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When it comes to packing for travel, shoes and boots can pose the biggest challenges. Whether it’s your most comfortable boots for hiking or maybe your shoes for a night on the town, how can you pack these bulky items in the most efficient possible way?

Streamline Your Selections

When you’re packing, as far as footwear goes, be realistic with what you need. Many of us tend to overpack. Avoid this and think not just about your destination but also the activities you’re most likely to do.

Try to narrow things down to perhaps one pair of day and one pair of night shoes, depending on your travel plans.

Another way to look at it is to have one pair for casual activities, one pair for athletic activities, and one pair for things like going out to dinner.

Wear Your Heaviest or Bulkiest Pair

If you’re flying or even if you’re driving, if possible, wear the heaviest or bulkiest pair of shoes you need.

We often think going through the airport in lightweight slip-ons is easiest, and while that may be, you could be taking up valuable suitcase space with your shoes.

If you are going to pack boots or other bulky shoes rather than wearing them, choose pairs that are lightweight and made of materials like rubber that are flexible.

Don’t try to carry bulky shoes on either. Put them in your checked luggage.

Clean Your Shoes Before Packing Them

You should clean all the dirt and grime off your shoes before putting them in your suitcase with your clothes. Use a small brush to get dirt off, and if your shoes have any odors, stuff a dryer sheet inside.

Make sure you do the same as you’re packing to return home.

You can also separate your shoes from other items in your suitcase by packing them in separate bags.

You can add shoe bags to your suitcase, and you can further separate these from your clothes with packing cubes. As a bonus, packing cubes make your suitcase organized and help you find things when you arrive at your destination.

Use the Interior Space of Your Shoes

If your shoes are clean and in pretty good shape, use them as a nook to pack other smaller items like socks or underwear. You can also add belts, makeup, adapters, or other small items.

When you stuff your shoes with other things you need to pack, it can also help them keep their shape.

Packing shoes can be a bit tricky, but with the tips above, certainly not impossible.

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