Hitting a goal of 10,000 steps a day is nothing for a teacher. Although hitting those 10,000 steps in comfortable AND fashionable shoes is not so easy. As teachers, we rarely sit down. There is always something to do on our feet. You have to walk around the room during lecture to make sure students are paying attention. You need to walk during activities to ensure students are completing the activity correctly or to be more accessible to shy students with questions. You even need to walk around on test days for questions, or a student who may want lean a little to the right for a possible answer.
As the days of summer vacation come to a close and the first day of school looms, we get everything in order for our classroom. You make sure that you have paper, pencils, crayons, print-outs, and handouts. You line up the desks that you will walk up and down thousands of times, but do you think about your poor feet? They take a beating during the school year. Almost all schools have a dress code for teachers, which rarely allow super cozy athletic shoes except for those ‘lucky’ physical education teachers. Instead we have to wear work appropriate footwear on a teacher salary. Sure this type of footwear has existed, but not on the budget that teachers can afford. Luckily in 2017, shoe designers and companies have finally heard our plea and are creating comfortable AND fashionable shoes for a more reasonable price. Most importantly these shoes are not meant just for the classroom, they are also stylish enough for your weekend and weeknight plans. Despite students thinking we do not exist outside of the classroom. Here are my top picks for comfortable and cute shoes for both women and men:
Women’s Top Picks
Gentle Souls by Kenneth Cole
The Dana flat is our favorite classic ballet flat. Kenneth Cole has always been known for their dress up clothes and shoes, but now they are becoming more comfortable in a price range teachers can justify for shoes. These simple ballet flats compliment any outfit. They also let you slip around the classroom quietly to catch any misbehaving student off guard. They have a wide variety of colors with Nude Snake and Graphite being my personal favorites. Most people do recommend sizing down a half size. Click here to find it on Amazon
FitFlop Ballet Flats
This London based company has arrived in the United States and once you slip these on, you will be thankful they crossed the pond. Fitflop is known for their open toed sandals. If you are one of the rare lucky teachers walking among us that are allowed to wear these types of shoes, I bow to you. For the rest of us, Fitflop’s Ballet Flats are like walking on a cloud. They embraced the modern chunky sole and created a cute ballerina flat that is work appropriate. These shoes come in tons of colors and materials such as leather, suede, and canvas. Their prices begin around $100-$130, but we constantly find sales for as low as $40 on Amazon.
Oka-B Wedges & Flats
This Georgia based shoe company prides itself on sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint while offering durability in their shoes. The average pair of Oka-B sandals contains 15-25% recycled material. They will gladly accept your well-loved Oka-B to be recycled and in return you will receive a 15% promo code. You can have adorable shoes and know that you are helping the planet. The Emery wedge is the shoe for you, if you want a classic look. We like the Myra wedge for a bit of flare that still maintains a professional look. For the ballet flat, we love their Victoria and Jane. Although every color and style is amazing. Click here to find it on Amazon
Dr. Scholl’s Ankle Boot
We never would have thought we would be suggesting Dr. Scholl’s for cute work shoes. Dr. Scholl’s has come a long way in footwear and is finally designing shoes for more fashionable minded women. These booties offer the modern style, but add the comfort for your tootsies that we as teachers need on a daily basis. Check out the Baxter and Dillion styles to keep your feet comfortable as fall and winter draw near.
Clarks Ankle Boots
These new boots by Clarks are in the same category as Dr. Scholl’s. A brand we did not expect to like so much. These boots offer your feet and lower back relief while still looking fashionable. They are not just for your work days, they are also perfect for your weekends! The Spye Astro and Spye Celeste are our top two picks for this brand.
Men’s Top Picks
Cole Haan Zerogrand
This dress shoe/athletic shoe hybrid was meant for the classroom. Cole Haan’s Zerogrand line finally takes the stylish, professional look we need in the classroom, but offers the comfort and support of an athletic shoe that is needed to hit the pavement all day. These shoes come in tons of colors with my favorite having contrasting untraditional soles colors such as yellow or blue. These shoes can be as much as $270, but it is very easy to find these for around $100 on Amazon.
Olu’kai Mano & Manoa
Thank your lucky stars because this famous sandal brand is now making shoes that can be worn in the classroom! These sandals have always been a favorite of everyone in my household because of their durability and pure heavenly comfort. With the release of their shoe line, you can slip out of your sandals and into their Mano and Manoa shoes for work. They offer the same comfort, support, and durability as their sandals. If you do not mind spending $200, we highly recommend their boots, specifically the Pahoa for its modern sleek look.
Clarks Broyd Wing Oxford
These shoes offer the classic look that many male teachers look for in the classroom, but the comfort and support that are needed to keep going each day. They come in a variety of materials and colors that can match any outfit or add a pop of color. Click here
ECCO Edinburgh Cap-Toe Oxford
ECCO offers a light and flexible dress shoe that will not weigh you down as you pop around the classroom hoping that your lesson is sinking in. The cap-toe and seams offer a classy look while not comprising any comfort and best of all it stays right in the midline price range. You will also love how durable these shoes are and easy to clean with most classroom messes coming off with a damp cloth. Click here to find your size