Best Italian Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Appearance
Everyone needs a pair of nice-looking shoes, whether for special events or to show of your style around the office or with friends. Italian shoes are the epitome of class and style, as the country has a history of quality hand-made shoes as well as one of high fashion.
- Ferro Aldo 19266A
- Plaid Accents
- Geox U Nebula 7
- Breathable Outsole Technology
- Ferro Aldo 19312
- Perforated Brogue Pattern
Rome and Milan are both regarded as cultural hubs for fashion, while Florence is known as the leather capital of the world. Additionally, many shoe makers around the world have adopted the Bologna Construction or sacchetto technique, a method of crafting comfortable shoes that originated in Italy. With this technique, the shoe lining and upper are laid flat against each other and rolled into a tube. They are then stitched directly to the outsole to ensure the foot only comes in contact with the shoe upper, not the sole. It also places the stitch in an area where the foot won’t feet it, further ensuring comfort throughout the day while wearing the shoe.
Choosing an Italian or Italian-style shoe means seeking out a style that resonates with you, quality construction that’ll last for years to come and finally, finding a comfortable shoe that fits well and is ready to be worn all day or all night. These 10 Italian shoes are some of the best you can find online today. Take a look and find your perfect pair.
10 Best Italian Shoes
1. Ferro Aldo 19266A
The plaid accent offers an eye-catching detail that's sure to impress. The neutral gray and white tones of the plaid won't clash with many outfits, making these shoes an adaptable accessory.
Stylish shoes don't have to hurt. These shoes have a padded insole for the wearer's pleasure. This will make walking around much more comfortable for all-day wear.
Cost and Value
These shoes are a stylish addition to the modern man's closet. The plaid pattern gives a unique flair and the wing tip is always fashionable. Plus, these shoes have a comfortable padding.
- Padded insole for comfort.
- Lace-up style for good fit.
- All-around plaid pattern for a unique style.
- Distressed wingtip for a modern take on a classic element.
- A heavy glue smell takes some time to dissipate.
- They run about one size too large.
2. Geox U Nebula 7
Geox aims to put an end to sweaty feet by way of a perforated rubber sole that allows the foot to breath without letting in any excess moisture from outside.
These shoes are laceless, instead fastened by a series of five flat elastic bands across the top of the shoe. These make the shoe easy to put on and take off while still looking classy.
Cost and Value
These shoes are highly comfortable and keep feet dry throughout the day. At the same time, they're stylish with a suede upper and can be paired with nearly any outfit.
- Breathable rubber outsole keeps feet dry.
- Breathable mesh lining further aids in all-day comfort.
- Suede upper offers a stylish look.
- Elastic band closure makes putting them on and taking them off simple and fast.
- Carefully designed sole stays stable and offers good traction.
- They don’t come in wide E size.
- May run slightly large.
3. Giorgio Brutini Risque
The medallion toe and other brogue punches on the tops of the shoes and alongside the shoelaces add a touch of character to these shoes. The punches are expertly done.
Built for comfort
These shoes aren't just built for style - they feel good, too. The perforated padded collar adds some cushion and gives more comfort to the wearer and protection to the foot.
Cost and Value
This fashionable shoe provides both class and comfort to wearers. The perforated, padded topline provides some cushion and protection. The medallion toe and brogue punches add unique flair to the shoe.
- Stacked one-inch wooden heel looks nice.
- Perforated padded collar adds comfort.
- Medallion toe and brogue-punched design add style.
- Low-cut dress shoe can be paired with many outfits.
- Wingtip adds class.
- Shoe strings fray easily.
- The “gray” color looks more like tan.
4. Donald J Pliner Naper-23
These loafers are made with soft, supple suede upper and a leather lining that not only makes these shoes comfortable but also gives them a casual yet high-class look.
Five color options
A range of colors means buyers can choose their favorite. Available in white, green, brown, black and red, each color has stylish subtle stitching and matches many styles and outfits.
Cost and Value
These loafers are soft and comfortable, and are easy to slip on and off. The soft suede adds a luxurious look to these casual shoes. Leather body and rubber sole are high quality.
- Suede upper is soft and looks nice.
- Slip-on construction makes these a convenient option.
- Stitch detailing adds a hint of style.
- Comfortable construction is good for all-day wear.
- Narrow construction may feel tight on some feet.
- They run about a half-size too large.
5. Aldo MX.0
The cushioned insole is built for comfort and support. Combined with the midsole well equipped to absorb shock and a soft fabric lining, these everyday sneakers are ideal for all-day wear.
The textile upper is flexible yet fashionable, especially paired with the synthetic details. The rubber upper stretches across the midsection of the shoe and is accentuated with a geometric design.
Cost and Value
These shoes are comfortable enough to be an everyday shoe to wear out walking or working, with padded, shock-absorbing insoles. The stylish elements give these shoes a casual yet high-fashion look.
- Cushioned insole is very comfortable.
- Midsole absorbs shock.
- Textile and synthetic upper are stylish.
- Fabric lining adds comfort.
- Curved topline is padded.
- These shoes tend to run small.
6. Ferro Aldo AD01
These shoes are designed with style in mind. The palm tree pattern is a fun and uncommon look, offering a fresh take on the dress shoe design. The lace-up appearance is also meant to add flair.
Durable construction makes these shoes long-lasting and well equipped for a night out. The durable rubber sole won't wear out quickly and the high-quality stitching and materials make these a dependable option.
Cost and Value
These shoes are perfect for a night out to show off your unique style. The palm tree pattern is a rare find, and the four color options each display it well.
- Palm tree pattern is unique.
- Slip-on construction makes the shoes convenient.
- Lace-up appearance is stylish.
- Rubber outsole is durable and long-lasting.
- Quality fabric makes for solid construction.
- They come with an odd odor that may last for a few days.
- These shoes run large.
7. Kenneth Cole Back Up Plan
Suede upper looks sleek and stylish, plus is soft to the touch. The leather collar, which feeds into the quarter and is the base for the eyelets, is fashionable and comfortable.
Rubber outsole offers good traction
The treads on the rubber outsole are deep and provide stability. They are good for improving traction, making these boat shoes ideal for a day out sailing or boating.
Cost and Value
These stylish boat shoes are perfect for a day on the water or around the house. They're comfortable, with a leather collar and a slightly padded interior. The suede upper is soft and looks nice.
- Quality construction makes these long-lasting.
- Durable rubber sole offers improved traction.
- Suede upper is soft and stylish.
- Leather collar is comfortable.
- Casual yet polished design.
- Some laces are hard to stay tied.
- Run about a half-size too large.
8. Magnanni Cristian
Made completely of leather and designed with the Bologna Construction technique, these shoes are high-quality and long-lasting. They're flexible enough to comfortably fit the feet yet sturdy enough to last.
Perforations, stitching and other small details
Small details like the perforated quarter panel pattern, stitching along the toe box and quarter panel, and a two-tone midsole add subtle yet stylish elements to this fashionable sneaker.
Cost and Value
This shoe is made entirely of leather, save for the durable rubber outsole. The leather lining and insole are comfortable, while the leather outer construction is long-lasting and stylish.
- Leather lining and insole are comfortable.
- Leather outer is stylish and long-lasting.
- Made with the Bologna Construction technique makes them flexible enough to fit the foot.
- Perforated quarter panel adds fashionable details.
- Two-tone midsole gives unique style.
- They’re somewhat narrow for a sneaker design.
- Leather details on the outsole wear out quickly.
9. Geox Ailand A
The mesh midsole combined with Geox's patented breathable outsole technology make these sneakers a top choice among wearers who tend to sweat. The unique sole allows air to pass through but does not let moisture in.
Fashionable yet stylish
The stylish leather upper makes these shoes a good choice for nearly any need. The elastic lace closure makes these easy to slip on and the mesh collar provides added comfort.
Cost and Value
These shoes are all-around high-quality. The breathable outsole provides lasting comfort, as do the mesh collar and supportive construction. The leather outer with suede detailing offer a classy appearance.
- High-quality leather is attractive.
- Breathable outsole technology.
- Mesh midsole for added comfort.
- Suede detailing is stylish.
- Mesh additions on the tongue improve comfort.
- The sole may feel very firm.
10. Ferro Aldo 19312
Brogue punches on the toe box, along the wingtip, around the sides and along the bottom ridge of the topline all add stylish details throughout the shoe that will impress.
A padded insole is meant to deliver comfort to the wearer, while the sturdy construction is long-lasting. These shoes are durable and made with quality materials and stitching.
Cost and Value
These shoes offer style as well as quality. The brogue punched pattern adds a nice design to the toe box and continues along the sides of the shoes.
- Padded insole for comfort.
- Brogue punch design adds some flair.
- Three stylish color options.
- Wingtip gives a classic look.
- Materials of construction come with an odor.
- Laces aren’t high quality.
Choosing the right Italian shoe for you is a matter of personal preference and comfort. Some show off playful designs, like Ferro Aldo’s palm tree or plaid patterns. Others display classic brogue punch designs that add a subtle flair to the toe box or quarter panels of the shoe. Wing tips are always a time-honored way of adding some class to your outfit. More modern designs, like Aldo’s MX.0 fashion sneaker, bring in both new materials like silicone and current designs, like a geometric pattern of slightly raised geometric squares on the side of the shoe.
Beyond style, choosing an excellent Italian shoe is also about finding the right materials and construction technique. Some are made with traditional shoe-making techniques, like Magnanni’s all-leather sneakers, while others turn to new technologies. Geox, for example, developed a unique outsole that prevents moisture infiltration while allowing air flow to come into the shoe and keep the foot cool. The design is meant to help the foot regulate it’s own temperature and humidity, creating a comfortable environment within the shoe.
Finally, an Italian shoe worth investing in will keep your foot comfortable throughout the entire time of wearing. Everything from the materials to the style of construction matters, and shoe makers who strive to maintain the excellent reputation of quality Italian shoes know this. Finding the right Italian shoe means finding one that fits your foot naturally and doesn’t cause pain or blisters.
Shoe style is a personal preference. Luckily, high-quality Italian shoes come in a wide range of styles, designs, colors and materials, allowing anyone to find a pair they love.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Italian Shoes
If you’re buying Italian shoes, style is one of your top priorities. The pair you choose should reflect your personal style and add a touch of character to your outfit. There are many different styles to choose from, and the one you choose should match the way you plan to wear the shoe.
For more casual outings, options like sneakers from Aldo or Geox are ideal. They combine thoughtful and eye-catching designs with quality construction that’ll keep the shoe in good condition and the foot comfortable throughout the day. These are perfect for everyday, all-day wear. Leather sneakers such as the Cristian Sneaker from Magnanni combine high-quality leather with a perfectly casual design, allowing the sneakers to be used for many different types of occasions.
Slip-on designs like the Back Up Plan boat shoes from Kenneth Cole’s Unlisted collection or the Naper-23 suede penny loafer designs from Donald J Pliner, also give a cool, casual look in very comfortable materials of construction. With these, stitching details not only give some visual diversity that adds character, but are also carefully designed to keep the foot comfortable and supported all day.
For uses like dressing up for work, Italian shoes that feature subtle yet interesting designs made with a brogue punch may be the way to go. These add a hint of structured yet fun patterns but keep the shoe looking classy and add to a well put-together look.
For more celebratory events, such as an outdoor wedding, a family reunion or birthday party, unique and fun designs add statement to your outfit. Ferro Aldo is one excellent choice for this, with such diverse designs like palm trees, floral patterns or plaid panels.
Quality materials and construction
Italy has a reputation for producing excellent shoes with high-quality leather. Additionally, traditional Italian shoemaking techniques have been revered by shoe makers from all around the world, according to Craftsmanship Quarterly. As such, when shopping for Italian shoes, it only makes sense to seek out quality materials and techniques of construction.
Shoes should be long-lasting and not wear out with limited use. Italian shoes should be an investment that will pair with your outfits for many years, becoming your go-to pair for specific occasions. Or, if you choose an everyday Italian shoe, it should last you for several months before it begins to wear out under extended use.
Choosing stitching that won’t begin to unravel, and materials that won’t fray or come loose from the shoe, is also a factor. Seek out leather or suede, but pay particular attention to the stitching. Shoemaking techniques like the Bologna Construction technique keep the stitching tight and durable yet away from the foot, ensuring a comfortable fit, according to Italian shoe company Olivier Gerardi.
Comfort and fit
Though style and quality materials might be the first priorities that come to mind when shopping for Italian shoes, you can’t forget one of the most important aspects of choosing any sort of shoes: comfort and fit. If you have a shoe made from the finest leather with a timeless design but they’re constantly slipping off your feet, squeeze too tight or are otherwise completely uncomfortable to wear, the shoes will sit in the back of your closet and collect dust.
Instead, seek out features that add comfort to the shoe, like a padded collar that can prevent blisters from forming on the back of the heel, or insoles or midsoles that absorb shock or provide cushioning. The material of construction matters for comfort, too. A leather upper may feel comfortable to the foot, but a leather insole could be too firm and may take a while to be broken in, for example. Of course, everyone is different – some may be fine with a leather insole. In many cases, it all comes down to personal preference and the unique qualities of your feet.
Fit is important for any shoe. Most people know exactly what size they are in their favorite brands, but it’s important to remember that these sizes may differ slightly between brands. This is especially true for American sizes. When shopping for Italian shoes, a European sizing method may be employed, which many customers notice cause the shoes to run larger than they expect. As a result, it’s common that choosing a shoe that’s a half-size to a size smaller than your normal go-to shoe size works best. Of course, this may be different among different shoe brands and models, so it’s a good idea to research what other people have noticed about a particular shoe before purchasing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I invest in Italian shoes?
A: Italian shoes are made with excellent quality and carefully thought-out design. As a result, many Italian shoes are long-lasting and highly durable. Many people, once they try out a pair of Italian shoes they fall in love with, find that the brand is reliable for many different pairs of shoes and often turn to their favorite Italian brands to expand their shoe collection. Buying Italian shoes is a personal choice, and not everyone wants to or needs to invest in Italian shoes. However, if you’re looking for high quality, excellent materials and great design, all in a comfortable shoe, you’ll likely find it in the right pair of Italian shoes.
Q: What should I look for in a pair of Italian shoes?
A: When shopping for Italian shoes, look for quality construction and a design that you love. The point of Italian shoes is that they’re fashionable and of excellent quality. Beyond that, comfort and good fit are necessary qualities for any pair of your shoes, including your Italian shoes.
Q: What material is best?
A: Italian shoes can be made from a wide range of materials, but the traditional idea of Italian shoes connotes Italian leather. Leather and suede are both common Italian shoes or those made with Italian shoe making techniques.
Italian shoe designers can think outside the box, and have branched out to other materials of construction, too. For example, Aldo’s MX.0 fashion sneakers use textile and silicone to create eye-catching designs. Geox uses specially designed textile and rubber to create a unique shoe that prevents moisture and humidity from building up within the shoe. Though Aldo and Geox don’t use traditional Italian leather in these shoe models, they’re still quality shoes from well-respected brands.
In the end, the material you should seek out should reflect the style you want to reflect when you wear the shoes. Leather shoes gives a more formal look, even with casual designs, as can be seen with all-leather street sneakers. Meanwhile, textile, silicone and other types of materials may give a more laid-back look, even with high-fashion styles.