Heading to the Airport? 6 Types of Shoes You Should Leave at Home

You’ve booked your flight, packed your bags, and are ready to head to the airport. While comfort is key for enduring long travels, there are certain types of shoes you should avoid packing for your next aeroplane trip.

Wearing the wrong footwear can make airport security more difficult, cause discomfort during your flight, or even get you banned from boarding. Read on to learn which 6 types of shoes are best left at home before your next airline journey.

Also Read:Why aren’t Shoes Shaped Like Feet? Complete History

High Heels

While you may love your stilettos for a night out, high heels should be avoided when flying. Airport terminals involve extensive walking, standing in lines, and moving through large crowds. High heels lack the support needed for all that time on your feet, often leading to pain and blisters before you’ve even boarded.

High heels can also present issues when going through airport security checkpoints. Taking them on and off frequently can be inconvenient compared to slip-on flats. Their narrow design and pointed toes make them difficult to remove and place in bins for X-ray scanning.

Save your highest heels for your final destination, and opt for flats, sneakers, or low heels under 2 inches to stay comfortable in transit.

Flip Flops

Flip Flop

Flip flops may seem like the perfect airport shoes thanks to their slip-on convenience. However, their loose fit can actually make them a hazard in airports.

Thin flip-flop soles offer minimal traction, which can lead to slips on slick floors. The open back also means they can easily slip off when walking long airport corridors.

Flip flops provide little arch support as well. Going barefoot through security can also cause hygiene concerns as airport floors are rarely cleaned. Pack sturdy slip-on sneakers instead to avoid any flip-flop-related incidents.

Heavy Boots


From winter snow boots to hardcore goth platforms, chunky boots can weigh down your airport experience. They are often rigid and difficult to remove quickly for TSA screening. Getting them back on is equally cumbersome compared to lighter shoes you can slip right back on.

Bulky boots also take up ample space in your carry-on or personal bag that could be better utilized. Minimize your footwear by packing ultra-lightweight sneakers or dress shoes instead.

Wet Footwear

wet footwear

While rainboots are practical for stormy weather, they should be left by the door when packing your airport outfit. Due to infrequent cleaning, floors and carpets in airports can harbor grime and germs you don’t want wet shoes tracking throughout the terminal.

Even slightly damp sneakers or shoes with caked-on dirt should also be avoided when flying. They can dirty airport screening bins and slow down the security process. A fresh pair of shoes will let you breeze through TSA and your flight.

Cleats or Spiked Shoes

sliked shoes

Footwear with built in spikes, cleats, or other sharp details should never make it in your carry-on. Shoes containing any form of metal are prohibited past airport security checkpoints and will result in confiscation.

Sporting shoes like golf and soccer cleats fall into this category, as do edgy platforms with spikes, studs, or chains. The soles must be completely flat and free of any hazardous additions before passing TSA approval. Leave the spiked heels at home and pack basic flats or sneakers instead.

Unbroken Shoes

Have a brand new pair of shoes you’ve been dying to debut? The airport runway is not the place to break them in. Stiff, rigid shoes that haven’t been softened up can wreak havoc on your feet when you’re on the move.

Tight new shoes often lead to painful blisters, pinched toes, and sore heels when walking long distances in airports. No matter how cute they are, only pack footwear that’s been worn in and is comfortable enough for lots of walking. Let your feet breathe easy until you reach your final destination.

Comfort Comes First When Flying

While it may be tempting to don your boldest heels or edgiest platforms, airport and airplane travel requires shoes that prioritize comfort. Avoid footwear that is difficult to walk in, remove, or get back on, and leave any styles that may slow down the TSA process.

On your next airline trip, choose supportive slip-on sneakers or flats that are lightweight and easy to manage. Your feet will thank you once you arrive safe and blister-free at your destination! With the right comfortable kicks, you’ll be ready to explore and take on your next big travel adventure.


What types of shoes are best for air travel?

The best shoes for air travel are slip-on sneakers, flats, and low heels (under 2 inches) that are broken in and supportive for extensive walking.

Can I wear hiking boots on a plane?

Bulky hiking boots are not recommended for air travel as they take up space, weigh down your bags, and can be difficult to remove at security checkpoints. Pack more lightweight shoes instead.

Are sandals okay to wear when flying?

Sturdy sandals with straps are fine for flights, but flip-flops are not recommended as they can easily slip off when walking through airports.

Can I wear Uggs on an aeroplane?

Uggs and other heavy, clunky boots are too rigid and bulky for most flights. Pack shoes that are more flexible and lightweight.

Do airport floors get cleaned regularly?

No, airport terminal floors are cleaned infrequently so it’s best to avoid wearing wet shoes or walking barefoot when passing through security checkpoints.


When packing your carry-on for your next flight, be mindful of only bringing airport-friendly shoes. High heels, boots, flip flops, and dirty/unbroken-in shoes will leave your feet hurting and slow down the security process.

Prioritize lightweight, comfortable shoes you can slip on and off easily like flats and sneakers. Your feet will thank you during those long stretches in airports and in-flight. Happy travels!