When we travel, the worst thing to pack is shoes. Shoes no matter where you’re going or what size suitcase you’re filling are bulky, awkward and take up a lot of space.
If you’re bringing a number of pairs of shoes, you can expect to work your Tetris skills trying to fit them in your suitcase and still have enough room for the rest of your clothes.
A few years ago we started using packing cubes for our clothes. They made a huge difference in how much we could bring, and reduced wrinkles. But we still had to deal with shoes.
Recently, we discovered travel shoe bags. These handy travel tools allow you to pack a couple of pairs of shoes into a packing cube type container. They have enough room for shoes plus other small items like belts, socks or even sunglasses.
We like shoe bags because not only do they allow us to skip the game of Tetris, but they also keep our shoes, which can be dirty, from touching our clothes and other items. They are kind of a travel life-saver.
If you get on shopping sites like Amazon, you’ll find that there are a lot of options when it comes to travel shoe bags. So, which do you pick? Well, to help you make an easy decision, we’ve put together our list of the best and most durable travel shoe bags around.
1. DIOMMELL Travel Shoe Bags
Our favorite travel shoe bags are the Diommell travel shoe bags. These simple yet durable shoe bags are great for travel and daily use.
The top half of these bags are made from a nice sturdy fabric which protects your shoes from scuffs, scratches and dirt. The bottom portion of the bags have a clear plastic window so you can easily tell which shoes are in the bag.
These shoe bags have a drawstring closure and are lightweight and store compactly when not in use. The 12-piece set is enough for a couple to share and still have more than enough bags for storing shoes for a long trip.
The Diommell shoe bags are roomy enough to hold even larger size men’s shoes. For small women’s and kids shoes, these bags are big enough to hold a couple of pairs of shoes.
And while it seems like 12 bags may be overkill, remember, these versatile bags can be used for other items when traveling. Pack your toiletries, make-up, dirty laundry or even gym gear in these to keep items protected or separated from other items in your suitcase, closet or gym bag.
- Large multi-functional bags
- Multiple bag set
- Easy to use drawstring
- Only the bottom is transparent
- Poor water protection
- Only comes in black
2. YAMIU Travel Shoe Bags Set
Yamiu travel shoe bag set is a nice second option if you’re not feeling like you need 12 travel shoe bags. This brand has sets of 2, 4 or 12 bags. Each set comes with 2 different size bags – standard size bags and extra-large bags.
For the traveler that wants to have optimal organization both in their suitcase and in their closet the Yamiu travel shoe bags are a nice option. While these shoe bags work great at keeping your shoes separate from your clothes during travel, they also look nice, and are a great way to store your shoes at home.
The waterproof, high quality fabric and zippered closure are great for protecting your shoes, but also for things like damp swimsuits and towels. The Yamiu travel shoe bags are also great for keeping your toiletries separate from your clothes when you travel. This is particularly nice if you’ve ever experienced a bottle of shampoo or lotion exploding in your suitcase. With these bags, even if your toiletries leak, their waterproof construction will keep your clothes and shoes protected from damage or soiling.
We do wish that this set of travel shoe bags had a see-through panel so you don’t have to guess about which shoes are stored inside. It would also be nice if these came in a couple of colors to distinguish which shoe bags belong to each member of your family.
- Good water proofness
- 2 sizes in this set
- Good quality zippers
- Not transparent
- Not great for large men’s boots
- Only comes in black
3. Pack all Water Resistant Travel Shoe Bags
The Pack All travel shoe bags are a really great idea. Made from polyester plus a TPU composite mesh, these bags are semi-transparent, and probably the most waterproof shoe bags we found.
We really like the design and material of these bags. They come in a couple of sizes to accommodate a range of shoe sizes. They also come in a number of color options so each person in your home can have a different color. You will want to make sure that you pick the largest size necessary for your shoes. These bags don’t expand as much as other options, so if you have a bulkier shoe, you may have a hard time fitting it into these bags.
Other things that we like about these bags are the carrying handle, which is larger than on many other travel shoe bag options. And like other options that we’ve included in our list, these can also be used for items other than shoes when you travel.
We did discover a few features that we weren’t super excited about. First, these bags are waterproof, except for the zipper. The zipper is durable, but if you put toiletries in these bags and they leak, there is a chance that soap, shampoo or other liquids could end up passing through the zipper into your suitcase.
Second, these travel shoe bags are sold individually or in pairs at the most. That makes them a little pricier than other options and we’re not hugely impressed by that. A single bag will run you around $14, and a 2-pack is approximately $25.
- Can see through entire bag
- Nice carry handle
- Multiple color options
- Not as durable
- Harder to clean
- Higher price
4. MISSLO Portable Nylon Travel Shoe Bags
Misslo nylon travel shoe bags are great shoe bags for larger size shoes. These bags have a larger capacity than other travel shoe bags fitting men’s boots or ladies’ shoes with high-heels with ease.
The Misslo travel shoe bags are made from nylon, making them tear resistant and a bit more durable than some other shoe bag options. Unfortunately, however, we found that while the company boasts upgraded zippers, the zippers weren’t of a good quality and from time to time we struggled to get them to zip smoothly.
These travel shoe bags are not waterproof so they should not be used to store items that are damp, or for taking your shoes to spots like the pool or beach. These travel shoe bags do a nice job of protecting your shoes from dust, dirt, scuffs and scratches, but we do miss the waterproof material.
Misslo travel shoe bags come in a 4-pack of either all black bags or a multi-color pack. We do like the fun colors, but we would like these bags to have a clear panel or a more transparent fabric, so we don’t have to play the guessing game about which shoes are in the bag.
- Great customer service
- Large capacity
- Fun color options
- No transparency
- Not great zippers
- Not as quality material
5. TENABORT Portable Shoe Bags
Similar to our first travel shoe bag options, the Tenabort shoe bags give you a simple option for storing your shoes or other travel items in a see-through bag.
This 12-pack of travel shoe bags come in either white or black and are made of sturdy non-woven fabric with a clear plastic front so you can easily see what shoes are stored inside. When you’re not traveling, these handy bags fold down compactly for easy storage.
The drawstring closure is easy to use and can be tied to keep your shoes securely inside the bag when traveling. The large size of these bags makes them great for storing other items when traveling like make-up, purses, damp swimsuits, or even your dirty laundry. We actually really like these bags for dirty laundry or gym clothes because the materials don’t hold on to odors, and don’t allow odors to pass into your suitcase.
In our opinion, the one downfall of these bags is the construction. While other bags have seams that are sewn together, the Tenabort travel shoe bags are crimped at the seams. We found that this caused them to come apart easily, especially if you were using the bags for bulkier shoes or boots. They’re not expensive, with a 12-pack only running about $12, so it didn’t bother us too much when they fell apart.
- Large and multi-functional
- Easy to see through
- Multiple bag set
- Comes in only black or white
- Drawstring can be fickle
- Not waterproof
How to choose the best durable travel shoe bag?
When selecting a travel shoe bag there are some product features that you should consider. Below, we’ve offered the product features that we used to select the five products on our list, and the shoe bags that we use when traveling.
You’ll quickly find that not all travel shoe bags are great for all types of shoes. And you may want to invest in a couple of different bag styles for different shoe styles.
While most bags will easily accommodate shoes like tennis shoes, loafers, or women’s flats, many bag options struggle with bulkier boots and even high-heeled dress shoes and boots.
Consider travel shoe bags that come in a variety of sizes so that you can easily accommodate a variety of shoe types that you may want to travel with.
As we mentioned previously, there are travel shoe bags in a number of different sizes. We like travel shoe bags that come in sets that have a couple of different sizes. That way we only need to buy one set of shoe bags for our favorite shoes.
Also, do keep in mind that if you can find extra-large travel shoe bags, they can hold a couple of pairs of smaller shoes or kids shoes. And these extra-large shoe bags can also double as dirty laundry bags when you travel, keeping your dirty clothes separate from the clean.
Ok, we love travel shoe bags that are waterproof. But, we also want our travel shoe bags to be made of a material that lets our shoes breathe. There’s nothing more shocking than to open a shoe bag that contains a stinky pair of shoes.
Storing your shoes in travel shoe bags made from fabric that allows airflow or bags that have closures that can be left open slightly will keep your shoes from holding on to odors, but still protect your clothes from the dirt and grime that you pick up walking around each day.
The quality of construction plays into the durability of your travel shoe bags. Look for travel shoe bags that have solidly sewn seams, good quality zippers and handles that are large enough for you to easily hold.
Our favorite travel shoe bags are made from a combination of plastic and fabric. These are great materials because they are sturdy, waterproof and easy to clean.
The Diommell travel shoe bags we like the best combine these two materials with stitching instead of crimping which makes them more sturdy and able to handle even bulky shoes like western boots and tall high-heel dress shoes.
Price isn’t much of a factor when it comes to travel shoe bags. Most travel shoe bags are pretty inexpensive. And most travel shoe bags come in sets that give you a number of shoe bags for your money.
Do shop carefully, however. We did find that some options out there appear to be sold in sets, but actually are just individual bags for the same price as similar style and quality bags in sets.
Frequently asked questions
Why use travel shoe bags?
Travel shoe bags just make packing for trips better. Here are a few reasons why:
- Condensed packing: If you’re like many people today, especially when flying you probably avoid packing a large suitcase. Travel shoe bags allow you to condense your shoes into a smaller space, and pack other items like belts with your shoes. And when your shoes are in a bag, you don’t have to put them at the bottom of your suitcase. You can tuck them in the middle or on top for easier packing.
- Faster Packing: This kind of goes along with condensed packing. We used to spend a huge amount of time packing and repacking suitcases to try and figure out how to best arrange our shoes. Now, we can just toss them in where they fit the best, along with our other packing cubes, and we’re done packing in no time and with minimal stress.
- Protect your clothes: Really this is why we started using travel shoe bags. You don’t want your clothes to touch your dirty shoes. And if you’re traveling to places that are hot, humid, or require a lot of walking, you probably don’t want your sweaty, stinky shoes to mingle with your clean clothes.
How do you pack shoes in shoe bags?
For some people, travel shoe bags create more problems than they solve. You see, you can’t just shove your shoes in your shoe bags and then stuff them randomly in your suitcase. Doing this can damage shoes, and make you wish you’d never tried travel shoe bags.
To avoid the heartache from damaged shoes, start by packing other small items in with your shoes, or even inside of your shoes. Stuffing socks, belts, or even your underwear in your shoes and around your shoes in the shoe bag will keep your shoes in the right shape, and provide a bit of cushioning.
We’ve also found that since your shoes don’t have to go at the bottom of your suitcase when they’re in travel shoe bags, you may find it more convenient and protective of your shoes to pack them upside down on top of your clothes. This will also provide additional protection from being squished and keep your clothes from getting stuck in suitcase zippers.
What materials are travel shoe bags made of?
Travel shoe bags are made from a variety of materials. We like shoe bags that are a combination of fabric and plastic so that you can see your shoes through the bag.
The most common types of fabric you’ll see in travel shoe bag construction are polyester and nylon. Both of these materials can be waterproof but still breathable, which is really nice for keeping your shoes from becoming stinky, but at the same time protects your clothes from damp shoes or other items like wet swimsuits or towels.
We have found travel shoe bags made completely from PVC plastic. These are nice because they are see-through, and are really waterproof. However, they aren’t the most breathable bags, and tend to create stinky shoes.
Should my shoe bags be waterproof?
Ideally, you do want your travel shoe bags to be waterproof. You just don’t know what conditions you’ll experience when you travel, and you don’t want to end up ruining shoes because they get wet or making a mess of your clothes by packing them with damp or muddy shoes and socks, or wet swimsuits.
What else can shoe bags be used for?
Certainly, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve made numerous mentions that your travel shoe bags can be used for things other than shoes. Some of the things we like to use our travel shoe bags for (besides shoes) include toiletries, make-up, purses and belts, protecting electronics, and our favorite use – holding our dirty laundry separate from our clean clothes.
We also like to use extra travel shoe bags for keeping wet swimsuits away from our dry clothes.
Travel shoe bags are also a nice way to store your shoes when you get home. They protect your shoes from dust and from getting banged up in your closet and are just a nice way to keep your closet from looking like an explosion of shoes.
How long should my travel shoe bags last?
There really isn’t a solid answer to this question. We’ve found that good quality shoe bags that have sturdy materials and are well constructed can last for a number of years.
However, even good quality travel shoe bags can have a shorter life if they aren’t well cared for. To extend the life of your travel shoe bags, make sure you buy the proper size bags for your shoes, and don’t over fill them with shoes, clothes and other travel items.
This will reduce the stress on seams and zippers that may not handle being over filled and stretched to the limit.
Also, make sure that you clean out your travel shoe bags after each trip and allow them to air out before you pack them away. This will keep them fresh and free of odors that may cause you to toss them in the trash before they reach the end of their functional life.