14 Lightweight Travel Shoes That Take Up Almost No Suitcase Space
Every traveler knows shoes are the main culprit when you can’t fit everything you want to pack in your suitcase.
Even if you’re heading for a quick weekend getaway, the moment you put two pairs of shoes (one for walking around and another one for going out) in your airline-approved carry-on, you are immediately left with about half the space to fit in all of your other belongings. And if you, like me, take another spare pair of footwear — you know, “just in case” — then you can pretty much start mentally preparing to either pay for overweight luggage or wear the same outfit the entire weekend.
Since I’ve been in that situation one too many times, I have learned my lesson and now pack only lightweight or collapsible (or both!) footwear. Travelers are often smart about packing clothes and accessories, but the same strategy should extend to shoes, as well. For example, instead of taking a pair of water shoes in addition to your everyday summer espadrilles, grab a pair that can do both.
As for your sneakers and sandals, invest in those that are made from lightweight and breathable materials like canvas or neoprene. Leather or suede will lose its shape once it’s wedged between your hair dryer and toiletry case.
There are also plenty of shoes that are foldable or collapsible and they literally take half or a third of the space that a normal pair would. Most of them come in a pouch for easy and clean storage.
Here, 14 pairs of shoes that are so easy to pack you just might be able to get away with bringing three pairs.
A breathable canvas upper, a flexible outsole, and a comfortable slip-on design make this classic Toms flat a winner in our book. Plus, with every pair you purchase, Toms donates a new pair of shoes to a child in need.
To buy: zappos.com, $48
Born Lake Sandals
This braided, T-strap sandal features a cushioned footbed and is easy to pack in your beach tote or carry-on.
To buy: amazon.com, from $80
Sanuk Maisie Sneaker
This vacation-ready sneaker has an ultra-flexible outsole for maximum comfort and a textured canvas upper so you won’t need to worry about ruining its shape when you pack it flat.
To buy: zappos.com, $50
Yosi Samra Samara 2.0 Foldable Ballet Flat
Pack a pair of these foldable metallic flats in your bag the next time you’re going out or heading to a business meeting — and slip into them once the official part is over.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $98
Vivo Barefoot Kanna Sneakers
This sneaker features a puncture-resistant, ultra-thin, and lightweight sole and a breathable mesh upper. When folded, it takes up a third of its original size.
To buy: vivobarefoot.com, $125
Sea Star Beachwear Beachcomber Espadrille
OluKai Women's Miki Li' Slip-on Sneaker
This shoe is extremely practical — you can wear it as a slip-on sneaker or as a slide thanks to its collapsible heel. It is crafted from lightweight, quick-drying, and water-resistant materials so you can wear it in the mountains while hiking or on the beach when taking a walk.
To buy: zappos.com, $130
Xero Shoes Barefoot-inspired Sport Sandals
This sandal is flexible enough to be rolled up and stuffed into your backpack’s pocket thanks to its ultra-thin sole.
To buy: amazon.com, $65
Cole Haan Zerogrand Wingtip Oxford With Stitchlite
Cushioned, breathable, and lightweight, this is the most comfortable summer sneaker. And thanks to the pretty knit pattern you can dress it up, too.
To buy: colehaan.com, $150
Teva Women's Original Universal Sandal
At only 5.5 oz, this is one of Teva’s lightest sandals. It has a cushioned footbed that provides all-day comfort and an adjustable ankle strap for the best fit.
To buy: macys.com, $50
Soludos Lace-up Espadrille Sandals
This is the quintessential easy-to-wear summer shoe that also won’t take up much space in your weekender.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $65
Sanbang Athletic Shoes
Camping, sailing, running, walking… These extremely lightweight slip-on shoes have flexible soles and a versatile design so you can partake in all of your favorite pastimes in them.
To buy: amazon.com, $20
Tieks by Gavrieli Foldable Ballet Flats
This classic ballet flat features a round-toe design and is crafted from full-grain Italian leather. It folds in half for convenient storage and comes with a pouch.
To buy: tieks.com, $175
Cocorose London Carnaby Foldable Espadrilles
This British brand specializes in high-quality foldable footwear. These gray espadrilles are total eye-catchers with their fun peacock appliqué pattern. A flexible sole enables the shoes to fold in half to be stored in their own matching travel pouch.
To buy: cocoroselondon.com, $54 (originally $80)