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A question that has stared many in the eyes before, is if work boots and safety shoes are routine on airplanes and airports.
Particularly when it comes to steel toe work boots and airport security.
There is not much prohibiting you from wearing either work boots or safety shoes to the airport or when flying on an airplane, though the question remains, is it practical?
Should you Wear your Work Boots When Flying
Getting comfortable on an airplane is tough enough as is, and can be particularly discomforting when your feet start to ache or get overheated.
Removing your shoes on an airplane and going barefoot is an even bigger, no go! It is downright unhygienic and extremely dangerous.
Airport and airplane floors are a breeding ground not only for bacteria and disease but for sharp objects such as broken glass, that can cause serious injury.
Imagine if there is a crisis and you have to run down an aisle covered in all sorts of objects and debris!
So, what I am getting at with this, is that uncomfortable shoes on an airplane may urge you in the direction of having to remove your shoes, and risking it barefoot. This, again which may result in a whole new bucket of disasters.
Let us face it, work boots and safety shoes may not be the most pleasant shoes to travel in, and can get uncomfortable or hot when you are sitting on an airplane for a couple of hours. Not to mention that there is quite a bit of walking to be done in an airport, even running in some cases where you need to get to an area in a rush.
If you are not used to this amount of movement in your safety shoes or work boots, it may take some toll on your feet.
Then again, on the contrary, work shoes and safety shoes, in general, may be your most comfortable shoes, so if yours fit like a dream and cause you no discomfort at all, then I see no reason why you should not be wearing them on a flight.
One reason that I can think of, which would be my reason mostly, for wearing my work shoes when flying, is the space factor. We all know work boots or safety shoes tend to be quite bulky and can take up plenty of luggage space, fortunately, wearing them can easily clear up that dilemma.
In the end, the main question to ask yourself is, where you are going and if you will be needing them at your final destination. If yes, then you have no choice but to wear them for the flight. On the other hand, if they are uncomfortable, you can always take a pair of slipper or comfortable shoes, and swop your shoes on the flight, afterward swopping back to your work boots, or safety shoes again.
So as you can see there are pros and cons to wearing work boots or safety shoes when you are flying. Then again, there is the steel toe, safety work boot, predicament when going through the security gates at an airport, to think of!
Steel Toe Work Boots and Airport Security
Consequently, you are saving space and not adding extra weight to your luggage by wearing your steel toe, safety work boots on your flight. They are comfortable enough for the flight, or maybe you are just planning to do a quick swop when boarded on the plane with a pair of comfy slippers for the duration of the flight.
As it will’s you come to the point where you need to move through the dreaded checkpoint, and off goes the alarm. After having removed every shred of metal from your attire and hand luggage, you realize that the steel in your work boots toe cap is the culprit.
In a long line of frustrated individuals, scurrying to get to their destinations and not miss their precious flights. You are now the one keeping them from their goals, while you have to undo the laces on your ankle high work boots so that they can be scanned, knowing you have to go through the same tedious process to get them back on again.
If this is not enough, you always have the next checkpoint at your destination airport to look forward to the same rigmarole.
Hence, to answer your question, No, a steel toe work boot is not a good choice to wear when going through airport security in, most cases. Although some airports have advanced technology to accommodate for these situations, but only a few at best.
If for instance, you have a composite toe or any other protective toe, there should be no hassles, but unfortunately, with a steel toe, it will set off the alarm.
A composite toe safety work boot can offer you very close to almost as much protection as it steel counterpart, which is heavier, sets of airport alarms, and can get quite cold in colder weather conditions.
Wear your Work Boots or Pack as Luggage?This is also one of those difficult decisions to be made.
On the one hand, wearing your work boots or safety shoes when flying will save you space and lessen the weight of your luggage. If you have to have them on as soon as you get to your destination, it is also an advantage to have them on and laced up perfectly when you get there.
Although, on the contrary, they may be uncomfortable, too cold, too hot or even cause aches and pains if you are wearing them for a long flight. Not to mention causing pain, and fatigue, while running around on the airport trying to get from one gate to the next.
So I would suggest taking into account how heavy and bulky your work boots are, and whether you will need them immediately when you land, in comparison to how comfortable they are going to be moving around on the airport and finally having to sit through a long, or short flight.
If your work boots or safety shoes are lightweight and do not take much space, and consequently you do not need them when you land, by all means, wear something comfortable and supportive, that is light and breathable.
On the other hand, if they are very bulky, heavy, or you need them at the other end, then rather wear them, that is if they are not too uncomfortable!
In the End
To conclude this discussion, there is no reason by law or policy that you cannot wear your safety shoes or work boots on an airplane or on the airport. Whether or not you should wear them will depend on how comfortable they are, and if they are going to be a hassle going through airport security.
I would say these are your only two downfalls. But seeing that these specific shoes are what you wear on a long work day, I would imagine that they are not all that uncomfortable, and should not pose a problem.
Also, if you get to the airport early enough, having to take them off and put them on again at airport checkpoints may not be so bad.
But in the end, it’s up to you, I have pointed out what can go wrong, it’s up to you to decide whether it pertains to you or not!