Travel Tips

You Can’t Wear Heels Through TSA Pre-Check

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One of the saddest discoveries this year is that none of my heels can be worn through TSA Pre-check. I’ve had TSA pre-check for awhile through my United 1K status, but as I’ve been focusing on my US Airways status and/or flying through airports that don’t offer it, I wasn’t really able to tell if it was just certain heels or all my heels that would set the X-ray off.

It was a bummer to trip merrily through the X-ray with all my clothes and shoes on, my liquids and laptop in their bags. Only to be stopped by the alarm. And then to be told the shoes had to come off.

And now that I have Global Entry and am qualifying for TSA Pre-check on every flight, it’s become clear no heel in my collection is without some metal construction 🙁 I’m sure a few of my wedges might make it through, but since the point of pre-check is to save time and discomfort, it’s not really worth trying.

So for now, my default is to wear my Teva Zirra sandals through security and then change into my heels at my convenience (my achilles ache if I’m flat footed too long). Fortunately the sandals are thin enough to easily fit in an outer compartment on my carry-on and not take too much space.

If anyone has found attractive, comfortable heels that can make it through TSA Pre-check, I’d love to know!


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  1. Jeanne Marie Hoffman

    May 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    • Keri Anderson

      May 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      True, but the Teva Zirra looks better 🙂

      • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

        May 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm

        have you seen the leopard print model though?! Very classy.

        • Keri Anderson

          May 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm

          There’s no competing with leopard print.

  2. Rachel

    May 24, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Have you tried taking really long steps? Not quite a full lunge, but something long enough so only one shoe goes through at a time. I don’t have Global Entry (yet!), but that trick used to work for me to get into a federal government building and avoid being wanded. Not sure what the level of metal is, but I’ve set non airport security scanners off with wrapped Chipotle burritos and flats so it can’t be very high.

    • Keri Anderson

      May 25, 2013 at 6:21 am

      That’s actually a really interesting idea. I’ll give it a try next time!

  3. Jeff

    May 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    FREEDOM TO TRAVEL USA ( is fighting the TSA’s stupidity. And the illegal scanners and criminal pat downs. We recently had oral arguments in Federal Appeals Court, detailed on the website.

    There are some brave countries in the world that aren’t scared like the US, and they keep shoes on and allow liquids. As a privlieged “Sneetch”, to show analogy to the Dr. Suess book on how some people are treated special, I would encourage you to do what you can to male the GeTSApo’s life miserable. As a business traveler myself, I don’t fault your PreCheck status – just consider helping to restore sanity.

  4. Pingback: The truth about wearing high heels at the airport

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