Organize Your Carry-On Step 3: Keep Your SHOES Separate

Organize Your Carry-On Step 3: Keep Your SHOES Separate

Step 3: Keep Your SHOES Separate // Choose the right packing solution for your shoes

Keep your shoe packing simple (and clever) with an item you have around the house or opt for a container specifically designed for transporting shoes.

Unless you’re headed on a tropical getaway that only requires flip flops, shoes are one of the bulkiest (and dirtiest) things you’ll have to pack. Limit yourself to two pairs of shoes so you’ll actually have room in your suitcase for other stuff. The type of shoes you pack and the amount of room you have to spare in your carry-on will determine what type of shoe container you need. 

Tip: Save packing space by wearing your bulkiest pair on the plane!

eBags Shoe Sleeves

Shoe Sacs and Sleeves

Protect your clothing from your shoe bottoms with shoe sleeves. These containers lay flat when empty and take the shape of your shoe when in use. They typically have a drawstring closure, but some (like the first example here) close with a zipper.

Eagle Creek Pack-It Shoe Sac

  • $13.00 on
  • Dimensions: 16″ x 9″ x 1″
  • 1 color option
  • Attached handle and zipper closure

eBags Shoe sleeves (pictured)

  • $17.99/set of 2 on
  • Dimensions: 12.5″ x 8.5″
  • 7 color options
  • Drawstring closure

FashionBoutique Waterproof Nylon Shoe Bags

  • $8.49/set of 4 on
  • Dimensions: 15″ x 12″
  • 10 color options
  • Drawstring closure


eBags Shoe Bag

Shoe Cubes

As you can guess from the name, these are similar to the standard packing cube design we discussed in Step 1, with added perks like ventilation and a more shoe-specific size and shape. If you can fit your pair in one of the smaller cubes meant for clothing, it’ll likely be less expensive than buying a shoe cube.

eBags Shoe Bag (pictured)

  • $19.99 on
  • Dimensions: 14″ x 7″ x 4.5″
  • 8 color options
  • Attached handle and zipper closure

Eagle Creek Pack-It Large Shoe Cube

  • $20.00 on
  • Dimensions: 14″ x 8″ x 6″
  • 1 color option
  • Attached handle and zipper closure


shower cap

Shower Caps

Yep, that says shower caps. You can use a cheap-o shower cap to keep your shoes together and your shoe bottoms off your clothes. Find some cute ones on Amazon. (Pictured cap by Spa Sister)

Our Picks

Best of Shoe Sacs and Sleeves: FashionBoutique Waterproof Nylon Shoe Bags

As these all achieve the same goal, we’d opt for the least expensive well-rated option here, and 4 sleeves for under 10 bucks is the best deal. These are the #1 Best Seller on Amazon in the Shoe Bags category, and (Bonus!) they have a multicolor ordering option, so you can organize your shoes by color when packing.

Best Shoe Cube: eBags Shoe Bag

At 20 bucks a pop, if you’re going to purchase a shoe cube, we think the eBags Shoe Bag (not actually a “bag”) is the best option for two main reasons: It has dual vented grommets, and it has a nylon slip sheet to keep the shoes from rubbing against each other. And, just as importantly, the eBags color selection is also much better!

What’s The Next Step in Organizing Your Carry-On?

Step 4: Keep Your ACCESSORIES Orderly

Take me back to Step 2: Keep Your TOILETRIES Tidy

Take me back to Step 1: Keep Your CLOTHING Organized

Take me back to Intro to Packing Containers: Organize Your Carry-On in 4 Steps!

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Organize Your Carry-On Step 3: Keep Your SHOES Separate

Author Profile

Diana SouthernSTG Founder & Contributing Editor
Diana is an outspoken, DIY-ing, star-chasing, hockey-loving, dog-owning, veggie-eating professional wanderer. And that's not the half of it. Not long ago she jumped ship from a comfy, predictable American life, sold all her stuff, and set out to explore the unknown. Now a full-time traveler, Diana believes that spontaneity, a smile, and an organized suitcase are the three key elements to a happy nomadic existence. Follow her personal travels on North To South.