If you’re like the teachers we know, you’ve likely had a love/hate relationship with your previous teacher’s shoes. The reality is that the best shoes for teachers can vary widely depending on your personal preference, teaching style, and even feet!
In this post we will look at our 14 favorite teaching shoes, including plenty of stylish, practical, and rugged options.
In a hurry? Our top pick for the best shoes is the Allbirds Tree Pipers. These shoes are comfortable, practical, and long-lasting.
The Best Shoes for Teachers
Allbirds Tree Pipers
The Allbirds are my daily drivers when it comes to teaching shoes. They are SO comfortable and SO stylish that I find myself reaching for them more often than not. Multiple styles and colors make it easy to find a paid you love and the lightweight means your feet won’t be as tired at the end of the day!
- Incredibly comfortable
- Lots of colors and styles to choose from
- Trendy and fashionable
Clarks Ashland Lane Women’s Q Loafer Shoes
Most Comfortable and Practical
This is one of the most comfortable and practical options on the market. These women’s shoes use genuine leather, which means that they’re waterproof and capable of lasting for years. An Ortholite footbed provides contoured support for the heels, toes, and arches. The heel is raised just slightly enough to reduce pressure without impeding posture.
- Available in 7 colors
- 100 percent leather with a rubber sole
- Ortholite footbed for contoured, full-foot support
- 1.29 inch heel raises foot slightly to reduce pressure
Clarks Women’s CloudSteppers Sillian Paz Loafer
The CloudSteppers are the most comfortable option on the market – perfect for when you’re walking around your classroom all day. Another great offering from Clarks, these shoes feature a textile upper with a vinyl acetate sole. The heel measures 1.5 inches, a little higher than the previous option, so it’s good for those who need extra calf support. A removable cushion, soft fabric lining, and shock absorption complete the design.
- Available in 10 colors
- 100 percent textile with a vinyl acetate sole
- Soft cushioning with an Ortholite footbed
- Raised 1.5 inch heel cushions each step
Nike Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Running Shoes
Best Athletic Casual Option
For teachers who want a more athletic shoe, the Pegasus is the best option on the market. These running shoes were made for professional athletes who log dozens of miles per week. They’re lightweight while having strong arch support and shock absorbers in the heels. Also included is a removable fitsole sockliner for contoured comfort.
- Available in 22 color combinations
- 100 percent synthetic with a synthetic sole
- Includes a removable fitsole sockliner
- Lightweight while providing good arch support
Superfeet Berry Insoles for High Arches
The Berry shoes are the best insoles for overall foot support. The interior arch support is great for those with high arches, while the deep heel cups cradle the foot. A reinforced stabilizer cap keeps you steady throughout your stride. There are also shock-absorbing components in the forefoot that prevent jarring impacts as you walk and run.
- Deep heel cups and reinforced stabilizer cap to keep foot steady
- Interior arch support for high arches
- Shock-absorbing foam forefoot keeps legs comfortable while walking
- Organic odor control measure keeps bacteria from causing odor
The Dansko Professional design is the best for teachers who want a comfortable clog. It’s crafted with leather that will last for years. The 0.75 inch platform gives the shoes an air-cushioned feel. A roomy toe box helps to prevent bunions and accommodates wider feet while the padded instep collar increases comfort as you move.
- Available in 7 professional colors and finishes
- Cabrio leather with a polyurethane sole
- 2 inch heel with a 0.75 inch platform
- Padded instep collar and roomy toe box for increased comfort
Skechers Women’s Lasso-Petrol-Western Influenced Ankle Boot
Best Style Variety
These ankle boots come with the best style variety on the market. The stylish design features a side zipper and a rubber sole. Each pair comes pre-treated with 3M Scotchgard, a coating that prevents textile damage and lengthens the life of the shoe. A memory foam insole has cooling air technology to keep your feet dry with every step.
- Stylish zip-up ankle boots with a rubber sole
- Upper treated with 3M Scotchgard to lengthen the textile life
- Memory foam insole with air cooling technology
Skechers for Work Women’s Kincaid II Loafer
These are the best loafers for teachers, given that Skechers designed them specifically for working professionals. The synthetic construction includes a slip-resistant sole that performs well on smooth and slippery surfaces. The flat heel keeps your foot close to the ground, while the memory foam inside provides much-needed cushioning.
- Best loafer for teachers
- 100% synthetic leather with a synthetic sole
- Flat heel, great for those who need a flat supportive sole
- Memory foam interior provides cushioning during long lectures
Merrell Women’s Jungle Moc Slip On
If you want shoes that you can wear in every part of your life, the Jungle Mocs are the most versatile option. They’re comfortable enough to take on walks, stylish enough to bring on evening adventures, and long-lasting enough to wear every day. An antimicrobial lining prevents bacteria from causing odor issues.
- Most versatile option for outside-the-classroom wear
- Available in five different colors
- Leather construction with a synthetic sole
- Antimicrobial lining prevents growth of bacteria
- Air Cushion heel absorbs shock with every step
Vionic Women’s Spark Carroll Ballet Flat
These gorgeous ballet shoes are the best flats for teachers. You can take your pick of twelve different colors and finishes. The removable EVA footbed has been covered with a soft microfiber lining to cradle your foot. The elastic upper combines with a reinforced, supportive toe, offering comfort throughout the day.
- Best flats for teachers
- Available in 12 different colors
- Leather upper with a synthetic sole
- Removable EVA foam footbed with a microfiber lining
- Elastic top with a snug, supportive heel and toe
Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Madison Sneaker
Most Trendy and Fashionable
These are the trendiest shoes on the market, with nearly twenty different patterns and colors to choose from. If you’re looking for a unique, fashion-forward classroom option, you don’t have to look further. The slip-on design includes two stretching panels that can conform to multiple different foot shapes, and the microsuede fabric is soft against the skin.
- Most trendy option for the fashion-conscious
- Available with 19 colors and patterns
- Microsuede fabric with a synthetic sole
- Slip-on design with a comfortable padded collar and stretching panels
- Lightweight, anatomical insole cushioning provides extra support
Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Sandals
Best for Standing All Day
While sandals won’t work for every teacher’s needs, these are a great option for those seeking an open-toe design and are the best shoes for teachers who stand on their feet all day. The footbed has a suede lining to soften the cork underneath. An EVA foam sole cushions every step, while the straps securely hold the sandals in place.
- Best shoes for standing on your feet all day
- Available in 50 different colors and patterns
- Synthetic upper with a cork footbed
- Suede footbed lining for extra comfort
- EVA foam sole provides cushioning with each step
Dr. Martens Women’s Leonore Leather Fashion Boot
Dr. Martens is well-known for being on the cutting edge of footwear fashion. These are the best boots for any teacher who needs to battle the elements (or support their favorite teaching bag). The interior is lined with faux fur to keep your feet warm, and the air-cushioned sole consistently absorbs shock. The leather upper is waterproof and won’t wear down when exposed to snow.
- Best boots for all-weather use
- Leather construction with a synthetic sole
- 1 inch heel with a 0.75 inch platform
- Lined with faux fur for comfort in colder temperatures
- Air-cushioned sole absorbs shock throughout each stride
Keen Women’s Sienna Mj Canvas Flat
These flats have a canvas top with the coolest pattern available. It’s hard to find a more unique shoe. The low-profile sole is thin enough for you to feel the ground as you walk, so it’s a good option for those who don’t like air cushioning. An anti-odor treatment helps to keep bacteria from causing odor issues.
- Coolest pattern on the market
- Rubber sole with a patterned canvas upper
- Low-profile construction lets you feel the ground as you walk
- Anti-odor treatment keeps feet fresh
Aerosoles Women’s Octagon Heel
If you’re looking for a stunning pair of heels, this is your best choice. The 3.25-inch heel lengthens the legs, while patented technology balances your weight closer to the heel than the forefoot. A comfortable foam footbed provides cushioning, while the insole has additional padding to prevent potential soreness.
- Best heel for teachers seeking a stylish look
- Available in 8 colors and finishes
- 3.25 inch heel lengthens the legs
- Weight distribution toward the heel, like you’re wearing flats
- Comfortable foam footbed with additional insole padding
Considerations when Shopping for Teacher Shoes
When you pick out shoes for teaching, it’s important to understand your needs so you can select the best shoe (or shoes!) for you.
Comfort vs. Style
When shoe shopping, it’s easy to feel as though you have to sacrifice comfort for style, and vice versa. Fortunately, that isn’t true with the above list and many shoe manufacturers have worked hard to create stylish shoes that professionals can wear.
For example, these sandals may look trendy, but they have a ton of support, too. In fact, they’re favored by teachers and retail workers who need to stand all day. And these ballet flats might seem delicate, but they actually have enough padding to support you through long lectures.
Ultimately, comfort is more important than style in our opinion. When you’re standing, walking around, and dealing with long school days, you need footwear that can keep up with the grind. It’s a lot easier to do your job if you aren’t constantly distracted by how much your feet hurt.
Not only will comfortable shoes make your life easier, they may also prevent problems down the line. Shoes that are too narrow can pinch the toes and cause bunions to form over time. Shoes without proper cushioning may lead to joint pain and plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the heel.
If you do have a style you simply can’t go without, make sure to look for the most comfortable options. Many manufacturers specifically make shoes for professionals, like these loafers from Skechers.
Ease of Cleaning
The ease of cleaning makes a big difference, especially if your type of teaching frequently gets messy. Easily-cleaned shoes are also a must for teachers who often battle muddy conditions to get to work.
Leather is one of the most easily-cleaned materials. Oftentimes, all you need is a rag and warm water. These boots are super easy to clean and capable of withstanding snowy weather patterns.
Textile-based shoes might not be so easy to wipe down. With that said, some textile shoes are actually machine washable. Once they’ve gotten too dusty or gritty for comfortable wear, you can just toss them in the washer to fix the problem.
Be aware of how often you’ll need to clean your shoes. If you expect to do a lot of heavy-duty work, make sure you double-check the cleaning requirements of the pair you buy.
Clog or Sneaker or Heel
Clogs, sneakers, and heels are three of the most common shoe styles for teachers and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Professional clogs like the Dansko are built to last for years (and are also some of the most recommended teaching shoes on our list). Traditionally, clogs are shoes with wooden soles and a leather upper. Today’s styles may use more versatile materials. These slip-on shoes are easy to use and comfortable to wear and the one drawback is that they’re not very good to run in.
Athletic sneakers like the Pegasus have cushioning technology built to keep runners comfortable for miles of high-impact exercise. They have a more casual style that wouldn’t be out-of-place at the gym.
These tend to be the most comfortable shoes that can be bought at a low price point. Unfortunately, they may not be suited to certain professional environments. Some dress codes prohibit athletic shoes and sneakers that “look obviously like sneakers.”
Heels are a stylish choice. They’ve been favored by professional women for decades because of the ways they lengthen the legs. However, not every pair of heels can provide the support you’ll need. Many are meant for short-term use, since they concentrate your weight in the ball of your foot.
If you do want a beautiful pair of heels, there are options like the Aerosoles Octagon. These eliminate many of the issues with traditional heels by shifting your center of gravity, supporting your entire foot, and padding your toes.
Support is one of the most important components when selecting your shoes. Different people need different levels of support. For example, shoes with high arch support won’t work well for those with flat feet.
Some shoes, like the Superfeet Berry, use extra technology for support. In addition to support for high arches, they have a stabilizing heel and shock-absorbing forefoot.
Many shoes come with a supportive liner that can be removed. If you have custom orthotics, it’s best to look for shoes that can accommodate these.
Support often comes in the form of foam cushioning. There are multiple types of EVA foam and memory foam that can conform to your feet.
Leather shoes like the Ashland Lane have multiple distinct advantages.
The first is that leather is one of the longest-lasting materials on the planet. Leather tends to become higher-quality with age, and many people will wear the same leather shoes for their entire lives.
Another advantage is that leather is entirely waterproof. If you often work in rainy conditions or get your feet wet, you’re likely looking for waterproof materials.
The disadvantage is that genuine leather tends to be expensive. It’s also an animal product, so many people prefer to look for vegan alternatives.
There are synthetic leathers on the market as well. These mimic the feel and properties of real leather. They’re generally waterproof, sturdy, and well-made. They may break down sooner than genuine leather, but should still last for several years.
Slip resistance is important for any teacher. Whether you’re walking in the rain or across a newly-waxed floor, one slip can cause a nasty injury.
Slip-resistant shoes have extra traction against the ground. They keep your foot in place as you walk, preventing you from losing your balance.
No matter your personal needs, you can find the best shoes for teachers to suit your budget and your position.
Our top choice overall is for the Allbirds Tree Pipers. These come in multiple professional colors and have a stylish, durable design. They’re a great pick for teachers who want long-lasting and comfortable shoes.
The best flats for teachers are the Vionic Caroll Ballet flats. These casual shoes are stylish and include concealed arch supports, making them excellent for those with high arches.
For those seeking teachers’ heels, the best choice is the Aerosoles Octagon Heel. These fashionable pumps have a memory foam footbed that makes them suitable for all-day wear.