However, you can equip unidentified items as long as you meet the requirements to do so. There is no way to know the status of an unidentified item until you equip it and try it out. Note that equipping some items may have unexpected results; for example, if you equip an item and it turns out to be cursed, you will be unable to unequip it until you visit the church in Hero's Square.
By using an identifying tool, you can identify one item per use at any location. However, using them repeatedly is not as economical as simply returning to town.
Unidentified items cannot be used at the Soul Balance should you die..