By Rehan Iqbal
Comfortable shoes are a must when traveling for practical reasons. On top of that, the TSA has several uncomfortable requirements for passing through airport security. You know the drill, separate electronics, everything in a separate bin, including your shoes. While security protocols are necessary, the process is nerve-wracking.
Here are some recommendations for the types of shoes men and woman can wear to get you through airport security.
Why the TSA Says to Take off Your Shoes
Back in December of 2001, the newly-formed TSA began to search people's shoes. They started doing this after a man named Richard Reid hid explosives in his shoes and tried to ignite them on his flight from Paris to Miami. They began as random searches, though now they are mandatory at most checkpoints.
Our best advice for men's shoes is to wear basic loafers with socks. The loafers are easy to slip on and slip off, making it easy to handle as you pass through security. The socks play a part as well. Given the number of people that pass through airport security, you don't want to be barefoot on that floor. Socks offer a level of protection against germs.
Loafers come in several styles, from casual to semi-formal. For extended international travel, loafers serve as a versatile shoe that saves space in your luggage because you can wear them with several outfits.
The same principle applies to women's styles. Slip-on shoes are the way to go. Women have several style choices here, starting with classic ballet flats. They are always in style and incredibly easy to slip on an off at the airport.
Mary Janes offer a bit more design than the simpler ballet flats. They are also classic in design and remain in style no matter the current trend.
Slip-on sneakers are another option and great for long travel. Be sure to wear them with socks. Traditional lace-up sneakers can double as slip-on shoes, too. Loosely tied and double-knotted laces mean you can kick them off as you pass through security, and have them with you throughout your travel adventure.
If your traveling during colder weather or your destination is in the city, you may want to wear boots. Motor boots are a great choice here. The buckles or straps make for easy on and off. Chelsea boots are a lighter alternative to motor boots. They slip on and off and also cover more of your foot than flats.
In line with the more urban look, men's oxfords are another option. Menswear for women is a trend that comes and goes. If you find those comfortable enough and they match your personal style, they are perfect for travel. One pair should match more than one of your packed outfits.
Loafers are slip-ons that have an elegant flair. You can wear them throughout your travel, and keep them on for your first dinner date upon arrival to your destination.
Loafers dress up and dress down in a snap while remaining a feminine style. They are perfect for your travel wardrobe, whether you are traveling domestically or internationally.
Mind the TSA and Keep Comfortable
You don't have to sacrifice comfort in order to comply with the TSA's security protocols. The TSA has its reasons for requiring travelers to remove their shoes. Slip-on shoes are the way to go and choosing a comfortable style that matches you as well as your travel itinerary is easier than you think.