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shoe or sock covers for on plane

I am wondering what all you more experienced travelers use to cover your feet for trip to the bathroom on the plane. We have a long overnight flight in business class, will remove our shoes during the flight, and most probably will need bathroom visit. I've looked at shoe covers on Amazon but many are not ick proof and airplane bathrooms are one step above portable toilets for ick factor. I also looked at travel, foldable slippers but not convinced that's they way to go.

Any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated!

Posted by
2788 posts

Please wear your shoes or substantial slippers on the plane. Do you have any idea how dirty the plane carpet is? Spilled food, dirty Kleenex. I don’t want to think of what else. Yuck!! I know the airlines don’t wash carpet after every flight.

Posted by
4574 posts

I keep shoes on. My feet swell even with compression socks. I don't want to run the risk of not getting shoes back on
That being said, I wish I had covers for my shoes at times.
Shower caps, maybe doubled, would at least give a better chance of avoiding anything wet.

Posted by
4162 posts

I keep my ankle high KEEN boots and Sockwell compression socks on the entire trip. If I don't, my feet and ankles swell, even though my feet are cold.

I don't find doing that affects how much or how well I sleep no matter where my seat is. I should say that my flights are typically 9-10 hours, nonstop from Seattle to Amsterdam or London. I don't consider that to be a long flight, just normal from the PNW over Northern Canada and Greenland. I'm lucky if I get 3 hours of marginal sleep in. Also being able to get a bit more comfortable up front is nice, but it doesn't affect how much I sleep.

That's just my experience. Bottom line, I'd never take my boots off.

Posted by
829 posts

I use the socks they give you in Premium Economy but put on my shoes to use bathrooms. Those places are just gross. And I leave the socks to be thrown away when I exit the plane.

Posted by
3155 posts

I’ve tried the disposable slippers a few times on flights, but they are so flat, unsupportive and thin.
Now I just put my shoes back on when I have to get up.
What about a pair of the newish sneakers that slip on quickly just by stepping into them, no hands needed to get them on?
A few companies offer them.

Posted by
7343 posts

Hi Diane, if you’re putting something over your socks, make sure it’s not something slippery like plastic without a grip. Just starting your trip is not the time when you want to hurt yourself falling in the dark on a plane.

I just put my shoes back on when I was upgraded into that section a few times.

Posted by
330 posts

On my most recent business class flights they’ve given you slippers that have kind of a small tread on them. I think those would be fine. I wouldn’t bother to bring anything special.

Posted by
6583 posts

I have these Fitkicks slippers that I love for travel. They're foldable and lightweight, but sturdy, fit well on my feet, and have durable rubber soles. They're great for the airplace, and in my hotel.

Posted by
93 posts

Thank you all for your replies!

This is our first time flying business class and have hopes of being able to sleep a bit in the lay flat seat. I was thinking to take off my shoes to sleep as they are clunky trail shoes. As pointed out I can simply put my shoes back on to head to the bathroom. Would never, ever be simply stocking footed on a plane. It's the stuff nightmares are made of. LOL

Thank you Mardee for the link to the foldable slippers!

Posted by
4922 posts

With the lay flat seats in BC, you'll want to remove your shoes while in bed and under the duvet. Simplest thing, I think, is to just put your shoes back on for bathroom trips. This is only one of the reasons I always wear slip on shoes when flying.

Posted by
330 posts

I fly business class a lot luckily because I have a lot of frequent flyer miles and status and no I’m not going to keep my shoes on because some of you are grossed out.

Posted by
11223 posts

We use the socks they give you in the Business Class amenity kit and throw them out before deplaning.

Posted by
6788 posts

@ Diane - I swore off crossing oceans sitting back in the cheap seats about 10-15 years ago, since then, I've always been up front in the nice seats for long, globe-spanning flights.

I have some good news for you: it's very likely you will be provided with complimentary slippers on your flight. What airline are you flying on?

Once you get settled in your seat after boarding, you can stow your shoes - there's sometime a specific, designated bin for them (usually on Asian airlines). You will usually find a set of reasonably comfy slippers (new, unused, sealed in plastic) waiting for you with the amenity kit. If you don't see any, ask a flight attendant if they have some; occasionally some business class amenities are "available on request" but not routinely distributed to all passengers. IME almost all airlines give you slippers in BC (even most of the legacy US airlines, on long/overnight flights).

Personally, I find the slippers that United provides in international business class flights a bit narrow for my feet, but I can make them work. I use them only for the trips to the loo - that's all they're for, they come off once I'm back at my seat.

BTW, be sure to check out all the lavs that are available to you in your business class cabin: some aircraft have a small one and a large one; the larger lavs are more comfy (sometimes with a window, occasionally even with real, fresh cut flowers in a vase).

Enjoy your flight, get some solid sleep on the way over; arrive rested, happy, and ready to hit the ground running. Your business class ticket may have just bought you an additional usable day on your trip. 👍

Posted by
26 posts

If reasonable, I also travel business class and really enjoy the experience. I have received slippers over the years but they are always HUGE on my feet. I would either trip on them or slide right through them and then my socks could touch the floor - yuck! I’ve never been able to get smaller slippers so if you have smaller feet, don’t count on the provided slippers. They work for my husband, not for size 7 me.

Posted by
6788 posts

@Wanderer - You and I clearly need to get together sometime and trade slippers!

Another option to consider: Many international chain hotels routinely provide slippers in your room. When we stay in these places, my spouse always scoops up the slippers and brings home any we haven't used. She now has a large crate overflowing with them at home. She's good at remembering to grab a pair or two and stuff them in her day pack before we head for a flight (even a shorter flight that's not in business class...I'd rather not take my shoes in those bathrooms at all...).

Posted by
6583 posts

I tried those ballet slippers but they just were not comfortable on my feet. I do have a wider foot so that could have been it, but I gave them away after one flight with them.

Posted by
2332 posts

I travel in the cheap seats, so any level of comfort I can add to the trip is huge! On my last couple trips, I’ve brought these slippers. They have a solid sole and are machine washable. I slip off my shoes upon boarding and put on the slippers. At the end of the flight I put my shoes back on and wipe down the slipper soles with a Clorox wipe. They are machine washable, too. It’s nice to have a pair of slippers at the hotel. A $15 investment in slippers instead a $3-5000 increase in airfare to first class is worth it to me!
https://a.co/d/0MgwwUH

Posted by
247 posts

Every time the topic of removing shoes on the plane come up, all I can think about is the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away.

Posted by
2084 posts

I always take my shoes off during the flight, but put them back on somewhat to use the restroom. I make sure that whatever shoe I am wearing is loose enough so that I can just undo the laces a bit and stick my feet and laces in the shoe and go. I am grossed out enough by the airplanes, so whatever clothes I wear on the plane are only for the plane, they do not get reworn on the trip at all, until I fly home.

Posted by
2382 posts

Last trip I took a pair of black Birkenstock Arizona EVA sandals. I took off my shoes on the plane and used them for bathroom trips, then on my trip they doubled as slippers for the hotel, footwear for beach/boat rides, and even out for dinner one night when my feet were sore. Though they lack the foldability of the Fitkicks or ballet slippers (which I have used before), they were definitely more supportive and comfortable. And I did wipe them off with a clorox wipe after flights and before putting back in my bag.

Posted by
330 posts

I do want to point out that my experience airline bathroom is not as bad as some of y’all are making them out to be. Especially post Covid as some airlines actually make the flight crew go in there and clean them. I just flew back-and-forth to LA which is a four hour flight from where I live and I went in the bathroom on both flights, and it was fine. No, I wouldn’t put something on the floor but I had no real gross out moment.

Posted by
63 posts

I use the rubber soled water shoes that I use in the pool at home- they fold down flat in my bag and slip easily over my compression socks on the plane. They worked great on our last trip and wash off easily if needed.

Posted by
887 posts

Every time I have flown in business class (multiple airlines), the amenity kit includes both socks and lightweight slippers. Also, the toilet is usually cleaned very frequently so the floor is never as disgusting as in economy class.

If I am not flying business I have some really lightweight fake plastic Birkenstocks that I take on the plane and that also get used as my beach/pool shoes.

Posted by
6583 posts

Carol, I agree. I've not been grossed out by airplane bathrooms, and find my slippers with rubber soles work very well. I refuse to keep my shoes on. It's just too uncomfortable after a while.

Posted by
93 posts

We recently returned from our trip flying British Airways business class overnight, premium economy return. I kept my shoes on unless I was sleeping. The amenity kit for business class included knit socks, no slippers, none for the asking. I survived with the shoes on/shoes off means of moving about. LOL We loved flying business class, so much easier on aging back issues to adjust seat to flat for a few hours. Hope to fly business class on our next trip. For us it is worth every penny.

Thank you to everyone to replied to my post!

Posted by
3211 posts

I kept my trail runners on in business class. Being a loss control person I would rather be prepared for an emergency with shoes on at all times than wondering where they flew to when the plane dropped and everyone is moving to the exit, but I don’t wear uncomfortable shoes ever. BUT this is me LOL prepared for what I can control.

Posted by
662 posts

I have a pair of black Fitkicks. I also use them as my bedroom slippers at my B&B.

Posted by
14054 posts

"Being a loss control person I would rather be prepared for an emergency with shoes on at all times than wondering where they flew to when the plane dropped and everyone is moving to the exit,"

@Wray! Oh gosh...I used to travel with a friend who owned a travel agency back in the 70's/80's. She'd been invited to some kind of TA conference put on by an airline and it included safety lectures. She made everyone who traveled with her wear shoes that were not going to fall off if you had to run, preferably tie shoes and on take off and landing you had to sit with your feet flat on the floor. Really, I can't do it any other way now, lol!

Diane, good to know how your trip worked out. I agree about flying Business Class if you can, especially on the outbound portion of the flight. So nice!

Posted by
408 posts

If you know anyone who works in a food processing plant or with environmental consulting, ask them if they'd get you a couple of pairs of Tyvek boot covers. Use in place of shoes if you really need to keep your shoes off in flight. They're cheap enough to discard at the end of the flight.