Your flight has been booked and your bags are packed, the only thing left is to prepare for a comfortable journey. With delays, layovers, and turbulence, flying can be exhausting, to say the least, and the last thing you want is a pair of aching feet that feel cramped in the shoes they find themselves in. Trying to get swollen feet back into a pair of tight kicks is also no easy feat and, at that moment, you simply won’t care how fashionable your footwear is. The good news, however, is that you do not have to forgo style for comfort. In fact, we would like to introduce you to a selection of the best shoes for flying that are ultimately flight-compatible and are pretty trendy too!
The Best Shoe For Flying
You can never go wrong with a pair of authentic Converse All Stars. With its high-top design, the Chuck Taylor’s are not only an iconic style, but they are also extremely versatile and can be worn with, well, almost anything!
When it comes to taking flight, the flexible canvas fabric allows for great movement and can accommodate the swelling of feet with ease. The eyelet lacing system lets you strap the shoe on for a customised fit and at the same time, the holes assist with ventilation – giving feet the opportunity to breathe. With an OrthoLite insole for cushioning, these timeless classic high tops give sufficient arch and ankle support. Providing a good look for any age and gender, the rocking Chuck Taylors come with quite the “cool” price tag too!
Medial eyelets for airflow
Light and breathable
OrthoLite insole for cushioning
Soft canvas materials
- Weight12 ounces
This is a sneaker that goes well with any outfit
They are flexible enough to handle swelling
They give good arch support
Very easy to clean and maintain
The Chuck Taylors do tend to run large
They are difficult to slip on and off
Perfect for hotter climates, the Arizona Sandals by Birkenstock provide a convenient slip-on solution. As far as casual footwear goes, they are a tad more sophisticated in appearance and despite the fact that they have your typical sandal features, they are also supremely comfortable.
Dipping in and out of fashion, Birkenstocks have remained a constant in shoe cupboards and are always a great fall-back when it comes to moments of travel. This is because their distinctive anatomical cork footbed gives a great cushioned feel while offering good arch support. The soft adjustable buckle-straps allow you to customise your fit, which makes them ideal for feet that swell up during flights. Add a pair of socks and you’ll own that classic “tourist” look.
Made from Suede and cork with a synthetic sole
Adjustable two-strap sandal
Traction EVA outsole
Signature anatomical footbed
- Weight1.65 pounds
Require no break-in period
Give great traction, even on smooth airport floors
Supportive and comfortable trips
A perfect solution for hotter climate
If you do not wear socks with them then your feet will get cold on the aeroplane
The slip-on Core Classics get our nod of approval for being effortless, light, and blissfully comfortable. Available in a wide variety of colours, you can never go wrong with a pair of Vans if fashion is important to you. Gentle on your feet, you can wear these sneakers for hours on end without feeling any discomfort.
What we really love about this design is that the shoes last. They are extremely durable and could possibly outlive any other sneakers you own. A padded collar and footbed allow for a cushioned fit while the canvas material and an elasticated seam give great flexibility – leaving room for compression socks. Practical and easy on the pocket, the Core Classics are an excellent choice for long haul flights. You can combine them with some of the great insoles from our list.
Made from 100% canvas
Signature waffle outsole
Padded collar and footbed
- Weight3 pounds
They come in many different colours
Easy to slip on and off
Perfect for travelling in
Arch support could be better
Do not breathe too well
Aeroplanes tend to get chilly inside and a pair of snug UGG boots would work well at keeping your feet warm and relaxed. OK, so they have pretty much done their rounds in the world of fashion BUT when it comes to long hours huddled in a cabin above nowhere and beyond, they are as comfortable as footwear is going to get – barring the fluffy slippers you own.
While the brand name comes with a premium price tag, this is due to the excellent quality features of the shoe. Made from 100% sheepskin and cow suede, UGGS have been designed to withstand all types of elements and are not easily prone to wear and tear. They slip on and off with ease and give support in all of the right places. Put your feet up and travel in comfort and “somewhat” style.
Pre-treated to repel water
UGGpure wool insole
100% Sheepskin and Cow Suede
- Weight5 pounds
Warm and comfortable
Durable shoes that are also very versatile
Are a bit bulky if you intend to carry them in your hand luggage
Do not breathe very well
Built with running in mind, the Ultraboosts will get you from terminal to terminal without missing any flights. Featuring superior traction, a locked-down fit, and a flexible Primeknit upper, this adidas model offers impressive support and stability.
They also perform just as well with your feet up. The Ultraboost running shoe will happily accommodate a pair of compression socks and with a knitted and synthetic upper, you’ll have all the leeway you need as your feet swell due to cabin pressure. And while performance is the pair’s first priority, the sleek and stylish design will look great as you step off the plane. If you want comfortable shoes, check out our guide to the best shoes for standing all day.
adidas Primeknit upper
Moulded heel counter
Continental rubber outsole
Sockfit for snugness and support
Cushioned upper and tongue
- Weight12 ounces
The elasticated outsole stretches well and adds to the flexibility
The shoe has amazing energy-returning properties
The shoe is known to stain easily
The rubber outsole wears down fast
This shoe has not only made the list because of its comfortable fit right from the get-go, but it also breathes like a dream and you won’t have to take it off mid-flight just to air your feet out. Lightweight yet well-padded, Van’s Old Skool trainers are easy to put on and feature a hassle-free lacing system that gives a secure fit.
Lest we not forget, these kicks are super trendy and come in an endless assortment of colours – all of which include the iconic side stripe. The padded collars are not just for show but also give great support and flexibility. So, without spending too much money, you can take off in both comfort and style – with a popular brand name to boot!
Made with canvas and leather
Include the iconic side-stripe
Signature rubber waffle outsoles
Padded collars for support
- Weight2.9 pounds
These shoes breathe well even after hours of wear
Durable and able to withstand repeated war
Easy to slip on and off again
Not recommended for narrow feet since they tend to run broad in design
Van’s really have built a reputation for themselves and is renowned for manufacturing top-of-the-range footwear that always seems to tick both boxes for comfort and style. The Ultrarange Rapidweld Skates continue to fit the bill and while they were designed with skating in mind, they’ll do just dandy hovering over the clouds too.
As one of the brand’s most supportive sneakers, these shoes for long haul flights won’t disappoint. From finding your way around foreign airports to looking for a snug pair of shoes that will match your outfit for the flight, the Ultrarange Rapidweld has been designed to be both practical and versatile. They feature a powerful grip, Pro Vulc Lite construction, and most significantly – a fully breathable mesh upper. Not too badly priced either! For more comfortable footwear check out our guide to the best shoes for nurses.
Synthetic and suede upper
Rapidweld stitch-less technology
UltraCush Lite foam cushioning
Pro Vulc Lite construction
LuxLiner seamless inner sock
Great value for money
Stylish yet practical
They tend to run a bit narrow
Some have reported that the toe box is slightly uncomfortable
When looking at the Gridway Moc Slip-on by Merrell, the first word that comes to mind is – “sophisticated”. If you envision yourself stepping off the plane with a cosmopolitan air, then these are the kicks you’re after. A tad pricey, this premium quality footwear is more like an investment than an expense and your feet will be treated to a luxury experience of note.
If you’re ever in doubt about what to wear on a long flight, then they Gridway Mocs make the perfect default pair of shoes. They go with nearly everything and have an uncanny ability to complement both casual and business attire. The breathable textile lining is what makes them perfect for travelling and your “sophisticated” look won’t be ruined by sweaty feet – oh no! Durable and light, what can we say, we just love this design!
100% recycled yarn Knit upper
Vibram® EcoDura™ outsole
Recycled yarn-knit upper
Removable EVA footbed
Keeps feet fresh and dry even after many hours of wear
Well-cushioned and has great arch support
Each step feels like walking on air
A little on the expensive side
We simply cannot review the Esplars without having the lyrics to “smooooth operatorrr” runner through our heads. Smooth, sleek, and super cool without trying too hard, this pair of Vejas is here to kick some travel butt! Durable, soft, and flexible, there’ll be no need to take these shoes off – they’re just THAT comfortable.
Featuring an effortless lacing system, you can easily slip your foot in and out of the sneaker. A contrasting leather logo patch sets the trend while the versatile design makes this a practical shoe that outdoes itself performance-wise. You might also be pleased to discover that the Esplar sneakers have been designed to be ecologically friendly and are primarily made from organic cotton and wild rubber.
Upper in leather
Lace-up at top
Contrasting leather logo patch
Made from organic and recycled materials
Wild rubber outsole
- Weight2.94 pounds
This is a design that can go with absolutely any casual attire
A perfect fit for narrow feet
Lightweight and comfortable
Very little arch support
The cotton lining isn’t as soft as synthetic types
Made from supple suede that adjusts smoothly to your every movement, the California SeaVees are here to conclude our list. Available in four different neutral tones, they are a practical shoe that will finish off any outfit with a subtle hint of fashion. Originally only offered to Californian residents – hence the name – this design became so popular that the state just had to share it.
So, why do they make the perfect shoes for flying? The comfort memory foam footbed lined in soft cotton is what first grabbed our attention. Offering great overall support for the foot, you can keep aches and pains at bay. The construction also includes cooling eyelet air channels for good ventilation and the pig suede flexes and stretches without warping the entire shoe. We like the price too!
Genuine gum rubber outsole
Comfortable memory foam footbed
Ultra-soft pig suede upper
Mid-cut lace-to-toe design
Medium profile rubber foxing
- Weight1.1 pounds
A great fit for broader sized feet
Soft and comfortable design
It takes a while to break them in for an ultra-comfortable fit
Shoes For Flying Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Shoes For Flying
Here are three things we took into consideration when choosing our selection of the best shoes for long flights:
Reviews – There’s no better place to look for some solid feedback on a product than the internet. We searched for reviews from individuals who find themselves in the sky often and specifically took their insight into consideration. We weighed the good with the bad to come to accurate conclusions before refining our list to the ultimate “best”.
Price – We understand that once you’ve booked your flights, your budget might be somewhat on the tight side. To do you a favour, we have selected shoes that feature an assortment of price tags without skimping on quality. Yup, all of our products offer excellent value for money!
Quality – We hate to disappoint and this is why we put in every effort to ensure that the products we review are of the utmost quality. When it came to air flight shoes, we looked for designs that were made from durable materials that do not wear and tear easily. We also paid attention to the finer details to confirm that each recommendation would, indeed, meet comfortable flight standards.
Features To Look For In Shoes For Flying
Fit – While you might have a chance to relax and put your feet up during your flight, chances are that you will also be spending a lot of time meandering around airports. This means that the footwear you choose should fit comfortably so that you do not end up with blistering and aching feet. The shoes should also be able to flex easily, ensuring that they do not retaliate under pressure and, ideally, they need to be able to accommodate a pair of socks without making it feel like your kicks are about to burst at the seams.
Arch Support – Flat shoes tend to be the go-to shoe for air travel. The important thing to remember is that good arch support is still important, even if you’re spending most of your time seated.
Breathability – You could be wearing the same pair of shoes for a good few hours. This means that you want to avoid sweat-build up which could lead to itchy, blistered, and smelly feet. Stick to shoes that are made from materials that breathe easily. Synthetic and mesh fabrics have excellent ventilation abilities and small ventilation holes can work well too.
Socks – Many people regulate body temperature through their feet. To avoid chills while on an aeroplane, do yourself a favour and make sure that you can easily slip your shoes on and off while wearing a pair of socks. Socks, especially compression types, will also help to regulate swelling in your feet and ankles.
Shoes For Flying FAQ
Q: What kind of shoes should I wear on a plane?
A: The main thing that you have to know is that the best shoes for flights are ones that are comfortable, especially if you’re in for a long haul. A pair of slip-ons will add to the convenience and if they have ventilation holes – all the better. Flat shoes are a more practical option but they should also offer good arch support. You also want to make sure that you can wear socks, especially compression socks, with the pair you choose. Last, but not least, you want something that can expand and contract, so that you can get your shoes on and off without a hassle. Sneakers and ballet shoes generally make the cut.