Tag Archives: Flight attendant Shoes

New York Times: Best shoes for Travel? Ask a Flight attendant

Kelly & Katie Whitney Flat (DSW)

A few days ago New York Times writer Stephanie Rosenbloom contacted me to discuss something very important: Flight attendant shoes. I wouldn’t joke about something as serious as this. The following quotes originally appeared in the article Best Shoes for Travel? Ask a flight attendant that came out today. For the record, my Aerosoles really are cute. I swear I get compliments on them all the time. Don’t believe me?  Check out the picture at the bottom of this post.

Heather Poole, who lives in Los Angeles and has been a flight attendant for more than 15 years, acknowledged that many female flight attendants put Dansko clogs on in the plane but described the shoes as “hideous.” Her favorite in-flight pair? Flats with a cushioned insole ($29.95) from Design Shoe Warehouse. In the terminal she wears shoes by Aerosoles.

“I actually get lots of compliments on those,” she said in an e-mail while her flight from New York to San Diego was delayed.

Like her colleagues, Ms. Poole, who blogs about her life at hpoole.wordpress.com, advises passengers to wear comfortable shoes because you never know when you will have to run for a plane in an airport, or get off a plane should there be an emergency. (This is also why she advises against wearing flip-flops.)

Her solution for tired feet? Upon arriving home after a long trip she uses a heated foot massager by HoMedics.

Here’s the link to my shoe review of the Kelly and Katie Whitney flat from DSW (pictured above).  And yes, I do know my Aerosoles are probably not “regulation,” even though my airline now allows flight attendant shoes to be adorned with staps and buckles.  Just not sure how many straps and buckles.  What I do know is they’re super cute and comfy, which is not an easy combination to find, so I bought a couple of pairs.


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Flight attendant shoes: Kelly & Katie Whitney flat – black

(UPDATE 8/29/2012 : I’m still wearing these shoes, and I STILL like them a lot.  I even mention them in this New York Times article: Best Shoes for Travel? Ask a Flight Attendant)

Oh sure they might look a little like Pilgrim shoes.  And yeah, that big silver buckle might not be regulation.  But these Kelly & Katie black flats are by far THE MOST comfortable in-flight shoes I’ve ever worn, and I tested them working four back to back New York – Miami turns, followed by a two-day New York – Los Angeles trip.  I love em!   So much so I could have cared less if a pilot called them birth control shoes.  (More like jerk control shoes)  Right now they’re only $29.95 at DSW.

Commuting home after six days of flying


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Flight attendant shoes – what NOT to wear….


I came across your blog review you did of a pair of Clark Shoes  and was impressed.  I read some of the comments and I had no idea that there were so many restrictions to what shoes a flight attendant could wear.  I bet that makes it very difficult for you to find comfortable shoes to wear during work time.  But this is why I am reaching out to you today, I work with Kuru Footwear and I wanted to see if you would be interested in reviewing a pair of our travel shoes.  The pair that I had in mind for you was either these…
or these…
Dear Nathan,
Thanks for thinking of me and my shoe needs, but I’m not quite sure how to respond to your shoe suggestions except to say that I can’t imagine wearing black sneakers with a navy blue uniform – or anything at all.  I mean I’ve been working for a major US carrier for the last 15 years, but I’m not  THAT senior, not black leather sneaker wearing senior!  And even if I were that senior these shoes you’ve chosen for me are not regulation.  And hopefully never will be.  I’ll just leave it at that… 


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Flight attendant shoe review: Clarks – Honorable

I’ve been obsessed with Clarks shoes for a while now.  The first time I spotted these bendable, black, leather, Mary Jane’s were on a flight attendant at 30,000 feet.  I asked if they were comfortable.  She swore that they were.  Two weeks later I found them at a DSW shoe store.  They were sitting on top of a box and calling my name.  Even though I was shopping for boots, not work shoes, I immediately  slid them on and thought, Ohhh- so cushy!  I would have bought them right then and there but  The Husband was hurrying me along.  Men!  A week later while sitting airport standby at La Guardia airport I saw them again.  This time they were sauntering through flight operations.  It had to be a sign – spotting the same style of shoes three times in a month.  And so I did what any normal flight attendant would do, I went back to DSW and purchased a pair for $59.99.  

I had planned to only wear the Clarks through the airport terminal and then change into more comfortable shoes during flight, but because I accidentally left my “in-flight shoes” behind on an airplane on day one of my five-day reserve rotation, I wound up wearing this shoe for four days straight – for at least eight hours a day – while flying back and forth across the country.  Ouch!  Somehow, I don’t know how, I managed to hobble my way through it.  Oddly enough it wasn’t the 2 1/2 inch heel that bothered me.  The problem I had was with the toe – er, my toes.  While rounded, the front of the shoe slightly curves in on the outside thereby putting pressure on the baby toe.  Needless to say by day two of flying without more than a  twelve-hour break between trips, my feet were killing!  Does this mean I’m done with this particular style of Clarks?  Absolutely not.  Clarks “Honorables” are still very cute and oh so comfortable – but only on the ground during a reserve month.


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Chapter 7: Cruising Altitude

An excerpt of chapter 7 – (the first of many drafts!)….

It’s important for flight attendants to find doctors who understand what our job entails.  For instance, we don’t just roll our bags gate to gate and onto the plane.  We lift eighty pounds over our heads and into the overhead bins each and every flight anywhere up to four times a day, fifteen days a month.   We don’t just serve drinks.  We push and pull two-hundred pound carts on an incline – usually two times per flight.  We can’t just go to work and deal with a bad case of the sniffles with a box of tissues.  We have to worry about our ear drums exploding.  Once I pleaded with a podiatrist not to release me back to work too soon after breaking my pinky toe.  

“You’ll be fine,” he assured me.  I wasn’t fine.  Not working a ten-hour day at 30,000 feet inside a pressurized flying tube.  Not running gate to gate as quickly as possible in order to avoid a delay at some of the busiest airports in the world.  When I went back to his office to have him fill out a few forms on top of the ones he’d already signed, I told him my toe didn’t just hurt, it throbbed. 

“Take six Advil,” he suggested.  Before I could say six!  He added, “You can relieve the pressure by cutting a hole in the side of your shoe.”  

I just stared at him.  He smiled.  This was no smiling matter! 

As per the flight attendant uniform guidebook, footwear must be conservative in style, plain black or navy blue, and have a covered toe, enclosed heel and enclosed sides (eh-um).  And there’s more.  Heels must be a minimum of one inch in height, width of heel should not exceed width of sole, heel and sole should be identical in color, heel or flats (loafer style with one inch heel) may be worn with pants, heels must be worn with dress or skirt while in public view, shoes must be polished and in good repair, and buckles, colored trims, laceups, loose straps, ties, bows or other adornments are not permitted. And these are just shoes we’re talking about! 

Obviously the podiatrist had no idea what it was like, really like, to work for an airline.  I mean we can’t just cut holes in our shoes and go to work!  Imagine a first class flight attendants’ panty-hosed toes hanging out during the service! Really there was no point telling the doctor any of this since the initial paperwork had already been signed, faxed, and approved by airline medical and I was already back on the line, practically OD’ing on Advil, while hobbling up and down the aisle ten hours a day.         

“I don’t know about this job,” said Georgette over a pay phone late one night at a bus stop in a strange Texas town she’d never head of.  Bound for Dallas on a Greyhound bus wearing navy blue six-inch heels, she’d been instructed as per company orders to get to the nearest airline medical center located at a major airport to have her blocked ears checked ASAP.  “Things are gonna get better, right?”

“Right!” I said, and I meant it too.  “You’re on a bus wearing a uniform that hasn’t been cleaned in a week and your undies are still damp after being washed out and hung to dry in the shower over night.  Seriously, how could it get any worse?”  When I heard her giggle, I knew she’d be okay – at least for a little while.  Hopefully until she made it to the next town and could call me back.  “Think of this as an adventure.  It’s going to make a great story to tell your grandkids.”     

Whenever passengers joke around and order the filet mignon medium in coach, I always laugh – Every.  Single. Time. Who am I to spoil their fun?  Well Georgette did the same thing, only she did it in fear.  She didn’t want to upset the guy wearing the NRA baseball cap who sat in the rear of the bus chewing tobacco and leering at her for what felt like days.  To make matters worse, each time the bus made a stop and a new group of passengers walked on board, upon seeing the navy blue and silver wings sitting right behind the driver (it seemed like the safest place), they’d laugh hysterically and then say something along the lines of, “if you’re not flyin we sure as hell ain’t either!” Followed by high-fives all around….

Photo courtesy of Hunter Desportes


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Flight attendant shoes: Moda Spana Nella pump

Say hello to my new flight attendant shoes!  They’re made by Moda Spana.  Most of you know I’ve been looking for the perfect inflight/terminal shoe for years now.  Well I’ve finally given up the search.  They don’t exist.  Either they’re too frumpy to wear through the airport or a little too high for working a four-leg turn at 30,000 feet.  It was back to the drawing board for me.  But as soon as I saw these babies sitting on top of a box at DSW I knew right then and there I just had to have them.  I haven’t been this excited about a “terminal” heel in years – four to be exact.  They’re classy, but sassy, and pretty comfortable, too – for walking gate to gate and doing a demo or two.  They cost $59.95 at DSW.  Pretty pricey, I know.  But wait…thanks to me and the fact that DSW and Zappos don’t carry them online (at least I couldn’t find them), you can click the link and purchase them for just $34.99!   


UPDATE:  I’ve gotten TONS of compliments on these shoes.  They’re really beautiful, but a little tight around the toes


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Flight Attendant Shoes: Life Stride – Sindy Tailored Mary Jane

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$39.95 – DSW – Life Stride: Sindy Tailored Mary Jane

UPDATE:  I wound up leaving these behind in a hotel room.  They made my legs look fat.  The husband agreed, they looked a little matronly


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