Packing shoes: What works for you?

When I was repacking my suitcase to return home from my BlogHer trip, I remembered seeing this trick of putting your shoes in a shower cap to keep the dirty soles off your clothes. I've never used a shower cap for my hair, so there was still one boxed up on the hotel bathroom counter that I could try out.

Before, I had just thrown my shoes in a plastic shopping bag, which ends up being this unwieldy, crinkly blob taking over a corner of your suitcase. The shower cap's elastic edges made it fit snugly over my flats. There was room for a pair of wedges, as well. Then I got greedy and tried to add a pair of ankle boots, and the shower cap tore. So those went back into my shopping bag blob. The tear was small enough I could still use my shower cap, and now I've learned its limits. In the future, I'll pack fewer shoes – or more shower caps.

Somewhere I read that the TSA recommended packing shoes around the edges of your bag, so they don't block the x-ray or because terrorists pack shoes in the middle or something. (Although now it looks like they're recommending packing them on top. Seriously, who can keep up with the TSA?!)

I also try to pack shoes and anything heavy in what will be the bottom half of my suitcase when it's standing upright, so it'll be more stable. Really, though, it usually ends up top heavy and constantly tipping over. On the occasions I manage to pack so it can stay up unassisted, I feel like the queen of the world!

The other shoe packing tip I see a lot is to pack smaller items inside of shoes. When it comes down to it, there are not a lot of things I want to put inside cavities made for holding feet. Socks maybe. But how short on space do you have to be to think it's a good idea to pack your toothbrush inside your shoes? Am I the only one who's not on board with stashing a few granola bars in your ballet slippers?

I'd love to hear your method for packing shoes and whether you ever pack anything inside them!

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A version of this post first appeared on Travelcraft Journal.

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