One of the essentials we all pack when traveling are our shoes. Whether you’re planning on hiking, nightclubbing, or spending most of your time at the beach, you’ll always pack at least 2 pairs of shoes.
And it’s easy to just toss these in your luggage, without any real concern, but hopefully after this post, you’ll understand the importance of shoe care!
For anyone who has ever ruined the shape of their shoes by packing them haphazardly, had foot odor stink out a suitcase full of clothes, or ended up with sore feet after a day traveling, the following are effective tips for taking care of your shoes while traveling.
The Shoe Care Guide for Travel
Packing Shoes Correctly in Your Luggage
You don’t want to end up damaging your shoes in your luggage, so it’s important to know how to pack them correctly. And, normally the bulkiest item you’ll pack, knowing how to pack your shoes will save a lot of space in your suitcase.
Stuffing your socks inside your footwear is a great way to keep their natural shape. To save space, they should be packed in your luggage in an interlocking shape. Place them in a dust bag, and wrap the dust bag using something soft, such as a jumper or pajama.
If you have a top loading or front loading backpack, pack your shoes first, preferably at the bottom. Shoes are usually the heaviest items in your pack, and by putting them at the bottom, you can balance the content of your backpack. It also makes them easy to find too!
And don’t forget your shoe accessories. Whether you’re packing extra laces, shoe polish, or getting shoe inserts for standing all day it’s important to remember to pack all the extras that you need for shoe care.
Use a Waterproof Spray
There’s nothing worse than having to travel with cold, wet feet, so you should take steps to protect your shoes against the weather.
While a leather boot lined with fur is stylish, and will keep your feet warm, it’s not usually water-resistant. You can enhance and protect most shoes by using a protective waterproof spray.
Spray it on the footwear’s exterior prior to your trip. If your trip includes trekking, most hiking boots these days are made from waterproof materials, but check this on the specs.
Taking Care of Shoes Throughout Your Trip
Beyond packing properly, and using a waterproof spray, you should also take steps to protect your shoes throughout your trip. This not only protects your shoe from damage, but also the comfort of your feet.
In case your shoes get wet, make sure you let them dry completely (a minimum of 24-hour drying time) before wearing them again. Though avoid drying them too close to different sources of heat like heat vents and radiators, so you don’t damage your shoes.
Stuffing newspaper in your shoes while they’re drying can reduce the time it takes, and like socks, is helpful in retaining its natural shape.
And making a conscious effort to keep your shoes clean throughout the trip will make them more breathable. Simply wiping dirt away with a paper towel can really help with both comfort … and smell!
Keep Your Shoes Smelling Fresh
After you’ve worn your shoes, they have to go back in your luggage again, and if they’re not smelling fresh, it’s going to impact the rest of your suitcase.
The good news is that it’s not expensive or complicated to keep bad odors away. Easily accessible items like rubbing alcohol, baby powder, or freezing them will do the trick.
Rubbing alcohol is something you might already carry in your bag. Just pour or rub over the dirty part of your footwear to remove the stink. Aside from reducing the smell, rubbing alcohol also works in disinfecting the footwear.
Baby powder can be used as a preventative measure, and rubbing some powder on your feet before you put them inside your shoe is a great idea if you’re prone to smelly feet.
Freezing your shoes is another way to keep them fresh, and if you have a freezer or fridge in your accommodation, place them in a sealable plastic bag, and into the freezer overnight. The cold should kill any fungus or bacteria causing the odor.
Travel With Appropriate Footwear
Traveling with appropriate footwear is one of the most important tips for both comfort and shoe care. Before visiting your destination, you should spend time researching important details like weather or climate, and any other facts which might influence your choice of shoe.
If you’re heading into unstable areas, safety shoes like a steel toe boot might be appropriate (learn how to find a safety shoe that’s right for you). If you’re heading to the beach you might be fine with just your sandals and flip flops. Consider the specific types of activities you plan to do too.
Sneakers and training shoes are usually just as sufficient across varying terrain, and flats are comfortable for walking around a city and much more compact. Please don’t think that traveling with high heels is ever a good idea.
Foot Care & Shoes
There’s no denying that moving around all day will take it’s toll on your feet. With that in mind, we highly recommend prioritizing comfort over style when it comes to choosing the shoes you travel with.
Avoid wearing a new pair of shoes while you’re traveling if they haven’t been properly broken in. Or break it in prior to leaving, so that you won’t end up suffering from blisters and other forms of pain and discomfort!
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