Footwear

Heels That Can Go Through TSA PreCheck

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One of the biggest disappointments my first few times through TSA precheck was discovering my heels still had to come off. And that’s because most lovely, slender heels are reinforced with metal, which, you guessed it, set off the metal detector.

Also see: TSA Precheck: Is it Worth It & How to Get It

I wrote about this a few years ago and was recently contacted by Bob Sullivan who was doing a piece on this problem, sparked by reader comments and this retired TSA advertisement still used by Identogo.com.

Identogo.com via BobSullivan.net

Identogo.com via BobSullivan.net

I wish you could wear heels like that through security!

In talking to him and attempting to recommend TSA precheck-worthy heels, I realized very little has changed in the last 4 years. I have only identified a couple of metal-free heels and most of the time it’s a matter of real-time testing in the security lane as product details rarely mention whether metal is used. And googling TSA compliant heels doesn’t yield useful results.

Why don’t I give in and wear flats? Besides pride and obstinance, it’s a matter of space. I usually try to wear my most bulky (abet comfortable) shoes on a trip to free up space in my carry on. And if it’s just a day trip for work, I need to look professional and travel light, my laptop case doesn’t have room for a second pair of shoes.

Some of the time I do give in, donning flip flops or Teva Zirra sandals (which can also be used on the treadmill at the hotel gym) for security and resuming my heels once I’m through.  But even those thin shoes take up space I don’t always have.

So back to the original problem — what heels can you wear through airport security?

My list is pathetically small, and one of my go-to options was recently discontinued. I welcome readers’ recommendations on any pairs they’ve had success with!

I’ll try to update as others share their picks.

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

3 Comments

  1. Lee @ BaldThoughts

    January 23, 2017 at 1:07 am

    Good info to have. I’m not sure I want to give my wife another reason to buy more shoes though! haha

  2. kendall

    January 23, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I can’t think of a worse footwear choice than heels while traveling by air. Walking miles to the terminal while schlepping a carryon bag, if not more – impeding escape from an aircraft in an emergency. If you must, bring the heels in your carryon, if need that polished look upon pickup at arrivals..

  3. RSB

    January 23, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Is there a heel hight in your experience that gets though? 3″+ def doesn’t, but I’m willing to go get some <2" kitten heels if someone vouches for them. While I would love to be able to switch to my Puma ballet flats after a long Boston day trip, sometime there's just no room in my brief bag. And if the plane is on fire…well, I don't need shoes to run, and socks fit in coat pockets.

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