Can You Wear Steel Toe Boots On A Plane?

Steel-toe boots protect your feet from various work injuries while providing decent comfort. But, when duty calls, you need to be prepared no matter the distance you are traveling. So it begs the question, “can you wear steel toe boots on a plane?” Or do you need to carry the extra weight in your luggage?

However, wearing these boots on a plane depends on your convenience and a few other factors.In this article, I will talk about these factors, along with some tips you can follow to travel with steel toe boots. Also, you’ll get to know why many consider these boots hazardous in the first place. Let’s get on board!

Will Steel Toe Boots Set Off A Metal Detector?

Yes, steel toe boots will definitely set off the metal detector in an airport. Steel toe boots are just as the name suggests- a pair of boots with a steel toe cap that protects your toes. So, when the metal detector creates a magnetic field, the heavy-duty steel responds to the machine, and the alarm sets off. Does this mean you can not wear steel toe shoes during check-in?

Most of the time, you can. But to avoid triggering the alarm, you have to take off your shoes and check them in separately.

Can You Wear Steel Toe Boots On A Plane

Yes, you can. TSA not only allows you to wear these shoes on a plane, but you can also carry the boots in carry-on bags or checked bags if you want. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can wear steel toe boots throughout airport check-in. TSA also approves carrying steel-toed boots in carry-ons and checked bags.

Can You Wear Steel Toe Boots On A Plane

Then again, TSA also stated that the TSA officer would decide whether an item is allowed through the airport checkpoint. This statement, however, only applies if you are wearing the boots at the time of check-in. If you carry a pair of steel toe boots in your luggage, you have nothing to worry about. But the question is, which method should you follow?

As I mentioned earlier, there are few factors that you should consider first. So, let’s find out the benefits and the drawbacks of wearing steel toe boots on a plane.

Good Side

Safety toe boots, like these fantastic flat feet boots, are necessary footwear for heavy workers. But they can take up a lot of luggage space. Besides, if you decide to put your boots in the luggage, it will occupy extra weight. You can save a lot of luggage space and weight if the boots are on your feet.

Furthermore, keeping the boots on your feet can save you some time if you do not face much trouble with the check-in. You will be ready-to-go moments after landing, instead of having to pack and again unpack the boots.

Bad Side

Wearing a steel toe boot while checking in comes with a few difficulties of its own. Firstly, you have to take off your shoes before going through the metal detector. This includes loosening and later tieing up the shoelaces. Airport security checks remain crowded most of the time. So, by the time the TSA authority checks your boots for possible weapons, you may have to deal with a few frustrated peoples waiting in the long queue.

Moreover, if the airport has multiple scanners, those safety work boots on your feet will cost more time and effort.

Again, though TSA doesn’t stop you from wearing steel-capped boots on a plane, the final decision is up to the on-duty officer. If they find something unusual or decides not to allow the shoes, you may have to take them off.

And lastly, safety toe boots can get quite uncomfortable if kept for prolonged hours. However, you can easily avoid this situation by using boots with breathability features.

As you can tell, the decision is up to you. You can definitely wear steel toe boots on a plane, but this may cost you a few inconveniences in return.

Why Are Steel Toe Boots Considered Hazardous?

Steel toe boots are considered hazardous because there have been reports of violence using this type of boot. The steel cap is so strong that loggers specifically wear these to stay safe from running chainsaws. So you can probably guess the damage it can do if used as a weapon.

Why Are Steel Toe Boots Considered Hazardous

In 2010, a Florida middle school student was beaten by steel-toe boots and remained in a medically-induced coma. Josie Lou Ratley, the victim, was in the hospital for weeks before showing signs of recovery.

More recently, back in September 2020, a pregnant woman was assaulted by steel toe boots by her boyfriend. Unfortunately, she didn’t survive the night.

As you can see, there are legit reasons why authorities follow some rules when it comes to wearing heavy work boots in public places.

Tips To Fly With Steel Toe Boots

With almost all the necessary information covered, here are a few tips you can follow to fly with steel-toe footwear.

Tips To Fly With Steel Toe Boots

Carry on & checked bags

Packing your steel cap boots in a carry-on or checked bag is a time-efficient way of flying. Indeed you’ll have to unpack later, but this method will save you from any hassle during check-in.

Security screening list

Almost every country has a security screening list for approved items you can carry onboard. If you are traveling to a different country, you should check that country’s list for prohibited items.


The primary function of steel-toed boots is to keep your feet safe from impact. Nowadays, other safety boots with alloy or composite toe boots serve the same purpose efficiently. Since these are not metal, no troubles for you at airport checkpoints.


Safety shoes are becoming more and more popular these days due to their protective and health benefits. If you plan to travel by plane with steel-toe boots on your feet, it may or may not create an issue. I have mentioned all the necessary information so that you can easily make up your mind.

TSA doesn’t necessarily share the specific details of what defines TSA-approved shoes. But you can wear any footwear on the plane that doesn’t pose harm to others and yourself.

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