As fashion editors, we find ourselves traveling quite often. And between all of us, we've made more than a few regrettable travel shoe choices, but we've learned from our mistakes and have narrowed down our shoe collections to the most airport-approved pairs.
We're all well aware that traveling these days is challenging enough (both mentally and physically) and that there's only so much that can be done to make it a more pleasurable experience. One thing we do have control over is what we choose to wear, and when you're standing in security lines and running through terminals to make a connection, the importance of that is undoubtedly proven.
We want you to get through security successfully (and stylishly, of course) and to your destination comfortably, so to help with that, we Who What Wear editors are sharing the exact pairs of shoes we never travel without, from sneakers to ankle boots. Read on to see what we have to say about them, and shop them for yourself.
"Sneakers all the way. I recently got a pair of these, and they're ridiculously comfortable. Even cushier than my workout sneakers." — Kat Collings
"I always wear these leopard-adorned white sneakers to the airport with leggings, a graphic tee, and an oversize denim jacket. They are comfortable, they don't leave me with bare feet at security, and the animal print adds a forward touch without looking stuffy or overdressed." — Lauren Eggertsen
"If I'm flying super early or on a red-eye, my go-to airport look is typically leggings and the below Nikes, but if I'm traveling during the day, I usually wear these sock-style ankle boots from ASOS. They are so easy to slip on, and they look great with my favorite cropped jeans from J Brand." — Michelle Scanga
"My Common Projects are my airport shoes for life. Not only are they the perfect sneakers for wearing with anything on vacation (especially ones where there's a lot of walking involved), but they're comfortable and easy to slip on and off, which is what makes them my in-flight pick." — Nicole Akhtarzad
"I could walk in these insanely comfortable loafers for miles with nary a blister. I love that they're so easy to slip in and out of, but don't forget to stash a pair of socks in your carry-on if you don't have TSA PreCheck. Going barefoot on airport floors is not recommended." — Allyson Payer
"I only wear sneakers on planes. Typically, I'll go for a style that doesn't require lacing so I can easily slip them on and off through security." — Bobby Schuessler
"I always rely on slip-on shoes for traveling—it's just so much better to be able to take them on and off easily at the security line. A pair of backless loafers does the trick and keeps my go-to airport outfit (jeans and a sweatshirt) looking polished." — Erin Fitzpatrick
"I'm blessed to have Global Entry these days, which means I no longer have to take off my shoes to get through security. Though I prefer to travel in Birkenstocks, it turns out that the buckles still set off the alarms. So now I stick to sneakers, which are comfy enough for roaming the terminals." — Aemilia Madden
"One thing I'll never sacrifice my style for is traveling. At the airport, I always go for flat Chelsea-style ankle boots because they're so easy to slip on and off in the security line. And pro tip: Wearing your heaviest shoes on the plane means you can fill up your suitcase that much more." — Anna LaPlaca
"My big rule is to never wear shoes that don't require a sock—I never want to walk through airport security barefoot. My staple is a pair of comfortable ankle boots or cool sneakers." — Kristen Nichols
Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.
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