The Shoes a Fashion Editor Would Never Wear to the Airport (Plus 6 Alternatives)

Updated 06/06/18

I recently took my first couple of warm-weather trips of the year to Mexico and then Los Angeles, both of which offer a significant beach culture. But in my opinion, that doesn't make it okay to wear the controversial sandal style I kept seeing on people's feet. If you're thinking flip-flops, we're on the same page. What kills me is that there are so many shoe styles out there that are just as easy and comfortable as flip-flops but are significantly more protective of your feet.

I wanted to know how flip-flops rank on the airport practicality spectrum from the experts themselves, so I reached out to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein and Delta travel agent Stacey Townsend. Farbstein pointed out that while you can certainly wear flip-flops to an airport, "Even though they are thin-soled, they still will need to be removed at the TSA checkpoint, which typically means bare feet on the floor." So making the security process easier certainly isn't a valid reason to wear them.

Townsend told me, "As flip-flops are great to slide on to head down to the pool, as a flight attendant, they are not my footwear of choice when exploring a new city. They offer no support, which is basically my worry." I asked what she thought of wearing them to the airport and flying in them, to which she responded, "I mean it's sort of gross. There are so much bacteria. Wearing flip-flops, you can get blisters and then bacteria can get into your feet." Yikes, right?

Instead of flip-flops, here are six shoe style that are much better options for the airport. See which celebs travel in them and shop the styles below.

Pool Slides

If you really want to wear rubber sandals, go with pool slides instead. Even better, wear them with socks (it's okay—it's cool now).

Rihanna at the airport
Gotham/Getty Images

On Rihanna: Raf Simons jacket; Off-White sweatpants; Dior bag; Puma x Fenty shoes

x FILA Sherpa Pool Slides
Baja East x Fila Sherpa Pool Slides $115 $46
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Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Logo-print Rubber Slides
Prada Logo-Print Rubber Slides $350
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Available in sizes 35 to 41.

Pastel Rainbow Tube Socks
Topshop Pastel Rainbow Tube Socks $6
Shop
No.1 Cashmere-blend Socks
Falke No.1 Cashmere-Blend Socks $110
Shop

Sneakers

You truly can't go wrong with just wearing a pair of cool sneakers to the airport.

Alessandra Ambrosio at the airport
Backgrid

On Alessandra Ambrosio: Louis Vuitton bag; Common Projects Original Achilles Sneaker ($411)

Classic Slip-on in Black/White Check
Vans Classic Slip-Ons in Black/White Check $50
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Available in sizes 6 to 10.

Veja 3-Lock Esplar Low Sneakers
Veja 3-Lock Esplar Low Sneakers $130
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Available in sizes 36 to 41.

Women's Classic Cortez Premium Sneaker
Nike Classic Cortez Premium Sneaker $90
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Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Low Block Heels

Want a little height? Low block heels will do wonders for your outfit and comfort level.

Alicia Vikander at the airport
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On Alicia Vikander: Louis Vuitton bag; By Far Romy Heels ($420)

Women's Leather Block Heel Pump by Everlane in Oxblood, Size 8.5
Everlane Leather Block Heel Pump in Oxblood $145
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Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Danielle Leather Slingback Pumps
By Far Danielle Leather Slingback Pumps $415
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Available in sizes 35 to 41.

Leather Slingback Pumps
Mansur Gavriel Leather Slingback Pumps $475
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Available in sizes 35 to 42.

Ankle Boots

Ankle boots are a great option for when you want something that has the sturdiness of sneakers but with a more polished look.

Kate Bosworth airport outfit
BJJ/Backgrid

On Kate Bosworth: Miu Miu My Miu Small Matelasse Snake-Trim Clutch Bag ($2220) and shoes

Zara Animal Print Ankle Boots $90
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Available in sizes 4 to 11.

The Ace Lace Up Booties
Freda Salvador The Ace Lace Up Booties $495
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Available in sizes 5.5 to 10.

Women's Boss Boot by Everlane in Burgundy, Size 11
Everlane Boss Boots $225
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Available in sizes 5 to 11.

Loafers

Loafers are probably the shoes that I wear to the airport most often. I love how easily they slip on and off and that they perfectly complement jeans and leggings alike.

Karlie Kloss at the airport
Niceguy/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

On Karlie Kloss: J Brand Maria High Rise Photo Ready Jeans ($189); Hanes x Karla The Crew Tee ($30); Christian Louboutin shoes

Women's J.crew Ryan Penny Loafer
J.Crew Ryan Penny Loafers $128 $77
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Available in sizes 5.5 to 12.

Harput Shadow Loafers
Dorateymur Harput Shadow Loafers $470
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Available in sizes 36 to 41.

Brixton leather Horsebit loafer
Gucci Brixton Leather Horsebit Loafers $730
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Available in sizes 4 to 12.

Leather Sandals

If you must wear thin sandals to the airport, do yourself a favor and choose something with more polish and structure than flip-flops.

Jasmine Tookes airport outfit
Getty Images

On Jasmine Tookes: Louis Vuitton bag

Taygete shell-embellished leather slides
Ancient Greek Sandals Taygete Shell-Embellished Leather Slides $265
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Available in sizes 35 to 42.

Flameana Flats
Malone Souliers Flameana Flats $565
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Available in sizes 36 to 38.5.

Henni Leather And Rattan Slides
St. Agni Henni Leather And Rattan Slides $130
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Available in sizes 35 to 42.

This story was originally published on Who What Wear.

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