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Flying in heels


For flying cross country, should I wear heels?  

43 members have voted

  1. 1. For flying cross country, should I wear heels?

    • Be confident and wear only heels the whole trip
      10
    • Wear heels but be prepared to take them off for security
      19
    • Wear sneakers and take heels in your bag
      9
    • Leave the heels at home to avoid security issues
      2
    • Buy a pair there and ship them home
      0
    • Take the train and wear what you want
      4


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So I've got to fly cross country (USA) soon, and was considering wearing heels for the trip. However, recent TSA advisories seem to be trying to get people not to have anything metallic on their person, and heels seem to be mentioned a lot. So I ask the forum, do yo think it would be likely that I get unwarranted attention from the TSA people if I went through security wearing heels, or had heels in my carry-on bag?

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You generally still have to take your shoes off to go through airport security, so heels would really be out in the open. Also, if there is an emergency on the airplane and you have to go down an escape slide, heels have to be removed. Then you would wind up barefoot on the ground in whatever terrain and weather that would involve. Wear the sneakers! I have often put a pair of heels in either a checked bag or a carry on. I don't worry about it.

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I flew SJC - DFW last October and wore a pair of 2 1/2 inch slides. No problem, just took the sandals off at the check point and when they came out of the x-ray machine put 'em back on and went to the gate. Simple, no comments, no problem..... sf

"Why should girls have all the fun!!"

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I had to x-ray my boots last flight from JFK but no one looked very surprised. But it wasn't stilettos though. What I found interesting/scaring is that when I got to the hotelroom on my next stop on the trip I realized I had a pair of 6-7" scissors in my carry on bag that had went through the x-ray machine un-noticed. And my travelpartner had 3 x 200cc juice boxes in his x-rayed luggage. What does that tell you about security? Hmmm..... Happy flying PS Get a pilote license and fly yourself and you will not have all the security troubles. *smile*

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I had to x-ray my boots last flight from JFK but no one looked very surprised. But it wasn't stilettos though.

What I found interesting/scaring is that when I got to the hotelroom on my next stop on the trip I realized I had a pair of 6-7" scissors in my carry on bag that had went through the x-ray machine un-noticed. And my travelpartner had 3 x 200cc juice boxes in his x-rayed luggage. What does that tell you about security? Hmmm.....

Happy flying

PS

Get a pilote license and fly yourself and you will not have all the security troubles. *smile*

Our alert:detective:, highly-trained airport security personel :fine: are there to insure air safety. So please don't get overly excited if some restricted small item should happen to slip through - like maybe a chain-saw that isn't running! :wink::D Enjoy your safe and friendly skies and happy landings.

Keep on stepping,

Guy N. Heels

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Flying tomorrow to Copenhagen - I'll put the heels on after clearing ATL security. Last Time coming back from CPH I did the same - but there was an additional security after passing into the international area. I took the heels off any they scanned - no one seemed to care. I guess high heels guys pass though Denmark all the time, right?

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I've flown several times in heels, including between Germany and the US, as well as around the states, mainly on business trips. The TSA could interpret a male wearing stilettos as a deadly weapon. I generally don't recommend anyone wearing stilettos on board an airplane, as there's a puncture risk to the escape slides, which double as life rafts on overwater flights (not too bright...). Besides, the floors of the aircraft interior are significantly weaker than the floor of your house, and if stilettos can damage your flooring, just think of what they can do aboard an airplane. Given these factors, I'm surprised the FAA hasn't banned stilettos outright. I've worn several different pair, from my medium 2-1/2" heeled clogs to my 4" Franco Sarto Nolans to my 4-1/2" taper-heeled boots, all beneath a long pair of jeans. If I'm not wearing heels, I usually carry a pair in my bag, for before departure and after arrival. TSA notice? Zero, including the heels in my bag as it's being scanned, and I do watch the face of the person who does the scan. That's not to say it couldn't happen, but it isn't likely. Other people notice? Only the one or two immediately behind me and ahead of me at the security checkpoint. The bottom line is that if it's tasteful and conservative, you'll probably never encounter a problem, particularly if you avoid heel shapes which could be construed by the TSA as a weapon. If you go with hot pink fetish stilettos, however, expect to get noticed!

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I have to travel from time to time and with all the different security issues I have gave up on wearing anything that has any metal. I just pack everything and go through security as "naked" as I can. Then when I get to my hotel I can relax and slip on a pair of heels to go out to dinner in.

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For me, I would not wear heels on a cross counrty flight. The length of time sitting can increase the chance of getting a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). It is my opinion from my studies that heels can increase this chance, especially as you go higher. If you want to wear heels on the plane, kick them off while you are sitting, that way you are not causing greater stress on the veins in your knees.

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This is just me, but I see wearing heels on a flight as more bother than pleasure. I'd rather put them in my luggage and wear them after arriving to wherever it is I'm going.

I don't want to LOOK like a woman, I just want to DRESS like a woman!

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For me, I would not wear heels on a cross counrty flight. The length of time sitting can increase the chance of getting a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).

??? DVT occurs in the legs, not the feet. It's combatted by getting up and walking around at least once every three hours during flight, and medically, by taking one baby aspirin the night before the flight and another the morning of the flight.

If anything, heels are an excuse to reduce one's sitting time, as walking in heels is fun!

This is just me, but I see wearing heels on a flight as more bother than pleasure. I'd rather put them in my luggage and wear them after arriving to wherever it is I'm going.

I respectfully disagree, JeffB, for several reasons.

First, one does a fair amount of walking in public while flying.

Second, that walking is done on fairly smooth flooring or carpeting.

Third, it's done in public.

Fourth, it's a public which has no interest in you. In fact, although I've got more frequent flyer miles than probably anyone here on this board, I've only run into two people which I've ever known while flying. Thus, it's about as anonymous as you can get, which is a great way those who wish to wear heels in public to do so anonymously.

Fifth, given the current state of things, it's also the least likely place one might run into trouble from other people, as airports are well-lit, conservative places full of bright, well-educated passengers and the various areas are heavily patrolled.

Sixth, it's a way to stand up for the cause: "I'm a guy who wears heels. So what?"

Seventh, most airports sport a few shopping areas and restuarants which can be fun before, between, and after flights. Those are a great opportunity to enjoy wearing heels in public with a near-0% chance of harrassment.

In summary, during the last 18 months during which I've travelled more than 110,000 air miles through 14 airports, I've discovered that conservative, tasteful heeling while travelling via the airlines is safe, effective, and fun.

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I respectfully disagree, JeffB, for several reasons.

First, one does a fair amount of walking in public while flying.

Second, that walking is done on fairly smooth flooring or carpeting.

Third, it's done in public.

Fourth, it's a public which has no interest in you. In fact, although I've got more frequent flyer miles than probably anyone here on this board, I've only run into two people which I've ever known while flying. Thus, it's about as anonymous as you can get, which is a great way those who wish to wear heels in public to do so anonymously.

Fifth, given the current state of things, it's also the least likely place one might run into trouble from other people, as airports are well-lit, conservative places full of bright, well-educated passengers and the various areas are heavily patrolled.

Sixth, it's a way to stand up for the cause: "I'm a guy who wears heels. So what?"

Seventh, most airports sport a few shopping areas and restuarants which can be fun before, between, and after flights. Those are a great opportunity to enjoy wearing heels in public with a near-0% chance of harrassment.

In summary, during the last 18 months during which I've travelled more than 110,000 air miles through 14 airports, I've discovered that conservative, tasteful heeling while travelling via the airlines is safe, effective, and fun.

Very logical arguments there, dr1819. I guess my frame of reference on this topic isn't all that it's cracked up to be since I rarely do any flying. The upcoming London trip will only make the second time I've been in the air since 1991. Oddly enough, the previous time was after 9/11 when I flew to Tokyo in 2003. It's not that I'm afraid, I just don't have the opportunity, or the time to fly like I once did. I appreciate you bringing up those points, they certainly make good food for thought.

I don't want to LOOK like a woman, I just want to DRESS like a woman!

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I have a couple friends on this forum who have flown over 150,000 miles in the last 12 months, but that is beside the point. I wear heels when flying...the only part I don't like is standing on a filthy dirty floor and then putting my feet back into my clean shoes. I supppose I could bring an extra pair of hose or thin socks and remove them...

Feminine Style .  Masculine Soul.  Skin In The Game.

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DVT's are in the legs.. never heard it in the feet... but that is a side note. kicking off your heels.. as great as it sounds.. for most.. the feet will swell.. and then.. 'stuffing' them back can be pretty harsh on your feet.. if not.. potentially damaging. i was advised as a child.. when on long trips.. tighten up your laces in your sneakers (the dreaded word on this forum) so to minimize swelling.. the one time i didn't head advice.. i paid for it. got to our destination.. nothing fit my feet. had to walk bare feet two days before feeling comfy in any kind of shoes. no.. i don't wear heels.. but my lady says long trips.. if she takes her shoes off... she elevates them or else the swelling prevents her from being comfy when they come back on. most female flyers i see in heels.. either keep them on and walk about the cabin (great for me to see and enjoy) or elevate their feet on the seat next to them if it's available (another great sight I enjoy when I walk the cabin). but with fuller flights lately, most folks are opting not to fly in heels. (just an observation.. no stats on it) but i dont' wear heels.. so i can't make more personal points on the matter. RPM

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Feet swelling is the biggest problem, Once on a trans Atlantic I had decided that a nine hour flight would be a great way to get better trained in 7 inch pumps I have. - They are still passed my limit - So I get on the flight - Detroit to Copenhagen - no problems. I had a back-up pair of 5 inch heels in a duffle - and I was wearing long jeans to conceal. So after dinner I decided to take a stroll in the isle - well my calf cramps up real tight just as I get back in my seat. So of go the shoes... well I couldn't get my other pair on for a while at the destination - and when I did - I worked up a heel blister. :wink: No longer will I take anything I can't wear and walk in comfortably. Otherwise the Dr is right on - airports and airplanes are great annonomous heeling places.

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I have a couple friends on this forum who have flown over 150,000 miles in the last 12 months, but that is beside the point.

I wear heels when flying...the only part I don't like is standing on a filthy dirty floor and then putting my feet back into my clean shoes. I supppose I could bring an extra pair of hose or thin socks and remove them...

Your concerns are well noted and appreciated, Kneehighs. Still, I had to laugh because I was reminded of an experience some 30 years back. A couple of guys in my class were stopped somewhere in a small Texas town and arrested by the police. Our instructor reported that when he went to get 'em out of jail that he found one of the men standing like a statue over in one place. He said that the floor was so dirty that this guy found the cleanest spot in the whole jail and just stood there in that one place until someone could get him out.:wink::D

A dirty floor can surely be a concern. By all means, carry an extra pair of socks you don't mind throwing away afterwards. It'll at least ease your mind.

Keep on stepping,

Guy N. Heels

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Funny story. My paternal grandfather was a metallurgist - worked on propeller strength during WW2, then went on working with aircraft. He was involved with the Comet, the world's first commercial (EDIT: jet) airliner. As with any other part of an aeroplane, flooring needs to be as light as possible - so the loading is considered. The Comet initially had a floor loading of 1 (English) ton per square inch. Worked fine until stiletto heels came in in the '60s, at which point you had women walking into the aircraft and punching a neat row of holes through the cabin floor into the (unpressurised) cargo hold! So they had to take the floor loading up to 3 tons per square inch, with the corresponding increase in weight... I wonder what the carbon footprint is of all the extra metal that's been flown round the world in the interests of stopping high-heel wearers punching holes?

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He was involved with the Comet, the world's first commercial airliner. As with any other part of an aeroplane, flooring needs to be as light as possible - so the loading is considered. The Comet initially had a floor loading of 1 (English) ton per square inch. Worked fine until stiletto heels came in in the '60s, at which point you had women walking into the aircraft and punching a neat row of holes through the cabin floor into the (unpressurised) cargo hold! So they had to take the floor loading up to 3 tons per square inch, with the corresponding increase in weight...

Sorry to be a little out of topic here but the Comet is one of the most beautiful passenger jets ever being built. Just look at the engines integrated in the wing roots.

Unfortunately it was wrongly designed and litterelly (how does one spell that word???) fell out of the skies when the side panels couldn't take the pounding of pressurisation anymore and the plane fell into thousends of pieces when flying high.

They made the windows too big and the structure around it broke. A sad story to a wonderful airplane and I hope your grandfather wasn't responsable for that part of the plane.

(A link for air heads: http://www.tech.plym.ac.uk/sme/Interactive_Resources/tutorials/FailureCases/sf2.html )

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Funny story. My paternal grandfather was a metallurgist - worked on propeller strength during WW2, then went on working with aircraft. He was involved with the Comet, the world's first commercial airliner. As with any other part of an aeroplane, flooring needs to be as light as possible - so the loading is considered. The Comet initially had a floor loading of 1 (English) ton per square inch. Worked fine until stiletto heels came in in the '60s, at which point you had women walking into the aircraft and punching a neat row of holes through the cabin floor into the (unpressurised) cargo hold! So they had to take the floor loading up to 3 tons per square inch, with the corresponding increase in weight...

I wonder what the carbon footprint is of all the extra metal that's been flown round the world in the interests of stopping high-heel wearers punching holes?

The deHaviland Comet, eh? I thought that was merely the world's first jet powered commercial aircraft. :wink: Nevertheless, I'm still having trouble getting my mind around a 110 lb. woman poking holes in an aircraft floor rated at 1 ton per square inch. :D After all, they really didn't come out with those super skinny "ice-pick" heels until the '80s.

Keep on stepping,

Guy N. Heels

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I thought that was merely the world's first jet powered commercial aircraft. Nevertheless, I'm still having trouble getting my mind around a 110 lb. woman poking holes in an aircraft floor rated at 1 ton per square inch.

You're right, I mentally typed the word 'jet' but it didn't come out of my fingers! I apologise.

Not all flyers are 110lbs - and some of the weightier ones wear (and wore) heels. Think about someone (say) 180lbs walking, so all the weight's on one foot. Now think of them putting that foot down at a slight angle. It's apparently surprisingly easy to get a metal floor to tear at that point.

I've now left HHPlace. Feel free to use the means listed in my profile if you wish to contact me.

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Simple calculation. Take a very slim heel, 0.25" square. Area is 0.0625 sq inches. Multiply by 2240 (pounds in a long ton) and you get 140. Anyone weighing over that could easily pierce the floor just by putting all their weight on one heel. That's just the static load. The dynamic load while walking could be even higher.

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I say wear the heels, but do understand that everyone takes their shoes off now at security. As long as the style is fairly conservative, you'll be good to go.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

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You're right, I mentally typed the word 'jet' but it didn't come out of my fingers! I apologise.

Not all flyers are 110lbs - and some of the weightier ones wear (and wore) heels. Think about someone (say) 180lbs walking, so all the weight's on one foot. Now think of them putting that foot down at a slight angle. It's apparently surprisingly easy to get a metal floor to tear at that point.

Well, having built some of the biggest, heavy-duty aircraft in the world (C-130's, C-141's, C-5A) I was having a bit of trouble getting my mind around the kind of problem presented. After all, there is a considerable difference between loading-up a combat equipted battallion, complete with M1A1's, and a bunch of people wearing high heeled shoes.

Also, I was looking at the fact that the really skinny stilettoes (in the 1/4 inch range) generally weren't available until after the Comet was taken out of service (I think in the 1980's). Up until then most of the heels were usually in the .5" range. Still, that would put far more of a load on the flooring than I ever really expected, and it also goes to illustrate why a dagger is so deadly. In the simplist of terms, the amount of force required for penetration is greatly reduced. Therefore, I believe that for this reason alone several air carriers actually banned high heels on their flights for a while as a matter of policy. I just never did the math to see why. :academic: It's been a good topic.

Keep on stepping,

Guy N. Heels

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Looks like I won't get to wear heels around the airport after all. My sole reason for travelling has been cancelled, so I'll be staying home wearing heels instead. :wink: Lots of good feedback here though. I haven't been through airport security for a while, and knew about removing shoes. Didn't realise about the reduced amount of toiletries though - 2.9oz bottles of shampoo seem really tiny! Thinking about the aircraft, I don't think I'll be wearing my heels on board. I weigh in the region of 240lbs, and a 1/4" square stiletto (the heels on my boots) would put an extreme load on the metal floor of the plane. Although walking around the terminal would be a good feeling - all those stone floors, almost total anonymity and lots of security personnel around to deter aggressive behaviour. Oh well, maybe I'll get to travel again sometime soon.

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Also, I was looking at the fact that the really skinny stilettoes (in the 1/4 inch range) generally weren't available until after the Comet was taken out of service (I think in the 1980's). Up until then most of the heels were usually in the .5" range.

From memory, Guy, there was much more consistency in the shape of stilettos from around 1958-59 when what I would call the classic thin, curvy stiletto became almost universal, regardless of height. Their tips would certainly fit into a square of less than 0.5" and I suggest that 0.3 - 0.4 was the norm, with 0.25" also seen. The revived stilettos of the mid-70s onwards have been much less consistent in shape and slimness and (apart from some very slender, usually steel, heels) by no means always as thin as 0.25" or so, more's the pity.

My suggestion therefore is that the peril posed to aircraft by heels was at its maximum in the late 50s when stilettos were (a) a totally new threat to the floor, not yet always allowed for by the designers; (:wink: a very common everyday fashion - and compulsory for many stewardesses! © of a consistent and slender profile allowing excellent penetration under pressure.

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From memory, Guy, there was much more consistency in the shape of stilettos from around 1958-59 when what I would call the classic thin, curvy stiletto became almost universal, regardless of height. Their tips would certainly fit into a square of less than 0.5" and I suggest that 0.3 - 0.4 was the norm, with 0.25" also seen. The revived stilettos of the mid-70s onwards have been much less consistent in shape and slimness and (apart from some very slender, usually steel, heels) by no means always as thin as 0.25" or so, more's the pity.

My suggestion therefore is that the peril posed to aircraft by heels was at its maximum in the late 50s when stilettos were (a) a totally new threat to the floor, not yet always allowed for by the designers; (:wink: a very common everyday fashion - and compulsory for many stewardesses! © of a consistent and slender profile allowing excellent penetration under pressure.

You may be right about the actual dimensions of the heels. A huge part of what I was basing my statement upon were the heels displayed in Hollywood films. Even sexy stars like Marylin Monroe often wore heels that were much thicker than most people might suppose. I know that most of my mother's shoes from that period had heels in the .5" range, and even Shelly Winters and Elizabeth Taylor often wore heels that were much thicker than you might suppose.

But you are correct in stating that the female aircrew were often required to wear heels. I can only suppose that was before they had their floors damaged.

Keep on stepping,

Guy N. Heels

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You may be right about the actual dimensions of the heels. A huge part of what I was basing my statement upon were the heels displayed in Hollywood films.

But you are correct in stating that the female aircrew were often required to wear heels. I can only suppose that was before they had their floors damaged.

Don't forget that Marylyn
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You may be right about the actual dimensions of the heels. A huge part of what I was basing my statement upon were the heels displayed in Hollywood films. ...

But you are correct in stating that the female aircrew were often required to wear heels. I can only suppose that was before they had their floors damaged.

Don't forget that Marylin and her contemporaries made many memorable films before about 1958 when I agree that stilettos were generally thicker. In the UK at least, the thinner heel was the norm in the shops after that, and stayed the fashion until stilettos went off the menu around 1965.

As to aircrew, there may have been an initial stiletto ban before the problem was engineered-out, as this thread has indicated. They remained the norm for some years until changing fashion (and perhaps comfort/safety) made stilettos less popular for aircrew dress.

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Don't forget that Marylin and her contemporaries made many memorable films before about 1958 when I agree that stilettos were generally thicker. In the UK at least, the thinner heel was the norm in the shops after that, and stayed the fashion until stilettos went off the menu around 1965.

As to aircrew, there may have been an initial stiletto ban before the problem was engineered-out, as this thread has indicated. They remained the norm for some years until changing fashion (and perhaps comfort/safety) made stilettos less popular for aircrew dress.

Actually, your points are well taken. Just because a film was released after 1958 doesn't mean that it was actually shot in that time-frame. It may, in fact, have been shot prior to the fashion change when the heels were thicker. Also, upon further reflection, the aircrews may have, as a matter of convenience or practicality, been wearing shoes with much lower heels but still having those damaging stiletto tips that could penetrate the floors. If pressurization was the issue, then it wouldn't have to be much of a puncture to really cause some problems. Such damage could easily be inflicted from a shoe with, say, a 3" stiletto heel with a very small profile for the tip. Your commentary has been most helpful.:wink:

Keep on stepping,

Guy N. Heels

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