Want to know what the best shoes for Spain are? In this guide we will round up a season by season shoe guide that takes into account the local Spanish dress codes as well as the activities you will be doing such as lots of walking, hiking and spending time on the beach.
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Best shoes to wear in Spain Considerations
When you are considering what shoes to take for Spain 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 Spain.
On top of that there are definitely shoes that should be left behind which we will also address too!
Month of Travel
Spain is a large country, as such you will find that it is greatly affected by the season and month of travel, as well as the region you are traveling to. For instance the islands will have very different weather in the Winter to the North of Spain and Madrid.
For these reasons we have put together regional and monthly Spanish packing list guides which will help you understand what to expect from each month:
- What to wear in Spain in Winter
- What to wear in Spain in March
- What to wear in Spain in April
- What to wear in Spain in May
- What to wear in Spain in June
- What to wear in Spain in July
- What to wear in Spain in August
- What to wear in Spain in September
- What to wear in Spain in October
- What to wear in Spain in November
As Spain us such a large country with a great variety of climates, the weather changes regional. It is always worth checking out 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.
And unless you are visiting Spain in Winter having shoes that are waterproof should not be a big concern for most travellers to Spain.
On any vacation the type of activities you are doing always affect your footwear. And this is particular true in Spain.
If you are planing to tour the sights of Barcelona from the Sagrada Familia to Parc Guell to Las Ramblas, these places will involve a LOT of walking. As such you will need to have good walking shoes with.
Whereas if you are planning on heading to the islands such as Tenerife or Majorca or Ibiza, 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.
And if you plan on walking the famous El Camino or heading into the mountain you will need some better hiking shoes which you won’t need in the cities on on the beach.
Shoes not to wear in Spain
Spain generally speaking does not have a strong dress code that you need to worry about. In fact one of the things I love about visiting Spain, especially in the cities and beach islands, is the fact there is such a fashion melting pot. Therefore you don’t need to worry about shoes marking you out as a tourist.
However there are some shoes that make it onto my what what not to wear list for Spain. These are Stilettos and Thin Heels. This is more for practical purposes rather than fashion ones. In cities such as Barcelona, Seville and Madrid you are likely to experience uneven surfaces and cobble stone streets. Thin heels just aren’t practical in these places.
Also there are very few places in Spain where there are dress codes that will require going out shoes so they are best left at home unless you have a specific event you need them for.
Best Shoes for Spain
Sneakers – the best shoe for cities in Spain
Sneakers often win my best shoes for Spain title. Any Spanish city break is going to require a LOT of walking and the surfaces and terrain you encounter are likely to be uneven. Therefore sneakers have to win the most comfortable shoe award for travel to Spain.
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.
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.
Sandal – best for Spain beach destination and Summer
Now most people who travel to Spain will do so during the summer and will hit at least one beach on their vacation.
For those visiting Spain in Summer or planning on visiting a beach 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.
Also if you want something with some height we recommend leaving these for at night as heels are not good for walking in Spain. For this reason we recommend packing Wedges if you want an evening shoe with height.
Ankle Boots – best shoe for Winter in Northern Spain
Although you may not need ankle boots in Spain in the South, I recommend boots for in the North.
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
These shoes are definitely an optional however if you plan on making a pilgrimage to Spain and walking the Camino you will need proper hiking shoes. The best walking shoes for Spain really have to be hiking boots no matter when you visit just be sure to pack a light and breathable pair.
For a full Camino packing list check out this post.
Flip Flops – optional
Flip flops are definitely not a shoe that I would want to be doing lots of walking in. However if you are spending time on a beach or are planning to hang around a pool then flip flops are a great addition to your packing list and don’t take up much room!
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 Spain? Let us know in the comments below!