How Many Shoes Should You Pack for Your Vacation?

Ten feet pointed inwards to each other on a cobblestone street.

Staying comfortable while you are traveling and adventuring is key to a successful vacation. One of the essential bases for any comfortable outfit, no matter the outing, is a well-selected pair of shoes. Shoes provide the foundation for the rest of your outfit and look, ensuring your feet stay supported while you are traveling.

However, knowing exactly what shoes to pack can be tricky. Should you buy new shoes? How many pairs do you even pack? Read this helpful blog article for answers to some of the most common questions about packing shoes for vacation!

Seven FAQS About Packing Shoes For Vacation

Ready to get started packing for your big trip, but aren’t sure where to start when it comes to shoes? Here are seven common FAQs about packing shoes for vacation:

1. How many pairs of shoes should I pack on vacation?

How many pairs of shoes you take on your next vacation will ultimately depend on the activities you’re doing and how long you plan on traveling.

For trips that are only a few days in length, you may be fine with just one pair of shoes, especially if you aren’t doing a wide variety of activities.

However, for trips that are a week or more in length, two to three pairs of shoes are more appropriate.

2. What are the best types of shoes for vacation?

When you go on your vacation, you should aim to have comfortable walking shoes, comfortable casual shoes, and one pair of more formal comfortable shoes.

If you’re going on a summer vacation, a pair of sneakers and a couple of pairs of sandals work quite well. This is especially true if you’re going to a coastal or beach location! For a fall trip, try some sneakers plus a pair of comfortable boots or low-top shoes.

If you’re planning on doing more extensive or intensive adventuring (such as hiking or walking on rougher terrain), it’s wise to bring some sturdy hiking boots to help protect your feet and avoid injury.

In general, the best rule to follow is to pack appropriately for both the season and the activities that you’ll be enjoying while on vacation.

3. Do I need to buy new shoes for vacation?

This is a tough question to answer. You may have heard that you should never buy new shoes before a vacation. This is typically advised since shoes need time to be broken in (by wearing them) or they will cause problems like blisters and foot pain.

If you are planning on buying new shoes for your vacation, the best practice is to plan well ahead of time.

Purchase your shoes several weeks in advance of your trip and spend plenty of time wearing them to properly break them in. This also helps you ensure that your shoes fit correctly and will be comfortable to wear for long periods on vacation. Whatever you do, never try to break in your new shoes during your actual trip!

Moving image of a black and white dog walking with boots on it's paws.

4. What vacation activities will I need to pack shoes for?

Your shoe choice should largely depend on your chosen activities. These can vary widely depending on your preferences, but it’s important to have the right shoe choice, no matter what you’ll be doing! Some common vacation activities where comfortable footwear is crucial include:

  • Walking
  • Shopping at a mall or boardwalk
  • Cycling
  • Spending time at the beach or swimming
  • Canoeing or kayaking
  • Exercising, such as jogging or yoga
  • Hiking
  • Trail running
  • Extreme sports, such as rock climbing
  • Touring museums or historical sites
  • Agritourism activities such as wine tours

5. What colors of shoes should I pack for my vacation?

So what about the appearance of the shoes you pack?

Since you’re going to be on a trip and won’t have access to your entire wardrobe, selecting shoes that match all of your clothing is critical to pulling off a cohesive look throughout your entire vacation. The easiest way to accomplish this is by packing shoes that are neutral in color.

Alternating stripes of color blocks in grey, tan, black, white and brown.

Great color options for your shoes include:

  • Grey
  • Tan
  • Black
  • White
  • Brown

Colors like these are simple to match with your clothes, no matter the material or the style. This makes dressing for your vacation simple!

6. How do I pack my shoes in my suitcase for vacation?

Now that you’ve gotten your shoes together and have chosen the perfect pairs for vacation, it’s time to actually pack them. When you pack them into your suitcase, you’ll want to ensure they’re stowed properly to avoid damage and ensure they arrive safely at their destination.

Here are some tips:

  • Clean your shoes before putting them in the suitcase to ensure they don’t get your clothes dirty (and so they look their best)
  • Freshen up your shoes by deodorizing or by placing baking soda in them overnight
  • Put shoes in shoe bags before placing them in the main suitcase compartment
  • Place soles so they face toward the outside of your suitcase
Open suitcase with packing cubes in blue.

7. How can I make my shoes more comfortable for vacation?

You can also help ensure your shoes stay comfortable during your vacation by wearing socks that wick moisture (like nylon or acrylic). Another great option to up your comfort level is to add orthopedic inserts to them!

There are many over-the-counter options you can get at local stores (like a pharmacy or sport good store), or you can visit a podiatrist for more customized footwear options

Packing For Your Next Vacation Wisely

Choosing shoes for your next vacation doesn’t have to get complicated! For best results, try to pick shoes that are comfortable and match your clothing. Two to three pairs of shoes is generally best and if you do opt for a new pair, be sure to break them in beforehand.

Want to learn more helpful traveling tips? Visit our blog for more travel advice.