Are Shoes Allowed in Carry On?

Whether you’re traveling for pleasure or business, there’s no denying that you’ll need to pack shoes. If you’re uncertain whether shoes are allowed in a carry-on or wondering the types of footwear to pack, this guide was written with you in mind. The truth is that you have to rethink shoes to make a carry-on work; otherwise, they will have to be packed into your checked bag.

You require footwear for dressier events, tennis shoes or sneakers for walking, and perhaps flip-flops if you’re headed to a warm destination. You may also require hiking boots. Although it’s tricky, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

Are Shoes Allowed in Carry-on?

For starters, yes! You’re allowed to carry shoes in your hand luggage. All you have to do is ensure you don’t exceed the maximum weight and dimensions for hand luggage as stipulated by the airline.

Does the Airline With Which You’re Carrying Shoes Matter?

No! The airline you choose to carry shoes with, such as British Airways, American Airlines, or Emirates, is irrelevant as the airlines don’t decide what can and can’t be carried in hand luggage.

In the US, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) performs airport security checks at airports. In the UK, the Department of Transport conducts stringent security screenings in airports.  In Germany, the Federal Police decides what can and cannot be carried in carry-on luggage.

Since the airlines are not responsible for security checks, the security personnel isn’t concerned with the airline you’re traveling with but uses international and national standards to differentiate the items allowed to pass from those that aren’t. With that in mind, there’s no final list of objects you can bring with you.

Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that airlines can further define restrictions and prohibitions in addition to the fundamental provisions. Nonetheless, shoes are the exception, which means airlines have no qualms if you bring additional shoes in your hand luggage.

Are Heels Allowed In Carry-On Luggage?

Yes! They can be carried in cabin luggage. Although this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s not obvious to everyone. That’s because objects that can be a tad dangerous are prohibited in hand luggage. In a nutshell, all items that can be used as potential weapons are not allowed in hand luggage.

Therefore, you could argue that stilettos are a security risk as you may hit someone with them or injure them in one way or another. However, security staff doesn’t regard them as hazardous. Nonetheless, in exceptions, the shoes might be confiscated by a TSA officer at the security checkpoint.

Are Ice Skates Allowed In Carry-On Luggage?

Are Ice Skates Allowed In Carry On Luggage

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At this point, you may have concluded that there are no exceptions and that all shoes are allowed in your carry-on bag. Unfortunately, ice skates are prohibited in your carry-on baggage.

However, that also makes sense. After all, the blades of ice hockey or ice skates are as sharp as a knife and can cause disaster. Therefore, if you’re an avid ice skater, check them in as part of your checked luggage or sports luggage. Remember, they will go through the metal detector and be a part of the screening process if you try to sneak them into your carry-on baggage.

How to Pack Shoes Allowed in a Carry on

Fitting shoes into a carry-on such as a small suitcase or backpack means you have to be strategic about maximizing the limited space. Here are a few pointers on how to do so.

  • Wear heavy shoes such as steel-toed boots on the plane to cut down the weight and size of your carry-on luggage.
  • Pack only the ideal shoes, which means you’ll need to choose wisely when it comes to the footwear you’ll wear on your trip.
  • Pack fewer clothes by arranging to do laundry on your trip and wear your bulky attire on the flight.
  • Roll your clothes like burritos to create more room in your baggage. Additionally, compression packing cubes can be a lifesaver in helping you squeeze your clothes.

What Type of Shoes Should You Pack In Your Carry on?

Granted, shoes are allowed in a carry-on. However, are they the ideal shoes? It’s worth noting that the more social occasions that a pair of shoes is appropriate for, the more they earn a place in your luggage.

Versatility takes the cake when it comes to efficient and elegant packing. Versatile shoes save you the hassle of packing several pairs. For instance, consider chukka or desert boots that pair well with jeans, shorts, and other outfits.

Are Your Shoes Heavy?

Consider the weight of your shoes. Nowadays, even the smallest suitcase has wheels. Therefore, the best way to pack shoes is to strategically position them at the bottom near the wheels to balance the suitcase’s weight.

What Types of Shoes Are You Packing In Your Carry on?

With an old pair of sandals or running shoes, cramping them up is the least of your concerns. However, with formal attire shoes or heels, you’ll want to keep them intact. Here’s where shoe trees come into play. They can help you maintain the shape of more delicate shoes during your travels.

Therefore, if you’re packing delicate footwear, it’s wise to pack them on top of your carry-on luggage such that they sit near the handle. Doing so means they won’t be flattened by the weight of your clothes and other items in your luggage. You’ll need to ensure your suitcase or bag is tightly packed to prevent the shoes from falling when your luggage is seating upright.

Shoe Packing Methods for Your Carry on

Let’s discuss a few smart ways to pack shoes in your carry-on luggage.

1. Don’t Fight Gravity

Your shoes will probably be among the heaviest items in your carry-on bag. That’s a useful strategy that comes in handy when packing several pairs of footwear. The approach is to pack your shoes at the bottom of your suitcase with the soles facing away from your clothes.

Distribute the weight at the bottom of your suitcase to prevent it from toppling over. Additionally, it prevents the shoes from being pulled down by gravity and crumpling your neatly ironed clothes.

2. The Corner Technique

It’s a method that’s best suited when packing two pairs of shoes in your carry-on luggage. You can easily access your footwear easily and have enough room for other items. Remember, the soles of your shoes should be against the walls of the suitcase.

Your luggage should be full for this technique to be effective and keep your shoes securely in place or else they’ll move across your luggage, crumple your clothes, and get mixed up with your clean undergarments.

3. The 69 Method

Packing your clothes and shoes in a type of ying-yang pattern is an excellent way to save space.


Now that you know shoes are allowed in carry-on luggage, ensure that you comply with the stipulated regulations to avoid the disappointment of having to leave some items behind. Furthermore, with the tips discussed, you can make the packing and unpacking process a breeze.

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