It’s no secret that pilots are considered to be one of the most well dressed and trusted professionals. The best pilot shoes are like the best pilots, reliable and sharp looking.
Flying a plane doesn’t require being on your feet, but a good shoe is a must for such a fast-paced life. You need well-fitted and comfortable shoes, especially ones with good soles and padding. A pilot shoe should move effortlessly and not hurt your feet. You don’t want to think about how uncomfortable your feet are while flying a plane, do you?
Here we have reviewed our top favorite pilot shoes for your convenience. You will find one particular pair that’s best, in our opinion. ECCO is one of the most popular brands in the pilot community, but there are other brands offering good products as well.
Do you want to look at other brands offering the best shoes for pilots? Read on to check them out
Best Shoes for Pilots in 2021
|Rockport Men's Leader 2 Bike Slip-on||Check Price||Leather||Rubber|
|ECCO Men's Helsinki Plain Toe Dress Oxford||Check Price||100% Leather||Polyurethane|
|Dr. Martens - 1461 3-Eye Leather Oxford Shoes||Check Price||Leather||Rubber|
|Hush Puppies Men's Strategy Oxford||Check Price||100% Leather||Synthetic|
|Merrell Men's Sight||Check Price||100% Leather and textile||Synthetic|
1. Rockport Men’s Leader 2 Bike Slip on
A trusted brand name among pilots, this leather shoe is known for its professional look and casual comfort. It is considered one of the best aviation shoes.
If you prefer shoes that feel like they’re custom made for your feet, consider buying this. It has an ultra-soft memory foam insole, and it’s available in classic lace-up and a casual slip-on style.
The shoe is also lightweight, meaning that it’s perfect for long periods of wear. But don’t worry about terrible feet sweating because its moisture-absorbing materials and anti-microbial linings will help to keep them cool.
- Super comfortable memory foam
- Good for long hours wear as absorbing materials keep the feet cool
- Professional look with easy-going comfort
- No metal parts so security check is not a hassle
- The rubber soles lessen its durability so they last for 6 months to a year.
- The fit might not match, so buy accordingly. Try to order a size smaller.
- The color might not be glossy as the photos.
A shoe made for comfort and long working hours; it is one of the best shoes for pilots. But rubber soles aren’t the most durable products. So, if you want long-lasting shoes, check out the next ones.
2. ECCO Men’s Helsinki Plain Toe Dress Oxford
A brand that is considered one of the best manufacturers of shoes, this one certainly makes excellent pilot shoes. This particular pair is made of complete leather and sharply designed; this shoe gives a touch of sophistication with uniforms.
They are comfortable and also absorb moisture and have anti-fungal linings to keep feet healthy. You can also take off the leather insole if you prefer.
They’re lightweight as well because of Polyurethane (PU) soles, and they last longer than rubber ones. The shoe also has extra shock absorption. They are durable and have a square toe range space.
- Comfortable for long wear
- Thin leather makes it lightweight
- Extremely durable due to Polyurethane (PU) soles
- Doesn’t contain metal so any hassle during a security check
- Good shock absorption soles
- Might take some time to get used to it at first
- Can be expensive than the others in this list
This shoe offers both comfort and long-time use. Perfect for pilots who buy shoes every few years. If you prefer more stylish shoes, the next one might be for you.
3. Dr Martens – 1461 3-Eye Leather Oxford Shoes
The most fashionable shoe on the list with its black leather and yellow stitching, this shoe is for those who want to follow their style while wearing the uniform.
The soles are refined but rugged, which adds to the edgy look. They are also slip-resistant. The classic Doc Martens air-cushioned sole is oil and fat-resistant, one of the best in the business.
These shoes have an 8-Eye lace closure, ensuring that you stay on your feet. The high-quality leather will maintain its exterior look for a long time.
- Beautiful and adds to your style
- Rugged soles make them slip-resistant
- Oil and fat resistant due to iconic Doc Martens design
- The 8-Eye lace closure makes it a secure fit
- High-quality Doc Martens sole
- It doesn’t have heel padding, so it requires thick socks.
- It might be uncomfortable and has a breaking in period. Extra padding is suggested to avoid sore feet.
If you’re a pilot with an excellent eye for style, then definitely consider this beautiful shoe. Although the shoe might be a bit uncomfortable at first, the soles are absolutely fantastic after the break-in period.
4. Hush Puppies Men’s Strategy Oxford
Comfort and Function have always been Hush Puppies’ priorities. Made of leather, this shoe might not be much of a looker, but it is a winner if you want the best shoes for flying.
The synthetic sole and the removable leather foot-bed have extra cushioning for comfort around the heel area. It also contains cushioning around the ankle, which adds to comfort.
Even though it is 100% waterproof, the leather of the shoe isn’t too heavy. They are easy to walk in, and climate control lining adds to the experience.
Strike BackTM gel heel pad around the heel area has good shock absorption. This makes them very comfortable to wear for a long time. They are also long-lasting.
- Extra cushioning adds to comfort especially around the heel area
- Thin leather makes it lightweight
- Completely waterproof
- Strike Back TM gel heel pad provides good shock absorption
- Has option for large width
- Not very fashionable but can be worn formally and casually
- Quality may differ based on the production country.
If you’re looking for a shoe that offers functionality over attractiveness, this is the ideal fit for you. It is simply one of the best shoes for pilots; if your style is more casual, check out the sporty Merrell given below.
5. Merrell Men’s Sight
This is a shoe for pilots who prefer casual looks rather than a fully professional one. These shoes look great with suits and everyday wear.
But don’t be fooled by its sporty look. This is a shoe that was made to last long and offer comfort. It has soft cushioning and enough traction like a hiking boot. Its TC5+ or Vibram Pelorus rubber outsole is magnificent.
The full-grain leather exterior provides breathing room for your feet. It has EVA and synthetic midsoles; so, the shoes have great stability.
They also have mesh lining with antimicrobial treatment to stop your feet from sweating, ideal for long working hours.
- The rubber soles are long-lasting
- The leather exterior is top-notch, lightweight, and durable
- Vibram Pelorus/ TC5+ rubber outsole provides excellent traction
- Ortholite anatomical footbed has a soft interior.
- Perfect for long periods
- The fit might be smaller so it is suggested to order a size up
- Narrow toe space might be uncomfortable.
If you’re someone who wants a shoe with great durability and sporty look, this is the one for you. It offers to get traction, but its casual look might be off-putting for some.
Things to Consider While Buying Shoes for Pilots
Aviation shoes require extra attention as they need comfortable shoes, have a good fit, and are secure. Sometimes you are traveling with only one pair, so it is important to have that perfect pair that fits all of your needs. To make a well–informed decision, look for the following features in your shoe.
Being a pilot doesn’t require a lot of walking, but it does require comfortable shoes for hitting the pedals to ensure steering and breaking. So, if you wear shoes that make your feet ache, it might make you anxious about your performance.
Sweating and feet odor are also concerns for aviation professionals. So, you need a shoe of good thermal quality. Remember to look for shoes that give your feet enough space to breathe and decrease sweating.
Fit: A proper fit is a must for airline pilot shoes. You have to walk around airports a lot and have to fly the plane. Having a shoe that feels like its custom-made for you is a handy companion.
You need to check the foam insoles. They provide good cushioning. The shoes for pilots are supposed to fit perfectly around the mid-foot and heel.
Support: Pilots need shoes that can support them all day long. With their grueling schedule, it’s necessary to buy shoes that have a good support system.
Stable shoes have good soles and shock absorption features. If your shoe doesn’t have proper shock absorption quality, it might hurt your feet in the long run. Also, remember to buy shoes that have good feet bed. They will offer your feet a soft resting place.
Traction: Being a pilot requires a lot of walking in airports and going through security checks. Your life is fast-paced, so get shoes with good traction that helps you keep up with the flow.
Be sure to check the sole quality. No matter the material, the sole needs to have good traction. Shoes with waterproof materials and slip-resistant soles are your friend. Avoid slippery soles like suede.
Stability: Shoes with good midsoles offer you the best stability. As a pilot, you need shoes that help you keep your posture throughout the day.
Look for shoes with flexible midsoles. Good midsoles make your feet feel lighter and protect them from the hard force. Midsoles also help you to keep your feet healthy, so if you require support in certain areas, make sure to look up different types.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How vital are comfortable shoes for pilots?
Comfortable shoes are a must for pilots. Long travel hours require comfortable shoes, like leather ones. Soft cushioning and lightweight soles provide comfort.
Also, look for shoes with good breathing quality. You don’t want your feet to sweat and smell during long flights.
2. How to know a shoe has good support?
Shock absorption is a necessary criterion to check when buying pilot shoes. If your shoes don’t have proper shock-absorbing soles, it will hurt your feet in the future.
Shoes with heel and ankle padding are good for you; along with that, a soft foot-bed ensures good support.
3. Do pilot shoes have to be durable?
Yes. A lot of people prefer to buy shoes once a year or once in a few years. If you’re one of them, you need to look at the material and make sure it’s a perfect fit.
Durable shoes will last you longer. As time goes on, you will feel more comfortable wearing them. Rotating your favorite pairs is also a good tactic.
4. Do pilot shoes need to look professional?
Yes. This is a massive factor for many pilots. You want shoes compatible with the uniform and your style. Some airlines also have certain dress codes, so remember to dress according to them.
5. Do pilot shoes need to be airport and flying friendly?
Your shoes need to be airport-friendly i.e., have no metal parts and have excellent stability. Shoes with good midsoles are best for pilots.
Don’t buy shoes with slippery soles. Shoes with good traction will help you walk better. A lot of pilots tend to prefer thin-soled shoes for pedal working.
In the end, many factors need to be considered before deciding on a pair and picking it to be the best shoes for pilots. You might manage to luck out and find the perfect fit the first time around, but it doesn’t happen very often.
We recommend you go for shoes that make you feel comfortable but also follow the airline dress codes. Buy 2-3 pairs of shoes so that you can always rotate among them. Remember that a good fitting shoe will be worn more than the one that looks fashionable but is uncomfortable.
Whether a shoe looks classy or casual, it needs to fit you well. An excellent durable shoe will go a long way. Everyone has different tastes and preferences. Make sure you know what you want. There’s always a shoe that fits you. Good luck!