Take Your Shoes Off When You Fly

Regular readers know that I believe bare feet and planes don’t mix. However if you want to stay comfortable on long flights I agree with this – you should definitely take off your shoes. But there are caveats.

My top tip for staying comfortable on long-haul flights: take off your shoes. You may get some funny looks, but it’s worth it.

— Sam Bowman 🇺🇦 (@s8mb) November 22, 2022

First, no one should see a man’s feet on the plane. Wear socks, don’t put your feet into someone else’s space. And most importantly put your shoes back on before going to the lavatory. That’s not water spilled on the floor.

But the broader point is to be as unconstricted sa possible. Dress in sweatpants. Or bring airline pajamas. I usually fly in jeans, but want to be more comfortable on an overnight flight or anything that’s 10 or more hours.

  • I brought United Polaris pajamas on my Air Canada Vancouver – Sydney flight this past summer (Air Canada really needs PJs in long haul business class).

  • I try to use an airline’s own pajamas (e.g. first class pajamas flying business class where not offered), or at least stay within a joint business venture or alliance. So I tend to wear American Airlines pajamas on overnight British Airways flights.

  • I have enough airline PJs that I can even toss them after wearing, though my favorites I’ll take home and wash.

Another tip is to bring disposable slippers. Sure, take your shoes off. But that doesn’t mean you want to walk around barefoot, or in your socks. A long haul business class amenity kit may come with socks, and you can wear those over your socks (or swap them). And they may even give you slippers.

Recently, though, I aggravated a years-old foot injury, and then made the dumb mistake of working out on it. So I flew in a boot to protect the foot, but I didn’t want to wear the boot on a long flight and though it was overwater, I was in a domestic first product. So I brought airline slippers from a previous flight in my laptop bag.

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