Shoes are the Achilles heel of my one bag packing. Get it? Shoes … heel? Okay, lame, I know.
That said, shoes are heavy and take up a lot of space in your bag. Yet, there is the temptation to want to have the “right” shoes for every occasion you will encounter on your trip. I force myself to stick to the wear-one-pack-one rule, with the possible exception of throwing in a pair of lightweight flip flops as a third pair.
Here are some examples of my shoe choices for various types of trips.
Belize. Activities: snorkeling, hanging out, walking around some Mayan ruins. Shoes: Keen sandals and flip flops. Ditto for Mexico.
Turkey. Activities: hiking, city walking. Keen sandals, Keen sneaker/walking shoes.
France. Activities: city walking, museums, restaurants, wine tours. Keen Mary Janes, Clark walking shoes.
Australia. City walking, hiking, swimming, snorkeling, rain forest tour, winery tours. Keen sandals, flip flops.
Galapagos. Hiking (including a 10 mile volcano hike, where we were warned to bring sturdy hiking shoes), snorkeling, kayaking, walking. Keen sandals, trail runners, flip flops.
Seeing a pattern? I love my various Keens. I find the sandals very comfortable and versitile for walking and hiking. For longer hikes, wear socks. You can get Keens wet. You can even wear them with a casual dress or skirt. The Keen Mary Janes were also very comfortable for France and looked pretty snazzy with skirts and dresses. Wear them with cool socks, tights, or little tiny Smartwool “hidden” socks.
In Turkey, the Keen walking shoes were awesome. We hiked a lot in Cappadocia and they were troopers. I also wore them with skirts, but I can be kind of dorky that way. I believe any kind of shoes go with skirts. Well, maybe not gym shoes.
The most important things:
– Be comfortable. Blisters can ruin your trip. You want to go lots of places and you won’t feel like it if your feet hurt.
– Make sure your shoes fit and are comfortable before your trip. If you can’t walk 4 or 5 miles in them at home, you will suffer at the Greek ruins, Paris museums, or the awesome rock formations in Turkey.
– No one cares what you’re wearing.
– Shoes are heavy. Don’t carry around a pair of shoes you will only wear once or twice during your trip. You can go out to dinner in flip flops or Keen sandals. Really. Unless you’re going to a wedding or something, pare down your shoes and one-bag travel will be your friend.