The 1 Part Of Your Outfit Flight Attendants Always Judge

<span class="copyright">1shot Production via Getty Images</span>
1shot Production via Getty Images

We’ve written before at HuffPost UK about why you shouldn’t really tie a ribbon onto your suitcase.

And yep, we’ve also shared that flight attendants don’t just greet you onto a plane to be nice ― they’re also giving you a quick up-and-down.

Well, it turns out that footwear is a big part of that scan. Speaking to Reader’s Digest, Amy Caris, a flight attendant and director of in-flight for JSX, said, “I always look at what kind of shoes a customer is wearing.”


As with the onboarding greeting, it has to do with safety.

Caris revealed that she peeps people’s footwear “to determine whether they can run quickly and easily in them.”

“If I see someone wearing high heels during boarding, I can make a note to add in an emergency command about removing them if the need arises,” she added.

CN Traveller’s editors seem to agree, writing “heels can cause damage to the evacuation slide.”

Instead, they recommend ballet flats if you want something a little prettier ― and while they like a regular lace-up trainer, they note that anything slip-on will get you through security a little faster.

Caris swears by a closed-toe shoe too; speaking to Reader’s Digest in a different article, she said she’d recently broken her own rule and lived to regret it.

“As I was standing in the aisle waiting to get to my seat, the person in front of me backed up onto my foot and bent my nail back. Ouch. It was a good reminder as to why I should stick to my rules of flying,” she said.

Anything else? 

Yes ― aside from anything open-toed, high-heeled, really tough to take off at security, or generally uncomfortable, flight attendants want you to remember barefoot is really not the way to go.

As Travel + Leisure writes, “carpets are commonly only vacuumed if time allows, and spot cleaned where necessary.”

And Hailey Way, a flight attendant with charter airline company iAero Airways, told AFAR, “The lavatory floors are probably the worst place to be barefoot. There’s likely a mixture of water, urine, and other bodily fluids in there. You can never be sure.”

So in order of priority, it goes 1) shoes you can evacuate safely in, 2) shoes that cover your feet, 3) shoes that make security a breeze, and 4) shoes that slip on, it seems.

Looks like my ballet pumps are getting dragged out again this summer...