here 

Ankle Boots – best shoe for Amsterdam in Winter

Ankle boots are great for those visiting Amsterdam in Winter, or in the cooler shoulder seasons.

I always opt for boots with a thick and small heel as these are safest for cycling and walking.

Most people think sneakers are the best thing to cycle in but actually you are better with something that has a bit of a heel. 

Just be sure to leave the suede boots at home. Amsterdam can be rainy at any time of year and you can ruin suede shoes in Amsterdam very quickly.

We recommend having a pair of boots that are either completely waterproof or are at least water resistant. 

Also please do not bring any boots or other shoes that have very thin heels such as stilettos. These are extremely dangerous in Amsterdam due to the cobbled streets, public transit access and of course are a huge hazard if you are considering cycling. 

Chunky heels are the only heels you should even contemplate bringing with you to Amsterdam.

Longer length boots such as knee high and thigh high are also seen around the city but I would say most locals tend to wear ankle length boots.

What do you think are the best shoes for Amsterdam? Let us know in the comments below!