Shoes are heavy, bulky, awkward, and usually dirty. So packing them correctly is recommended. By packing them efficiently, you can hopefully save yourself money avoiding extra bags that airlines love to charge for. There is also the damage side of things. Your suitcase is going to take a beating, you don’t want your footwear damaged before arrival. 

We have compiled an answered every question we could think of regarding carrying shoes, packing shoes, and putting shoes inside either carry on luggage or checked baggage. Luggage weight is always a concern, but arriving from a domestic or international flights with the right footwear at your destination, is one less worry when you fly.


Table of Contents

1) Can I pack shoes in my carry on bag?

2) How to pack different shoes in different bag types

3) Shoes and Carry On, can the two just get along?

4) Shoe packing tips

5) Trip Time?

Can I Pack Shoes in My Carry On Bag?


Depending on where you are on a short visit you may need to bring a change of shoes in your carry on bags. This is especially crucial when you want to wear comfortable shoes for travel like sneakers but later need to switch to formal footwear for your destination(s).

What should we put our shoes in? There is no restriction on the use of footwear in luggage. Most travelers choose to pack shoes inside their checked suitcase. This saves space, however one must make sure to not go overweight, or will absorb the additional cost or extra baggage fees.

In short, yes, you can pack shoes in your carry on luggage. Just make sure they abide by FAA guidelines.

How to pack different shoes in different bag types

How do you pack shoes in a carry-on?


It’s generally a good idea to keep your shoes in a separate compartment or bag within your carry-on bag to keep them separate from your other belongings. This will help prevent your shoes from getting dirt or scuff marks on your clothes and other items.

Some carry-on bags have specific shoe compartments or pockets that you can use, while others may not. If your bag doesn’t have a designated shoe compartment, you can place your shoes in a plastic bag or shoe bag to keep them separate from your other items. You could also place them in a packing cube or small cloth bag and then place that inside your carry-on.

It’s also a good idea to clean your shoes before packing them in your carry-on, especially if you’ve been walking outdoors or on dirty surfaces. This will help keep your bag and other items clean and prevent any unpleasant odors.

How to Pack Flip Flops and Sandals in a Suitcase


Packing flip flops and sandals in a suitcase is relatively easy, and here are some tips to help you pack them efficiently:

Clean your shoes: Before packing your shoes, make sure they are clean and free from any dirt or debris.

Use shoe bags: If you have shoe bags, use them to keep your flip flops and sandals separate from your other belongings. If you don’t have shoe bags, you can use plastic bags or cloth bags to protect your shoes and keep them organized.

Roll your flip flops: To save space, roll your flip flops and sandals and place them in a corner of your suitcase. Rolling your shoes also helps prevent any crushing or deformation.

Use packing cubes: If you’re a frequent traveler, consider investing in packing cubes. Packing cubes are small, lightweight bags that help organize and compress your clothing and shoes in your suitcase.

Place them in a plastic bag: If you’re traveling to a beach or a place with sand, it’s a good idea to place your flip flops and sandals in a plastic bag to prevent sand from getting all over your clothes.

How to Pack Shoes in a Duffel Bag


Packing shoes in a duffel bag can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re trying to save space and avoid damage.

Pack your shoes last: Pack your shoes last so that they are on top of your other belongings. This will help prevent any crushing or damage to your shoes.

Use the corners: Shoes can take up a lot of space in a duffel bag, so try to use the corners to pack them in. This will help maximize the space in your bag.

Stuff your shoes: To help your shoes maintain their shape and save space, stuff them with smaller items like socks or underwear. This will also help prevent any crushing or deformation.

Be mindful of weight restrictions: If you’re flying and using a duffel bag as a carry-on, be mindful of weight restrictions for your airline. Shoes can be heavy, so make sure you’re not exceeding any weight limits.

What Is The Best Way To Pack Shoes In A Backpack?


The best way of packing shoe in the back pack differs somewhat from a bag. You carry your weight onto your shoulder. This is largely dependent upon the size of the shoes packed and how delicate the shoes are.

We recommend packing shoes in the center of your backpack. If they are too close to the side that rests on your back, you will likely feel them dig into you with every step taken. Put a buffer layer between the shoes and your back!

Shoes and Carry On: Can the two just get along?


Where should I put my shoes in my carry-on?


To save space, look for a spot in your carry on bag that makes sense to you. Main compartment, inner pocket, outer pocket are your 3 choices.

Do you have to take shoes out of carry-on?


As long as they are not ice skates, you shouldn’t have to remove your extra shoes at the security checkpoint. In most cases, airports and your airline abide by the same rules. Hand luggage with an extra set of flip flops isn’t going to raise any airport security alarms.

What is not allowed in a carry-on bag?


While there are no specific types of shoes that are prohibited from being carried in a carry-on bag, certain types of shoes might be challenging to bring on board due to their size or shape.

For instance, shoes with metal components like steel-toed boots may trigger security alarms and should be removed and placed in a bin for screening separately. Additionally, some types of shoes like high-top sneakers or boots may take up a lot of space in your carry-on bag, which can be a problem if you have limited space.

It’s also important to note that certain shoes, such as those with sharp heels, could potentially damage other items in your carry-on bag. To prevent damage, it may be best to pack these types of shoes in a separate bag or wrap them in a protective material.

In general, it’s always a good idea to check with your airline or travel provider before packing your shoes to ensure that they are allowed on board and won’t cause any issues during security screening.

How do you carry shoes on a plane?


Wear your bulkier shoes: If you’re traveling with bulky shoes like hiking boots or snow boots, it may be best to wear them on the plane to save space in your carry-on bag.

Pack them in your carry-on: You can also pack your shoes in your carry-on bag. It’s best to wrap them in a plastic bag or shoe bag to prevent them from dirtying your other items.

Use shoe bags: Many people prefer to use shoe bags to protect their shoes and keep them separate from their other items. You can find shoe bags online or at travel stores.

Pack them in a separate bag: If you have multiple pairs of shoes, you may want to pack them in a separate bag to keep them organized. A small duffle bag or backpack works well for this.

Check your shoes: If you’re not traveling with a carry-on bag, pack your shoes in your checked luggage. Just make sure you can do with out them until your reach your end destination.

Can You Bring Heels In a Carry-on?


Yes, high heels are allowed in your carry-on. Pack your high heels at the top of your suitcase to prevent any crushing or damage. You can also stuff the insides of your shoes with socks or tissue paper to help them maintain their shape.

It’s also a good idea to pack them separately: If you’re concerned about your high heels getting damaged or dirty, you may want to consider packing them separately in a small bag. This will also help you find them quickly when you need them.

Wear them on the plane: If you’re traveling with a pair of high heels that are bulky or take up a lot of space, consider wearing them on the plane to save space in your carry-on bag. You can always slip them off once in flight and put them back on when you land.

It’s important to note that some high heels may have metal components, such as buckles or zippers, that could set off the airport metal detectors during security screening. If this is the case, you may need to remove your shoes and place them in a separate bin for screening. It’s always a good idea to check with your airline or travel provider before packing your high heels to ensure that they are allowed on board and won’t cause any issues during security screening.


How Many Shoes Can You Bring On a Plane?


This has more to do with weight then anything else. If you feel the need to bring 12 pairs of shoes, you likely won’t be able to fit in your carry on bag. As long as your carry on abides by the standard size and your checked baggage doesn’t go over the weight limit (or pay the fees), you can take as many shoes as you like. It’s best to check your airlines regulations for luggage size and weight limits just to make sure.

Can you take shoes with spikes in carry on?


Shoes with spikes are allowed in carry-on luggage, but you should be aware that they may raise some concerns during airport security screening. To avoid any issues, it’s best to pack them properly and be prepared to remove them during security screening if necessary.


What Type Of Shoes Should You Pack?


This comes down to itinerary and personal preference. Someone trekking to Everest Base Camp will need a sturdy set of hiking boots vs someone spending a week on a beach relaxing in the sun.

Shoe Packing Tips


Packing Delicate Formal Dress Shoes Or Heels In Luggage


If you are heading to a formal event and are paranoid of your expensive heels getting crushed, scraped, or broken, pack them in a special shoe bag. Upon entering the plane, ask a flight attendant if you can leave them in the up front locker (this goes for formal wear as well such as wedding dresses). Most flight attendants are happy to oblige.


Fill The Holes Inside Your Shoes


This can be trickier thank you think. Obviously only smaller things will fit in your shoes. However, small things such as socks or underwear are not recommend to stuff inside a smelly shoe when they are clean.

Things like belts, extra batteries, or even folded up travel documents work well for this.

Spray your shoes before you travel


All footwear contains unpleasant odor. While cleaning shoes every day is a worthwhile task, it just isn’t feasible. Shoe cleaning is more expensive than washing them. Because you are going to wear this every week you want these readily available. I recommend traveling with shoe cleaner or spray. Spray them twice a day and spray them generously one or three hours before you stuff them on small clothing items or socks.

The Corner Method


This method is most useful for two pairs of shoes. Place your shoes on the top. You can get to the shoe comfortably while still having enough room. Shoes have to be firmly secured against suitcases. It is important to have a packed suitcase to avoid moving the shoes. A rogue shoe slipping into your backpack could ruin everything in your clothing – including socks.

Your shoes can be used to hide valuable items


We discussed stuffing techniques with small clothing and socks. But footwear is also ideal if you need protection from a small piece of jewellery. It is best to keep items that have been stored inside shoes, if they are not in your suitcase or in your luggage. Put these products into a small container or plastic wrap and store the socks and small accessories that you can pack in a shoe bag. Make sure you keep your valuable items inside the suitcase – not a suitcase that is stuffed. Now your footwear will retain its form and its rigid outer layer is able to protect small objects.

Protecting Your Clothes From Dirt & Smells


It’s a three-time challenge to get shoes cleaned. We want to prevent dirty socks from damaging other dirty products that can be cleaned. You can easily purchase customized sneakers on Amazon. Use a packing container in your shoebox. The easiest way is by wrapping shoes in plastic bags. Using affordable plastic containers to store your food is a great choice for such tasks. So you can see easily which shoe is in the bag and prevent the moisture from coming into clothing or the sack.

Do not pack shoes next to expensive equipment


When you travel using expensive electronics like DSLRs or drones, be careful about putting the items beside a shoe or backpack. Try laying out clothing layers between them. Keep the tech safe in the packaging. The heel and sole of the shoe are rigid. When you have no packing material for your luggage or when you are shuffled with your luggage the heel may touch the gear.


Looking for a new Carry On? Check out one of our favorite luggage brands for carry on luggage.

Trip Time?

It’s always a case of problem-solving and creativity when it comes to smart packing. Footwear is generally large and inflexible, however they can be packaged efficiently with a bit of planning.

In the end, the most important thing you need to remember is to keep your shoes in such a way that you’re leaving room for your other items. How to pack shoes in a suitcase can largely depend on your packing methods, luggage size, and length of trip. Think twice if you really need that footwear while abroad, and if the answer is yes, then pack it accordingly.

 Safe travels!