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How to Protect Shoes in Luggage

I travel frequently for work and typically pack my expensive dress shoes in my checked luggage in a soft bag. Because of the way luggage is handled and tossed around by the baggage handlers at the airports, my shoes are almost always squished or crushed when I get to my hotel either from the other items in my suitcase moving around and crushing them, or from the bag itself being crushed by other suitcases. I can't seem to figure out how to protect the shoes while in transit. Has anyone has had this issue before? Is there a solution to avoid damage to nice shoes? Suggestions? Thanks.

Posted by
2331 posts

Well Randall, I don’t worry about my shoes, but I often protect other things, like small ceramic or glass items, by putting them in a shoe box, padded with socks, underwear or small books. Never had damage. A shoe box ought to work with shoes too, I imagine.

Posted by
7196 posts

Hi randall.dickinson

Is it too difficult for you to bring them as carry on?

And except for the first class or business class passenger luggage (which are held in separate containers in the luggage hold of the plane) all other passenger luggage is handled the same. That's way it is.

Posted by
3271 posts

I must say I've never had that problem with my shoes. I nest them together, soles facing out and heel to toe, inside their fabric bag. Then place them against the base of the suitcase (the side with the wheels). The only way the rigidity of the base wouldnt protect them is if the whole suitcase was crushed. I also use the interior straps to secure the contents inside the bag so they don't move around in transit. If things are moving around a lot in your suitcase, you're either using too big a suitcase ( you aren't filling it), or you aren't using the tie down straps.

Posted by
1878 posts

What about those old-fashioned wooden things that people used to keep their shoes in shape, after searching on Amazon I was reminded they are called "shoe trees," a name that does not make a lot of sense. Another approach, and you have probably thought of this, would be to wear your good dress shoes on the plane. When I take nice dressy shoes on a trip, they are only business casual type because that's what passes for dress shoes where I live. I stuff these with socks when traveling just to save space and never had them arrived squished.

Posted by
8632 posts

As a space saving measure I stuff my shoes with socks and underwear.

Shoe trees would be a similar solution, but be dead weight.

Have you considered hard side luggage?

Posted by
31471 posts

randall,

One solution would be to place the shoes either in a plastic bag or a travel shoe bag, and then pack rolled clothing and other items around it. I've used that method to protect wine bottles in soft-sided checked luggage, and haven't lost a bottle yet.

Posted by
5552 posts

I always stuff shoes with socks or underwear so they keep their shape. It’s always worked for me and it makes best use of the space.

Posted by
2716 posts

If you can carry on your shoes, that would solve the problem. A shoebox in a tote bag as your carry on and check your main luggage as you do already.

If that won’t work look into hardside luggage. Many bags have two compartments - put the shoes in one, surrounded by soft things that won’t squish them inside the bag. The bag is hardsided so they won’t get squished from outside.

Posted by
72 posts

I stuff the shoes with socks or crumpled packing paper. Each shoe then goes into its own cloth shoe bag, and they are placed in the perimeter of the suitcase where they fit best.

Posted by
454 posts

Same as Jennifer -- I always stuff my shoes with socks and underwear as well.

If they are shoes that I am worried about getting scuffed (like nice leather shoes for a wedding or something) I'll wrap them in plastic bags.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks all. Really like the idea of stuffing socks in each and wrapping them separately in plastic or a cloth shoe bag. Sounds like a good solution I hadn't thought of.

Posted by
13514 posts

Really like the idea of stuffing socks in each.... Sounds like a good solution I hadn't thought of.

Interesting, Randall/Gearhead. Over on Travellerspoint, you told the posters who'd suggested the sock solution that "Sock are def not enough". Sounded like that was something you'd already tried?

Posted by
4 posts

What about those old-fashioned wooden things that people used to keep their shoes in shape, after searching on Amazon I was remined they are called "shoe trees," a name that does not make a lot of sense.

They also make plastic shoe trees, which weigh a lot less than the wooden versions.

Another option would be to save the cardboard or foam inserts that often come with new shoes and use those when traveling.