The Only 4 Pairs of Shoes You Need in Your Suitcase

Pack with confidence

No matter how many packing guides you print, you inevitably utter the phrase, “I just never know when I’m going to need…” And you subsequently cram in enough outfits to last you through September, let alone one long weekend. We’re here to tell it to you straight: You need only four pairs of shoes for any vacation. Yep, any vacation. Let us break it down for you.

Versatile Sneakers

This should be the first item on your list. Consider a pair that’s neutral in color and low profile so they’ll be great for museum hopping to impromptu happy hours. And trust us, they work with midi skirts and cropped denim alike. (Bonus tip: These should also be the pair that you wear while en route to your destination.)

Pointed-toe Flats

Skip the rounded toe and opt for a pair of flats that can be dressed up or down. Pointed-toe flats are extremely flattering and a heck of a lot easier to navigate cobblestone streets in than a pair of heels. When sneakers are too casual for where you’re headed, these babies are your simple solution.

Dressy Heels

If weddings, corporate events or fancy dinners are on your travel horizon, toss in a pair of heels. These don’t always need to be pumps. (Open-toe sandals and lace-up heels both qualify--it just depends on your style and itinerary.) Word to the wise: Snag a dust bag to prevent your heels from getting scuffed or, conversely, damaging that silk dress of yours.

A Wild Card

Consider this your fun freebie, which depends on your destination and travel plans. Examples of wild cards: ankle booties (’ello, London!), snow boots (greetings from Aspen!) or flip-flips (aloha!). The three aforementioned pairs will cover any other need.

susan waits

Lousy baker, stellar shopping buddy

You can find Susan either blissfully buried in a pile of clothes or on a plane between L.A. and NYC.