From waiting to check your luggage to standing in line at security, expect to spend a lot of time on your feet the next time you go to the airport. No traveler wants to be held up at the security checkpoint or spend their flight nursing blisters because of uncomfortable shoes. Comfort and practicality are key when choosing shoes to wear while flying. And after your long haul flight, you’re sure to be doing some sightseeing wherever you land, so be sure to find the best travel shoes with arch support that are good for comfortable walking wherever you’re heading on your next trip! Also consider the different climates you might be heading to when choosing what to wear.
Comfortable shoes with little or no heel are a must when traveling by plane. Even a small heel can become uncomfortable after an extended amount of walking or standing at the airport. A pair of shoes that are flats reduce the strain put on your feet and lower legs. If you feel you must have the added height of heels, consider a platform shoe. Platforms give you height while keeping the sole of your foot flat so you don't stress the balls of your feet, your ankles or your calves. Moccasins, tennis shoes, ballet flats or even flat dress shoes are all appropriate, comfortable options for air travel. To better ensure your comfort on the plane, select a pair of flats that are well broken-in to prevent blisters and other discomforts.
Easy On, Easy Off
Shoes that you can easily take off and put back on will make getting through security a breeze. Sandals, clogs, and boat shoes are all options that most people can put on without needing to sit down. Getting your shoes on quickly may make all the difference in whether you catch your flight or not should you find yourself running behind. Open sandals may prevent your feet from swelling uncomfortably during a long plane ride. In this case, slip-on athletic shoes or Birkenstocks are an option to consider. Don’t choose flip-flops, however, as you can’t wear them with socks. Clogs and hiking shoes with a rubber sole and footbed are also typically water-resistant and washable in case they get dirty when you’re traveling. Avoid shoes with suede or other materials that could get dirty and wet.
A pair of heavy boots or clogs can leave you feeling uncomfortable before you've even boarded your flight. Heavy shoes can also be a pain to remove at the security checkpoint, and even more burdensome to put back on when it's time to advance through the airport. Lightweight shoes typically make for both comfortable and appropriate travel shoes. Most running shoes or walking shoes provide cushioning while being lightweight. Some popular options include Adidas, Allbirds, New Balance, Nike, or Skechers. Do try to find slip-on sneakers without laces, as slip-on shoes are nicer to have during the TSA security checkpoint.
When Traveling for Business
If you're flying for business, you likely plan to wear shoes that coordinate with your professional attire. However, business-appropriate shoes aren't always travel-appropriate -- especially shoes that need to be untied and retied at airport security or those that feature any form of heel. If you can’t find business shoes with appropriate versatility like ankle boots or loafers with comfortable insoles that can be worn for long distances, consider packing your business shoes in your carry-on bag and wearing a more travel-appropriate pair on the plane. You can easily switch shoes after you land.
Where to Purchase Shoes
From Amazon or online retailers like Zappos to in-person retailers, there are many places to find these options. Try any of the options mentioned above or something else like Clarks, Ecco, Teva, or Converse.