In December 2001, on a flight to Miami, Richard Reid attempted to ignite explosives in his shoe. Fifteen years and no exploding Nikes later, travelers still have to remove their footwear before boarding a plane. The practice seems more frustrating than comforting, especially as delays plague airports nationwide. So why is it still policy? Officials insist that terrorist groups remain interested in shoe bombs, and experts say it’s easier to enact a security measure than to roll one back. While kids, the elderly and those with PreCheck can keep their shoes on, the rest of us should remember our slip-ons.
This appears in the July 11, 2016 issue of TIME.