We all know that tennis shoes are ideal for walking and hiking shoes are made for more strenuous climbs. Yet, despite how difficult and physically demanding the job of a teacher can be, nobody seems to know which style of footwear works best for supporting the role of an educator who typically spends long hours on their feet.
The truth is, many types of well-made footwear can work well for teachers: you just have to know what to look for.
If you or someone you love is an educator who spends hours on their feet each day, read on. It’s time for a Footwear 101 lesson where we’ll explore the question, what are the best shoes for teachers? Learn which qualities make footwear ideal for teaching and see our top recommendations for choosing the right shoes, all in this comprehensive guide.
Why Choosing the Right Shoes is Vital for Teachers
The daily responsibilities of a teacher often involve considerable amounts of activity.
From the kindergarten teacher who has to bop from table to table to keep their young pupils in line to the college professor who stands up for hours on end to present their lectures, educators are constantly on the move.
In fact, teachers are on their feet, either standing or walking, for about 70 percent of the day, and this holds true across the board for educators at1:
- Elementary schools
- Middle schools
- Secondary schools
What’s more, teachers tend to work more than 40 hours a week.2 With this information, you can see how the time the average educator spends on their feet quickly adds up. Wearing the wrong pair of shoes year after year can lead to the development of serious health issues in the3:
To that end, it’s clear that footwear is a crucial factor in the health and comfort of any educator.
Now that you know why it’s vital for teachers to treat themselves to a nice pair of shoes, let’s dive deeper into the specific qualities one should consider when asking themselves, what are good shoes for teachers?
Factors to Consider When Selecting Teacher-Friendly Footwear
It can sometimes be hard to determine which footwear features to prioritize when you’re looking to snag a pair you’ll love for the long haul. So, here are our suggestions for the top 3 factors you should keep in mind to set yourself up for teacher shoe-hunting success:
- Comfort – The responsibilities of a teacher are vast and varied. The last thing an educator needs to be worrying about is nagging pain or discomfort in their feet. With the right styles that fit your foot shape, you won’t even know they’re there—unless you’re feeling the extra support they provide.
- Practicality – As fun as it can be to throw on a flashy pair of heels or platform shoes, these statement pieces don’t always make the best shoes for teachers. Shoes designed for looks at the cost of comfort are likely to leave your feet aching and chafing after a long day in front of the class. Plus, a pair of shoes that has a lot going on design-wise may be distracting to both you and your students. It’s better to keep your teaching shoes simple and subtly stylish.
- Support – One element that only well-made, high-quality shoes can provide is premium support. Flimsy or cheaply manufactured shoes won’t be able to properly cushion the feet and support their natural structure as you go about your day.
Next, we’ll take a closer look at one lesser-known element that can completely make or break your footwear experience as a teacher.
The Benefits of Arch Support in Teacher’s Shoes
If you’ve ever set foot in a school, then you won’t have a hard time envisioning the typical floor of a classroom. Whether it’s linoleum, rubber, or paper-thin carpeting, one thing remains true: school floors can be rather unforgiving on the feet.
That means the shoes you choose to shield your feet on any given workday need to pull some extra weight to keep you safe and properly supported.
Teacher shoes with proper arch support help protect the foot by4:
- Supporting ligaments, tendons, and bones
- Cushioning the foot against impact
- Correcting balance and foot placement
The end result? Less foot pain and fatigue build up as the school day goes on. Over time, this small investment into the health and well-being of your feet can make a world of difference in the way you feel.
Comfortable Classics: Vionic’s Timeless Shoe Styles for Educators
Here at Vionic, we pride ourselves on crafting smart footwear solutions that provide the perfect balance of style and functionality. We know how hard teachers work daily to educate our youth, and we believe they deserve shoes that make them look and feel their best.
Here are our 4 top recommendations for the most comfortable shoe styles that are well-suited to the teaching lifestyle:
- Uptown – This loafer is lightweight, flexible, and built to prevent sore feet, while providing optimal comfort anywhere you go. A buttery soft unlined upper paired with a high-quality sole ensures a pain-free experience no matter what kind of activities you’re facilitating for your class.
- Willa – Our subtle yet stunning slip-on Willa shoes are available in a flat style as well as a wedge style. Both shoes offer premium wearability and are crafted using ultra-luxe materials. Dress them up or dress them down—no matter what you wear with them, these shoes are the ideal footwear to complete a professional look.
- Kensley – A classic and timeless loafer, this comfy shoe is the perfect choice for all-day wear. Its design achieves a modern and chic appearance thanks to a statement lug-sole tread. It’s a popular stylish shoe among workers who need to stay on their feet for long hours.
- Lucas – Prefer to keep things casual in the classroom? This simple yet sleek lace-up sneaker may be your perfect match. This men’s casual shoe is made with podiatrist-designed technology that supports and realigns the feet so you can experience relief from common aches and pain associated with standing for prolonged periods.
No matter which comfy shoe you choose for your teaching needs, you can rest assured that our special Vio Motion Technology will exceed expectations when it comes to key footwear factors like:
- Arch support
With so many different comfortable shoe styles to choose from, you can find your new favorite teaching shoe in our collection in no time at all.
Making Your Decision: How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Teacher Shoes
In the end, the right pair of shoes for you will come down to personal preference. To help narrow down your choices, keep these two key factors at the front of your mind:
- Style – Some teachers like to opt for comfy and minimalistic on-the-job clothing. Others find joy in expressing their personality through intentional fashion choices. Depending on where your style falls on the spectrum of casual to formal, the right teaching shoes for your needs can vary.
- Versatility – Are you the type of person who likes to have one go-to pair of shoes? Or, do you prefer to switch it up and sport a variety of intriguing footwear looks? Whether you plan on keeping your shoe collection large or small, it’s definitely wise to invest in at least one or two high-quality pairs of shoes for teaching.
Once you find the perfect teaching shoe for you, the only regret you’ll have is not investing in your foot health sooner.
Caring for Your Teacher Shoes: Tips for Longevity and Comfort
Simply by nature of the job, wearing teacher shoes on a routine basis is going to lead to inevitable wear and tear. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t employ smart strategies to protect your footwear investments and keep them stronger for longer.
Use these tips to extend the lifespan of your teaching shoes:
- Rotate Between Multiple Pairs – If you wore the same shirt every day, you wouldn’t be surprised if its material suffered and deteriorated in no time. Yet, we often get into the habit of wearing one pair of shoes almost every day and expecting that pair to hold up. Give your footwear time to breathe, and it will reward you with increased longevity. To that end, consider alternating between two or more trusty pairs of wear-to-work shoes.
- Use Caution When Cleaning – Certain materials are sensitive to harsh cleaners, so be sure to always research before applying a new substance to your wear-to-work shoes. For instance, shoes made with leather can be easily harmed by acids or detergents. When you test out a new cleanser on your footwear, see how it impacts your shoes on a tiny area first before applying it to the whole surface.
By following these tips, you can help your teacher shoes perform better and achieve a lengthier lifespan.
Invest in Footwear Fit For an Educator with Vionic
We hope the tips in this article helped you answer the crucial question, what are the most comfortable shoes for teachers? Remember: wearing the wrong pair of shoes can lead to adverse and lasting health consequences. An investment in your teaching footwear is an investment in your long-term health and happiness.
Here at Vionic, we employ science-backed solutions to design footwear that’s optimized to provide support for all sorts of activities, including teaching. Browse our collection of high-quality women’s wear-to-work and men’s wear-to-work styles to find your perfect fit and command the classroom with confidence.
- “Job requirements for teachers in 2017.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 7 September, 2018. https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/job-requirements-for-teachers-in-2017.htm
- Najarro, Illeana. “Here’s How Many Hours a Week Teachers Work.” EducationWeek. 14 April, 2022.https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/heres-how-many-hours-a-week-teachers-work/2022/04
- Pappalardo, Gaetan. “Shoes for Teachers: What’s on Your Feet?” EduTopia. https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/shoes-teachers-whats-your-feet
- “What Makes Arch Support So Important?” Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care. https://www.cfac.net/2023/02/03/what-makes-arch-support-so-important/