Many shoes are heavy and can take up prime real estate in a suitcase so it can be tempting to shortchange your shoe wear needs on vacation. Stand strong! Having the right shoes to keep your feet happy and pain free makes them a non-negotiable essential.
Wear your heaviest, most comfortable shoes to the airport. It will help your bag stay within the weight limits, and you’ll be glad you have them as you trek those long halls to your gate. To make security checks easier, it’s tempting to wear shoes that slip off easily like flip flops or sandals—but resist! Instead, wear walking shoes with socks. Socks keep your feet protected from plantar’s warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm and other icky things lurking on the airport floor.
Here are the shoes (and their accessories) to pack to keep your feet ready for walking:
✓ A second pair of comfortable shoes or walking shoes. (Remember, you’re wearing the first pair to the airport.) It takes 24 hours for shoes to naturally dry out after a full day’s activity so you’ll want to rotate to reduce your risk of fungal infections—and stinky feet. Plus, you don’t want to wear the same shoes every day because it puts pressure on the same spots, which can make misalignment problems worse.
✓ Comfortable dress shoes or dress sandals. Bring two pairs if you think you’ll need them two days in a row for the same reasons as above.
✓ Thong sandals to wear around the hotel, pool and beach. Look for water-friendly options.
✓ Two pairs of socks per day. If it’s hot and your feet are sweating, you’ll want to change socks mid day. Consider graduated support socks to wear on the plane if you have circulation problems or get swollen ankles.
✓ Your insoles or orthotics. Don’t leave home without the comfort aids you wear in your shoes.
✓ Foot first aid: Antifungal cream or powder to use proactively. Antibiotic cream for any blisters or other skin injuries. Sunscreen—put it on your feet! Creams to hydrate your feet or to revitalize tired feet.
Try this advice from travel experts to make loading those shoes into your bag easier:
• Make the best use of the space that shoes take up—stuff them with smaller items like socks.
• Put shoes in re-sealable plastic bags. That way, you won’t have to rematch your pairs, and you’ll keep dirt and odors away from your clothes.
• Frame the bottom of your suitcase with your shoes. This trick makes the perimeter sturdier, spreads out weight and avoids bulges at the top of your bag.
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American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons Foot Health Facts: Healthy Feet for an Active Life.org “Avoid Risks of Summer Heat to Diabetic Feet.” http://www.foothealthfacts.org/Content.aspx?id=1149&terms=sandals
American Podiatric Medical Association: “All Toes on Deck: Tips for Protecting Feet from the Heat” http://www.apma.org/Learn/HealthyFeetTips.cfm?ItemNumber=9860
HealthyWomen.org: “8 Ways to Treat Your Feet Right.” http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/8-ways-treat-your-feet-right
Oprah.com: “O’s Ultimate Shoe-Buying Guide.” http://www.oprah.com/style/How-to-Buy-Shoes-That-Dont-Hurt-Comfortable-Fashion
Real Simple: “The Best Way to Pack a Suitcase.” http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/travel/best-way-pack-suitcase-00000000010449/print-index.html
Travelocity: The Window Seat: “How to Pack for a Month in Carry-On Luggage.” http://www.travelocity.com/blog/how-to-pack-for-a-month-in-a-carry-on-bag/
USA Today: “The Best Ways to Pack Shoes & Boots for Travel.” http://traveltips.usatoday.com/ways-pack-shoes-boots-travel-106441.html