The average person takes around a maximum of 10,000 steps a day. Ask any flight attendant, and they’ll tell you it’s a minimum of 10,000! While you’d think a flight attendant would stop at nothing to buy the best possible (most expensive) shoes available, their footwear purchases are often swayed by budget, foot ailments, and their airlines’ rules. Durability is also a major consideration. After all, you’ll be hitting the brakes on that heavy drink cart more times then you care to count.
Address these ten important shoe considerations if you’re a flight attendant:
1. Shop for shoes that won’t set off the metal detector. Those of us ages 13-74 have to take our shoes off to go through security, unless you’re a flight attendant. But even flight attendants have to remove their shoes if they set off the alarm. Shop wisely, as every second counts in your trip to the gate.
2. Invest in high quality shoes. A flight attendant we know loves Dansko’s Mary Jane Clogs. She says they’re incredibly comfortable, especially in-flight when your feet swell, and they’re versatile enough to wear with street clothes during her layovers.
3. Buy a pair of “terminal shoes,” and a pair of “service shoes.” Being presentable in the terminal is important to the airline, but being comfortable during the service portion of the flight is important to the flight attendant.
4. Low pressure in the cabin can cause swollen legs and feet. Wear proper stockings in addition to well-fitting footwear. Consider compression stockings if possible with your uniform.
5. Don’t cross your legs when seated. Sure, most of your flight time is spent on your feet. But waiting in the terminal during layovers or while seated during turbulence or on a long flight can cause circulation problems that will be much better without your legs crossed.
6. On long flights, be sure to get up and walk around the cabin, even if it means you may get pulled into an awkward discussion with that guy in 24C. The negative effects of sitting for long periods outweigh the discomfort of his discussion. Medical evidence suggests the risk of blood clots (i.e. deep vein thrombosis) increases when sitting for long periods.
7. Put your feet up when you get to the hotel. This will decrease any swelling that has accumulated in your legs, and help prevent vascular problems such as varicose veins. We all know how good this feels after a long day on our feet!
8. Travel with a tennis or golf ball in your luggage, and roll it between the floor and your feet during layovers. Or try the FootSmart HeatFreeze Arch Massager.
9. Just add heat. Once you do make it home, try a heated foot bath or massager to remove the aches and pains of your trip.
10. Indulge in a foot massage. Specialty massage shops are popping up all over the place, many charging just a dollar per minute. This could be just what the doctor ordered!
Flight attendants, prepare for landing. But be sure it’s a soft landing with plenty of padding in those shoes. And respect your feet. They’re all you have to stand on.