What Kind of Footwear to Wear When Going Through Airport Security?

Whether you are traveling for work or leisure, spending time in another country or city comes with numerous positives. It gives you an opportunity to relax, experience different environments and interact with people from different backgrounds.

But even as you look forward to your trip, air travel comes with one unavoidable inconvenience. And that is going through the airport security screening process. Most airports will require you to remove your shoes, as part of the security screening process. Apart from being an inconvenience, you might also end up losing valuable time – especially if your shoes take forever to remove.

To avoid such issues, it’s highly advisable to wear a pair of shoes that you can easily slip on and off when going through airport security. So, which is the best footwear for going through airport security? Here are some options to consider.

Penny Loafers

Penny loafers are a stylish, versatile and comfortable pair of shoes – with a style that has stood the test of time. Also, they are easy to slip on and off, making them a great pair of travel shoes. What makes them the preferred choice of footwear among many travelers, is their flexibility. You can wear them to create a smart casual look, formal look or semi-formal. For instance, you can wear them for cocktail events, luncheons or when you are simply hanging out with your friends. Whatever the occasion, penny loafers will always elevate your look. You can wear your penny loafers with or without socks, depending on the occasion or the look you want to achieve. If you intend to forgo socks, then you should ensure that your clothes are well fitted. And most importantly, wear them with ankle-length trousers. And if you choose to wear them with socks, then you should go for a pair of socks whose colors match with the rest of your clothing. Regardless of the reason for your trip, penny loafers will be a perfect addition to your travel footwear.

Chelsea Boots

Chelsea boots are a stylish, comfortable and versatile choice of footwear. Some are equipped with side zippers while others come with stretchy side panels, which make it easy for you to slip them on and off. Therefore, if you are looking for a handy type of footwear that you can wear when going through airport security, then you should check out Chelsea boots. Apart from their easy and fast on and off, you can wear Chelsea boots with a wide range of outfits, thus making them a great addition to your travel packing list. Whether you are attending a formal event overseas or you are going on a vacation, the versatility of Chelsea boots makes them a perfect choice. There are two main types of Chelsea boots – leather and suede. Leather Chelsea boots have a smooth and sleek aesthetic, making them perfect for formal or official occasions. On the other hand, suede Chelsea boots appear more relaxed, which makes them ideal for casual events. From casual dinners to business meetings, Chelsea boots are a versatile choice when it comes to versatility and style.

Sneakers

Sneakers are a popular travel option since they are lightweight and comfortable. However, when you are going through airport security, you will be forced to loosen your laces, remove your sneakers, and then put them back on, once you’ve finished the screening process. As you can see, this process will consume a great deal of your valuable time. And this is where slip-on sneakers come in. As much as they are comfortable and lightweight, slip-on sneakers come with the added benefit of being lace-less. They are a blend of a stylish loafer and a comfortable sneaker, making them an ideal travel shoe. And since they don’t have laces, you just slip them on and off easily when going through airport security. Also, slip-on sneakers are highly versatile. Furthermore, they are available in numerous styles, patterns, and colors, making them easy to style. When traveling, you can wear your slip-on sneakers with cropped-pants, a dress, skinny jeans, ordinary jeans, chinos or even shorts.

Oxfords

If you are mainly traveling for business or official duties, then you should get yourself a pair of oxfords. Oxfords are timeless, versatile and extremely stylish. Oxfords will add timeless flair to your look while keeping your feet lightweight and comfortable. Also, they can be worn by both ladies and gents. These dress shoes will complement your suits and official wear perfectly while giving your outfits a dapper look and feel. If you want to achieve a sophisticated, official look, then you should choose a pair of black oxfords. Apart from suits, you can also wear your oxfords with pants and chinos. As much as oxfords are mainly dress shoes, it doesn’t mean that you cannot wear them with jeans or other casual outfits. In case you get time to explore the city or sample some local entertainment joints, you can still wear your oxfords for such events, with a pair of jeans, chinos, or khakis. As long as you wear them right, you can never go wrong with a pair of oxfords.

Motorcycle Boots

If you will be spending most of your time in the city during your trip, or you are traveling during the cold seasons, then a pair of moto boots will be perfect. A pair of tall riding boots will make your legs look long and support your ankles. And since they are equipped with straps, buckles, and zippers, removing them is easy and fast, when it’s time to go through airport security. When choosing a pair of moto boots for your trip, make sure that you choose something comfortable. Considering that you will be spending most of your time wearing these boots, you need a pair that will keep your feet comfortable at all times. Also, you should go for a versatile option. Your motorcycle travel boots should work jeans, skirts as well as other outfits that you intend to wear during your trip. They should also be neutral enough to match various outfits. After all, why should you carry a pair of boots that you can only wear with a single outfit? The only downside with boots is that they will consume extra space in your travel pack. However, you can stuff them with t-shirts and socks to create space for other items.

Espadrilles

Espadrilles are a must-have if you will be traveling during the warm weather. Apart from keeping your feet comfortable, these lightweight travel shoes can also complement almost any casual outfit. You can wear them with jeans, dresses, jumpsuits, or chinos. If you opt to pair espadrilles with jeans, then you should go for skinny or slim-fit jeans. One of the reasons why many travelers opt for these shoes is their comfort. Thanks to the materials they are made of, these airport-friendly shoes will allow your feet to breathe comfortably, thus preventing the buildup of sweat and unpleasant odors. They are easy to pack, well-cushioned and available in a wide range of colors, styles, and prints.

Taking Care of Your Travel Shoes

Whether you will be spending most of your time lying on white sandy beaches or attending a flurry of business meetings, there is a high chance that you will bring a minimum of 2 pairs of shoes. Unfortunately, if you don’t take proper care of your shoes during your travel, your trip might end up to be a miserable one. For instance, your shoes might end up getting damaged, meaning you might be forced to purchase another pair of shoes you had not budgeted for. So, how do you prevent such issues from happening?

  • Pack your shoes correctly: As noted above, failure to pack your shoes properly in your luggage might result in damage. Also, if you don’t pack your shoes well, they might end up consuming unnecessary space. Stuffing socks and t-shirts inside your shoes will not only save space but it will help them to maintain their natural shape. To save additional space, you can pack them in an interlocking shape. It’s also advisable to place your shoes inside a dust bag, and then wrap it up using a soft material like a jumper. Placing shoes at the bottom of the bag will also help to pack the other items easily. It’s highly advisable to bring additional shoe accessories such as inserts and laces.
  • Keep them odor-free: After you’ve worn your shoes, it’s highly likely that you will toss them inside your luggage. And if they are not smelling fresh, then they will spread the unpleasant odors to the rest of your items, including your clothes. The good news is, keeping bad odors away is not complicated or expensive. Rubbing your feet and shoes with baby powder or alcohol will be enough to keep the bad odors at bay. Apart from minimizing the unpleasant odors, rubbing your shoes with alcohol will also help to disinfect them.

Apart from keeping your shoes odor-free and packing them properly, you also need to take additional steps such as drying them completely when they get wet. Also, you need to keep your shoes clean throughout your trip. Also, make sure that the shoes you intend to wear during the trip are properly broken into – prior to the trip. If you take proper care of your shoes, then they will also keep your feet happy and comfortable, and your trip will be a memorable one.

Final Thoughts

As much as the airport screening process might be time-consuming and inconveniencing, it plays an important role in keeping the travelers safe. However, you can make this process easier and less time consuming, by choosing a pair of airport-friendly shoes. From slip-on sneakers to moto boots, penny loafers to Chelsea boots, your options are almost endless. You simply need to choose shoes that are comfortable, easy to slip on and off, versatile, lightweight and compatible with your purpose of the travel. Bon Voyage!

Sarah Shawman

is the webmistress of Footwear 4 Workers.

She started this website out of displeasure with the fact that there are so few good online resources especially dedicated to the 99%: working people. Having suffered from work related plantar fasciitis herself, she set out on a mission to help others.

She updated this page on and will continue to update it as time goes on.

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