Tips & Tricks for Packing Shoes in Your Suitcase

Tips & Tricks for Packing Shoes in Your Suitcase

Your clothes are neatly folded. Toiletries are set aside. You’re ready to start the packing process—until you realize, you have no idea how to pack shoes in a suitcase. 

If you’re like most, packing shoes for travel is an afterthought that can be detrimental if not strategically planned out, especially if you’re short on packing space. Whether you’re bringing five of your favorite pairs or narrowing down your choices, we have you covered with our tips on the way to pack shoes.

Tips on Saving Space When Packing Shoes?

Knowing how to pack shoes to save space is a skill that will always benefit you on your travels. Unlike soft clothing that can be rolled or folded into a duffle bag, carry on, or checked luggage, shoes require a little more planning. 

Before packing, keep the following in mind:

  • Where is your destination? 
  • How long will you be away? 
  • What activities will you be doing?

These questions will help you decide how many shoes you’ll (really) need to bring. Whether you’re a travel newbie or have more air miles than money in your bank account, setting a limit for yourself early on will help you in the long run. A rule of thumb is to stick to three pairs or fewer.

Another tip is to ensure your shoes are clean and odor-free before they’re placed in your luggage to prevent unwanted smells or grime from migrating to your clothes and accessories. Consider using shoe bags and packing cubes to keep things neat and to avoid wrinkling your garments. Travel-size shoe cleaners and odor eliminators are great safeguards too

Finally, don’t pack in a hurry. Waiting until the last minute to pack in a frenzy will cause unneeded stress. The more time you have to plan and get organized, the more efficient you will be with the limited space in your suitcase.

How to Pack Shoes In Your Luggage - Step by Step

Ready to get started? Here are the three best ways to pack your shoes:

Method 1: Soles to the Sides

This is one of the most common methods and is ideal if you’re packing one to three pairs of shoes. 

    1. Clean your shoes and stuff the insides with items like socks, underwear, or even belts and other accessories. 
    2. Place each shoe into its own shoe travel bag for protection, and then position the individual shoes in the main compartment with the soles facing the outsides of the luggage so that the perimeter is lined with your shoes.
    3. Fill the middle section of your suitcase with the rest of your clothes and accessories. Use packing cubes to maximize the space, but be sure to stay within weight restrictions.
Shoe bags packed on interior sides of suitcase


Method 2: Shoes Down at the Bottom

Consider using this technique if you plan to pack several pairs of shoes. This keeps your heaviest items on the bottom, which reduces any chance of luggage tip-overs.  

    1. Lay your luggage open on the floor, and follow the same rule of thumb by stuffing the insides of your clean shoes with small items. 
    2. Unlike the first method, you’ll want to keep each pair of shoes together and pack them heel to toe with soles facing outward (like they are arranged in the box when new). Shoe bags will protect them and help keep them in this position. 
    3. Place the shoes in the main compartment at the bottom of your luggage, where the wheels are. If you are using a hard sided case, distribute the shoes evenly between both compartments. 
Shoe bags at the bottom of the suitcase


Method 3: Packing Them in Your Zippered Compartment

This method only applies to luggage that has split compartments and at least one side has a zippered divider. You will love this technique if you’re bringing many pairs of shoes and prefer to have a designated area to store them. 

  1. Open your luggage, clean your shoes, and stuff them with small items just like above. 
  2. Place shoes heel to toe with soles facing outward, like in a shoe box, place them in shoe bags for protection, and line them up in the zippered compartment side of your luggage – starting at the bottom. 
  3. If your shoes don’t fill up the whole compartment, pack clothes in between to keep everything in place. For ultimate organization, packing cubes work great to keep things neat. 
Shoe bags being packed in the zippered compartment

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