The Search for the Ultimate Teacher Shoe

It’s no secret that science teachers (and all teachers) need a good comfortable, closed-toe shoe that they can walk in all day long.  Teachers need shoes they can walk in all day long and over the years I have tried a lot of different shoes and worn a lot of different brands.  Recently, I wore the WRONG shoes and walked 5 miles a day for two weeks in Asia and when I got back, I realized I really need to invest time in finding the right shoes for my feet.

I’m not currently in the classroom (I’m writing resources for science teachers while I’m at home with my kids for a few years) but I certainly know who to ask: science teachers!

I asked my Facebook followers and Instagram followers what shoes to try on and I got a bunch of great ideas of shoes to try.  I’m writing a list below with shoes they recommended and shoes I tried, just in case there are other teachers on here who would like some ideas on what to try if you’re struggling like I was!

Thanks to Amazon Prime, I have ordered and ordered and ordered shoes, tried them on, and thanks to Kohl’s free returns (I think I’m on a first name basis over there now – I certainly hope Amazon is paying Kohl’s customer service well) returned them and returned them and returned them until I found the right shoe for me.  I went to 4 different shoe stores, tried on many, many, many shoes, and here is what I ended up as the winner (I did find this in a store, try it on, but had to order through Amazon because all the shoe stores around me didn’t have it in wide!)

(This is an Amazon affiliate link and other shoe links in this post are for Amazon as well – I found them to be the most convenient to order and return to; I may earn a small commission at no cost to you if you order shoes from the links below.)


These ASICS Women’s Gel-Contend 5 Running Shoes were exactly what I needed.  I need cushioning, a wider shoe, arch support, and weight distribution to relieve heel pain.  People with foot issues know that doctors say they should wear shoes every day at home, as well as outside to keep their foot supported, so I’m buying two pairs so I can have a pair of inside shoes and a pair of outside shoes (we’re sort of a traditional Asian household and we do NOT wear outside shoes inside).

One thing that I have learned through this month long search that what shoe works for me is NOT what works for everybody else.

Full disclosure: I have always refused to wear heels so on this list you will not see fancy scrappy high heel shoes you would go out on a Friday night with.  These are practical, comfortable-for-many shoes that you might want to try for yourself to see what works for you. When I was teaching, I always bought whatever brand of shoes I could walk in but in black… (shhhhhhhhhh so most people wouldn’t notice that they weren’t technically “work shoes”.)

Here are a long list of shoes recommended by teacher friends that might work for someone looking for comfortable teacher shoes:


A LOT of teachers recommended Dansko clogs.  They don’t work for me but maybe they will for you.  Several teachers told me their podiatrist told them to just throw away all their other shoes and wear these.


Several teachers also recommended Taos shoes.  These might be great for a fancier shoe to wear to school and they are supposed to have great foot support.


I tried these and I really wanted to love them.  So many people recommend New Balance but they are just too narrow for me, even the wides.  I’d try this brand if you have narrower feet.


Everywhere online I looked, people are talking about vionic shoes and they say they are perfect for people with heel pain issues.  I tried two different ones including this one and nope, inside they did not have enough cushioning and they were just plain huge and clunky.  Maybe they are worth a try because they work for a lot of other people!


These are pretty great, but pricey.  This brand is recommended by several teachers and have a wide range of colors.  They didn’t work for me but they might for you!


These again didn’t work for me (notice a trend…) but they might work for you and they have a lot of different styles and colors.


These were a close second for me.  I like that they have a lot of options and if I needed a full black shoe for work, I would have gotten these.  Almost as comfortable as the winner for me.


Well that’s it for my list – I hope this list helps other teachers looking for nice comfortable shoes they can use as they walk and prep labs and chase students at recess and all-the-teachery-things all day long!


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