What is the correct ratio of shoes to travel days?

(musings on packing lightly for short trips).

So anyway, my grandmother is not doing well, healthwise. In fact, she’s had a stroke and is unresponsive, so we are at the making tenative plans stage.

I haven’t decided yet whether I need new clothes for a funeral.

Nor have I any idea how long I would be visiting my grandmother.

But, assuming she dies soon, I would most likely wear my favorite sneakers, pack my favorite sandals, perhaps my “vacation shoes” (fake Crocs purchased earlier this summer while on vacation), and a pair of dress shoes suitable for a funeral.

Earlier this summer I took a trip where I left Friday, came home Monday, wearing favorite sneakers, having packed the vacation shoes, favorite sandals, and dress shoes suitable for a job interview.

And when I visited my grandmother for a trip from Thursday to Tuesday, earlier this summer, I wore the favorie sneakers, packed the favorite sandals, and probably a pair of walking shoes. That was the trip on which I acquired the vacation shoes, and so came home with one more pair of shoes than I left with.

And so, I tell you, when I try to pack lightly, this task is complicated by the number of shoes I feel desirable to take with me. How about you? Ever had this problem?

Am plagued by this problem. Black ballerina flats (with comfy insoles for walking) are a gift from the gods of versatility.

This has got to be a girl thing.

Here’s my equation.

(Number of travel days)/(My one pair of shoes) = X

You pack too many articles of footwear.

I went away for nine months and took 1 pair of hiking boots and 1 pair of sandals. Worked fine for me.

My wife, who is coincidentally a woman, came with me (which was nice of her) and brought 1 pair of hiking boots, 1 pair of sandals, 3 pairs of flip flops, 1 pair of ‘nice’ summery shoes, bought a load more along the way, and probably hid seven other pairs from me lest I mock her.

Personally I think you should allow the sandals and fake Crocs (to be known henceforth as “Frocs”) to serve the same purpose so only bring one pair of either, and apply the same logic to the sneakers/hiking boots dichotomy - wear one pair of these, and bring the pair of smart shoes should the untoward happen. So, three.

Depends on what you’re doing of course.

Any time it’s warm = one pair of pretty sandals that can go with dresses or jeans.
If I’ll be walking a lot I’ll pack a pair of Keds/Sneakers for when my feet start to hurt.

That’s it.

Wintertime almost the same thing. I’ll pack my pair of plain black flats that I can wear with almost everything. And maybe a pair of Keds.

I almost never bring more than two pairs of shoes with me and try to limit it to the pair I have on my feet…

And I’m a GIRL, Jonathan Chance. And I love shoes - have lots of them. I just believe when it comes to packing, minimal is best.

At this time of year, I can definitely see taking both the sneaks and sandals. And I thought about saying you could just drop in at a Payless if it ended up you needed nice shoes for a funeral but then I thought that’s probably not the ideal situation for breaking in new shoes, so I’d probably throw in the dress shoes too. But if you wear the sneaks or sandals, you’ll still only have two pairs to pack. Like jjimm, I don’t think you need the Frocs (great term!).

Wishing you, your grandmother, and your family peace and strength.

You beat me to it. Except for myself it’s one pair of boots to X number of days.

In response to assorted posts, yes, I am a girl. I’m not a particularily fond of cute shoes girl, but I seem to have accumulated a large number of pairs of shoes anyway. And sometimes, it seems like packing a different pair of shoes for each of several activities is easier than figuring out which one pair of shoes could suit each of several activities. Job interview shoes, shoes to wear while splashing in puddles, and shoes for driving/flying in are just not all that compatible.

I could skip the frocs, I suppose. But it depends on where I’m traveling and why. The trip to the job interview which involved so many pairs of shoes involved the frocs because I spent the weekend at my brother’s house, before a Monday job interview. My brother has a pool, and my nieces spend a lot of time in it. A pair of shoes which can get wet without regrets is useful under those circumstances. (Or even just if it rains when you are outside). Neither my sneakers nor my sandals are fun to wear when wet.

Re: shopping at Payless vs. packing a pair of dress shoes. Not going to happen.

First of all, I’m likely to know whether there will be a funeral before I actually make travel plans. So I won’t be packing a pair of shoes “just in case”. Secondly, my grandmother lives in Small Town, USA. No Payless anywhere close. Thirdly, I hate Payless–my feet are wide and flat, and the last time I shopped at Payless, nothing fit. And I do have multiple pair of more or less comfortable, practical, dressy enough black shoes sitting in my closet.

depends on the activity. If I go camping I MIGHT bring:
regular sneakers (wearing)
bicycle shoes (if I will go on a an extended bike ride)
water shoes (for kayaking)
hiking books (if I plan on hiking a long way, otherwise sneakers are OK)

for a recent wedding I brought:
regular sneakers
dress shoes
water shoes

in the winter I would bring
regular sneakers
hiking books (for snow)
snow boots (for when there is a LOT of snow)


Shoes take up an innordinate amount of bag space. Overall they’re just not cost effective to pack.

I have a pair of comfortable black shoes that can be worn with a suit and look nice–so I just wear those and don’t pack anything.

Sorry, I can’t be helpful. My equation is one pair of Tevas and, if necessary, one pair of black dress sandals with a low heel for business trips (or for what you describe); one pair of Tevas and one pair of hiking books for an outdoor vacation; one pair of Tevas and one pair of zories if I’ll be somewhere where bare feet in the shower isn’t a good idea; otherwise, one pair of Tevas period.

I wear boots.

If it’s summer, I might pack flipflops.

If there’s an Event, I’ll bring heels, which happens more often now that I’m at That Age where people I know are getting married right, left, and center. :eek:

But otherwise: boots.

The answer is one (1) pair of shoes.

Are you golfing? That could be another pair of shoes.

I think you have the right number, less the Frocs. Sneaks to wear, sandals and a pair of dress shoes to pack is pretty much the bare minimum in my book.

See - it’s an instinct. Your logical mind may fight it, but your female reptilian brain will conspire with your extra X chromosome to accumulate footwear while you’re not even looking.


Grandma passed away yesterday afternoon. I will fly out for the funeral tomorrow or Sat. (returning sometime next week). Funeral probably will be Tuesday, due to weekend, Labor Day, and need for travel time for assorted relatives.

Sorry you had to pack your dress shoes. :frowning:

um, trick question right? One pair. If I’m on a business trip of less than one full week, it’s a pair of shoes and one suit. For a longer trip when I have to check luggage, then I might take one extra pair of shoes.

It’s ok, really. Grandma was not exactly in ill health, but was eightysomething and reaching the point of life where it was becoming difficult for her to dress herself, etc. And she didn’t live near any family members, and didn’t want to move close to anyone, . . . so really, it’s for the best. The timing could have been a lot worse. This way Mom and her sister were visiting their mom when it happened.

So I’ll go to the largest city near middle of nowhere by plane (flying through Reagen National Airport of all places–no, that is not on the shortest route from here to there). And someone will pick me up and drive me two hours to middle of nowhere.

And we’ll eat too much food which is bad for us, and visit with relatives we haven’t seen in years, and I’ll get fussed over because I’ll be the youngest person there (at least part of the time). And we’ll celebrate the good years, and argue over who gets the infamous bird pictures, and see if anyone wants the glurgy pictures, and look at photos from years past. And we’ll say we should do this again, and not wait for a wedding or a funeral to do so.


Based on the name “Brian”, I assume you are male. I am happy to see you in this thread as a counterpoint to those who claim that all someone needs, especially a male someone, is one pair of shoes.