06/19/2013 11:20 pm ET Updated Aug 19, 2013

How to Pack Shoes for Travel

One of the biggest issues that travelers run into (specifically women) isn't the TSA 3oz, one-quart bag rule. It's the dilemma of trying to decide which shoes to pack. Sometimes ladies will just decide to bring them all, often resulting in a too-big-to-check suitcase or a separate bag exclusively for shoes.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm serious about my shoes. Serious. Still, I value practicality above all else (and not wasting money on bag fees), so I force myself to travel with no more than three pairs of shoes -- four if you count flip flops. In order to be successful with this there are a few things to consider:

  • Where are you going? The climate and culture of a city should to dictate your footwear far more than your wardrobe. For "walking cities" like New York, Chicago or New Orleans you'll want to bring something that won't leave you crippled in a few hours. Chic flats are absolutely necessary. Depending on your needs, you can vary with sandals, boots or sneakers but you'll definitely want something with some support. Don't make the mistake of trying to wear flip flops everywhere. Their minimalist construction will eventually wreak havoc on your lower back after walking for a few hours. Also, choose your sneakers carefully. One time in New Orleans, I wore a pair of Pumas that were better suited for fashion than sightseeing and I had to stop for a chair massage because I was almost immobile with pain. A cross-training shoe is likely your best bet.
  • What's the nature of your trip? The footwear you choose for a business trip will definitely be different than a family getaway. Your primary pair of shoes will be dictated by how you're spending most of your time. Walking around Disney World? Cross trainers. The convention circuit? Stylish flats or wedges. Business meetings? Comfortable heels that you know will take you the distance. Hint: Padded inserts make a life-changing difference in your shoes. The ball of foot inserts are nicely suited for strappy heels, and high heel inserts work for all sorts of "high style," and all of your foot's pressure points.

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Quia Querisma is a digital marketer by day, freelance writer by night, and a traveler by nature. Get her latest insights on travel and fashion on her blog,