I wear boots for business wear due to some foot issues, but they can be a pain when going through airport security. Airport security often requires you to remove your shoes before you pass through the metal detector/scanners and boots cannot simply be "slipped" off and on. I don't like to wear different shoes just for security because the boots take up more space than my single carry on allows. Are there any ways I can expedite the process of boot removal?

  • What exactly is the problem? Is it enough metal to set off the detectors? And also where exactly is it a problem? I've had boots on before, and they've set off the detector, but after manual detector scan I've never had to take them off.
    – Alendri
    Sep 28, 2012 at 15:40
  • 5
    There are some airports these days that ask everyone to take off their shoes before walking through the scanners. One example being Keflavik which I flew from yesterday.
    – Phil
    Sep 28, 2012 at 16:47
  • 2
    AFAIK The TSA (Transport Security Administration) in all US airports require one to take off their shoes and put them in a bin to go through the X-Ray machine.
    – tcrosley
    Sep 28, 2012 at 19:46

4 Answers 4


When I've had to wear my boots due to not having space left in my luggage I generally loosen the laces (and tuck them inside the shoe to stop tripping over) whilst in the queue meaning when I actually get to the front it's just a matter of slipping them off. Then at the end I put them back on and do the same with the laces to walk to a chair - there are usually plenty nearby - to put them back on.

If there's no queue you can take your time about it without feeling guilty, although that's a rare occurrence.


I work for an airlines and I see some of the maintenance personnel and some military-like personnel who work inside the airport ramp go through this issue almost in daily basis at the staff security check because they wear boots as required by their job. They take off their boots way before reaching the security check area (or at the parking area or even home) and wear some light slippers like the ones in hotels (these won't take much space as they are extremely thin and light, some are disposable). Once they reach there they just put the boots in the x-ray machine and go through the security check quickly and smoothly then sit in the chairs after the security check and take all the time in the world to put back their boots.

Not sure if this will work for you but hopefully it will.

  • Thanks! I'll have to see if I can lay my hands on some slippers.
    – C. Ross
    Sep 29, 2012 at 0:12

Some boots have a zipper along the side that allows you to put them on/take them off very quickly and easily... I wish I knew this earlier myself as I have a very similar problem with my feet.


If you sign up for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, you don't have to remove your shoes unless they set off the metal detector.

So as long as you don't have steel toed boots, you should be ok.

  • This only works where TSA precheck and Global Entry exists. So not in most of the world. Maybe not everywhere in the USA either.
    – Willeke
    Sep 17, 2016 at 7:57

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