Avoid Wearing This Type Of Popular Summer Footwear On A Plane

When it comes to airplane travel — especially if you're hoping to survive a long-haul flight without any unnecessary soreness — comfort is key for ensuring that you're relaxed and well-rested for whatever's waiting on the other side. For some, that means trading up a stiff pair of jeans for some cozy sweats or stretchy leggings. For others, it might entail bringing along their favorite neck pillow or a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

However, no matter how you prefer to fly — or what you prefer to wear while flying — there's one seemingly innocuous item that experts agree is better packed than worn: open-toed shoes. Sure, it might seem tempting to slip on a pair of flip-flops before jetting off on your Caribbean vacation. But the reality is that planes are a lot dirtier than you think — and they're thoroughly cleaned a lot less often than you'd like to imagine, too. That said, having your toes on full display — touching that god-knows-what-caused-it stain — just doesn't bode well for your hygiene.

Why open-toed shoes are a no-go

Germaphobes, you might want to take a seat for this one. In spite of high foot traffic and daily wear, the reality is that airplanes just aren't deep-cleaned very often. In most cases, crews will simply perform what's referred to as a "turn clean," in order to keep flight schedules on time. What does this entail? Typically, it focuses on disposing of any trash left behind, as well as lightly cleaning the galley areas and bathrooms.

That probably means everything your uncovered feet are touching hasn't been thoroughly cleaned for some 30 to 45 days. Multiply that by all the passengers who have passed through, sat in your seat, and potentially done some pretty unsanitary things ... and it's enough to make your skin crawl. On top of this, wearing open-toed shoes also means you're leaving your feet open to potential harm — think suitcases running them over, the snack cart bumping into your pinky toe, and even losing a toenail or two courtesy of another passenger's misstep.

Oh, and while we're at it — open-toed shoes or not — make sure you always keep your footwear on when you head to the toilet. That little puddle on the floor you've accidentally stepped in with your bare feet? Let's just say there's a high possibility it's not "just water." Yuck.

Dressing for your flight

When it comes to dressing for your trip, travel experts recommend that you opt for loose-fitting, breathable clothing that allows you to relax and move around easily during the flight. This probably means that you'll want to think twice before wearing any restrictive clothing — including popular summertime items like short shorts or dresses, jumpsuits, open-back tops, and even your swimwear. With all this in mind, layering is also a smart choice — even if the weather at your destination is hot — because of how quickly temperatures change when you're in the airport and on the plane.

In terms of shoes, along with sandals and flip-flops, you'll also want to stay away from boots or footwear that requires a lot of lacing up and down. Not only are these one of the most-hated clothing items by TSA agents, but they'll also make your life pretty difficult once you're in your seat and struggling to settle in. Instead, comfortable sneakers, loafers, or slip-ons are a great way to quickly remove them when you need a rest (socks on, please!), and put them back on when you need to stand up.