If there is one place where I want to keep my shoes on, it is at the airport — especially through airport security. At the Seattle airport a few years ago, I was rushing to get to my plane, and forgot to take my shoes off before passing through the security gates. As I approached the the security guard he just starred at my shoes and then pointed at them and said “Sir, please remove your shoes.” I thought I don’t have anything funny in these shoes — so I proceeded, elevated my shoulders and carefully walked through. The alarm didn’t sound, but still the security guard sent me for the full scan. And I had to take off my shoes and they ran them through the x-ray machine.
I just located some great news by a writer from wired magazine, Charley Sorrel. He writes “according to Wikipedia T-Rays, or Terahertz Radiation, can “pass through clothing, paper, cardboard, wood, masonry, plastic and ceramics.” You can now add shoes to that list. Boffins at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab have come up with a smaller and cheaper way to generate the radiation, which can be used as a safe alternative to X-Rays (T-Rays are non-ionizing). This means that airports could be equipped with yet more “security” machines, and you, the passenger (read: suspect) will get to keep your shoes on.” I love technology.
So if you want to keep your shoes on, ask for the new T-Ray Scanner or travel to Mexico, you don’t have to remove your shoes there — although they may make you remove your sombrero.