I’m a frequent flier, a planner/worrier, and a shoe fetishist. The search for the perfect pair of airport shoes is an inevitable obsession.
Lately I’ve been wearing a pair of black leather Lucky Brand clogs while traveling, and they score an amazing 6.5 out of 7 on the Wishbone Clover Seven Point Perfect Airport Shoe Scale. They are a little higher than I anticipated, so they’re bad if I need to sprint from one terminal to the next to make a connection (#2, Mobility). However, both shoes have a four leaf clover lucky charm on them, which provides double luck for good connections.
These clogs score 6.5/7, which is the highest I've ever found.
The Wishbone Clover Seven Point Perfect Airport Shoe Scale
They have to be comfortable enough to wear all day, including if I drink too much Diet Coke and get The Swollen-ness of The Ankles. Also, no heel blistering, toe pinching or instep crushing.
When I only have seconds to spare between connections, my shoes have to be mobile/secure enough to walk-jogs through endless terminals. Falling off your heels is mortifying in a crowded airport!
3. Fast on – fast off
All about the security line. I travel with two bags, a coat, and my computer – I don’t have time for zippers, and forget about laces.
4. Sock Compatibility
You need socks in an airport. This is what disqualifies flip flops. When I'm sock-free, I can feel the disease boring holes through my bare soles as I stand on the rough grey security area carpet, waiting for my shoes to pass through the x-ray machine. Feet need protection!
5. Be Pretty
This disqualifies Uggs and Crocs. Goth Crocs do not exist. I’m wearing heavy black eyeliner and possibly last night’s false eyelashes. At 8am. Foam rubber shoes or round toe sheepskin boots are beyond incongruous on me, even when they’re black. And if I wouldn't wear them in real life...well, this is real life. So
6. Class Factor
Be acceptable first class upgrade shoes – I’ve only been upgraded twice in 20 years, but it’s so worth it! I believe in being prepared, so usually no to sneakers, and I always have a drapey scarf to distract from my jeans – I mean my "designer premium denim trousers."
Must go with all outfits packed – there’s no point wearing a pair of shoes on the plane that you can’t wear once you get there. Versatility is the watchword of travel outfits!
Past Perfect Airport Shoe Contenders:
These are possibly my most favorite shoes ever. I’ve had them for about 10 years, and consider it one of my worst failures that I didn’t secure them in black when I had the chance. They are now completely out of stock, even on Ebay.
They score off the charts on characteristics 1-4. And while I appreciate their sort of mod-hipster appeal, they are in essence white tennis shoes. Their outfit pairings are limited. So they fail on 5-7.
Isaac Mizrahi Kitten Heel Ankle Boots
I dread the day (and I know it’s coming all too soon) when these Isaac Mizrahi kitten heel ankle boots are hopelessly dated. I paid all of $30 for them at Target at least six years ago, and have reheeled and resoled them several times.
They score very high on 4-7, and are pretty good for #3 – zippers require one extra step past slip ons, but it’s negligible.
However, the top of the list is a tough one. These boots are okay for limited periods of time, but the combination of the pointy toe and sodium swell means they can get uncomfortably tight. Also, the little heel looks like it would be an easy walker, but it’s a little spindly, and a little slippery, so I wind up tippie–toe-shuffling across expanses of polished airport floors.
Pretty Much Any Running Shoes
In the interest of saving suitcase space, I wore my running shoes on a trip this summer. Hands down the most comfortable, stable, practical shoe for getting around. High scores on 1 and 2. And 4.
Sadly, they fail on all of the other categories. Slow at the security line, only moderately cool looking (except for this one pair of green suede Tretorns and similar novelty styles). You can’t wear them in first class, and they make every outfit, except workout gear, look kinda dorky.
The Search Continues
I’m pretty pleased with the 6.5/7 Lucky Clogs, but I also won’t let that make me complacent. There is always another shoe to try, in the elusive hunt for the traveler’s Holy Grail of a shoe that scores a perfect lucky 7/7 on the Wishbone Clover Seven Point Perfect Airport Shoe Scale.
So...it's catalog season. I've done my best to get off most mailing lists by using Tonic Mailstopper (which I highly recommend) but this one crazy "Best Catalog Shit" catalog keeps coming. And I kind of like it!
I'm fascinated by thought process of the people who decide what goes on each page. I know they have a plan or organizational structure, but for the life of me I can't crack the code.
The page above is one of my favorite examples of the bizarre mix of products:
Daughter-in-Law musical keepsake box
White, smocked granny nightgown
Lucky clover and horseshoe charm
"Redheads are Hot" t-shirt
Crystal pearl in a shell (wtf is this? a thing for your bureau?)
Crystal flower bracelet
One stop shopping for Mom and Grandma? Seven ways to make the women in your life happy? Gifts to buy yourself?