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Flying “barefoot:” TSA reaction to Five Fingers

Last weekend Patri Friedman was donning his Five Fingers while traveling about to present on Seastea

Last weekend Patri Friedman was donning his Five Fingers while traveling about to present on Seasteading. Having anticipated TSA’s security check requirement to remove your shoes, Patri had removed his birthday shoes before going through the metal detector at the security checkpoint. The TSA reaction was as expected — absolute “furor” — the TSA folk were all fascinated by the “foot gloves!”

As chance would have it, the same day I had been traveling to LAX (from ATL) and was donning my fivefinger KSOs. I didn’t take them off, not realizing that it was a requirement. The TSA reaction was a bit less cordial (even though they never made me run them through the x-ray machine).

Thus what we have here as far as Five Fingers and TSA regulations is a mixed bag. On the one hand, if you don’t take off your VFFs before you go through the airport metal detector, you might end up like me and only get some curious questions, questioning looks, and maybe a few “bad vibes” from the Transportation Security Administration.

Or you could just take them off and be the talk of the TSA. Simply put: there are pros and cons to each approach.

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

3 replies on “Flying “barefoot:” TSA reaction to Five Fingers”

The TSA folks at Tallahassee this summer were so stunned when they saw my VFFs in their scanner image that they sent for a camera to take a picture so they could use it for training!

First time I tried to wear them thru the checkpoint the guard glanced down at my Classics in a curious way then waved me forward. The next the guard requested I remove them. Pointing out to her they were less substantial than some of the socks I saw on other passengers was indeed Arguing with Idiots. Ever after I have had to remove them

Most TSA folk are humorless, rigid, and dry. I don’t say this to be mean or disrespectful, but they do have a job to do.

FiveFingers are the absolute best for travel of any sort

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