Can You Wear Steel Toe Boots On A Plane?

Can You Wear Steel Toe Boots On A Plane? [featured image 800 x 419]

The short answer yes you can wear your steel toe boots on a plane. However there are a number of steps you need to take to ensure it’s a smooth process.  The steps are highlighted below.

Have you ever wanted to catch a flight wearing your steel toe boots but wondered if you’re actually allowed to do so?

In this article we’ll discuss this in detail, providing you with practical ways in which you can safely take your safety shoes with you.

Lastly, we’ll also discuss some other alternatives.

Why Would You Want To Wear Steel Toe Boots On A Plane?

Believe it or not, they are many reasons.

Many of you reading this article probably work in a job that requires you to wear some kind of protective footwear.

As a result, some of you may need to travel on business whilst wearing your shoes.

For example if you are someone who works in the “trades” then it might be necessary for you to wear a steel toe work boot.  

You might be a welder, construction worker or a logger to name a few who may need to wear their steel toes on a flight.

Many people wear their steel toes even on a night out so it’s not uncommon to wear other than work.

Another example is if you are going on a hiking trip but don’t really want to pack your shoes 

You absolutely can.

But there are some drawbacks.

What Is The Official Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Position On Steel Toe Boots On Airplanes?

At the time of writing, the TSA allow steel toe boots to be “checked in” and in “carry on bags”.

Regardless of whether you are part of the TSA Pre service, First class, business class or any class, you are still going to have to remove your steel toed shoes.

You can find more information on the official TSA angle here.

There is no mention that you CAN’T wear them through an airport security screening so should proceed with some level of caution.

However, it will be totally at the discretion of the TSA officer whether they allow you or not.

I would advice though that you always read the latest advice before traveling.

You don’t want any surprises.

Why Does The Question Of Wearing Safety Footwear On A Plane Seem To Always Raise An Eyebrow?

The purpose of steel toe boots is to protect your toes.  

This much we already know.

However, the flip side is they can also be considered a weapon that can potentially cause harm to other travelers.

The last thing an airline wants is a hostile situation occurring on a flight 30,000 feet up.

Can you imagine being kicked by someone wearing protective toe caps.


There was an incident where something like this happened.

However, there are a large number of workers that fly across the US in safety attire.

Can I Wear Steel Toe Work Boots Through Airport Security?

In the US, you can wear steel toe boots through airport security as there does not seem to be any prohibition.

Please check with your own country and the rules to be sure.

Will My Steel Toe Boots Trigger Of Airport Metal Detectors

You can absolutely count on the fact they will.

If you do decide to walk through airport security with your metal toe cap boots, expect to take your shoes off every time you go through a metal detector.

It might be somewhat annoying for you and your fellow passengers in the queue behind you, but if you’re happy to do it then go for it.

Just be mindful that there will be a level of inconvenience.

If you’re on your own then this might not be too much trouble.

However, if you’re traveling with your family and young children, you may want to rethink your strategy.

Alternative Safety Footwear Considerations For Wearing On A Plane

You might want to consider a non metallic toe work boot.

Composite toe boots or one with a TPU toe cap might be a good alternative if this is a viable option for you.

Not only does a non metallic toe cap not beep every time you go through a metal detector, but you won’t have to take your shoes off each time you go through a security check.

In addition, the amount of weight your feet and body will carry will take its toll on you after a while.

Personally when I’m traveling, it’s got to be something like light sneakers or something that will keep me on my toes and not weight me down….excuse the pun…!

I prefer comfort more than anything else.

However, everyone’s circumstances are different.

Wrap Up

So to summarize, can you wear steel toe boots on a plane? The answer is yes. 

But it’s not quite so straightforward as wearing a pair of sneakers or a regular boot.

There are some hoops you have to jump through but they aren’t as bad as you may think.

If you feel it’s more hassle than it’s worth but still need to wear some form of protective footwear, then maybe consider some alternative forms such as those mentioned above.

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