It may be blustery and cold down-under but the European summer is in full swing. The borders are open, airlines are in operation and you’ve got your holiday booked. Your departure date is looming and you finally have to reckon with the unpleasant task of stuffing 25kg worth of stuff that you think you’ll need during your time away.
As shoe experts and travel lovers, we can tell you that shoes are always the one wardrobe item we end up overpacking and underutilizing. Take it from us, you will be far too busy with more exciting endeavors on vacation to worry too much about what shoes you have on most of the time. We’ve found that a chunky sandal, comfortable sneaker and strappy heel are all you really need. You might argue that you could make do with more or less, but trust us - that’s all you need.
This may of course differ based on your destination, type of trip and time of travel, but we’ve found that this rule of thumb has served us well over the years. Get packing with us by reading our packing guide on selecting the best footwear for your overseas summer travel this year.
Style 1 - A chunky sandal for everyday wear
Careful, we said sandals and not thongs. We also said ‘chunky’, and there's a good reason for that. In addition to being more fashion forward, the chunkier, padded style will offer better support and be more comfortable for long sightseeing days.
The chunkier sole will also offer a level of protection from the dirt and grime that you pick up while navigating busy streets that a thin-soled sandal will not. We doubt anybody wants grimy feet.
A chunky sandal is also the perfect choice for a summer getaway because it will transition easily from relaxed beach days to casual sightseeing trips and dressier dinners and outings. You’ll get a lot of wear out of them.
Style 2 - A pair of sneakers for walking
No matter how comfortable the sandal, sometimes, that just won’t cut it. We’re talking about more active endeavors like hikes or if you plan on navigating a new city entirely on foot. Whether it's a fashion sneaker, walking shoe or athletic sneaker, having a pair that matches your itinerary is a good idea.
From a fashion perspective, our color of choice is white because it goes with everything, but yours doesn’t need to be. Just keep in mind that whichever tone you choose should complement most of the outfits you plan on wearing while on holiday. Otherwise, you may find yourself a little restricted.
Style 3 - A strappy heel for dressier evenings
If your itinerary doesn’t include any dressy dinners or nights out, you can eliminate this. But for most people, there’ll be at least one such event planned during the trip. We’re always packing for comfort when we travel, this category included. Opt for a heeled mule, block heels, wedge heels or platforms that will still be comfortable enough to walk and dance in. And again, consider your color palette.
Bonus Styles (luggage allowance permitting)
Sometimes you don’t want to ruin a cute pair of sandals at the beach, and that’s fair enough. A good pair of lightweight thongs is easy to throw in your bag.
Now, we are also fashion-minded and know that sometimes, you might like to have options. Whether it’s a sneaker or a sandal, there’s no harm in picking up a second pair in a different color/style, if you’ve got room for it. Not only does this give you a bit of variety, but it’s also healthier for your feet, making sure you’re not wearing the same shoes two days in a row.
You want to make sure you’re minimizing the size and weight of anything that’s going into your bags. That means strategically wearing your bulkiest shoes on the plane. Be mindful of wearing boots and other high-top pairs that may slow you down at airport security checks though.
You can then stuff the two other pairs of shoes you’re taking with socks to help them keep their shape in storage. When packing, save space and place them toe to heel on their sides with the soles facing out either side. Make sure you wrap them in paper, a bag or a rag to make sure you don’t spread dirt to other items in your bag.
Pack your shoes at the bottom of your suitcase so they act as a base for the rest of your things. Place other heavy items at the bottom of your suitcase as well so that the weight is concentrated in one area, which will make your bag easier to handle.
As simple as it sounds now, the reality of packing for a trip can often feel stressful as you try to anticipate your every holiday need and juggle limited space and a desire for cute outfits. We hope this guide helps simplify the process next time! Below we’ve also thrown in our favorite 3 holiday shoes that you can shop at Shouz ahead of your exciting getaway - from L to R: Cerise Off White by Sol Sana, Bump White by Django & Juliette, Kage Bright Multi by Django & Juliette.