Picture the scene: you’re at an airport, bags packed, boarding your flight. You take your seat, fasten your seat belt and recline. After a while, your feet start to hurt because you’re not wearing suitable shoes – and there’s not much you can do about it until you land. Where’s your holiday feeling gone?
There’s no need to travel in your best shoes or resort to your most threadbare – but it’s definitely worth wearing comfortable footwear for flying.
Factoring in quality, price and customer reviews, we’ve cherry-picked the best shoes to wear on a plane so you can start your holiday on the front foot. Snap up these shoes and allow yourself a comfortable journey without compromising on style.
What shoes should I wear on a plane?
The best shoes for a flight are the ones you find most comfortable – particularly on a long-haul journey. Here we talk about the benefits of:
- Casual slip ons
- Ballet flats
- Sandals – but not flip flops or backless
- Faux fur lined boots
Casual slip ons
✔ Light and breathable
✔ Strong arch support
✔ Flexible enough to handle swelling
When your feet get swollen on a flight, slip on shoes are a blessing as they’re comfortable, flexible and supportive. Plus, they can be worn with almost anything. The breathable lining of casual slip ons will keep your feet fresh and dry after many hours of wear – perfect for long-haul travelling.
Featured: XL Women’s Navy & Pink Trainers
✔ Cushioned and supportive
✔ Cool and comfortable
The best thing about trainers is they perform just as well with your feet up as when you’re on the go. Watch that in-flight movie and let your feet relax and breathe. When your flight’s landed, trainers are springy enough to restore your energy – and cool enough to give you style down the aisle.
Featured: Catesby Men’s Brown Slip On Loafers
✔ Practical and stylish
✔ Cushioned and supportive
✔ Ideally gripped for airport floors
Slightly more chic than casual slip ons, loafers are a trendier version of the classic socks-and-sandals look well-loved by many Brits. They’re also practical – easy to slip off if you want to let your feet breathe mid-flight. Loafers come in many colours – why not theme yours around your holiday destination?
✔ Lightweight and comfortable
✔ Trendy summer look
✔ Strong arch support
You might find that flat shoes like flats are the best shoes to wear on a plane when you’re flying to a warm destination. Light, small and comfy, ballet flats are easy to wear for long periods of time. What’s more, they usually come in a broad range of cute and versatile colours – just make sure you wear socks, or your feet may get chilly.
✔ Breathable in hot climates
✔ Strong traction for airport floors
✔ Optional adjustable straps
Long associated with holidays abroad, sandals are a popular choice of flight footwear – and a smart one. Sandals are lightweight, practical and supremely comfortable, ticking all the boxes when it comes to what shoes are best worn on a plane. As far as casual footwear goes, sandals offer a more sophisticated appearance than most. Just don’t wear flip-flops or backless sandals, which can end up flying off your feet or getting cold.
Faux fur lined boots
✔ Warm and comfortable
✔ Strong and durable
✔ Easy to slip on and off
Footwear doesn’t come more comfortable than faux fur lined boots. Planes tend to get chilly inside, but these boots will make your feet feel warm and relaxed. They’re the next best thing after cosy slippers. Speaking of which…
✔ Supreme comfort
✔ Slip on and off easily
✔ Cushioned and padded
There’s nothing wrong with wearing slippers on a plane, no matter what anyone says. If anything, you should wear them in the airport too so you can slip them on and off during the security checks. Try to avoid backless slippers, as these could put you on more unstable footing when you’re heading to the restroom. And whatever you do, don’t go the whole hog and bring your pyjamas, too.
What features should I look for when selecting shoes for a flight?
When deciding which shoes to wear on a plane, consider the:
- Fit. It’s important your shoes fit you comfortably – or else you could end up with blisters or aching feet.
- Breathability. Most flights last a few hours, which is enough time for your feet to get sweaty if they’re not being aired. Avoid itchy, sweaty and smelly feet by wearing shoes that allow your feet to breathe.
- Socks. Wearing socks will help reduce swelling – especially compression socks.
What shoes should I not wear on a plane?
We’re all for stylish travel, but there are some shoes to avoid wearing on a plane at all costs.
- Stilettos and high heels. Constricted shoes like these are no fun to fit around swollen feet – and no way to start your holiday.
- Flip flops. Backless shoes can make you less steady on your feet, which is not what you want in the case of an evacuation.
Is it OK to take your shoes off on a plane?
You should try to keep your shoes on during take-off and landing in case there’s an emergency. At all other times, you can do what feels best – but be mindful of other passengers.