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Best Shoes For Teachers Reviewed & Rated

last updated Feb 04, 2019

The average teacher will spend eight hours a day standing on their feet. Standing for long periods of time is directly linked to many physical problems, such as sore feet, swelling of the legs, muscle fatigue, lower back pain, and stiffness of the neck and shoulders. Even with regular breaks, standing for five or more hours per day has been proven to reduce productivity and make you tired. What’s a teacher to do? Unless you can somehow convince the principal that time stopped and school is forever out for summer, you’re going to have to pick up a pair of shoes that take pressure off the feet while giving you good support.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 17 hrs of research

icon
Keen Presidio
92.8/100 our score
Comfort
92
Support
95
Shock Absorption
90
Durability
93
Style
94
Keen Presidio
Why is it better?

Full Grain Nubuck Leather

Rubber Sole

Waterproof

Outsole Grooves For Traction

Lace-Up For Snug Fit

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Keen Presidio
Test Winner: Keen Presidio
Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
29k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
17
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
16
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By AndrewDJ:

Back-to-school season is over, but that doesn't mean your feet stop hurting. Check out our latest styles and reviews. We've updated our list to reflect the newest trends and technologies in shoes for teachers. It's not quite as a good as a PA Day, but it'll help you get through to the next one in style and comfort!

Sorting Options
Comfort Support Shock Absorption Durability Style By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Comfort
92%
Support
95%
Shock Absorption
90%
Durability
93%
Style
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$109.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Comfort
98%
Support
91%
Shock Absorption
98%
Durability
87%
Style
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$65.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Comfort
82%
Support
87%
Shock Absorption
94%
Durability
97%
Style
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$89.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Comfort
96%
Support
93%
Shock Absorption
82%
Durability
83%
Style
96%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$119.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Comfort
80%
Support
97%
Shock Absorption
92%
Durability
91%
Style
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$119.50
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Comfort
90%
Support
81%
Shock Absorption
96%
Durability
89%
Style
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$45.45
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Comfort
84%
Support
79%
Shock Absorption
88%
Durability
95%
Style
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$64.98
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Comfort
88%
Support
89%
Shock Absorption
86%
Durability
85%
Style
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$55.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
Comfort
86%
Support
85%
Shock Absorption
80%
Durability
81%
Style
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$38.68
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Comfort
94%
Support
83%
Shock Absorption
84%
Durability
79%
Style
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.04.19)
$129.95
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Keen Presidio
  • Skechers Go Walk 3 Slip-On
  • Clarks Unstructured Un.Loop
  • Alegria Paloma
  • Merrell Encore Q2 ICE Slip-On
  • Easy Spirit Traveltime
  • Converse CT Low Top
  • Vans Classic Slip On
  • Keds Champion Original
  • Dansko Professional
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Keen Presidio

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Keen Presidio
Comfort
92
Support
95
Shock Absorption
90
Durability
93
Style
94
best offer for today
$109.95
Pros:

Full Grain Nubuck Leather

Rubber Sole

Waterproof

Outsole Grooves For Traction

Lace-Up For Snug Fit

Cons:

Runs Wide

A pair of shoes for teachers that provide instant comfort, style, and durable wear from a company trusted and relied on, impossible? No, the KEEN Presidio has everything we have been looking for in a great shoe. Moisture-wicking lining keeps your feet cool while structured support cushioning gives you superior comfort from the moment you put your shoes on to the moment you take them off. The Oxford style is not only classic but also very versatile. Important to note also, is the fact that these are made of leather. With leather you know the longevity of the shoe will last for miles to come and the design will stay popular with all of those miles.

Read more

Metatomical Footbed
We know you are all thinking, what on earth is a metatomical footbed? Simply put, it is the advanced support that has been engineered to support the arch and mold to your individual foot. All feet are shaped a bit differently and all have curves, the footbed in these shoes for teachers will contour or shape to your feet providing unparalleled comfort. Made by a company that truly understands how to provide comfort, after wearing the KEEN Presidio shoes you may not want to wear any others.

Cleansport NXT
Keen really has taken innovation and technology to the next level. They have paired their Presidio shoes with a probiotic with their material that activates as you start to work. What does this do for you? It naturally fights odor causing microbes, helping your feet and your shoes stay fresh. We all know how difficult it is to get the smell out of your shoes, especially if your usual class is English but you got pulled into a Gym Class. It is even more difficult with a leather shoe. The addition of Cleansport NXT to the KEEN Presidio will have you cleaning your shoes less and have them smelling good longer.

Cost and Value
Safe for the environment, high quality, advanced technology, and durable wear all come with a higher price tag. These shoes for teachers will be more of an investment them most others in our guide however, we feel they are an investment worth making. Classic styling with a variety of wearing options will have these shoes on your feet more than once a week for many weeks to come. With good care, these shoes will last through your longest days and semesters making the cost less and less every day you pull them out of your closet.

2. Skechers Go Walk 3 Slip-On

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Skechers Go Walk 3 Slip-On
Comfort
98
Support
91
Shock Absorption
98
Durability
87
Style
86
best offer for today
$65.00
Pros:

Memory Foam Liner

Ortholite Insole Reduces Odor

Lightweight Design

Wide Range Of Sizes

Cons:

Inconsistent Sizing

Sporting a jersey knit fabric upper that will remind you of your favorite t-shirts and the brand’s own GOga Mat technology in the insole, the Skechers Go Walk 3 slip-ons are made for being on your feet for an extended period of time. The upper is made to be lightweight and breathable, while the GOga technology is designed to promote energy transfer while giving your feet the cushioning they need.

Read more

GO Technology

The GO technology used in the Skechers Go Walk 3 is a multi-faceted system that works together to promote support, mitigate odor, shock absorption, and traction. The sockless Ortholite insole works to reduce odor and further promote breathability. GO pillars throughout the midsole and outsole are designed to promote energy return and shock absorption while providing traction.

Lightweight Design

When you're going to be on your feet for the better part of the day, the last thing you want is heavy shoes weighing you down with every step. The Go Walk 3 has an unbelievably lightweight design, so they'll be just as comfortable at the end of the day as they were when you put them on. This lightweight design also allows for superior breathability, which is great on those humid days just before summer vacation starts.

Cost and Value

Skechers is a brand that is committed to making high-quality footwear for accessible prices. With an average price of about $50 and a stunning range of sizes, the Go Walk 3 is worth the investment.

3. Clarks Unstructured Un.Loop

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Clarks Unstructured Un.Loop
Comfort
82
Support
87
Shock Absorption
94
Durability
97
Style
98
best offer for today
$89.95
Pros:
  • Leather
  • Rubber Sole
  • Side Button Detail
  • Slip-On Style
  • Clarks Air Circulation System
Cons:

Runs Narrow

Clarks Unstructured Slip-On is a weightless and tenacious shoe which provides unique comfort. A leather upper and side button detail make for a trendy and stylish look which is perfect for standing up in front of a classroom. Clarks Air Circulation System™
allows warm air to escape keeping your feet cool and dry all day long.

Read more

Clarks Air Circulation System™
Works to bring fresh air in while the internal air channels vent away from the warm, moist air from the inside. Keeps feet fresh and dry all day long.

Rubber Sole
The rubber is flexible and sturdy, and it also absorbs shock. This prevents your feet from discomfort associated with standing on hard surfaces for extended periods of time.

Cost and Value
The value the Clark Unstructured has to offer far outweighs the mid-range price tag. It's stylish leather upper and durable rubber sole ensure that wear and tear won't stop the Unstructured. Fashionable and trendy detailing make these shoes a hit in the teachers' lounge.

4. Alegria Paloma

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Alegria Paloma
Comfort
96
Support
93
Shock Absorption
82
Durability
83
Style
96
best offer for today
$119.95
Pros:

Leather Upper

Rubber Sole

1" Platform

Cushioned Inner

Removable Insole

Cons:

May Squeak When Walking

Alegria knows what it takes to keep working feet in ultimate comfort. The Mary Jane style is versatile and easily dressed up during the week or dressed down on casual Friday. The replaceable latex and cork footbed contours to your foot giving a customized fit. Have a custom orthotic? No problem, the footbed is removable and there is ample room to fit inserts made for your feet. In addition to these features, these shoes for teachers also reduce impact and relieve pressure because of the polyurethane outsole. Supportive of your natural gait, the Alegria Paloma Flat’s will provide comfort and support to help make painful feet a thing of the past.

Read more

Standard, Medium, and Wide Widths Available
Every person has unique feet and that includes the width. It can be so frustrating to hear about an amazing pair of shoes for teachers, just to find they won’t fit your narrow or wide feet. The ability to choose what width you need is not always easily found, even among the top brands. Customizing your fit helps tailor the shoe to meet your needs. You certainly don’t want your feet sliding around in shoes that are to wide. This can cause blisters, raw areas, and overall foot pain. Likewise, a shoe that is to narrow will cause pain, pinching, and general discomfort to the wearer. Choosing what is right for you is sure to make sure you and your feet feel great throughout your day.

Leather Interior
Not only is the interior of these shoes for teachers ultra soft, it also wicks sweat away from your feet. We all know how important it is to keep our feet dry and cool. No one wants to fight a fungal or bacterial infection because their shoes can’t keep their feet dry. The natural wicking ability of an all leather interior will aid you in keeping your feet dry. It is also important to note that the Mary Jane style of this shoe also helps in keeping your feet cool and dry.

Cost and Value
These very stylish and superiorly comfy shoes are a bit pricey. They will last you for school years to come and will ensure your feet feel great every day that you wear them, making the cost not so difficult to justify. It is also great to find a pair of shoes for teachers that can have that customized feel without the hassle of going for orthotics. Overall this high quality, good looking shoe would be a nice addition to anyone’s shoe collection and before you know it, may just become your favorite.

5. Merrell Encore Q2 ICE Slip-On

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Merrell Encore Q2 ICE Slip-On
Comfort
80
Support
97
Shock Absorption
92
Durability
91
Style
88
best offer for today
$119.50
Pros:

Keeps Feet Warm

Feels Like a Slipper

Slip On Design

Air Cushioned Insole

M Select Grip Prevents Falls

Cons:

May Cause Feet To Sweat

While some shoes for teachers can add to the pain feet feel at the end of a long day, Merrell’s Encore Ice Slip-On will have exactly the opposite effect. Built for comfort Merrell gives us awesome features that will keep you standing and moving well past the point of student departure. Cold climates require a shoe that will not only keep your feet snug but also warm. In the even of slippery conditions, these shoes for teachers will help you stay upright with a great gripping rubber sole.

Read more

Air Cushion Insert
Walking up and down the halls, throughout the classroom, and to and from the office causes a lot of pressure and stress on teacher’s feet. Absorbing shock helps reduce the pain that comes from pounding the tile floors. Merrell Encore Ice Slip On’s have an Air Cushion Insert under the heel of the insole that makes these shoes for teachers, feel like walking on a cloud. Finding a way to keep your feet from feeling too tired day after day can be difficult, but this feature will help make it a little easier.

M Select Grip
Whether you live in cold or warm climates, slippery floors can be a real problem for teachers. Students track water, dirt, debris, and who knows what else onto classroom floors and most schools don’t have carpet, creating fall hazards that can put you out of work. Superior shoes for teachers need to have superior grip, to ensure your feet stay under you where they belong. Merrell’s M Select Grip is great for all of life’s slippery situations and gives you amazing grip. Falling in front of a room of kids is unacceptable, take solace in your stability with awesome shoes for teachers.

Cost and Value
The awesome traction, grip, comfort, and coziness of the Merrell Encore Ice Slip-On come at a slightly higher cost than others in our guide. With the higher price tag, you get a high quality, durable shoe that performs excellently in slippery situations. They will keep your feet nice and warm throughout the colder months and have you and your feet feeling great when warmer temperatures decide to surface.

6. Easy Spirit Traveltime

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Easy Spirit Traveltime
Comfort
90
Support
81
Shock Absorption
96
Durability
89
Style
90
best offer for today
$45.45
Pros:

Suede

Rubber Sole

0.75" Platform

Cushioned Insole

Flexible Outsole

Cons:

No Ankle Support

A favorite amongst teachers everywhere, the Traveltime Mule is as stylish as it is comfy. It's Orthotic-friendly and lightweight design with a low heel height make this an ideal wear. Available in 25 colorways and extended width sizes, this Mule has something to offer everyone.

Read more

Orthotic-Friendly
Foot orthotics help to relieve painful feet and are ideal if you are recovering from an injury. Having the ability to remove an insole and add your own custom insert is invaluable to those who need it.

Removable Sock Liner
Built-in removable sock liner which absorbs shock and provides excellent arch support. This sock liner is easy to clean and will keep your feet healthy and feeling great.

Cost and Value
With over 35-years of experience in providing good quality stylish footwear, Easy Spirit delivers time after time. The Traveltime Mule is a budget-friendly shoe that is guaranteed to keep your feet comfy all day long! Its orthotic design is perfect if you are recovering from an injury, or if you are just in need of added support.

7. Converse CT Low Top

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Converse CT Low Top
Comfort
84
Support
79
Shock Absorption
88
Durability
95
Style
84
best offer for today
$64.98
Pros:

Canvas Upper

Lace-Up for Snug Fit

Rubber Sole

Slip-On Design

Cons:

Little Arch Support

Converse is a brand loved globally. The Chuck Taylor All Star is iconic in look and style. Looks aren’t the only important thing when it comes to finding a great pair of shoes for teachers. The Converse Chuck Taylor Low Top Sneaker also offers versatility because they go with almost every outfit. They form to your feet, making them feel like they were made with you in mind. Easy to clean canvas material is wonderful for those accidental Chemistry Lab explosions or spilled spaghetti from your lunchroom duty day last week. Overall Converse, gives us great shoes for teachers, that come in a variety of colors, will look great, and provide you with comfort throughout the long afternoons.

Read more

Ortholite Insole
Long weeks on your feet can turn into long months. Making sure your feet stay supported throughout is crucial in upholding the constant moving and shaking required of teachers. Shoes for teachers must be comfy and the ortholite insole provides superior cushion adding to the comfort. You will find this insole forms to your foot and wears well over an extended period of time.

Canvas Upper
You may find your everyday classroom stuffy, which is a common complaint among teachers. If this is so, you may also have experienced wet, sweaty feet. Wet feet can lead to a plethora of problems. Including, blisters, sheared skin, bacterial or fungal growth, or exceptionally smelly shoes. The canvas upper of these shoes for teachers is not only easy to clean, they are also very breathable. The addition of medial eyelets increases airflow, keeping your feet cooler.

Cost and Value
When in need of a classic, stylish pair of shoes, that can be worn with almost anything, for a price that won’t break the bank, look towards the Converse Chuck Taylor Low Top Sneaker. Shoes for teachers are always evolving to meet the variety of tasks that are faced daily in a school. The problem with that is the cost of them usually goes up when a change is made. Converse keeps it real and keeps it affordable with an age-old favorite loved by many generations and will continue to be loved for generations to come.

8. Vans Classic Slip On

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Vans Classic Slip On
Comfort
88
Support
89
Shock Absorption
86
Durability
85
Style
82
best offer for today
$55.95
Pros:

Canvas Upper

Roomy Toe Box

Padded Heel

Rubber Sole

Waffle Design Outsole For Grip

Cons:

Runs Small

Vans brand has been trusted for comfort for a long time. Well-padded and with good quality insoles is something that is expected of Vans shoes for teachers. The classic slip-on look with elastic side pieces makes these shoes flexible and great for all-day wear. Sitting can lead to swelling, during those test days, when you actually get to sit a bit, these shoes for teachers will give your feet some extra room and keep you feeling comfy. The rubber sole is good for impact absorption and gives you good grip and traction on potentially slippery floors.

Read more

Versatile Design
Trying to find a good pair of shoes can be difficult, especially with what things cost nowadays. The look of the Vans Classic Slip-On will go with many style choices. Easy to dress up and available in a variety of colors, your feet can feel great and you can look great all at the same time. Shoes for teachers are not always the coolest looking, being more focused on functionality, these shoes will vibe well with your students and your requirements of your footwear.

Cost and Value
Vans has been providing great looking shoes for decades. With a massive following, they are able to continue giving us the quality and comfort we have come to expect at a very affordable price. These shoes for teachers will fit into any budget easily, and help gain you some coolness credibility with students. Start your day by wearing them with any outfit and end your day with feet that don't hurt and the knowledge that it all didn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

9. Keds Champion Original

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
Keds Champion Original
Comfort
86
Support
85
Shock Absorption
80
Durability
81
Style
92
best offer for today
$38.68
Pros:

Canvas Upper

Rubber Sole

Easy Slip On/Off

Laces For Snug Fit

Cushioned Ortholite Insole

Cons:

Runs Narrow

The original and still popular 100 years after it was originally introduced, the KEDS Champion is a comfy little flat sneaker that will take the beating you give it during the day. Lightweight, shock-absorbing and featuring excellent traction on most surfaces, you'll be able to focus on your lessons rather than your feet.

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Cushioned Ortholite Insole
An insole that is cushioned for those long hours on your feet, this insole will not fatigue or hurt your feet. With great shock absorption and durability, they will provide you with comfort for an extended period of time.

Available In Wide Sizes
It's often hard to find comfy shoes for wider feet but the original KEDS Champions come in wider sizes. Without arch support, they are not for flat feet though.

Cost and Value
The Champion is a reasonably priced option and with the classic style, breathability and durability these shoes offer, they are well worth the cost. Cool, dry and well-cushioned, these shoes will get you through your day and well into the evening.

10. Dansko Professional

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Dansko Professional
Comfort
94
Support
83
Shock Absorption
84
Durability
79
Style
80
best offer for today
$129.95
Pros:

Leather

Polyurethane Sole

2" Heel

Rocker Bottom Shock Absorber

Padded Inner

Cons:

Runs Large

These roomy clogs were designed for long-wearing comfort. A padded instep collar and leather sock lining make sure your feet stay happy, while the protective TPU heel counter lets your heel move freely. The Professionals reinforced toe box design offers protection with lots of wiggle-room for toes.

Read more

Padded Step Collar
Provides extra support and cushioning at the ankle. This will help keep you supported during long days in front of the classroom. Ankle stability is difficult to find but the padded collar will definitely provide you additional comfort.

TPU Heel Counter
Stiffens the material surrounding the heel to provide extra foot support. When you walk your heels strike causing shock and eventual pain. The heel counter will help reduce this shock and keep you feeling great, even after a very long day.

Cost and Value
While these shoes are on the pricier side of the list, they offer excellent value. Each pair is hand-crafted with staple construction resulting in superior stability, support, and cushioning. Designed with a polyurethane rocker-bottom sole which protects your feet, back, and legs from the pressure of walking. These shoes are truly a teacher's best friend.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

We discuss comfort as criteria in many of our guides. That is because when it comes to our feet comfort is always important. Different jobs and walks in life require different features to ensure your feet aren’t under too much stress from the moment your day begins all the way to the end. Shoes for teachers need to offer superior support and cushion to provide the desired outcome of comfy feet.

The more we wear a pair of shoes the more they break down and can become very uncomfortable. Finding shoes with a replaceable or removable insole can really add to the overall comfort of your shoes. When the insole of a shoe breaks down it does not absorb shock as well nor does it support sensitive areas of our feet the way they did when they were new. By replacing your insole as it wears down or removing it all together, for your custom orthotics, keeping fresh, thick soles will keep you feeling good for days to come.

Another factor in comfort is break-in time. Shoes for teachers need little to no break in time because from the moment they are worn they need to perform or you may be in for a long painful week. Long break-in periods can lead not only to pain but also to blisters, ingrown toenails and areas of the foot may have skin breakdown due to excess rubbing. The less break-in time required the better.

Support

Whether a sufferer of flat feet, high arches, plantar fasciitis, corns, or even if you don’t currently have issues with your feet, the support your shoes give you is critical to making sure all the miles you walk are walked as comfortably as possible. We aren’t only talking about your feet. Your entire body will feel the effects of a shoe that doesn’t support you.

So, how do you find the correct support for your feet? A great place to start is to look at the bottoms of your favorite shoes and see where they are worn the most. The most worn area at the bottom of a shoe is the part that is taking the most pressure.

When your ankles are properly aligned they sit over the heel of your foot or in a neutral position. If this is how your ankles sit, you experience the least amount of foot pain as well as a decreased chance of rolling an ankle if not wearing supportive shoes.

  • Supination -
  • Unlike pronation, supination is when the ankle rolls to the outside and the heel tilts inward. This is a common problem for people with high arches or tight tendons between the back of the leg and the heel. The outer part of your foot is now taking all the force from pounding the halls and pain is sure to ensue. If ankle sprains, knee pain, and muscle tightness are common for you, supination may be the culprit. Supporting supination requires extra cushioning for added impact absorption. Allowing your feet to move with a flexible shoe will also aid in supported feet. Lastly, look for a straighter instep, this will help correct the supination.

  • Severe Over-Pronation -
  • Like over-pronation the ankle rolls in and the heel tilts out, but in this case, it is to an extreme. You may experience repeated ankle injuries, stress fractures, or painful arthritis you may be in the severe over-pronation category. You will want to find a shoe that offers motion control. These shoes will have a very stiff heel and a straight shape. This adds support to the arch. They also usually have a very firm midsole to ensure your feet stay in the correct position.

  • Over-pronation -
  • When the ankle rolls in and the heel tilts out. This is most common in people who have flat feet. Flat feet do not absorb shock as well and therefore choosing a shoe that offers support in shock absorption is going to be very beneficial. Flat feet need great arch support. That may seem silly because there is no arch to support however that is exactly why you need it. The arch of your foot helps reduce stress and shock. Shoes for teachers with flat feet need to offer deep heel cups, arch support, a firm midsole and low heels to make sure your entire body feels great.
  • Shock Absorption

    Shoes for teachers require a shoe that can take the pressure and reduce the shock your body takes on the daily. If your shoes aren’t absorbing and helping disperse the shock, it still has to go somewhere, and your body pays the price. Not all material is created equal when it comes to shock absorption.

    Different pieces of your shoes work hard to absorb shock. A huge part of it is the insole of your shoe. EVA insoles are very popular among the top manufacturers because of their durable, supportive, and shock absorbing traits. Memory Foam is another common insole that does a good job at supporting your feet and keeping the shock where it belongs. Another insole that offers good shock absorption is those made of cork or a cork mixture.

    The outsole of your shoe also plays a huge part in absorbing shock. The softer the outsole of the shoe the more shock it will be able to absorb. Materials like blown rubber, cork, and synthetic blends are not only lightweight, helping to keep muscles from fatigue but they also do an excellent job absorbing shock.

    Arch support and the heel cup in shoes for teachers also play their part in shock absorption. Heel striking when you walk causes a ton of the shock that is received. Finding shoes with good padding in the heel or the ability to slide a gel heel guard under the insole can really benefit absorbing all the force you put on your feet. Likewise, supporting your arch or lack of arch will help to disperse pressure evenly.

    Durability

    Shoes can be expensive, and should be treated as an investment. They serve an important role in supporting your entire body throughout the day. As a teacher, you'll likely be on your feet a lot, which can quickly put wear and tear on your shoes. As such, it's important to choose a shoe that is going to be durable.

    Consider what class you'll be teaching. A math teacher's footwear needs are going to be different than that of a PE or woodworking teacher. If you're on your feet constantly, you should priortize the sole, as this is the part of the shoe that is usually first to show wear and tear. Teachers in vocational positions such as engineering and woodworking will likely need soemthing with all-around durability; features such as steel toes and an oil-resistant upper come to mind.

    Also consider the time of year and climate. While mesh and canvas are some of the most breathable materials in shoes, they have little in terms of waterproofing. If you live in an area that is prone to a lot of precipitation, you may want to opt for something less permeable. Likewise if you live in a hot or dry climate, leather may not be an ideal choice as it can crack and break down in dry conditions.

    Let's come back to the sole. A poorly-made outsole can sometimes result in holes, which will allow water into the bottom of the shoe and compromist overall durability. We've made it a point to only list products with durable rubber outsoles.

    Style

    Style is a quality that is sometimes overlooked in shoes for teachers, in favor of other factors like durability and comfort. However, it is an important thing to consider for one major reason; dress codes.

    Like students, teachers must follow certain guidelines in regards to how they dress or potentially be subject to disciplinary action. These guidelines can vary based on many factors: the type of school, the position that the teacher is in, and even the day of the week (casual Fridays, anyone?). Dress codes are also subject to change on a case-by-case basis, due to things such as weather and special events such as field trips. Let's take a look at some of these in a little more detail.

    There are three common types of schools in the US; public, private, and parochial (religious). Private and parochial schools will often have more stringent dress codes than public schools, for both students and teachers. It's important to read up on these guidelines, and reach out to your leadership with anyquestions or concerns you may have.

    The position a teacher is in will also have an impact on this. Classes such as PE will typically call specifically for sneakers or other athletic shoes, as these are the best fit for the teaching environment. Vocational courses like woodworking and engineering will emphasize safety, so boots and steel-toe shoes may be preferred. Even science courses such as chemistry may call for a specific type of footwear.

    Special events such as musical performances and field trips may also have their own guidelines. Performances will often call for a more formal shoe, while field trips may allow for more comfortable styles, depending on the trip.

    Regardless, open-toe shoes are almost always not allowed. This is a safety measure in the event that something falls or is dropped, such as a heavy textbook or computer equipment. Most schools will also call for non-marking soles, as they will reduce the wear and tear on hard flooring. Again, look at your specific guidelines carefully, and discuss any questions you may have with your leadership.

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    Standing All Day

    While many teachers find themselves on their feet all day in front of the classroom, it's important to still take your breaks! Take just 5-10 minutes even during class, to sit down and give your feet a break.
    In addition, you can always purchase insoles with some extra cushioning, to help you through the day.

    Style And Function

    While you may first put comfort as a priority in your shoes for schooldays, you can still look quite stylish if you pick a pair that reflects your individuality.
    Pair chucks with Jeans or even slacks, for a laid back but trendy look, or grab something with a pattern to boost your style.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    q: I'm a teacher and I'm walking around a lot more at my new school. My new heels are killing me. Help!!
    a:

    Foot pain for the working person is unfortunately very common. Shoes for teachers that walk a ton require a low or no heel. Your trusty heels should be replaced with a flat shoe or one with a very small heel or wedge.

    The impact the ball or front of your foot takes when wearing heels will cause a lot of problems and pain for your whole body. You need to support the arch and absorb the shock of walking. A lightweight outsole made of blown rubber or cork can greatly reduce shock and help you take all those extra steps in comfort.

    You don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. Alegria offers a variety of shoes that keep your feet looking and feeling great. Looking for something a little more classic? Converse gives you a timeless look and shoes that form to your feet for excellent comfort. Shoe companies are making great strides in offering not only a pleasing look but also shoes that make your feet continue to feel good throughout the longest years.

    q: My shoes are still in fairly good condition, but the insoles are starting to break down. Do I really need to buy new shoes?
    a:

    This question comes with some additional questions in order to offer a valid solution.

    First, is the insole removable? If the answer is yes, then your solution is simple. All you need to do is remove the old worn insole and replace it with another of your choosing. You can look at the old insole and see where you are wearing them out the most. This will help you make a smart choice when buying a new pair. If the answer is no, your solution is not so simple. Some shoes offer enough room that you can simply put a new pair over the old pair. Lacking room for new insoles may require you to buy a new pair of shoes.

    Next, is your insole only wearing out in the heel? Wearing down in the heel of a shoe is very common because of heel striking while you walk. This type of wear can lead to increased discomfort due to extra shock you are not used to absorbing. The addition of a gel heel pad may fix the problem pretty easily and give you longer wear of your favorite shoes. A gel pad does best under the insole, however, if putting it above lets you continue to wear them, go for it.

    q: I have arthritis in my feet. Are there any shoes out there that won't be so painful?
    a:

    Pain from arthritis may not be fully alleviated by your footwear, however, a great pair of shoes for teachers can help reduce it dramatically. You need a shoe that greatly promotes stability. Avoid heels, as they will increase your pain dramatically. Arthritis in the feet often occurs in the toes. Finding a shoe with a roomy toe box, instead of one that pinches, will help arthritic feet start to feel better. Pointed toes, even if not in a heel form, should be avoided.

    Degeneration of the foot’s arch may cause bone spurs on the top of the foot and arthritis throughout the bones within the foot. You may be feeling burning sensations and loosening the laces of your shoes will help. Added pressure to arthritic feet will never lead you to comfort. Reduce the pressure reduce the pain.

    Many rheumatoid arthritis sufferers rely on rocker bottom shoes to decrease the pain from inflammation. The motion of this type of shoe makes the foot move as it is supposed to and keeps your gait fluid. They tend to have a much thicker sole which aids in absorbing the shock that you get from walking and pain from arthritis.

    q: A student recently told me my shoes belong in a garbage can. I looked down and realized my most trusted go-to shoes are looking shabby. What can I do to rejuvenate them?
    a:

    Kids can be so cruel and pointing out bad footwear is not a line they are unwilling to cross. The first thing you will need to do to spruce up your shoes is to figure out what type of material you are dealing with. There are a variety of cleaners and conditioners out there but they are not meant for all types of shoes.

    Leather requires more attention to detail when cleaning. Otherwise, you may end up with unsightly water spots or discoloration. When caring for your leather you want to brush away surface dirt with a soft bristled brush. While we always suggest looking over the manufacturer’s recommendation, you would then want to clean them with a damp microfiber cloth and shoe polish. Again depending on the type of leather, further investigation may be needed. There are also some really great leather cleaners on the market that will make spot cleaning a cinch.

    Canvas is much easier to clean and often times can simply be thrown in the washer. Not into putting your shoes in the washer? That’s OK too! Canvas is easy to spot clean with mild soap and water. If you are dealing with white canvas shoes, Tide pens have been a lifesaver in my life. Handy and easy to use, clean shoes are only a step or two away.

    Synthetic materials can be more difficult to clean. They really require a little research with the company who makes them. Finding out the best way to clean synthetic materials can vary. Making sure you don’t stain them or make them look worse is crucial and a little research may save you from replacing your shoes.

    Sources

    1. The Stewart Group, Cleansport NXT - Natural Odor Control,
    2. FootSmart, Pronation,
    3. The Arhtritis Foundation, Foot, Toe, and Heel Care,