How to Pack Shoes in 4 Easy Steps

No excursion would be complete without the perfect pair of footwear. Whether you’re opting for hiking boots or stilettos, shoes are often the centerpiece of a proper packing list—and often among the most formidable items to properly stow within your luggage. So what’s the best way to pack shoes without harming their shape or damaging anything else in your inventory? Read on to learn how to pack shoes in just a few simple steps.

1. Make Them Your Base

Just as shoes serve as the foundation of any outfit, make them the bottom layer of whatever piece of luggage you’re using. Whether you’re packing in a backpack, tote bag, or full-size suitcase, it’s a good idea to put your heaviest articles on the bottom. This is especially important to keep in mind when you’re packing a carry-on, which is packed flat but can shift its contents when turned upright.

2. Opt for a Yin-Yang Pattern

With rare exceptions, shoes can typically be packed by neatly flipping one of the shoes and nesting them together. Think of the configuration as a yin-yang pattern, with the toe of each shoe tucked into or against the heel of the other. This works equally well with high-tops as with high heels.

3. Use a Bag

No matter how gorgeous your shoes are, they tend to accumulate more grit and grime than other articles of clothing. Minimize the damage to the other contents of your luggage by placing each pair of shoes in its own bag. Shoe bags designed specifically for travel can be a great way to keep items clean, and can also keep your shoes from shifting during travel.

4. Wear the Right Pair

Whether it’s opting for hassle-free slip-ons or your bulkiest boots, deciding which shoes to wear to the airport might be the most important factor in packing shoes effectively. Save space in your suitcase (or save time at security) by leaving your most difficult-to-pack pair out of your luggage entirely.

Next up, these are hands down the worst shoes to wear at the airport.