July 18, 2018

Comfortable Shoes For Teachers: Give Your Feet The Best Care At Work

teacher shoes

Teaching is hard at the best of times. The long days, endless marking and relentless scrutiny can take its toll on us mere mortals. Don't get me wrong, the rewards outweigh the cons, but we’re only human.

So my question is this: why would you want to make things harder for yourself?

Gone are the days when women were expected to wear heels whilst they worked because flats were deemed matronly and out of sync with style. Luckily, comfort (and, of course, always style) is now the name of the game.

As you guide our future generations through their journey of self-discovery and enlightenment, why not do it in a flat that’s both practical and also pleasing to the eye?

No matter what the itinerary for the day, I’ve found 10 pairs of flats that will have you sashaying down the corridor and ready to take on anything.


Comparison Table - Best Shoes for Teachers


Image 
Product Name
Shoe Style
Colour Options
Price Guide & Amazon Rating
View Product
Alegria Women's Paloma Flat

Alegria Women's Paloma Flat

Mary Jane

50 Options

$$

Clarks Unstructured Women's Un-Loop Slip-on

Clarks Unstructured Women's Un-Loop Slip-on

Slip-on

9 Options

$$

Crocs Women's Kadee Flat

Crocs Women's Kadee Flat

Ballet Flat

Black, Espresso, Nautical Navy, Platinum, Gold, Wild Orchid

$

Sanuk Women's Scribble Flat

Sanuk Women's Scribble Flat

Slip-on

Tropical/Teal Multi

$$

Naturalizer Women's Clarissa Slip on Shoe

Naturalizer Women's Clarissa Slip on Shoe

Slip-on

10 Options

$

Vionic Women’s Spark Minna Ballet Flat

Vionic Women’s Spark Minna Ballet Flat

Ballet Flat

17 Options

$$

Dansko Women’s Sam Ankle-strap Clog

Dansko Women’s Sam Ankle-strap Clog

Clog

Black

$$$$$

Crocs Women’s Isabella Flat

Crocs Women’s Isabella Flat

Flat

10 Options

$

Ecco Women’s Soft Fashion Sneaker

Ecco Women’s Soft Fashion Sneaker

Sneaker

Black, Marine, Warm Gray, White, Mahogany

$$

Clarks Women’s Everlay Elma Oxford

Clarks Women’s Everlay Elma Oxford

Lace-up

Black Leather, Black Nubuck, Taupe Nubuck

$


Why do teachers need to worry about their footwear?


There’s no doubt that teaching is a unique occupation which presents its own set of wardrobe challenges. As one plain-speaking teacher writes: ‘I teach third grade […] I’m covered in ink, crayon and bodily fluids on a daily basis’.

There can’t be many jobs out there like that! I can only think of nursing as coming close and that’s another profession where choice of footwear is crucial to survival.

Choosing clothes which are up to the job is one thing – and most teachers go for the bargain basement option for the classroom so they don’t end up trashing expensive and fashionable items. They save those designer outfits for weekends and holidays!

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On the flip side, shoes are a different matter altogether and teachers learn pretty fast that economising on footwear is false economy indeed. Teachers are on their feet for 8 gruelling hours, 5 days a week for nigh on 40 weeks a year.

Right from the earliest days when they’re learning the ropes as student teachers, they discover that the key to surviving the rigors of their chosen profession is having the best footwear they can afford.

The choice of good shoes for teachers is never about fashion and style but always about the three Cs: comfort, comfort, comfort. Let’s face it, heels are never going to cut it in the comfort stakes, so flats are the way forward.

Read on and you’ll discover that flats don’t have to be clunky, awkward and downright ugly, though! So, rest assured that you can achieve comfort without sacrificing style. 


Health Benefits of Wearing Flats


Now, let me start off by saying I’m by no means a heel hater. I love a good heel – in the right situation. But when I’m on my feet for 8 hours a day, I can't think of anything worse.

The reality is that wearing heels day in, day out, can cause serious damage and all in the name of fashion. I, for one, am not willing to take that risk.

Studies have shown that there are multiple drawbacks to wearing heels consistently every day, some of which can cause irreparable damage.

Knee and Back Pain

By design, heels force the majority of your weight on to the balls of your feet and toes and this causes massive pressure on your feet - pressure that they’re not designed or intended to deal with.

But it gets worse. Wearing heels affects your ankles, knees and back as our bodies were not made to withstand the pressure and can lead to serious detrimental effects on health and well-being such as osteoarthritis and also plantar fasciitis.

Flats provide sturdy support for your body’s musculo-skeletal structure. 

Corns

A lot of high-heeled shoes are narrow at the front which can cause pressure on the sides of your feet and toes.

This can disfigure your feet over long periods of time and cause a tremendous amount of pain and inflammation. And corns can be hard to cure.

Better to wear the right shoes for the job and avoid getting them in the first place.

Balance

Imagine going about your day-to-day business on tip-toes. It's a ridiculous thought, but this is what you’re doing when wearing heels. Teachers need to be brimful of confidence to make sure that they stay in control of lively groups of children.

The ability to move fast is a number one priority, particularly with early years teaching. Flats will give you optimum balance and mobility when you need it most.

Our body needs stability and balance, especially in the limbs that carry us around all day. We’re less accident-prone in flats whilst also providing the support our bodies need.

Types of Shoe to Consider

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So, now you know the problems that the wrong footwear can cause, I’m guessing that you’re keen to find the best possible shoes to carry you effortlessly and hopefully painlessly through all those hours.

Everyone likes different shoes to match their own signature style. Nobody likes the idea that they’re going to have to spend the working day wearing the same style of shoe. We all need options which will match our choice of attire and some teaching environments demand smarter turnout than others.

You’ll be glad to discover that there flats out there to suit all tastes and dress codes. I’ve reviewed a range of styles from sandals and pumps to slip-ons and lace-ups, all with the aim of finding the most comfortable shoes for teachers.

Read on, so you can choose the right teacher shoes to suit the particular and special demands of your unique occupation. 


Features to Look for in Good Shoes for Teachers


Comfort

 

I don’t think I need to labor this point too much more. Teaching is all about the ‘c’ word – comfort! Comfy shoes for teachers are not a luxury – they’re a necessity.

The very idea of having to put up with foot pain while keeping up with the demands of a class full of lively kids is little short of horrific. And remember that pain will eventually lead to conditions like osteoarthritis and plantar fasciitis.


The trick is to look after those hardworking feet, so they can keep you mobile. I may have said this before (in fact, I know I did) but footwear for teachers is all about comfort, comfort, comfort. Am I getting my message across?

Support

 

It goes without saying – almost! – that if your feet are slipping around inside your shoes all day, eventually you’ll cause damage and that damage will be painful and possibly long-lasting.

The best shoes for teachers fit snugly (but are never tight, of course) and have really good arch support, to suit the unique shape of your feet. 

Smart

 

Different schools have different rules when it comes to dress for teachers. If you’re required to be super-smart, don’t think that you have to sacrifice comfort to achieve smartness.

My review of the best flats for teachers includes some suggestions which will tick the ‘smart’ box but offer comfort and practicality at the same time.

Breathability

 

Sorry, I can’t avoid mentioning this, but it’s a fact of life, especially for people who spend all day moving around, that feet sweat. They actually sweat a lot!

Nobody wants super-smelly feet at the end of the day but there’s a more painful side to all that sweat and that’s blisters – ouch! To avoid a) odors and b) blisters, make sure you choose shoes which are breathable. 

Fashionable

 

Thinking back to our own school days, we can all remember those dowdy, matronly teachers who clumped about in unfeminine and often downright ugly shoes. They were the butt of no end of jokes, right? Never fear! You won’t become that person just because you want to be comfortable!

The great news is that you can be stylish, fashionable and comfortable at the same time. Check out my reviews below and rest assured that you’ll find some great suggestions for fashionable but comfy shoes for teachers. 


10 Best Shoes for Teachers Reviewed For Comfort


1. Alegria Women's Paloma Flat

When doing my research, Alegria seems to be the number one choice for those who are on their feet for the majority of the day. But I feel that this particular style adds the WOW factor to everyday footwear.

They’re patent-leather with a rubber sole which helps you tackle those everyday spillages without looking like Bambi on ice. The cushioned sole hugs your feet without providing the pressure points that heels do.

They’re stylish and can be worn with both trousers and skirts which make them a year-round favourite, and their intricate design means these flats are nice and feminine.

Alegria Women's Paloma Flat

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

74%
 Chance of Success
Clarks Unstructured Women's Un-Loop Slip-on

Our Rating

2. Clarks Unstructured Women's
Un-Loop Slip-on

These flats look more like the ‘practical woman's' shoe but don’t let this put you off. Clarks is a household name for stability and comfort, believe me when I tell you, there’s nothing wrong with that.

This Clarks favourite comes in seven different colours which makes it the perfect accompaniment to any outfit.

It has its own Signature Unstructured ventilation system whilst being able to cushion the heel, balls and collar of your foot.

It’s defined as a ‘casual shoe' but this doesn’t mean you cannot dress it up for your meetings. But if nothing else, the Clarks name must speak for itself in endurance, comfort and practicality.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

79%
 Chance of Success

3. Crocs Women's Kadee Flat

I know what some of you are thinking: ‘I wouldn't be seen dead in a pair of Crocs'. But Crocs have so many designs they can cater to any wardrobe.

Like the Clarks, this shoe comes in seven different colours, which makes it much easier to plan your work attire around them.

These flats are synthetic so do provide the more affordable option to leather shoes but not at sub-standard quality.

These cute slip-ons provide support, especially to the arch of your foot, and allow your foot to remain in their natural position – which is always a bonus if you're on your feet all day!

Crocs Women's Kadee Flat

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

68%
 Chance of Success
Sanuk Women's Scribble Flat

Our Rating

4. Sanuk Women's Scribble Flat

Now don't be alarmed, because I know this doesn't look like your typical ‘work shoe'. But who’s to say what is and isn't a work shoe?

I wouldn't suggest turning up to a very important work meeting in this fancy footwear, but that doesn’t mean it does not have its place in the workplace.

Sanuk have created a funky canvas flat that’s perfect for those sunny days – and, dare I say it, heat-swollen feet.

The canvas material ensures that your feet can breathe whilst the rubber sole ensures you won't succumb to the daily rigors of teaching.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

79%
 Chance of Success

5. Naturalizer Women's Clarissa Slip on Shoe

This is definitely a professional looking shoe. But wait for it - in twelve different colours!

I will admit they don’t look as feminine as a Mary Jane but they do provide a purpose. 

The leather quickly becomes flexible and malleable to your feet and they’re a light shoe so it won't feel like you're wearing two blocks of cement on your lower extremities.

But there's always that up side of the slip-on: if you slip them off under your desk, no one will know!

Naturalizer Women's Clarissa Slip on Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

74%
 Chance of Success
Vionic Women’s Spark Minna Ballet Flat

Our Rating

6. Vionic Women’s Spark Minna Ballet Flat

When it comes to ballet flats, Vionic offers lots of options in its Minna range. With a flexible, rubber sole for great stability and traction and calf-leather uppers, these flats hug the foot and come in the most practical shades — black, silver and even real fur dyed leopard print for those who favour statement footwear!

The leather uppers mean than they’re naturally breathable and also fit like a glove. The textile lining keeps the shoes both cool and dry. The textile footbed is removable, so you can insert orthotics if you need extra arch support, for example, although these flats do offer good arch support of their own.

They’re lightweight enough to wear all day, weighing in at only 7 ounces, and are ideal for teaching, dancing or dressy events. The quarter-inch heel provides a slight lift without being a neck breaker. 

Best of all, this cute ballet flat doesn’t scream comfort shoe and the tasteful bow detail gives them a touch of class and style.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

59%
 Chance of Success

7. Dansko Women’s Sam Ankle-strap Clog

Dansko is without doubt the recognized leader in comfort shoes for workers who are on their feet all day which has to make them a contender as one of the best shoes for teachers on the market.

There is a proviso, though, and it’s a big one: they have a significant degree of arch support which is great for anyone who needs it. The word is, though, if you don’t need it, skip Dansko, because it will hurt.

These ankle-strap clogs are more stylish than the traditional Dansko clog, yet you’ll still get all the comfort you need. This particular style doesn’t yell “comfort shoe” and they’re great for those tricky transitional times of year between seasons.

Although not strictly a ‘flat’, the comfort factor of Dansko shoes makes them a natural choice among the best shoes for teachers. They come with a 2-inch heel and a 1/2 inch platform.

The extreme arch support of Dansko means that these won’t suit everyone but, for those who need it, these clogs will give you the comfort level needed for long shifts standing on hard floors.

Dansko Women’s Sam Ankle-strap Clog

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

75%
 Chance of Success
Crocs Women’s Isabella Flat

Our Rating

8. Crocs Women’s Isabella Flat

Yes, more Crocs! Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you just can’t speak about comfy shoes for teachers without mentioning them!
And, as it happens, the Crocs Isabella Sandal is far from being clunky or ugly, which is the criticism aimed at most of this brand’s offering. It’s actually a cute, lightweight sandal, which combines style and comfort, with excellent cushioning in the footbed.

The particular feature of these flats, making them good shoes for teachers, is the CrosliteTM outsole which is neither rubber nor plastic and is actually a closed cell resin. The unique feature of this material is that it has superior anti-bacterial properties so your feet will stay fresh all day long.

It’s also an extremely versatile, super-flexible and lightweight material which doesn’t absorb moisture and can easily be washed with soap and water, making them super practical and easy to care for.

Its slip-on design makes this shoe very practical for teachers, with no studs, Velcro or laces. The polyurethane upper material is quite flexible and adapts easily to the shape of your foot. 

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

74%
 Chance of Success

9. Ecco Women’s Soft Fashion Sneaker

If your school’s dress code will allow it, these sneakers from Ecco are one of the best tennis shoes for teachers on the market. And they’re not your average tennis shoes, either, as the uppers are manufactured from super-soft leather which is gorgeously malleable and you’ll find they’ll fit like a glove and are hardwearing, too.

There are 5 colours to choose from, so you might even find yourself buying more than one of pair of these ultra-practical, comfortable shoes for teachers.

The synthetic outsole is hard-wearing, lightweight and flexible, which offers really good stability and grip when you’re on your feet for hours.

The breathable textile lining will help to keep your feet cool and dry even in the most testing conditions, helped by the removable micro-fiber insert. The advantage of this is that it can be replaced by orthotics if needs be. 

Ecco Women’s Soft Fashion Sneaker

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

79%
 Chance of Success
Clarks Women’s Everlay Elma Oxford

Our Rating

10. Clarks Women’s Everlay Elma Oxford

These super-smart, sleek Oxfords are great for teachers who are looking for smartness and practicality. Some Oxfords tend to be rather heavy-looking and frumpy but not these. What you have here is more of an athletic silhouette, which lightens up the traditional Oxford look.

The low wedge heel gives enough lift to suggest stylishness without compromising on the all important comfort factor. The leather uppers are flexible and the lace-up closure means you can get a really snug fit to give your feet the best possible support while you’re on your feet all day.

Breathability is ensured by the textile lining. You’ll really appreciate the cushion-soft insole and OrtholiteTM footbed, which will cushion your feet and help to minimise fatigue. 

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

80%
 Chance of Success

Conclusion


I hope I’ve got the message over that the best teacher shoes are the most comfortable ones. Ignore the ‘c’ word at your peril!

As a teacher, you’re under a lot more physical strain than the public gives you credit for. For you to live up to your full potential, you need to be comfortable in your surroundings and your footwear.

Being Miss Fashionista is all well and good, but if you're unable to stand after third period, what's the point?

Be the best you can be! That doesn't mean you have to be the archaic illustration of a woman in heels – now you’ve read this article on the best flats for teachers, I hope you’ll trust me when I say that flats are the way forward.

Show the future generations that health comes before fashion and how important it is to make your own choices. Challenge anyone who says that flats can't be fashionable! And, at the same time, make sure you get an A+ for taking care of your hardworking feet…

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