Your votes are in: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers

Teaching involves a lot of standing and walking around, and without comfortable shoes (okay, even WITH comfortable shoes), that can be pretty hard on your body.

I recently asked my followers on Facebook to share the most comfortable shoes they’ve found for teaching, and got a wide range of responses regarding sneakers/tennis shoes, ballet flats, sandals, wedges, and even heels! I only heard one response from the men (it’s included below), but many of the brands shared here also make men’s shoes. No matter what the dress code or weather in your area, I think you’ll find some helpful suggestions below.

The 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers: some really cute and affordable teacher shoes here!

Here are the 30 brands and styles I saw mentioned most frequently, listed in alphabetical order. Only the links to Amazon are affiliate links (this means I get a small commission, at no cost to you). I have not been compensated in any way by these brands/stores for listing the shoes below–they are a true representation of what teachers shared with me as their favorite picks! Click any shoe’s picture to learn more:

a2 by aerosoles: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers


Heels and comfort? Apparently, it’s possible with Aerosoles. Teachers swear by this brand’s heels!

“I wore nothing but Sketchers dress shoes my first 2 years of teaching due to knee and ankle problems. Now that everything is fixed, I love Aerosoles dress shoes and my Sketchers still.” – Jessica H.

alegria womens clog: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersAlegria

Alegria was one of the top brands mentioned. These have a patented removable footbed which is cushioned with memory foam.

asics womens gel-lyte running shoes: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersAsics

Feeling sporty? Running and tennis shoes are another teachers’ favorite, particularly ones from Asics which have gel cushioning and special foam for the midsoles.
bernie mev chasca pump: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers


Bernie Mev

Bernie Mevs can provide both extra height and comfort. Their pumps are lightweight and have a memory cushion footbed.

Bernie Mev !!!! They are divine!!;) – Chelsea Garrett Waldon
birkenstock thong sandal: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersBirkenstock Sandals

Birkenstock sandals are not only back in style, but provide arch support for comfort and have an adjustable strap to make them a perfect fit. Plus, they are said to be lightweight as well!

“Birkenstock sandals. Hands down.” – Katey C W


BOC mid heel clogs: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersB.O.C

B.O.Cs have been compared to Danskos. They are lightweight and provide enough support even for feet that has suffered injuries in the past.


clarks angora flat: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersClarks

Countless teachers are in love with Clarks not only because they are comfortable but also because they have a lot of cute styles. Clarks offers ballet flats, boots, clogs, mary janes, among other kinds of shoe styles.

“Clarke bendables. They have some very classy and not so school-marmish looking models! QVC and Amazon are two places I’ve gotten them!” – Missy M.

Wore Clarks for years.” – Olivia Junkin Sansing


Crocs cap toe flat: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersCrocs

Crocs are love ’em or hate ’em, I suppose, but many people don’t realize there are new styles beyong the iconic monster-shaped Crocs. The brand also offers surprisingly cute flats with non-slip bottoms.

Crocs: I’ve injured my feet at school wearing ‘proper shoes’ so often that I am in constant pain. Crocs make a couple pair that are for the food industry that have a nonslip bottom. I live in them.” – Lisa M.


Dansko dress pump: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers


Danskos are a steady favorite among teachers, and were named repeatedly among those who have had foot surgery in the past or managed other foot issues.  The brand offers quite a wide selection which includes open-toed sandals, boots, and pumps.

“Danskos: my feet, knees and legs don’t hurt at the end of the day. Their closed toe shoes aren’t the cutest but they have awesome open toed shoes and sandals! Won’t wear anything else now.” – Marcie S.


Dexflex quilted flat: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers

DexFlex Comfort from Payless

Because you can’t wear house slippers in school, wear the next best thing. Some teachers say these are as good, if not better!

“Dex flex from Payless! Love them! They feel like house slippers.” – Deidre S.D.


italian shoemakers wedge sandals: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers

Italian Shoemakers – DSW

For teachers who are not willing to forego style and heels, footwear by the Italian Shoemakers from DSW are heaven-sent. Their wedges are very stylish and more importantly, easy to walk in.

“Italian Shoemakers at DSW Shoes. Dressy Wedges for teachers and the vertically challenged like me!” – Danielle B.


easy spirit travel time: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers

Easy Spirit

Sneakers are great, but if you want to pull off a more professional look with the same level of comfort (or more!) then Easy Spirit Traveltime mules and Zero Gravity shoes are are a good bet. They look a bit like regular flats when worn with long pants, and all styles are lightweight and breathable.

“Easy Spirit Traveltime. Lightweight and feels like you’re wearing sneakers but have a more professional look.” Diane T.C.


famolares: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers



Take a cue from the 70’s and celebrate your vintage style with Famolares. These shoes have thick soles that provide ample of support and cushion to tired heels.

“Back in the ’70s it was wooden Swedish clogs, but they were too noisy and I opted for thick soles Famolares.” – Marcy L.


fitflops: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersFit Flops

Fit Flops offer not only open-toe sandals but lace-ups and ballet flats as well, along with other styles. Designed to activate leg muscles, these shoes have patented cushioning that makes walking around easy.


fly london wedge: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers

Fly London

Fly London has killer wedges that are both stylish and comfortable. Plus, they offer many designs to choose from, with lots of different solid colors and even animal prints!


keen fashion sneakers: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersKeen

Keen slip-ons are classic in style and feature breathable terry cloth panel (or tongue if you choose lace-up sneakers) that allows air to circulate better.

“Keen, came across them in my previous life working retail- you can stand in them all day.” – Leasa F.L.


naots luma pump: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersNaot

Pumps are rarely comfortable – except if they are Naots, according to teachers. Though a bit pricey, Naot pumps can give the support sensitive feet need. They usually have removable insoles that are made of natural latex.


naturalizer ballet flat: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers


Naturalizer is another favorite for a lot of reasons other than being comfortable: they are cute, are available in tons of styles, are easy-to-find, and apparently, they are often on sale.

“Shoes from Naturalizer. Seriously, the best! I bought two pairs of super cute wedges, one high heeled pair, and and sneakers. They’re cute, the stores consistently have sales, and you can buy in-store or online. Highly recommend!” – Amanda B.


payless gretchen clog: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersGretchen clog – Payless

Flat-footed teachers rejoice–the Gretchen clogs from Payless work well with your foot structure. These clogs are slip-resistant and have a soft lining and airy insoles that give sufficient cushioning.

“Payless Gretchen clog. I have flat feet and scoliosis, so without the right shoe I am in pain and my ankles swell like hams. They have multiple styles on the website and I get lots of compliments on my shoes from the kids.” -Salica W.


rockport walking shoes: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersRockport RBXs

Lets not forget the men. Male teachers seem to love Rockport RBXs. These office-appropriate shoes are made of leather and have synthetic rubber soles designed to grip a variety of surfaces.



sanuk slip on loafer: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersSanuk

Imagine standing on a yoga mat all day – that’s how it feels like to wear Sanuks, according to some teachers. Some designs all feature an anti-microbial additive to the footbed, making them great for sweaty feet!

“Sanuk. They are made from yoga mat material and are great. My district isn’t very strict about footwear.” – Nicole Triplett Blanc
SAS sandals: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersSAS

If you are a fan of feminine, open-toe sandals then you’ll love Sass. These sandals are handmade and provide great support that doesn’t go away after a few uses. Some teachers say they’ve been wearing them for as a long as a decade!

“SAS (San Antonio Shoes). Hard to find but I swear by them. They are a little expensive but are hand made and the support just doesn’t fade. Haven’t had sore feet or knees since I started wearing them at work 10 years ago”. – Angela D.A.


skechers bobs: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersSkechers Bobs 

A lot like Toms when it comes to shape, these shoes come in a wide array of colors and styles, and have a memory foam footbed which makes them easy to wear all day.

skechers go walk: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers

Skechers GoWalks

If you like Skechers and can wear something a bit more sporty, teachers rave about GoWalks.

“Skechers Go Walk. Great range of colours, too, that go with anything you are wearing!” – Lisa S.H.

“Skechers Go Walks with memory foam. NO QUESTION! They’re cute, too!” -Cory L.H.

softwalk ballet flats: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersSoftwalk Slip-Ons

Need arch support? Softwalk slip-ons have an egg crate sole that does the job wonderfully. They are also fitted with breathable lining which is another reason they are great to wear all day.

“Softwalk slip ons. They have an egg crate sole and support my arch. Much more comfortable than my sneakers!” – Beth Johnson Fenimore


sonoma: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersSonoma flats

Flats are synonymous with comfort when they are from Sonoma. Sonoma flats have memory foam insoles which makes walking in them all day much easier. These shoes also feature a treaded sole which provides a good grip on most floors.


sperry topsider: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersSperry

Sperrys are another favorite because of their classic styles and reliable quality. Some styles are even water and stain resistant.


tieks: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersTieks

For gorgeous and comfy ballet flats that won’t break, teachers go for Tieks. Tieks shoes feature cushioned insoles and non-slip rubber soles which make them classroom-perfect. They are quite pricey but have a cult-like following of teachers who can’t live without them.

If you want cute and comfortable, I love Tieks ballet flats. I am in love with them! – Sarah M.D.


toms: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersToms

Though I have to disagree here, this list would not be complete without Toms. The brand just has too many fans! With canvas uppers and rubber soles, the comfort they provide is just as iconic as its style.

vionic orthaheel: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachersVionic Orthaheel

Vionic’s Orthaheel range feature removable EVA orthotic inserts which are covered with microfiber. They align feet and relieves heel pain by minimizing over-pronation.

“Vionic orthaheel. More comfy than slippers.” – Mb Estman


yellow box flip flop: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers

Yellow Box Flip Flops

Flip flops from Yellow Box have soft footbeds which makes walking in them feel heavenly. If you like wearing heels and wedges for extra height and your dress code allows very casual shoes, you can give these flip flops a try.


If you are having hard time looking for any of the suggestions above, you can go directly to Sole Provisions which sell a selection of specialty shoes for people with feet problems. Sole Provisions carry many of the brands suggested earlier though some of the exact styles may not be available.

“Shoes on are all for people with feet problems. Free shipping too. – Henthorn Myers

nine west teacher shoes: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers

As for my favorite? Nine West is my go-to brand. I look on Amazon first because they’re cheaper and many of them come with free shipping both ways, so I can try everything on at home with my outfits and return what I don’t like. All of Nine West’s shoes have a genuine leather upper, which means they last a LONG time and don’t create stinky feet like synthetics. I prefer wedge heels, and I’ve found that I can walk endlessly in just about any pair of Nine West shoes with less than a 2.5 inch heel (anything higher tends to throw my weight too far forward and cause knee/back pain.) I own several of the styles pictured above and LOVE them.

What are the most comfortable teacher shoes YOU own? Please share in the comments!

Your votes are in: the 30 most comfortable shoes for teachers

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Angela is a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years of classroom experience and 7 years experience as an instructional coach. As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, she has created printable curriculum resources, 4 books, 3 online courses, the Truth for Teachers podcast, and The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. Subscribe via email to get her best content sent to your inbox!

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jim Randolph September 2, 2015 at 3:56 pm

Boys can teach too! Not just lady-shoe wearing folks. (Nothing against men who like to wear ladies shoes!) I have two pairs of Sketchers with Memory Foam and they feel like I’m cheating. Like I”m weraring slippers. My wife (who also teachers) and daughter (a middle schooler) both got the girl version (I think you have those on your list) and love them as well.


2 Angela Watson September 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Thanks for chiming in, Jim! I have one pair of men’s shoes in the post, but apparently more women than men were interested in sharing their favorite shoe choices on Facebook so I didn’t have much to work with! :)

I think the brand recommendations count should be relevant for men as well as women, though–Asics, Aerosoles, Birkenstocks, Crocs, etc. all make men’s shoes.

I’m glad to hear your input–we’ll count this as another vote for Skechers.


3 Kim September 2, 2015 at 8:55 pm

My son teaches high school art and AP art history, he’s on his feet, kneeling, bending, nonstop. He swears by Doc Martens, says they help knee pain.


4 Richard Reynolds September 3, 2015 at 6:22 am

I have been a reader for quite a while now and I was surprised to see such a blatant view of sexism in academia where we are suppose to be liberated from some of those worldly problems. Notice not one male shoe. Are there no males working in K-12? Do males not suffer with the same issues? Or are males not considered real educators?


5 Angela Watson September 3, 2015 at 9:31 am

Hi, Richard. There is one men’s shoe included in the round up, because one male responded when I asked about shoes on Facebook. (See the comment above yours, which also explains that many of the brands included in the post make men’s shoes, too, so even if the style shown is for women, the brand information is still relevant.) If you have recommendations, I would love to hear them!


6 Jenny September 3, 2015 at 9:24 am

I love Abeo by The Walking Company. They have saved my feet this year!


7 Angela Watson September 3, 2015 at 10:47 am

Thanks, Jenny, I hadn’t heard of that. Will check it out!


8 Rhonda September 3, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Love Clarks, Naots and SAS. AND I love my Merrells!!!


9 Sue September 8, 2015 at 1:24 am

I used to always wear Clarks, until I tried a pair of Keen sandals last summer. I used to come home from school with sore feet everyday. I have problems with neuromas and hammer toes. But I can walk for hours and not have sore feet at the end of the day with my Keen sandals. At the end of the summer last year I was wondering how I could wear my sandals all winter. I discovered that Keen makes leather lace ups in brown and black styles and even tennis shoes and work boots, for both men and women. My husband has diabetes and has the tennis shoe, sandal and brown leather shoe also. Shoes are too expensive to waste money on a pair that hurts your feet. We are sold on Keen.


10 Jlw October 7, 2016 at 8:29 am

Thank you for mentioning Keen, as they are comfortable 😬


11 Trisha September 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm

I would have to add Grasshoppers . These shoes are the best I have ever worn for 10 hours and my feet still didn’t hurt at all, they are amazing!


12 Debbie December 10, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Couldn’t teach a day without my Docs and Chuck Taylors!


13 Kali January 18, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Do teachers read or do they only expect their students to read and pay attention? Everyone that said this article is sexist or excluded men owes me dentention and a 500 word paper. She stated in the beginning of the article that only ONE man responded and therefore she didn’t have much to work with when it came to mens shoes. Geesh! Pay attention people!
Thank you for the article by the way. I actually read the entire article. I enjoyed it and I appreciate the time you took to write it. Just what I was looking for.


14 Saronda March 19, 2016 at 10:20 am

I appreciate your comment because I thought I was the only one who noted that she did say it upfront! Teachers can act like students.


15 Gwen January 23, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Don’t forget any shoes or boots by ecco. I swear by them for comfort and support.


16 Lisa January 30, 2016 at 12:24 am

Ecco brand makes the most comfortable shoes for both men and women. They are expensive but I always buy them on sale.


17 Sara February 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm

I love Alegria and SpringStep! I have wide feet and am like the Princess and the Pea. Can’t stand any texture touching the bottoms of my feet. Both brands are wide and soft to stand on.


18 Karen February 4, 2016 at 6:22 pm

I have tried many different brands of shoes over the years. Clarks, Crocs, and Nike are favorites. I always like B.O.C. when I try them on in the store and then they are horrible when I wear them to work. I want to try a pair of Dansko. I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.


19 Diana February 5, 2016 at 5:21 am

Born brand is my go to shoe. They support my high arch and have a thick sole. Perfect for teachers!


20 Karen Foley February 6, 2016 at 9:19 am

Jambu has an open two clog with breathable sides that I love. I can wear it forever with no foot pain ( and that’s a miracle).


21 Robin S February 9, 2016 at 11:36 pm

OneSole has a cork wedge that is amazing!!! I wear them all the time and feel great after teaching all day!


22 Kelly February 12, 2016 at 10:38 pm

Merrells for all humans. Look for sales or Merrell Outlet stores. LOVE them.


23 AR February 13, 2016 at 4:26 pm



24 Colleen February 17, 2016 at 11:44 pm

I love my Asics!! I have wide feet and bunions. I researched shoes to work with my problems and Asics and Brooks popped up. Haven’t tried Brooks yet. I’m glad my principal doesn’t say anything about me wearing tennis shoes to work. I have a hard time finding nice shoes that don’t hurt my feet.


25 Karen February 21, 2016 at 4:06 pm

I practically live in Merrell’s both winter and summer. They are so comfortable and supportive. I love them!


26 Tonya Criswell April 1, 2016 at 4:27 am

I love them too!


27 Ann October 6, 2016 at 10:52 pm

Merrell, hands down! I LIVE in them and they fit so well. 2nd is Skechers, 3rd is Cole-Haan.


28 Jackie February 23, 2016 at 9:20 pm

Merrell clogs (I need to buy them in more colors than just my black). Cobb Hill by New Balance — I have a pair of flats in black and tan. I also LOVE Aetrex sandals. They offer amazing support with microbial footbeds. For a small heel (the ONLY type of heel I wear), I like Clarks. I had bought a mary jane style in black at a consignment shop. I ended up buying the same shoe in brown and merlot. I wore out my black pair after 4 years. Also love good ol’ birkenstock clogs.


29 Lisa March 12, 2016 at 10:41 pm

I love Dansko shoes. They take some getting used to because of the hard sole. Also, they don’t look great with every outfit. I think I have become so found of them, I started to like the way the look.


30 Pat Johnson Van Wyk March 12, 2016 at 11:16 pm

I had a pair of Krona black slip-on shoes that I wore to school for about 5 years with black dress pants. They were incredibly comfortable. I recently had to toss them out. They were made in Sweden. I bought them at a discount shoe store that carries overstock items. However, I cannot find them anywhere now. I do not know if they are no longer being produced or what, but I could not even find them on the internet. I am so disappointed. However, since I am in the market to replace them, I greatly appreciate the list you have published.


31 Lee Ann March 18, 2016 at 8:59 pm

I’ve heard of some of these and my foot doctor sells the Orthoheel. I need shoes that can stretch across as I have bunions on both feet and shoes are not wide across that part of the foot. After being on my feet all day, any shoe is painful. I can’t wear flats as they cut right across the bunions. I wear orthotics and it’s also difficult to find shoes that they will fit in. I could wear my tennis shoes everyday but they don’t look very dressy, but at my age, I really need comfort over fashion. :)


32 Tiffany July 10, 2016 at 1:10 pm

This will be my 30th year teaching, and standing on concrete all day. Around the 17th year teaching, I started having trouble with my arches from not wearing shoes with arch support. Orthoheel shoes gave me the support, and the slippers are great for home. I am never without them. I’m always looking for new brands that will equal the comfort, thanks for this list. I will look into the ones with arch support.


33 Kathleen March 31, 2016 at 1:52 am

Munro from Nordstrum is the only shoe that allowed me to stand all day without discomfort.


34 Tonya Criswell April 1, 2016 at 4:25 am

I have taught twenty years in third grade. I am up and down and in the floor all day. I have found Merrells to be the most comfortable. They are pricey but last years.


35 Susan Thomas April 1, 2016 at 8:19 am

I would also recommend Chacos and Haflinger. There are great styles and colors available in both brands that have arch support!


36 Patricia Van Wyk April 20, 2016 at 11:35 pm

I found another brand to add to your wonderful list. I bought a comfy pair of Micheal W. shoes recently and love them.


37 Pat April 28, 2016 at 12:14 am

Correction – that should be Micheal M. (not Micheal W.)


38 Susan May 16, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Merrells of any sort are fab! I’ve been living in Sauconys for the past two school years. And Reef flip flops!! (And I have the flattest feet known to man!!)


39 Paula R. Renton June 10, 2016 at 9:13 am

I have worn roper style boot for 4 years. They have a 2 inch heel and are lace up to keep my weight off the ball of my foot. Unfortunately, the brand has not kept up their quality and I cannot replace them.


40 Rene July 12, 2016 at 1:14 pm

A friend with diabetic neuropathy recommended Anyu. I love them. I have high arches that sit back further than average. In other words “banana feet”. Anyu makes shoes for both men and women. Some are yoga designed. Incredibly comfortable. I’m also a Skechers Go Walk fan.


41 Sonya September 26, 2016 at 6:47 pm

Cobb Hill shoes are very comfortable for all day wear.


42 Annie Frohlich October 6, 2016 at 9:48 pm

Looove my Mephisto sandals. If you like Birkenstock you’ll adore Mephisto.


43 Heather October 7, 2016 at 1:30 am

I can’t believe all the backless shoes featured, we aren’t allowed to wear anything like that. I’d also love to add my vote for Hafflinger. They’re awesome quality and super comfortable.


44 Anne V October 7, 2016 at 6:57 pm

I’ve worn Danskos, Aeroles, Sketchers, Clarks, and Docs, but right now my favorites are from Hotter- a British brand. A little nerdy, but so comfortable.


45 Diane October 7, 2016 at 7:40 pm

Lots of great choices here. I do a lot of Skechers and Clarks–another favorite is G.H.Bass. Always comfortable!


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