Can I Tie Shoes To My Carry On Luggage?

Travelling light is key when it comes to navigating airports swiftly, but what do you do when you need to pack bulky items like shoes? Tying your sneakers or dress shoes to your carry on luggage can be a tempting solution, but is it allowed?

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: Yes, you can tie shoes to your carry on bag in most cases. Specific airline policies vary, but generally 1-2 pairs of tied shoes are permitted as long as they don’t cause your bag to exceed size restrictions.

Airline Carry On Size Restrictions

Maximum dimensions for carry on bags

When it comes to airline travel, knowing the carry on size restrictions is crucial to avoid any inconvenience or additional fees. Each airline has its own set of guidelines regarding the maximum dimensions for carry on bags.

Typically, the maximum dimensions allowed for a carry on bag are around 22 inches long, 14 inches wide, and 9 inches deep. However, it is important to note that these dimensions can vary depending on the airline.

It is always recommended to check with the specific airline you are flying with to ensure you are in compliance with their carry on size restrictions.

Considering shoe sizes

While it may be tempting to tie your shoes to your carry on luggage to save space, it is important to consider the size of your shoes in relation to the airline’s carry on size restrictions. Shoes can take up a significant amount of space, especially if they are bulky or have high heels.

It is best to pack your shoes inside your carry on bag, ensuring they fit within the allowed dimensions. If you are concerned about space, consider packing your shoes in a shoe bag or placing them in shoe boxes that can be flattened to save space.

It is also worth noting that some airlines may have weight restrictions in addition to size restrictions. If your shoes add significant weight to your carry on bag, it’s important to ensure that you stay within the weight limits set by the airline.

Exceeding the weight restrictions could result in additional fees or the need to check your bag.

For more detailed information on carry on size restrictions and tips for packing efficiently, you can visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or the official website of the airline you are flying with.

These websites provide up-to-date information on what items are allowed in carry on bags and can help you plan accordingly for your trip.

TSA Policies on Shoes Tied to Luggage

Scanning and security considerations

When it comes to traveling with shoes tied to luggage, it’s important to be aware of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policies. According to the TSA, shoes that are securely tied to luggage can be scanned and screened just like any other item in your carry-on.

However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the security screening process may take longer due to the additional time required to inspect the shoes.

The reason behind this is that shoes tied to luggage can obstruct the view of the contents inside the bag, making it difficult for security officers to determine if there are any prohibited items or potential threats.

To ensure a smooth screening process, it is advised to untie the shoes from your luggage and place them separately in a bin for screening. This will allow the security officers to have a clear view of your belongings and expedite the screening process.

Exceptions and prohibited items

While shoes tied to luggage are generally allowed, it’s important to note that there are certain exceptions and prohibited items when it comes to air travel. Some airports may have specific rules in place, so it’s always a good idea to check with your airline or the TSA website for the most up-to-date information.

It’s worth mentioning that certain types of shoes, such as those with metal components or dense soles, may trigger additional scrutiny during the screening process. Additionally, if the shoes contain any prohibited items, such as sharp objects or liquids exceeding the allowed limit, they will be confiscated by the security officers.

To avoid any inconvenience or delays, it’s recommended to pack your shoes separately in your carry-on bag or opt for a shoe bag specifically designed for travel. This will not only make the screening process smoother but also help protect your shoes from potential damage.

For more detailed information on TSA policies and regulations, you can visit the official TSA website It’s always better to be well-informed and prepared before your journey to ensure a stress-free and hassle-free travel experience.

Best Practices for Tying Shoes to Bags

When it comes to traveling, many people wonder if they can tie their shoes to their carry-on luggage. While it may seem like a convenient way to free up space in your bag, there are several best practices to consider before doing so.

Shoelace Knots and Attachment

When tying your shoes to your bag, it’s important to use a secure knot that won’t easily come undone during transportation. The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination only to find your shoes have gone missing.

One popular knot for this purpose is the double knot, which provides extra security. Additionally, make sure to attach the shoes tightly to your bag using the laces. This will help prevent them from slipping or falling off during transit.

Weight Distribution and Balance

While tying your shoes to your bag may seem like a clever way to save space, it’s essential to consider the weight distribution and balance of your luggage. If the shoes are too heavy or unbalanced, it could affect the stability of your bag, making it more difficult to maneuver.

To avoid this, try to distribute the weight evenly and consider attaching the shoes to the bottom or sides of your bag for better balance.

Protecting Shoe Scuffs and Damage

Another important factor to consider is the protection of your shoes. When tied to your bag, they may be subject to rubbing against other items or surfaces, potentially causing scuffs or damage. To prevent this, you can wrap your shoes in a soft cloth or use shoe bags specifically designed for travel.

These protective measures will help keep your shoes in excellent condition throughout your journey.

Alternatives for Packing Bulky Shoes

When it comes to packing for a trip, shoes can be a challenge. They take up valuable space in your luggage and can make it difficult to fit everything you need. If you’re wondering if you can tie your shoes to your carry on luggage, there are actually some alternative options that can help you pack your shoes more efficiently.

Using shoe bags

One option for packing bulky shoes is to use shoe bags. These bags are specifically designed to hold shoes and keep them separate from the rest of your luggage. They come in various sizes and styles, so you can choose one that suits your needs.

Shoe bags not only protect your shoes from getting damaged, but they also help to keep your clothes clean and odor-free.

Wearing collapsible shoes

Another alternative is to wear collapsible shoes while traveling. Collapsible shoes are made from flexible materials that allow them to be easily folded or rolled up. This means you can wear them during your journey and save space in your luggage.

Collapsible shoes are lightweight and comfortable, making them a great option for travelers who want to pack light.

Checking an extra bag

If you have multiple pairs of bulky shoes that you can’t fit into your carry on luggage or don’t want to wear during your journey, you can consider checking an extra bag. Many airlines allow you to check a certain number of bags for free, while others may charge a fee.

Be sure to check with your airline’s baggage policy to see what options are available to you.

Remember: Before deciding on the best option for packing your shoes, consider the size and weight of your shoes, as well as any restrictions imposed by the airline you are traveling with. It’s also a good idea to pack your shoes in a way that keeps them protected and organized, so you can easily find them when you arrive at your destination.

For more tips on packing efficiently and making the most of your luggage space, you can visit Travel + Leisure or Lonely Planet.


While tying shoes to your carry on luggage can be convenient, following airline policies and smart packing practices is key. Consider sizing, security protocols, weight balance, and alternatives before deciding if attaching footwear makes the cut.

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