From Pan Am to private aviation, pilots have flown not only with exceptional speed and service but with timeless style. You know the look: tailored suits, epaulets, caps, and black dress shoes.
While pilots spend thousands of hours in flight and moving from the parking lot to the terminal, their knees, lower backs, and feet aren’t often being supported as they should be.
Today, aviation dress codes aren’t as cookie-cutter as they were in decades past. What does this mean for you and thousands of sore pilots around the world? You can toss out that worn-down pair of dress shoes for a stylish and comfortable alternative. Let’s explore what makes a shoe the right fit for a pilot’s wardrobe.
Characteristics of the Best Shoes for Pilots
The best shoes for pilots should have these seven attributes:
- Non-metal construction (TSA compliance)
- Non-pointed toe box
- Traction control
The FAA has stressed the importance of avoiding physical fatigue before operating an aircraft. Even physically active pilots aren’t immune to the negative effects of uncomfortable shoes on their backs, knees, and feet.
Any comfortable and long-lasting shoe will need to fit the airline’s dress code. But more often than not, dress codes offer some leeway for each pilot’s preference. Metal-free shoes are best for navigating swiftly through security checkpoints. That’s why Amberjack’s shoes are TSA-compliant and adhere to uniform guidelines.
Additionally, you’ll need both a grippy outsole to operate rudder pedals and complete preflight checks in harsh weather conditions as well as a supportive insole to keep you comfortable in all areas of the job—from flying to long walks commuting through airports. Rest assured that Amberjack’s shoes have non-FOD carrying tread and are slip-resistant, which will help in those icy conditions.
What else makes Amberjack the superior choice for pilots? A non-pointed toe box. Our shoes feature a wider toe box, which pilots find beneficial compared to more pointed shoes that don’t work as well when actuating rudder pedals and brakes. A wider toe box will also keep your feet from feeling cramped together.
With that in mind, here are the three best shoes for pilots.
#1. The Original in Obsidian
Don’t let your eyes deceive you. This shoe is far from traditional.
At Amberjack, we innovated the design and materials used for a common dress shoe to create The Original. The pitch-black upper is made with A-grade, full-grain leather from a world-class tannery. Those who have owned a pair of full-grain leather shoes know a single pair can last decades with the proper care.
The Original is equipped with a dual-function outsole that offers athletic rigidity while remaining flexible and grippy. With its heat-activated arch support, The Original will make you feel comfortable and supported all day long. Additionally, they are TSA compliant and adhere to all uniform guidelines.
In this classic black color, The Original is one of the best shoes for pilots who prefer a more traditional style. But if black isn’t your style, you can find a color you love.
#2. The Chelsea in Obsidian
The Chelsea is a modern boot that is as stylish as it is practical. You can dress it up or down depending on your needs. It looks good with jeans, dress pants, or chinos. The no-lace design makes it easy to remove the boots at security or your hotel after a long-haul flight.
We designed The Chelsea with premium A-grade hides from American steer. Plus, we created a thermo-moldable insole and mechanically designed outsole that protect your feet from fatigue and pain. The Obsidian color is a perfect way to match or stand out with your uniform or everyday wear.
For the level of quality and innovation in The Chelsea, we’ve managed to offer it at an unbeatable price.
#3. The Loafer in Obsidian
Not every pilot needs a traditional shoe or boot for their flights. Introducing The Loafer.
Loafers aren’t just for lounging anymore: these shoes provide unparalleled comfort without compromising shoe stability. Whether you’re pairing The Loafer in Obsidian with black suit pants or casual shorts, your look will be exactly as you intend. The Loafer is the perfect fit for a Saturday joy flight.
Straighten Up and Fly Right with Amberjack
At Amberjack, we noticed how casual-dress shoes were becoming more outdated as technology and work environments advanced. Using our combined experience in the footwear industry and partnering with sustainable suppliers, we created the footwear of the future.
Come learn more about our company and find the best shoes for pilots today!
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