If you are a frequent traveller and have experienced various security checks at airports, one thing that certainly gives you the chills is the tedious checking through the scanners and the metal detectors. While you may not want to intentionally carry a sharp or metallic object to cause harm, airport security is very particular to check every item that may seem suspicious.
One such item that is not harmful but falls into the sharp radars of metal detectors at airports is steel toe boots. For protection purposes, these shoes have a metal cap at the toe section which may set off the metal detector. The security can then ask you to remove the shoes for checking.
To answer the question, Steel Toe Boots are allowed on a plane. However, different countries follow different security norms and you may want to check with their airport security guidelines before traveling in steel toe boots. Traveling by steel toe boots on a plane is not all that easy.
Therefore, we help you get a straightforward solution to the most frequently asked question while also suggesting alternatives to travel safely without facing any tedious airport security checks.
What To Expect During Security Checks: TSA Guidelines on Steel Toe Boots
Steel toe boots are very fashionable and at the same time, make for a great pair of travel boots because they are very protective. Since they have metal toe caps in the forefront section, your feet are protected from dust, stampede, or any heavy or sharp objects falling on the feet.
These shoes are preferred by a mixed range of people, be it businessmen or labourers to carpenters or warehouse workers. However, while as per what TSA suggests, you can travel by steel boots on a plane.
- Carry them in check-in luggage
- Cabin/In-flight luggage
- Wear them
However, these ideas of wearing or carrying the boots come with their own pros and cons.
If you are wearing pure steel toe boots, you would certainly set the metal detectors off. Once that goes off, you’d be asked to remove the shoes by the airport security personnel and that is definitely something you would not prefer.
Steel toe boots do not come off easily. Since they are usually stiff, they are very difficult to untie and slip off the feet. Standing in a long queue at the airport and taking your shoes off is very uncomfortable and inconvenient.
Moreover, long hours of checking and waiting already frustrate a lot of passengers. And if you add to the wait time due to your steel toe boots being checked, then you are surely not having the best travel experience with a frustrated queue of people behind you.
Ideally, if the shoes are in the luggage, the security personnel may ask you to remove the shoes for proper checking. Therefore, it is advised to pack your materials inside the bag in layers for a neat look through the scanner and for easy detection. This may save you time during luggage checking at the airport.
If there are multiple scanners at a particular airport or if there is immense checking during times of high alert, then be prepared for a tedious checking procedure if you are wearing steel toe boots.
Wearing Or Packaging: Which Is Better For Steel Toe Boots?
If you think wearing steel toe boots is better than carrying them with you in your luggage while traveling on an airplane, THINK AGAIN!! We don’t recommend that wearing them is better than carrying, but if you choose to wear steel toe boots on an airplane, then be mentally prepared to pass through various security checks and raised eyebrows.
If you carry them in the luggage, they may eat up a lot of space, but you do not have to waste your time across metal detectors and if you are in a hurry to catch a flight. It saves you from slipping your shoes off and untying them several times, however at the cost of eating up space in your travel bag. Hence most people prefer wearing it on, especially when traveling for business trips.
Steel toe boots are not very comfortable for extremely long trips and if you have to switch flights and run across one terminal to another, then steel toes are not the most comfortable pair of boots. Unless they are customized as per your comfort needs, they can make your feet feel all cramped up and sweaty during your travel.
Ultimately, the choice depends on you, if you prefer carrying them on you or with you in the luggage.
What Are The Alternatives To Steel Toe Boots?
Shoes have advanced greatly over the years, be it in terms of design, protection, comfort and various other features. If you are keen on wearing steel toe boots while traveling, you can certainly look for alternatives that suit your style as well as make it easier for you to pass through security checks at the airport.
Some alternatives that you can try are:
Buy slip-on steel toe boots
Steel toe boots are available in various styles, be it sneakers, or canvas and tennis shoes. As long as they meet your protective standards and have a metal toe cap within them, they are good to go as steel toe boots.
You can check for the description of the shoes if they have passed the security tests for durability and protection and if they are original steel toes. So even if you have to pass through security checks, you can simply slip them off and put them back on without wasting time.
Buy composite toe boots
If you want some basic level of protection from your shoes and love the style that steel toe boots provide, you can also buy a pair of composite or alloy toe boots. They are cheaper, lightweight, not as stiff as steel toe boots, and the best part, do not set off metal detectors. As long as you don’t need extreme protection from your shoes, composite toes are a great alternative to pure steel toes.
Wear open toes
Airports and airplanes are clean, have almost zero chances of heavy objects falling on your feet, and have no chances of having sharp objects either. If there is no requirement, why not go easy and wear open toes instead. You can travel light and have no fear of security checks either.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the TSA-approved shoes?
When you get your shoes or any other suspicious item checked through the T.S.A. program which is a U.S. government program for transportation security, then it is TSA approved. It is a security agency that undergoes various screening tests, especially at various U.S.A airports.
Will Steel Toe Boots Set Off A Metal Detector?
Yes, Steel Toe Boots will set off a metal detector. The toe caps comprise metal which is easily detected by the airport metal scanners. This could make your checking procedure tedious and waste some time as well as annoy other travelers around you. Steel toe boots are great for traveling unless you have to pass through tedious checking procedures.
Can You Wear Steel Toe Cap Boots On A Plane?
Yes, you can wear steel toe cap boots inside a plane as well as carry them in your check-in or cabin luggage. While they may seem heavy on your feet with prolonged travel hours and cause your feet to cram up, some people prefer carrying them in their baggage. It is allowed only after passing through the metal detectors during security checking.
What type of workboots is airport friendly?
Open toe formal shoes, slip-on, semi-formal loafers, and even composite work boots are airport friendly. They easily pass through metal detectors, saves you time while checking, and are more comfortable than steel toe boots while traveling.
Unless it is a necessity, you can avoid wearing steel toe boots and go for better alternatives to wear on an airplane.
Steel toe boots serve a great purpose of style and protection for your feet but are not very airport friendly. The metal in steel toe boots can get easily detected through the metal detectors, setting them off and creating a nuisance at the airport. While, steel toe boots are T.S.A, approved, you must be ready to wait for long hours in the queue while checking and garner some unwanted attention and frustration from your co-passengers.
You can either wear it, carry it with you in the luggage or look for some alternatives to steel toe boots that do not set off metal detectors. Composite toe boots, slip-on shoes, don’t provide the best of protection but are easy to pass through tedious airport security checks and fulfill the T.S.A. standards.
Read our article above and after knowing the reality, tell us, if you would prefer traveling in steel toe boots on an airplane through the comments section below.
I am a registered professional nurse with experience of 10+ years under my belt. I graduated from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Since then, I have been beneficial for various rehabilitative and critical medical situations. I work with Feetfitness.com Team with researching foot problems and assists them by providing my expertise in the best footwear for different medical conditions. I am also instrumental to the group by helping in test, compile, and present the best footwear for professionals & everyday uses