Packing footwear when traveling
I just took a quick weekend driving trip with my Aeronaut and I faced a problem that always plagues me - packing sneakers. I like to wear shoes when I travel and pack sneakers because I jog for exercise and will often travel to places where I run a race.
But now that I'm trying to pack lighter it's driving me crazy how much room those sneakers take up!!! I keep trying to cut back on other things to make the sneakers fit but I feel like I'm packing light already (for me at least). I usually wrap the sneakers in a plastic bag (because they are dirty) and then put them in a bag but I found even with my small size 10s that they didn't fit so well in the side of the Aeronaut and had to be in the main compartment. So instead of one big cube and two half cubes I end up with one big and one half and the sneakers.
Anyway, it frustrated me and I wanted to check in with others who travel light to see what they pack for footwear and if I'm missing out on something. Even if you don't jog or exercise it seems like everyone needs to pack another pair of shoes so it can't be uncommon.
My size 12 New Balance running shoes fit in one of the side pockets of my Aeronaut. I don't remember doing anything special to get them to fit.
I've traveled with the Aeronaut several times since September, and I've taken an extra pair of shoes -- men's size 11 -- with me on every trip in one of the end compartments. In fact ,that's one of the things I like best about the bag -- extra shoes are always a hassle to pack, and with the Aeronaut they have their own space. I took running shoes once, but on the other trips I had to take less flexible and clunkier business/casual shoes, but I got them to fit. It is a pretty tight squeeze, but it is a very efficient use of space, as they definitely fill up the end compartment (and you can stuff a few pairs of socks inside the shoes). Like you, I put the shoes in a plastic grocery bag first, and that helps them to slide in. A couple other tips:
1) I put the shoes in the end compartment without the slash pocket, because they fill the compartment so fully that it's harder to get anything in or out of the slash pocket if the shoes are underneath. I pack toiletries and other small items in the end compartment with the slash pocket.
2) It's easier to zip the compartment closed if you put the shoes in heels first. I also found that packing the shoes with the soles facing in (toward the main compartment) saves my back when I'm carrying the Aeronaut backpack-style, which I often do to/from public transportation and in the airport.
Hope this helps.
I'll have to take your advice and see what I can do for this next trip. I ended up putting the shoes in the main compartment because it felt too constricted in the side ones. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that with bulky shoes or a toiletry kit (which I also struggled with) in the side compartment that you end up pushing into the main compartment and taking away space. It seems somehow "wrong" to me to push against the main compartment or at least backwards.
With holiday travel, I'm going to need the exercise to keep the stress down ... even if it means running in the snow.
I put my running shoes (size 12) in a fabric/fabric end-pocket packing cube, sole to the outside. In the same packing cube I usually put a pair of slippers. It's not easy to close the packing cube, but after it's easy to put it in one end-pocket. Like gmich I chose the end compartment without the slash pocket.
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