How to Pack Shoes For Travel - Suitcase Vacation Tips | DC.ONE
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Whether it’s summer or winter, every good vacation needs at least one pair of shoes. Travelling with the wrong footwear can put a real dampener on your vacation. And bringing too many pairs can take up much-needed space in your suitcase.

No matter if you’re travelling locally or overseas, this guide on how to pack shoes will help you make the most of your adventure.

Heading locally and not sure what type of shoes to bring with you on your vacation, check out our South Africa shoe packing guide for some tips.

How to Pack Different Types of Shoes

Not all shoes are the same, meaning you can’t use one packing style for all of them. Different footwear types will need to be packed differently. Luckily, we’ve got you covered.

How to Pack Boots in a Suitcase

Boots come in all different styles, from Chelsea boots and combat boots to high heeled boots or ankle booties. When it comes to packing shoes in a suitcase, boots are usually the heaviest and bulkiest types of shoes, no matter your shoe size. They are often best worn for travelling rather than packed inside a suitcase.

However, sometimes wearing boots is difficult, especially if you’re going to need to take them off. Luckily, there are some tricks to making the most of your space when packing boots in a suitcase.

For boots, you’ll definitely need a shoe bag since they often get very dirty. But we’d recommend cleaning them beforehand anyways. Keep your small items separate, as boots have a lot of storage space inside them. Plus, stuffing them with socks can help them keep their shape.

Once you’ve stuffed your shoes, slip them each in a shoe bag. You’ll want to pack your boots at the bottom of your suitcase so that they don’t crush the rest of your clothes. Plus, weighting the bottom will help keep your bag from tipping over.

Pack your boots facing each other so you can maximise space. You can also use the L shaped heel of your shoes to slot into the corner of your suitcase. Then just fill any gaps with clothes or small items.

shoe packing guide

How to Pack Sneakers for Travel

Sneakers are one of the best pairs of shoes for travel since they’re so versatile. Both comfy and trendy, we never set off on an adventure without our trusty Urban Art sneakers.

Sneakers are stronger than heels but can’t take as much weight as boots. After you’ve cleaned your sneakers and stuffed them with small items, you can slip your shoes into a sneaker travel bag.

You can either pack your sneakers facing each other, heel to toe, with some clothing between them and store them either in the middle or the bottom of your luggage. Or, if you’re worried about squishing your sneakers with too much weight, you can pack them along the long side of your suitcase.  

Place the sole of your sneakers along the edge of your suitcase. Then add some clothing beneath, around and below them.

shoes in suitcase

How to Pack Heels and Wedges in a Suitcase

Ah, heels. One of our personal favourites and a classy addition to any vacation. Due to their delicate nature and strange shape, heels and wedges can be tricky to pack. To avoid damaging them, here are a few tips on how to pack them the correct way.

You’ll need to pack your clothes around your shoes, which means you’ll need to make sure they’re clean. Alternatively, you can wrap each shoe in a bag.

When it comes to packing heels, it’s a good idea to keep smaller items (like socks or underwear) separate to stuff inside your shoes and fill any gaps. You can use these smaller items to help your shoes keep their shape during transit.

You’ll want to pack your heels near to the top of your suitcase. This way, they won’t take on too much weight during your journey. You’ll also want to create padding around them. This means using clothes underneath, to the sides and finally on top of the shoes.

Place each heel on their side facing each other (similarly to how they are packed in a shoebox). Then add some clothing as padding between them. Use any smaller items to fill up the gaps between the heel and the sole.

Packing Sandals, Slops and Flip Flops

No summer vacation would be complete without a pair of summer shoes. Luckily, these shoes are small, lightweight and usually easy to pack. You can easily slide them down one of the sides of your suitcase, or simply, pack them flat.

how to pack shoes

Tips on How to Pack Shoes in a Suitcase

When it comes to packing shoes, you need to pack smart. Shoes can be bulky and add extra weight to your suitcase. But you don’t need to fork out extra money on a bag for shoes. By simply packing your shoes correctly in your suitcase, you’ll not only save space but also make your life a lot easier.

1.   Be Practical

Depending on what type of trip you’re going on, you’ll need different styles of shoes. If you’re headed on a business trip, you’ll need a good pair of work shoes. Whereas if you’re planning a beach vacation, a pair of slip-on shoes is a must-have. Take some time and think about what you’ll be doing on your trip, as well as the weather, and pack accordingly.

It’s also a good idea to invest in a pair of versatile shoes that go with everything. A pair of mens or ladies sneakers can be dressed up or down, making them essential for any holiday.  

As proud shoe lovers, we know the struggle of narrowing down your holiday shoe selection. But we wouldn’t recommend bringing more than three pairs of shoes with you.

2.   Use a Shoe Travel Bag

Shoes do a great job of protecting your feet from the ground. They keep your feet clean, but this means that they can get dirty. When you’re at home, this doesn’t matter since you likely store your shoes separately from your clothes. However, when it comes time to pack your suitcase, your shoes and clothes get up close and personal.

Get yourself a bag for each pair of shoes you plan on bringing with you. This way, you’ll keep your clothes clean and won’t need to worry about scrubbing your shoes.

You can get lightweight and water-resistant shoe bags. Or you can simply use a tote bag or material shopping bag.

3.   Get Rid of Any Foot Odour

Let’s face it, shoes get stinky. Feet can get sweaty and leave behind a less than pleasant odour in your shoes. When you’re at home, it’s easy to air them out. But when it comes time to pack your suitcase, your shoes (and all their smells) will be confined for an extended period of time.

To avoid a waft of foul air when you open your suitcase (and to avoid having to do a load of laundry when you arrive at your destination), we’d recommend getting rid of any stinky shoe smells before you start your journey.

4.   Wear your Biggest Shoes

A pair of boots can take up a lot of space in a suitcase, whereas a pair of slides barely takes up any. To save room in your bag when you’re travelling, wear your bulkiest pair of shoes.

5.   Use Your Shoes

Shoes can take up a lot of room in a suitcase, but there’s no reason why you can’t use your shoes to store some items as well. Stuffing shoes with socks can always help save space. Plus, you can stuff the inside of your shoes with charging cables, underwear or even well-sealed toiletries.  

You’ll just need to make sure your shoes are clean.

 vacation packing

Final Thoughts on the Best Way to Pack Shoes in a Suitcase

Packing shoes in luggage can be tricky, especially if you’ve got a lot of stuff to bring with you. But with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be able to maximise your suitcase space and protect your shoes.

What are your favourite shoe packing tips? Let us know in the comments.

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