I recently took a couple of warm-weather trips to Mexico and then Los Angeles, both of which offer a significant beach culture. But in my opinion, that doesn't make it a good idea to consistently wear the controversial sandal style that I kept seeing on people's feet during my travels. 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, so I reached out to the experts themselves and chatted 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, "flip-flops are great to slide on to head down to the pool, but 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's so much bacteria. Wearing flip-flops, you can get blisters and then bacteria can get into your feet." Yikes, right?
So with that in mind, here are six celebrity-approved shoes that are far more sensible for the airport. See which celebs travel in them and shop the styles below.
1. Pool Slides
Style Notes: If you really want to wear rubber sandals, take note from Rihanna and go with pool slides instead. Even better, wear them with socks (it's okay—it's cool now).
Style Notes: Alessandra Ambrosio proves that you truly can't go wrong with just wearing a pair of cool trainers at the airport. Comfy and cool, they're the perfect footwear of choice for travelling.
3. Low Block & Kitten Heels
Style Notes: Want a little height? Low-block or kitten heels will do wonders for your outfit and comfort level, especially if you're wearing loose-fitting clothing like Jessica Alba.
4. Ankle Boots
Style Notes: Ankle boots are a great option for when you want something that has the sturdiness of sneakers but with a more polished look. I love how Kate Bosworth has styled hers with a relaxed mini dress.
Style Notes: 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, as demonstrated by Karlie Kloss.
Style Notes: If you've decided to wear flats to the airport, do yourself a favour and choose something with more polish and structure than flip-flops—a simple leather sandal in the warmer months like Jasmine Tookes, or ballet pumps when it's cooler out are just the ticket.