Who better to, er, pump for shoe advice? Flight attendants choose their shoes based on a number of factors, including their individual budgets, foot problems and the rules of their airline. For instance, Virgin Atlantic flight attendants are issued liquid-red heels (aptly named Dorothy; a lower heeled version is Dotty). But most flight attendants in the United States are allowed to buy what they like as long as they stay within certain guidelines …

This is handy, and not only for flight attendants. It’s useful for fliers enrolled in the T.S.A. PreCheck program, which can enable frequent travelers who have been prescreened to pass through security without removing their shoes as long as they do not trigger the detectors.