The 6 Best Shoes for Pilots in 2024 – Where Comfort Meets Style
9 June 2022 | Updated on November 14, 2023
A pilot’s uniform is not complete without a quality pair of shoes. While the job of a pilot is primarily done in the air, they still have to look the part when on the ground.
Pilots need shoes that provide a combination of style, comfort, and reliability. Finding a pair of pilot shoes that meet these criteria can be a challenge. Luckily, we’ve got you covered (again)! In this article, we will explore the top-rated pilot shoes in 2023 that promise unparalleled comfort and superior style for the ultimate flying experience.
The Best Shoes for Pilots in 2023
Here is a list of the best shoes for commercial pilots in 2023, as well as some things to consider when making your purchase.
We’ve also included a full buying guide below!
1. Clarks Men’s Escalade Step
The Clarks Men’s Escalade Step is a great option for pilots looking for a stylish and comfortable pair of shoes. Made from 100% leather, these shoes are durable and breathable. The flexible sole provides cushioning and comfort, while the non-marking outsole ensures that you can safely move around the cockpit.
These shoes also have a comfort footbed that will help to prevent foot fatigue. The easy care leather means that you won’t have to spend time caring for your shoes, and the lining material is textile so it won’t set off airport security detectors.
2. ECCO Men’s Helsinki Oxford
The Helsinki Oxford is the standard version of the previously mentioned slip-on shoes. With a lace-up closure, these shoes provide a more secure and comfortable fit. The 100% leather upper is durable and breathable, while the polyurethane sole provides cushioning and comfort.
3. Clarks Men’s Tilden Free Slip-On Loafer
If you’re looking for a great pair of shoes that can take you from the cockpit to a casual get-together, look no further than the Clarks Tilden Free Slip-On Loafer. Made from 100% leather and with a synthetic sole, these shoes are built to last. The Ortholite footbed provides comfort and support all day long as a pilot, while the Themoplastic Rubber outsole ensures you have traction when you need it most.
4. Allen Edmonds Men’s Park Avenue
The Allen Edmonds Men’s Park Avenue shoes have a storied reputation, favored by professionals and leaders globally, and they make a distinctive choice for pilots prioritizing quality and style. Crafted with 100% leather, these shoes are American-made and embody a classic design that transcends fleeting fashion trends. They’re not just a pair of shoes but an investment in durability and elegance. With their polished look and enduring construction, they stand out as the premier option for pilots who expect their footwear to keep pace with their lifestyle, both in the cockpit and out.
5. Rockport Men’s Margin Oxford
The Rockport Men’s Margin Oxford is a versatile shoe that can easily transition from the flight deck to ground duties. Its full grain or nubuck leather upper provides durability and is simple to maintain, ensuring a polished look with minimal effort. Comfort hasn’t been overlooked, thanks to the padded tongue and collar, alongside a traditional lace-up closure for a snug fit.
The shoe incorporates a comfort system designed for lightweight shock absorption, particularly in the heel, making those long days on your feet more bearable. With a polyurethane outsole, these shoes offer both sturdiness and shock absorbency, aiming to reduce foot fatigue over time. Available in various sizes and with its classic silhouette, the Rockport Margin Oxford is a practical choice for pilots seeking comfort without compromising on style.
6. Rockport Men’s Junction Point Slip-on
For pilots in search of a blend of casual style and enduring comfort, the Rockport Men’s Junction Point Slip-on stands out. This shoe keeps its versatile appeal and boosts it with an array of upgraded comforts. The EVA outsole is designed for lightness, coupled with shock absorption that spares your feet during those long hours in and out of the cockpit. Its padded collar is a thoughtful feature to prevent blisters, ensuring comfort doesn’t take a backseat to style.
Inside, the EVA footbed molds to your foot for a custom fit, while the dual-density polyurethane outsole works double time to absorb shock and minimize fatigue. These shoes are a smart pick for pilots looking for an easy slip-on option that doesn’t skimp on support or appearance.
What to Look for in Pilot Shoes
When it comes to pilot shoes, there are several important factors that contribute to their quality and make them stand out from the rest.
Comfort is one of the primary considerations for pilots, as they spend long hours on their feet. A pair of pilot shoes should provide adequate cushioning, arch support, and a comfortable fit to ensure maximum comfort throughout the day. Additionally, durability is essential as pilots require shoes that can withstand the demands of frequent use and provide long-lasting performance.
Another crucial feature of the best pilot shoes is slip resistance. Pilots often encounter wet or slippery surfaces, especially during inclement weather conditions. Therefore, it is vital that their shoes offer excellent traction to prevent accidents and ensure their safety. Moreover, professional appearance plays a significant role in pilot shoes. Pilots are expected to maintain a polished and professional look, and their footwear should reflect this expectation. Shoes with a sleek design and high-quality materials help pilots achieve a sophisticated and put-together appearance.
Lastly, lightweight design is highly preferred in pilot shoes. Pilots have long shifts and need footwear that minimizes fatigue and allows them to stay comfortable throughout their demanding workday. Lightweight shoes reduce the strain on their feet and help them perform at their best. By considering these essential factors – comfort, durability, slip resistance, professional appearance, and lightweight design – pilots can find the best pair of shoes to meet their needs and enhance their flying experience.
Slip-on vs Lace-up: Which is the best choice for pilot shoes?
When selecting pilot shoes, one of the key decisions you’ll face is between slip-on and lace-up designs. Slip-on shoes, like the Rockport Men’s Junction Point, offer convenience and ease, perfect for pilots who are looking for a quick transition from the terminal to the cockpit. Their padded collars and shock-absorbent soles cater to comfort during extended wear, making them a practical choice for the busy aviator.
On the other hand, lace-up shoes, such as the Allen Edmonds Men’s Park Avenue and Rockport Men’s Margin Oxford, provide a more customized fit with their secure lacing systems. They tend to offer a more formal appearance, ideal for pilots who prefer a classic and professional look. With features like padded tongues and collars, as well as advanced shock absorption technology, these shoes don’t just look the part—they’re built to handle the demands of a pilot’s day-to-day duties. Whether you value the no-fuss ease of slip-ons or the traditional styling of lace-ups, both types provide the support and durability needed for life above and below the clouds.