Packing shoes is the worst.
No… it’s even worse than the worst. It’s godawful.
On many a trip, I have gone over my allotted 50 lbs of luggage just on shoes alone. It wasn’t until I had a breaking point somewhere on a cobbled street in Nazareth, Israel. This when I realized that this oversized load I was dragging through these historic corridors was not only unnecessary, it was making my entire experience less enjoyable. And it was on my flight home from this trip that a flight attendant gave me some packing advice: “Heels, flats, sneakers, and flip flops… that’s all you need.”
I’ve tested this packing method out and, probably unsurprisingly to most, it works.
So, let me send you a little encouragement and emphatically say…
You do not need all of those shoes.
Here some of my favorite combinations for almost any traveling scenario:
Professional: A black patent leather pump goes with just about everything. Add in these black flats with some metallic thread that can work both day and night. The Merrell Women’s Barefoot Bare Access athletic shoe is by far my favorite, you can wear it with or without socks. And you can’t go wrong with purple flip flops.
Tropical: Hot weather and simplifying packing doesn’t mean you have to be boring. I love these heeled sandals because they match a multitude of different styles and colors, but still are unique and bold in their own right. These upscale thong sandals goes with everything and is really comfortable in hot weather. And, once again, we have my favorite athletic shoe and purple flip flops.
Glamping: I absolutely love these brown boots by Oliberte. The brand is the world’s first fair-trade footwear company and they know how to make shoes. Okay, so this foot wrap is technically a dance shoe, but it does really well in outdoor settings. Finally we’ll end with the classic athletic shoe and purple flip flops.
Classic: This black leather pump is my current favorite shoe. I wear it all the time. Once again, Oliberte makes it onto the list, but this time I’ve added their grey flat. The shoes are made in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and give men and women workers fair wages, which keeps this line completely sweatshop-free. And finally we’ll end with the awesome Merrells and purple flip flops.
Black Tie: Packing for black tie, it’s best to keep shoes neutral, just in case there is a last minute wardrobe change. I love these neutral heeled sandals, which can still be dressed down in a pinch. For flats, I’ve added these bronze travel heels that fold-up and can be thrown in your purse, only to be pulled out later in the evening for late night dancing. And finally, the perfect athletic shoe and crystal flip flops.
Cozy and Cold: If you’re traveling chilly weathered places, make sure to wear your biggest boots en-route (it saves so much room in your suitcase). Try these gorgeous knee-high boots for a classic fall/winter look. Add in these black booties to tie in the rest of your wardrobe. Don’t forget your Merrells! And finally, these shearling flip flops… because they are awesome.
I hope these shoe packing tips and ideas help you on your next journey!