Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Around the World in a Carry-On Bag: Footwear

Welcome back to my series on packing for an around-the-world trip in a carry-on bag. Check out all the packing vessels here. Today's topic is footwear. This, for me, has been one of the biggest struggles of minimalistic packing--partly because I really do love shoes and didn't want to limit myself, and partly because, if you're only going to have three pairs of shoes, they darn sure better be the perfect balance of comfort, style and utility. It has taken a significant amount of tweaking (and more Amazon and Zappos returns than I care to mention), but I finally feel like I have gotten it "right."

Okabashi Flip-Flops--These are comfortable and about as functional as they come. I tried several other brands, but ultimately, I couldn't find anything I liked better than these, which I already owned and which weren't expensive.

Merrell Dassie Mary Janes--My search for travel flats was long and hard. I wanted something I could wear with pants or a skirt and that I could walk all day in. I am so thankful I found these!

Helly Hanson Kenosha Waterproof Trail Running Shoes--I actually settled early on on a different pair of trail running shoes, but they tended to hurt my feet the longer I wore them and they were just a bit too big and heavy to pack comfortably in my pack--meaning that, by default, they had to be the shoes I wore on travel day, whether I wanted to or not. These Helly's are about three ounces lighter per shoe, a little less bulky, and actually seem to become more comfortable the longer they are on my feet.

Smartwool Secret Sleuth Liner Socks--I can wear these liners with the Mary Janes to help keep my tootsies warmer in colder climes.

Smartwool PhD Run Ultra Lite Mini Crew Socks--There isn't too much you can say about socks, I guess. These are ankle length and lightweight, and they (like all the socks) are made of Merino wool, which is quick drying, moisture wicking and odor resistant.

Smartwool PhD Ultra Lite Mirco Socks--This is the no-show version of the previous sock.

Smartwool Jovian Stripe Crew Socks--These are thicker and taller, with a splash of stripy personality.

Icebreaker Lifestyle Lite Crew Socks--This is my experiment with a different brand of Merino. They are similar in length and weight to the other pair of crew socks but in a more sensible black.

Smartwool Plated Puff Lifestyle Socks--Another lightweight pair of no-show socks.


  1. I really like darn tough socks. They are also merino wool but they seem to hold their shape better than the smart wool I own.

  2. Great sock suggestion, Sarah. I'll have to check them out.


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