The best shoes to wear on an airplane
By Aimee Markwardt
As the saying goes, the shoes can make or break the outfit. The shoes can also make or break your trip. They can turn a standard layover into agony, if your feet are blistered and aching. They can slow you down — even make you miss your flight.
Security checkpoints and the mandatory shoe-stripping has complicated matters, and brought the topic of what to wear on your tootsies to the forefront of travel concerns.
Here are a few tips for your traveling toes:
Be wary of high heels. Even if you are one of the (few remaining) travelers who wants to look spiffy for your flight and even if you’re meeting your hot international lover on the other end of the trip, consider opting for flat(ter) heels. Not only can stilettos wreck your back, they can make it impossible to tote your bags and they can slow you down if you have a tight connecting flight in a mega airport like O’Hare. Plus, they’re a ridiculous combo with in-flight turbulence.
Also be wary of cheap slip-ons, like flimsy flip-flops. They aren’t sturdy for walking long distances or along cobblestone streets, if your travel requires that. Plus, airplanes can get rather breezy, so you may find yourself with cold feet — literally — unless you pack a pair of socks to change into mid-flight (and please for the love of the captain, don’t wear socks with your flip-flops).
Remember the security checkpoint. In other words, don’t wear knee-high lace-up Docs that take 15 solid minutes to secure to your shins.
Consider trendy yet comfortable shoes, like Toms. Not only are Toms adorable (check out these emerald glitter loafers for $54), for every pair you buy, the company sends a pair to a child in need. Get free shipping on your Toms, plus 10 percent cash back, by using a Toms coupon.
Ask a flight attendant. Who better to know how to dress for classy travel? Bobby Laurie, a California-based flight attendant, writes about his job on a blog called Up, Up and a Gay. In the New York Times, he shared his pick for men: Men’s Work: Exalt – Closer leather Sketchers loafers, $65, at Sketchers.com (also available at Overstock.com for a bit more — but maybe not, if you check the long list of Overstock.com coupons at Shopathome.com).
If comfort is king and you you’re not headed straight for a fancy dinner, many travelers recommend well worn tennis shoes and breathable socks.
Do wear socks. You don’t want to rub your bare soles on the dirty airport floor during security. Not to mention etiquette; you’re in an enclosed space. A very tiny, very enclosed space. Your neighbors don’t want to smell your tootsies. Consider packing an extra pair of socks specifically for the airplane.
Get support socks if you have circulation issues or your feet tend to swell during travel. Walgreens sells Miracle Socks anti-fatigue compression socks for under $10. If you want to snag a few extra pair, buy them through Walgreens online and get free shipping, plus 7 percent cash back from Shopathome.com, up from 5.5 percent.
Wonder what other travelers recommend? Check out the forum at Fodors.com.