Flying Shoes

Here’s a topic of monumental importance – SHOES! Is it odd that I have a closet full of them but there’s only ONE pair good enough to fly an airplane in?! Heck no, there’s more to great flying shoes than meets the eye. They have to fit perfectly and be cool (and I don’t mean “Wow, cool shoes!”). They have to have plenty of air flowing through …… but not to the point of sandals. They have to have a good sole that won’t slip around on the rudder pedals, be a pair that I can grease a landing in then hop out and hike through running water and still be “good to go” when I’m ready to leave. Is that asking too much?!

I had to try them on and have to say, they felt good. You supposedly can run in them and feel like you're barefooted. People love 'em or they hate 'em.... I'm passing on them.

Nice, I like the lightweightedness (is that a word?) and the back strap is a must if you're going to fly in them. Sure look comfortable but I'm thinking there's not enough there.

Now these are nice looking, probably comfortable, but too confining for summer.Â

Possibly....but do I want to live in black all summer?

These ought to "stay put" stomping those rudder pedals.

I'm thinking you better want to be noticed if you're wearing these. Not sure I'm quite up for these yet.

Ahhhhhh, if only.

If you’ve found the perfect summer shoes to fly in, let us all know. Mine have seen better days and if my calculations are right, this will be YEAR 4 for them. I’d say I got my money’s worth!  Anyway, spring’s here and its time to let them go before the rubber bottoms get any thinner and a rudder pedal pokes through.

But who knows.... maybe I CAN get another year out of them - the best flying shoes EVER.Â

So what are you wearing? Suggestions anybody? If there’s a picture of ones you love, let us know or put a link to the image in the “Comments”.


  • Nic Orchard
    Posted at 17:05h, 01 May Reply

    I’ll admit to being a fan of Crocs. Airy, no more than 6 oz towards the MAUW, scrubbable, wander in and out of the water in them…and they float.

    I have several pairs, all but one the ‘classic’ (ahem) style (ahem).

  • ginny wilken
    Posted at 17:30h, 26 April Reply

    For me, it’s Merrell Primos for the Champ; they are compact and smooth, yet with traction and definition between toe and heel. In my tri-gear plane, I wear my Birkenstocks or Costco tennies, as there is far more room and less precision targets for pedals.

  • Jean
    Posted at 15:49h, 23 April Reply

    I’m altitude challenged… meaning I’m short! So in order to be able to reach the rudder pedals in Rosy -super decathlon- I have to wear platform tennis shoes. Not cute and not particularly comfie but well they work. I carry a pair of other shoes to change into when I get out of the plane.

  • Judy Birchler
    Judy Birchler
    Posted at 07:08h, 21 April Reply

    Facebook comments following. You’re welcome to join our LadiesLoveTaildraggers Facebook group where there’s always lots of interesting discussion happening….

    Lisa Martin I wear hikers with a pretty thick heel…not classy, but helps my short legs get a little more bite on heel brakes.
    22 hours ago ·

    Tina Thomas Try on Merrill Gloves Judy..they are like the Vibrams with a very thin sole. I’ve been working out in them and want to try them this year for flying.
    22 hours ago ·

    Amy Davis I get very particular about my shoes too. I generally fly in a pair of light sneakers but will bring along heavier boots in case I need to hike out of somewhere. However, then in Alaska I flew with bunny boots… so it just goes to show that all my superstition about shoes is just that.
    22 hours ago ·

    Jeannie Batto My shoe choice is as diverse as the equipment I fly. Enjoy the hunt.
    21 hours ago ·

    Freya Shiller I like mine but my son took them as his own. Maybe if there’s anything left when he out grows them I’ll get them back. I keep keds in my luggage compartment as I tend to show up at the airport in flip flops which I don’t recommend for flying!
    18 hours ago via mobile ·

    Gayle Crowder Love this topic! I realized the first time I flew that clunky sneakers were not going to work at all. Since my second flight I’ve worn a pair of basic water shoes, similar to those in photo #3. They are ugly but have thin, flexible soles and I sure can feel those pedals. They have traction, my feet don’t slip off, and the soles are just thick enough that the rudder pedals don’t hurt my feet.

    Juliet Grant Lindrooth I have them and fly with them. Absolutly love them. I can really feel what’s going on with the rudder. Very comfortable shoes too. I can walk for miles in them and my feet never hurt. My hips and back stop hurting as soon as I put them on. Best shoes ever.
    23 hours ago ·

    Jana Leigh Mcwhorter and wing walk in them!
    22 hours ago ·

    Juliet Grant Lindrooth Jana, you can have the wing walking. I’m such a clutz I would trip over the air and fall off the wing. 🙂
    22 hours ago ·

    Jessica Eve Birchler Lol neat!
    21 hours ago via mobile ·

    Faith Zulu Charlie I wear Chacos for absolutely everything; they’ll go anywhere and hike through anything. They do have thick-ish soles, though so they aren’t the best for rudder feel. I have a special pair of thin-soled shoes for learning a new taildragger so I can feel all the feedback through my feet. Once I’m intimate with the plane I can switch back into my Chacos.
    20 hours ago ·

    Becky Jacks Yarbrough I have a pair and love them!
    20 hours ago via mobile ·

    John Theuncle Graham Judy – Shoukldn’t you girls “bird” feet??
    19 hours ago ·

    Steven C. Devine Too freaky for me, sorry. I’ve seen people wearing them on my commute to the city. Always freaks me out.

  • Hella Comat
    Posted at 19:57h, 20 April Reply

    Good discussion idea, Judy. My aerobatic instructor always raises the concern of fire. It isn’t a pleasant issue, but I think it should be considered. My husband races and he introduced me to Piloti shoes. I love my red ones, but they’re getting very worn. Since they are designed for car racing, they have a Nomex liner which is fire retardant. They are made of suede and leather, nothing plastic that can melt….

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