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How to Pack Shoes for Moving

Published On: July 8, 2020By

Getting ready to move to a new home, but not sure how to pack shoes for moving? Check out our steps on easy ways to pack shoes for your move!

Getting ready to move to a new home, but not sure how to pack shoes for moving? Unlike packing clothing for moving, shoes can’t just be placed in a suitcase. Instead, they’ll need to be carefully wrapped and boxed to avoid scuffs and creasing. While the care you take with each pair of shoes may vary based on cost and condition, the following tips for packing shoes are your best bet for keeping shoes safe during a move.

Declutter Shoes

The first step toward packing shoes for moving is getting rid of any that are damaged or don’t get worn often. This will save you money on packing and moving costs, especially since they won’t be worn in your new home. For shoes in good condition, consider donating them through Soles 4 Souls. You can drop off your shoes at any of their countless drop off locations, or ship them for free through Zappos for Good. If you don’t think your shoes are in good enough condition to donate, make sure to properly recycle them by dropping them off at a textile recycling center.

Repair Shoes

While decluttering your shoes, you may come across a few pairs that you don’t want to get rid of that need some TLC. For sneakers and shoes made of synthetic materials, give them a good scrub with mild soap and warm water. Replace and shoelaces that may have been worn down. Bring any shoes that need new soles to a shoe repair shop at least 2 months before your move. Make sure all shoes are completely dry before packing them for your move.

Get Rid of Odors

When packing your shoes for moving, do not, under any circumstances, pack a smelly pair of shoes. The odor from your shoes will fill your moving truck or storage unit and make for a very unpleasant moving experience. A few days before your move, leave your shoes out overnight to let them air out and release any odors they may hold. For especially pungent shoes, take advantage of your empty freezer and place them in it overnight. The extreme cold will kill any odor-causing bacteria living in your shoes. To keep shoes fresh during the move, consider adding a tea bag when stuffing them.

Stuff With Paper or Socks

Stuffing your shoes helps them hold their shape, especially when there is a risk they may accidentally be crushed by heavier boxes. To stuff your shoes, take either crumpled up packing paper or rolled-up socks and stuff them down toward the toe of the shoe. Depending on the size or style of shoe, you may choose to add more stuffing. Many people opt to use socks over packing paper as it saves space in their suitcase.

Wrap Shoes with Packing Paper

Once your shoes are stuffed, wrap them individually with clean packing paper. Do not use newspaper or tissue paper, as they can stain your shoes from the ink and acid used in them. In a pinch, dye-free paper towels can be used as well. Wrapping your shoes can help avoid any scuff marks caused by other items. When packing high heels, make sure to wrap the heel itself in bubble wrap before wrapping the shoe in packing paper.

Pack Shoes in Their Original Box

If you still have the original shoebox your shoes came in, pack them in that same box. It’s sized specifically for them and therefore is the best fit. For shoes that no longer have their original box, you can either purchase reusable plastic shoe containers or standard cardboard shoe boxes. Once your shoes are placed in the box, use crumpled packing paper to fill any excess space to help avoid shifting during transit.

Separate Out of Season Shoes

When packing your shoes, set aside any that are out of season. For example, if you are moving during the winter, you would pack sandals, flip flops, and any other open-toed shoes separately. That way, you can prioritize unpacking things that are in season and hold off on things that won’t be worn for a while. Make sure to label your boxes accurately to ensure these are some of the last boxes you unpack.

Pack a Few Shoes Separately

Make sure to have a few go-to pairs of shoes on hand for the days following the move. Pack these shoes separately so they’re easily accessible. For the move itself, set aside a pair of sneakers. If you have a long car ride to your new home, pack a pair of shoes you can easily slip on and off at rest stops. For the days following your move, pack a pair of shoes that will go well with your first few outfits until everything else is unpacked.

Place Heavy Shoes on the Bottom

Regardless of which type of box or container you choose to store your shoes in, make sure to pack the heaviest and bulkiest shoes on the bottom. This will even out the weight of your shoes and make sure the lighter, more delicate shoes are not crushed. It will also prevent boxes from toppling during transit, causing damage to your shoes.


Now that you know how to pack shoes for moving, you can ensure that your shoes make it safely to your new home. For more tips on packing and storage, sign up for our once-monthly blog newsletter.