Packing light is an art form that few can master. Clothes are the easy part, it’s the shoes that can really weigh a suitcase down and add bulk. Experts at packing will tell you to bring three pairs of shoe tops, but it really will depend on where you are headed and what the climate is going to be.
The most important thing to remember when choosing what shoes to pack is to make sure that each pair is very versatile so that you can get a few wears out of it on your trip.
Top Tips for Packing Shoes
Before we suggest some types of shoes to include in your suitcase, consider the following tips.
- Make sure your shoes are supportive for walking
- Avoid bringing heels — wedges are better
- Choose lightweight shoes
- Pick your shoes first, then your outfits
- Choose shoes in neutral colors like tan, black, and white
- Wear your shoes a few times before you go on a trip to make sure they are comfortable
- Bring custom insoles if you have any foot pain or problems, like plantar fasciitis
Bring Three of These Types of Shoes
Sneakers for Walking
Sneakers are always a great call when you are traveling because they are sturdy and supportive for walking, whether you’re in the country or pounding city sidewalks. A good pair of sneakers with arch support will protect your feet, as well as help prevent back pain and fatigue. If it’s hot out, canvas sneakers are a great option to stay cool and comfortable. They also provide great coverage and protection, so you can wear them on trail hikes or uneven ground.
Slip-On Wool Clogs for the Airplane
It’s really great to have a slip-on pair of indoor/outdoor shoes, like clogs to wear while you are in transit as well as when you are at the place you are staying. Wool clogs are great because they can be slipped off at the airport security easily and they’ll also function as slippers when you’re on the plane. You can wear them inside your hotel room so you don’t stub your toes on furniture, but they are also comfortable and stylish so you can wear them for a nice dinner out.
Sandals for Hot Weather
If you are headed somewhere warm and tropical, we’re jealous! Be sure to pack a pair of strong sandals that won’t fall apart or cause blisters after the first wear. Leave the flip-flops at home unless you are going to be sharing communal showers. Otherwise, they are not great because they don’t provide any arch support and break easily. Make sure the sandals you choose are waterproof and quick-drying if you’re going to be at the beach or pool. If you plan to attend any events or nice dinners, you might want to bring a pair of leather sandals that can be dressed up or down throughout your trip.
Flats for Nice Dinners
If you are traveling to a colder climate, you might want a pair of flats rather than sandals. Classic ballet flats in black or tan go with everything, so you can wear them walking around a city or to a fancy dinner. They are very packable as they don’t take up much space, so you can even put them in your purse and pull them out at night when you need to change shoes. Just make sure that the flats you bring have arch support built-in or slip your own custom insoles inside.
Hiking Boots for Hiking
If you are planning to go hiking on your trip, then a trusty pair of hiking boots is a great idea. They’ll provide stability, traction, support, and protection while you are hiking — all very important to have a fun and successful experience. As hiking boots will likely be the bulkiest pair of shoes you are going to wear during the trip, you might want to wear them while in transit rather than packing them.