Want to know what the best shoes for Portugal are? In this guide we will round up a season by season shoe guide that takes into account the terrains and attractions you will be visiting whether you are heading to Lisbon, Porto or the Algarve or further afield as well as the activities you will be doing such as lots of walking, hiking and spending time on the beach.
Best shoes to wear in Portugal considerations
When you are considering what shoes to take for Portugal you will want to consider the month of travel, the weather, the region you are traveling to 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 Portugal.
On top of that there are definitely shoes that you won’t be needing on any trip to Portugal which we will also cover.
Month of Travel
Portugal is definitely a country that experiences 4 seasons. For this reason we also approach our Portugal packing lists by season. For in depth monthly weather guides be sure to check out the below posts:
- What to wear in Portugal in Winter
- What to wear in Portugal in March
- What to wear in Portugal in April
- What to wear in Portugal in May
- What to wear in Portugal in June
- What to wear in Portugal in July
- What to wear in Portugal in August
- What to wear in Portugal in September
- What to wear in Portugal in October
- What to wear in Portugal in November
As I mentioned above Portugal does indeed get 4 seasons, and peiple are often surprised by the weather in Portugal. I for one was surprised to find out how windy Portugal can get especially in the cities such as Lisbon and Porto. We recommend checkin the weather 7 days in advance of travel to ensure there are no unusual weather events about to occur i.e. heatwaves or cold snaps that will affect the shoes you decide to pack.
On any vacation the type of activities you are doing always affect your footwear. And this is particular true in Portugal.
The cities such as Lisbon and Porto are surprisingly hilly and also have lots of cobble stone and uneven streets. And there is lots of walking involved in any Lisbon or Porto city break. For this reason we recommend having comfortable walking shoes with you if you plan on heading to the cities at any time of year.
Whereas if you are planning on heading to the Algarve in Summer or the shoulder seasons you will likely be spending more time at the beach and around the pool therefore cool shoes that can cope with sand are more important.
Shoes not to wear in Portugal
Portugal generally speaking does not have a strong dress code that you need to worry about. However the hills, beaches and ancient attractions mean you need good walking shoes. This means there are certainly some types of shoes I would not wear in Portugal.
These include Stilettos and Thin Heels for more practical purposes rather than fashion ones. Also you are unlikely to ever need snow shoes in Portugal even if you are visiting in the Winter.
Best Shoes for Portugal
Sneakers – the best shoe for cities in Portugal
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Sneakers are always my top pick for visiting Portuguese cities. Any city break in Portugal is going to require a LOT of walking and the surfaces and terrain you encounter are likely to be uneven. Also Lisbon is a city of 9 hills, and they are pretty big ones so you need a shoe that can cope in all these scenarios. Which is why I recommend sneakers as the best shoe for Portugal
My favorite brand of sneakers for walking are Hoka and AllBird. I particularly like the Tree Runners made by all Birds for hot weather vacations as they are light and breathable.
However you also can’t go wrong with a plain white sneaker as they go with everything and are easy to incorporate as part of a minimalist travel capsule wardrobe. One of my favorite pairs of white sneakers is the Adidas Cloud Foam shoes.
But if you are visiting Portugal in one of the rainier months then having a sneaker with some waterproofing is a good idea. My favorite waterproof sneaker brand has to be Ecco especially the Soft 7 version.
Sandal – best shoe for the Algarve and Summer in Portugal
Now most people who travel to Portugal will do so during the summer and will hit at least one beach on their vacation.
For those visiting Portugal in Summer or planning on heading to the Algarve for some beach time we recommend packing a sandal. But when looking at a sandal we recommend making sure you pick one that is good for walking.
A brand we love is Teva but go with the sandals that you feel provide you with adequate arch support if you plan on using them for walking as well as for on the beach. .
Ankle Boots – best shoe for Winter in Portugal
In summer sandals are more appropriate for Portugal than boots. However for Winter we recommend packing an ankle boot.
I always opt for ankle boots with a thick and small heel or no heel as these as most comfortable for doing lots of walking in. I also pick ankle boots over longer length boots, not for a style reason but just because ankle boots are easier to pack.
Hiking Boots / Sandals – optional
Unless you plan on doing some serious hiking in the Portuguese countryside it is probably safe to leave the hiking boot at home.
Flip Flops – optional
I definitely wouldn’t wear a flip flop for walking in Porto, Lisbon or Sintra. However if you plan to spend time on the beach or round by the pool it is worth throwing a pair of flip flops onto your packing list.
Water Shoes- optional
Depending on the beaches you are traveling to you may want to have water shoes with you to protect your feet. However this is definitely an optional. Shop water shoes here.
What do you think are the best shoes for Portugal? Let us know in the comments below!