Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course).
Packing shoes – be it for a business trip, a weekend away with the girls, a busy city break, or a relaxing resort stay – is never easy. Ordinarily we would have tens if not hundreds of pairs of shoes ranging from comfortable sandals to sneakers that pair with each and every outfit in our wardrobe. But, packing our possessions away into one tiny suitcase obviously doesn’t accommodate these aforementioned pairs. So what do we do?
We find ourselves in this scenario quite often, so we’ve accumulated some of the most helpful tips out there. Regardless of what your vacation entails, there is a way to narrow down your shoe selection to just three pairs. Yes, we’re serious. Here’s how…
Three pairs, max!
This rule originally made us break out into a cold sweat, but we can confirm that it can indeed be done. Two pairs are enough if you’re only going away for a few days, but for longer trips - or if you’re going somewhere with unpredictable weather, such as Europe for example – then pack that extra pair of your most dependable travel shoes just in case.
Pack comfortable yet versatile travel shoes that can be dressed up or down. We usually suggest packing some nude heels or wedges that will go with absolutely everything, and a comfortable pair of flats for your feet to recover in the next day.
Add trainers if you plan on hitting the hotel gym or if your activities include a lot of action. These types of supportive sneakers are also great for maneuvering quickly and comfortably around the airport and during travel!
Pick your colours wisely
We live for versatile holiday wardrobes, and picking a specific color palette that will see you through your entire vacation is a great place to start. The easiest way to do this is to choose a bold accent color, and accessorize around it with a base of versatile neutral hues. This way, you can mix and match your shoes and the rest of your accessories with ease.
If you’re a fan of dark colors, stick to your safety shades of black and navy blue, and add a pop of color by way of some red or cobalt blue shoes. Nothing clashes with black, so go wild with your footwear color choice! The same also works with lighter hues – a better idea for hotter climates – so select pastel colors such as lilac, yellow, and mint green, with nude or white shoes to match.
Don't lie to yourself
We regularly lie to ourselves about waking up early to go for a morning jog, but it seldom happens; especially when you’re on vacation. Don’t lie to yourself about working out, and leave the sneakers at home where they belong. However, if your vacation is an active one that will involve long walks and group exercises, then of course, bring them. We recommend picking lightweight athletic shoes to save space and precious weight.
Wear your heaviest shoes on the plane
This may seem like an extra hassle if you’re bringing a pair of hiking shoes or laced boots along. You might take more time at airport security – unlacing and lacing up hiking boots can be quite time consuming, not to mention stressful if everyone is watching you – but the space you save in the suitcase will be more than worth it!
Take care of your shoes and feet
Avoid packing brand new shoes, as you never know what damage they could do to your feet after a few hours. If you do insist on new shoes, break them in weeks or even months before you jet off. Avoid thin, cheap socks, and invest in a good pair such as SmartWool, Thorlo, and Darn Tough socks. There’s no point in splashing out on expensive walking boots if you’re going to pair them with cheap socks!
Always be prepared for blisters, regardless of how many times you’ve worn your shoes.Also, remember to pack plasters and adhesive strips generously. The Spenco 2nd Skin Blister Kit heals raw spots that have already formed, so throw a few of those into your case before setting off on your next adventure.
When you're on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about are sore feet or overweight baggage. Avoid the hassle and pack three pairs of your most versatile, comfortable, and stylish shoes!