How many shoes do you pack for a tropical vacation?

My SO and I are planning a 10 day long tropical vacation next year. For some reason, I started wondering how many pairs of shoes I will need to bring? So of course, I started wondering “WWSDMBD” (What would SDMB do?)?

So here goes my list:

  1. 1 pair of sandels
  2. 1 pair of nicer sandels, for nicer meals/events
  3. 1 pair walking shoes
  4. 1 pair of shoes for wearing in the water

The idea of taking 4 pairs for 10 days drives me nuts (who wants to lug all that) but that seems to be my minimum list.

Do how about you all? How many pairs for 10 days in Paradise?

Do you actually wear water shoes? Really? Mine would go:

  1. Walking sandals

That’s it.

Sneakers (since I like walking around) and nicer shoes (in case I eat at a nice restaurant) and a pair of flip flops (for the beach). Although I might buy the flip flops after I arrived.

I’m going on a tropical vacation next month. I’m planning to take hiking shoes (we’re doing some jungle-y stuff), sandals (very plain Merrills), and water shoes that are still to be purchased. Possibly a pair of flip flops, too. I really hope there aren’t any nice restaurants involved, because I will be spectacularly under-dressed.

flip flops, sandals, and maybe a nice pair of shoes. 3 pairs, and even that is resentful. I’d wonder if I maybe couldn’t just buy a super cheap pair of flip-flops and then throw them out.

I like shoes, so I would probably bring a lot, based on what outfits I am packing and which shoes/sandals go with each outfit. But that is me.

If you don’t want to bring as many as 4 pairs, why not combine #1 and #2, and bring a single pair of sandals that is nice enough to wear to restaurants. Where are you going that makes you say “hey, I’ll wear my crappy sandals”? If the reason you are bringing the not-as-nice sandals is because you’ll be doing things that would get them muddy or dirty, then just bring 1 pair of crappy sandals, and 1 pair of walking shoes and wear the walking shoes to restaurants and events.

Another thought that is depending on where you are going and how easy this would be, I might consider not bringing water shoes with me, then buying the cheapest pair I could find when I arrived, then tossing them at the end.

  1. Running shoes (road)
  2. Running shoes (trail)
  3. Nice flip-flops or sandals
  4. Beach-grade flip flops
  5. Golf shoes

Yep, something like this. They are great for when the lake/river/ocean bottom isn’t barefoot friendly. Coral hurts.

I voted 2-3 but I hadn’t read your post yet and I forgot water shoes so I should have said 4.

It depends on where you’re going however, if it’s a sand beach and there is no rocks or coral to be concerned about you might be able to skip the water shoes.

For me the list is:

  1. 5 finger walking/hiking shoes (WAY lighter than hiking boots. Cooler for tropical locations and yet sturdy enough soles for safety)
  2. Dressy sandals
  3. Walking sandals.
    4.Water shoes (if necessary)

Even if I had a pair of sandals that were dressy enough and comfortable enough for both walking and going out I would take two pair because after walking all day switching shoes just feels better.

Shoes? For wearing in the water? Does not compute.

I’d probably go with a couple pairs of flip flops and maybe one nice pair of sandals if I plan to eat out anywhere nice. If you’re going somewhere where the beaches are all rocky and/or coral-y, then okay, I can see beach shoes. If you’ll be hiking a lot (say going up to a volcano or something), then yes, one pair of walking shoes.

Really, I suspect I’d wear a pair of flip flops, pack an alternate pair, and mostly just run around barefoot. But my idea of a perfect tropical vacation is not straying too far from the beach.

What I’d bring:

1 pair of sandals
1 pair of nice sandals for dressing up when going to a nice restaurant.

Two or three pairs:
Sandals (and/or 5-Fingers)
Hiking shoes

  1. Sandals
  2. Sneakers/Topsiders

Options: dress shoes, but nowadays you can get along without them.

Either two or three, depending on if there’s a formal dinner on the menu:

  1. Sandals/flip-flops
  2. Sneakers
  3. (Optional) Something nicer to wear to dinner… if it’s tropical it’s probably not fully into “dress shoes”, but we can do better than flip flops or gym shoes, I think.

Probably 3

my flip-flops
some waterproof sandals (Keens), since my flip-flops are leather
a pair of ‘nice’ shoes

Since we’re talking the Tropics here, ‘nice’ is a relative term. I won’t be packing my black wingtips; more like my Olukai Moloas.

A lot of all inclusive resorts require long pants and closed toe shoes for men in the nicer dinner restaurants. If you’re staying at a resort, you may want to check their website for dress codes.

I just got back from a beach vacation, and since I’m a terrible shoe whore, I brought far too many shoes. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere without a full contingent of my darlings. Well, I was wrong. They just took up valuable suitcase space. What I actually wore was:

  • Casual sandals (a Dansko sandal)
  • Croc Adena sport sandals (my version of the flip-flop)
  • Good sandals (heels)

I brought two additional pairs of sandals, plus an honest-to-God pair of dress shoes. Take it from me, this was stupid. We didn’t do any jungle hiking, but unless you’re completely irredeemable, you should be able to get by with your choice of shoe to wear with shorts, shoes for beach/water, and something nice.

Sandals/Flip Flops (or both)
pair of dress shoes

I’m from Hawaii and visit home often, so I often have to pack shoes for a tropical vacation.

Here’s your list:

  1. 1 pair of sandels
  2. 1 pair of nicer sandels, for nicer meals/events
  3. 1 pair walking shoes
  4. 1 pair of shoes for wearing in the water

There is some redundancy here. Either 1 and 2 or 1 and 4 can be the same pair. I recommend buying rubber or some other water-wearable footwear, such as flip flops, and double it as everyday casual footwear and water shoes. Bonus: the easy slip-off, slip-on nature of flip flops makes for quicker airport security screening.

What is the likely frequency of a nicer meal/event? One every day or two? You may be overestimating the frequency of these events. Keep in mind too that people in tropical places tend to be a bit more, uh, flexible in terms of fancy footwear requirements, especially from tourists.

Same for the walking shoes – are you planning a lot of walking or hiking? If you are, then definitely bring them, but if they are more of a just-in-case thing, leave them at home. I personally would only bring them if I planned either a LOT of walking, or hiking on slippery/uneven terrain.

I usually take 2 pairs, and one is always flip flops. Never go barefoot.

[li]Running shoes for exercise (will also wear on flights)[/li][li]Sandals for the beach/water[/li][li]Nicer sandals[/li][/ol]

While trail runners and road runners would both be nice to have, I can make do with a single pair for a vacation. I like to pack light if possible.