When flying, safety is normally a pilot’s number one concern. But pilots have a right to be comfortable too, right? Whether they’re following an airline’s specific dress code or are responsible for what they’re wearing, pilots need comfortable shoes. What are the best shoes for pilots, then?
When we think of the pilots we see on TV, we think of clean, crisp button-downs, Ray Ban aviators, and shiny, shimmery Oxford shoes. While that’s true for some pilots, most prefer to wear comfortable clothes that allow them to move without restrictions, get to the cockpit on time, and of course, fly the plane.
We’d argue that the significance of both beauty and comfort shouldn’t be underestimated. When you’re shopping for brand-new shoes, carefully analyze and consider all of the available options before making a decision. Many claim to have created the perfect footwear for pilots – but have they?
Read more down below!
What to consider when shopping for the best shoes for pilots?
When shopping for the right footwear that’ll offer you comfort and support, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of options you’re presented with. Worry not, though, we’ve rounded up a few crucial pointers to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.
First and foremost, you must determine what kind of footwear your airline allows its employees to wear. While each airline, flight department, or training organization has its own dress code, pilots are generally, to maintain professionalism, asked to opt for structured shoes that complement their uniform.
Furthermore, you must focus on finding a pair of pilot shoes that can provide traction in the cockpit when engaged with the aircraft’s rudder pedals. Rubber outsoles, for example, might also come in handy when you’re walking through the airport where floors are wet and slippery.
Finally, opting for footwear that’s comfortable, breathable, and flexible can make a world of difference.
The best shoes for pilots on the market right now
1. Allen Edmonds Men’s Park Avenue Cap-Toe Oxford
On the hunt for a simple, sleek pair of Oxfords you can wear to work, when grabbing a cup of coffee with coworkers, or when going out for dinner? These Allen Edmonds Men’s Park Avenue Cap-Toe Oxfords are perfect for you.
With a timeless design, welted construction, cork footbeds, and a flexible upper, your feet are guaranteed to get through the flight smoothly. We do need to add that these Oxford shoes are the brand’s best-selling style – and we suspect there’s a reason for that.
Why don’t you give them a go and see whether they’re worth the hype?
2. Merrell Men’s Chameleon
Merrell Chameleons are a favorite among pilots and here’s why.
Designed for climbing, these bad boys might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But with the green light from your airline, you can confidently give these a go because they’re comfortable, supportive, and protective.
Depending on what you’re searching for, we’d argue that they’re one of the more attractive climbing boots. They’re versatile, too, which means you can wear them wherever you want.
If you’re on the hunt for security, strength, and an ultra-lightweight shape, you might want to give Merrell Chameleons a chance.
3. Lift Aviation Air Boss 2 Flight
We’re pretty sure that Lift Aviation Air Boss 2 Flight shoes are among the best shoes for pilots. Why do we say that? Well, they’re the first to feature an aviation-specific heel that slides and moves with your foot, making flying an aircraft child’s play.
With protected projection technology that reduces friction on the cockpit floor, double-thickness EVA foam cushioned soles that make you feel like you’re walking on clouds, and a G-Traction bi-parallel Grip System designed to work with aircraft rudder pedals, your feet are taken care of.
4. Ariat Heritage Roper
What are you supposed to wear when you’re a cowboy who doesn’t want to go anywhere without cowboy boots? Ariat Heritage Ropers might be the thing for you. When searching for appropriate footwear for flying, cowboy boots might not come to mind.
But if you get the go-ahead from your airline, there’s no reason you aren’t able to rock Ariat Heritage Ropers whenever and wherever you want. Ariat boots have a devoted following of pilots who depend on them daily for a reason.
With a leather upper, composite shanks, and cushioned footbeds, they’re a solid choice to consider.
5. Ecco Men’s Helsinki Plain Toe Dress Oxford
We might have moved away from the “conventionally attractive” footwear mentioned at the beginning, but we’re circling back with Ecco Men’s Helsinki Plain Toe Dress Oxford shoes. We’re one hundred percent sure you can’t go wrong with Oxfords anyway, but these are top-notch.
These shoes are equipped with rubber outsoles that prevent you from slipping and falling, shock absorption to keep you safe from unexpected bumps on the road, and plenty of wiggle room for your toes. What’s not to adore?
6. Shoes for Crews Holden High-Top Non-Slip
Pilots that prefer high-tops know what’s up. With high-tops, you don’t have to worry about ankle support and you can rely on the bottom part of your shoe to fit your airline’s dress code.
We suggest opting for Shoes for Crews Holden High-Top Non-Slip shoes because they’re lightweight, water-resistant, slip-resistant, and equipped with a myriad of features that promise to keep your feet happy and healthy.
TripGuard design, padded collars, and EVA midsoles are some of the things you can look forward to if you decide to go for these cool kicks.
7. Seavees Men’s Mariners Boot
Searching for another high-top option? Seavees Men’s Mariners Boots are guaranteed to attract attention because they’re super similar to everyone’s favorite Converse Chucks. With a bunch of favorable features, though, Seavees Men’s Mariners Boots are a better footwear option for pilots.
Made with foam footbeds, they’re more comfortable than Oxfords and more wearable than Chucks. Lightweight, supportive, and stable, they’re everything you need to have a safe flight and more.
8. Clarks Men’s Escalade
Clarks is one of the most prestigious footwear manufacturers in the world and that’s why we’re more than happy to recommend Clarks Men’s Escalade shoes as your choice of footwear for the following flying season.
With the array of features they provide, they are some of the best shoes for pilots.
Made with purposeful padding, soft uppers, full-length cushioning, and lightweight Ortholite footbeds, these slip-ons are perfect for when you’re running late. Moreover, they’re super simple to clean and care for, which makes them great for pilots who don’t have the time to scrub their days off away.
9. Rockport Men’s Northfield Oxford
Dependable and durable, Rockport Men’s Northfield Oxford shoes promise to keep you on your toes for years to come. With a classic, chic design, you can count on these Oxfords to complement your uniform and make your look polished and put-together.
With that out of the way, though, these bad boys are much more than eye candy. They are made with a genuine leather upper, 100% rubber soles, TruTech shock absorption technology, concealed gore panels, antimicrobial lining, and EVA footbeds. What are you waiting for?
10. Hush Puppies Men’s Strategy Oxford
Now, as a pilot for commercial and private airlines, you’re expected to wear effortless, elegant footwear no matter what. Sneakers are forbidden fruit. Sandals and slides are a disaster waiting to happen. But you can always count on Oxfords to make you look and feel good.
Needless to say, Hush Puppies Men’s Strategy Oxfords are practically every gentleman’s pick for a reason. With leather-covered EVA footbeds, synthetic soles, and unique fabric vamp lining, they’re one of the most comfortable Oxfords you’ll ever wear. Water-resistant and wearable, they’re pretty neat.
11. Dr. Martens 1461 Leather Oxford
Who doesn’t want to wear Dr. Martens?
While it’s true that some airlines might not be accepting of Dr. Martens as appropriate footwear for pilots, we’re keeping our fingers crossed you get the chance to give them a go. Dr. Martens 1461 Leather Oxfords are perfect for pilots because they’re high-quality, hard-wearing, and attractive.
On top of that, they’re equipped with traditional, durable smooth leather, classic air-cushion soles, and signature Goodyear welt yellow stitches. One thing’s for sure, you can’t go wrong with Dr. Martens because you’re guaranteed to wear them for years and years to come.
12. Aerosoles Women’s Allowance Ankle Boot
We’ve arrived at the end of the article and we’re over the moon to talk about the best shoes for pilots who are also women. While we do think that women can rock any of the styles we mentioned beforehand, these Aerosoles Women’s Allowance Ankle Boots are made specifically with women’s comfort in mind.
With a genuine leather upper, memory foam footbeds, and supportive wedge heels, these ankle boots are perfect for pilots who value both comfort and beauty. And the rubber composition soles that feature a one-of-a-kind diamond pattern are the cherry on top.