I need something comfortable that I can wear while walking around all day on cobblestone and not come away with stumps... Preferably something that isn't bright white and screams "TOURIST!", or that I won't be embarrassed to wear around here when the trip is over.
Here's the thing... I love shoes. However, I have never been a person who likes to wear them. I prefer to go barefoot when possible. I have narrow feet with a very high instep, which means that a lot of shoes put pressure on the tops of my feet. Plus, since the whole foot swelling issue prevented me from wearing shoes for almost a year, and then having worked at home since I got better meant not having to wear anything more confining than socks... shoes just seem more uncomfortable than ever before.
Today, after weeks of looking, I think (hope) I managed to find shoes that'll work - they're Josef Seibels, which is a brand that I've always liked. My plan is to wear them every day until I go, so that they're broken in and comfortable enough to walk around Italy all day.
I did alter them right off the bat, though. They came with regular (grey) laces, but I have never managed to master the art of tying laces so that they'll stay done up for more than 5 minutes. So, I stopped at a kids' store and got striped curly laces that don't need to be tied.
I hope these will work.