These Comfy Sneakers Are the Only Ones I’ll Travel In
I have two non-negotiable requirements for airport shoes: that they’re slip on and allow me to wear socks. Here’s the thing: no one has time for laces at an airport. Sitting on a bench after I get through security to lace my shoes back up? Hard pass. You also don’t want to subject your bare feet to the airport floor if you can help it. Sure, even the most seasoned travelers abandon this precedent and show up in sandals every so often. But, for the most part, choosing a shoe that allows you the luxury of socks but still seamlessly slides on and off is best.
Personally, I’m a Merrell advocate for most active shoes—as a life-long runner and hiker, I find that their shoes have great traction and balance and also let my feet breathe. Do you ever walk on to an airplane feeling perfectly fine in your shoes and walk off itching to get out of them because they feel too tight? I find most closed-toed shoes on an airplane to be suffocating, but with Merrell it's a different story. So, take it from me, before feet or ankles get the chance to swell from a 17-hour flight from Los Angeles to Singapore, make sure you have shoes that are less confining.
I opt for the Women’s Gridway Moc from Merrell—the yarn-knit upper is made from entirely recycled materials that are soft, super-breathable, and very light. Not only are they slip-ons, they’re slip-ons you don’t have to wrestle with. They're durable, so they actually slip on and off with ease. Rated 4.4 stars on Amazon, the reviewers tout them specifically for all-day wear and for long flights.
What sticks out about the shoes—both to me and most of the Amazon buyers—is that they check all the travel boxes while still being extremely nice-looking shoes. While they also come in a lace-up style, I prefer the slip-on because they expedite the airport security ritual and present well if I have to run to a meeting when I land. I’ll wear mine with jeans, linen pants, or yoga tights when flying, and they work with nearly any in-flight style.