Security on planes has steadily increased as the years have gone by. It is sometimes hard to know what you can and cannot pack in your bag or bring with you on a plane. The same goes for clothing items and shoes as well! It’s best to understand for sure what is allowed on a plane before you reach the airport to save valuable time in the security line and to keep yourself and others safe.
According to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) website, shoe and snow spikes are not allowed on a plane, but they are allowed in a checked suitcase. Hard, metal spiked shoes can be used as a weapon, so passengers cannot wear them onto the plane or bring them in a carry-on bag since those can be accessed during the plane ride.
However, according to a contradicting tweet by the official TSA Twitter account, some cleats and track shoes can be placed in your carry-on bag. So, it sounds like although you might not be able to wear your spiked shoes onto the plane, you could likely pack them in a carry-on, and definitely pack them in a checked suitcase, as long as they are checked and approved by TSA agents.
It should be noted, however, that the final decision for whether or not an item can pass through security is in the hands of TSA officers, so there is always the possibility that exceptions might be made.
Types of Spiked Shoes
There are different types of spiked shoes depending on the sport of the occasion they are used for.
There are running spikes for track runners, which typically feature hard metal spikes that can grip a track. There are also spiked shoes for golfers, spiked shoes for mountain climbers and those who participate in snow sports, and various types of cleats for sports like football, baseball, and soccer.
Additionally, there are some shoes with spikes or studs added for fashion aesthetics, as well as figure skates and hockey skates with a full metal blade.
Many sports apparel companies have shifted over to track spikes or cleats made with softer materials such as plastic or rubber. Those spikes are a little less dangerous than metal spikes if they were to be used as a weapon, which is what TSA agents are most worried about.
As previously mentioned, the most dangerous spiked shoes are snow spikes and climbing spikes, which must be incredibly sharp to stick into rock faces and packed ice, so it is best to avoid wearing these on the plane altogether.
Can You Wear Golf Shoes on a Plane?
You are less likely to get stopped by TSA if you wear golf shoes on a plane that has softer spikes. If they are a pair that is more old school with metal spikes you will likely be stopped in security to explain the use of them.
The cool thing about many golf shoes is that they now come with the ability to screw in the spikes. They typically come with a tool (such as a small wrench) that allows for the installation or ability to disassemble the spikes.
To be on the safe side, it is probably best just to take the spikes off the shoe then pack them in your bag alongside the shoe itself, that way TSA agents know you are not planning on using the shoe for dangerous purposes.
You could also wear the golf shoes without spikes on the plane like you would a normal tennis shoe, then pack the spikes in a checked bag.
Can You Wear Cleats on a Plane?
As long as the cleats you are wearing on the plane (possibly for football, baseball, or soccer) have rubber spikes then you should be fine. Again, the keyword here is should. There is no guarantee you won’t be stopped by certain TSA agents.
As previously mentioned, it is best just to pack these types of sporting goods in your checked bag to avoid any hassle and to save time in security.
It probably makes more sense to pack those in your carry-on bag or checked bag, since it is not great to wear the shoe on a surface not intended for its use anyway. You will get more wear out of the shoe that way and more bang for your buck.
Can You Wear Studded/Spiked Fashion Shoes on a Plane?
Shoes like heels or sandals with large medal adornments or really anything studded might not be allowed through security by some TSA agents. The shape is key. Anything that looks like it could be a possible weapon is typically not allowed.
It is also important to think about the practicality of wearing these types of shoes on a plane! If an emergency were to happen on the plane that required some sort of evacuation, these shoes would not be comfortable to move in. The studs and spikes could even have the potential to pierce a flotation device needed for survival.
Although this is a bit of a worst-case-scenario reason, it is important to think of all the possibilities before boarding a plane with these types of shoes. Not to mention, they are not comfortable for long hours of travel!
Can You Wear Ice Skates on a Plane?
According to the TSA, you are permitted through TSA with ice skates in both a carry-on bag or a checked bag. It would be wise to invest in blade covers to place on your skates to provide extra security for the skates but to also show security agents the intended use of the skate.
Overall, as you can see, wearing or packing shoes with spikes, studs or blades onto a plane is a bit of a complicated ordeal. There is not a black or white answer to which types of spikes you can or cannot wear or pack on a plane without some sort of added caveat.
There are various rules and guidelines based on the type of shoe, its intended purpose, the type of bag, and the TSA agent inspecting the shoe or bag.
The whole point of understanding whether or not you can pack these shoes or wear them on the plane is to keep yourself and others safe. You want to make sure you are being considerate to other passengers, who might have some anxieties about the safety of fellow passengers.
Having a plan for your spiked shoes in advance will also save yourself a lot of time and the hassle of being unnecessarily stopped during security. You wouldn’t want to miss your flight because of that!
So, it is best to do your research before boarding a flight with spike shoes and to err on the side of caution. Save yourself the time and protect your sports specific or your fashionable Louboutin’s by checking them in a bag instead!