How to Pack Shoes

Packing shoes for moves, trips and storage 

Shoes are an essential part of our everyday lives and in many cases, a special investment in our wardrobe. That’s why it’s helpful to know how to properly pack and store your footwear to keep it in the best shape for years to come. Check out the information below for safe, practical and creative advice on packing shoes for a move, travel and storage.  

Person packing shoes for a move.


How to pack shoes for moving 

When packing shoes for a move, you may be tempted to throw them in a box and go. But taking the time to pack them properly can help prevent scuffing, misshaping and other damage. You’ll need only a few supplies: small or medium boxes (or the original box if available), packing paper, Bubble Wrap®, packing tape and a marker. After gathering the supplies, follow these steps:  

1.    Stuff packing paper inside each shoe to help them keep their shape (avoid using newspaper because the ink can leave stains). 
2.    Wrap one shoe completely in packing paper, then add the second shoe to the same sheet and finish wrapping. (Pro tip: Consider wrapping heels with Bubble Wrap instead to protect the heel from breaking during travel). 
3.    Tape the bundle. 
4.    Layer the wrapped bundles in a moving box, placing heavier bundles and shoes in their original boxes on the bottom (we recommend not exceeding 40 pounds per box). 
5.    Fill gaps with packing paper to prevent shifting. 
6.    Tape and label the box. 

Watch the step-by-step process in this helpful tutorial: 


Take a look at this resource for additional packing tips when moving.

Packing shoes for a trip 

We’ve all been there — after a long trip, we open our suitcase only to find our favorite shoes are smashed and distorted. Even with the attempt to mold them back into shape, they’re still squished. But with a few changes to how they’re packed, shoes can look good as new after a long journey. Here are some guidelines to follow when packing footwear for a trip or vacation: 

  • Footwear gets easily smashed when clothes and other heavy items are packed on top. You can prevent this by placing things like socks and underwear in them to help keep their shape. 
  • Shoes can be dirty and have an odor. Putting them in a small bag or plastic bag, or wrapping them in tissue or paper before placing them in a suitcase, will separate them from clean clothes. 
  • The ideal spot to place sneakers and boots in a roller suitcase is on the bottom and up against the sides — this will balance the luggage. 
  • Place lightweight flip-flops and sandals in extra compartments and don’t pack anything heavy on top.  
  • To keep high heels in place, pack them in between the outline of the handlebars inside the suitcase.
  • If packing a duffel bag or backpack, it’s best to put shoes at the bottom and place items inside to avoid distortion.

How to store shoes long term 

Whether you live in a small studio apartment or a multi-bedroom home, the one thing you always find yourself needing is more space, especially for shoes! Fortunately, there are numerous ways to store your footwear that will protect it from damage and help maximize space. Check out the storage options below to figure out what works best for you. 

Closet storage ideas  

The best way to store shoes in a closet will depend on the closet’s size and shape. A few ideas include using: 

  • A tiered rack. If your closet is tall and narrow, consider using a tiered rack. This way, you can store from the ground up and fit all of your shoes in one space. 
  • A cubby. Cubbies are great if you have a lot of shoes, helping keep each pair together and organized. 
  • The top shelf of the closet. Items stored on the top shelf are less likely to get damaged or scuffed, making the top shelf the ideal place for heels and high-value footwear. It’s also a great space to store tall boots. 
  • Plastic drawers, mesh bins or wooden crates. Use any of these storage solutions to easily store and find your flip-flops, sneakers, flats and sandals.  

Creative places to store footwear 

If your closet-space to number-of-shoes-you-own ratio is off, there are plenty of fun and unique ways to store shoes throughout a home. Which option do you like?  

  • Repurpose an old bookshelf. Take an old bookshelf or cabinet and give it a new purpose by using it as shoe shelf. If you’re an out-of-sight kind of person, place it behind closed doors. Or, leave it out and showcase some of your favorite pairs.  
  • Use built-in shelves/other nooks and crannies. Instead of cluttering up built-in shelves with unnecessary items, use this space to store footwear. If your home doesn’t have built-ins, it’s sure to have some random nooks and crannies where a shelf can fit. Consider buying a pretty curtain to cover it up — no one will know what’s hiding unless you show them!  
  • Store under a bed. Underneath a bed is a great spot for storing a variety of items. Make it easy to grab your shoes and go by using rolling storage boxes.  
  • Store in furniture. Furniture continues to become more and more functional and includes many hidden compartments that are perfect for storage. Take a look at your furniture (ottomans, benches, couch drawers, etc.) and see what secret spots you can find that are great for storing shoes.  

How do you pack your shoes? 

What other practical, unique and creative ways do you know of for packing or storing footwear? Let us know in the comments below.