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Packing for South Africa: Ultimate Shoe Guide | DC.ONE Skip to content


packing for south africa

Wondering what to pack for South Africa in summer? Whether you’re heading for Cape Town, Joburg or Durban here is our ultimate packing guide for the rainbow nation.

When it comes to summer, enjoying the sun and heading to the beach is a must. South Africa boasts an incredible summer season that you don’t want to miss out on.

One of our biggest challenges when it comes to travelling is choosing the right pairs of shoes to bring with us. If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to pack as many shoes as possible.

Unfortunately, suitcases can only take so much. And the weight restriction on baggage makes bringing ten pairs of shoes impossible, no matter what travel packing tips you use. 

If you’re really in need of an extra pair of shoes, you can always order a pair of shoes online with DC.ONE and get them shipped to you within a few days. Just make sure you have enough room to take them back with you.

What Shoes Should I Bring?

Depending on where you’re going, you’ll need different shoes. Being comfortable is essential when you’re on vacation. Having shoes that bite while you’re on holiday is a horrible experience.

What to Wear in Cape Town

A trip down to Cape Town means you’ll need shoes for the beach, the malls and the mountains. 

Whether you’re heading to the beach or taking a boat tour, you’ll need at least one pair of comfortable shoes to explore with.

cape town packing

Shoes to Bring on a Durban Vacation

A holiday in Durban will also need beach shoes, walking shoes for malls like Gateway and a pair of stunners for a night out.

durban packing

Shoes for a Vacation in Johannesburg

While Joburg doesn’t have beaches, the sizzling summer days will have you tanning by the pool for sure. Besides pool shoes, you’ll also need a pair of walking shoes and, of course, going out shoes.

johannesburg packing

When is Summer in South Africa?

Summer in South Africa starts in November and continues until the end of February. However, things start heating up in Spring which starts on the first of September. By mid-October, you can expect some pretty warm temperatures.

Best Shoes for a Holiday to South Africa

When heading on holiday, we’d suggest bringing at least three pairs of shoes with you. While you won’t have your entire shoe closet, you’ll be covered for a multitude of situations with these three shoes.

Pool & Beach Shoes

The first should be a pair of summer sandals. These should be ideal for the beach, lounging by the pool or walking down the promenade. Flip flops are a great choice but a pair of ViaBeach shoes are ideal.

The best beach shoes are flat with open toes. Ideally, you don’t want closed shoes when walking on the beach because they’ll end up filled with sand. Strappy sandals, flip flops and jelly shoes are the smart choice.  beach shoes

You’ll also want shoes made from PVC or another water-friendly material. That way you can wash them easily and it won’t matter if they get wet. The same thing applies to pool shoes.

These types of shoes are usually small and easy to slot in your suitcase. They won’t take up too much space, leaving more room for shopping.

Walking Shoes

Next, you’ll need a pair of walking shoes. A pair of sneakers can be great for some mild hikes, a trip to a wine farm, shopping sprees and lunch dates. Butterfly Feet are focused on both comfort and style that have the perfect shoes for this.

A trendy pair of sneakers will be your best friend on your holiday, especially if you’re planning on walking a lot. You’ll want a pair that fit your feet well and aren’t too hot.

walking shoes

These shoes are ideal for travelling as well. So you can wear them on the plane or on your feet during a road trip.

Going Out Shoes

Lastly, you’ll need a pair of going out shoes. These should be comfortable but stylish. A pair of low or medium heels can be suitable for both shopping sprees and a night on the town. Miss Black is our go-to brand for this type of shoe.

You should pack a pair that is sleek and sophisticated. If you’re planning on going out in the evening to one of the amazing restaurants in South Africa, you’ll want a stunning pair of shoes by your side. We wouldn’t recommend bringing with a pair of stilettos, since you won’t be able to use them for a trip to a wine farm.

going out shoesA pair of chunky heels or wedges that can be dressed up or down is your best bet.

Speciality Shoes

If you’re planning to do activities that require specific shoes, you may have to consider bringing an extra pair of shoes with you.

If you’ve got some hikes in your itinerary, you’ll definitely need to pack a trusty pair of hiking boots. You’ll want a comfortable pair with a good grip. Since these shoes can be quite bulky, we’d recommend wearing them when you’re travelling to save space in your suitcase.

Runners will also definitely need an extra pair of shoes. Durban and Cape Town have some great running tracks that avid runners will be itching to experience.

Shoe Packing Guide

Shoes not only take up room but they can add a lot of weight to your suitcase. If you’re low on space, an additional pair of shoes can be a pain. Despite the temptation to pack loads of shoes, we’d recommend trying to keep them to a minimum, especially if you’re only going away for a week or two.

Wear your bulkiest pair of shoes

Wearing your biggest on your feet can be a great space and weight saver. Plus these shoes are usually pretty comfortable which is especially useful when walking between airport gates.

Use a Shoe Bag

Putting your shoes in bags is essential. Shoes get dirty and as a result, can make your clothes dirty. Using disposable bags or thin tote bags can keep your clothes clean and can double up as beach or shopping bags.

Use Your Shoes When You Pack

If you’re packing running shoes or sneakers, make sure to utilise the insides of your shoes. Storing socks or underwear inside your footwear can help you free up some space in your suitcase.

summer shoes

Final Thoughts on Shoes Packing List South Africa

Choosing the right shoes for a trip to South Africa can make a big difference when you’re out exploring. No matter if you’re in the city of Jozi, by the coast in Durban or exploring the mountains in Cape Town, our three types of packing shoes will have you sorted.

Determining what types of shoes you’ll need in advance is a must. There’s nothing worse than having an overweight suitcase at the airport or having no room for additional purchases.

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